Wednesday’s Political Odds & Ends

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

Welcome to Wednesday! Today is one of those days in which there are several political stories out there that I want to comment about – so it’s another “Odds & Ends” day!

Here are today’s topics:

  • Rick Tryon & Tracy Houck
  • Greg Gianforte & Faith
  • Steve Daines & Stop Hillary PAC

Rick Tryon & Tracy Houck:

It appears that Great Falls city commission candidate Rick Tryon is having a hard time accepting that he lost to Tracy Houck by 11 votes.

The final recount occurred over 45 days ago. In the Great Falls Tribune this week, Tryon went after Houck again for her campaign violations.

He needs to let it go.

The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices already determined that “sufficient facts exist to show a campaign practice violation by Candidate Houck” but I don’t think that is sufficient for Tryon. Read the decision HERE. We’ll see how it ends up for Houck in regard to the punishment, and there should be punishment. I don’t think anything less than Houck being forced to walk down the middle of Central Avenue with a sign that reads “CHEATER” would make Tryon and his supporters happy.

There’s a lot of bitterness from Tryon and his supporters. It reminds me of the question, “You want some cheese with your whine?”

Greg Gianforte & Faith:

Possible Republican candidate for Montana Governor Greg Gianforte was profiled by the Associated Press (AP) recently and it was a very interesting story. The AP reporters did miss a few chances to ask some tough questions.

I do like that Gianforte is a Christian. I am a Christian. I am holding out hope that he is not a wacko Christian that gives Christianity a bad name; although some of the so-called “Christian” groups he has supported I believe do just that.

Some of these far-right folks who will be supporting Gianforte still believe that Obama is a Muslim and that he was born in Kenya. They parade an outhouse around town with bullet holes in it and call it Obama’s Presidential Library. I would like to know Gianforte’s beliefs about these things. I want to know who he is supporting for President.

The AP reported that Gianforte declined to speak about how his faith might guide his decisions or policy choices as governor, but in one quote he said the right thing, “If I choose to run, and I’m elected, I need to be the governor of every single Montanan.”

Amen to that. I am skeptical about how Gianforte would treat people who have a lifestyle different than his, or how he would treat people who have religious preferences different than his. As for declining to speak about how his faith might guide his decisions or policy choices as governor, I think that is a little shallow. As Christians our faith should guide us every day in every circumstance we encounter whether we are Governor or if we are sweeping the floors. He might as well say it.

Steve Daines & Stop Hillary PAC:

This is the time of year when fundraising kicks into high gear. Campaigns and political groups want to raise a ton of money before January 1. I have received hundreds of emails over the past few weeks from both sides of the aisle asking for money.

I recently received one from U.S. Senator Steve Daines with the subject, “We Must Stop Hillary!”

Daines says in the email:

I wish I didn’t have to bother you this time of year.

But if I don’t, Hillary Clinton could be elected the next president of the United States.

My name is Senator Steve Daines, and I am the proud US Senator from Montana. My election last year fired Harry Reid as the leader in the Senate… and now with your help, I am doing everything thing I can to defeat Hillary Clinton.

That’s why I have joined with Stop Hillary PAC – the leading organization dedicated to defeating Hillary.

It looks like the biggest problem the Republicans have at this time is stopping Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton…

## END ##



  1. I think I wrote about this before, sorry if I did. I distinctly remember a 5:30 local news video clip of Susan Gianforte appearing before the Bozeman City Commission when they were considering the non-discrimination ordinance. Her exact words were she would fight them all the way to the Supreme Court. I remember thinking whoa…… this is not an idle threat, she has the resources to do it. My husband was at work so I made it a point to have him watch the 10:00 news so he could see it for himself. Gone, not there, same story but without Susan’s comment. The ordinance did pass, a lawsuit was filed but by people with no visible means of support. It never came to trial, I think it might have been dismissed for “lack of standing” or something. Of course, his religion would be a factor…. retirement and abortion issues come to mind. He’s already on record saying we should work until we’re 600 and I sincerely doubt he could hear the other side on women’s issues.

  2. Greg Gianforte & Faith:
    Not too many politicians openly discuss their religion. And with all the rhetoric about separation of church and state, rightly so. It is not a factor in being elected for me. I too am a Christian but I am open to other religions as long as they are not forced on me. Only Carson and Trump openly talk of their Christian faith. The rest hold their beliefs close to the vest. I don’t believe that Obama is a Muslim or a Christian but do feel he has very strong influences from his Islamic upbringing, how could he not?

    As far as the outhouse story goes, I only know of the one time the Montana GOP paraded it around, you speak like they take it everywhere they go…is that true? Shame on them for the first time and any other time they may have done it.

    Do you have any examples of Gianforte treatment of others that have a different lifestyle than his? Do you think his religion will be a factor in his ability to work for every Montanan?

    • Barry: Thanks for your comments.

      As for the outhouse, the GOP does not take it everywhere they go. I did not imply that. I do believe that there is too much hatred of the President from the right. The outhouse did show up in Missoula and in a parade in Corvallis. Other similar outhouses have made the rounds in other states. Google “Obama Outhouse” and see what you find. Google ‘”Obama outhouse + Montana” for those two examples.

      As for the lifestyle, the AP pointed to this in the story I linked to in my column: “Gianforte and his wife, Susan, also vocally opposed a Bozeman non-discrimination ordinance aimed at protecting gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people.”

      As for his religion being a factor, it probably will although he says it won’t.

      Thanks again for your comments – you are the top commentator for 2015. Sorry I can’t throw you a parade…


      • Mike,
        I read your blog almost every day, especially Sundays, with my morning coffee. I do enjoy your views and style! It’s always nice to be #1 at something!

    • Huckabee and Sanatorium make much of their faith. Of course, they’re still at the kiddie table, with good reason. Trump cravenly adds it to his bombastic repertoire when he thinks it’s to his advantage. Carson is a 7th Day Adventist with all the religious fringe looniness that that entails. Cruz is making much more of his faith in Iowa because the hayshakers eat that stuff up. I’ve seen some recent remarks that before his run for the Oval Cruz was very very low key about his faith.

      I think Obama derived more about what is good about Islam rather than the extremist excess that you see from the crooks and thugs of Daesh and AQ. That exposure to Islam (in his youth), along with his Christian faith (in his adulthood), works to create a more open and mutual understanding among the faiths of the world as he negotiates his way thru that minefield. That makes him less likely to want to turn the Middle East into a pane of glass the way t Rump and Tailgunner Ted have advocated.

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