Political Gossip, Satire, and Analysis from MT's Capital City "...an uncanny knack for sharp insider information..."--AP "...amazingly accurate inside info..."--Politico.com "...a viral sensation..."--Markos Moulitsas, Daily Kos "Among the best state-based political blogs in the nation."--Washington Post
This is what I call an online two timing double talking phony.
Congressman Daines’ hypocrisy reached his Facebook page yesterday when posted a staged Meals on Wheels photo op on Facebook to imply he supports the program. In reality, Daines voted to cut anti-hunger programs that would have left mostly children, seniors and veterans without food.
If you are looking for someone who epitomizes hypocrisy, look no further than TEA Party poster boy Steve Daines. Montana’s lone Congressman voted against the bill to restore funding for the Meals on Wheels program. It would have provided an added $41 million for elderly nutrition programs, including the Meals on Wheels. He also voted for the Paul Ryan budget that cut (non-defense) spending by $900 billion which hurt ”the ability of federally assisted programs such as Meals on Wheels to continue serving populations.”
But its not just cuts Daines’ has tried to pass. He supported an earlier TEA Party budget that would essentially eliminate the Meals on Wheels program by cutting grants that fund programs like Meals on Wheels. He voted to cut nearly $40 billion from anti-hunger programs that would have left low-income families – mostly children, seniors and veterans – without food. What a gem.
Unfortunately, a few reporters fell for his publicity stunt. Perhaps next time they’ll check his voting record before giving him thousands of dollars worth of free air time to pretend to support something he tried to eliminate. CBS got it right anyway (KECI, KPAX) http://youtu.be/RRK36E46-9M
ABCFox not so much. KAJ Kalispell perhaps did the worst job, implying that Daines was helping because of cuts to the budget without mentioning that it was Daines himself who made the cuts.
At 5p.m. today the deadline passed for anybody seeking office in 2014. And there was some action.
First, as the Flathead Memo reports, we have a new Republican candidate in the US Senate race, a woman named Susan Cundiff. As far as I can tell, she is the first Republican woman to run for U.S. Senate in MT. She also may be the first female Republican ever to run in a US Senate primary in Montana. I believe the first woman to run as Democrat for U.S. senate is Melinda Gohper. Cundiff works at the University and is currently a sales Associate for Victoria’s Secret. In case you’re not a frequenter of malls, this is a lingerie store.
You’ve come a long way, GOP.
Meanwhile, a man named Roger Root, a convicted felon and proud racist who authored a website entitled “The Respectable Racist: 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Black People,” also entered the Senate race today. With his resume, including overt, ugly racism, bordering on eugenics and a few felony convictions including some on gun charges, I expect him to be very successful in attracting many Tea Party votes, stealing them from Steve Daines.
Embattled TEA Party Sen. Jason Priest, who faces four criminal charges, did not file, so the senate seat he would have run in will have a GOP primary between two current house TEA Partiers. Local Republicans will have the pleasure of deciding between David Howard and Joanne Blyton. Howard is a man who has, somewhat obsessively, devoted his Facebook page to criticizing gay sex. So of course, the GOP picked to lead the Children and Families legislative committee last session. Howard will face off against Red Lodge Republican Joanne Blyton. Blyton is a birther who actually voted for Birther Bob’s birther bill. (You can see a pdf of HB 205, the birther bill, vote here.) Yes, that’s the same bill that later made the Montana Legislature famous on CNN.
Speaking of birthers, in Ravalli County there is a GOP primary in House District 85, between Theresa Manzella, a woman who likes birther videos on Youtube [screenshot], and Mike Jeffords of Victor.
Former judge Nels Swandal is actually running for the state legislature in Livingston’s SD 30 against Democratic candidate Mary Murphy–in spite of reports of alleged Judicial Code of Ethics violations which were reported in Montana papers across the stateduring the last election cycle. The allegations involve a fundraising letter sent out on ultra-conservative judicial candidate Laurie McKinnon’s behalf, paid for by Laurie McKinnon’s campaign, from Nels Swandal while he was a sitting judge, which the judicial code of ethics says is not permitted.
On Swandal’s political views, the Billings Gazettereported that Swandal said that questions posed by the Montana AFL-CIO to candidates “are among the most un-American ideas I’ve ever seen,” and that he wouldn’t seek endorsement of the Montana Conservation Voters “because of their assault on private property.”
And from Great Falls HD 21 there is Cleve Loney, the TEA Partier who most loves to dress in tricorn garb. Loney is running again after the voters of Great Falls booted him in the 2012 elections.
Many Republicans this election cycle are facing primary opponents– by the pro-business and jobs wing of the state party who are fed up with the economic harm and incompetence perpetrated on the state by crackpots who don’t understand how the economy works. The Lee Newspapers did an early write up of a few of these primaries a while back. There are several additional of this type who have filed since then. We’ll let the GOP figure out who they are.
A final note: I’m hearing that the Democrats have successfully fielded a candidate in every single state legislative district, both house and senate. That’s good news in what might otherwise be a tough year. Good work by the Montana Legislative Campaign Committee and kudos to all of the democratic candidates who stepped up to run. You can see the list here.
Remember to send your tips to The Cowgirl Blog at mntnacowgirl (@) gmail.com
As a source, your identity will be protected if you desire. You can also follow the blog on Twitter @TheMT_Cowgirl
As you all know, Montana Republicans are a nativist and xenophobic crew, who hurl “out-of-state” as a nasty insult and love to tout the number of generations back that their lineage has lived in Montana. Many a pale chest is thumped mightily as if these men had a role in choosing the location of their births.
So we should assume that the GOP power brokers are currently holding an emergency meeting in a smoke-filled room somewhere, urgently trying to decide how to handle a shocking development within the party: Continue reading →
Here we have a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), which he introduced in 2011. It was called the “Making Public Lands Public Access Act of 2011″ and uses funding from the Land and Water Conservation fund acquire lands around existing public lands that would also to improve access for hunters and anglers access to those existing public lands.
Here are the answers to the questions that the GOP is asking right now about the process for the senate appointment.
They are very easy.
First, the answer is yes, the process is very transparent. The governor is going to select from the group of people who are running for the Senate seat. If someone hasn’t already made the decision to campaign for it, then that’s probably not a person who should be appointed. A person must want to serve badly enough to make the long slog, shake hands, talk to the voters, and make the case.
TEA party congressman Steve Daines is the target of a new, yearlong campaign to expose the influence the TEA Party has over Members of Congress.
As on opening salvo, Americans United for Change will release an extensive report tomorrow that looks at the voting records of members of congress from swing districts entitled ‘TEA Stained’, which you, dear readers, can check out now here: www.TeaPartyScorecard.com
‘TEA Stained’ analyzes the 2013 voting records of 47 politically vulnerable House Republicans, including Montana’s sole representative in Congress, Daines, to find out just how gangrenous their TEA Party loyalty has become.
When they looked at all the votes nationally, Americans United for Change found that swing district Republicans vote with the TEA Party on average 81 percent of the time. Yet Daines went above and beyond the call of TEA Party duty, voting for their counterproductive garbage 88 percent of the time.
We’re talking about votes on issues of top priority to groups like Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks–votes to slash food assistance, to shut down the government, to block hurricane relief for Sandy victims, and to privatize Medicare.
Now that this is out there, its going to be a lot easier to explain to your sister-in-law that Steve Daines votes with the TEA Party 88% of the time. This startling fact is likely to become part of the national dialogue, especially with the help of paid ads/polling/grassroots activity from Montanans holding Daines accountable for putting a handful of ideological extremists, imbeciles, and exploitive out-of-state billionaires ahead of our economy and the middle class.
Daines and crew gutted help for the unemployed, obstructed efforts to raise the minimum wage, and standing in the way of comprehensive immigration reform. But given the mountain of national and in-district polling showing the percentage of people identifying themselves as TEA Party consistently falls in the high teens to low twenties at best, and that voters disapproval of the TEA Party consistently ranges from the high forties to near sixties, his votes are going to have some consequences. His approval rating will take a hot when people find out what this crackpot has been up to.
Anyway, this project got started in the wake of the two-week, TEA Party orchestrated government shutdown, Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse explained. Republicans realized at that point started to realize how unpopular the TEA Party’s crazy agenda really was, and they started trying to pretend they weren’t part of it. That’s become Daines’ specialty: remaining on the down low.
Says Woodhouse, “Voters deserve better. Whether they embrace the Tea Party ideology or despise it or fall anywhere in between, they have a right to know where their elected representatives fall on the TEA Party spectrum – not where they say they fall, but how they actually vote. That is what the TEA Party Scorecard provides. What it proves, unfortunately for non-extremists who are represented by Republicans, is that there is no longer a meaningful distinction between the Tea Party and the Republican Party in American politics today.”
It’s been another wacky year if TEA Party nutjob antics. From voting to keep prison sentences for being gay to a slew of racist remarks and terrible ideas, Montana elected officials, TEA Party activists, and candidates brought the crackpot craziness to mainstream politics in an embarrassing way.
Here’s a look back at some of the most outrageous comments, craziest conspiracy theories, and just plain bad ideas proposed by our witless leaders in 2013, Continue reading →
When the federal government was shuttered two months ago, a few states pooled together some dough to help their national parks stay open. They paid money to the US Department of the Interior, for daily operations of these parks.
Now Congress is debating whether to pay those states back. There is a bill moving forward that would reimburse them.
Understand the irony of this: he voted to shut down the government so as to (supposedly) save taxpayers some money, but he is now admitting that it was okay to simply take a loan out while the government was shut down, and pay it back once the government reopened.
It’s the classic case of somebody trying to be a Tea Partier, and then sheepishly attempting to crawl away from the Tea Party when nobody is looking.
Montana, by the way, correctly refused to spend money out of state coffers to keep Glacier and Yellowstone open. We had now way of knowing whether we’d ever see the money again, and Governor Bullock told Steve Daines and his gang of shutdown artists, very directly, that he was not going to ding state taxpayers for a mess that was of Daines’s own making.
This is the second time Daines has tried to have his cake and eat it. Recall that after voting to close down the government as a way to prevent Obamacare from going into law, Daines then voted, several weeks later when the state of Montana had lost jobs and economic growth, to reopen it. And he bragged about how he had “done the right thing.”
Steve Daines is a first rate jackass, and both John Bohlinger and John Walsh should not hesitate to inform the taxpayers about his reckless behavior and his shameful attempts to cover his tracks.