Campaign 2014: Endorsements, Shutdown, Debate

Thanks for stopping by. I know it’s just Tuesday, but hold on because better days are ahead – they are called Saturday and Sunday!

Today I take a look at Montana Supreme Court justices and partisan endorsements, the possible government shutdown, and a U.S. House debate.

Montana Supremes:

According to Lee Newspapers, “Six of the seven Montana Supreme Court justices have filed a friends-of-the-court brief asking a federal judge to uphold a 2008 state judicial rule that prohibits judicial candidates from seeking or accepting partisan endorsements.”

They were responding to a federal lawsuit filed by Mark French, who is running for justice of the peace in Sanders County. French is suing because he believes judicial candidates should be able to obtain partisan endorsements.

I think that’s a little hypocritical for the six Montana Supreme Court justices to file this brief. These justices are not as pure as new-fallen snow – they are the same ones who frequent the political dinners trolling for votes. Some even held elective office before they became a member of the Supremes.

Since judges in Montana run for election instead of being appointed, I think the judicial candidates might as well accept partisan endorsements. When they are elected, maybe they should be required to wear patches on their robes showing their “sponsorships” the same way NASCAR drivers do on their racing outfits.

Anyone who follows the courts very closely in Montana can go down the list of judges and easily place each judge in the Republican or Democrat corner. A partisan endorsement will only show what most people already know.

Government Shutdown:

Montana’s senior Senator, Jon Tester, got out front of the possible government shutdown by holding a press conference on Monday. It was not a surprise that Tester and the other two members (Rep. Steve Daines and Sen. John Walsh) of the Montana delegation are against a government shutdown.

If nothing is done, the government will run out of money on September 30, 2014.

The Associated Press (AP) in Montana gave their viewpoint about last year’s shutdown saying: “Last year, a 16-day partial government shutdown over President Barack Obama’s health care law caused damage to the GOP without reining in the law.”

The AP also reported, “Republican Rep. Steve Daines cast a vote that helped lead to last year’s shutdown…”

A government shutdown might be the only way for the Democrats to hold on to the senate because it seems when a shutdown happens, the Republicans get the blame as you can see by the line I quoted above from the AP.

House Debate Set?

The Great Falls Tribune and the Montana Farmers Union announced that the U.S. House campaigns of Republican Ryan Zinke and Democrat John Lewis have agreed to debate in Great Falls on Oct. 21.

According to the Tribune, “Some details remain to be worked out, such as the identity of the panel questioning the candidates, time and other things.”

October 21 is a Tuesday, so it won’t mess with football. The good news is that this event may fit into The Western Word’s travel budget!


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