Caught My Eye…

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. – Terry Pratchett

Welcome to the big show to end the week – “Caught My Eye” (CME) – and the good news is that this is CME #299. How cool is that?

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics this week include Clinton/Trump in Billings, the new anti-Gianforte Ad “Believe,” Senate District 10 battle, comments about my recent column, bumper sticker mania, former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, Armed Forces Day, plus a lot more!

Bill Clinton & Donald Trump in Billings:

In case you missed it, former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak at Will James Middle School at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Billings on behalf of his wife’s campaign. Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump will hold a rally on Thursday, May 26, at 4 p.m. at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings. (AP/GF Tribune)

I wonder which VIPs received an invite.

Will Republicans U.S. Senator Steve Daines, U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte, and Attorney General Tim Fox appear on stage with Trump? How about other statewide candidates?

Who, if anyone, will appear with Clinton? U.S. Senator Jon Tester? Steve Bullock? Denise Juneau? Will other statewide candidates make the journey to Billings? Will they tick off Bernie supporters if they do show up to support Clinton?

Some schedules for candidates and elected officials are probably pretty busy on the days that Clinton and Trump make an appearance in Montana…

New anti-Gianforte Ad “Believe”

If you follow me on Twitter (@TheWesternWord) or “Like” The Western Word’s Facebook page then last night you were one of the first to see the new anti-Greg Gianforte campaign ad called, “Believe.”

Gianforte is a Republican candidate for Montana governor.

The campaign ad is from a group called “Good Jobs Montana.” They list Scott C. McCulloch as the treasurer. The address for the group is 1633 Main Street, Suite A-354, Billings, MT 59105. Here’s the transcript:

Public lands belong in public hands. Our schools deserve our support. And you earn your Social Security.

That’s what Montanans believe. But it’s not what this millionaire from New Jersey believes.

Greg Gianforte bankrolled groups who want to sell off public lands to the highest bidder and end Social Security as we know it.

He’d even cut taxes for millionaires like himself – leading to millions in cuts for our schools.

Greg Gianforte. Not from Montana. Not for Montana.

The funny thing is this ad from “Good Jobs Montana” does not mention “jobs.” You can see the ad HERE.

Overall, the ad does what it’s supposed to do – be a negative hit piece on Gianforte. As for the closing, “Greg Gianforte Not from Montana Not for Montana” I don’t think Montanans care that much. The “native Montanan” line has grown stale over the years. Montanans have elected people born in other states, like Mike Mansfield, Conrad Burns, and Steve Daines. Plus, it’s a little early for hit pieces – Gianforte has not even won his primary election yet.

I don’t “Believe” the ad is that good, so I give it a five out of 10 (5/10).

Senate District 10 Battle:

It all started for me back in January when I received a fundraising letter from State Senate District 10 (SD-10) Republican candidate J.C. Kantorowicz that caught my eye. Current State Representative Steve Fitzpatrick, also a Republican filed for SD-10, so we have a contested primary. You can read my initial column about the race HERE. By the way, I don’t reside in SD-10.

It’s been a lesson from Kantorowicz on how not to run a campaign. He should have read my book.

First, Kantorowicz was caught on tape saying, “A bullet would” work in a situation to elect friendly delegates and keep some more moderate Republicans from being elected delegates. (GF Tribune 4/16/16)

Then it was discovered that Kantorowicz was found guilty of poaching in 1996. (GF Tribune 5/16/16)

Just recently the Montana Cowgirl blog reported that Kantorowicz was charged with assaulting another man and ordered to appear in court on March 5, 2008. (MT Cowgirl blog 05/18/16).

There are still over two weeks until the primary election; what’s next?

My Recent Column:

I recently submitted a 500-word column titled “The GOP deserves Trump” to several Montana newspapers. Fortunately, the Helena Independent Record and the Missoulian published it. Thank you!

There were plenty of comments – both pro and con. I like that. I am a big boy and can take it! I think the one pasted below is my favorite:

It is YOU Jackie……..the spineless, rudderless………flip flopping…… hopping liberals who won’t stay put in any party and have not the courage to start your own.
BTW, are you still coming over for dinner Sunday? Love, Mom.

OK, the last line “BTW, are you still coming over for dinner Sunday? Love, Mom” was added by me it. It was a joke. The other part was from an actual reader of the Missoulian.

Another interesting comment was sent to me via email. The writer claimed to be the man who built the Obama Outhouse Presidential Library which had some bullet holes in it. I mentioned it in the column. The man (who will remain unnamed since I don’t know if he is really the builder of the outhouse or if it’s really him sending the email) informed me that my column got his “attention, with the remark of the bullet peppered outhouse, labeled as the Obama Presidential Library being paraded around Montana.”

He told me “the 65 miles between Missoula and Darby hardly qualifies as being ‘around’ Montana as the article implies.”

OK, so I guess it was a short parade route…

He also added, “As per being peppered with bullet holes, only a pilgrim to Montana would not know that the natives relish Stop and Deer Crossing signs, and old outhouses as targets for their mischief.”

Finally, he said Rev. Al Sharpton railed about it on TV, which made him proud.

This has been fun, so tell your opinion page editor to publish the next column he/she receives from me.

Bumper Sticker Mania:

I’ve been busy contacting Montana candidates for free bumper stickers this week. I contacted the Republican and Democrat candidates for Montana Secretary of State (Stapleton & Lindeen) and for Superintendent of Public Instruction (Romano & Arntzen). We’ll see who wins the race to my mailbox.

I also contacted a Supreme Court candidate (Justice #3) Kristen Juras. As for her opponent, I could not find a “Contact Me” section on Dirk Sandefur’s campaign website.

As for U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, I contacted his campaign on April 28. I also contacted his opponent, Denise Juneau the same day. I received a bumper sticker from Juneau about a week later. I have received nothing from Zinke except a campaign email asking me to help him fight Nancy Pelosi.

I still have not received a bumper sticker from Donald Trump (or John Kasich or Ted Cruz). It’s been about two months since I contacted them. I received bumper stickers from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

U.S. Senator Bob Bennett:

Former Utah Senator Bob Bennett (R) spent his last days letting Muslims know how sorry he was that an Islamophobe had become his party’s all-but-certain nominee. (The Daily Beast)

God bless Bob Bennett – RIP. 

One More Thing:

Tomorrow (Saturday, May 21) is Armed Forces Day which is a day to honor and thank those who are currently serving in the military.


President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.
The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. (DoD)


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3 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. Hey Jackie,
    Thanks to your excellent blogging I learned something today. I never realized Mike Mansfield was not born in Montana. As a kid growing up in Great Falls, we lived 2 houses away from what I thought was his parents but just learned must of been his aunt and uncle. One of my most enduring memories is President John F. Kennedy’s visit to GF. He and his motorcade visited Mansfield’s relatives. This was on 6th Avenue South and 6th Street. I did not go to the stadium where he spoke but stayed with my parents and grandmother and watched him go by from our front yard. Mike Mansfield, in my mind, remains the greatest statesman Montana elected.

    • Kathy – Thank you. Mansfield was one of the great senators in our history. I know Conrad met with him several times and spoke highly of him. Many politicians visited with Mike Mansfield and asked his thoughts about many of the big issues facing our country. That was a neat story about JFK. Thanks for sharing. Take care – JmB

    • Hi Kathy, do you remember the Great Falls Leader story on JFK’s visit? It was great having an evening paper.

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