Wednesday’s Political Potpourri

Welcome to Wednesday! To those of you going on spring break after today – have fun and be safe! Today there were so many interesting political stories to comment about that I put them in a “Political Potpourri” column.

Today I write about Daines listening, Tester hopping on the train, anonymous blogs, a cellphone ban bill, plus I give some motivation for the righties! There’s much more so read on…

Daines to Listen:

U.S. Representative Steve Daines (R-Mont.) has announced that he will hold a listening session about U.S. Senator Max Baucus’ Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act bill. The listening session will be held in Choteau, Montana, on April 3. Choteau is located in Teton County where Daines received 62% of the vote in his 2012 election.

The listening session is mostly just for show. I would be very surprised if Daines supports Baucus’ bill. Daines does not want to give Baucus any bipartisan support to use in his upcoming election.

Hopping on the Train:

It was really no surprise to me that U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) issued a statement yesterday saying he now supports gay marriage. What was a little surprising is that it took him this long to hop on the “support gay marriage” train that seems to be picking up more and more passengers every day.

It seems that Tester and others (McCaskill) have waited for “politically” safer times to support gay marriage. Checking the political winds before making a statement for or against an issue is what turns a lot of people off. It’s also what gives Congress approval ratings of near 14%.

As I have said before, “It’s all about the next election.”

Anonymous Blogs:

I missed this article until the Cowgirl Blog mentioned it Tuesday in THIS COLUMN writing that “Right wing blaming anonymous blogs for GOP’s problems.”

The state senate debated a “Dark Money” bill recently and the Associated Press reported that State Senator Jason Priest “warned fellow Republicans that the measure won’t affect anonymous blogs, a venue he argued where Democrats hold an advantage.”

Montana Republicans have had several opportunities over the past 5-10 years to cultivate and grow their on-line presence – especially in the blog world. It’s been an epic failure. Anonymous blogs that lean to the left are just a tiny part of the big picture.

Priest’s glass should be half-full. The GOP has the advantage with state-wide conservative talk radio, plus they have Steve Daines and Tim Fox as their leaders…

After that last line I may have a future as a motivational speaker – like Matt Foley – and I can live in a van down by the river

Cellphone Ban:

A Montana State Senate committee heard about a bill (SB 390) which if passed would prohibit the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving.

Most readers know I have been against silly bills like this one. Since some cities (like Great Falls) passed local laws banning the use of cell phones, I’ve seen more people talking on them while driving than ever before. They might as well place a ban on eating French fries while driving.  McDonald’s French fries or Chili Cheese Tots from Sonic will distract me more than a text message.

I’d really like to see the State Legislature put some time and effort into making drunk driving a real crime in Montana.

Fortunately, the senate committee that heard this bill “didn’t take immediate action.” Hopefully it will stay that way.

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