Monday’s Odds & Ends

Welcome to Monday – the last Monday of March!

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

Today’s topics include:

  • Gianforte’s Charitable Giving
  • Wittich Trial
  • Open Carry
  • Feel the Bern
  • Final Four

Gianforte’s Charitable Giving:

Lee Newspapers used a little over 1,400 words to say that Republican candidate for Governor Greg Gianforte (who is a millionaire) donates to socially conservative causes such as school choice/private schools, Bible colleges, anti-abortion causes, faith-based services, and creationism.

You can read the story, complete with charts, HERE.

There’s nothing wrong with Gianforte spending some of his millions on causes he believes in. That’s what is great about our country.

When Lee Newspapers tried to ask questions about it, campaign spokesman Aaron Flint reportedly responded with, “Why isn’t (Gov. Steve) Bullock being asked about his faith, his charitable contributions (or lack thereof), organizations he associates with, and where he goes to church?”

Gianforte and his campaign seem to believe how he spends his wealth is off-limits. Voters have a right to know these things, so it is perfectly fine to ask. If his opponent, Governor Steve Bullock, was super-rich he would get the same questions, so yes it does suck to be wealthy and run for office.

Gianforte and his campaign seem to be afraid to talk about it because he might be branded a right-wing Bible-thumping zealot. That brand might not play well with the moderate/independent voters and those are the ones that Gianforte needs to beat Bullock.

Gianforte’s team already knows this and that is why they are trying to draw the line. It is as simple as that.

Wittich Trial:

The civil trial of Republican Montana State Representative Art Wittich finally gets underway today.

There are a lot of flowery words I could use to describe the charges against Wittich, but the best way to say it is that Wittich is being accused of cheating during a campaign. He denies it. Therefore, we will have a trial.

John S. Adams of the Montana Free Press has an excellent story posted about the trial HERE. You can read the Associated Press story about it HERE.

Open Carry:

There’s an interesting petition posted at about allowing attendees at the Republican National Committee (RNC) convention at the Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland to carry firearms in the arena. The petition states: Allow Open Carry of Firearms at the Quicken Loans Arena during the RNC Convention in July. Supposedly the arena has a policy that does not allow firearms inside.

As of this morning (Monday) over 41,000 people had signed it. See it HERE.

Some folks are probably for this in hopes that the Republicans would have a shootout. It would be a nightmare for the Secret Service.

Feel the Bern:

Democrat Bernie Sanders easily won Washington State, Alaska, and Hawaii over the weekend. Sanders has beaten Hillary Clinton in five of the last six contests. That is huuuuge!

Next up is Wisconsin on April 5 where both Republicans and Democrats will compete. (Source)

Final Four:

Here are the NCAA men’s basketball final four teams: It’s North Carolina Tar Heels (31-6) vs. Syracuse Orange (23-13) and Oklahoma Sooners (29-7) vs. Villanova Wildcats (33-5).

They all looked good in the elite eight, so I can’t pick a winner. The coaching staff of Syracuse seems to be able to adapt and overcome anything their competition throws at them.

One thing for sure is that since I am a lifelong Mizzou fan, it was nice to see the Kansas Jayhawks lose in the elite eight.


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4 thoughts on “Monday’s Odds & Ends

    • Thanks Doug – Maybe we’ll get to see who has the biggest gun! -JmB

  1. Gianforte: Back in February, I had the opportunity to attend a lunch meeting with Greg in Thompson Falls. He was scheduled to be there for 45 minutes, but stayed for an hour and fifteen.. I was the first person he greeted when he came as I was standing close to the front door. We had a simple buffet lunch, Gumbo and Greg sat next to me. We had a great discussion about jobs and his vision for Montana. He then spoke and took questions for 30 minutes. Having no background on Greg before that day, I came away impressed. I am not a native Montanan and neither is Greg but I have lived here in Sanders County for over 16 years and consider myself a Montanan today. I believe Greg would be good for Montana and he didn’t make a bunch of wild promises but has a sensible plan for our great state. By the way, I have never seen Governor Bullock or heard of him being anywhere near here in the last 16 years for any reason. As an independent businessman living outside Plains, Greg and I have a lot in common from values to providing jobs here. He is concerned about jobs for those Bullock is taking away in the coal industry in support of Obama’s war on coal. Oh yeah, we also have the 4th longest runway in the state and Bullocks plane has never been here!

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