Wednesday’s Odds & Ends

At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Welcome to Wednesday – also known as “Hump Day” or “Wine Wednesday” or whatever works to help you make it to the weekend!

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

Today’s topics include:

  • Gianforte & Public Access
  • Tester & #DoYourJob
  • Trump & Cockroaches
  • The Car Salesperson

Gianforte & Public Access:

Montana’s leading blog, the Montana Cowgirl, uncovered some juicy information about the Republican candidate for Governor, Greg Gianforte.

No, it’s not the identity of the patch on his brown jacket in the campaign commercial. Montana is still waiting for that!

The Cowgirl reported:

In 2009, Greg and Susan Gianforte sued the Montana department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, seeking to get rid of a fishing access point that residents of Bozeman had used for almost 40 years to go fishing on the East Gallatin River.

By the way, that reminds me that I do not go fishing enough.

So when I read the Cowgirl’s post I thought, “Yep, that’s not a good thing to have on your record if you’re a Republican and believe in freedom and guns and access and all that, but it’s not the end of the world.”

Then the Cowgirl reported this tidbit:

Art Wittich was the attorney that the Gianfortes hired to bring the lawsuit. Wittich now has an attorney of his own, defending him from being evicted from office.

Well…maybe it’s not the end of the world, but if you look really hard, you can probably see it from Gianforte’s campaign office.

Seriously, it’s still early and the Democrats will have fun with this in commercials, and ads, and all that fun stuff. I can see a commercial with a cute little boy or girl holding their fishing poles and reading a sign that reads, “No Trespassing by order of Greg Gianforte” and in the background is a great big mansion.

It does wound Gianforte. Who knows, Bullock could go through another Lt. Governor or two between now and November…

The thing that worries me and other independents and moderates is that if Gianforte is elected, he will side with the nutjobs and the extremes on the far right side of the party, and there will be no one to provide a check on their wackiness like there would be with Bullock.

That’s really the main issue in the campaign for most moderates and independents.

Little did we know that Gianforte was already working with an extreme member of the Republican Party, Art Wittich.

Lee Newspapers picked up on the Cowgirl story and devoted a whopping 1,300 words to it. You can read it HERE.

Tester & #DoYourJob:

Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Jon Tester, is meeting this Thursday with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Tester issued a press release in which he says he is launching a social media campaign (#DoYourJob) to highlight hardworking Montanans who are baffled by the Senate’s inaction on this issue. Each Montanan featured in the campaign juggles more than half a dozen jobs, so they ask why can’t Congress do one?

The Senate Judiciary Committee should hold a hearing on the President’s nominee and have an up or down vote. In other words, they should do their job as Tester says.

Garland will look pretty moderate compared to whom President Hillary Clinton or President Bernie Sanders will nominate.

By the way, I am not featured in the social media campaign because I do so many jobs they could not list them all…

Trump & Cockroaches:

Public Policy Polling asked people “Do you have a higher opinion of Donald Trump or XXX” in a recent poll. Some of the things they asked if people had a higher opinion of included hemorrhoids, lice, cockroaches, Nickelback, root canals, used car salesmen, etc.

See the results HERE. Prepare to laugh.

More interesting results from the poll found that among voters with a favorable opinion of Trump:

  • 65% think President Obama is a Muslim, only 13% think he’s a Christian.
  • 59% think President Obama was not born in the United States, only 23% think that he was.

The Car Salesperson:

The Donald Trump poll (above) asking about car salesmen and hemorrhoids and root canals reminded me that I don’t care for car salespeople very much. That’s probably one of the reasons that my vehicles are 10 and 15 years old. I hate the process. I feel the same about realtors.

Please don’t tell me your car dealership is different because it’s not.

The other day I received an email and it was followed up with a letter from a local auto dealership in Great Falls. I will not name the dealership to prevent embarrassment. Here is part of what the letter/email stated:

Great news! You have been Pre-Qualified for credit toward a new vehicle at XXXX of Great Falls. To see all the vehicles you may be able to buy for less than your current monthly payment simply click the link below!

I laughed at the letter because I don’t have a monthly car payment.

A few days later a woman from the dealership called to follow-up. I read the above line to her and then I asked her when I could come by and pick up my free car. I told her that I don’t currently have a monthly car payment, so that would be less than my current monthly payment.

She paused for a long time and then said something like, “We don’t give away free cars.” I responded quickly with, “Maybe you should check with your legal department because although I’m not a lawyer and I don’t even play one on TV, I think you just did.”

I continued to pile it on. She was cornered and I could tell she was getting frustrated and upset because I took her off-script. I finally said, “Relax, if I want a new car, I would stop by XXXX of Great Falls first. Thanks for calling.”

She laughed nervously and said, “Thank you.”

## END ##

10 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Odds & Ends

  1. Barry,
    I disagree with your version of the land dispute. I also disagree with Mr. Gianforte’s version I do not believe the FWP made a survey error as the Gianforte’s contend but that the Gianforte’s were looking for and found a legal talking point in the 1993 easement agreement. If you read that entire article, the 1993 agreement enabled Manley Road property owners to run utility lines across FWP land in exchange for the easement. I believe it is those very utility lines that provide their power. Another interesting read is all the emails of FWP on The Missoulian website. They also give a slightly different picture than the version you linked. I copied the beginning of the BDC article below.The only interpretation of eliminate I know is to do away with. I ride my bike frequently on the trails mentioned and have for years. I have been curious as to why access and trails changed so dramatically in the last 6 years and now I know why. It is still an amazing site and it has high usage, most of which is far away from the house. While I can understand them wanting clarification and cooperation from FWP I think they went about it entirely in the wrong way. It certainly is not the first time that this has happened.
    “A local property owner is suing Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks to eliminate a one-acre easement providing access to the East Gallatin River near the Cherry River fishing access north of downtown Bozeman.
    Susan Gianforte, wife of RightNow Technologies CEO Greg Gianforte, is listed as the registered agent of East Gallatin LLC, the company filing suit to yank the easement from the northwest corner of its Manley Road property, which runs alongside 75 acres of Fish Wildlife and Parks land.
    Because several people owned the property when the easement was inked in 1993, and only one of the owners, David H. Manley, signed off on it, the transaction was not legal, East Gallatin LLC attorneys argue in the suit filed in District Court on May 21.”

  2. Mike, before your strap on the Montana Cowgirl and go for a ride again, you may want to verify the facts. The issue for Gianforte and FWP was over inaccuracy’s of a survey. Which was corrected by FWP and the lawsuit dismissed. I like to read your blog but you have been taken for a ride on this one…you would make a good NASCAR driver, always leaning to the left cause that is where the people in front of you go…

    I don’t know who Art Wittich is, but when I look for a lawyer, I don’t ask for his bio, I ask how he can help me…I am not sure how Campaign Finance fraud in 2016 and disputing a land survey in 2009 are related, maybe you or the Cowgirl can help me make that connection…

    This false representation of the story by the Montana Cowgirl has become the most read post on “her” blog to where the server needed to be upgraded, all for a contrived story…I’m not all that impressed.

    • Barry – I often link to or cite other blogs or news reports. It does not mean I agree with them. That was my lead commentary today because it was a major story. The traffic to my site today shows that. You can Google “Art Wittich” and draw your own conclusions about him and his body of work.
      As for me following others and being taken for a ride, that’s not true. I manage to anger both sides most of the time. I am independent. -JmB

    • Mike, thanks for the clarification, I will work on looking at your blog differently now, although, that will make it harder for me, at times, to understand where you are coming from.

      • Barry – I thought you knew that I am looking out for truth, justice, and the American way!

        The fact is if something ticks me off from the media, a politician, political party, or from somewhere else, I will call them out on it.

        I remember when I wrote some things about a certain politician several years ago I received notice that if I ever wanted to work in Republican politics in Montana again, I would be nicer to those on the right. My answer was, “What makes you think I want to ever work for a Republican again?”

        I will continue to be the common sense independent voice from my bunker here in Montana!

        Thanks for reading – your opinion is important to me.


    • BTW Barry, unless it’s on a road course, any NASCAR driver that does turn right winds up with very very bad results, as you rightwingnuts continually prove.

      You might want to find another metaphor.

      • FYI – I used to watch NASCAR, but in the past few years it resembles pro wrestling. They seem to make up the rules as they go along. For the record, I don’t think Barry is a rightwingnut. Thax – JmB

  3. Gianforte & Public Access:
    There appears or in reality, the rest of the story does not appear in the Cowgirl’s post. I read that there were issues with the survey by FWP which lead to the lawsuit. It was not about denying access as stated. According to two separate articles, Gianforte provided access before, during and after their dealings with FWP. FWP admitted the survey was wrong and that Gianforte dropped the lawsuit.

    Trump & Cockroaches:
    For the record, Obama is a self declared Muslim. He was raised Muslim by his mom and grandparents. He bows to all Muslim leaders. While we don’t see him attend a mosque, we don’t see him attend a Christian church either. When someone says about the Adhan , the sweetest sound I have ever heard is the call to worship…there is no doubt as to his faith. I personally do not care as long as he doesn’t force his beliefs on me. His actions and words show empathy for Muslims.

    • Barry – Thanks, as always, for your comments.

      Sometimes it’s hard to see the truth because of the agendas. Sure, the Montana Cowgirl has an agenda to defeat Gianforte. Gianforte’s agenda is to be elected. Sometimes newspaper reporters have agendas, too. The original piece from the Bozeman DC opened with this graph: “A local property owner is suing Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks to eliminate a one-acre easement providing access to the East Gallatin River near the Cherry River fishing access north of downtown Bozeman.”

      Sounds to me he was trying to eliminate the easement and access. Voters will have to decide what to believe.

      Thanks for pointing out the post on Gianforte’s website. That should have been provided via email to the press (and bloggers like me). I did not see, but had I seen it I would have linked to it to get both sides of the issue into my column. Since I did not, I used the Lee Newspaper article because it had quotes from the Gianforte campaign.

      The people who run the press operations and social media for many of the candidates and elected officials could use some serious training on how to use those tools.

      As for you saying Obama is a “self declared Muslim” I don’t believe that any more than I believe he was born in Kenya or that he wants to take away my guns. That’s just crazy.

      Thanks again,


    • No, he is not.
      “The first section opens with a portion of the address the president gave April 6, 2009, to the Turkish Parliament in Ankara.

      Edited quote: Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.

      Full quote: The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.

      When Obama says “I am one of them,” he was speaking not of Muslims but of “other” Americans. He was making a distinction between Muslim Americans and non-Muslims who either have Muslim relatives or have lived in a country (such as Turkey) where the population is predominately Muslim.”

      It is well-known that he spent his childhood in Indonesia with his mother and step-father. His grandparents were not Muslim nor did they convert. Read the whole section.

      “In October 1967 Obama and his mother moved to Jakarta to rejoin his stepfather. The family initially lived in a newly built neighborhood in the Menteng Dalam administrative village of the Tebet subdistrict in South Jakarta for two and a half years, while Soetoro worked on a topographic survey for the Indonesian government.[21][22] From January 1968 to December 1969, Obama’s mother taught English and served as an assistant director of the U.S. government-subsidized Indonesia-America Friendship Institute,[23] while Obama attended the Indonesian-language Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School around the corner from their house for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd grade.[21]”

      He has been filmed attending Christian churches on many occasions and has unequivocally stated he is a Christian and was married in a Christian church.

      You don’t have facts, you have racist rightwingnut talking points that deliberately twist the facts into lies.

      He has bowed to world leaders according to nation protocols. He bowed to the leader of Japan as well. Not only have the Bushes bowed to Arab leaders they’re on a cheek kissing level of friendship with them.

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