Posted: September 21, 2014 at 8:48 am by Cowgirl

Posted: September 19, 2014 at 7:49 am by Cowgirl

Political Quick Hits

Shame on Skyview

Skyview High School is targeting young women with a new dress code – a ban on yoga pants and leggings.  Young men are not prohibited from wearing workout pants to school–it is only young women. Shame on Skyview for doing so–and kudos to the young women and men fighting this policy.

Students have put up an online petition drive to change the policy, led by Ms. Dayah Dover. What say you readers – how about some solidarity with our young sisters at Skyview.  Let’s give the school board a reality check from the adult perspective too.  You can sign here in support of these young women. 

As Ms. Raegan Bunting wrote on the online petition drive site:

I agree with [the petition to fight the dress code] because while tights are not pants, leggings, jeggings and yoga pants are. This change in dress code is sexualizing girls’ bodies by the mere fact that it was created because it is assumed that males are distracted by girls that wear leggings. But there is a difference between pants being tight because they are the wrong size, or pants being tight because that is simply the style of the clothing. Other articles of clothing that are tight include pencil skirts and certain dresses that. And if one argues that leggings and yoga pants should not be worn in schools due to their lack of professionalism, then schools should also ban other unprofessional articles of clothing such as sweat pants, skinny jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and anything else that would not be considered appropriate for a “professional environment.”

The school board also seems to be suggesting that the none of the gentlemen at Skyview have any self control over themselves, which I think is also untrue. Mostly from what I noticed during my time at Skyview is that none of the boys in my class could not concentrate on the lesson because Sally chose to wear jeggings that day.

I believe that the school board is wrong in making their decision to ban leggings. It is sexist towards women and men, in the sense that women should not be allowed to show their completely covered figure, and that men have no self control over their bodies. I hope that Skyview reconsiders their choice.

War Between the Factions

The bitter battle between TEA Party and moderate Republicans rages on.  Today, Cowgirl tipsters are reporting that Cascade County Republican Party has ousted their own Chair, Rep. Roger Hagen (R-Cascade County.)  At the time of this posting there is no word on who will replace Hagen as CCRCC leader.   Rep.  Hagan is a moderate Republican who had ran for re-election but  was defeated by Tea Party fanatic Randy Pinnoci last June. 

What Do Happy Plumbers Know?

This video is making the rounds on Youtube and Facebook. Take a look.

Posted: September 18, 2014 at 8:14 am by Cowgirl

Supreme Court Candidate Used State Position to Pursue Rightwing Activist Agenda

A very interesting development in the race for the Montana Supreme Court today.

The Great Falls Tribune has uncovered through a public records request that TEA Party candidate Lawrence VanDyke has spent his time on the public payroll chasing down rightwing cases in other states and filing briefs to support the rightwing causes in those states. Presumably he must believe that this  helps raise his profile with right-wingers in advance of his Supreme Court run.

Indeed, the public records were uncovered hot on the heels of a campaign ad VanDyke posted on his website in which he claims he will “apply the law as written” and attempts to paint himself as above political partisanship. VanDyke has apparently balked at his responsibilities as Montana’s solicitor general and instead pursued an activist agenda in other states in cases to block equality for LBGT citizens, eliminate the right to privacy for women, and repeal gun safety laws passed in other states.

But VanDyke did more than just spend your tax dollars chasing rightwing lawsuits in other states. He emailed photos of himself to one  out-of-state attorney working on the right wing cases.  He sent Andrew Brasher, the solicitor general of Alabama, a picture of himself that read: “semi-auto firearms are fun to hunt elk with, as the attached picture attests.”  

Apparently, he then solicited campaign contributions from at least one lawyer working on these cases as well.  As I reported here earlier, this same Andrew Brasher, the solicitor general of Alabama, took time out from trying to shut down women’s health clinics in Alabama, to write VanDyke a $320.00 check.

One wonders what conversations took place between VanDyke calling to say “hey I’d love to help you with your right wing cause in Alabama” and the Alabama attorney saying “hey I’d love to send you a check for your Supreme Court race.”

So VanDyke is not as he presents himself, and Montanans should be very wary of electing him to the Supreme Court.

You can read the whole article on the Great Falls Tribune website here or download a PDF of the article here. 

Posted: September 18, 2014 at 7:33 am by Carla Augustad

GUEST POST: Pay Attention Get Involved Make A Difference

by Carla Augustad

Because Amanda Curtis is our new Democratic Senate Candidate, everyone should have easy access to her youtube videos   I do like this one about her mail from “non partisan non taxed entities” If you have ever run for office, you know about getting lots of “educational material” from those non profits like AIPAC and the Heartland Institute

At Day 86 you can learn that House Bill 282 raised taxes for most Montanan’s while lowering them for the wealthiest amongst us(4:15),at five minutes in, you can learn about Mark Blasdel adding four pages of amendments to a 14 line Bill.

Three minutes in to day 85 Amanda destroys the heavily publicized claim that the Republicans were unable to bring tax relief to Montanan’s, and the first two and a half minutes of Day 83 describes what happened to the last Insurance Bill

You may be starting to believe that I have no intention of letting the Insurance Issue go. I know too many people that need affordable access to preventative healthcare and cannot get it.

If you care about this, the way that I do, please get behind your local candidates, but ask them what they will do first! For instance, Kim Flemming in House District 11 will not support any Medicaid expansion. The two people MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR DENYING 70,000 working Montanan’s access to affordable healthcare are Mark Blasdel and David Howard.

Please support Diane Taylor and Elli Elliot in their work to send those darkmoneylovers home to their families where they belong.

Elli made it easy to share how you can contribute to her, so her information is below.

Checks to: Elli for SD 29

P. O. Box 2326

Red Lodge, MT 59068

The donation limit is $170 per individual. Please include your occupation and employer for reporting purposes.
On ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/elli4mtsd29

THANKS!!!

Posted: September 17, 2014 at 7:14 am by Cowgirl

The TEA Party Revolving Door is in Full Swing in Montana

man-leaving-revolving-doorWhen top campaign staff and senior congressional staffers swing in and out of the TEA Party front groups working to influence elections and congressional votes, so do inside information, strategic decisions, money and special access for the TEA Party.

Some call it a form of corruption.  Whatever you call it, the revolving door often leads to TEA Partiers and members of congress working in their own self-interest, rather than that of the people of Montana.

Here are three recent developments you need to be aware of related to the TEA Party’s revolving door in Montana.

First, the Billings Gazette has reported that Zacharay Lahn has switched from his position as Steve Daines’ State director to being the state director for Americans for Prosperity, which is bankrolled by the Koch brothers, as has been often reported.

Lahn, who was also Steve Daines’ campaign manager in 2012, replaces TEA Party state senator Joe Balyeat in the position.  Balyeat was demoted to State Policy Director for Americans for Prosperity.

Meanwhile over at the Montana Policy Institute, which had gone dark after losing some major funding sources, a man named Brent Mead was hired as director to fire the right-wing “think” tank back up again.  Mead swings in from his former position as policy director for the Montana Growth network, as is noted on the also-Koch brother’s funded Americans for Tax Reform’s website.

The Montana Growth Network, as you will recall, is embattled state Sen. Jason Priest’s group which funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaigns to buy a supreme court seat for TEA Partier Laurie McKinnon. The group was also revealed to be behind a barrage attack mailers poured into moderate GOP legislative districts to stop the moderates from supporting the Medicaid expansion. Most recently, some of the group’s board members tried to distance themselves from that organization after it was revealed that 70% of the Montana Growth Networks funds came from only five people.  The Montana Policy Network also has ties to ALEC and is also funded by the Kochs.

The third interesting development is that the former head of American Majority in Montana is now working for the Ryan Zinke campaign.  American Majority in Montana is the state chapter of national TEA party group out of Virginia called American Majority.    As the Bozeman Chronicle reported, American Majority gets 70% of its funding from a Koch brother’s funded group.

Jeremy Carpenter was the group’s leader.  He said publicly that the group’s goal is to build up the TEA Party base by teaching people how to be candidates and put tea partiers in offices up and down the ballot from school board to statewide and federal races–doing field work for the TEA Party. Now he’s working for the Zinke campaign as a field director.

All of these groups will be working to influence elections in Montana, and perhaps most frighteningly legislative campaigns. Whether through get out the vote efforts, thinly disguised “issue ads”–attack mailers that read “tell said democrat that kids and puppies don’t deserve to be murdered” mailed out right before ballots, and by organizing right-wing campus groups to train volunteers for campaigns.

 

Posted: September 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm by Cowgirl

Posted: September 15, 2014 at 7:08 am by Cowgirl

Steve Daines and the Environmental Boogeyman

Steve Daines is an embarrassment.

Steve Daines is an embarrassment. He’s bad for the state.

Steve Daines has a new radio ad on the air, in which Daines portrays himself as the protector of the timber industry, keeping timber mills and loggers safe from “fringe environmentalists” and “extreme environmental groups.”  A narrator also describes Daines as “ranked as one of the most effective congressmen” although she doesn’t cite any study or group that made this dubious determination.

 Listen to this idiotic advertisement, or read the transcript, here.

Daines has simply dusted off a twenty-year-old playbook for these ads:  Environmentalists are shutting down the state and costing us jobs, and we must fight against their lawsuits and the federal regulations that they have persuaded Obama to enact.  Montanans could all be rich from natural resource development if the environmentalists would simply get out of the way.

There’s one problem with the radio ad: In the sixty seconds of narration and sound bites from Daines, timber owners and loggers, nobody cites a single item, a single tangible thing, that environmentalists have recently done to effect the loss of jobs or the decline of the timber industry.  The script is simply Daines and his supporters talking about how he has “stood up” to “environmental radicals.”

Now, if the discussion were about coal or fossil fuels, Daines could at least claim credit for voting against, or opposing publicly, whatever is currently being advocated for in DC by the environmental community, such as EPA regulations, carbon limits, and so and and so forth.  Those are not radical ideas or proposals, but they at least are real.

Daines has instead decided to create a nebulous boogeyman, “the fringe environmentalists,” and claim himself as working hard to vanquish it insofar as it is trying to destroy the timber industry.

There is a reason that Daines can’t point to anything to substantiate his claim, not a single timber sale that has been blocked or federal law that has Obama has signed that have negatively affected the timber business: because there really aren’t any.  The cold fact is that the timber industry–in fact the entire wood products industry–in Montana has been devastated in recent years by one thing, and one thing only: the bursting of the housing bubble.  The market for the product crashed, and has not returned nearly to where it was.

But that doesn’t really matter now, because Daines has discovered, likely through polling and other market research, that if you tell persuadable voters that timber jobs have been lost due to the activities of “fringe environmentalists,” they are ignorant and misinformed enough to believe it.  Which is enough for Daines.  That’s Steve Daines’s brand of leadership.  Enjoy it.