Welcome to Tuesday – time for another political potpourri edition! When there are several stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column. Today I provide that valuable independent commentary you’ve come to love from The Western Word about:
- Motl Confirmation Hearing
- Governor Bullock & the Boston Marathon
- Special Operations Speaks PAC
Motl Confirmation Hearing:
After reviewing the roster of the members of the Senate State Administration Committee, I was not surprised that Governor Bullock’s nominee for commissioner of political practices, Jonathan Motl failed to get enough votes for confirmation. The motion was tabled along party lines 4-3.
Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso, D-Butte, was the sponsor of the Resolution (SR 53) to confirm Motl. He did a terrible job. His speech was sloppy and choppy. He did not seem prepared for the hearing. Maybe he already knew the outcome.
It was fun to watch the opponents come forward, many who had complaints filed against them by Motl. Rep. Art Wittich used his time to make his case against Motl. The Associated Press reported that Wittich is scheduled to face Motl in court Feb. 22 for a jury trial to decide whether he violated campaign practice laws in his 2010 primary. Wittich, an attorney, quickly put the viewers to sleep with his speech.
The most hateful opponent of Motl was Trevis Butcher. Butcher closed his argument with this hideous statement: “Literally Jonathan Motl is to campaign finance law what Jerry Sandusky is to child care.”
In case the Sandusky name does not ring a bell, he is the convicted serial child molester and former assistant Penn State Football coach.
Butcher was told to rescind that statement by the chairwoman.
Nonetheless Butcher did say it and it was a shameful attack. Butcher’s comments before that were rambling and babbling – nobody was paying attention. He did start out with something most agree on – that the process of political practices in Montana is broken and it needs to be overhauled and changed.
Butcher should publicly apologize to Motl for the comparison to Sandusky.
Motl may not be done yet. The Resolution may get blasted to the senate floor in the remaining days of the session. I’m all for an up or down vote in the full senate.
Governor Bullock & the Boston Marathon:
Congratulations to Montana Governor Steve Bullock for running in the Boston Marathon on Monday. The Associated Press reported that Bullock finished the race in 3 hours 40 minutes 44 seconds.
If I had run the marathon, they would need to time me with a calendar.
Not everyone was happy about Bullock running a marathon located all the way across the country while the Montana legislature was in session. Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen tweeted:
Legislature in final days, we’re trying to negotiate state budget with his staff, and the Gov is running Boston Marathon?
Since Knudsen said he was negotiating with the governor’s staff, I doubt the negotiations suffered much while the governor was running.
Representative Forrest Mandeville also found fault:
While the budget is negotiated @GovernorBullock has fled the state to go for a run
Mandeville is the representative who wanted to take his toys and go home. He offered a motion to adjourn state House of Representatives when the GOP lost the vote to blast the Medicaid expansion bill (Senate Bill 405).
All the tweets did for the GOP was to make them look like crybabies. The circus in Helena is coming to an end and by most accounts the majority party has not done too well.
Special Operations Speaks PAC:
I happened to see an e-mail in my SPAM folder from retired U.S. Navy Captain Larry Bailey who runs the Special Operations Speaks PAC.
This email was to tell me that Hillary Clinton is unfit to serve. They want me to donate so we can “select a suitable Commander-in-Chief.”
After seeing the email, I remembered that Bailey was involved in Montana politics last election. Bailey sent a letter to some conservatives about Ryan Zinke saying that Zinke was misleading Montanans about his military record.
It’s amazing what one finds in their SPAM folder…