Monday’s Quick Hits

A President needs political understanding to run the government, but he may be elected without it. – Harry S Truman

Today I take a look at Montana Lawmakers Pay Raise, Jon Tester, Trump on 60 Minutes, Brawl of the Wild, and much more!

Montana Lawmakers Pay Raise:

The Associated Press reported last week that future Montana lawmakers would receive an 82 percent pay raise or more compared to what they’re making now under a measure to be considered next week by a legislative panel.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The AP quoted Chuck Hunter, who must have drawn the short straw, to deliver their argument:

“I don’t think the population understands how difficult the work is, how intense the work is,” said Rep. Chuck Hunter, D-Helena, the chairman of the Legislative Council. “Those pay rates are almost punitive. If the public were really to watch, observe and understand the amount of work, they’d be fine with that raise.”

Hell no.

Many people head to Helena with the best intentions, but for some reason, they end up drinking out of a “stupid fountain” that must be somewhere down a dark hall in the capitol. Many of these people end up making asses of themselves and embarrass Montana.

They certainly don’t deserve a pay raise.

Jon Tester is Running:

On Friday I mentioned the election of 2018. I said Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, is up for reelection. He’s a Democrat. If he runs, it will be for his third term.

It looks like MTN News read my column and happened to interview Tester about his future plans. He says he plans on running in 2018.

Tester is 60 years old, so he is a like an intern compared to some senators in D.C.

Tester has said that he wants to make Washington DC look a little more like Montana. So far he has failed to keep that promise. Tester will be in the minority for at least the next two years.

Nonetheless, unless there’s some scandal like taking dirty money from some group or something like that, Tester will have very little trouble being reelected in 2018.

Trump on 60 Minutes:

For those of you who did not watch President-elect Donald J. Trump on 60 Minutes last night, I will sum up the interview in this sentence:

Everything is going to be “great.”

The chairs with the gold trim reminded me of royalty. It was gaudy. You can watch the show HERE.

As a blogger, this is going to be a fun four years…

Brawl of the Wild:

This Saturday at noon the Montana State Bobcats and the Montana Grizzlies tangle in the “Brawl of the Wild” football game that started in 1897. Saturday’s game is in Missoula.

The Bobcats are 3-7 and the Grizzlies are 6-4.

Both teams have played so poorly this year that I’ve heard a rumor that they are thinking of changing the team names to the Kittens versus the Teddy Bears. Probably because their offense and defense are so soft and cuddly.

Just kiddin…no matter the records it should be fun to watch.


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4 thoughts on “Monday’s Quick Hits

  1. Interesting discussion. I would also point out that every legislator that goes to Helena knows in advance what the pay is and knows, or should know, what is required of them.

    I too say no to pay raises. In theory legislators go to Helena to improve the State and not for the money. I would question how many of them actually do even that. Partisan politics appears to be far more important that the State of Montana does. Sadly.

  2. I believe you are harsh in your judgment about higher wages for Montana’s legislators. Whether you know or not…I do.
    These volunteers arrive, give up personal life, work, income and family to spend hours each of the hurried days that are allowed for the legislative process. Many are expected to start their day at 6-7 a.m. and are still going at 9 p.m. Why? Because many bills are proposed and have to be presented, studied, debated, debated, voted and then brought before the general population of each house. The process starts again when the bill hits the floor. Many bills are frivolous and are still given the attention of determination.
    Then if they are either Democrat or Republican, they are expected to donate fund raising time while in Helena because this is the trade-off for party support. They are hard working, devoted people. They have 90 legislative days to make or break law for the next two years. They have a very complicated budget that they are responsible developing. It is not just the governor’s duty to create a budget plan, but also theirs. To accomplish that they have to hammer out the details of an acceptable plan for tax payers’ money for the coming 2 years and must balance that with a almost unknown income projection.
    After the biennial session closes and they finally get back home to real life…they are expected to serve on committees for the coming two years.
    Shame on you for such a judgmental article. You are better than that.
    Why don’t you run for one of these offices and then see what it feels like to give up your time, your mind and your body to the people of Montana?
    Liane Johnson
    Past Chairman of Montana Republican Party

    • Thanks for your comments in defense of the Montana Legislators. I disagree with you and I strongly stand by what I wrote earlier today, “They certainly don’t deserve a pay raise.”

      I also stand by this statement:

      Many people head to Helena with the best intentions, but for some reason, they end up drinking out of a “stupid fountain” that must be somewhere down a dark hall in the capitol. Many of these people end up making asses of themselves and embarrass Montana.

      Not all of the legislators are clowns, but for the past several sessions it’s been more of a circus than anything. They end up embarrassing the state.

      Some actually do act like statesmen and women and I salute them.

      As for running myself, if I could run for legislature as an independent and not have to jump through a bunch of hoops (gather signatures, etc) and only have to complete the same paperwork as a Democrat and Republicans do to run, I would. The Democratic and Republican Parties have made it almost impossible for an independent to run in Montana. As long as that continues, you will see more of a circus atmosphere every two years.

      Thanks again for your comments – they are always appreciated.


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