Monday’s Potpourri

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. – William J. Clinton

Hello Monday! It’s time for another potpourri edition from the past weekend! When there are several stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column.

Today’s topics include:

  • New MT GOP Chairman
  • Fireworks
  • Presidential Candidates & Gay Marriage

MT GOP Elects New Chairman:

The Montana Republican Party elected a new chair Saturday afternoon. State Representative Jeff Essmann of Billings beat current chairman Will Deschamps and former Madison County Commissioner Dan Happel.

Congratulations to Essmann for his win and thanks for Deschamps for his hard work as chair. Thanks to the Great Falls Tribune for covering this historic event.

I’ve mentioned that I think being chair of the Montana GOP is kind of like herding cats. Although Essmann had a good message leading up to his election, I don’t see the gap between the moderates and far-right members of the party getting any better. Fortunately for the Montana Republicans, there are just enough right-leaning people in the state to help them win a few elections and the circular firing squad will probably not keep them from maintaining control of the legislature.

The number one goal of Chairman Essmann has to be to get his members to play well with others.


Independence Day is Saturday! Many years ago as a new resident of Great Falls, I decided to take my family to Riverside Park to watch the annual fireworks display. It was a freaking nightmare. People were shooting fireworks in the park. Some “shooters” were pretty intoxicated. We could not enjoy the fireworks show because we were afraid that we would be hit by a rocket or something being ignited around us. Many years after that we still attended the big show, but from across the river and from the safety of our vehicle.

The city (to their credit) has made it safer to view the big show with police on walking patrols in the park and fireworks being banned in the parks. We’ve ventured back into the park a few years ago and have safely watched the big show at Riverside Park a few times in recent years.

One of the crazier things in the world of fireworks here in wild and wonderful Montana is that the City of Great Falls and Cascade County (where the city of Great Falls is located) have different rules and regulations as it relates to fireworks.

It’s confusing for many people.

KRTV posted information from Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards who wanted to clear up some confusion about fireworks in the County vs. the City of Great Falls:

The City of Great Falls has a set ordinance when it comes to fireworks such as when and where you can display them.
The County does not have a set ordinance regarding fireworks and there are no set dates when fireworks can be displayed.

You can read a friendly reminder from the City of Great Falls about fireworks HERE.

The Cascade County Commissioners and the City of Great Falls Commissioners should use a little common sense and make the rules regarding fireworks use the same.

Presidential Candidates & Gay Marriage:

If the gay marriage issue is important to you, you can read about the views on the Supreme Court ruling from many of the 2016 Presidential candidates HERE.

Last week was a tough one for the Republicans (Obamacare and gay marriage rulings). On the other hand, last week reinforced President Obama’s place in history.

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