Wednesday’s Political Potpourri

Here comes summer – so get out there and enjoy it!

Today I am writing this column from my basement (using only a flashlight for light) hoping that the unmanned drones flying overhead don’t spot me.  I hear they are spying on people and the land we own.  Although summer starts today, I may not venture outside much with all this spying going on by the Obama Administration…

The good news is that I live just outside the 100 mile zone around the border.  Yes that zone – the zone that gives the Feds “operational control” over everything and everybody – so I may be safe.  Check out the map I recently discovered on the top-secret website run by the government…

I just hope they don’t send their agents disguised as aliens to probe me (again).  We can only pray that the Patriot Act protects us from all this mayhem…

It’s time to get (a little more) serious…here at The Western Word today I write about a new poll, drones, securing the border, the Miller campaign, a cellphone ban, and much more…Montana U.S. Senate Poll:

The latest poll from Rasmussen Reports about Montana’s U.S. Senate race shows that Denny Rehberg leads with 49% to 47% for Jon Tester.  They also report, “two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, while another two percent (2%) are undecided.”

There’s a lot of back and forth going on between Rehberg and Tester and it’s fun to watch.  With all the money that has been spent so far, it’s amazing that neither candidate has made much of a move in the polls.

The race will be decided by which candidate makes the fewest mistakes – it also depends a lot on how much money is spent by the candidate and their supporters over the summer and into the fall to get their message out.

I’m thinking there will be a lot of free picnics offered by the campaigns in the next few months…

The Drones:

A story posted on the Billings Gazette website yesterday did some damage to the credibility of Congressman Denny Rehberg and his campaign for U.S. Senate:

Two weeks after telling the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to ground surveillance drones allegedly spying on American farmers and ranchers, Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., acknowledged the drones don’t exist.

After figuring out the information was incorrect, Rehberg’s team stayed in attack mode saying, “The Obama Administration rarely reveals its secretive plans to anyone but its closest allies.  Since Denny doesn’t vote with the President 95 percent of the time, he must often rely on news reports and constituent input.”

Recently things are not going too well for Team Rehberg.  They had the Obama Outhouse being the biggest newsmaker from the GOP Convention (and taking away momentum) to Rehberg not taking part in the debate (and not saying why he is missing it) and now there’s this drone issue.  The drone issue should make for some interesting campaign commercials later this year…

Secure The Border:

According to a press release from the Congressional Office of Denny Rehberg, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2578, the Conservation and Economic Growth Act.  “The legislation incorporates 14 separate pieces of legislation designed to improve public lands and bolster economic activity, including two which Rehberg has cosponsored.”

According to Rehberg’s press release:

“This bill, which is absolutely necessary to secure our borders against illegal immigrants, drug dealers, human traffickers and terrorists, is much more carefully crafted than what the Senate passed in 2009,” said Rehberg, who co-chairs the Congressional Northern Border Caucus.  “I call on our Senators to stop playing partisan games with national security and support this effort like they have in the past.”

The Great Falls Tribune reports that the bill that gives the U.S. Border Patrol access to federal lands within 100 miles of the border.

Most Democrats are against the bill.  This is election year so about the only thing they will agree on is when to take recess/vacations.

I don’t really have a problem with this bill.  I also don’t have a problem with the Patriot Act, or the TSA, or the United Nations, or Unions…

Miller Campaign:

According to a story by Lee Newspapers, “Yellowstone County prosecutors have declined to pursue civil action against unsuccessful Republican governor candidate Ken Miller over campaign finance violations found by the state political practices commissioner.”

Yellowstone County basically said they were too busy to take the case.

I imagine Yellowstone County prosecutors are busy with giving fourth, fifth, and six-time drunk drivers a slap on the wrist…

Great Falls & Cellphones:

I happened to catch the Great Falls City Commission meeting last night on TV during timeouts and at halftime of the Thunder/Heat NBA game.

My congratulations go to Great Falls City Commissioner Mary Jolley for not hopping on the Crazy Train with the other commissioners during the commission meeting.  The Great Falls Tribune reported that the other commissioners voted to set July 3 as the date for the final public hearing on a proposed cellphone ban while driving in Great Falls (Montana).

It was irresponsible for the Commissioners to set July 3 as the date for the hearing.  Many residents will be doing something else – like enjoying time with their family, taking some vacation time, going camping or planning their Independence Day activities.

Since the city has lost about $7 million in the power business, I imagine they are looking forward to reaping the benefits of $100 – $500 tickets for driving while using a cellphone.  City Attorney James Santoro seemed giddy when discussing the ordinance.  The ban will go into effect 30 days after the ordinance is passed.

Great Falls, as well as other cities in Montana, should do more to take drunk drivers off the streets (and prosecute them harshly) instead of worrying about texting and driving…

For fun and games follow Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord…