Archive for March 9th, 2014

by lizard

An Act of Terrorism in the Flathead is a political gift for Montana Democrats because it dramatically highlights the threat women face from right-wing extremists. The timing could not have been more perfect.

This weekend, Montana Democrats drank and dropped cash at the Mansfield/Metcalf dinner. The keynote speaker was Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood. Here is some of what she had to say:

“My message is really how important the elections are going to be in November particularly for women, and how important women voters will be,” Richards told reporters before the dinner.

“Two years ago, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund was really involved in helping re-elect Sen. Jon Tester,” she said. “We know how important he has been to women’s health, what a great leader he’s been in the U.S. Senate. We need some other folks, some other help, and so we’re really excited to be here to talk about women’s health and women’s issues and the role that they’re going to play in this election.“

And what does Richards think of Walsh so far?

“It’s been wonderful to see Sen. Walsh already in action in Washington, D.C.,” she said. “He’s a great, great senator for the state of Montana, and we’ll work very hard to try to re-elect him in November.“

She said Planned Parenthood Action Fund worked hard for Tester and left no doubt that it would for Walsh too.

“What we found (in 2012) is that women were very receptive to hearing from Planned Parenthood as a health-care provider,” she said. “At election time, they trust us to tell them who’s on their side.“

Transforming trust into political currency is always a tricky thing, requiring selective concern and strategic omission.

Last June, a Montana Public Radio piece described why Women and families need comprehensive immigration reform. The organization Montana Women Vote stated what is happening to families across the nation, and it’s heartbreaking:

Between July 2010 and September 2012, over 105,000 parents of children who were US citizens, were deported, with almost 100,000 more excluded or left voluntarily. Parents of kids who are citizens, who have no option but to uproot their children from their community and leave the only life their kids have ever known. In fact, the long-term emotional and psychological effects of this kind of turmoil on children is being studied to understand some of the consequences of our current immigration policies.

And if the entire family in not uprooted, many families with mixed immigration status find that one parent may be deported with the other parent staying in their community, trying to raise their kids. In 2008, there were 4 million kids living in mixed status homes. Our immigration system essentially creates single parent households despite two parents wanting desperately to stay together, work hard, and build a stronger future for their kids.

John Walsh needs to describe his position on immigration reform. We already know what Jon Tester thinks, considering he was 1 of 5 senators who voted to kill the Dream Act 4 years ago (Max Baucus also crossed party lines to kill this meager legislative improvement to a broken system destroying families). For a scathing refutation, Helena immigration attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath unloaded on Tester’s position in this 4&20 guest post.

Last night certainly wasn’t the venue for talking about tough issues, as MT Cowgirl points out:

Tonight’s guest speaker is Cecile Richards, who is the head of Planned Parenthood of America. This is a good choice as it shows the that Democrats are becoming more comfortable in recognizing how important their stance on medical privacy really is. And her appearance could not be more timely, coming on the heels of a horrible incident of vandalism of an abortion clinic in Montana.

Others on the list include John Walsh, our new senator, as well as Governor Steve Bullock, Senator Jon Tester, and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Superintendent Denise Juneau and Secretary of State Linda McCulloch. And don’t forget the popular Ed Smith, the clerk of the Supreme Court, as well as state House and Senate Leaders Jon Sesso and Chuck Hunter. Bring your money but don’t drink too much, especially if you are giving a speech. Hopefully, we can at least be assured there will be no poetry.

Yes, hopefully no drunken poetry. Delivering stale political rhetoric and taking money is the point of dinners like this.

And remember, money = political viability.

The political season is shifting with the approach of spring, from Twitter spats to candidates like Walsh actually having to run a campaign now, especially considering Bohlinger gave a head-fake and decided to stay in the race. More from Cowgirl:

The Bohlinger deal is interesting since he had given indications, around the time Walsh was appointed Senator, that he would bow out. But now he’s in it for certain. The 77-year-old Republican turned Democrat is a former Lt. Governor, former clothing merchant from Billings and former Marine boxer, and is well known among voters and has a freewheeling style and says what’s on his mind, contrasting to the more measured Walsh. Bohlinger has not raised much money and Walsh has raised a good clip (half a million or more), but that stuff matters only when the money is spent. We shall see how and when (or if) the Walsh campaign chooses to spend some of its war chest in the primary against Bohlinger. Bohlinger, meanwhile, is trying to fashion himself as a progressive, outsider alternative to Walsh. He says Walsh was anointed by Harry Reid and others in Washington.

Oh boy, here we go.

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