Caught My Eye…

There are only FOUR days until Election Day 2014!

By the way, that is a really scary mask you have on today – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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 maybe both.

Today I write about election night coverage, Walsh & Plagiarism & NRSC, Absentee Ballots, Daines & fundraising, Ryan Zinke’s records, Student’s Mock Election, Battle for the U.S. Senate, plus I have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

TWW Election Night Coverage:

The Western Word (TWW) will have all hands on deck for election night. I will be up most of the night following the races and providing independent updates (and these updates will be posted mostly before anyone else).

So, here is what you need to do: You need to follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord for updates. If you don’t have Twitter, go to my website and follow the Twitter feed on the right side of the screen (Hit refresh every few minutes).

Finally, make sure to buckle your seatbelts Tuesday night around 8:00 p.m. Montana time.

Walsh & Plagiarism & NRSC:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) executive director Rob Collins claims the NRSC “was the source behind the story that forced Montana Sen. John Walsh to drop out as a result of plagiarism at the U.S. Army War College.”

This is a good time to release this information to show the donors who have donated to the NRSC what their money pays for, and to maybe get some more donors to come on board in the last few days of the campaign.

Collins says researcher Mark McLaughlin found the paper that Walsh had written in 2007, and it caught his attention partly because it was “a very, very pro-Bush ‘neocon’ thesis.” So he checked it for plagiarism and soon after he probably did a happy dance. The NRSC gave it to the New York Times and the rest is history.

In THIS BOOK I write about opposition research, and I list a numbers of things that candidates should ask themselves or people looking for candidates should ask the candidates before getting into a political race.

I’ve done a lot of opposition research and the variety of items I’ve found has helped my candidate to score some points. I have files of information on most public officials, staffers, and others (because you just never know).

If you’ve read this blog much you know that I can’t stand the NRSC – some of their staff (at least they used to be) are snot-nosed rich kids who work there because their parents are rich donors. You’ve probably read here that I’ve said the NRSC normally screws up elections instead of winning them. They have not won a senate race in Montana in 14 years.

But, here’s a compliment – the catch made by McLaughlin on Walsh’s paper at the War College was great work, and I salute him for it.

The Montana Democrats and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) should have found it first, but really current Governor Steve Bullock and his people should have found it even before them because Walsh was his Lt. Governor. How about the Montana Republican Party? That info would have been a jewel to release during that really close governor’s race between Bullock and Rick Hill. People must be wondering, what else is out there on Montana candidates!

One thing for sure, people learned a lot from McLaughlin’s work…

MT Absentee Ballots:

According to the Associated Press on Thursday “Montana election officials have received completed absentee ballots from nearly 64 percent of the voters who received them.” That’s 155,533 ballots out of the 243,495 ballot sent.

Scale Back?

On Thursday, the campaign of senate candidate Steve Daines (R) sent a fundraising e-mail saying “We’ve got to raise $27,500 by Sunday night to fully fund our get-out-the-vote plan for this weekend. I don’t want to scale back – not even one bit – and jeopardize our chances of victory.”

I do receive fundraising e-mails from team Daines, but not press releases.

It’s a sprint to the finish and I’m thinking that $27k should be enough to buy pizza for the volunteers, booze and food for the election night party, and bonuses for the campaign staffers…

A Done Issue?

The campaign of U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke (R) was quick to use comments from a local political science professor in a press release regarding Zinke’s military records release.

Dr. David Parker, who is moonlighting or volunteering or something as “a political analyst for MTN” and getting more than his 15 minutes of fame told viewers, “I have heard the drum beat on these records from way back in the primary, and I didn’t seem [Sic] anything there, so I think for all intents and purposes, it’s a done issue.”

Even with the esteemed Dr. Parker on my television, the media coverage of the 2014 election gets about a “C” in my book.

I wonder why Zinke waited so long to release the records, which as far as I can tell had only one small blemish. I wonder who advised him not to release the records – and if they still work for him.

Zinke has probably taken more of a beating from those who call themselves Republicans than Democrats. It will be interesting to see how many votes the Libertarian gets in this race.

2014 Student Mock Election for Montana:

Don’t forget to check out the website that has the results from the student vote in Montana HERE.

Battle for the U.S. Senate:

There are about nine races that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate. Those races are in the following states: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.

I won’t be surprised if the Democrats lose the majority. It may be decided on Tuesday night (although some states may need a runoff election). Overall, most of the changes after the GOP takes control of the senate will take place in Washington as the chairs of the committees will change and committee staff will change over.

The gridlock will still be there. Daines or Curtis will be near the bottom in seniority.

Click on a handy map of the senate races HERE. After looking at it, click on the section marked “Senate No Toss Ups” or click HERE.

I am still hoping for a Mitch McConnell loss, a Pat Roberts win, and a Mark Begich loss.

Making Montana Proud:

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

-From television station KRTV in Great Falls: Kasey Michelle Thorne, age 29, of Billings “has been charged with a felony offense after her 9-year-old daughter called 911 to report she woke up in the middle of the night and found her mother was gone.” The mother was charged with felony criminal endangerment and misdemeanor DUI.

It was also reported that there were three other children ages 7, 4, and 1 at home. One other child, a 2-month-old, was with her mother.

Kasey Michelle Thorne is an embarrassment to Montana.

One More Thing:

Don’t forget to Vote!


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2 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. I would attribute the lengthy wait over nothing in the Zinke military records debacle as just plain ‘ol incompetence on the part of his campaign. Who’s running that disaster?

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