TWW Poll: Democrat U.S. House Primary (MT-AL)

Who will win the Montana At-Large U.S. House primary for the Democrats?

So far the candidates are:

John Heenan (

Grant Kier (

Lynda Moss (

Jared Pettinato (

Kathleen Williams (

If you do not see the poll, click on “More.”



Gianforte: Anger Management, Community Service, & No Jail

Monday was not a good day for Greg Gianforte, for Gallatin County Justice Court Judge Rick West, or for Montana.

Lee Newspapers reported that Gianforte was sentenced to 20 hours of anger management counseling and 40 hours of community service. He was given a deferred six-month jail sentence. If he does not violate the conditions of his sentence, the charge could be dismissed. Gianforte was also fined $385 and paid $4,600 in restitution.

This was for his conviction of misdemeanor assault for which he pleaded guilty.

It took a long time for the sentence to be handed out because Judge Rick West tried to give Gianforte four days in jail (with two of those being work days) but as was reported, someone pointed out that “work days” cannot be given in an assault case.

MTN New reported it like this:

West initially sentenced Gianforte to four days in jail and said he could offset the jail time through participating in a county work program.

But when the judge was informed by other court personnel that someone guilty of assault is ineligible for the work program, West decided to defer Gianforte’s entire six-month sentence and impose the community service and anger-management classes instead.

So Judge West had to recalculate. It was embarrassing. The audio was terrible listening to the proceedings on-line. The local press and the court were not ready for their 15 minutes of fame.


The Wednesday Read: Montana’s Special Election

Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. – John Kenneth Galbraith

Unless a great Libertarian candidate for Montana’s open At-Large House seat is nominated to run, the choice between Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte will be a tough one for this blogger. Maybe it will be a tough choice for you, too.

So heads-up to these candidates and their staffers – you have some selling to do in the next 79 days.

Here are some of my thoughts about the race between Rob Quist and Greg Gianforte.


The Wednesday Read: New Juneau Ad, Bumper Stickers, MT Gov Poll Results

None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves. – Charles Spurgeon

Today these items caught my attention:

  • New Juneau Ad
  • Bumper Sticker Mania
  • MT Gov Debate Poll Results


Monday’s Quick Hits

Failure is success if we learn from it. – Malcolm Forbes

Welcome to Monday – the last Monday of August!

Today I take a look at:

  • Colin Kaepernick
  • Juneau vs. Zinke
  • Lit Drop Saturday
  • Florida Primary
  • Trump & Immigration


Caught My Eye…

There are only FOUR days until Election Day 2014!

By the way, that is a really scary mask you have on today – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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 election night coverage, Walsh & Plagiarism & NRSC, Absentee Ballots, Daines & fundraising, Ryan Zinke’s records, Student’s Mock Election, Battle for the U.S. Senate, plus I have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!


MT House 2014: Records Check

The long wait in Montana is over – according to Lee Newspapers Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke released “all of his Navy personnel evaluations” yesterday.

I won’t go as far as say “all” but there are quite a few.

Here at The Western Word I received a press release from the Zinke campaign with a link to the records last night at 9:17 p.m., which was over an hour after Lee Newspapers and over 30 minutes after the Associated Press had published their stories.

It’s a typical tactic from politicians and their communications people to try to generate the friendliest stories first to set the mood or to drive the story. The information is released to the ‘friendly” reporters or to the reporters who have no idea about the subject first. Sadly, my Beagle probably has about the same amount of military experience as most reporters covering military/veterans issues in Montana.

I’ve glanced through the documents I received and the following caught my attention. This is from a November 1, 1998 to June 15, 1999 report:


Published in: on October 28, 2014 at 7:36 am  Comments Off on MT House 2014: Records Check  
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MT House 2014: I Love Guns More Than You Do!

The Ryan Zinke campaign released a new 30-second ad yesterday called “Shoot.”

As you can imagine, this ad is about guns. Gun rights are important to many Montanans.

The ad begins with, “Ryan Zinke was a Navy Seal.” (I think I have heard this somewhere before), and then adds, “He appreciates firearms – a Montana tradition.” The voice in the ad then says “John Lewis took money from pro-gun-control advocates, let them campaign for him.”

The voice in the ad then states: “Ryan Zinke is Montana. John Lewis is a Washington insider who will join team Pelosi and fight to keep Obamacare.”

I did get a good chuckle or two from the ad. I was a little disappointed that the ad did not have Ryan Zinke saying something like, “As a Navy Seal I once shot the legs off a fly from 500 yards away.”


Published in: on October 8, 2014 at 7:39 am  Comments (1)  
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MT House 2014: All Hands on Deck

Besides putting together the Special Nominating Convention” to find a U.S. Senate candidate to run against Republican Steve Daines and Libertarian Roger Roots, the Montana Democrats continue to go after Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke about his military service.

It’s all hands on deck as the Democrats have probably surmised that they will lose the Senate seat and defeating Zinke is their best bet. Now a few Montana blogs are chiming in about Zinke and his military service.

They are starting to look a little desperate.


MT House 2014: Thank you for your service, but…

I’ve written several times this campaign season that I don’t like it when people criticize a veteran’s military record – be it Republican or Democrat or whatever party. It especially annoys me when those doing the attacking did not serve. Considering how many e-mails I received about it, there are several fellow veterans who feel the same way.

It shows a total lack of respect for the veteran.

I believe we need more veterans elected to office from the White House all the way down to the city commission – and it does not matter that much to me if they are a Democrat, or a Republican. The mess we currently have in the Veterans Administration might have been avoided if more elected officials were veterans, which would enable them to provide better oversight.

On Friday afternoon I received a press release from the Montana Democrats with the title, “Using Taxpayer Dollars for Personal Travel? Ryan Zinke Faces Questions about His Ethics and Transparency.”