Welcome to Monday Morning Politics – this is the “circus” edition in honor of the 63rd Montana Legislature that starts today!
In case you are a new visitor, this column is where I take a look at some of the political stories that caught my attention from the past weekend and put them in one place for my readers to see. I also provide some commentary!
Today I write about the Circus beginning in Helena and some advice to those in the media covering it. I also chime in about the GOP Chairman’s views on voting, Daines’ disaster vote, Chuck Hagel, John Brennan, Crapo paying for his DUI, and a salute to Virginia for their DUI laws. There’s a lot more so read on…
The Circus Begins:
The 63rd Montana Legislature begins today in Helena, Montana. I refer to the Montana Legislature as a “three-ring circus” on this website because most of the time that’s what the Montana Legislature turns out to be.
I would like to thank all folks who are serving in the Legislature (seriously).
Also, here’s a helpful hint to the so-called Montana “political” reporters who are covering this edition of the Montana Legislature – please try not to be in awe when interviewing the legislators and statewide office holders. It might be nice if you asked a tough question once in a while, too…
Count Every Vote:
The chairman of the Montana Republican Party, Will Deschamps, wrote an opinion piece about vote counting that appears in the Helena Independent Record.
He writes, “How can Flathead County recount their ballots for 11 cents and Cascade County need 36 cents for about the same number of ballots?”
I could insert a joke about Cascade County here, but it’s only Monday…
While I don’t agree with everything Deschamps contends in his opinion piece, I’d like to know the answer to that, too. There should be set cost for a recount.
As a neutral observer, it seemed to me that Montana was not as prepared for a recount as they should have been. Maybe they can fix it…
Congressman Steve Daines (R-Mont.) voted against a $9.7 billion aid package for those suffering damage from Superstorm Sandy. It passed 354-67.
His “No” vote garnered so much attention that the Great Falls Tribune used it for an unscientific poll question: “Do you agree with Rep. Steve Daines’ vote against Superstorm Sandy aid?” The final results were YES: 41%, NO: 59%.
Some folks are now wondering how Daines would have voted if Montana was hit with a disaster and needed Federal aid.
I personally think it is fine to use the credit card for disasters…
Chuck Hagel for SecDef:
Sources say that former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska will be nominated by President Obama to be his Secretary of Defense today.
Hagel is a great pick by the President.
Hagel is a Vietnam veteran and was awarded two Purple Hearts. He was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army. By the way, you can never go wrong having a Sergeant in charge…
Some of the far-right leaning Republicans (Lindsey Graham) don’t like Hagel because he was a moderate Republican when he served in the Senate. Moderate Republicans are mostly a thing of the past in the so-called “Big Tent” of the GOP, and that’s the reason they are losing elections.
I’m also pleased that the President plans to nominate John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. Good man.
U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) was arrested in Virginia on December 22 for DUI (0.11 breath test). According to the Washington Post, on Friday morning Crapo pled “guilty to drunken driving and received a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail, a $250 fine, a year’s suspension of his driver’s license and enrollment in an alcohol safety program.”
I like the year suspension of the driver’s license for the first offense. I salute the Virginia legislature for being tough on DUIs. Maybe other states will take notice and make the first time offense something that gets the offenders’ attention…
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