Monday Afternoon Extra: Random Thoughts…

Here are a few Monday afternoon random thoughts about the following issues:

  • Juras/Sandefur Debate
  • Laslovich
  • The Montana Polls
  • Jury Duty


Juras/Sandefur Debate:

Applause goes to Montana Television Network’s (MTN) Mike Dennison for doing a great job moderating the Montana Supreme Court Justice #3 debate between Kristen Juras and Dirk Sandefur. The debate was televised on MTN’s “Face the State” Sunday. You can see the show HERE. It was just 30 minutes and Dennison kept it moving – and what is most amazing is that Juras and Sandefur are attorneys! Congrats to Dennison for a fine job.

I don’t know who you think won, but I don’t think Sandefur did himself any favors during the debate. I thought that Sandefur was condescending, obnoxious, and sometimes mean. I’ve heard that from several others who watched it, too. Maybe Sandefur has problems turning off his “state district judge” act when dealing with regular people.

I think this race will be close – and being nice to people might win a candidate a few votes.


I received my ballot on Saturday and congrats to State Auditor candidate Jesse Laslovich for getting his postcard to arrive on the same day as the ballots.

Maybe it was luck or maybe it was planned, but Laslovich was the only one, so his postcard is being displayed here:


The Montana Polls:

I pretty much expected the results I saw from the Lee Newspapers polls about Montanan’s choices for President, Governor, and U.S. House.

According to the Mason-Dixon Montana poll in the race for President, Republican Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton in Montana 46% to 36%. Libertarian Gary Johnson has 11%.

One of my friends told me that many Montanans would vote for Charles Manson if he was running as a Republican. Ouch!

As for Governor’s race, Democrat Steve Bullock leads Republican Greg Gianforte 47% to 45%. Six percent are undecided.

This race is close because Bullock has so many “issues” or “scandals” that cause people to wonder about his leadership, but Gianforte cannot close the deal.

To put him over the top, I think Greg Gianforte should spend another $3 million or so of his own money and buy every Montanan a truck, or a gun, or a pony…

The U.S. House race was a little more one-sided than I expected, but I did expect Republican Ryan Zinke to have a lead. The polls showed that Zinke leads Democrat Denise Juneau 53% to 40%. Juneau seems to be having problems getting independents and moderates on her side.

These polls give all sides something to work for in the last three weeks.

Although we have not decided the 2016 races yet, Zinke should think long and hard before he starts to think about running against U.S. Senator Jon Tester in 2018. Montanans deserve some seniority in the U.S. House. Montana was just about to get some solid seniority when Denny Rehberg left the House to try to beat Tester. Steve Daines threw Montana under the bus to move from the House to the Senate leaving Montana with no seniority in the House.

Tester already has two notches on his belt (Burns/Rehberg) and I believe he would have a third if Zinke takes him on in 2018.

Jury Duty:

I received a questionnaire about jury service in the Great Falls Municipal Court this weekend.

I used to believe that jury duty was patriotic and the right thing to do. I served proudly. After the last few times I have been called for jury service in Great Falls, I don’t feel patriotic or that it is the right thing to do anymore.

The questionnaire about jury service for the Great Falls Municipal Court is a joke. If you have a problem with serving like a medical condition, then you have to have an affidavit for excusal completed and notarized. If you want a permanent exclusion because of a medical condition, you’ll need to have a “Physician’s certification.”

If you have a hardship, you’ll need to have an affidavit for excusal completed and notarized.

You have seven days to complete and return the form.

The “bright minds” provide you with an envelope that is addressed to the municipal court, but you have to place your own postage on it.

I’ve been called to jury service for municipal court, state district court, and federal district court. I have been picked for jury duty on municipal and state district court. I was treated professionally in only one venue, the federal court.

One time a judge asked how I was treated during the jury process, and I told her not well. I told her there were not enough seats, that staff in the courthouse talked down to people, and could not answer simple questions without acting ticked off, and that the judges did not adequately explain what was going on.

I also wanted to say the people working in the courthouse acted like morons, but I decided to leave that part out. Maybe next time…

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