Afternoon Extra: Montana Governor 2016

If an outsider looked at the Montana gubernatorial race, they would probably think that there’s no way that incumbent Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat, can win re-election. But after examining his opponent, Republican Greg Gianforte, they could probably see why this race is competitive.

The Montana Governor’s race somewhat mirrors the presidential race: One side is tarnished in possible scandals and the other side basically turns people off.

It’s hard to get away from Gianforte – he’s on our TVs, radios, and on our computers.

Here are my very independent thoughts about Steve Bullock and Greg Gianforte with two weeks left before Election Day 2016. Enjoy.

Continue reading

MT Governor 2016: The First Debate

I watched the first gubernatorial debate between Governor Steve Bullock and Republican Bozeman businessman Greg Gianforte. The debate was sponsored by the Montana Broadcasters Association and held in Big Sky.

The Associated Press reported that Gianforte was collected and composed. Bullock was assertive and confident. I would agree with that. It was also boring.

Here are my thoughts about the people asking the questions, my key issues for Gianforte and Bullock, the best response during the debate, the refugee question, the propaganda machines, the question I want to be answered, TWW poll results, and my winner.

Continue reading

Wednesday’s Quick Hits

The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it. – P. J. O’Rourke

Welcome to Wednesday! Here are some “Wednesday Quick Hits” about these important issues:

  • Gianforte Part Two
  • Cellphone Ordinance
  • Gambling-Addicted States
  • Tom Brady
  • Primary Night Analysis

Continue reading

Wednesday’s Political Odds & Ends

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. – Thomas Jefferson

Welcome to Wednesday – also known as “Hump Day” or “Wine Wednesday” or whatever works to help you make it to the weekend!

Today is another one of those days in which there are several major political stories out there that I want to comment about – so it’s another “Political Odds & Ends” day!

Today’s topics include:

  • “Bold” Analysis of the Gianforte Ad
  • MT Dems – Equal Pay Day
  • Ryan – “Count me out”
  • Trump Complains
  • Cruz – Natural Born Citizen

Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. – Lyndon B. Johnson

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re new around here, “Thursday Numbers” is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and sometimes I am actually serious.

This week’s topics include Greg Gianforte, unemployment, .Gov .Mil & AshleyMadison.com, Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over, DoD funding, Jared Fogle & Subway, traffic deaths, Josh Duggar, and much more!

Continue reading

MT Gov 2016: Attack…Attack…

Just as most people believed, Republican Greg Gianforte is inching closer to running for Montana Governor.

Gianforte has not officially announced anything, but the Associated Press reported that he filed a candidate statement on Monday with the Commissioner of Political Practices for an exploratory campaign. It is not a declaration of candidacy, but the filing will allow Gianforte to start raising money.

Gianforte filing paperwork made me wonder about two things. First, I wonder if his children will donate to his campaign. Second, for someone as rich as Gianforte, I wonder if being the Governor of Montana would be a lot like having a minimum wage job.

Overall I did not see that much excitement about this step for Gianforte, but the Montana Democrats seem to be very worried about him becoming a candidate. Very worried.

Continue reading

MT Politics 2016: Greg vs. Steve?

That title sounds like two all-American guys battling it out – and it may happen!

The National Journal recently reported that Republican businessman Greg Gianforte is laying the groundwork to challenge Democratic Governor Steve Bullock in 2016. If you follow me on Twitter (@TheWesternWord), you would have been one of the first to see the approximately one-thousand-word story.

If the “Greg vs. Steve” contest happens, National Journal contends that Gianforte may be the “wealthiest candidate in Montana history.”

While I don’t know if the “wealthiest candidate” part is true or not, if the reporting from National Journal is to be believed Gianforte may just be the most conservative candidate Montana has seen in a long time. Gianforte may even be the extreme version of Steve Daines.

With the help of blogs and stories like the one in National Review, Gianforte’s views are getting better known across the state, so he may need to personally spend millions of dollars just to keep the needle off the extreme side of the dial.

What worries the Montana Democrats and Bullock is that Gianforte has the wealth to spend in order to move that dial while relentlessly attacking Bullock.

If this contest happens, it will be fun to watch.

Continue reading

Barry Beach: A Light…

It looks like convicted murderer Barry Beach has at least two more chances to be freed from prison. Beach is serving a 100-year prison sentence for the 1979 murder of Kimberly Nees near Poplar, Montana.

Beach’s case came to light back in 2008 when a show on Dateline NBC called “The Killing at Poplar River” aired. Beach contends he was coerced into a confession. His case has bounced around the justice system in Montana, and for about 18 months he was even freed from prison.

He has an appeal pending before the Montana Supreme Court. Just this week a bill was signed by the Montana governor that, according to the Associated Press, will allow the governor to grant clemency to prisoners even if the state parole board recommends against it. The governor can also waive fines, lessen a sentence, or issue a pardon.

The law takes effect Oct. 1, 2015.

I’ve probably written about Barry Beach more than most. It all started back in April 2008, and this will be the 30th column in which I mention Beach. You can read them all by going to “categories” on the right side of the screen and selecting “Barry Beach” from the dropdown menu.

Continue reading