Caught My Eye…

“In our judicial system, ‘the public has a right to every man’s evidence.’ Since the earliest days of the Republic, ‘every man’ has included the President of the United States.” – Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr (July 9, 2020)

Welcome to “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

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:

  • Breaking the Law
  • Ballot Interference Prevention Act
  • Shepard Smith
  • One More Thing


The Great Falls Tribune and other news organizations reported this week that Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D-MT) has been fined the maximum of $1,000 for violating state ethics laws by participating in a campaign-related video conference call from his state office this spring, the commissioner of political practices said Wednesday.

With Cooney “violating state ethics laws” and his opponent, Greg Gianforte having a record of committing “misdemeanor assault” on a reporter, this may make their contest more interesting. I’m sure the staunch Gianforte reporters will tell us that Cooney’s illegal activities are far worse. The Cooney supporters should tell voters with Gianforte grabbing the reporter by the throat; this was actually when social distancing started in Montana.

The bottom line to me is that Cooney has worked in the government for a long time. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway. I’m not happy with it, but it won’t make me vote for his opponent. I’m not sure other independent voters will feel the same way.


I voted against the Ballot Interference Prevention Act (BIPA) back in 2018 because it was a solution to something that was not a problem. It’s funny because around 63% of the voters were tricked into voting for it. They should have been reading The Western Word.

As the Montana Free Press reports BIPA restricts who can collect absentee ballots to family members, other household members, caregivers, or acquaintances and also keeps Montanans from collecting more than six ballots each.

Now there’s another reason for disliking the law. The Montana Free Press is reporting that a Billings judge sided with a coalition of tribes and Native American advocacy organizations who had argued the rule suppressed Native voters.

The Montana Free Press also reports:

The July 7 order, a preliminary injunction, doesn’t bring a lawsuit filed by the Native groups to a definitive end — but does indicate the judge believes the groups are likely to win their case, and keeps state government from enforcing the Ballot Interference Prevention Act while the litigation is pending.

You can read the whole article from the Montana Free Press by clicking HERE.


If you read President Trump’s twitter feed on Thursday, you might have thought he was headed to prison.

He may be headed to prison, but that will have to wait. I imagine when he is done as President, either in January 2021 or after serving four more years, “The Don” will be spending a lot of time in court.

The Associated Press reported it this way:

Rejecting President Donald Trump’s complaints that he’s being harassed, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of a New York prosecutor’s demands for the billionaire president’s tax records. But in good political news for Trump, his taxes and other financial records almost certainly will be kept out of the public eye at least until after the November election.

As for the other case, the AP reported:

In a separate case, the justices kept a hold on banking and other documents about Trump, family members and his businesses that Congress has been seeking for more than a year. The court said that while Congress has significant power to demand the president’s personal information, it is not limitless.

The AP rightly points out that before Trump was elected he promised to release his tax returns. Trump is the only president in modern times who has refused to make his tax returns public.

Both the rulings were decided 7-2. The sweetest part was, as Reuters reported, “Trump’s two Supreme Court appointees, conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, joined Roberts and the four liberal justices in both rulings.”

Read the story from the Associated Press HERE.

Read the story from Reuters HERE.


I miss Shepard Smith. He was on Fox News for about 23 years and quit in October. This week it was reported that Smith was hired by CNBC to anchor “The News with Shepard Smith.” It will air at 7:00 p.m. eastern time.

I know I will be watching.


Donald Trump’s twitter feed reads like a man who knows he is facing prosecution in New York. –Dan Rather (July 9, 2020)