Politics 2012: Wednesday Potpourri

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There have been a lot of political happenings across the country these last few days, so today I picked a few of them to write about.  Read on to hear about Santorum’s big wins, a Veterans’ Job Caucus, the Congressional Gold Medal, running mates, big fines, license plates, letter to the editor rules, some endorsements, and much more!

Oh…and there’s some commentary to go along with it.

Santorum Wins:

Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri all fell into Rick Santorum’s column last night in the GOP Presidential race.

Many on the right are looking to anyone but Mitt Romney…and I don’t blame them.

Veterans Job Caucus:

It’s always nice to see elected officials, many who never served in the military, throw a crumb or two at veterans.  Sen. Jon Tester announced through a press release that he established a Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus.  In a press release, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said they have formed the bipartisan Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus.

Everybody likes to take credit and most of the time the local media never checks.

One thing the “Jobs Caucus” should consider:  50% of the taxpayer-funded staff employed by senators and representatives must be veterans…

First Special Service Force:

The Montana Congressional Delegation is sponsoring a bill to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the First Special Service Force.  The unit trained at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana.

This is well-deserved.

Readers may be interested in knowing that Interstate 15 in Montana and Alberta Highway 4 from Helena to Lethbridge, Alberta Canada, was named the “First Special Service Force Memorial Highway” back in September 1999.  There are signs along the route.

Letter to the Editor Rules:

The Great Falls Tribune has come out with their “rules of engagement” for letters to the editor and guest opinions in their newspaper.  It’s fun to read.

Any serious campaign will have one or two people employed who “assist” their supporters in getting their talking points in newspapers, blogs, and forums.  It’s a very important job…

$99,120 Fine:

The City of Great Falls is being fined $99,120 “for failing to purchase state-mandated renewable energy credits.”  The City Manager was quoted saying, “The money has to come from somewhere.”

That was an earth-shattering statement…

License Plates:

The City of Great Falls is looking “into creating a new city specialty license plate.”

If they do that, maybe they can use the money from the sale of Great Falls plates to pay the $99,120 fine?

And, some citizens in Great Falls would probably like to see some current and former city leaders sent to where the plates are made…

Speaking of Fines:

The Associated Press reported, “Public Service Commissioner Brad Molnar was correctly fined $21,000 for violating ethics laws by using state government equipment for re-election campaign work.”

There are some folks in Montana smiling about this…

Running Mate 1:

Montana Governor Candidate Jim O’Hara (Republican) announced that former Montana Highway Patrol trooper Scott Swingley of Helena would be his running mate.  You can read the story HERE.

O’Hara received a lot of free publicity with the CBS Evening News doing the story about his courthouse signs.  But can he turn the publicity into votes…

Running Mate 2:

Montana Governor Candidate Corey Stapleton (Republican) announced last night that he had selected former state Senate President Bob Keenan of Bigfork as his running mate.  You can read the story HERE.

The Stapleton campaign seems to be doing better these days and right now it appears the race is between Stapleton and Hill. 

Endorsements:

The Strohmaier for Congress campaign sent me a press release via e-mail with the subject, “Montana’s Top Conservation Writers Endorse Dave Strohmaier” saying that he was recently “endorsed by influential Montana authors: William Kittredge, Rick Bass, Annick Smith, Peter Stark and David James Duncan.”

That’s a pretty impressive group of authors…

Candidates and Elected Officials:

Please send your press releases to The Western Word at this e-mail:  Western_Word@Yahoo.com.

Follow Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord.

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