#!*@ Democrats and other political tidbits

by Pete Talbot

I’m pissed

Anybody else out there NOT get tickets to Clinton and Obama in Butte? I went online at 9 a.m. this morning with two laptops and never did get through. I had better luck scoring tickets to the Rolling Stones when they played Missoula.

I missed my chance to get tickets to the Mansfield-Metcalf dinner when I learned last month that the event had already sold out. (Note to Democratic Party headquarters in Helena: the one “save-the-date” email I received in January isn’t the best way to market an event to folks like me.)

So I was left with the only other option available — go online and try to get bleacher tickets. They were sold out by 9:30 9:04 9:40 9:15 a.m. I have to wonder if tickets are going to start showing up on eBay, and for how much.

I’ve only missed one Mansfield-Metcalf dinner in the last decade. Back when the Democrats were in the minority in both the state house and senate, and we had a Republican governor, attendance at this yearly Democratic event could be pretty paltry. I know “it’s a new day” in Montana but please don’t forget regular folks who supported the party during the lean times. Give us a better than average shot at the big-time gigs when they come around.

Now I know how rank-and-file Republicans must have felt when they were excluded from the caucuses last month.

It appears that a few other bloggers had similar online experiences. Maybe I should take Shane’s advice, though, and not blog when I’m angry.

Max gets jobs for Montanans Virginians

I’ll probably never work in this town again, at least in political TV production, but I can’t keep quiet any longer.

Sen. Baucus rolled out his first radio and TV spots last week, spending some of his $9 million war chest. According to Lee State Bureau’s Chuck Johnson:

“The television spots, produced by GMMB Creative, a Virginia firm, will run for several weeks.”

I saw one of the spots and it wasn’t bad. The sort of cookie-cutter commercials that DC beltway consulting firms are known for, with a standard feel good message and high production values.

Thing is, I know at least four producer/directors in Montana that could have done the same quality commercial, and for less money.

And one has to wonder who purchased the TV time for the spots, another Virginia media firm? The commissions generated for that firm would have kept a Montana advertising agency afloat for at least a year.

(Note to Gov. Schweitzer: I received a fund raising call for your campaign from a telemarketer in California. Surely there’s a firm in Montana that can do that.)

And I’m going to stay on top of this. The next candidate who says they’re for jobs for Montanans and then spends their money on out-of-state production companies, ad agencies, printers, pollsters, etc., will receive some special attention.

Happy Birthday, Congressman

On a more upbeat note, Pat Williams’ 70th birthday bash on Sunday was quite the gala affair. One might consider it a warm up to next month’s Mansfield-Metcalf dinner in Butte. Granted, Barack and Hillary weren’t there, but they should have been because every almost every Democratic leader in Missoula was in attendance, and a lot of out-of-town Democrats, too. (Note to presidential campaign coordinators: there are more registered Democrats in Missoula County than any other county in the state.)

Here are just some of the folks I spotted there: Mike McGrath, candidate for Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court; Jim Hunt, who’s challenging Congressman Denny Rehberg; and Democrat candidates for Montana Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of State.

Pat served for 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, the first 14 years as Montana’s Western District Congressman and the last four years At Large (the entire state), and he served honorably. Unlike some of our other elected representatives and senators, he didn’t stay in D.C. and become a lobbyist upon retiring. He returned to Western Montana where he continues to work on policy for Rocky Mountain states. His wife, Carol, is majority leader in the Montana Senate.

Pasties were served to about 300 people and around $20,000 was raised for Democratic legislative candidates.


  1. Not Feeling Guilty

    “I have to wonder if tickets are going to start showing up on eBay, and for how much.”

    God damn those capitalist ticket scalpers!

  2. Pete, I’m sorry. I actually got tickets (though I missed out on the Stones so I’m calling it even). If it ends up that I have extras I’ll invite you.

  3. petetalbot

    That’s a damn nice offer, Pat. I might be persona non grata after my post today, though.

  4. As you know, Pete, jhwygirl and I tried and failed. If anyone out there has two extra tickets they’d like to sell to us, we’d appreciate it.

  5. Ayn Rand

    Party elites got em I’ll bet!

  6. Woo Hoo! According to the Abu Ayn Rand, I’m a “party elite”!

  7. You got tix!! Holy smokes, folks. I heard they were sold out in 4 minutes.

  8. It was actually about 40. But I had women on a mission working for me …

  9. Same here…a certain woman I call “mom.” No website can keep Momma Duganz from seeing Mr. Obama.

  10. Leave it to a woman to get the job done.

    Perhaps the voters should think about that. ;-)

  11. goof houlihan

    Glad to hear that Wulfgar will be able to rub elbows with nationally prominent democratic politicians. That seemed to be a sore subject lately…

  12. WW_ot_W

    This comment has been deleted (jhwygirl).

  13. petetalbot

    Don’t come back to this site WW_ot_W. We don’t appreciate your hate-filled comment.

  14. My wife and I tried to get tickets. She got to the point of entering info into the system (credit card and all!), then timed out when she submitted. I can’t believe the party decided to try to handle this on their own servers when it was pretty much a given that there’d be an insane run on tickets. I also want to know who thought up the numbskull idea of letting people buy 10 tickets. With 2400 available, that means that as few as 240 lucky Montanans and others got all the tickets.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t know how they plan to enforce this, but the official terms of sale said that tickets can’t be resold. I don’t know if that means you have to arrive with the original buyer or what.

  15. goof, if by “rub elbows” you mean watch them talk from a distance and hope that I can here … well then yeah.

  16. goof houlihan

    Don’t forget “party elite” status…

    This thing will be bragged about in Butte for a hundred years. Seriously, it will be the day the President came to town. I’d say that whoever is the democratic party nominee, as long as it’s one of these two, will get 90% of the Butte vote. It will be a matter of civic pride. If only Evel could’ve lived to see it.

    I wonder if either will get to Charlie’s M&M?

    I do hope you all get there. St Paddy’s day has got nuthin on this.

  17. Word Wag

    ***Mountain of Lies***

    Sitting in my room looking at the vidi
    The way I feel is a doggone pity
    Teardrops falling like a mountain slide
    Many times I’ve watched it
    And many times I’ve cried
    I used to be so happy
    When I used to lie
    I was high on a mountain of lies

    Night after night I’ve been sitting here alone
    Trying to raise some money on the telephone
    Praying that you didn’t see the vidi too
    Hoping just by chance
    You’ll send a buck or two
    Trying hard to sell you
    As I wipe my eyes
    I ain’t high on a mountain of lies

    A mountain of lies
    A mountain of lies
    I am really ashamed
    I used to be a mountain of lies
    But that’s no longer my game

    Way down the street
    There’s a mob of TV people
    Standing by a church with a big tall steeple
    That’s my church with a pastor who’s a liar
    Twenty years ago I joined reverend’s choir
    And that’s why I’m so lonely
    Completely out of cash
    I got high on a mountain of lies

    A mountain of lies
    A mountain of lies
    I am really ashamed
    I used to be a mountain of lies
    But that’s no longer my game

  18. sopko

    My Demo friends in Butte (and Great Falls & Billings too) tell me that Demos in Missoula, especially the ones who splintered from the Democratic Party back in the 1990’s, are not held in high regard.

  19. You have Democratic friends, Paul?

  20. sopko

    You bet! Are you trying to imply something unknown-one?

  21. Lamnidae

    I know a few Butte Dems that aren’t held in real high regard by numerous of us up here in Missoula either. That aside, I’m pretty excited to have luckily scored a seat at the dinner.

  22. Lamnidae

    Forgot to mention: Mr. Williams’ birthday event was one of the more inspiring political functions I’ve been to in quite some time. That seat’s sure slipped a long way since Pat left office.

  23. petetalbot

    Here are a few follow up comments to the original post:

    I actually thought the Democratic Party handled the sales of the Obama/Clinton tickets reasonably well. I was just a little cranky at the time, having spent the majority of Wednesday morning sitting in front of laptops pushing the refresh button. Who’d have thought that the party would have to deal with a rock concert-like event? (I’m not quite as happy about how the party handled the Mansfield-Metcalf ticket marketing.)

    To the Republicans who are gloating over my criticism of Max: I do so because I believe that there’s an opportunity for reform within our party and candidates. I hold out no such hope for the Republican Party. Also, if I thought Max had a close race, I’d keep my mouth shut. I predict at least a thirty-point win against the weakest field of Republicans to go after Max, ever.

    To Word Wag: Don’t quit your day job to become a poet.

    To Lamnidae’s “That seat’s (Montana’s Congressional seat) sure slipped a long way since Pat left office” — amen, brother, amen.

    Finally, Sopko: do you ever have anything constructive to write? Seriously. Your comments are as divisive, picky and whiney as any I receive from the right-wing nut jobs.

  1. 1 Big Sky Cairn » Blog Archive » Will Baucus have enough?

    […] are so many reasons not to vote for someone as offensive as Max […]

  2. 2 Montana Netroots » Blog Archive » A Challenge To Montana Democrats

    […] that “The system worked exactly like it was supposed to”, and there is plenty of evidence to that. However, I will cede a few points that do make a difference here. The first point is that […]




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