Caught My Eye…

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME) – the final CME before Election Day!

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 Tschida vs Motl, School Bus Drivers, Gianforte Ads, I pick the 2016 election winners, One More Thing, and much more!

Breaking the Law…

It looks like Republican state Rep. Brad Tschida of Missoula screwed up.

The AP reported:

A Montana lawmaker (Tschida) has revealed a week before Election Day that he filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Steve Bullock, despite a state law saying such complaints are confidential until they are resolved.

By the way, it was about that damned state-owned plane – the PLANE!

Tschida tried to say something like he was a big important state legislator and that he had immunity. Bawhaaaaa…

The AP also reported that Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl put Tschida in his place:

The ethics complaint was filed with Motl’s office. State law says the person filing the complaint and the subject of the complaint must maintain confidentiality until the commissioner issues a decision. Motl said Tschida violated that law and he would seek a severe penalty.

“His issue is not larger than the requirements of the law,” Motl said. “Mr. Tschida is not God.”

Motl said the violation amounts to official misconduct, which carries penalties of a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

Tschida won’t get any jail time, so the maximum fine is a cheap way of helping Republicans. We all know the complaint was leaked to help Bullock’s opponent Greg Gianforte, win the election. That was the reason for filing the complaint, too.

The Great Falls Tribune story reported that Motl said Tschida should have filed the allegations as an election complaint rather than an ethics complaint. I’m guessing that it would have probably sped up the process.

There has been a lot a pettiness this campaign season – from both sides.

School Bus Drivers…

I was wondering how long it would take the Zinke campaign to do an ad blaming Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau for the 64 Montana school bus drivers having criminal records. It was based on a news story from 2013.

I bookmarked that story about three years ago.

I guess the Zinke campaign was waiting toward the end of the campaign to try to put the final nail in the coffin of the Juneau campaign. I think Zinke has two campaign ads airing during the last two weeks about it, which should just about seal the deal for Zinke’s reelection.

Some folks might say it is a stretch to say that Juneau is responsible for hiring the 64 school bus drivers. That’s fine. Put up an ad saying otherwise. Others might say it is a stretch for Juneau to take credit for graduation rates increasing in Montana, too. I think Gov. Steve Bullock is also using that one. Sometimes you have to take the positive with the negative in politics and keep marching up the hill.

In politics, it is often more perception than anything. By the way, they are damned good ads for Zinke – and I never heard him say anything about being a Navy SEAL! Watch one of the ads HERE.

I suggest Juneau keep her campaign motor running because I think Zinke will abandon the House to run for U.S. Senate in two years.

Gianforte Ads:

The Associated Press reported that a nonprofit investigative journalism organization says that candidate for Montana Governor, Greg Gianforte, aired more campaign ads than all other candidates in the nation seeking to win statewide elections.

Another interesting item from the report was that Gianforte’s ads would run for 13 straight days if they were all aired back to back.

Great googly moogly!

Maybe I missed the ad or maybe it’s still coming, but I have not seen an ad where his running mate, Lesley Robinson, had a speaking part. I would think with all the ads there would be one. It might help the campaign to have a calmer, less aggressive person, speak.

The 2016 Election Winners:

For several weeks now I have been picking who I think is winning eight key races from President on down to the state-wide races in Montana. The candidates I picked were winning their contests at that particular time. Today, I pick the winners (I may or may not be voting for them)!

On Tuesday, November 8, the winners will be…

President: Hillary Clinton
Let’s face it – the choices are not the best in this race. Hillary Clinton has been harmed by the latest email issue and Donald Trump has been coming on lately, but she will still become the next President of the United States. Clinton will win the popular vote by three to four points and easily get between 290-300 electoral votes.By the way, Trump will win Montana by about 10-15 points. 

MT House At-Large: Ryan Zinke
-I don’t ever think the race between Zinke and Denise Juneau was that close. Zinke wins by five points.

MT Governor: Steve Bullock
-The biggest problem with Greg Gianforte is he came across poorly in his ads and apparently with several newspaper boards. Plus, there were too many ads from him and he attacked, attacked, and attacked Bullock. Montana voters are starting to feel sorry for Bullock, a Montana boy, who is being attacked by a millionaire who is from New Jersey. Bullock wins by three points.

MT Secretary of State: Corey Stapleton
-This may actually be Stapleton’s time to win a statewide race. Monica Lindeen is well-known so this race will close. Stapleton will win by two points.

MT Attorney General: Tim Fox
-Larry Jent is the more qualified candidate, but he got a late start and never gained much traction. Fox will win by five points. By the way, I’d like to see the Montana Attorney General appointed instead of being elected.

MT State Auditor: Jesse Laslovich
-Laslovich has come on the past two weeks and has been sending several fliers and has some good ads up on TV. Matt Rosendale has been somewhat quiet. Laslovich will win by three points.

MT OPI: Elsie Arntzen
-I don’t think Melissa Romano gained enough name recognition and received enough help from her supporters against the seasoned campaigner Elsie Arntzen. Arntzen should win this race by three points. If Romano loses, I hope she runs for another office and gains experience.

MT Supreme Court Justice #3: Kristen Juras
-This race is a tough one to pick, but Dirk Sandefur may have harmed himself with his condescending attitude toward Juras in the Face the State debate. The article about the forum in Great Falls was not good for him. His ad that shows him throwing the negative fliers in the trash can was poorly done and he acted pissed that anyone could say anything bad about him because he is a judge. I don’t think having all the attorneys and judges endorsing him was that good for him. It looked like the establishment was picking on her. Juras will win by two points.
I do hope that Montana changes how judges get into office.

If you see any of the races differently or just want to yell at me, let me know in the comment section or send me an email (

One More Thing:

I saw this on Facebook and thought it was funny:


4 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. Interesting point about Zinke running for the Senate. I hadn’t thought about that. I was thinking that would be Gianforte’s next bid. He’s gotten plenty of experience with this campaign and his group were successful with Daines. I’m betting if he can’t be governor he’d settle for the Senate.

    • Kathy – Thanks. That’s a good point about Gianforte. It will be interesting. – JmB

  2. When speaking to Republican groups both Arntzen and Rosendale make it abundantly clear that the big prize in their races is a spot on the land board and not so much about the actual jobs. Funny how they temper that message greatly for the public in general.

    • Rick – good info. Funny thing that many folks in Montana don’t understand how the land board works. The GOP just might get control this time. Thanks, -JmB

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