A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. – H. L. Mencken
Welcome to the big show to end the week – “Caught My Eye” (CME) – and the good news is that this is CME #300.
300 – Let that sink in just a moment. I can’t wait to read the congratulatory messages from the President, Senators, Representatives, Ambassadors, foreign leaders, and teenagers.
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 Trump in Montana, Montana Political Donations, Montana Democrats & Accountability, Gianforte Welcomes Candidate, Gianforte’s problem, Daines is Learning, Memorial Day, and much more!
Trump in Montana:
According to a Facebook post from Congressman Ryan Zinke, “more than 7,500 people” attended the Donald Trump rally in Billings Thursday afternoon. Zinke also stated in his post that he delivered a “handwritten letter of support to Trump from Steve Daines.”
Maybe it was a secret note somewhat like kids pass around in elementary school. It probably said something like:
Donald – I like you!! Do you like me? Your friend, Steve
The one thing we can confirm here at The Western Word is that counting people must be hard.
Some people were probably wondering how well Donald Trump might be received in Montana. I think this line from the Associated Press gives us a good indication:
As the crowd cheered Trump on inside the arena, three people stood outside in an area designated for protesters.
It’s great for Montana that Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, and now Donald Trump have all been here campaigning. #Merica!
Montana Political Donations:
Here in Montana, the court has yet to figure out how much money gives us freedom of speech. It’s ridiculous.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell, an octogenarian, re-imposed voter-approved contribution limits on Montana political parties. MTN News has the story HERE. For guidance, you can visit the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices website HERE.
Maybe a new slogan for fundraising in Montana could be, “Just give all you want; we’ll plead ignorance.”
Montana Democrats & Accountability:
The Montana Democrats were in Billings ahead of the Donald Trump rally “to hold Trump, statewide Republicans accountable.”
Well, not all statewide Republicans.
The Democrats said in their press release “In advance of Donald Trump’s visit to the Treasure State today, the Montana Democratic Party held a press conference yesterday to hold him, Greg Gianforte and Ryan Zinke accountable.”
I guess they didn’t have time to go after “statewide” Republicans like U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox. Fox is running for re-election.
I’m sure that Larry Jent, who is a Democrat running for attorney general, appreciates the unwavering support from his party.
Gianforte Welcomes Candidate:
Maybe it was just me, but Thursday’s press release from Republican candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte, seemed a little weird. The title of the press release was, “Gianforte Welcomes Presidential Candidate to Montana.” Gianforte’s press release never mentions Donald Trump who was holding a rally in Billings Thursday afternoon:
Bozeman businessman and high tech entrepreneur Greg Gianforte applauded yet another visit by a 2016 presidential candidate to Montana.
“It’s nice to see the Big Sky getting the big attention we deserve,” said Gianforte. Gianforte added that he already had a meeting scheduled to talk high wage jobs with the Montana Mining Association near Butte on Thursday. While he is not able to attend the event in Billings, Gianforte says he is glad to see the candidates paying attention to Montana.
“Gianforte modifies campaign story after county officials call for correction” – that was the headline this morning in Lee Newspapers across Montana. We’ll see how much traction it gets, but here is the main point:
Greg Gianforte apologized for and amended a February campaign statement on Thursday after Sanders County Commissioners asked the Republican candidate for governor “to correct the record.”
At a question-and-answer session in Malta, Gianforte described Sanders officials as upset about the state buying a private ranch and converting it to a wildlife management area. In fact, the commissioners supported the 2013 acquisition of the Full Curl Ranch.
Lee Newspapers thought it was important enough that their reporter wrote over 1,000 words about it. The final paragraph of the story contained this line:
It is not the first time questions have been raised when Gianforte has described conversations with others.
If a candidate loses the trust/confidence of voters, it is hard to regain.
Daines is Learning:
First, U.S. Senator Steve Daines said in one of his press releases:
Right now, our world’s most powerful weapons are sitting unsecured in Americans’ backyards.
I called that statement BS. Our nukes are not “sitting unsecured in Americans’ backyards.”
Now Senator Daines has changed his tune in a more recent press release:
It’s unconscionable to imagine that our nuclear warheads do not have adequate air security.
Daines is learning. That is a good thing. I’m glad I could help…
One More Thing:
Memorial Day is Monday.
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. (VA.gov)