Archive for the ‘Don Pogreba’ Category


It was just a matter of time until General Walsh’s campaign website blog supporter, Intelligent Discontent, got caught with its pants down trying to further its case against dem primary opponents Dirk Adams and John Bohlinger. Seems that Pogie, in his vacation retreat, didn’t bother to find the facts, instead he relied on unverified second hand reports about Dirk Adams’ stances.

Here’s what Adams had to say about Pogreba and Intelligent Discontent:

“This is the stuff of Fox News and worse. 

I have to get back to reality now.” 

I only bring this information up because Don is so concerned with truthiness and all. Oh, and he attempted to bad mouth us here at 4&20 in his post. Or maybe this is Pogie’s idea of a good April Fool’s joke?

Full transcript of his blog post and Dirk’s response after the jump. Continue Reading »

by jhwygirl

I’ve slept on this two nights, and I’ve failed to find a moral or a logical reason for Tester’s vote, other than pandering for votes.

I guess I’m one of those idealistic ones who expects the people I vote for to do the right thing. Even when it’s tough.

A number of progressives here in Montana have written about Jon’s vote – Pogie at Intelligent Discontent, Matt at Left in the West, Wulfgar! and Jamee Greer at Left in the West too….and Shahid Haque-Hausrath, a Helena-based attorney and human rights activist.

I see Tester’s vote as unreasonable. It was a step towards reform. We’ve been told to accept steps on health care. We’ve been told to accept steps on financial reform. Compromise.

I thought this was compromise. A baby step towards reasonably and morally solving one little slice of the immigration issue.

Beyond that, I’m pretty much in line with the laments of Pogie and the disappointment of Jamee Greer. We all were working very hard in 2006 for Tester.

DREAM would have made citizens out of people brought here as minors. Children that did not have a choice and children that did not knowingly come here breaking the law.

DREAM made citizens of these people who came here as children providing they had clean records and a good grade average and hadn’t broken the law.

DREAM had nothing to do with so-called ‘anchor babies’ because – like it or not – those ‘anchor babies’ are legal citizens of the United States of America.

Now, if you want to call that amnesty – and I point to the fact that these are kids we’re talking about who had no choice – call it that. But it sure seemed fair to me.

I mean, what – punish the child for the ills of the parent? Really?

Sen. Tester issued a statement at 5 p.m. Friday, the eve before Saturday’s vote, saying he couldn’t vote for amnesty.

So the other reason I see his vote as utterly without logic is this: If Senator Tester’s position is “no amnesty” how, pray tell, do we meet his position? What is the end-game to that position? Deportation of all undocumented immigrants? How are we going to do that? More importantly, how are we going to fund it?

And think about it – Exactly what kind of government does it require to round up all these illegal people? Are you going to go door to door? Am I going to have to carry citizenship papers with me at all times?

I mean, really? What is the end-game of a “no amnesty” position?

Tester’s vote is extremely disheartening for me…especially from what I read outside of the Montana blogosphere – “burn in hell”? “bigot”? Those words cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

As for my part, I’ve taken a number of criticisms just for posting kos’ response to Tester’s vote (a post, btw, which mentioned Baucus). As I started out above – I’ve slept on this two nights trying to see a reasonable side to this vote and I’ve yet to find it.

Do I make Jon an adversary by being so upset about this vote? I would certainly hope not – and I would hope he thought the same when he cast his NO vote knowing I and a whole bunch of others here in Montana and elsewhere would think it was a shitty thing to do.

If anything, the cynic is me says that there’s a part of him that’s giving me a tip o’ the hat for giving him some street cred with the voting xenophobes of Montana. I mean – consider the value kos got him over at Electric City Weblog.

by jhywgirl

Well, this is rich, coming from our very own lone congressional Representative Dennis Rehberg – He’s swearing off earmarks for a year, “in a symbolic stance against federal spending.”

Where was he his other 9 years in congress?

Dennis, you see, loves to (first) put earmarks in bills, (next) vote against said bills in a sudden fit of fiscal conservatism, and (finally) take credit for earmark that he placed in the bill he voted against.

Pogie – who has an affection for Rehberg that I certainly admire – is quick on Matt Gouras’ latest Rehberg blurb, pointing out that Rehberg has been a drunken sailor for the last 9 years, and his latest stance is yet another example of his ongoing inconsistency regarding his claims of fiscal conservatism.

I mean – Pogie had Dennis Rehberg pegged a drunken sailor back in April of last year.

Voters shouldn’t be fooled by Rehberg’s election year antics. He goes through this every two years, occasionally pulling out some vote that reaches for the moderate voters of this state – two years ago it was his switch in voting for CHIP funding, this year apparently he’s trying to bill himself as a deficit hawk.

A deficit hawk who touts deficit spending to reduce the deficit.

That’s right folks – after 10 years in congress, Dennis Rehberg has yet to comprehend basic budgetary principles. Let’s not forget the schooling the Kaimin did of Rehberg earlier this year.

What a joke.

Head through Pogie’s archives for your reality check on our hypocritical Rep. Dennis Rehberg…and once your done there, feel free to peruse our own archives here.

by jhwygirl

Please consider this an open thread.

First some observations:

Supermontanareporter John S. Adams made his debut this week with The Lowdown, his blog for breaking news, notes and insights from the Capital City of Helena. This is one to watch, as he is the man up there on the marble, doing some fine legislative reporting. Professional-style, for the Great Falls Tribune.

Wulfgar! kept busy this week, but my favorite was this one. I love his football stuff – especially when he picks the Steelers.

Which reminds me: Go Steelers

The Polish Wolf and Liz were back at Intelligent Discontent…Pogie, too, of course – who was right about Brad Johnson being wrong – officially wrong, as it turns out.

The GO – George Ochenski – kicked ass this week.

And you know he’s right.

Moving on…

The Kootanai River is considered one of the 11 Places to See Before They Disappear. Montana DEQ? FWP? DNRC? Are you listening?

You read about this stuff, but rarely do you get the pictures. This guy’s got to be embarrassed: He shot, tagged and gutted llama, thinking it was an elk.

Bush/Cheney lost a big one in the courts last week. Barely a whimper was heard, what with all the Obamathon preparations under way. But will it be the last, or is it a first shot fired across the bow?

Let’s just say that I’m thinking it’s a first shot. With opinionators like this out there, the drums are beating. Bush might want to enjoy Camp David this weekend, because his rest might short-lived.

Mother Jones tells us that it takes less time to bake tuna casserole or apply for temporary assistance than it does to apply for a bailout. As they note in the end, the only thing that takes longer is a credit card application, which takes about 2 minutes.

Circuit City says bye-bye.

Googling may not be good for the environment.

Bored? Hallucinate.

What are Kansas citizens eating? Racooon meat.

Wow. Whadda ya say after that?

by jhwygirl

A while back, I asked: How would you improve your local paper?

Today, former gubernatoral candidate and every liberal blogger’s favorite, Pogie, of Intelligent Discontent, puts forth a nicely detailed analysis of the general problems, as he sees it, with newspapers. He goes further and talks about what he sees in Helena with the Independent Record.

He hits on the lack of detail in local news. In our previous post here, the lack of local news was generally agreed upon. Pogie’s post goes one step further, citing the lack of detailed analysis. Perhaps a valid statement – which may be why us new junkies here pointed to the lack of local news as one of the Missoulian’s problems. Maybe it isn’t so much the lack of local news, but the lack of meat-and-potatoes to the local news. Issues don’t die after the vote – and beyond that – why are we only hearing about stuff within days of hearing. Isn’t the paper publishing legal notices? Don’t the get the heads-up weeks (if not months) ahead of time? A lot of stuff is moving through the process for a good deal of time.

In the end, all of us – even you readers, I dare say – love reading, love newspapers. We want survival, and change needs to be part of it.

A worthy and important conversation to have. Go join in.

by jhwygirl

You can bet the Montana Republican Party is proud of it too.

I read it first this morning, about 6:30 a.m. over at Pogie’s Intelligent Discontent…and later found it on the Missoulian’s web page.

On Monday afternoon, state GOP officials delivered voter registration challenges to Missoula (3,422), Butte-Silverbow (714), Lewis & Clark, Glacier, Deerlodge, Hill, and Roosevelt counties.

So the Montana GOP is challenging 6,000 votes across the state – geared solely at Democratic-leaning and Native American voting areas. Jack Eaton, executive director of the Montana GOP is unapologetic:

The integrity of the voting process is something that has to be above reproach to have faith in the system. We aren’t trying to prevent anyone from voting. We want people to register properly.


“The integrity of the voting process”? “We aren’t trying to prevent anyone from voting”? I’m sorry – what in the hell does he think is going to happen 30 or so days before a presidential election, when county election offices are extremely busy just getting the basic election stuff prepared?

Vicki Zeier, Missoula County election official tells us:

I’m not very happy, obviously,” said Zeier, who “about freaked” when the request appeared in her office on Monday afternoon.

Why? Because under state law, Ms. Zeier – and all counties facing these challenges – have 5 days to notify challenged voters.

Mary McMahon, Butte-Silverbow County election official said her office is short staffed, and the request comes just as her three (three) employees are getting ready to mail out more than 4,000 absentee ballots while still preparing for the Nov. 4 general election.

We’re slammed. We’ll get them all out, but it is just very frustrating right now to get this kind of reaction from either party and have to deal with it.

Missoula County Attorney’s Office is rejecting part of the Montana GOP challenges, saying that 2,200 of the allegations live in the county – and under state law, they get to vote at their old precinct once providing they update their information.

The Montana GOP is taking Missoula County to court on that rejection.

Timing could not come at a worse time. A record number of people have registered to vote, and small understaffed county offices are busy processing the 1,000’s of registrations.

Executive director of the Montana Democratic Party Art Noonan, too, is fighting mad about the situation. According to Ian Maurquand, of Montana’s News Station, “Art Noonan says this week’s challenges of voter residency by his Republican counterpart Jacob Eaton represent a direct attempt to intimidate and suppress Democratic and Native American voters. He also told me that his party recently conducted a 56-county survey of election supervisors and concluded that there are no concerns about voter lists, the registration process or anything else regarding Montana elections.”

Marquand goes on:

Noonan told me the party is reviewing legal options and might try to halt the challenges of some 6,000 voters in seven counties. However, time is running out since county election officials have until Monday to mail notification letters to affected voters. Noonan also said Democrats might offer to help voters cope with the challenges. In Missoula County, voters who have been challenged must fill out a residency affidavit, get it notarized (which some associates have told me is the most challenging part of the process) and send it back to the county. Then, voters who have changed their residence must re-register in the precinct, county, or state to which they’ve moved.

The Montana GOP is desperate. They see their numbers slipping – whether it is the gubernatoral race or the state senate or house races. They’re losing serious ground in rural areas of the state – the Montana League of Rural Voters recently took the rare step of endorsing not one, but two Democratic candidates for the state senate – Lane Larson (SD-22) and Shirley Baumgartner (SD-18). The state GOP made themselves laughing stocks during the 2007 legislature, and now their fighting to maintain.

This ain’t the way to do it.

My guess? This will only pull more Democratic voters out to vote and to register….and when they attempt to take away votes from the young and the Native American voters that have never voted in a presidential election and are excited about participating in the process, they do themselves more harm than any good that ever had a chance of befalling them.

Karma baby, karma.

by Pete Talbot

Here’s a new election strategy: don’t campaign. It worked for John Driscoll, who raised no money and did no campaigning and beat odds-on favorite Jim Hunt in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House.

Then there’s the Bob Kelleher win in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Granted, Kelleher did some campaigning (I saw a couple newspaper ads) but still, that had to send shock waves through the Montana Republican establishment. Bob Kelleher! He has run for almost every elected office under almost every conceivable party banner. And check out those eyebrows.

Closer to home, the Missoula County Commissioner race isn’t over yet. Dennis Daneke is ahead by four votes. He campaigned hard. The third place finisher, Jeff Patterson, also campaigned. But I saw nothing from the second place finisher, Michele Landquist — and she could be the winner after the final canvass next Tuesday.

You can go here for Missoula County results and here for the statewide totals.

A couple of other surprises, for me anyway: I thought Mike Wheat would take the attorney general Democratic primary. But Steve Bullock won it with around 9000 more votes, statewide.

In Senate District 7, Democratic candidate Paul Clark went to bed trailing Judy Stang. In the morning, though, he was up by 166 votes and will face Greg Hinkle in the general.

Some folks were surprised that Willis Curdy, a high school teacher and Democratic candidate in House District 100, lost to Gary Brown. Brown did a serious get-out-the-vote effort in the final days of the campaign to win 722-654.

Not as surprising was Denise Juneau’s strong finish. She beat her closest rival, Holly Raser, in Raser’s home county of Missoula (by only 140 votes, but still … ). Statewide Juneau received 18,130 more votes than Raser.

The Republicans stayed away in droves. My unofficial statewide count is 181,906 Democrats casting ballots and 95,252 Republicans.

Did Republicans cross over to vote in the Democratic primary? Local blogger Andy Hammond, at Rush Limbaugh’s request, was urging Republicans to do just that and to vote to keep Hillary Clinton running as long as possible so the the Democratic Party would stay splintered and in disarray. Since Barack Obama beat Clinton 102,544 to 75,053 statewide (16,423 to 8084 in Missoula County), I guess that strategy didn’t work.

by jhwygirl

We’ve got gubernatorial candidate Don Pogreba – who comments under the name Pogie in this post on education.

Pogreba’s a teacher – and he probably won’t be able to stop back until after the school day ends – but if you’ve got something you want to ask, 4&20 might be a good place to do it.

by jhwygirl

Yesterday, gubernatorial candidate Don Pogreba had a guest op-ed in the Billings Gazette, explaining what quality education means for Montana, and what it means to him. Shane Mason over at Montana Netroots does an excellent assessment of Pogreba’s piece, and along the way adds his own thought on what education means in in his own hometown of Helena.

It’s a good discussion to have – there’s lots of talk about it – education funding: more money? enough money? lawsuit? – but little talk of why additional funding might make sense and why it is sorely needed. Pogreba makes some excellent points in the Billings Gazette:

So it is with some dismay, but certainly no surprise, when I read about Sen. Roy Brown and members of the Montana Legislature talking about developing Montana’s resources while giving so little support to our most valuable resource: the students who will one day run our state, create new businesses and volunteer in our communities. Minerals and timber, agriculture and oil are all important for Montana’s economy, but their value is constrained by market forces often beyond our control. Montana certainly relies on its resource economy, and we should be proud of the food and power we’ve provided the nation and world, but that’s not all we can be.Far too many of our state’s political leaders are more concerned about resource extraction than resource development. We need to commit ourselves to developing the resource potential of our poorest students, who need stronger preschool programs to prepare themselves for school.

We need to develop the talent on our reservations, so that a new generation of leaders can ensure the future of Montana’s first peoples.

And we need to make sure that students in rural and high-poverty schools have access to the kind of technology that will ensure the kind of quality jobs that will let them stay in Montana. In short, we need to focus our energy on the one resource that is limitless, inexhaustible, and not bound by market forces: human potential.

Rather than acknowledge funding shortfalls, conservative critics of education would like you believe that Montana is already spending too much on its education programs. Despite laudable increases in the last few years, statistics demonstrate that Montana has failed to keep pace with the spending necessary for quality education. The conservative American Legislative Council just issued some troubling statistics about education spending in Montana. According to their research, we rank dead last in the nation in compensation for education professionals, and 42nd in the rate of growth in education expenditures, from 1986-2005. These figures demonstrate not only how much more remains to be done, but just how much damage 16 years of defunded education under the Stephens, Racicot, and Martz administrations has done.

What I like about that statement above is that he weaves a wealth of issues into that short portion of his guest op-ed: Montana’s youth, natural resources, priorities, and the failures of Montana Republican’s when it comes to addressing all of those issues. It’s not like education funding was a problem Schweitzer created.

I ask you (Big Swede, because I know it’s coming) – is this the voice of a pseudo-candidate?

I say that because all I’ve seen from Schweitzer on the issue of education funding is “no” – meaning ‘no more – you have enough’ – I’ve not seen any reason from him on why he thinks education has been funded adequately (other than the fact that he’s increased it) yet when I read Pogreba on the issue, I’d say he makes a pretty darn good case for increasing it more.

Pogreba, on the other hand, offers other reasons. Take this quote, for example, from today’s front page of the Missoulian:

Despite some additional spending, Montana hasn’t complied with the 2004 and 2005 District and Supreme Court decisions that declared the state funding unconstitutionally inadequate.

There were some increases, but it wasn’t enough to offset some years of underfunding and the difficulty of enrollment problems in small schools.

Or this:

I think more money for education will prevent the need for more money for corrections.

I’ve never understood why we want to send more money for jail cells and not for textbooks.

Sure makes sense to me. A short-term investment in education instead of a long-term investment in jail facilities along with all the other welfare-like amenities (for lack of a better term) that comes with it? Tell me how that doesn’t make sense.

And to be honest, the whole lack of focus on the “why” story behind educational funding has worked – up until now – a pretty successful smokescreen for me. Up until now I was pretty ho-hum about the issue, but Pogreba has me thinking that perhaps there’s a darn good reason for why, perhaps, there should be more.

That’s more than I’ve thought about it before – and disparities between the quality of education that are certainly obvious, across the state, makes me realize how wrong I’ve been to not look beyond the invisible wall I’ve put around Missoula and not look beyond to places like Glendive or Havre or Browning or Hardin. What potential are we, as a state, losing in places like those when we don’t invest in our kids?

I have decided that, for me and my primary vote – which will be for the Democratic ballot, thank you – is going to come down to a pretty large focus on natural resources. All of the candidates are going to say a whole lot of essentially the same stuff. The Democratic ballot is blessed with a wealth of qualified candidates, and in looking at their websites or the stuff you see in the news, it is hard to discern anything that sticks out.

So I will be searching for the differences, which will include their records, of course, but also a search of where they stand on natural resource issues.

In Montana, education – which is obviously important to both Pogreba and Neiffer, as both are teachers – is intrinsically intertwined with natural resources because of the trust lands that help fund any number of educational institutions in the state – all public K-12, the various universities, and all sorts of other things (I think some public buildings are funded as well).

And Pogreba recognizes that not only are natural resources in Montana intertwined with education funding – but that Montana’s children are part of our very basic natural resources.

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