Franke Wilmer, Candidate for U.S. Congress Speaks on the Super Committee Dysfunction

by jhwygirl

Franke Wilmer has served a respectable 3 terms in the Montana House, surviving 3 sessions up there in Helena. She’s well-qualified to serve as Montana’s next U.S. Representative, her resume including a wide spectrum of employ including waitress, public school teacher, MSU professor and author. Wilmer’s work has spanned a spectrum that is rare for a congressional candidate, with work that has included field research in Yugoslavia during the Bosnian war…work so respected that she has been invited to lecture internally on the topics of war, peace and human rights.

Would I trust her with my tax dollar? You bet. Franke Wilmer worked her way through undergraduate and graduate school – and obtained scholarships to help obtain her doctorate in Government & Politics in 1990. So does she know the value of a dollar? I’m betting she knows the value of a nickle and dime.

All that being said, I wondered what she had to say about yesterday’s failure of the super committee. I was never very hopeful about what they would (or wouldn’t) do – but as someone actually applying for a job in congress, I had to wonder what Wilmer – an experienced legislator – had to think about the super committee and the task they had before them.

Ms. Wilmer generously took time out of her 16 hour days to reply:

“It seems like any news you get of Washington these days is either disappointing or crazy. Making pizza a vegetable was crazy, and the Super Committee failing to come to an agreement is disappointing. I think Congress may be the only place in America where you can ask 12 people to take 2 months to come up with a solution to an important problem and end up with nothing. It is unbelievable that 12 people couldn’t find $1.2 trillion in wasteful spending. Ending the Bush tax cuts just to the top 1% would be a good place to start. Or ending the tax breaks to corporations that export our jobs overseas. Don’t forget how much we are spending on wars ($1.2 trillion so far).

Then one of the richest members of Congress, Denny Rehberg, comes out with his “viable” option. In his mind there are really only two options — either cut Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits or defund programs set up to help people cover outrageous health care costs. In his mind cutting the wasteful spending to defense contractors (the Commission on Wartime Contracting reported to Congress that $60 billion alone has been lost to waste and fraud in war spending) or cutting subsidies to the oil and gas companies would be insane. Insisting on cuts to Social Security is the wrong place for Republicans to draw a line in the sand. Senior citizens didn’t cause this recession. Congressman Rehberg ironically decided people can live without health care and presented his “viable” plan.

There was a time in this country where our elected leaders governed using common sense. There was a time where the issues facing this country were more important than the next election. I am running for Congress to help restore some of those principles in Washington.”

I couldn’t agree more. How many politicans – especially those running for office – are willing to unequivocally call for ending the Bush tax cuts for the top 1%? Or cutting tax breaks to corporations that export our jobs overseas.

I also appreciate a candidate like Wilmer who is willing to step up for Veterans and call hypocrisy on our current U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg who is willing to cut Social Security and allow the Pentagon to continue its wasteful (and immoral) spending on defense contractors. Montana’s median income is in the bottom 25% in ranking – and only one state has higher per capita military service than Montana. Protecting Veterans and Social Security should be a priority for the people we Montanan’s elect to congress.

It’s good to know that it’s a priority for Franke Wilmer.

  1. d.g.

    And David Strohmaier has is a “fine family man” (Melcher). I’ve been touting Wilmer here for months…to an unwelcoming in-house tribunal. Go figure. Go Griz.

  2. rawr

    Does Franke realize that she’s not running against Denny?

    “Super committe” failure is bi-partisan failure. It has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. It has everything to do with Democrats AND Republicans.

    The creation of the super committe was ridiculous to begin with. Maybe they could have done something worthwhile if the meetings were public.

    • JC

      You do realize that Wilmer is running for Rehberg’s seat, right? And as such contrasting her positions with his is, I don’t know, maybe pretty good politics?

      I don’t how you could consider what the republicans brought to the table–the Ryan plan–could in any way be considered a bipartisan approach.

      Then again, I don’t know how anyone could call the super committee a failure, unless they actually expected it would accomplish something. I think it was a success. They did exactly what I expected: nothing.

      And accomplish something in public meetings? Hahahaha. Good one!

      • rawr

        Neither party brought a bi-partisan approach to the table. It’s a failure of Democrats AND Republicans, but cheerleaders on both sides will always be quick to play the blame game.

        Wilmer is running for Rehberg’s seat. I get it. If she wins the primary she’ll be running against Daines, so she’d be better off squaring up to him instead of Denny. Daines is on track for an easy win and if she keeps pretending like she’s running against Denny, she won’t have a chance in the general election. Just an observation, not an endorsement of any candidate…

  3. mr benson

    I think it’s time to discuss minimum tax rates for all, eliminating and means testing deductions. I don’t think we should flatten the tax rates, but we should broaden the tax base.Capping the deductions for exec compensation, for example. Getting rid of charitable contributions. Taxing non-profits like, oh, churches and giant non profit institutions paying big employee compensation too. Higher taxes are just that, though. They’re not spending cuts.

    I’d support dollar for dollar cuts and tax increases until the budget is balanced. Not cutting a trillion out of eight trillion overspending is egregious enough, but the real task ignored is cutting and taxing until the budget is balanced. You can start by not paying medicare and social security to people who make 200k a year from their investments. Why transfer money from the single mother waitress and give it to the cruise ship seniors? I’m a deficit hawk. Once it’s clear wars come at a cost of domestic spending for necessities, Rs and Ds will be a lot less willing to vote for them. Make the federal budget a zero sum game and a lot of frivolities and vendettas won’t add up.

    Congress has failed because they’re all members of the bread and circuses party. Making pizza a vegetable isn’t “crazy”, it’s just a stupid liberal talking point meme. You make a spinach and onion and tomato pizza, it’s got vegetables. I dunno if kids’ll eat it, but it’s got vegetables.

    Spending this country fifteen trillion into debt is crazy. Everybody got us into this hole, and we need to chip in now and get us out. Tell you what, we are gonna regret every dollar we wasted on the way.

  4. Ingemar Johansson

    Do ya think Franke will be endorsed by the NRA?

    • petetalbot

      You mean the National Restaurant Association, Ingy? Unless she allowed Herman Cain to grope her early and often, I doubt she’ll get the endorsement.

      If you mean the National Rifle Association, if she supports concealed bazookas for babies, she may get that one.

      • rawr

        Your average liberal’s anti-gun stance makes little sense to me. Answer me this. If alcohol prohibition didn’t work, marijuana prohibition doesn’t work, and abortion prohibition wouldn’t work…why would any kind of gun prohibition work?

        Outlaw alcohol and you get mobsters.
        Outlaw marijuana and you get drug cartels.
        Outlaw abortion and you get back alley abortions.

        So how does outlawing guns (or even certain types of guns – bazookas as you jokingly use) not fit into this puzzle? How about a little consistency?

        Just because something is illegal doesn’t mean people can’t get it. In fact, sometimes illegality makes people want things even more.

        I suggest you respect our Constitutional right to gun ownership and those who protect it (ie. the NRA). They deserve just as much respect as NORML in their fight to uphold our Constitutional rights.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Nope, Pete’s a smart politician.

          Ya see she can say she endorsed by the NRA.

          After all she was a waitress.

        • petetalbot

          Let’s talk deficits, rawr. You seem to have one in the sense of humor department.

          • Rawr

            Zing! Oh snap! You got me.

            Actually I did laugh at your bazooka joke. In fact, I count it one of the few times I’ve laughed with you and not at you. It just happened to spark my interest a little bit. I’ve never had the opportunity to hear a cookie cutter Missoula progressive share their thoughts on gun control with me. I suspect major hypocrisy, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m phishing for an answer from any of the progressives here, not just you Pete.

            • lizard19

              you’ve sparked my interest, Rawr. like how you’re using a different e-mail address now. that’s good, and you know why.

  5. Turner

    I was sorry to read a piece over at Intelligent Discontent that dismisses Franke Wilmer as a serious candidate. I met and talked with her. She is very impressive and seems to have no negatives.

  6. There’s a wealth of candidates already declared for any number of offices here in Montana that deserve dismissal, but Franke Wilmer sure isn’t one of them.

    It wasn’t Don who wrote it. From the sounds of the post, it’s someone close to Gillan’s race.

    His or her first post, too.


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