Archive for the ‘JP Pomnichowski’ Category

by Pete Talbot

I was hoping the pundits and polls were wrong, but they weren’t. What is even more depressing is that Montana followed the national trend of moving to the right. In some cases, moving to the far right.

Let’s start with the PSC races. The Republicans now have a majority on the commission that regulates most of the utilities in our state. Expect looser reins on industry, fewer renewables, a greater emphasis on coal and a short-sighted energy policy. Consumer protection will take a hit, too.

Two veterans, Democratic PSC incumbent Ken Toole and former Democratic State Senator Don Ryan, lost their bids to Republican newcomers Bill Gallagher and Travis Kavulla, respectively. Toole ran a strong campaign — raised money, bought media, worked the district — but it wasn’t enough to overcome the “radical” tag that Gallagher hung on him. And you can also thank Flathead County voters for helping to take Toole down. May their utility rates increase tenfold.

In the other PSC race, let’s face it, Kavulla campaigned harder and raised more money than Ryan in what is basically a Hi-Line district. Even Great falls went for Kavulla.

Democrats lost big in the Montana legislature. Keep on eye on Billings’ Senate District 25, though, where Democrat Kendall Van Dyk is trailing Republican Roy Brown by one vote. Update from Billings Girl: “Last night when the votes were counted. Van Dyk was leading Brown by one vote, not trailing. And after some provisionals were added he is now up by 16. He has stayed ahead the entire time.” Kudos to Kendall.

My math may be a little off but I have the Montana House at 69 68 Republicans to 31 32 Democrats and the senate at 28 Republicans to 21 22 Democrats (the 50th seat to be decided by the Van Dyk/Brown race).

There were a few bright spots but more disappointments. On the upside, in my house district (92), Democrat Bryce Bennett won a close race against Republican Don Harbaugh, 2201-2072.

Two big letdowns. Democrat Willis Curdy losing House District 100 to Republican Champ Edmunds, 1858-1606. Curdy had a great profile and worked his ass off. I don’t know if we’ll ever pick up that seat, which is too bad, because otherwise Missoula County would be an all Democratic delegation.

It was also sad to see Bozeman’s JP Pomnichowski (D) lose to Tom Burnett (R) in HD 63 by 2682-2618.

Glad to see Beth Baker win the Montana Supreme Court race against Nels Swandal.

Finally, after all the “kick out the incumbent bums” election rhetoric, one of the biggest bums had an easy win: Denny Rehberg (around 60% of the vote) against Dennis McDonald (about 34% of the vote). Libertarian Mike Fellows got about 6%.

My take on the elections is that voters are frustrated by the party in power for not fixing things and that trickled down to the Montana races. But what a mess the Democrats were handed, and the voters must be smoking a lot of medical marijuana because their short term memory is shot.

It could also be a disgust with party politics in general as witnessed by the election of an Independent as sheriff (Carl Ibsen) here in Democratic Missoula County. It should also be noted that McDonald even lost Missoula County. It was only by 198 votes out of 34,892 but WTF?

I’ll try to get a post up later on the Montana ballot initiatives (I went 50-50 on those).

But I won’t even get into the national stuff, and I have no further pithy analysis or keen insights into this mid-term disaster, but here are some links to a few Montana folks who do:

http://leftinthewest.com/diary/4450/it-still-hurts-in-the-morning

https://4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/how-did-it-all-go-so-wrong/

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/gop_scores_big_in_west/C37/L37/


Advertisements

by jhwygirl

This post has been corrected.

Political campaign robo-calls are illegal in Montana, per Montana Code Annotated 45-8-216. Maybe someone needs to tell Tom Burnett, Republican candidate for Bozeman House District 63…..or the marketing firm making the calls, Marketplace One, with a phone number of 319-294-7021.

That would be CHICAGO IOWA, folks.

Yep – Burnett’s even got himself an out-of-state marketing firm.

Chicago sure is making a lot of money off of Montana elections, isn’t it? (I’d strike this, but it’s still true. Guess I could add IOWA too, now.)

What makes this even most indefensible is that the robo-call sounds to have been recorded by Tom Burnett himself. He talks about “recent attacks from my opponents [plural] against my ‘record’.”

Record? Burnett has never held public office.

I haven’t much patience for breaking the law – especially from people seeking lawmaker status. Beyond that, breaking campaign law is pretty despicably low – what can Pomnichowski do? File a complaint? Political Practices has a backlog as it is. It’s two weeks before the election.

Burnett can’t even run a fair and legal campaign.

Tom Burnett can’t follow state law as a candidate – let’s hope Montanans don’t get stuck with him a legislator.

JP Pomnichowski is the incumbent for this seat, and Burnett’s opponent. I have a link to her campaign over there on the right. JP is a fine legislator, who has been endorsed by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. In fact, I’ve done quite a number of posts that have mentioned Pomnichowski. Check it out.

by jhwygirl

The Daily Chronicle editorial boards’ endorsements focus on anti-partisanship as an ideal qualification – they use the word partisanship at least 4 times in the piece. When an editorial board says Pomnichowski’s opponent Burnett “is too ideologically rigid to be effective in the Legislature,” had to hurt. Burnett.

Ouch!

And I gotta give credit here, too, to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. How many papers actually endorse candidates anymore? The Missoula Independent does…who else?

Now…getting back: Burnett aside, the focus on why to re-elect JP Pomnichowski is the task at hand, and the Daily Chronicle concisely put together the reasoning:

“…Pomnichowski deserves a return trip to Helena. Her reasonableness and experience is needed, and she was successful in her last two terms in carrying legislation that has done good things for southwest Montana, particularly downtown Bozeman.”

JP Pomnichowski has been a legislative fan favorite for me for her last two sessions, and being that I’m sitting at a computer, I can easily prove the stuff I’m saying. For one, Pomnichowski is one hard working legislator. I’ve known that – but checking the legislative website, I find that she’s successfully carried seven bills forward this last legislative session. 7? That is nothing short of amazing.

I’d say that at least meets the definition of effective.

Lest the loonies come out and say she is anti-property rights – that seems to be a favorite substantiated talking point from the right – Pomnichowski worked hard to protect private property rights by working to revise laws related to gravel pit mining – and issue that was impacting fast-growing Gallatin county pretty hard. The revisions in law enhance the public information process for permits, helping to give both property owners the right to be informed from the beginning, and helping to ensure that the mining operators know all the rules from the get-go and helped move the backlog of permits.

Protecting private rights from too-much government oversight? Pomnichowski successfully carried a bill that required government agencies to protect private information.

And that’s just a partial rundown of 2009, folks.

I like JP because when she talks about her work, she talks about it in terms of the people she represents. It isn’t politics for her – it’s about the people.

And her record shows it.

by jhwygirl

Highlighting the value of top-notch legislators, this past legislative session saw the passage of HB678, which revised gravel pit/opencut mining laws in a way that is getting some pretty good reviews in this Great Falls Tribune story.

Under a new public notice requirement included in House Bill 678, which was approved in 2009, gravel and sand mine operators have to put up signs near proposed sites and send basic descriptions of their plans to county commissioners. Letters also must go out to property owners living within a half mile of a project.

The public notice requirement was one of several provisions included in the bill to improve accountability, oversight and efficiency in the state’s regulation of open-cut mine permits, which was found lacking by a legislative audit in 2008, and challenged in lawsuits.

Who sponsored this bill? Rep. JP Pomnichowski, of Bozeman.

Pomnichowski sponsored a number of bills this past session, seeing seven make it for final passage. A number of the bills that didn’t make it were absorbed into other bills.

That is no small feat.

I’m a fan of JP. She’s strong and consistent on natural resource issues. Water issues? She is one of the best. Pomichowski’s shown that she’s able to balance industry concerns, property rights and issues brought forth from citizens and communities. Gravel pits were a growing concern statewide since the 2007 session – and to the Bozeman area (in particular). Passage of HB678 was a significant accomplishment that has benefited people in communities throughout Montana. Not only that, it has helped move along the backlog of permits that the industry was not happy with.

Good legislators deserve good support. I want to note that Pomnichowski’s seat was won by just 230 votes in 2008. Bozeman can be a tough area for Democrats. This is not a seat that should be tossed. A $10 donation to her campaign just may help ensure that we have her around next legislative session.

by jhwygirl

Please consider this an open thread….

Welcome Yellowstone County Democratic Party to the blogosphere…

I’m a birder, so here’s a Summer tanager alert:Male and Female Summer tanagers

Here’s an interesting NYTimes story on blogs and bloggers, titled Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest,

The latest news out of the dam removal at Milltown: Volunteer vegetation has sprouted in excavated cells in pre-reservoir soils. These seeds may have been lying dormant under the reservoir sediments for over a century. Another interesting factoid from Diana Hammer, who is the face for the EPA on the project: 2.5 million tons (about 1.9 million cubic yards) of contaminated sediments removed/loaded/disposed. Usually she tells us how much that is in railroad cars, which I find interesting…

The Montana legislature wasted very little time getting to interim session – they were getting at committee assignments and such with in a week of the drop of the gavel. Its newsletter – The Interim is out, with a rundown of the what is going to be discussed and who is going to be leading those discussion. Wanna keep in the loop? Be sure to read it and then sign up for email alerts.

On that note: DEQ is facing a budget crunch. Lovely, huh? Democrats like JP Pomnichowski and Mary Caferro tried heroically this last session to update regulations and get this Department sufficient resources to address things like unregulated dumps and the huge backlog of meth contaminated properties and the inefficiencies and complete failure of the DEQ to address open-cut mining issues and existing regulations. You-know-who voted against or amended to worthlessness the bills these legislators proposed to help correct these issues.

Well – there’s a start. What do YOU have?

by jhwygirl

There is a correction in this post, below, for HB75

This post is just for Monday and Tuesday. 105 committee hearings for just those two days. Keep in mind, too, that this is all on the downhill side, too – and I need to remember that also. Floor hearings are becoming all the more important, too. I will be making an effort to get up brief previews as stuff hits the floor. Those will be, please note, don’t-delay, email-or-call-today types of notices.

Last Thursday – and then Friday – were two disappointments – both SB425, the “Walleye Welfare” bill, and SB497, the “it protects protesters from people that are entering health care clinics” bill both passed 2nd and 3rd readings in the Senate – on a nearly party-line vote. These were no-go bills from my perspective – and others – so that they passed is a bad thing.

Is there any good to report out of that? Well, in committee, both bills passed unanamously out of committee – SB425 a 9-0 vote our of Senate Fish & Game, and SB497 a 12-0 vote out of Senate Judiciary. By the time they hit the floor, all of the Democratic committee members – save one on each of those bills – had changed their vote. So while the bills weren’t killed on the floor, clearly there was movement. Is there more good? There’s still another chance at these bills – they’re now in their respective House committees….which means ongoing public comment should continue, and may have an affect. So keep it up.

Now, onto the task at hand, shall we?

Monday has an interesting one – the topic of which we’ve blogged about here previously. Rep. Scott Sales has HB526, which would require the use of regular road salt and prohibit the use of magnesium chloride and calcium chloride on state and county roads. Now..boy. What do you say about this? The bill started out prohibiting salt – and I could see where that was too unspecific, so as originally proposed it has been amended. But amended to prohibit magnesium and calcium chloride? When both are more effective? And road salt is more corrosive? And worse for water quality? What are these people thinking? This is House Appropriations (another crazy place for it – it was originally in House Transportation – and me, I’d love to see this in House Natural Resources) – Samuel Speerschneider the secretary – sspeerschneider@mt.gov.

Here’s another one of those crazy unconstitutional ones: Rep. Joel Boniek has HB246 which would “Exempt(ing) from the federal regulation under the commerce clause of the constitution of the United States a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured and retained in Montana”. Honestly. The lunacy. And the waste of time. Boniek and the rest of the loonies that are proposing this kind of stuff should be embarrassed.

Sen. Jeff Essman has an interesting one: SB348, which would put forth a constitutional amendment to Montanan’s that would result in yearly legislative sessions that would alternate between regular and budgetary. This passed through the Senate overwhelmingly – 42-8. Now – I don’t know what I think about this: On one hand, if ridiculous legislation (like the one above, for example) weren’t getting proposed, maybe there wouldn’t be a need for annual sessions. On the other hand, 90 days has rarely been enough time to get stuff done. The cost of annual sessions – the fiscal note gets away from addressing it all together by basically saying nothing is going to happen until a time period out of our purview – would be significant. Further, we have interim sessions now where real analysis and attempts at bi-partisan agreement are worked out on significant issues. When would that stuff get done? If someone could explain that to me, maybe then I could support it – but as it stands now, we got a 90 day session that essentially focuses on the “regular” stuff like approving proposed bills that affect every day life, water quality, air quality, taxes, etc., and they have nominal hearings that are politically driven, with little substance given to true analysis, whether fiscal or scientific, of the effects. Would Essman’s proposal result in year-after-year of that? No analysis, just politically-driven decisions. If so, hell no. I wish the legislators would consider all that before they go putting forth a constitutional amendment to the voters that would result in a politically-driven decision that would then result in year-after-year of politically-driven decisions.

Sen. Carol C. Juneau wants to regulate the sale of alcoholic energy drinks with SB438. This one passed nicely out of the Senate, and hopefully finds the same support in the House. In House Business & Labor, Santella Baglivo the secretary – sbaglivo@mt.gov.

I’m going to have to split this post, people, so please click Continue Reading »

by jhwygirl

This week’s schedule for the House is here, and for the Senate is here.

Rep. Sue Dickenson, of Great Falls, has two bills associated with recycling in the Natural Resources Committee – HB21 and HB35.

Missoula’s HD-92 Rep. Robin Hamilton has his HB62 set for hearing – it will require mandatory safety and education course for all trappers. How could anyone think that is a bad thing? But you know there will be lobbyists there try and kill it. That is the the House’s Fish Wildlife & Parks Committee.

Also in the FWP Committee is 4&20’s favorite Rep. JP Pomnichowski’s (Bozeman) HB63, that will allow commercial fur bearer licenses to be revoked under certain circumstances for violations of law.

Rep. Arlene Becker, of Billings has HB151 set for hearing in the House Business & Labor. It will revise breast reconstruction mandates so that they will be subject to coverage in any policy within the state – and be in compliance with federal mandates. Let’s see how our overwhelmingly male legislator decides on that one. Sometimes you’ll find that bureaucrat-types, despite knowing that not fixing something like this puts the state in legal jeopardy, have a “let ’em sue us” mentality.

That was only a brief run-down of this week’s House hearings. Be sure to check for the whole schedule for this week. Note that it will default to House hearings – you have to click on Senate to switch to theirs.

I’ll try and hit the Senate hearings – there are a number of ’em – tomorrow.

For information on any number of ways to contact your legislator or any legislator, click here.

For information on what legislators are on what committees, check below:
House Committee membership
Senate Committee membership
Joint Committee membership

In addition, you can stay involved and informed by watching TVMT, the Montana Legislature broadcasting network. You can watch that on (if I counted correctly) 42 channels around the state. Here in Missoula, it’s 67 – in Helena it’s 19.

There’s also live streaming, via Real Player – so you can listen at your computer. Eventually, those are archived (usually within a week or so.) If my memory is serving me well, the Real Player links are off of this page

by jhwygirl

The 61st Legislative session may not convene until Thursday, January 5th, but start-up tasks are being dispatched quickly, with committee assignment having been rolled out this past week.

With the state House split 50-50 and a Democratic governor, the Speaker of the House went to the Democratic party. Initially, Speaker Bob Bergren (Havre) said he was going to pick democrats for all committee assignments, but later relented, announcing that republicans would hold the chairs of 3 of 5 of the state house’s most powerful committees. Overall, committee chairs are split 50-50.

Locally, Missoulians have Rep. Michele Reinhardt (D) as vice-chair of the Business & Labor Committee; Robin Hamilton (D) as vice-chair of both the Education Committee and of Ethics; Dave McAlpin (D) as vice-chair of both Fish, Wildlife & Parks (Superior’s Gordon Hendrick (R) co-chairs this spot) and Legislative Administration; and Betsy Hands (D) vice-chair’s Local Government – and shares this seat with Victor’s Gary MacLaren (R).

Other notables with chairs are Mike Jopek (D – Whitefish) who is chairing Agriculture (where Julie French (D – Scobey) vice-chairs); Franke Wilmer (D – Bozeman) who chairs Ethics; Kendall Van Dyk (D – Billings) chairing Fish, Wildlife & Parks; JP Pomnichowski (D – Bozeman) vice-chairs Natural Resources; and Jill Cohenour (D – Helena) vice-chairs Taxation.

For a full list of committee assigns, check this link out.

In the Senate, there isn’t anything for Missoulians in terms of chair or vice-chair seats – the Senate’s 50 seats are controlled by 27 republicans – but committee assigns for local representation include Ron Erickson (D) on Taxation and Local Government and Energy & Telecommunications; Carolyn Squires (D) on State Administration and Business, Labor & Economic Affairs; Carol Williams (D) and Dave Wanzenried (D) on both Rules and Finance & Claims; Cliff Larsen (D) on Public Health, Welfare, and Safety and Judiciary and Agriculture, Livestock & Irrigation; and Wanzenried (again) on Natural Resources and Highways & Transportation.

Other notables to watch in the senate committees include Jonathan Windy Boy (D – Box Elder) in Business, Labor & Economic Affairs; Energy & Telecommunications includes Linda Moss (D – Billings) and Bob Hawks (D – Bozeman); Local Government includes Steve Gallus (D – Butte), Kim Gillan (D – Billings) and Jesse Laslovich (D – Anaconda); and Jim Keane (D – Butte) and Christine Kaufmann (D – Helena) on Natural Resources.

Another notable (as in WTH?! notable) is Rick Laible, who is chairing Education and Cultural Resources. Laible sponsored one education related bill in the 2007 session – SB 396 – in which he proposed to cut state funding support for schools by $84.5 million in FY 2008; $82.5 million in FY 2009; $80.7 million in FY 2010 and $79 million in FY 2011. It would have reduced general fund revenue by nearly $100 million in FY 2009 and FY 2010, while resulting in the need to hire two additional tax examiners for the Department of Revenue. It would have repealed county school transportation grants, quality educator payments and American Indian achievement gap payments.

A full listing of Senate committee assigns is here.

As an aside – The state Legislative Services Division is offering classes to the public to teach how to use the online Legislative Audit Workflow System (LAWS). While 2 sessions have already been held, there is one more being offered December 4th, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For more information on that, click here.

The 2009 LAWS is already up and running. I’ll be putting the link over on the right, under Citizen’s Info.

by jhwygirl

Jay’s raising some cash for Bozeman’s JP Pomnichowski.

She’s great. I told you all before. (Don’t make me repeat myself – go use the search over there on the right.)

We need to keep her around.

Get over there to Left in the West and give a great Progressive some love.

by jhwygirl

Each morning, we can all get downtown via free shuttle buses being provided by the city for all delegates and press and people in limbo, like me. I still haven’t written about yesterday’s ride – but I thought I might write about today’s.

I mentioned this morning, the delegates are getting pretty comfortable. Some of them are sharing rooms – and it all has the air of a college reunion. Not all are legislatures, so they don’t all work together all the time, but it is clear that they know and like each other quite well.

And No – they aren’t really wearing “regular old t-shirts” – I know I said that earlier – but I certainly don’t want ya’all getting the impression they’re down here on vacation. This stuff really is hard work. There’s important stuff to do for the next 2 1/2 months…and you can tell they mean business.

I didn’t get out of here until about 11 a.m. this morning – which put me on a shuttle with JP Pomnichowski, Michele Reinhart, Julie French and Anthony Jackson.

Anthony is a fine young man from Billings – 26 – who is currently working on Steve Bullock’s race for Attorney General.

Michele is our local HD-97 state house representative – who is running for re-election, BTW. I find her to be very much keyed into understanding the how and why behind things. Hell, I almost feel like she’s interviewing me at times. It’s all good, and I don’t mean that to sound bad – it isn’t. She’s my representative, and she’s very interested in my perspective of things. How could an active voter not like that?

Julie French is really a firecracker. You get the sense, from the get-go, that this is a woman that does not take “no” for an answer. That people – men and women – kinda sit there and nod in agreement when she speaks, and that when she tells you that ‘this is the way this is going to be,’ then, that is the way it is going to be.

I won’t tell you who told me, but I hear they call her Grandma. I assure you, it has nothing to do with her age.

Julie defined what a good legislator is – and she was clear to say that it didn’t matter if it was a city council person, or a state legislator or someone in the federal level. A good legislator is a good listener. “They have to listen to people. They have to want to listen to people,” she said. Julie then cited Jon Tester as an excellent example of someone who exemplifies a good legislator. Continue Reading »

by consonant girl

Thanks Indy!

Ed Tinsley’s blog is up at the Billings Gazette. If you forget that first link, go to the main page, search for that “blog” tab at the top of the page, the DNC will pop up when you get there, and there you go!

You’d think with Montana’s delegates front and center for the DNC this year – they have floor seats 20 rows from the front – and with the Good Gov speaking on Tuesday (around 8 p.m., I’m told) – that the Gazette would put that in a much easier place to see like the front page?!

Come on over to 4&20 Ed! I’ll put you on the front whenever you want!

Bob Struckman, of NewWest, has a piece up on his travels down to Denver with Jay, Matt, Dante and me the people from the Oregon Bus Project – and another on his adventures with the camera guy on The Bus. Don’t miss them!

JP Pomnichowski (HD-63) is blogging the convention too! You can see her stuff over at her blog, over at JP for Montana.

Well, I’m off to catch the shuttle. Hopefully I’ve not missed the first one – I’d like to score an interview with any one of our wonderful delegates – or even a guest….

by jhwygirl

No surprises there, I guess….but honestly, what a shame. Seems Montana GOP can’t play fair or nice – just dirty – especially when it comes to JP Pomnichowski.

Kent, a poster, gives us some news on a push poll he received Saturday morning.

Obviously JP Pomichowski of Bozeman is a threat, because they’ve done this sort of stuff against her before.

DONATE, and help this deserving candidate fight these kind of political games.

Seriously folks? In a Montana House race, even a small donation like 10 bucks can help out. JP has a track record of support for education, healthcare, local government and zoning and planning issues. She also has a track record of support for water rights and water and natural resource quality issues. Support for all the kinds of issue I blog around here all the time. In other words, One Good Representative that Montana needs to keep around.




  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,668,921 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,738 other followers

  • April 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Oct    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    282930  
  • Categories