Political Quick Hits

Supreme Court Fundraising

Steve Bullock’s victory in the Western Traditions Partnership v. Montana case is an important reminder of how important the Supreme Court races are in Montana.  The latest campaign finance reports for Supreme Court show Elizabeth Best of Great Falls has raised an impressive $62,500 last quarter, with $59,000 cash on hand. Meanwhile, Ed Sheehy Jr of Missoula has raised $5,000 and has $6,500 in the bank.

Oddly Silent

I posted last week about the Big Win for Bullock in Clean Elections Case – and the mainstream media and blogosphere has been all over it.  When it comes to the resistance to Citizens United, Montana is now the front line of the battle and people are paying attention.

There have been big stories in the national papers: Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.  Denver radio host and former Montanan David Sirota had our Attorney General on his show.  The local editorial boards of the Great Falls TribuneHelena Independent RecordHavre Daily News and Billings Gazette have all weighed in, giving Bullock some love.  Even the editor of the Daily Inter Lake – who is to the right of the John Birch Society – had good things to say.

With the conservative groups that brought the lawsuit appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case going to be front and center this election year.

Which brings me to the question: why just crickets from the GOP candidates?  Not one of them (how many are there now?) will say one way or the other how they feel about the biggest decision to come out of the Montana Supreme Court in a really long time.

The likely reason is they’re caught between a rock and a hard place.  Regular Montanans – and Americans – want less corruption in their politics. But the special interests and the lobbyists don’t see it that way, and the candidates seem all too eager to pander for their donations.

It will be interesting to see what Rick Hill, Jeff Essmann, Corey Stapleton, Ken Miller, Neil Livingstone or any of the rest of these crazies say about where they stand.

Posted: January 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

38 thoughts on “Political Quick Hits

  1. Lewis Skolnik

    I wont hold my breath waiting for them to call Citizens United “activist” federal judges “legislating from the bench”, which is exactly what it was.

  2. Mark Tokarski

    Ditto Obama – [chirp]. He did voice displeasure with CU in the SOTU after it came down, pledging to help overturn it. Then, of course, since that time … [chirp]. Democrats are fairly well useless [in this matter].

        1. Ilikewoods

          Sen Bernie Sanders has been all over this CU decision, but lets face it it took this long before GOP backers decided to push on Cu because of all the negative reviews it got! But there are now two test cases against it! This Montana supreme court decision, and the Ninth circuit just came out with one also! http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/jan/08/ruling-bowl-plot-didnt-pose-threat/

          The Ninth circuit found that Corporations are not people when threatened only individuals are!

            1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

              Piss poor reasoning by TP. They got it wrong this time. They missed the entire point of our court’s ruling. The ruling IS legit. Now, let the corporate loving Pubbie appointed U.S. supremes handled the fallout. For you see, you just can’t rule by fiat! And that sucks for the mafia supremes. Fiat makes piss poor precedence.

  3. Paul S.

    We’re talking about the party that is trying to use the top of their ticket-romney-to pass off mass firings as job creation and economic development. Does anyone honestly expect them to do anything but hide from the WTP decision when WTP funds their campaigns and bought them a right wing state legislature?

    1. Moorcat

      The rage is – at this point – all over the map, Craig. The Dems (and many others) are upset at the Corporations (this is a tragic generalization but I digress). The Tea Party (and many others are raging against “The Guvmint” (again a tragic generalization). Sadly what the majority of people in the US are “raging about” tends to get lost in the shuffle.

      Yes, there are people that have issues with Unions – and those issues are as diverse as the people that have the issues. I would tend to agree that Unions (and their overpaid lobbiests) have too much political power today, but where we disagree is where the actual issue lies. I happen to think – in general – that unions are a necessary part of our society. They have given the average worker in the US many benefits (including the 40 hour work week, the end of child labor, and better working conditions) that we simply wouldn’t have without their existance. Sadly, as with anything else, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The issue lies with the rise of Corporate Political power management and a Union is just one more form of Corporation. Any time a small group of people are able to have an undue influence on our Politics, things will eventually go south. This is an axiam that has been proven time and time again.

      If you actually talk to the people that “rage” against the Corporations (assuming they aren’t complete wingnuts), you will find that most of them have the same issue with Corporations that they do with Unions – an abuse of the political power given to entities by our current system.

      Our Government is suppose to represent the actual people of the United States. Due to the abuse of Corporate (and yes, Union) political power, our Representative Government no longer represents “the people”. What is needed is some serious restructuring of our campaign finance laws and for the CU decision to be overturned. We may disagree with how that should be accomplished but even you have commented on the lack of representation for the average person in America.

    2. Mark Tokarski

      Union fund raising pales next to corporate, and the attacks on public unions will further harm them. False equivalency but you are right that all private bribes of candidates should be illegal.

      1. Moorcat

        As usual, you make statements that A) you don’t back up and B) you assume we will take at face value. A simple test here, Mark.

        A) how much money is raised annually by Unions in the US? Be sure to included all dues and contributions paid. This is important because Corporate Entities also have overhead that has to come out of their cash input.

        B) how much money is spent by corporations in the US annually on lobbying? Be sure to include the overhead paid for by corporations that directly tie to lobbying.

        Until you can answer those two questions, your statement above is only your opinion (and one I happen to disagree with) and until you can prove it, your assumption that my post was a “false equivalency” is just as suspect.

        1. Mark Tokarski

          You are at least as tedious as your brother, Chuck Norris. You are also playing one of his cards – set aside the issue and ANSWER MY QUESTION!

          Answer your own damned question.

          1. Moorcat

            So in lue of actually addressing my point, you call me names and claim that I am channeling my brother. It would never occur to you to actually consider the issue raised in my comment.

            Further, it is not my place to support your position. I did not make a statement as fact and expect the readers here to accept it – you did. I simply stated an opinion based on my experience and you challenged that opinion by making a statement of “fact” with nothing to back it up. The onus is on you, cupcake (I love when he does that…)

            The bottom line here is that you, once again, fail miserably to add anything to the discussion other than your ego guided attempts to “prove” you are smarter than everyone else.

            1. Mark Tokarski

              No, it’s your Kaileyishness, your overbearing ANSWER MY QUESTION douchiness. You must have some insight on this information, so give it up, jack. Why not do that rather than trying to make an errand boy out of me? Or … Isn’t that the objective?

              Kaileys. Jesus, Kaileys.

              1. Moorcat

                Once again, you assume you are the center of the universe, Mark. Let me clue you in on a very simple fact… I couldn’t care less what you think or what you assert in these comments because I realised a long time ago that you only comment to attack people – primarily my brother – and to use comments as your own personal soapbox to “prove” you are smarter than anyone else.

                If you want to make sweeping statements about how things really are (like you did with me), you will have to prove it. Since you are incapable of doing so, you show yourself to be the sad little pathetic moron we have all come to expect.

                Yes, I have some insight into the numbers (it is kind of my thing). That said, the numbers are pointless to me because my original opinion stands – anytime a group of people hold a disproportionate sway on politicians, the system is broken. It doesn’t matter to me whether corporations or Unions hold more sway. What matters to me is that they hold any sway at all. If you weren’t so busy trying to insult me and attack me like you do my brother, you would have realised this hours ago.

              2. Mark Tokarski

                Nah, it’s Kaileyishness. This idea hat you demand that someone go fetch information to prove you right is an authoritarian trait, the need to dominate. You guys are thugs, humorless and tedious.

                I started out liking your brother. I thought his work on Zombies was pretty good. You don’t know about the Monty episode, do you. It’s not a big deal in the big scheme, but was revealing of him, that he calculated and set a trap, not for fun, but to really harm someone. Proof that he is a sociopath? No. Just eviedence, as is his grandiosity and authoritarianism.

                Me? Center of the universe? My opinions differ from most, so it might appear that way. I just run in different circles, and interactions with parochial thinkers is is often strained, as they don’t get respect they have not earned. Like you.

                You made a painfully obvious point, that our system of private bribery is corrupt, and that a bribe is a bribe. Where you fail is in your flat assertions that there is equivalency in volume from union and private wealth, and that each leads to the same corruption. Unions merely offset corporate and private control of politicians to a degree, and bring in some balance, as unions tend to support common people, and usually are the biggest force behind social progress. So be a nice errand boy and go get your fricking data, since that is what you do, Kailey. And if you stop calling me a moron, I’ll stop calling you a Kailey.

                1. Ilikewoods

                  Obviously Mark does not no anything about U.S. Law regarding Proof! Neither do most Republicans! this is why most times when you lay these mysteriousness GOP brain farts at our feet, it is you that must proffer the best explanation… and you lose everytime Dude! Wise-up sometime soon please!

                  In Latin it is “semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit”. The best translation of which seems to be: “the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges.”

                  The presumption of innocence is always with the accused! that has been the American way since this country was founded! The problem is Mark you just cant make stuff up as you go along and accuse us of Halfbaked BS!

                  This is why you Bastards want to turn the Constitution to mush, with all you conspiracies stories about Democrats, and socialism! the problem is your Proof…. cause you don’t have any!

                2. Rob Kailey

                  No, Mark, you don’t run in any circles. You’ve written as much yourself. What you’ve done is read thoughtful and impressive people, absorbed those words into your delusions of yourself, and then vomit your misunderstandings at any and everyone else.

                  You quote a long dead guy who wrote of politics and power in the 15th century and actually believe to your bones that applies as dictum in the 21st century. There is an over-used cliche very popular among the right and most especially the thoughtless left:

                  “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

                  Guess what, Mark? That statement, like most of your BS, is speciously true and always false. Machiavelli was warning northern Italian warlords against the power of each other and the power of Papal Rome. See, Rome didn’t want any good Christian loaning money for profit. But they could borrow with impunity. Several Italian families took extreme exception to this, and a war ensued in which North Italy (the people Machiavelli was advising) kinda got their ass kicked. Fast forward 500 years, you have next to nothing of the same situation. We don’t settle our differences with pike, sword and cannon. We vote. There has been the rise of socialism as a doctrine and implementation. The world has gone technological, for stupid and smart alike. This is not Machiavelli’s world.

                  This is your world, Mark. You stop short of telling people about the Illuminati. You cynically (safely) suggest that no one understands you and this makes you comfortable, and somehow better. You attempt to turn a name into an insult. You launch an attack, and then blame it on your opponent, with the full expectation that people will believe your version of events. In other words, you are following Machiavelli’s playbook to the letter. YOU are the authoritarian, Mark. And few things amuse me more than that my brother and I, when we vote, will be choosing the future for you. You’ll still blame the Illuminati, I haven’t a doubt.

                  My brother is correct. You are a moron. Feel free to keep calling me a Kailey. That’s my name, and I have nothing here to be ashamed of.

                  1. Ilikewoods

                    So Mark is into Machiavellianism? Isn’t also a mental condition…. a term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to deceive and manipulate other people for their personal gain.
                    Some psychologists consider Machiavellianism to be essentially a subclinical form of psychopathy… right along with narcissism!

                    Jeez I think, that fits pretty close!

                    1. Rob Kailey

                      Nahhh. Mark is a closet Catholic. He’s big on this whole “middle ages” thingy. He’ll quote anyone and everyone who gets him a “dispensation”.

                3. Mark Tokarski

                  Geez, you are Kaileys through and through, boorish, pedantic, thuggish, one a sociopath, the other self-involved Tomsaynthe least. I didn’t read much of the above, as it had the whiff of a beer fart. Go be Kaileys,, enjoy Kaileyishness. You don’t know jack, K-Boys. And you’re boring!

                  Now, I’m watching reruns of 30 rock, and you guys are a real drag. GFY. Talk about buttons – you jackasses are covered with them.

                  1. Ilikewoods

                    Not a Kailey myself, but I am Irish…. enough to know a Bullspitter when I see them writing Bumpkiss stories… that need a burden of proof from something other then Fox and friends!

                    1. lisa o'conner

                      My two cents. When you encounter someone that you don’t “know” on the internet, or anonymous sources and do on, you have to consider the content. If their main tact is to attack other commenters rather than debate the point of the topic, then you know that their argument is weak. I wish this Mark would learn this. He harms his own credibility with his constant attacks. He’s not the only one that does it of course, but by and large most here get it and debate the merits rather than demean others.

                    2. Mark Tokarski

                      Reminds me of seeing a flag thrown in a football game for unnecessary roughness, and later the video shows it was the second hit, and not the first, that got the flag. Kaileys get away with murder on Democratic web sites because they are Democrats, or at least one professes to be, but they are crude boors and right wingers to boot.

                      If you don’t know Kailey and Kaileyism, hold your fire. These are not nice people.

                      Likewoods, I am probalby the most progressive guy who posts on this web site, which is why I don’t call myself a Democrat.

                    3. Moorcat

                      So Mark, I am confused now. Your delusional ramblings have gone so far around the bend that I am lost.

                      First you say that we are Democrats and get a pass because of it. Then you calls “boors” (a term I don’t think you have any clue as to it’s meaning), and then you say we are right-wingers.

                      So are Democrats right wingers in your delusional world. Is this one more of your conspiracy theories? (I really can’t keep track… you have so many). Do you honestly think you are the most progressive person on this site (what an ego…)?

                      A few sad facts to once again show how deluded you are. In Montana, you don’t have to register for a party. No one in Montana is “Democrat” or “Republican” unless they are actively serving in an office that requires you register one or the other, and politicians in Montana change affiliations with ease. Calling someone “Democrat” or “Republican” means little in any real context. Someone can self-identify with one of those labels, but it is illusionary.

                      Now had you used terms like Progressive, Conservative, Liberal etc, your aguement might have had some meaning. Even with the way those terms have been misused and warped in today’s political world, there is still an underlying meaning that remains fairly recognisable.

                      As far as “nice” is concerned, that is a matter of taste. We have certainly not been nice to you. You kind of bring it on yourself.

                    4. Mark Tokarski

                      That is so Kailey, splitting hairs to be right. A boor is a person with rude, clumsy manners and little refinement. The term, as you well know, referred to you and your brother, Chuck Norris. A Democrat, as your brother demonstrates, can be quite right wing, a “Reagan” democrat, and Obama supporter who backs him and his wars, assassinations and tax cuts for the wealthy because he is a Democrat and that is as far as they have thought it through. Your brother has been a jackass to many, many people. You are preachy as hell.

                      I am a social liberal, pro-legal abortion, pro-high marginal tax rates, pro-bank nationalization, anti-war (all wars, even the ones we are told are good wars). I hope Iran gets a bomb to keep peace in that region. I’d like to see Israel confined to its legal borders, and to end military aid to that regime. I’d like to end military aid to all dictatorships, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. I believe that Al Qaeda hardly exists, and is a hobgoblin used to frighten Americans into backing militarism. I believe in regulated trade, high tariffs to protect domestic industry, jail terms for employers who hie illegal immigrants, single payer health care, extending the Social Security tax to all income except retirement income. I beleive that Bradley Manning and Julian Assange ought to walk free and have their pictures on postage stamps.

                      Democrats, including you and your silly brother and everyone who writes this blog and comments here, may agree in principle on much of that, but in belonging to the Democratic Party, have folded the tent. Your party leadership openly works against these values.

                      There, and I’ve not even insulted you, jackass. I’ve just handed you your hat, a very polite gesture, and cleaned your clock, an act of generosity.

                    5. Moorcat

                      “There, and I’ve not even insulted you, jackass.”

                      The inherent idiocy of that statement simply astounds me.

                      As I rather plainly pointed out, your use of the term “Democrat” is meaningless in this state, yet you continue to use the term. For your information, the last time I had to register a party, it was Republican, not Democrat. I tend to be a moderate conservative (comes from having served in the military in the 70′s and 80′s), but many seem to consider me a progressive. Not sure if I have embraced that idea myself. Personally, I would rather see the conservative party pull their collective head out of their backside but it isn’t promising at this point – but I digress.

                      As far as “splitting hairs” goes, I have no idea what you are talking about (not an unusual situation for many).

                      In reference to you laundry list of beliefs, this is not the place to discuss them (this is cowgirl’s blog, not yours) except to say that if you honestly believe that Iran should have a nuclear weapon’s program, you are more insane than I thought you were.

                    6. Mark Tokarski

                      Good God, you Kailey’s! The jackass statement was meant to be contradictory. Jesus you’re dense!

                      And look at you telling me what you are without any regard to actual issues – oh yeah, I’m somewhat conservative, some think I’m progressive, no terms defined. I defined exactly what I believe. I did that you be clear about what the issues are, no matter the labels we apply to one another, and to show that Democrats do not fight for those values, and that the Democratic leadership openly works against them. Ergo, no point in being a Democrat.

                      Iran calls for a little bit of in-depth thinking. I’ll stop there, since I’m talking to Kailey.

  4. Dave Skinner

    The real issue is hidden agendas and timely disclosure of same. I personally have a problem with WTP et al not disclosing donors and therefore the interests of the fiscal support. It’s right up there with the multimillions of undisclosed funds supporting the “nonprofit” political machine.
    By the way, Sirota was never a Montanan any more than Jim Messina.

  5. Farmboy

    Again Cowgirl you bring up races that matter yet have not reached my radar, because so much attention has been on the Presidental race. With the exception of the governors race the state supreme court has not been on my radar this year. And it should be, but another thing you have to take into consideration is the fact that there will be a ballot initative to elect supreme court justices by district not statewide. And we have will also have other ballot initatives, Im curious how the personhood issue is doing? I wont sign their petition but thats just me.

  6. Lynn

    The Koch Brother’s APF has released their score card!!!
    http://americansforprosperity.org/011311-afp-releases-111th-congress-key-vote-scorecard

    Tester and Max got “D” for voting with the Koch’s 12% (Tester) and 8% (Max)

    but Denny Rehberg got an “A” for following orders 90% of the time.

    Which means he will get lots of Koch money

    http://thinkprogress.org/green/2012/01/11/402770/five-us-senators-are-perfect-koch-servants-americans-for-prosperity-reports/

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