Caught My Eye…

Welcome to the first “Caught My Eye” of September.

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a 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 the dam sale, Bullock, Beach & clemency, Bob & Maureen McDonnell, Congress returns, Joan Rivers, TWW on Facebook, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

The Dam Sale:

Montana Public Service Commissioners (PSC) Kirk Bushman, Roger Koopman, Bill Gallagher, and Bob Lake voted to raise Montanans electricity bills yesterday when they “approved NorthWestern Energy’s proposed $870 million purchase of 11 hydroelectric dams.”

They are all Republicans.

According to Lee Newspapers:

The approval, however, comes at a price for those customers, who will see an estimated 5 percent electric rate increase this fall – and put those rates among the highest for among major utilities in the region. The average household customer’s bill will go up about $4.50 a month.

Commissioner Travis Kavulla, also a Republican, voted against the sale. Lee Newspapers reported that Kavulla said putting ratepayers on the hook for the full $870 million price gives NorthWestern a hefty guaranteed profit over many years, while consumers get only a promise of below-market rates in the distant future.

Thanks goes to Kavulla for looking out for Montanans.


According to the Associated Press, “Members of the Law and Justice Interim Committee adopted five bills to introduce during the 2015 legislative session, two of which would give the governor more control over the (Pardons and Parole) board.

Lee Newspapers reported, “The clemency bill, supported by advocates for freeing convicted murderer Barry Beach, would allow the governor to consider clemency requests from any state prisoner, regardless of the Parole Board’s recommendation.” Beach’s latest request in June was denied.

While Montana Governor Steve Bullock seems to have “supported” Beach’s request to “commute his 100-year sentence” we’ll see how he acts when an actual request is sitting on his desk.

It will probably depend more on the election calendar than anything.

The McDonnells:

The Hill reported that “former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) was found guilty Thursday of 11 corruption charges and his wife, Maureen, was found guilty of nine counts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

There were so many counts that the media covering the verdicts could not keep them straight.

According to this article, it all started with a dress. The most ironic part of the whole case is that authorities offered him a pretty sweet deal. The Washington Post reported, “authorities proposed that then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell plead guilty to one felony fraud charge that had nothing to do with corruption in office and his wife would avoid charges altogether. The governor rejected the offer, the people with knowledge of the conversations said.”

Bob McDonnell was a “family values” type of politician…


Congress is back in session next week after the August recess – so you have been warned! One article in National Journal put it this way: “Congress Returns to Doing Nothing.”

As I’ve written many times, it’s all about the next election in Washington.

Joan Rivers:

Joan Rivers died yesterday. She was 81. One of my favorite jokes from Rivers:

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”

Rest in Peace Joan Rivers.

Making Montana Proud:

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

-From the Billings Gazette: Joseph Edward Newton, 49, who has “domestic violence convictions in Idaho and Montana is facing a fourth partner assault charge after he allegedly punched and slapped his girlfriend when she confronted him about having a drinking problem.”

I agree with his girlfriend – I think Joseph has a drinking problem.

Joseph Edward Newton is an embarrassment to Montana.

The Western Word on Facebook:

Just look over to the right and click “Like” on The Western Word on Facebook box. Or you can go to the actual page HERE.

I post information throughout the day on the Facebook page from the media, bloggers, and campaigns, so you if want to be in the know follow The Western Word on Facebook.

Tell your friends!

One More Thing:

If you drink, please use a designated driver.


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