Monday Morning Politics

Welcome to Monday and another week!  Have no fear – The Western Word (TWW) will be with you each and every day providing you with that independent commentary you’ve come to love and enjoy!  We’ll get through this week together, I promise.

If you are a new visitor to TWW, “Monday Morning Politics” is where I put together several of the political stories from the past weekend all in one place for your reading pleasure.  I also offer some commentary about these stories often laced with just a little snarkiness…

Today I write about new ballot instructions, HD 18, write-in candidate, Tester critiques Obama, Mom’s lessons, a new video, women candidates, Olszewski visits DC, no production, Newsweek cover, Lieutenant Dan, Bush in Montana, and much more!

Primary Ballot Additional Instructions:

The Cascade County (Montana) Election Administrator decided the 6 pieces of information included with the primary election ballots were not enough, so late last week I received another page with even more information to help guide me through the primary voting maze!  Here’s a look at the latest piece of information:

They even included some illustrations to lighten the confusion. 

The problem is there are two ballots (Democratic and Republican) and voters can only vote on one.

Solution:  To make it very easy, the name of every candidate would be placed on one ballot for the primary and the top two vote getters (regardless of political party) would move on the General Election.  That’s something the Montana Legislature would have to change.  Since the political parties would be less important this way, don’t look for too much support from the Democrats and the Republicans in the Montana Legislature.

HD 18 GOP Primary:

Back on April 10 I wrote a column titled “Politics 2012: Contested!” about the fight that was brewing between Republicans Jesse O’Hara (Incumbent) and challenger Randy Pinocci.  You can read it HERE.

On Sunday, the Great Falls Tribune published several stories about the hotly “contested” race.  You can read them HERE, HERE, and they profile O’Hara HERE and Pinocci HERE.

I wrote back in April, “I would venture a guess that O’Hara, who has been representing HD 18 for three terms, will cream his opponent in the primary.”  I still believe that.

Long long ago I grew sick of hearing that some folks were not Republican enough…

Governance Pledge:

Republican candidates running for Governor of Montana are being asked to sign a “Montana Constitutional Governance Pledge” in which they pledge to “resign from office if they don’t pursue such policies as privatizing state entitlement programs and pensions.”  You can read the Associated Press story HERE.

Like I have said, Ronald Reagan would have a tough time being elected as a Republican these days…

Candidate Bowen Greenwood:

Bowen Greenwood is probably best known as the Executive Director of the Montana Republican Party (unless he was fired recently by the Rehberg cartel for saying nice things about The Western Word).

Now he can be called candidate!

About 7:45 p.m. last night I received an e-mail with the subject, “The Latest About Bowen Greenwood’s Write-In Campaign” (I hate long subject lines) saying, “This e-mail newsletter is about the campaign to write-in Bowen Greenwood for Clerk of the Montana Supreme Court.”

He even has a website –

Can you actually win a write-in election?  Yes.  I won a local write-in election several years ago and it takes some planning (it was easier then, but it is still feasible today). 

Tester Critiques Obama:

U.S. Senator Jon Tester did an interview with the Missoulian and said he “stands by President Barack Obama on issues like health care reform and withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, but often thinks the Democratic leader doesn’t go far enough where rural Montana issues are concerned.”

Read the story HERE.

For Tester to win his next election, I would advise him not to stand too close to Obama…

Tester:  Mom’s lessons

U.S. Senator Jon Tester says he used the lessons his mom taught him and his brothers in a guest opinion that appeared in the Billings Gazette on Sunday (Mother’s Day).

Tester said, “My mother passed away three years ago after a long, happy and productive life.  This Mother’s Day, my brothers Bob and Dave and I are thinking of our mom.  We are thankful and blessed.”

My mother passed away in January 2007 and I still think of her every day – especially on Mother’s Day.  

While I commend Tester for letting us know a little about his mother, when I read it I felt he was using his mother as a campaign tool – like the line about the “recent efforts in Congress to undermine women’s health care, education and our basic freedoms” and that he is fighting the “efforts to cut important initiatives that provide access to preventive health care, breast cancer screenings, Head Start, affordable college and healthy school lunches.”

Jon Tester:  The American Way

The Tester campaign has a new one-minute video (posted Sunday) on YouTube that shows Jon and Sharla Tester talking about the Montana values they grew up with in their hometown of Big Sandy.

You can watch it HERE.

Psst…the tractor makes an appearance!

Women Candidates:

The chief of the Lee Newspapers State Bureau in Helena, Charles Johnson, published his opinion (called Horse Sense) about Democrats having more female candidates lately.  He writes about 2012 saying, “Democrats have eight women running for statewide office — compared with two Republican women.”

He even asked a political scientist to comment!  Wahoo!

Johnson also writes, “None of the seven Republican men filing for governor chose a woman as his running mate, but then again, neither did the likely Democratic nominee, Attorney General Steve Bullock.”

Maybe if it were easier to run for office in Montana as an independent then more women would run for office.

Olszewski Attends Policy Strategy Meeting:

The Lynch for Montana Governor Campaign sent me an e-mail to let me know that Lynch’s running mate, Albert Olszewski who is an Orthopedic Surgeon, attended the Physician Council for Responsible Reform’s Policy Strategy Meeting in Washington, D.C., which included a working session with Speaker of the House John Boehner at RNC Headquarters to discuss Obamacare.

Check out more details at their website HERE.

Producing Little:

The Associated Press reports, “Congress is producing little this election year that will become law, yet both parties are churning out bills designed to make the other side look bad.”

For an example, they use the student loan bill.  In the Republican-controlled House, they passed a bill “financed by obliterating a preventive health program created by President Barack Obama’s cherished health care overhaul.”  In the Democratic-controlled Senate, their bill was “financed by boosting payroll taxes on upscale owners of some privately owned companies.”

First Gay President:

The cover for the May 21, 2012, edition of Newsweek says that Barack Obama is “The First Gay President” showing a photo of the President with a rainbow halo.  You can see the cover HERE.

Lieutenant Dan:

In case you missed it, 60 Minutes did a segment Sunday night about Actor Gary Sinise, who played Lieutenant Dan in one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump.

60 Minutes reports, “Sinise co-founded the Lt. Dan Band to entertain U.S. troops and raise money for gravely wounded warriors” and he uses that money to build homes for those veterans.  Check it out HERE.

Bush:  “God is good.”

Former President George W. Bush was in Billings (Montana) Friday night for a fundraiser to benefit a nonprofit Christian ministry called Provision International.

He was quoted in the story saying that “anyone from the most blessed country in the world ought to be yelling ‘God is good’ all the time.”  He also said he was no longer in politics and said he was trying to “get out of the swamp.”

Bush is correct – God is good!

Follow the exciting life and times of Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord