Takes On A Plane

Recently, the Billings Gazette broke the news that the Governor had been criticized. Groundbreaking stuff. It seems there is a second political party; one to which Governor Steve Bullock does not belong, which is scrambling to find chinks in the armor of the very popular leader of the State. I know what you’re thinking, but no, it’s actually not the Gazette staff.  It’s the Republican Party of Montana.

I am personally not a member, but I have a lot of friends who are. There happen to be a lot of them in Montana and, for the most part, they are every bit the fair-minded, ethical, hard working stock as are Montana’s Democrats.

This is why I found it a little disconcerting, while reading about Republican allegations of misuse of the state airplane, that I had to wade through 18 full paragraphs before seeing this one about the 2015 legislature’s Joint General Government subcommittee:

“The subcommittee cut funding for the Beechcraft King Air plane and the pilot’s salary on a partisan vote. After looking at the governor’s flight records, as well as the program’s costs dating back to fiscal year 2010, lawmakers restored funding for the plane. They reasoned the plane was necessary for long trips.”

Apparently, Lee Newspapers had some column inches to fill. Why else regurgitate one party’s talking points about an issue which was not only revealed to be partisan hackery; but previously de-bunked partisan hackery, which was sheepishly undone?

Perhaps it is because the Republican party’s local standard bearer shares the shortcomings of his national counterparts in that they have no idea how to effectively govern. While Donald Trump tools around in his private plane, sowing discontent and inciting violence, Greg Gianforte uses his private jet in a desperate scramble to have somebody create for him some type of platform that might conceal his agenda.

Perhaps not. Either way, Montanans’ time is valuable. Maybe the Billings Gazette could empathize and debunk its own stories a little earlier within them.


7 Comments on "Takes On A Plane"

  1. How about ‘AWOL’ Raciot? Didn’t he have a plane or did he get around by donkey cart? Shall we have our Governor ‘walk’ to our funerals for Montana warriors?

  2. Montana governors have flown in small planes for quite a while. Remember Governor Nutter who died in a airplane crash and launched Babcock into the governor’s office.

    Since the Governors are not always flying around the state, the governor’s plane was available for use by other state officials. I once arranged for a group of four DEQ and DNRC employees to fly from Helena to Culbertson. To get authorization, I had to calculate the savings to the state and it was significant. We also got to see the water ways in the middle of the state as we never could have from the roads.

    I’m glad the governor has a new model plane. The one Schwitzer flew in was obviously near the end of its usefulness. After the Culbertson meeting, I had no desire to push my luck by scheduling the plane again.

  3. To begin with, the Billings Gazette is not a newspaper. It is the advertising arm of the republican party that has for “reporters” a bunch of plagiarizing hacks that could not spell Montana unless it was spell checked by their computer. It used to be a newspaper that you could read for the accuracy in the reporting of the news of the day. What we get now are articles that are chopped off mid sentence and replaced by an automobile ad or a new medical procedure touting the benefits of the latest drug being sold on the internet. Most of the news could be put on a single page pull out with yesterdays comics, sometimes in duplicate, on the reverse side. Makes me want the old days of working typesetters who would correct mistakes before they got into print.
    Most of Lee Enterprises newspapers are best left in the old outhouse where it will be put to good use.

  4. robert petersen | March 15, 2016 8:44 PM at 8:44 PM |

    They are indeed really sad. Nate must be spinning in his grave. Where are those “liberal” millionaires? Why don’t they buy at least ONE newspaper in the state so normal citizens have something worth reading? And maybe a progressive talk radio station? I know there’s a market but our only attempt replaced progressive talk with yet more “conservative?” programming with negative Arbitron scores. I’m not asking for The Rolling Stone-just reporters willing to ask tough questions and keep asking them until they get clear answers. And actually state the facts when Politicians get them wrong. I always thought that was a journalists job but I guess I was mistaken-seems the “job” is to make the politico look good!

  5. For an insight (?) into the editorial policy of the Billings Gazoo, just read today’s editorial concerning transparency in the Bullock Administration and the friggin airplane. The Gazoo and Lee Enterprises ought to try a bit of transparency on their own newspapers. How about telling us where you outsourced the newspaper jobs that used to be in Montana? Or maybe try to tell us that your reporting of the news is not controlled by your advertisers?

  6. Old Line Democrat | March 16, 2016 12:30 PM at 12:30 PM |

    What is more interesting is that the Requests for Public Information concerning the Governor’s air travel came from the Koch funded America Rising group out of D.C. The Montana GOP is just blindly following the Koch’s playbook. They’re trying to gin up some sort of controversy and the Lee newspapers are all in aiding and abetting. They don’t even have to hold their noses when they do their master’s bidding, they can’t look past their next ever-dwindling paycheck.

  7. Well it seems that my definition of the words
    ‘businesman and entrepeneur’. are a bit different. To me it usually means hiding or lying. And San Diego is a beautiful city, but there is no accreditation from that. Also couldnt find a ‘date’ of which his family transplanted here to Montana. From what I have read about Mr. Gianforte and his agenda might consider going back to the San Diego or somewhere close. Thank You

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