Caught My Eye…

This weekend please remember that Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor American men and women who died while serving our country – and remember the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m. local time (Monday) where you can pause what you are doing to think about what their sacrifice means to you, your family, and our country.  I’ll have a special Memorial Day message posted Monday.

Congratulations on making it to Friday!  Now you can read “Caught My Eye” and slide into your three-day weekend armed with knowledge and a smile!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word (TWW), the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning right here!  Here is where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write or comment about during the week – and I often sprinkle them with a touch of sarcasm just to liven it up!

NOTICE:  Before proceeding please understand that everyone and everything is fair game…

Today I write about American cowboys, the University of Montana, I share some e-mails from my political inbox, I talk about fundraising, I release some TWW Poll results, I brag about the Great Falls Tribune mentioning TWW (again), and I offer some campaign strategy!  There’s a whole lot more so read on!

Big Money:

According to a story by the Associated Press, U.S. Senator Jon Tester has more than $4 million in the bank and Tester’s probable opponent in November, Congressman Denny Rehberg, has about $2.6 million cash on hand.

Between April 1 and May 16, Tester raised $781,465 and Rehberg raised $402,128 during the same period.

Tester has raised about $8,000,000 (overall) for his reelection effort, and it appears if my math is correct, that Tester has raised almost enough money to deliver a suitcase full of Montana beef to every home in Montana…

Some folks are wondering if Rehberg will tap into his enormous personal wealth to help his campaign compete with the Tester fundraising juggernaut.   

Daines has Dollars:

According to a story in Lee Newspapers, Republican Steve Daines “took in $68,600 during the past six weeks, pushing his campaign fundraising total to $1.19 million.”  Daines has $743,000 sitting in the bank according to the story.

On the Democratic side, State Senator Kim Gillan raised $36,200, and State Representative Franke Wilmer raised $32,700.

Daines has the dollars, but many folks are concerned that he is coming across as wealthy and out of touch (stuck up) with the independent voters and the regular folks across the state.

Giddy Up:

I found some more bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate!  According to a press release from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, “July 28 will be National Day of the American Cowboy thanks to a bipartisan proposal by Senator Jon Tester.”  Max Baucus co-sponsored it…

I heard that Baucus wanted to put some personal advice in the cowboy resolution like, “Don’t squat with your spurs on” and to “Always drink upstream from the herd” but Tester figured everyone already knew that…

TWW Getting Noticed:

My May 16 column where I wrote about the Great Falls City Commission’s plan to ban cellphone use was picked up by the Great Falls Tribune newspaper!  You can read the story HERE.

I think I should be hired by a newspaper to write a weekly column…

Shame on U:

George Ochenski writes for the Missoula Independent and has a column up called “Shame on U” where he writes, “It’s not just about rape anymore” in regards to Missoula and the University of Montana in what he says is “their attempts to downplay alleged rapes.”

It’s time to clean house at the University of Montana…

Gender Pay Gap:

According to a story in the Washington Free Beacon, U.S. Senator Jon Tester has a gender pay gap in his U.S. Senate office of 34.2 percent meaning he paid his male staffers 34.2% more than his female staffers.

That is an interesting development and, if correct, it does not look good.

Jack’s Political Inbox:

Almost every day I receive e-mails from candidates, elected officials, and/or groups promoting a cause, many just hoping they get mentioned (in a kind and gentle way) on The Western Word website!  I select a few each week that “Caught My Eye” and share them with my readers.  This week I picked six that I think you will enjoy…

-The Rick Hill for Montana Governor Campaign sent me an e-mail this morning with the subject, “throwing mud…” where Hill’s campaign manager writes, “Our campaign has released our latest ad in response to the false, negative, and dishonest television ad Corey Stapleton is using to attack Rick.”  You can view Hill’s new video HERE where he calls Stapleton a “typical politician” who, when he starts losing an election, starts throwing mud.

Hill is still wearing his light blue shirt…

James Carville writing for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Ants” where he writes, “I bet you’re already thinking about the holiday weekend.  Backyard full of friends, meat on the grill, cooler full of cold ones.  Now imagine a swarm of ants – with Karl Rove’s face on ’em – crashing the party.”

Looks like Carville’s been eating some bad gumbo again…

-The Montana Republican Party sent me an e-mail with the subject, “RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day scheduled to attend MT GOP Convention.”

Day has a background in insurance and she will join John Barrasso (a medical doctor and U.S. Senator from Wyoming) at the convention.  This means the 2012 MT GOP Convention is on track to be one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting, state convention in Montana history…

(I was just joking in that last sentence)

-The Bullock for Governor campaign manager, Kevin O’Brien, sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Huff Post: Bullock Takes a Stand In Citizens United Sequel” in which he writes, “In the aftermath of Citizens United, Steve’s been fighting to make sure that it’s Montanans, not out of state corporations, who decide our elections.”

I think Steve Bullock is failing in that area so far…

-The Montana Democratic Party is having a convention and sent me the e-mail with the subject, “Last Chance for Advance Registration Price for Conventions” writing, “Don’t miss out, Friday, May 25th is your last chance to take advantage of the advance registration price for our 2012 Conventions.”

It will be extremely hard for the Montana Democrats to top the Montana GOP’s dynamic duo of Sharon Day and John Barrasso…

-The Montanans for Tester campaign sent me an e-mail with the subject, “We can’t” in which he writes, “And with outside special interests pouring more than $2 million into attack ads in Montana, the last thing I want to hear is Preston telling me that “we can’t” afford to respond.”

Here’s some good news and some advice for Jon Tester – First, Steve Bullock is going to make sure “that it’s Montanans, not out of state corporations, who decide our elections” and second, next time Preston says to you, “We can’t,” just fire his lazy —.

The Western Word (TWW) Poll:

Here are the results of the Wednesday/Thursday poll on TWW that asked, “Who are you voting for in the Montana Democratic Primary for U.S. House?”

-Robert Stutz – 42%

-Franke Wilmer – 28%

-Kim Gillan – 8%

-Diane Smith – 4%

-Sam Rankin – 3%

-Jason Ward – 1%

-Dave Strohmaier – 0%

-None – 14%

Thanks to all who participated!  This was not a scientific poll; it was done for grins, giggles, and to see who could encourage their grassroots supporters to vote!

The Baucus Campaign:

Politico has a story posted HERE called, “Baucus faces the biggest campaigns of his career” where they write about U.S. Senator Max Baucus rewriting the Tax Code and running for reelection in 2014.

In 2014, Baucus could be challenged by the loser of the Tester/Rehberg 2012 race and several other statewide candidates who lost or want to move to a different office.  Then there’s Brian Schweitzer…

Campaign Strategy:

The Western Word is always on the cutting edge, so I thought I would share one candidate’s campaign strategy hoping that some of you use it!  Click HERE if you really want to know!

One Last Thing:

Don’t forget to stretch…



  1. Thank goodness it’s too cold in Montana for the cutting edge, at least in the primary.

    • Haha…maybe!

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