Caught My Eye…

It’s probably my age that tricks people into thinking I’m an adult – Unknown

Welcome to the big column to end the week, “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, welcome! CME is the once a week column that is posted 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. There may be some sarcasm and pointed independent commentary so be warned!

Here are the topics that “Caught My Eye” this week:

  • Democratic Party Presidential Debates
  • 2020 Census
  • Corey Stapleton
  • Ken Miller
  • One More Thing

Democratic Party Presidential Debates:

I don’t pay a lot of attention to the early debates because the frontrunners are usually not the ones leading in the polls in a few months.

For more of an independent view of the debates and politics, I suggest reading reports from the Associated Press and Reuters. Stay away from the left and right-leaning websites.

Around this time in the 2015 Republican primary melee, Jeb Bush (22%) was leading with Scott Walker (17%) second. They were followed by Marco Rubio (14%), Ben Carson (11%), and Mike Huckabee (9%).

Way down the list in 11th place was Donald Trump. He was polling at 1%.

Trump was on Twitter during the Democrat debates and sent the following Tweet which I think is important:

All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!

That’s the kind of hit the nominee of the Democratic Party will have to explain when the race heats up next year.

The nominee better get their big boy or big girl pants on. Trump will hit them like they have never been hit before.

2020 Census:

As many folks know who read my columns regularly or check out my bio on LinkedIn, I worked for the U.S. Census Bureau during the 2010 Census.

The decennial census counts people, not citizens, and it is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to be done every 10 years.

So I was happy that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump Administration who wanted to put a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form. We need to know how many people live in the USA. Putting a question about citizenship on the form would make people not want to complete the form. We need a complete count.

It was not a clean victory, but it stopped it for a little while. Trump told reporters, “I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the … United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter.”

The U.S. Constitution requires a census count be held every 10 years. Not 11 years or 12 years or until you get your way in court. I don’t see how Trump and his people can get the question included on this late date.

No matter what, the recent negative publicity about the 2020 Census will probably hurt the count.

Corey Stapleton:

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that the Helena Police Department is investigating Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s use of a state vehicle to travel to his family home in Billings.

That article reminds me of this popular song…

Bad boys bad boys
Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
when they come for you

The AP also reported that the Legislative auditors found Stapleton put nearly 28,000 miles on a state pickup truck to commute between Helena to Billings, a violation of state law that would be a misdemeanor.

You know, putting 28,000 miles on a vehicle and getting charged with just a misdemeanor if found guilty is kind of crazy. It makes me wonder if it’s even worth investigating.

Maybe the investigators should spend some time combating Montana’s drunk driving problem. That would make us safer than protecting us from bad boy Corey Stapleton.

Ken Miller:

Former Montana State Senator and Chairman of the Montana Republican Party, Ken Miller, sent an email this week announcing the following:

After seven years of injustice, the politically charged campaign finance allegations against Ken Miller from his 2012 run for Governor have been fully dismissed with prejudice. No wrongdoing was found. On May 24th the dismissal was filed by Judge Seeley.

Miller continued with this statement:

“Republicans filed the original false charges in the Montana Governor’s race in 2012 just days before primary voting began.” Miller continues, “Despite our presentation of proof that the COPP (Commissioner of Political Practices) charges were false and politically motivated, the media was quick to report the COPP accusations as if they were fact and true, resulting in my not winning the primary election.” Miller continues, “I hope the media will now give this matter the same attention that they did when these false charges were made.”

As for the future, Miller says he plans to get commitments from Montana policymakers to agree to do everything they can to change or eliminate the COPP office. Miller says he believes political opponents and the COPP should not be able to continue to use the office to sway elections or detour good people from running, based on false accusations.

I agree with Miller in regard to changing how the COPP office is run. It’s a sad mark on the state of Montana that it took seven years for Miller to clear his name.

One More Thing:

The big match is today (Friday). It’s the United States versus France in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The match is being held at Parc Des Princes, Paris, and will be televised on the FOX network. It starts at 1:00 pm Montana time.

Go USA!

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2 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. While it should take a LOT less time to close a COPP investigation, the office is vitally necessary given there is no bottom to the skullduggery the MTGOP will go to to win.

    Miller got 18% in a 7 person primary, tied with Stapleton. And he had Bill Gallagher as his LG. Gallagher had his own reputational baggage. Mr. Miller fantasy victory is still a fantasy.

    • Doug – Thanks. Maybe elect the COPP in a non-partisan manner would be the answer. As for Miller, the jerks in the GOP will eat their own to get ahead. I doubt Miller would win any statewide race, but someone thought he was a threat and screwed him. -JmB

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