Campaign 2014: One More Day!

The final push is here! Voters head to the polls on Tuesday and late Tuesday night we’ll start seeing the results. There will be tears of happiness and there will be tears of sorrow.

Thanks to all the candidates who ran for office in 2014.

You need to vote! If you are from Montana, click HERE to find out how. If you are from some other state, click HERE.

The Western Word (TWW) will have all hands on deck for election night. I will be up most of the night following the races and providing independent updates (and these updates will be posted mostly before anyone else).

So, here is what you need to do: You need to follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord for updates. If you don’t have Twitter, go to my website and follow the Twitter feed on the right side of the screen (Hit refresh every few minutes).

Finally, make sure to buckle your seatbelts Tuesday night around 8:00 p.m. Montana time.

On Tuesday night I’ll be paying attention to U.S. Senate races in Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.

Here in Montana there are some interesting races. Here are a few Montana races that will have my attention:

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Caught My Eye…

All aboard! Hahaha…

There are only 25 days until Election Day 2014!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” 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 – or maybe both.

Today I write about campaign mailers, Michele & Steve, distracted driving, midterm election turnout, my senate win/lose wish list, birthdays, plus we have winner who is making Montana proud!

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MT GOP: Three Problems

If you are a supporter of Democrats or a member of the Montana and/or the National Democratic Party, then you probably smiled and giggled all the way through the Montana Television Network’s (MTN) “Face the State” program, which was about the problems in the Montana Republican Party.

It aired last Sunday (June 2) morning, and if you missed it you can see it HERE.

If you are a moderate-leaning Republican or independent voter who watched the show, then you are probably shaking your head in disbelief.

I watched the program and I give MTN political reporter Marnee Banks a salute for getting so many GOP state legislators to air their dirty laundry on television.

After watching the program a couple times, I came to the conclusion that the Montana GOP has at least three problems. These problems are state Senators Art Wittich, Jason Priest, and Jeff Essmann. Continue reading

A Salute to the Five

My moderate heart was beating proudly yesterday while I was following the actions in the Montana Senate about Medicaid expansion.

Why? Five Republicans told the far-righties in the Montana Senate to take a long walk off a short pier.

It’s not that I am fully in favor of Medicaid expansion or fully against expansion – it was exciting to see that some of the GOP senators in this Montana Legislature are individual thinkers – that Reagan Republicans still have a heartbeat. I thought the Montana Reagan Republicans were probably dead and buried along a dirt road in a golden triangle wheat field (and they went the way of Joe Pesci in “Casino”).

But for at least one day and one vote there’s a heartbeat for moderates. There’s hope that the wackos on the far right are losing ground. Maybe a little less tea will be consumed in the coming months and they will act a little less cocky. Hope is a good thing.

So who are these brave men who have boldly gone where few have gone before? They are State Senators Llew Jones, Ed Buttrey, Jim Peterson, Bruce Tutvedt, and Taylor Brown.

Salute!  Continue reading

Monday Morning Politics

Welcome to the dreadful day we call Monday.  After watching a couple of great football games yesterday and knowing the big game is about two weeks away, today seems even more of a downer than most Mondays (probably not as much as in San Francisco and Baltimore, though).

But there’s good news – we are still above the grass!

Almost every Monday I compile some of the political stories from the past weekend and put them in one place for all to see – and also offer some personal commentary!

Today I take a look at the Gabby Giffords announcement, I comment about who is fighting for F-15s, I let veterans know about a problem, I reveal the contents of a special letter, I look at a really good-paying job, I let you know that Tuesday is Juneau day at the Capitol, I share my thoughts on South Carolina, and let you know that the State of the Union address is Tuesday!  There’s even more!!!

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Finding a Hero

It was nice to see that someone else believes those representing the Great Falls area in regard to the military were more or less surrendering to the decision to move the F-15 fighter mission from Montana to California.  I had previously written about Montana’s military in the column called, “We Need a Hero.”  You can read it HERE.

Montana State Senator Ed Buttrey lays it all out in an over 1100 word Guest Opinion that appeared in today’s Great Falls Tribune (not on-line as of my deadline) and recently in the Fairfield Sun Times (available online HERE).

Buttrey begins his Guest Opinion with: Continue reading

Citizens for Montana’s Military

There’s a new recently formed group fighting for Montana’s military called “Citizens for Montana’s Military.”

State Senator-elect Ed Buttrey provided KRTV in Great Falls a Position Brief On “The Business Case for F-15’s Staying in Montana” and it’s already in the hands of the decision makers in Washington, D.C. You can read the briefing and the story by clicking HERE.

Using Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates’ six point efficiency initiative, the group has clearly defined several reasons to keep the F-15s at the Montana Air National Guard.

It’s good to see the group, which by their name, is looking out for military missions across the state and just not in Central Montana. With Buttrey heading to the State Legislature in January, I hope he can compel his fellow state legislators and other interested parties from across of the state to join this group and maybe convince the state of Montana to create an office to deal exclusively with keeping and expanding Montana’s military missions – as I had mentioned in my columns about the Montana military called, “Ready to Fight?”

Several other states have such offices, such as California’s Office of Military and Aerospace Support. This office “acts as the official liaison to the U.S. Department of Defense and is the state’s leader on issues involving military base retention, conversion and reuse. OMAS is focused on maintaining California’s prominence both as a national military resource and contributor to the state’s economy.”

Montana is home to several Guard and Reserve units in many of the major cities as well as an active duty Air Force Base (Malmstrom) near Great Falls and an Air National Guard Wing at the Great Falls International Airport. The military touches communities across Montana – it’s good to see there’s a state-wide group being formed to lead the fight.

Montana Politics 2010: State House and Senate

Here we are about a month out from Election Day 2010. The absentee ballots are in the mail and the airwaves are full of campaign advertisements. It’s fun time!

So, it’s also time for The Western Word to make some endorsements for the 2010 Election. Today, I take a look at some Montana House and Senate races. Here’s the agenda:

Monday: State House and Senate

Tuesday: A few local races (Cascade County).

Wednesday: Statewide races and Public Service Commission.

In making these endorsements, I have trolled the net looking for information. I’ve visited campaign websites. I’ve checked Project Vote Smart for information. I’ve called and visited with people about candidates. I’ve also talked with some of the candidates. Some of them came to my door. Some found it was not a pleasant experience.

In some of these contests, I won’t get to cast a vote in because I live outside the voting area, but the candidate impressed me enough to give them a nod. With my readership increasing by leaps and bounds (September was an all-time high for visits to this website) I felt it was very important to let my faithful followers know which candidates I endorse.

For those candidates not listed as being endorsed, it means you probably did not impress me enough to deserve an endorsement or I just don’t care!

So without further delay, here are my recommendations for the 2010 Election Season (State Senate and House): Continue reading