Campaign 2014: LR-126 & Supreme Court Mailers

Today I take a look at the debate between Secretary of State Linda McCulloch (D) and state Rep. Champ Edmunds (R) about Legislative Referendum 126 (LR-126), and the mailer I received about the Montana Supreme Court race. I also comment about a new Gallup Poll that asked about members of Congress.

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MT Senate 2014: Democrats Debate

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.  – Colin Powell

It was a great day on Saturday as The Western Word travel budget allowed me the opportunity to attend the candidate debate between Democrats U.S. Sen. John Walsh, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, and rancher Dirk Adams. The debate was held at the Benefis Hospital’s Cameron Auditorium, which is about four blocks from The Western Word world headquarters.

I counted around 100 people in the auditorium. The debate lasted a little over 90 minutes. Somebody brought cookies, which was a nice touch. People were friendly. The debate was sponsored by the Great Falls Tribune and Benefis Health System.

There were 10 questions asked (one of them was mine) dealing with issues from Obamacare to defense to the environment to gun control to politics. Ironically, nobody asked what the word “Benefis” means. Each candidate was able to give opening and closing remarks.

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MT Senate 2014: A Primary Debate for Some

Congratulations to the Great Falls (MT) Tribune for hosting a candidate debate between the Democrats running for U.S. Senate. Senator John Walsh, former Lt. Governor John Bohlinger, and rancher Dirk Adams have agreed to participate. I applaud them for taking part in the debate.

The debate is scheduled for Saturday May 3 at the Benefis East Campus Cameron Auditorium. It starts at 1:00 p.m.

On the other side of the aisle, it’s disappointing that two of the three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate either did not respond to the invitation or declined. Missoula state Rep. Champ Edmunds agreed to participate. The Tribune reported that Congressman Steve Daines “declined to participate” and newcomer Susan Cundiff “did not respond” to an invitation.

It was good to see that the Tribune allowed Edmunds a chance to respond to Daines’ declining to debate him.  Edmunds said:

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Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Medicare payments to doctors, John Walsh, unemployment, Montana State Fair, Champ Edmunds, Titanic, ESPN’s Bracket Challenge, stolen explosives, armed agents from the BLM and FBI, quality of education, Minuteman III missiles, Archie Andrews RIP, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tax Day, approval ratings for congress, election performance rankings, UConn women, seven astronauts, and much more!

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Campaign 2014: Here We Go!

It was fun to monitor the Montana Secretary of State’s website off and on yesterday to see who was running for office. Big thanks to all who are running for office and best of luck on June 3.

The primary field is basically set, although candidates filing for Independent or Minor Party candidates closes June 2. That’s after the candidate has obtained enough signatures on a petition to run for that office, which is absurd and should be changed. You can also run as a write-in candidate, but there are several hoops to jump through for that, too. You can find information for both methods HERE.

There were a few surprises. You can check out the candidate lists HERE. Here are my thoughts and observations (so far):

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Caught My Eye…

You did not think a little cold weather would keep me from writing another “Caught My Eye” did you? No way! I’ll give up writing “Caught My Eye” when you pry my cold, dead hands from the keyboard…

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick 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 just to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little.

Today I write about Nelson Mandela, Champ Edmunds & Steve Daines, GOP Tutoring, ObamaCare, Seven Percent, plus we have two winners who are Making Montana Proud!

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to your Friday favorite – “Caught My Eye!” Thank you for stopping by.

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick 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 just to make you smile – or maybe to irritate you just a little.

Today I write about Real Conservatives, ObamaCare, Impeachment, a Google Search, Preparing for the Race, plus there’s a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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MT Senate 2014: Daines’ Day

About 308 days ago Steve Daines was sworn in as Montana’s at-large U.S. House member. It is his first term, and he probably hasn’t found all the restrooms and places to hide from his staff in the U.S. Capitol – let alone build up any seniority to help his state.

According to several reports linked to GOP officials, Daines will announce he is running for Montana’s open U.S. Senate seat today in Bozeman. It’s been one of the worst-kept secrets in the history of Montana politics. Reporters can have their story written and fill in a few blanks – and then take the rest of the day enjoying the sights and sounds of beautiful Bozeman.

A poll conducted here at The Western Word asked “Will Republican U.S. Representative Steve Daines run for U.S. House, U.S. Senate, retire from politics, or run for some other office in 2014?”

71% of those participating said he would run for U.S. Senate and 29% said he would run for re-election in the U.S. House.

Although the Democrats’ top dog, Brian Schweitzer, decided against running (which if he had, it might have kept Daines out), Daines has several problems to overcome before moving on up to the senate.  Continue reading

Daines Disappoints Base

Friday I wrote about Montana Congressman Steve Daines voting to reopen the government saying, “Daines may suffer some blowback from his Tea Party base for not staying the course and fighting longer. Some may even call him a RINO (Republican In Name Only).”

It did not take long.

On Sunday, Dr. Ed Berry over at the PolyMontana Blog wrote an article with the headline “Montana Congressman Steve Daines voted for Obamacare” in which he asked several questions like, “Why did we elect him if not to stop Obamacare?” and “Does he think he has the Republican primary race for US Senate wrapped up?” and, “Who will run against Steve Daines for US Senate so we can elect a Senator who will not cave in to the Democrats?”

You can read Berry’s column HERE.

Daines has not indicated if he will run for re-election for Montana’s At-Large U.S. House seat that he currently holds, or if he will run for the open U.S. Senate seat. No matter which race he enters, with his vote to open the government (and for Obamacare) he created a big problem for himself. Daines is a rookie and he’s only held elective office since January, so some might forgive him for straying to the middle, but not the Tea Party.  Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Welcome to the first “Caught My Eye” of September! I’m glad you stopped by!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning right here! It’s where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week – and I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or maybe to irritate you just a little. So, get ready to head into your weekend armed with knowledge and a smile.

Today I write about Steve Daines, Cory Stapleton, Champ Edmunds, Obamacare and the GOP, Former Senator Melcher’s birthday, Beartooth NBC, the unemployment rate for August, Alyssa Milano and Syria, plus there are three winners who are Making Montana Proud, so read on!

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