Wednesday’s Quick Hits

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. – William Butler Yeats

Welcome to Wednesday! Here are some “Wednesday Quick Hits” about these important issues:

  • Zinke Endorses Trump
  • MBA Debate
  • Bumper Sticker Mania & Kristen Juras
  • State Senate District 10
  • Jesse O’Hara
  • McDonald & Disneyland

Zinke Endorses Trump:

According to the Billings Gazette, U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke endorsed presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump this morning.

The most surprising part of this deal was that the Gazette reported that Zinke made the announcement on the cable news morning program “Fox and Friends.” Does anyone watch “Fox and Friends” these days?

Endorsing Trump in Montana is really not needed. Trump will win Montana unless there’s a strong third-party candidate.

Will U.S. Senator Steve Daines endorse Trump? Maybe he will do it on Snapchat!

Montana Broadcasters Association Debate

It’s always fun to watch the games surrounding the Montana Broadcasters Association debates. Just about as far back as I can remember one candidate or the other has used the fact that they agreed to the debate to score political points.

This year Republican candidate for Montana governor, Greg Gianforte, gets the prize for being first.

Gianforte agreed to the debate and now he’s using the fact that he agreed to the debate to go after his possible opponent, Steve Bullock (there’s a still a primary to be held between now and the debate date in late June).

House candidates Ryan Zinke and Denise Juneau can’t be too far behind.

This tactic must be in the old’ Montana political playbook somewhere because it’s used often:

The Gianforte campaign informed the Montana Broadcasters Association (MBA) that Gianforte committed to the debate way back in March of this year. The incumbent governor has yet to commit to the debate.

The Montana Republican Party chimed in with their thoughts. Yawn.

Team Gianforte also provided the old “suck up to the MBA” line:

Gianforte says the MBA debate is one of the most important ones of the year, as these broadcasters serve our communities with important local information.

Sure it is (snicker). There are only a handful of people paying attention to the Montana Governor’s race at this time – mostly people on the payroll for both candidates and a few bloggers, like me. In late June when the MBA convention is held (on a Sunday, no less) even fewer Montanans will give a damn.

Bumper Sticker Mania:

I’ve been contacting several statewide candidates asking for a free bumper sticker to see if they are responsive to constituents. When I receive it I post it here at The Western Word which is free advertising!

On May 19 I contacted Supreme Court candidate (Justice #3) Kristen Juras. I quickly received an email from her campaign telling me the bumper sticker was in the mail. On May 23, I received the bumper sticker. This may be a record for how quickly I received the bumper sticker after requesting it!

Juras for JusticeGood job Kristen Juras!

As for Juras’ opponent, I could not find a “Contact Me” section on Dirk Sandefur’s campaign website.

I have bumper stickers from Clinton and Sanders. About two months ago, I requested bumper stickers from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich (I contacted Cruz and Kasich long before they suspended their campaigns). The National Republican Senatorial Committee keeps sending me emails in which they state they want to send me a Trump bumper sticker for $3. No thanks.

Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke was contacted April 28, as was his opponent Democrat Denise Juneau. I received one from Juneau; I’ve received nothing from Zinke.

State Senate District 10:

There’s more exciting news from the SD-10 race! The Great Falls Tribune reported that a federal judge has once again struck down a law that requires candidates who criticize the voting records of another candidate to offer details on the vote. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by GOP candidate J.C. Kantorowicz who is running for the state Senate District 10 seat in the June 7 primary against fellow GOP Steve Fitzpatrick.

I think this law was a little odd to begin with and ripe for being declared unconstitutional.

We’re not going to find a lot of honesty in political campaigns.

Jesse O’Hara:

When Jesse O’Hara was a state legislator, I thought he was too far to the right. That was before the Tea Party and the extremes starting coming out in force and ruined the Grand Old Party.

Now Jesse O’Hara lives in Florida, but he keeps an eye on Montana politics and often writes about it (he also files complaints with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices).

O’Hara has a Facebook page that is worth monitoring if you want to see the righties continue to use the circular firing squad to clean up the GOP. You can see the Facebook page HERE.

McDonald & Disneyland:

In case you missed it, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said something stupid this week.

The Washington Post reported:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, under pressure to be more transparent about how VA measures wait times for veteran care, on Monday said the government should be more like Disneyland.

Disney doesn’t track how long visitors wait in line for attractions at its theme parks to decide if they liked their experience, he said. So the VA should not be held to the same standard for medical appointments for veterans.

“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important?” McDonald told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

“What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?”

As a veteran who knows more about the inner-workings of the VA than most people, I have come to the conclusion that no matter who is in charge of the Veterans Administration, or which party is in the White House, and no matter what a politician says about how much they care for veterans, the VA system will not get any better. Veterans will still get the short end of the stick when it comes to obtaining healthcare and benefits. The VA is as broken. The current system needs to be completely flushed down the toilet – and that includes many of the good old boys and girls who sit in the VA and draw a government check for doing very little except to protect their own bureaucracy.

McDonald has followed a long line of secretaries of the VA who have failed. He should not resign over his latest remarks. He should complete his term and then hang his head in shame, as he becomes just another name on the VA’s failure to perform list.


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6 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Quick Hits

  1. As long as Congress give the a VA a limited budget care will be poor. The VA has only X amount of money and it is NOT enough to give quality care to all Veterans. They way it is you can give Quality care to a few or poor care to a lot. Take you pick. It is not right!!

    • Mike – Thanks. I’ve said many times that the VA needs to change the way it cares for veterans. I’m not sure it’s all about the funding. -JmB

    • Doug – Thanks. I think she will be the pick of many on the conservative side, but Sandefur will be tough to beat. This race reminds me of the Laurie Mckinnon race a few years ago. I look to see a lot of outside money thrown at Sandefur. -JmB

  2. The link for O’Hara’s Facebook page takes you to the WAPO. Have a good day.

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