Tuesday’s Political Potpourri

When there are several political stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column.

Today I provide commentary about the Montana Legislature, Ryan Zinke, Jon Tester, Veterans, John Boehner, Bob McDonnell, and much more.

Montana Legislature:

It’s always great to hear what the Montana lawmakers say during the first few days of the legislature. It’s almost like a freaking love fest!

It won’t last.

After a few days of being away from home, sleeping in a different bed, and sampling the “cuisine” in Helena, lawmakers will grow grumpy.

Then the fun starts.

Ryan Zinke:

U.S. Congressman-elect Ryan Zinke announced two office locations (Billings/Helena) and the staffers who will work from those offices.

I was surprised when I read a couple names.

Hopefully Zinke will take my advice and open an office in Great Falls which is home to the state’s only active duty military base. Zinke will be a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester got his five seconds of publicity by inviting Zinke to “Montana Coffee” at his office in Washington, D.C. The “Montana Coffee” event was invented by former U.S. Senator Max Baucus for publicity purposes.

Jon Tester:

U.S. Senator Jon Tester will soon discover what it is like to be in the minority party in the U.S. Senate. Mike Dennison of Lee Newspapers did a “softball interview” with Tester that you can read HERE.

Tester basically stuck with the basic Democratic talking points telling Dennison he “hopes Congress can reform and strengthen the U.S. Postal Service, and fight off efforts to privatize it; maintain funding for Pell grants, to help make college affordable; and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for the long term.”

The thing to remember is that Montana’s Jon Tester, as chair of the national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), will play a big part in whether the Democrats regain the majority in the Senate in 2016.

If Tester fails, it could severely cripple his chances for re-election in 2018.


According to a story from the Associated Press, the Department of Veterans Affairs is will be hosting a town hall meeting in Missoula to take questions from Montana veterans.

The meeting will take place January 14 at the Montana Army National Guard Readiness/Reserve Center from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

This is a good thing. The VA should have one of these meetings every month at different locations across the state.

John Boehner:

I think Speaker of the House John Boehner will go down in history as one of the weakest leaders. Before you call me a lover of liberals, I don’t care for Nancy Pelosi, either.

Boehner will probably win election as House Speaker again, and he will be better than having someone from the Tea Party run the House – but maybe not as enjoyable to watch.

Bob McDonnell:

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) is scheduled to be sentenced today.

According to NPR:

Prosecutors are seeking at least 10 years and one month to as long as 12 years and seven months in prison for the acceptance of bribes totaling $177,000 while McDonnell was governor. McDonnell’s attorneys are asking for community service rather than prison time.

If he does get prison time, it will be in a low-security facility – probably like a country club. McDonnell’s wife is scheduled to be sentenced in late February.


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