Archive for the ‘John Driscoll’ Category

by Pete Talbot

Dear President-elect Obama,

I’m sorry we couldn’t deliver our three electoral votes to you. You worked hard for them. You visited the state and talked western policy. You set up offices and hired staff and had the best ground game I’ve ever seen. John McCain never set foot in Montana.

You came close — only 12,136 votes separated you from McCain. And compared to the 20-point win that George W. Bush had here four years ago, what you did was miraculous.

I’m still scratching my head, though. In almost every other statewide category, Montana went blue: senator, governor and all four tier b’s (unseating the sole Republican incumbent with a new secretary of state). And two-out-of-three newly-elected PSC commissioners are Democrats.

Another confusing example is Gallatin County. I hoped for better numbers from there. It did, after all, almost go for Sen. Tester in 2006 (Burns won by less than 200 votes). But this year, Obama goes down by over 1400. Perhaps Barack should work on a flattop haircut for 2012. Even Gallatin County voted for you, by a 1609 vote margin.

I don’t believe race was a factor. I think most Montanans who voted for McCain did so because of issues like taxes or defense or the “experience” card or some ingrained conservative Christian belief.

And guns played a role. Even though you came to Montana and assured us you wouldn’t take away our guns, ugly rumors persisted. Next time through, make sure to get that ubiquitous firearm photo op.

We wish you well, Mr. President, and may you bring people together to help solve the numerous problems facing our country. Godspeed.

An unpleasant aside

After saying race wasn’t a factor, well, you still run into this: On my way to Bozeman on election day, I stopped by the Cardwell Store, there between Whitehall and Three Forks, for a cup of coffee and a Slim Jim. Two good-old-boys were at the counter and one said, “I better go vote.” To which the other said, “Yeah, I’d hate to see this election get nigger-rigged.”

I’m not even sure what he meant but I left my merchandise on the counter and walked out. Came up with some really choice things I should have said about five miles down the road.

Now I’m sure that everyone in Cardwell isn’t an ignorant racist pig but I won’t be stopping by again, ever, to find out.

It’s a sad anecdote, but there’s one good thing about it; the guy was old and will soon be dead.

I love Missoula

On a more upbeat note: Missoula delivers. One or two flies in the ointment: that HD-100 race where Willis Curdy is losing by a measly 33 votes to Republican incumbent Bill Nooney (provisional votes still being counted, final results Monday). But that’s democracy; you can choose the anti-education, anti-senior, anti-young person, anti-environment candidate if you want.

Same with SD-7, which has a little bit of Missoula County in it and where veteran lawmaker Paul Clark lost to anti-government zealot Greg Hinkle.

Otherwise it was a sweep: Gutsche over Mood for the PSC, the improbable county commissioner outcome, nine-out-of-ten state reps, and two state senators.

The Emergency Operations Center Bond going down wasn’t really a surprise. With property taxes in the mail and it being a slow economy and all, folks are tightening their belts. In better times, I think it would have passed. It also wasn’t one of the strongest campaigns I’ve seen run in this town.

Ravalli County blues

Is it too harsh to recommend a toll booth at the Ravalli/Missoula County line? Those Bitterrooters should pay extra to come and visit an eclectic town that values education and planning. Maybe we could funnel the toll revenue into preserving Ravalli County open space, while there’s still some left.

I know that there are progressives in Ravalli County but time-and-time again their issues and candidates get hammered.

Both West Fork Blues and Rebecca have excellent comments on the results in the Bitterroot.

Statewide conundrum

Despite Democratic wins in most of the big-ticket races, the Montana House is tied and the senate losses seats (R’s 27-D’s 23). Throw in a Democratic governor and I smell gridlock. But maybe not, lots of talk from candidates of all stripes wanting to “reach across the aisle.” We’ll see.

I, like Jay and others, have to wonder about this split ticket voting. How can our Democratic governor win by an almost two-to-one margin and still have the Montana Senate lose its Democratic majority? Did the Republican Party focus on legislative races because it knew most of the others were hopeless? Any insights?

We’re a two party country

Third parties didn’t fare well. Libertarian Don Eisenmenger received about 7 percent in the OPI race, which I believe was the party’s best showing. Presidential candidate Bob Barr got 0.3 percent. In the U.S. House race, perennial candidate Mike Fellows got 3 percent, and Stan Jones got 2 percent in the governor’s race.

For Constitution Party candidates, Ron Paul got slightly over 2 percent in the presidential race. That party’s best showing was in Missoula County with Kandi Matthew-Jenkins getting a little better than one-third of the votes against Cliff Larson in SD 50 (there was no Republican in that contest). And in the SOS race, Sieglinde Sharbono received around 3.5 percent.

Nadar’s Independent ticket garnered slightly less than 1 percent.

And finally

Who ever thought we’d have a president with a name like Barack Obama? It pales in comparison, though, to the candidate from HD-15 — my favorite name on the ballot — Frosty Boss Calf Ribs. I’ve met some of the Boss Calf Ribs clan up in the Browning area but don’t know Frosty, who was unopposed. Kind of makes our Anglo names like John Smith and Jane Doe seem rather lame. Congratulations, Frosty.

by jhwygirl

Via dKos, and done by Research 2000.

McCain’s lost another point since the last Montana polling information, from NewWest just 10 days ago. It’s now McCain 49, Obama 45. Kos is now painting Montana blue.

Schweitzer is having a pleasant time this election season – Schweitzer 57, Brown 40. His approval rating sure looks great too – While Dems have him at 62/33, Republicans put the Good Guv’s approval at 52/41. Even Independents are loving’ the Good Gov – Brian gets a 66/31 approval with them.

Brown’s approval ratings are pretty dismal – overall he’s got a 41% approval 31% disapproval…women don’t seem to take a liking to him either – there he musters a 38, and even Independents give Brown a 37. Men give Brown a little better grade – a 44%.

Ouch

Rehberg sure isn’t skating by…..most recent polling has Rehberg polling at 52%, and John Driscoll with 38%.

And Driscoll isn’t even really campaigning! He’s not raised any funds, and he’s not traveling to do any campaigning. The only campaigning he’s doing is that travel which he had already planned. I haven’t heard – the guy lives in Helena – if he’s even door knockin’ there.

Man, I don’t know, but I’m thinking that’s gotta hurt.

Anyways, there you go – some numbers to mull over. But now is not the time to get complacent – write those letters to the editor, head down to the Obama campaign and make a few calls, knock a few doors…or, better yet, contact any of the local state races (links in this post) and do some door knocking for them.

Weather’s great – and it gives you a chance to meet some neighbors.

by Pete Talbot

Good political insights and some great self promotion over at Daily Kos by Democratic candidate Peter Rosten (HD 57 87 in the Bitterroot). This is one of many Montana legislative campaigns that has great potential and could use our support. Rosten is a film and video producer, which is close to my heart, and he’s done innovative work in Western Montana schools. Here’s his website.

I was remiss in my last ‘favorite links’ not to mention Wulfgar’s! (is that where the apostrophe and exclamation point go?) introspective Obama piece — over at LiTW, of all places. This link is a little late but there’s still some wild commentary going on — presidential retrospectives, recriminations, gender issues — it’s worth a look. Remember, we’re all Democrats here so let us keep our eye on the prize.

Montana congressional candidate John Driscoll is certainly an optimist but then again, he won the Democratic primary without doing any campaigning or raising any money. I sincerely hope he gets his ass in gear and makes a serious run at Rehberg. Driscoll needs to keep Rehberg busy, otherwise Denny will spend his money and time helping other Republican candidates (particularly state legislators) get elected.

So now we know what John Sinrud has been up to since he decided not to run for the legislature: figuring out how to rape the Montana landscape. Along with extractive booster and former Republican Congressman Ron Marlenee, Sinrud has formed the innocuous sounding Western Tradition Partnership. Jim Jenson of the MEIC nicely skewers this organization’s goals.




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