Archive for November 5th, 2006

Missoula Justin thinks something stinks about the timing of Saddam Hussein’s sentencing.

David Crisp scrutinizes the Montana’s sole pro-Burns newspaper endorsement – from the Big Sky Business Journal – and discovers a whole lotta’ nothing there.

“Barney”: a 74-foot purple trailer used by Tester’s campaign for its get out the vote efforts.

The Daily InterLake suspects the election will be won or lost in the Flathead Valley.

Moorcat reports on the doings around Dillon in the waning days of the pre-election era.

Kossak mcjoan is on the ground with Jon Tester. See the man campaign. Campaign, Jon, campaign!

The New York Times’ latest take on the Senate race: the “Schweitzer effect.”

A clean sweep of the state’s major newspapers? Looks like! The Helena IR today gave the nod to Democratic challenger Jon Tester for the state’s disputed Senate seat:

A farmer who was active on his local school board and agricultural organizations, Tester ran for the state Legislature eight years ago and quickly became part of his party’s leadership, rising to president of the Montana Senate for the last session. Since announcing his run for U.S. Senate, he has shown he has a firm grasp and a common-sense take on the nation’s issues — and, refreshingly, that take isn’t dictated by the White House.

Much has been made of Burns’ seniority in the Senate, but that advantage would lessen considerably in the event that Democrats end up in control of one or both houses of Congress, a real possibility. Besides, seniority is an issue that can only be postponed, never put to rest. Presumably a fourth term would be Burns’ last, leaving his replacement to start at the bottom, perhaps without veteran Senator Max Baucus to help smooth the way.

And if the Democrats do re-take the Senate, Tester would be on the side with the power to get things done.


Tester is no panacea for what ails Congress. No individual is. But by working toward change, he can be part of a solution rather than a continuation of the status quo.

There you go. Editorial boards across the state agree: Tester is the right choice for Montana, the United States.

Posted by touchstone

Rasmussen released another poll for the Montana Senate race, and the results are encouraging: Tester at 50 percent, Burns at 48 percent. Based on Rasmussen trends, it looks like Tester’s support is holding steady at or above 50 percent, while Burns wobbles between 46 and 48 percent.

This is good news because, while Burns looks like he’s lured some of his conservative flock back into his camp from the undecided voters, Tester isn’t losing anybody.

With just 53 hours before polls close, it’ll take quite a lot for Burns to climb up that final two percent, especially with Democratic GOTV efforts in full swing.

And that’s important. According to some experienced Democratic activists down at Missoula HQ, they’ve never seen such an organized and energetic push as what’s happening this year. That is, all the volunteering you’re doing and all the money you’ve donated is actually playing out this weekend.

Posted by touchstone

Another endorsement for Tester in a Montana newspaper. This time in the Bozeman Chronicle. Naturally, like much of interest in that paper, the editorial is behind its firewall. (Why newspapers do this is beyond me. They don’t want the exposure?) But here are some juicy tidbits:

…Burns has given Democrats ample ammunition to use against him in this race. In recent years he has opted to do the White House bidding in the Senate, including unflinching support for the Iraq war and the Patriot act. He is accused of taking $150,000 in political donations from former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his associates. And his vocal outbursts against wild land firefighters, flight attendants, Arabs, African-Americans and even cab drivers-never seems to embarrass him as much as it does the rest of us.Conversly, Tester, 50, is one of a breed of commonsense populist politicans making gains on the Western political landscape. He is a Montana native who looks and acts like one. He is pro-gun rights, familiar with agricultural issues and approaches conservation issues with the state’s hunting and fishing traditions in mind….

Jon Tester deserves your vote.

Add that to the Gazette, Tribune, Independent, Montana Standard, and Outpost, and every paper that endorses has swung to Tester. Don’t expect anything from the Missoulian, though. They don’t do endorsements. Go figure.

In other media-related news, Missoula’s Dee McNamer has written a fantastic piece about the “small ‘r’ Republicans” who might decide this race:

Now [McNamer’s father] is almost 88 years old and, though he might disagree with me, I have the sense that his support for Mr. Tester is a way to say that he recognizes the challenger — a grandson of Montana homesteaders, a farmer who wants to fix some things in Washington — in a way that he doesn’t recognize the incumbent, Senator Burns, a former auctioneer who didn’t grow up in the state and appears to have a shady friend or two back at the Capitol.He doesn’t elaborate on his preference, though. He calls Mr. Burns “a coyote from Missouri,” and that’s pretty much all he has to say about it. But if Jon Tester wins this very close race, it will probably be safe to say that more than a few of my dad’s fellow Republicans decided they felt the same way.

Posted by touchstone

Some of you may have noticed that Left in the West isn’t up: fret not. It hasn’t been hijacked. It has to do with domain rights, etc. It is, of course, p*ss-poor timing for everyone. I expect you can find Shane’s posts at his old site, Wrong Dog.

Also, check out Lefty Blogs’ Montana page for a running log on the posts published in Montana’s left blogosphere.

In the meantime, I’ll try to keep you all posted on what’s going on in Montana. I’ll be posting all the way through Election Day, and I’ll be in Great Falls at Tester’s HQ to keep everyone appraised of what’s going on.

Matt should be up at a different address after the Election. I’ll be sure to let you know where when it happens. Don’t worry: we’re past the blogging phase of the election. Right now every able bodied person should be knocking on doors and hitting the phones. I’ve been doing both here in Missoula and turnout looks high and very pro-Tester.

Posted by touchstone

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