The Wednesday Read: Gianforte, MTN’s Debate, Fuel Taxes, & REAL ID

It is not how old you are, but how you are old. – Jules Renard

Today I provide independent commentary about the following items for this edition of The Wednesday Read:

  • Price of Freedom
  • Montana House Debate
  • Fuel Taxes

Price of Freedom:

A week or so ago I caught part of a campaign ad on local television for Greg Gianforte, who is running in the U.S. House special election. I searched for it off and on and finally found it yesterday. It’s called “Price of Freedom.”

My first thought after watching the whole ad was, “Is nothing sacred in politics?”

In the ad, a veteran talks about the price of freedom and what it takes to keep America safe. That is all well and good.

Then the scene shifts and the veteran identified as Hank Adams on the screen is standing in front of what looks like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (or maybe it was the smaller traveling memorial) saying, “I don’t believe Mr. Quist will stand up to Iran or ISIS.”

At the end of the ad, Greg Gianforte and two other men are walking in front of the Memorial with a voiceover of Gianforte saying he approved this message.

Using the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a campaign prop is just plain wrong.

Montana House Debate:

There’s a (partial) U.S. House debate scheduled for Saturday, April 29, at 7:00 p.m. It will be televised on MTN.

Why did I say partial? There are three candidates running in the U.S. House special election, (Republican Greg Gianforte, Democrat Rob Quist, and Libertarian Mark Wicks) but according to the Montana Libertarian Party only Gianforte and Quist will be allowed to participate:

KTVQ News Director, Jon Stepanek, informed Mr. Wicks that after private discussions with other MTN news directors, they decided that due to self-imposed time constraints, Montana voters would only be able to hear from two of the three candidates appearing on their ballots on May 25th.

Shame on MTN. It’s a moronic move from a small and mostly insignificant television network that is not ready for primetime. They could start the debate at 6:30 and a 90-minute debate would have been perfect for three candidates.

I’ve heard from many people who want to know more about Libertarian Mark Wicks because they have concerns about the other two candidates. One seems to have his sights set on running for governor in a couple years, and the other candidate is older and if elected may not stay in the seat long enough to gain any seniority.

Fuel Taxes:

In case you missed it, the Republican-controlled Montana State House and Montana State Senate recently voted to raise your fuel taxes here in Montana. The bill is HB 473.

You can see who voted “Yes” to raise your taxes HERE.

I believe the bill is now waiting for Governor Bullock to sign it.


For years I have poked fun at Montana’s elected officials for being against the REAL ID Act. Both Republicans and Democrats have bitched and moaned about complying with the federal law. REAL ID sets standards for identification documents such as driver’s licenses.

I’ve said they need to understand that “Freedom is not free.”

Guess what? The State of Montana blinked. The legislature passed a bill to give residents the option to buy a driver’s license or identification card that complies with the federal Real ID Act. (AP)

I guess that still gives the diehard anti-government folks a choice. They just won’t be able to use their non-compliant Montana ID for much.




2 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read: Gianforte, MTN’s Debate, Fuel Taxes, & REAL ID

  1. Fuel taxes: I doubt any of that money will turn into road repairs out here in Western Montana…
    Real ID: Since they can’t use them for travel maybe they can use them for Voter ID…

    • Barry – Fuel Taxes – That is the problem. The money does not seem to get used wisely. As for REAL ID, you may have found a solution! Thanks, -JmB

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