Archive for February 16th, 2010

by jhwygirl

In a 3 – 2 vote (Schweitzer, McCulloch and Lindeen voting yes), the Land Board voted to lower the minimum bid price on the Otter Creek tracts from .25/ton to .15/ton.

I’ve yet to stomach a viewing of the entire hearing – but thanks to my DVR (and since the Land Board doesn’t archive its audio and video like the legislature has been able to do for quite a number of years), I’ll be watching it tonight.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and Attorney General Steve Bullock both voted against the project. For that, I am deeply grateful.

I hope to transcribe the testimony and comments of at least two individuals from today’s hearing. AG Bullock spoke to the corporate welfare that he saw about to be dispensed. Another opponent spoke to the corporate money of Arch Coal – where they put it and the return they would get if the leases were approved.

Those words – like Juneau’s “no” vote in December – need to be out there so that people can be reminded of precisely what was at stake when Otter Creek becomes the disaster that will be.

And make no mistake, those that voted yes were keenly aware of that impending disaster. Lee reporter Mike Dennison captured that awareness by referencing Governor Schweitzer’s promises to Montana’s water resources prior to the yes vote by he and Lindeen and McCulloch. I’ve gone ahead and transcribed them word for word. Read them and ponder why the taxpayers must forego $5 million in coal revenues to the general fund or to the school trust (he didn’t say where he planned to take that $5 million) to protect Montana’s water resources.

I’m going to instruct my budget director, to put in my budget that we take to the legislature, $5 million so that every high school in Montana will either have solar panels or a wind turbine at their school and in order for them to receive this money – which is approximately $32,000 per school – they’ll have to sign a contract with the Department of Commerce that they will spend a minimum of 5 hours teaching time in each of those classrooms with every high school student in Montana explaining to them how this alternative energy works and how it is the energy of the future. I’m also going to instruct the budget director to put $5 million in the budget to protect those that live in Otter Creek and their water. I don’t know who the director of DEQ will be 8 years, 12 years, 20 years from now. I’ve no idea who will be seated on this land board…who will be responsible at the DNRC. We can’t control that – the people of Montana will elect those positions, and the rest of ’em will be appointed. So that’s why whether the DEQ or the DNRC has the fortitude to make sure that the mining companies are protecting the water assets of the people that live there and farm there and ranch there and raise children will not be in doubt – because there will be $5 million put aside. And those monies – $5 million and $5 million – would come from this bonus bid.

While the “people that live there and farm there and ranch there and raise children” can’t take that $5 million to the bank – only the legislature can appropriate – what they can take to the bank is proof, given to us today by the 3 yes votes, that corporate coal money reigns supreme over their water, their lives, their farms, their ranches and their children.

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by Pete Talbot

I’m talking adverting here, not news stories. And I want to know what’s going on.

I saw my first medical marijuana ad in the Missoulian last Sunday. It was a little guy buried in the Territory section. Has the paper’s advertising policy changed or do pot dispensers think Missoulian readers just aren’t their market?

Med./mar. distributors have been a godsend for the Missoula Independent — full-page, half-page, four-to-a-page ads fill our weekly. So, I’ve got to wonder if some of the ad execs at the Missoulian decided to climb on the bandwagon and allow the pot shops to advertise. It’s not like daily newspapers are rolling in black ink these days (pun intended).

And what’s next? A pot spot leading into a Mark Heyka weather report? Med./mar. underwriting NPR’s All Things Considered?

There’s nothing like a recession to change a company’s policy on the kind of advertising it will accept. I’d love to hear from media reps, herb distributors or others in the know.

by jhwygirl

We wrote yesterday about the intentionally misleading bullshit put out by the Committee for Truth in Politics. They’ve been at it nationwide, dumping millions into their ad campaigns. Recently they’ve targeted Montana, using fear to drum up anti-finance reform calls to both Sen. Jon Tester and Sen. Max Baucus.

Tester sits on the key Banking and Finance Committee, which is working on finance reform. He is also the only Senate Democrat to have voted against both the bailout of Wall Street and the bailout of the U.S. auto industry

In an article published in Saturday’s Clark Fork Journal, Tester takes on the Committee for Truth in Politics, telling 2 people known to be associated with the group (William W. Peaslee, a board member, and James Bopp, Jr., who publicly represents the group) “As you well know, this TV ad—which encourages viewers to contact me—is flat out false. There is no bill before the Senate to bail out big banks.”

Tester continued:

I—along with most Americans—believe very strongly that Wall Street and its CEOs ought to play by the rules. Our economy almost collapsed a year and a half ago because there were no referees on Wall Street. And Montana’s Main Street small business owners and families should never have to pay the price of greed on Wall Street.

Amen to that.

You can read Tester’s entire letter at The Clark Fork Journal.

So who’s bankrolling you, Committee for Truth in Politics? Come clean, or are you too deep in the bullpen to understand why we care?

~~~~~~
Please take a moment to contact Sen. Tester and tell him that you support finance reform efforts. Don’t let all those ill-informed corporate tools calling on Tester be the bulk of input he gets.




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