Montana’s Sarah Palin

by jhwygirl

I’m over the maddening part…and at this point I actually find solace in the fact that I did not vote for him. I voted none of the above.

Bear with me…We’ve got 3 more years…it’s all I got.

Governor Brian Schweitzer really is a megalomaniac. That isn’t news, but his over-the-top demand for a pledge to coal has everyone I know cracking jokes that end with “well, maybe you can write Brian and pledge an oath to coal and it’ll all work out.”

The story itself is pretty hard to believe, frankly…but add the letter and you clearly have major delusion going on there.

Button Valley was first on it, calling it Political blackmail. The Editor also goes on to ponder whether ultimately, if what’s next is a pledge to cow dogs.

God only knows, right?

Matt’s calling it Jumping the Kingfisher. Jay’s got it pegged pretty accurately at extortion.

My personal editorial savior, The Indy’s George Ochenski sliced and diced it up as darned near thoroughly as you can, calling it “coercion” and here’s the basics:
1.) Only the legislature appropriates money.
2.) The $89,000,000 Otter Creek bonus payment is school trust money.
3.) By law, 95% of that must be put back into the school trust, and 5% of it goes towards schools.
4.) Directly equating Otter Creek money with road repair and the like exposes the state to lawsuit from any darn person in the public that doesn’t like the fact that school trust money is being used not only for roads, but also for political gain.

Of course, he goes through plenty of other relevant facts: The “645 money” (as local officials are calling it) was approved lawfullly and signed into law by Governor Brian Schweitzer. He could have line-item vetoed it. He didn’t.

Keep that in mind while he flies around the state in a plane that is pretty expensive to operate, heading down to Republican represented districts for what Montana Cowgirl touted the The Say Uncle Tour. I couldn’t even leave a comment on that post, I was speechless that even the most rabid of Schweitzer supporters wouldn’t stop to think of what they’d think if the tables were turned.

What is my favorite epithet? Hypocrite? And all to stroke an ego? At the state’s expense, nonetheless.

What else does Ochenski point out? This gem:

Public sentiment, if last week’s unscientific poll in the Helena Independent Record is any measure, runs 75 percent against the decision. And, of course, the impacts of global warming are eminently visible in western Montana, with an estimated 2 million acres of dead, beetle-killed trees.

This isn’t just lost on just the blogs – here’s a roundup, in no particular order:

The Bozeman Chronicle
The Missoulian
The Helena IR
The Helena IR (again)
The Flathead Beacon
The Flathead Beacon (again)

Update

Great Falls Tribune
Firedoglake
The New York Times
Triplepundit

I said he was dangerous – “This is not a monarchy,” were my words back in December when he was picking on leaning-conservative town Bozeman. Those loving the 30-second news cycle thought it was great…hell be damned to the laws and the constitutional issues.

Triangulation anyone? I’m starting to think that Governor Brian Schweitzer is Montana’s very own Sarah Palin…and not only that – I’m betting it’s exactly what he wants!

A few weeks ago – and supermontanareporter John S. Adams gets the goods here – Governor Brian Schweitzer’s office (story gets into a who-said-what realm) “rushed along” the retirement of a Dept. of Commerce employee that spoke out against Schweitzer withholding stimulus funds:

During a hearing at the Capitol, legislators questioned Kelly Casillas, acting administrator for the Department of Commerce’s Community Development Division, about why grants for some 50 projects aren’t being released to local communities.

“The state had to make the difficult decision to put them on hold pending the current fiscal situation,” Casillas told the panel….

Cole said earlier this week that the Schweitzer administration forced him to resign last Friday after the release of a list of local grants that had been frozen by the Schweitzer administration.

Schweitzer spokeswoman Sarah Elliott said the administration didn’t know about Cole’s early retirement until after it happened.

Makes you wonder what he’s gonna do with this guy.

Democrat leaders need to speak out. This is damage being done, and a bill will come due, and I’m not talking about stimulus cash. Thought Judy Martz was bad? Imagine what the product is going to be of this behavior. Of course – Schweitzer is termed, so this year’s election is of little concern. For him.

Ask yourself: Do you want a Republican governor running around doing the same thing Schweitzer’s doing? What if it becomes cuts to DPHHS? Education? I don’t like birth control pills under Medicaid? Let’s quit with all this fancy forestry stuff – clearcut! CHIP sucks and I never liked it anyways?

See where this has the potential to go?

So – considering that I didn’t vote for the guy, what do I regret? I regret that he was allowed and enabled to get to such a point that sending out written letters demanding adherence to his coal carbon Church of Brian are now part of the ordinary course of business for the guy who calls himself “Montana’s CEO”.

~~~~~
(I want to point out, as I know I was pretty rabid on Otter Creek and have been on coal and carbon issues – I’ve wanted to let this Otter Creek thing go. They’ll be other battles to save the Tongue – and frankly, it ain’t over. But gosh giddy god darn, The Brian sure is doing his best to keep the thing in the news.)

(I also continue to cast shame on State Auditor Monica Lindeen and Secretary of State Linda McCulloch. They basically produced this current episode that is part of what will be a scour on our state for decades to come.)

TGFGOAAH

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  1. Kevin

    Sarah Palin – that’s a stretch and a half.

  2. Big Swede

    The poll question. ““Do you agree with the Land Board’s decision to approve leasing 570 million tons of state-owned coal for development into a mine in southeastern Montana’s Otter Creek Valley for 15 centers per ton?”

    238 responses from Helena MT, yeah I call that unscientific.

    Not to mention the price, which means a responder voted no because of the perceived giveaway, but would approve with a higher price.

    How ’bout this question. Would you be for mining x amount of state land if the state gets a bazillion dollars over the lifetime of the mine? Or, would you approve mining these tracks if it kept the state from raising income and property taxes?

  3. problembear

    i always figured brian had a screw loose ever since i met him in ’89. and no matter how you come down on the coal thing, twisting arms always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.
    i don’t like arrogance – no matter who does it.

    saw a great bumper sticker today for those who take a short-cut when things get a little hard to deal with. maybe brian should read it too……….

    COWBOY UP OR GO SIT IN THE TRUCK.

    to me it means don’t back down from bullies. everybody in the state should slap brian down for this outrage.

  4. Kevin

    Seems like your just jealous because Montana Cowgirl is a better writer than you.

    • mateer

      unlike you. it’s “you’re,” not “your”

  5. Jose Soplar

    Wow! If you didn’t vote for Schweitzer, WHOM did you vote for? You’re hyperventilating again. Look, indignation is NOT a real good debating technique. This is a poorly written and embarrassing piece. As a lefty, I’m terribly embarrassed by such hyperbole.

    • OK -I get it -she wrote a piece and you’re embarrassed. What has being a lefty have to do with it? And if she by chance writes something smart, does your chest swell?

  6. Jose Soplar

    Sarah Palin = Schweitzer? Please, in your best logic, fill in the blanks to create a coherent argument. Schweitzer is not an environmentalist per se, but on many, many other issues, he’s right there with the left.

  7. Chuck

    I told you so.
    Schweitzer is a showboating hack. DEQ is a shambles and your environment is not being protected because your Guv is more interested in having the national media stroke his balls. Administration and Corrections are in horrible shape. The Department of Commerce just gave a 1 million dollar no payment ,no interest loan to a company that went banko in Canada. I have seen one state employee that collects his state pay and bennies but is so disinterested in doing his real job that he runs side jobs during business hours using his state email account.
    Montanan’s will find what a mess has been left once we have a new administration. This guy is yours and he is a fake.

  8. Jose Soplar

    Chuck, need I remind you that the DEQ is a Racicot creation? Remember “streamlining”? Racicot ran off all the good people long ago. And you’re blaming Schweitzer for that?

  9. Schweitzer has always been a coal guy. He’s also a sequesterer. It may be that you can have one and not the other, but why is anyone surprised?

    And you must understand the outlook from the viewpoint of the Democratic office holder: You cannot hurt yourself reaching out to the right and offending the left. In doing to you will hold on to the middle, and the left will have no place else to go.

    Isn’t that called triangul…. ah – never mind. It’s like wedge issues. It works, it works, it works.

  10. Jose Soplar

    Mark, I enjoy your comments, but there is actually one other possibility. And that is that Schweitzer truly sees coal production as a way to boost our state’s sagging economy. And let’s face it, it is. I don’t know about you, but I work with my hands for a living. And working man jobs are about done in this state. People have to eat, and a huge coal production effort would indeed provide much needed revenue to alleviate a whole lot of suffering for folks in the related industries. So, instead of triangulation, I’d call it staving off starvation. People have to eat. And people have to sacrifice. I personally would not want the governor’s awesome responsibility to balance these two issues, for I’ve been on both sides. I like to eat, and I like my wilderness. What to do? What to do? Schweitzer has decided what to do. That’s his job. I can’t say I agree, but I like to eat too.

    • Classic false choice. We can have a life without destroying wilderness. He’s just not willing to try.

      I like him – he’s bright and clever -smarter than everyone else in the room, which is why he’s governor. But that is not enough. He also has to know the right thing to do.

  11. Jose Soplar

    Oh that we could, amigo. Ojala que pudieramos!

  12. Mark t

    Morticia! That’ French!

  13. Lizard

    what j-girl and others are reacting to is the blatant, bizarre attempt to coerce support for his coal whoring by dangling much need funds to, what, get people working? is the gov really this childish and arrogant that he’s willing to withhold money that IS NOT HIS for political extortion?

    i have to say, i’m pretty surprised by this. i thought our gov had sharper political instincts. it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out.

  14. problembear

    whether you are for or against coal this type of behavior goes beyond the pale. truculence and ham-fisted aggression is hardly what you expect from the highest office in the state of montana…..

    louisiana or alaska maybe but not here.

  15. Jose Soplar

    I’ll tell you the problem I have here is that I read the headline, Montana’s Sarah Palin, and my immediate thought was that, oh goody, here comes a nice hit piece on Wendy Wharburton or someone like that. But no, it was a hit piece on the governor. Sorry, but that just doesn’t work for me and a whole lot of other Dems. Look, some of you folks need to spend some time down at the Union Halls around the state. Schweitzer represents those folks too you know. Bottom line is that the economic benefits of coal production canNOT be denied. And that is an extemely powerful argument to hungry folk all across the state. I don’t know about you all, but pretty much everyone I know is out of work right now.

    Do I like the fact that we are in this position? Hell no. As Mark suggests, I don’t think all the alternatives have been explored.

    • Hit piece on Brian Schweitzer? The theatrics!

      OK. You can’t seem to let this Sarah Palin thing go, and despite my shitty writing skills, I’ll try and accommodate your one request.

      Remember Sarah’s bridge to nowhere? The one she was for before she was against? Well, equate “bridge to nowhere” with “stimulus funds” and remember that Schweitzer signed into law that which he could have line-item vetoed. Now, perhaps, he regrets not exercising his veto? Denying lawfully appropriated stimulus funds is now somehow politically advantageous? Or so he thinks?

      Here’s the thing – and I was sincere when I wrote it above – this is probably, is some twisted way, exactly what he wants. He didn’t come down to Missoula and hand them a letter with his signature on it, in front of a roomful of people, demanding a pledge to coal, and not expect the media to pick up on it.

      One more thing: As I said, I’ve tried to stay away from this, but when just about every major news source in the state (and now even some national) covers the story at least once; when editorials are popping up in same said major news sources; and then even other lefty bloggers start pointing out the lunacy of this all (me? I’ve got a lot of weight on the legal issues here…plus the robbing from schoolkids. The coal pledge is just an insult.), then it’s pretty unfair to come over here and call what I wrote a hit piece.

      Did you say that about Jay’s? Or Matt’s? Or Button Valley’s?

  16. Not Kissing Brian's Ring

    Thanks for this. The Montana Governor IS as whack as any former western governor, perhaps worse. The analogy is a good one. Whack jobs know no single ideology.

    You write far better than “Montana Cowgirl” and the information and knowledge you have that informs your opinions is a Sears tower above that subterranean level. Kevin can’t get a simple contraction right.

    I note that several other liberal bloggers agree with at least some of your points, and the editorials have been unanimous in denouncing the Governor. You are not alone in your assessment.

    I don’t know how pissing off Ryegate and Missoula and Bozeman serves any purpose. Flying around at taxpayer expense to demand tribute.

    I do know how it is many elected officials now view the Bloviator. I think he’s done. He’s spent years talking about prescription drugs from Canada, and now we find it’s been just that, talk. He hasn’t even made the necessary applications. This was pointed out by a group of newspapers who previously gave the guy a pass on his every bullshit move. I think the shield has been removed and the worm of public opinion is turning.

    He denies a firehouse in Ryegate its legislatively appropriated funding, blaming his denial on their failure to fill out paperwork. What is he, the Flying Bureaucrat?

    He’s drunk with power, the Emperor of the North. Kudos to jh for pointing out his lack of attire.

  17. Free at Last! Free at Last!

    He decided to release the funds today, April 4th.

    So if you were a lawmaker, or Commissioner who grovelled to the Bloviator in abject obsequity, or a blogger or commenter who defended his outrageous demands, you could have waited and kept your honor and self respect.

    But I don’t think the Instigator recovers from this one. He’s exposed for all to see; the Flying Bully.

  1. 1 So Unviable That I Spit Coffee on My Computer Screen, Laughing « 4&20 blackbirds

    [...] was McCulloch when megalomaniac Schweitzer was out politically blackmailing county and city local governments, requesting a pledge [...]




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