The Founding Fathers’ instructions were clear: The right to free speech includes bad speech; it means tolerance of ideas that many find obnoxious. – David Ignatius
Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!
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 that I am providing commentary on today include Senator Daines & DeVos, Governor Bullock’s veto, Anti-Sharia bill, E-City Beat & State Senator Buttrey, Falcons/Patriots poll results, and much more!
Daines & DeVos:
I sent a tweet this week to U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) asking him to “Please vote NO on the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Sec. of Education.” Several other folks I know told me that they contacted Daines via phone/email about DeVos. I told them not to expect a response from Daines because he and his staff have the reputation of not responding to constituents who disagree with him.
I just don’t believe that DeVos should be in charge of public education in the United States.
Now it’s been revealed that Daines has received several thousand dollars in campaign donations from DeVos and her family. The Missoula Independent blog reported:
According to a search of the National Institute on Money in State Politics’ database, DeVos contributed $5,200 to Daines’ 2014 senate campaign. Additionally, at least seven other members of the DeVos family also donated money to Daines’ 2014 run, adding up to $46,800 all told. Campaign contribution reports filed with the Federal Election Commission also show $2,000 in donations from the Alticor PAC, the political arm of the DeVos-owned corporation Alticor. DeVos disclosed her personal contributions to Daines and scores of other candidates and political groups in her Senate questionnaire, and stated during her confirmation hearing that it’s “possible” her family has donated as much as $200 million to Republican candidates over the years.
That’s like DeVos is buying votes – like she owns Daines.
Daines and others who receive campaign donations from people who are being nominated for positions in the Trump (or any) administration should recuse themselves from that vote. If not, it smells of corruption.
The Missoula Current reported that Montana Governor Steve Bullock vetoed the first bill of the Montana legislative session: House Bill 1, which would have increased legislators’ pay by 14 percent for the next legislative session.
Good for Bullock.
Frankly, I don’t believe there are any legislators who deserve a 14 percent pay increase. If the current pay and benefits are not enough for a legislator, then they should quit.
Sometimes the headline tells just how out of touch some members of the Montana Legislature are with the real world. This headline is from the Associated Press:
Montana Senate endorses anti-Sharia law bill
The bill is Senate Bill 97. You can see who the 28 senators were who wasted time voting for this bill by clicking HERE. That was the “second reading” so there will be a final vote. If it passes the final vote, it heads to the House.
I’ve said it before, but it once again looks like some members found and drank from the “stupid fountain” that must be somewhere down a dark hallway in the capitol. By voting for this bill, these 28 senators have ended end up making asses of themselves and embarrassed Montana.
E-City Beat & Buttrey:
The new blog in Great Falls (E-City Beat) believes that State Senator Ed Buttrey should be nominated by the Republicans to replace Ryan Zinke in the U.S. House.
They rightly pointed out in a column titled, “Why Republicans Should Say, “Thanks, But No Thanks,” To Greg Gianforte” that Gianforte was the only Republican statewide candidate who lost in 2016. They also linked to my column where I said that Gianforte was too far to the right for many people. I appreciate the “link love” from E-City.
ECB staff also closed their column with this:
Greg Gianforte had his turn, and he lost. It’s time for the GOP to look in a new direction, and go “all in” with a personable and proven legislator who won’t leverage this House seat as a stepping stone for higher office.
It is time, finally, for insider Republicans to put Montana voters ahead of party ideology, and the surest, most decisive way to do that is to nominate Ed Buttrey.
Here at The Western Word, I stopped endorsing candidates several years ago, but my number one thing for whoever is running in this upcoming U.S. House special election is for the person not to use it as a stepping stone like Steve Daines did and Ryan Zinke did (or is doing). Montana needs its lone House member to stay there and gain seniority and clout for our state.
I could probably support just about any Republican or Democrat who makes that promise. I’m independent; I can do that…
Super Bowl 51:
The results of The Western Word poll are in and my readers think the Atlanta Falcons will beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl this Sunday. The Falcons received 60% of the vote and the Patriots received 40% of the vote.
Thanks to all who participated. Enjoy the game!
One More Thing:
In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are. – Arnold H. Glasow