Caught My Eye…

Welcome to the 199th edition of “Caught My Eye!” Buckle up!

PLEASE NOTE: Take a moment this weekend to remember the veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country and pray for their families and friends.

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here 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 to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or both.

Today I write about Walsh’s new ad called “Melissa,” Daines’ new ad called “Rebekah,” Montana ExpoPark and the Montana Attorney General, Zinke responds, Daines does not, Obama sends a deputy to help veterans, a new poll about the military, plus we have a winner who is making Montana proud!

Walsh ad “Melissa”

The new John Walsh campaign ad called “Melissa” is pretty powerful. It was posted on YouTube May 20, and it is 30 seconds in length. As of this morning, it has 5,875 views.

Melissa leads off the ad with, “I was raped when I was 14 years old. I know the pain it caused me.” She then says, “That’s why it’s so insulting that Congressman Steve Daines sponsored a bill to make abortion illegal for victims of sexual assault.”

My analysis: Unfortunately, there have been too many old men in Washington and in state legislatures over the years thinking they need to tell women what to do concerning their lives and healthcare when it should be a personal decision.

I kind of subscribe to the “walk a mile in their shoes” saying about this – and I know that many others do, too. One time on this blog I wrote that although abortion is legal, it should never be as common as popping an aspirin to get rid of a headache. I still believe that.

I give the Walsh ad “Melissa” a 10 out 10.

Daines ad “Rebekah”

The new Steve Daines campaign ad called “Rebekah” was posted on YouTube May 21, and it is one minute in length. As of this morning, it has 2,341 views.

Rebekah talks about the abuse she suffered from her ex-husband, and how she is happy Steve Daines supported the Violence Against Women Act. It is an emotional ad that was well-done.

My analysis: The Walsh campaign was very quick to point out through a very-detailed press release (received here at The Western Word) that although Daines supported the Violence Against Women Act, he voted against the funds for it. Lee Newspapers picked up that piece of information and reported it like this:

However, the Walsh campaign notes that Daines voted against an appropriations bill last fall that provided $417 million for programs under the act.

Ouch. The “Melissa” and “Rebekah” stories are both sad and compelling, and the ads were both very well done, but I have to give Team Walsh the win in this battle.

I give the Daines ad “Rebekah” nine out of 10.

No Response from Daines:

Speaking of Daines, it looks like other folks are having problems getting information from Rep. Steve Daines and his people. David Crisp has a column posted on the Last Best News called, “From the Outpost: Waiting for answers from Rep. Daines.”

In the column Crisp says he has some questions about the campaign ad featuring the woman named Gayla who claims she lost her health insurance due to Obamacare. Crisp writes, “Multiple attempts to reach Rep. Daines or his campaign office and to reach the woman in the ad have been unsuccessful.”

Crisp continues, “Email and phone messages left at his campaign office and in response to his news releases have not been returned.” He then closes with, “One can only hope that Daines is as interested in serving his constituents as he is in winning election to the Senate.”

I have attempted three or four times to get press releases from Daines through both his official House office and through his campaign. I never even received a response, which is a disgraceful display of constituent services. I imagine if I donated money, I’d get what I needed quickly.

Daines and his chief of staff, Jason Thielman, should be totally pissed at his staff for not responding to requests for information.

Zinke Responds:

Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke responded to some of the attacks from people within his own party this week, getting some valuable ink in Thursday’s Great Falls Tribune. My favorite parts:

While I have never violated any campaign law, I find it ironic that election officials have ruled that these “purity party” members have violated several campaign laws.


Zinke was also a lot nicer to his attackers, Rick Hill and Ken Miller, than I would have been:

I want to make it clear that I publicly supported Rick Hill in his unsuccessful race for governor, and I would have supported Ken Miller, had he won the Republican primary for governor. So it is disappointing to have to endure these sorts of attacks from people I know and respect.

In my opinion, it’s shameful that a decorated veteran like Zinke is attacked from within his own party – a party that is supposed to be pro-military and pro-veteran. Zinke says he respects Hill and Miller – and with that remark Zinke showed more leadership than I have ever seen from the two has-beens.

MT ExpoPark/MT AG:

The Cascade County (MT) commissioners announced that they had fired Montana ExpoPark General Manager Lisa Bracco this week. There’s an investigation and the local media has failed to uncover the reason for the firing.

Pro Tip: It’s OK to ask local elected officials tough questions.

I’m thinking she was fired because the county commissioners did not like the night shows at the fair…or there’s not enough free food for the county commissioners to eat during the Montana State Fair.

What really “Caught My Eye” was the quote about the ongoing investigation from John Barnes, director of communications for the Attorney General’s Office. Barnes said, “Once that’s complete, it will be forwarded to our office for review and prosecution.”

I guess no matter what the investigation discovers – even if it’s nothing – the Montana AG’s office will prosecute. When you are playing with house taxpayer money, I guess you can do that, right?

The “team of seasoned professionals” who are assisting Attorney General Tim Fox still don’t seem ready for primetime. That’s a direct reflection on Fox.

Obama Sends a Deputy:

It was reported this week “Rob Nabors, a White House deputy chief of staff, has been assigned to assist top VA officials in probing allegations of wrongdoing by staffers at the Phoenix facility and elsewhere.”

What is Nabors’ experience with the military and veterans? He is the son of a two-star Army General, and he was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He never served.

Well la-de-freaking-dah, Mr. President.

When the President sends someone who is the equivalent to Barney Fife to investigate the VA, you know he doesn’t see the big picture – or care that much.

Most Important Branch to U.S. Defense:

According to Gallup, “Americans believe that the U.S. Army is the most important service branch to national defense, followed closely by the Air Force. Fewer than one in five choose the Marine Corps or the Navy.” Marines lead in prestige.

Ironically, the Air Force was tops (by a 2-1 advantage) back in 2001-02.

Making Montana Proud:

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

-From Lee Newspapers: Montana State Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich “accused Gov. Steve Bullock, two commissioners and a legislator of conspiring to remove him from office.”

Wittich “alleged that Bullock, Motl, former Commissioner Jim Murry, state Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, and 20 unnamed people engaged in official misconduct by conspiring to remove him from office.”

Those “unnamed people” will get you every time…you just really never know who they are.

The best response came from Bullock’s spokesman Kevin O’Brien who said, “Once Senator Wittich gets to the bottom of this, I hope he can turn his attention to important things like where Elvis is hiding and what really happened at Roswell.”

Rest easy Kevin O’Brien – I did see Elvis once – he was sitting between me and Bigfoot on the UFO…

One More Thing:

Don’t forget to stretch…


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4 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. I like some of your work, but at times your criticisms are real stretches. This strikes me as a non-issue, and it seems to have struck the reporter the same way.

    By the way, what are you doing for employment these days?

    • Thanks Patrick. I am currently employed as the lead clown in the local circus. I’ve written three e-books and I am working on a fourth. I do some freelance writing for Yahoo, and I run this blog. -JmB

  2. While I can’t confess to having the keen insight of a blogger, it seems to me that “for review and prosecution” is another way of saying that the case will be reviewed and charges — if warranted — will be filed. But again, that’s just me…and, it seems, the reporter in question, who apparently didn’t balk at or question the statement (perhaps because, unlike you, he has experience with prosecutorial matters and knows what was meant). Seems like you’re stretching to criticize.

    • Patrick – Yes, bloggers have the keen insight! 🙂

      If the spokesperson would have said “if warranted” that would have been perfect – but he did not – and that was the problem I had with the statement.

      Thanks for your comments and for stopping by.


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