Monday’s Political Quick Hits

We should all consider each other as human beings, and we should respect each other. – Malala Yousafzai

Welcome to Monday! Here are some “Political Quick Hits” about some issues that caught my attention over the weekend:

  • Montana Republican Delegates
  • Vietnam Veterans Commemoration
  • Great Falls Deputy City Manager
  • Public School Bathrooms
  • TWW Poll – Public School Bathrooms Policy

Montana Republicans:

The Montana Republican Party held their state delegate convention Saturday in Billings, and they selected 27 delegates and alternates to represent Montana at the Republican National Convention. You can see the whole list HERE.

There are some interesting names on the list, like Art Wittich. A jury in April found that Wittich took $19,599 in illegal and unreported in-kind contributions from an anti-union organization during his 2010 campaign for state Senate. (Lee Newspapers)

Many of the delegates are from the extreme side of the party. It’s probably pretty tough for them to see Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee.

The Montana delegates should probably listen to former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who said, “You’re either for Hillary Clinton or you’re for Donald Trump. If you’re not for Donald Trump, you are functionally helping Hillary Clinton. I think it’s just that straightforward.”

That advice should be posted on the wall of every Republican Party office.

Vietnam Veterans Commemoration:

Jim Hamilton of Florence, who is the vice president of the Bitterroot Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, penned a guest opinion that I saw in the Missoulian. It was about U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke participating in the program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War.

Zinke is holding several ceremonies across Montana to present Montana Vietnam War veterans with the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. See his press release HERE.

Hamilton writes in his guest opinion:

I know that Zinke is a veteran and probably intends to truly honor Vietnam veterans, but his timing might be questionable for choosing to do this while attempting to get elected a second time in office. Butte author and 20-year Army veteran David Abrams wrote an opinion piece in the Feb. 14 New York Times titled “Veterans, Patriots and Pawns.” Abrams writes, “for candidates, veterans are the most useful props imaginable. They are real-life stand-ins for any number of campaign trail virtues: patriotism, national defense, anti-elitism, take your pick.” Abrams further writes that “military service is charged with a special aura of bravery and honor that politicians can’t resist glomming on to.”

Hamilton closes his opinion piece with:

The Commemorative Partner program is designed for communities, organizations, military service groups and the like to set up their own events and activities to honor veterans through 2018, which is when the programs ends. I don’t believe it was intended for congressmen running for re-election to travel all over a state in six days handing out lapel pins.

Maybe Hamilton is a Democrat and is supporting Denise Juneau in the U.S. House race this year? I think he deserves to be let in on a little secret: In Washington, it’s all about the next election. Every vote, every meeting, every speech, every event is about the next election.That’s the way it is.

Great Falls Deputy City Manager:

Great Falls’ deputy city manager, Jennifer Reichelt, is leaving her current job after almost six years for a private sector job in the Midwest. It was also reported that a public reception for Reichelt will be held Tuesday, May 17, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Missouri Room of the Civic Center. (KRTV)

I’ve written about Reichelt a few times here at The Western Word. The main reason she was on my radar was because she was arrested on suspicion of a DUI in October, but ended up pleading guilty to a lesser reckless driving charge in Cascade County Justice Court. (GF Tribune) I thought she should have been fired for that, but she wasn’t.

Good luck to Reichelt in her new job.

Public School Bathrooms:

CNN reported that the Obama administration issued guidance Friday directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

A joint letter from the Departments of Education and Justice went to schools Friday with guidelines to ensure that “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment,” the Obama administration said.

Take The Western Word poll – Do you agree or disagree with the new “bathroom” guidance or should it be left up to the states?


One person commenting on cable news about this issue said that the people who are affected by this the most (the students) are probably wondering what the big deal is.

I’ve listened to both sides of the argument on this issue and I really don’t care. BTW on a related topic…Target stores recently reiterated their inclusivity policy and in part said this:

We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.

We regularly assess issues and consider many factors such as impact to our business, guests and team members. Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position.

Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.

I have visited Target a few times since then and even used their bathroom. I’m happy to report that I made it out safely – just like always…


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3 thoughts on “Monday’s Political Quick Hits

  1. Pingback: Thursday Numbers | The Western Word

  2. Even in the years that Congressman Zinke was not in politics, as I sat visiting with him, his concern was for the safety of this country, the armed forces out there protecting U.S. citizens and those veterans who had served in the capacity of our national protection. He is an impressive man who does give much attention to the veterans. He knows they are neglected in many ways.

    I find the many who sit home on their cans have the time to look for the negative and spread it in any way they can. I can simply say that Juneau hardly knows what a veteran is in this day and age. I will bet that she has not ever sat and listened to the stories these people can share let alone care where they served or why they served. She is too busy following the path her mother is pulling her along…and this I personally know, too.

    • L Johnson –

      Thanks for your comments. It is tough to walk that fine line between helping veterans and getting recognition for it, although sometimes by getting the recognition the elected officials are letting other veterans who have the same problem know that there’s help out there.

      Today, with year-round campaigning and the constant fundraising, everything an elected official does is geared toward re-election – or can be construed as such. Little work gets done in DC.

      When I worked for Sen. Burns we did a similar thing for veterans of the Korean war era.

      Thanks again for your comments. -JmB

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