Caught My Eye…

Welcome to a very special “Caught My Eye!”

Why is it special? The Western Word turns nine today! NINE YEARS OLD! Whoop WHOOP!

On this date in 2005, the first post appeared on The Western Word. It was about football as most columns back then were about sports and/or music. Somebody actually read that first column, so I continued writing! This is post number 2,109.

By the way, this is the 180th “Caught My Eye” column which is posted every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little.

Today I write about the first candidate filing day, Col. Robert Stanley, Malmstrom troubles, Chris Christie, Ryan Zinke’s fundraising, Bowen Greenwood’s book, plus there’s a winner who is making Montana proud!

Montana Candidate Filing:

Yesterday was the first day to file for office in Montana and for candidates and political parties to start promising things will be better if they are elected or if their party is in control. Today the Associated Press reports that 139 people filed for office.

I don’t get too excited about the first day. The last day to file, which this year is March 10, almost always has some surprises.

You can keep track of who files for what office by checking out this website HERE. Thanks to those who throw their hats into the ring. I appreciate your desire to serve!

*Note: If you are a candidate or in charge of the social media for a candidate, follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord and I will follow you back. Also, please add my e-mail to your press list.

A Promotion?

The Great Falls Tribune reported yesterday afternoon that Colonel Robert W. Stanley, Wing Commander at Malmstrom AFB, has been nominated for promotion to Brigadier General. According to the Tribune, in June 2011 Stanley was assigned duties as the Vice Wing Commander at Malmstrom. In February 2013 he was promoted to Wing Commander at Malmstrom.

Under his leadership Malmstrom has failed some inspections, and he even fired another colonel at the base. I highly doubt the airmen who made the mistake that led to the failure of the inspections will be fortunate enough to get promoted this quickly, if ever. Why should their commander?

In my experience, very few wing commanders who have served at Malmstrom AFB deserve to be promoted from colonel to brigadier general. It should not be an automatic stepping stone.

My opinion is that Stanley should not be promoted.

Stanley’s promotion can be easily stopped by U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus. Montana’s U.S. senators should ensure that only the best and brightest people are promoted.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely Tester/Baucus will make a stand because they are ignorant when it comes to the military and defense issues.

More Malmstrom Troubles:

Sharing today’s Great Falls Tribune with the Stanley promotion story, is the national Associated Press (AP) story with the headline, “Malmstrom nuclear launch officers tied to narcotics probe.”

That headline was on the front page and above the fold.

The AP reports:

Two officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana are being investigated for allegations of drug possession, said a service spokesman in Washington, Lt. Col. Brett Ashworth. Both of those being investigated are ICBM launch officers with responsibility for operating intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Don’t get too alarmed folks. Crime happens on military bases, although the story does not always make the national news because they are good at circling the wagons. Make no mistake; this is another black mark on Malmstrom AFB. Once again, Malmstrom’s problems made national news.

It’s no secret that people want to cut the number of nuclear missiles we have. Negative publicity like this will make the selection easier.

Christie’s Bridge Issue:

In politics, every day is filled with numerous opportunities for serious error. Enjoy it. –Donald Rumsfeld

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spent nearly two hours yesterday apologizing and answering questions after it was determined that his Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Kelly, was involved in the bridge closure scandal. He announced that he fired Kelly because she lied to him.

Many good elected officials have been brought down by staffers who were idiots. They hired the person and are ultimately responsible for their actions. Staffers for elected officials have a lot of power, and I’ve seen it go to their heads and get their bosses in hot water.

Whether or not this harms Christie’s future in politics is only speculation at this point. Republicans will probably say that it’s no big deal (although the Tea Party arm probably won’t) and the Democrats will say this is worst thing an elected official could do and that Christie was more involved than he indicated.

Nonetheless, this is far from over.

Zinke Fundraising:

Besides Democrat John Lewis having a good fundraising quarter for Montana’s at-large House seat (mentioned yesterday here at The Western Word), it looks like Republican Ryan Zinke raised some serious coin, too.

The Zinke campaign announced that he has raised $447,610 and he has $349,320 cash on hand. They also point out that Zinke did not donate any of his own money to his campaign.

The Montana At-Large House race will be interesting, especially on the Republican side, if all the possible candidates actually file for office.

Bowen Greenwood’s Book:

Bowen Greenwood, who spends about 23 hours a day herding cats as the executive director of the Montana GOP, has written a novel called, “Death of Secrets.”

He has a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to market it. Check it out HERE.

Making Montana Proud:

This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.

-From the Missoulian newspaper: “One of seven suspects arrested in a child sex sting operation worked as the juvenile probation officer in Mineral County and as a sheriff’s deputy in California, the Missoula County Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday.”

Additionally, the Missoulian reported that James Stewart Myers, 54, “was taken into custody Dec. 18 after he allegedly gave $100 to an undercover detective as pre-payment for a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old girl, during a sex-sting operation led by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.”

Law enforcement did basically the same sting operation awhile back in Great Falls and arrested six, proving there are morons all over the state.

One More Thing:

Don’t forget to stretch…

## END ##

4 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

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  4. I too was surprised that Malmstrom’s Commander was selected for promotion. Actually he should be forced to retire NOT REWARDED FOR HIS LACK OF LEADERSHIP. To Montanan’s he seems to be an EMBARRASSMENT, Who in Space Command has this colonel’s back?

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