Caught My Eye…

In honor of 9-11:

Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.  –U.S. Senator John Kerry (2004)

Welcome to Friday – and this is not just any Friday – this is the Friday before the first Sunday of NFL football!

If you are a first-time visitor, the highly popular “Caught My Eye” has been posted here every Friday morning since October 2010! This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of snarkiness to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Today I write about Corey Stapleton and the Montana GOP, the Montana High Tech Jobs Summit, fundraisers, Iran nuclear deal, government shutdown, the eleven, suicide awareness, and much more so buckle up!

Corey Stapleton:

This week former state senator Cory Stapleton (R) announced that he was running for Montana Secretary of State. It’s an open seat. Democrat Monica Lindeen has also announced she is running for the open seat. This will be a good race if they face each other in the General Election.

Stapleton is a veteran, which is always a plus with me. I think things would be a lot better if we had more veterans elected (the veteran’s political party does not matter). Stapleton has some name recognition with Montana voters due to his past statewide races. He ran and lost a primary race for Governor. He ran for U.S. Senate, but then switched races and ran for U.S. House and lost in the primary.

One interesting thing is that newly-crowned Montana Republican Chairman Jeff Essmann basically endorsed Stapleton through a press release, although the Associated Press reported that “Republican officials” said Essmann’s comments are not an endorsement of Stapleton’s candidacy.

I don’t believe that for one minute.

I guess if Essmann is neutral, we’ll be seeing tons of press releases from him saying things about all the other announced GOP candidates like, “We couldn’t be more excited…” and “trusted conservative leader” and “a strong Republican candidate.”

Essmann’s job as chair of the party is to be neutral. He kind of tripped and did a face plant right out of the gate on the Stapleton announcement.


According to, U.S. Senator Jon Tester was supposed to be in Manhattan (New York’s Manhattan) last night for a $5000 fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Vice President Joe Biden was supposed to be there to help raise some money and probably get asked about running for President.

As for a Montana style fundraiser, there will be a reception for Governor Steve Bullock on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, in Great Falls. It costs $50 to get in the door and you can be a “Patron” for $1,300. I think you can drive by and wave for free.

At least these fundraisers are somewhat publicized – yes I’m thinking of you Greg Gianforte and Ryan Zinke…

If you know of any fundraisers involving Montana candidates or elected officials, please email me ( with the details or links to the story or flyer.

Iran Nuclear Deal:

The Senate Democrats held serve and prevented the Republicans (who have the majority) from bringing the Iran Nuclear Deal up for a vote. The Republicans lacked the 60 votes needed to end debate.

Now we get the spin.

The Montana GOP went after U.S. Senator Jon Tester for supporting it. Read their press release HERE. U.S. Senator Steve Daines sent a press release saying that American people deserve to have an up or down vote on one of the most consequential issues facing our nation. Read the Daines press release HERE.

Of course, if the tables were turned and the Republicans were blocking a vote, you would be hearing the same thing from the Democrats. That’s politics.

Back in July I said that I like parts of the Iran nuclear deal and I am concerned about other parts, but the bottom line is the deal keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Most politicians and political groups commenting about Iran have little or no experience.

Government Shutdown:

The headline in the Washington Post this past week put it this way: “Get ready: Experts say a government shutdown is likely.”


One of the main issues may be the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

If the government does shut down, I expect the Republicans will get most of the blame. They control the House and the Senate.

At least a government shutdown would add a little fun to a boring season.

The Eleven & The Five:

Here are the eleven GOP Presidential candidates who made the main debate on CNN (Source):

Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina.

These five candidates will debate earlier in the day: Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham.

Jim Gilmore did not register enough in the polls to get invited to either debate.

The debate is scheduled for Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

Montana High Tech Jobs Summit:

The Montana High Tech Jobs Summit co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Steve Daines kicks off this Sunday (Sept. 13) in Bozeman at Montana State University.

The agenda is set with the major portion of the summit occurring on Monday, Sept. 14. You can view the agenda HERE.

This is a great opportunity for Montanans to hear from the movers and shakers in the tech world – and thanks to Daines for making it happen.

Raising Awareness of Suicide:

Yesterday (Thursday, Sept. 10) was World Suicide Prevention Day 2015. Sadly, we probably all know of someone who committed suicide.

Bill and Lisa Wheeler live in Butte, Montana, and their 15-year-old son, Jacob, took his life on January 1, 2014. Yesterday Bill Wheeler rode a bike from Butte to the State Capitol in Helena to commemorate his son and World Suicide Prevention Day.

You can see the local news story about the ride HERE. I also urge you to visit the Jacob Wheeler Foundation website HERE and their Facebook page HERE. Like their page and if you can please donate to this very worthwhile cause.

One More Thing:

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.– Warren Buffett

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3 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. I can’t wait to hear why President Obama skipped out on attending the 9/11 ceremony at the Pentagon…but he did manage to send out tweet! I liken it to bailing on the wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…

    As far as the Iran nuke deal goes, I am more concerned about the side deals made that we don’t know about and no documentation is available. No one should trust Iran based on the track record…they will build the bomb anyway and we won’t know until they drop it!

    • From abc news:

      “President Barack Obama is telling military service members the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks is a solemn day and he wants to use it to make sure those killed are never forgotten.

      Obama met with troops at Fort Meade in Maryland on Friday and took questions through social media from those stationed overseas.”

      That was after the moment of silence on the WH lawn. Biden was in NYC.

      Churchill said: jaw jaw is better than was war.

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