Archive for the ‘Steve Daines’ Category

by Pete Talbot

When Montana Rep. Steve Daines votes to the right of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on a budget bill, well, that says it all.

Please keep in mind that Ryan was selected as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential candidate in 2012, basically to placate the Republican fringe because Romney was too “moderate.”

The budget bill, hammered out by Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, is a deal designed to avoid future government shutdowns.  To say that it’s moderate legislation would be an overstatement.  There are curbs on federal workers’ pensions; there are no tax increases for anyone or extensions of benefits for 1.3 million unemployed, or relief for kids on the WIC program or families on food stamps or … but it’s probably the best we’ll get out of this congress.

The final tally was 332-94 in favor of the compromise bill.  Daines voted “no” with just 62 of the most far-right members of the U.S. House.

If Ryan is a tea party darling, what does that make Daines?

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by Pete Talbot

May Eastern Washington kick MSU’s butt.

It’s rare that I’ll root for an out-of-state team. Whether it’s the Griz, the Cats or even the Saints; I want Montana schools to win. I was really pulling for the Bobcats over EWU because if the Cats beat the Eagles, and then the Griz beat the Cats, the Griz have a better chance of making the playoffs. I also just like the Cats this year, especially running back and Frenchtown product Cody Kirk.

Then I watched the Steve Daines rollout for the 2014 U.S. Senate race. There was MSU QB DeNarius McGhee with his nose so far up Steve Daines’ derrière that he could peer out Daines’ belly button.

Perhaps McGhee believes he’ll be a millionaire NFL quarterback some day and that Daines will craft tax legislation allowing McGhee to keep all his earnings. Until then, McGhee better hope that none of his family or friends ever have to go on food stamps. Or ever need reasonably priced health insurance. Or (fill in the blank).

Granted, Griz QB Jordan Johnson isn’t problem-free but at least his mug isn’t on TV, stumping for a tea party candidate.

Now I’m no fan of Slokane’s home team: it skanked out a win over the Griz; and then there’s that obnoxious red playing field but today, Go Eagles.

by jhwygirl

It ended up the do-nothing U.S. House of Representatives passed three kumbaya bills and two not-jobs-creation bills last week. One of those not-jobs-creation bills is the Full Faith and Credit Act that we wrote briefly about the other day – HR807. This bill actually hurts employment by telling the Treasury what order in which to pay bills.

HR807 passed with only Republican votes – while 8 Republicans joined with Dems in NAY to passage. Which tells you what kind of bill this is.

Where was Montana Rep. Steve Daines? He voted yes.

The second non-kumbaya bill and the other real work damage the GOP-led House did last week was the Working Families Flexibility Act – HR1406.

That name sure sounds nice, doesn’t it

The Working Families Flexibility Act repeals a portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 – the portion that requires employers of hourly wage earners to pay time-and-a-half for work hours over 40. Instead of pay, an employer (e.g., not the employee) can opt to pay out those overtime hours as “comp time” – a bank of hours, like vacation or sick time.

And guess what? The employer doesn’t have to pay it out to you when you and your employer part ways. Not only that – imagine the impacts to an employee (i.e., a father or a mother) who turns down overtime?

Where was Montana Rep. Steve Daines on this bill that both destroys job creation and exposes hourly wage earning families to risky and unfair labor practices? Rep. Daines voted yes.

75 years of standing labor law – built on events that brought about its need – and Daines votes to do away with overtime pay.

Now – this bill ties in nicely with the GOP’s never ending quest to damage and roadblock the Affordable Care Act. If employers can’t cut employees back enough to avoid having to provide healthcare, at least then they could force everyone to work 50 hour work weeks, with compensation that only increases what might be nonexistent sick and vacation leave! See how fascism works?

And before you think they’ve given up on this quest to gut-punch the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s bill to repeal said bill – HR45 is schedule for the floor this week.

Used to be “jobs jobs jobs” we heard from the GOP, but that has been quite a while. It’s one thing to myopically focus on other issues (like Benghazigate?) but it’s an entirely different thing when you start taking pot shots at jobs and American hourly wage earners, both already spread thin.

Pay attention here, Montana. Steve Daines is going to be running for something in 2014. Don’t let these votes fade from memory.

by jhwygirl

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take an upteenth attempt at damaging U.S. economic stability and growth tomorrow with a number of bills coming to floor vote, six of which would once again embrace derivatives as a legitimate stable investment for our financial institutions.

Taxpayers beware. There is nothing prohibiting bailouts.

Passing out of House financial services on Tuesday and coming to a vote tomorrow is the Full Faith and Credit Act coming to a vote will prioritize U.S. debt and interest over the priority of running the government. Things like keeping the lights on, paying soldiers, social security & disability payments. You can see how willing to negotiate the House GOP Republicans are going to be for the upcoming debt ceiling discussion, estimated to come to Washington DC sometimes during that oh-so-pleasant month of August.

Six other bills which also passed out of financial services yesterday will weaken derivatives regulations within Dodd-Frank.

Addendum: Democracy Now reports that only six members of the House financial services committee voted NO to weakening the already
weak Dodd-Frank derivative regulations.

This’ll infuriate people who thought Dodd-Frank was weak to begin with. Pretty sure that both Lizard and JC fall into that category. I know I’m there.

HR992, the Swaps (meaning derivatives) Regulatory Improvement Act, will allow FDIC insured and uninsured foreign banking entities supervised by the Federal Reserve to utilize derivatives.

That’s right – one of the base elementary causes of the 2007 economic crash is being welcomed back for taxpayer insured FDIC banks.

As a bonus, the bill continues the bailout prohibition exemption for these banks. Which means in plainer language that FDIC insured banks can continue to be bailed out. Ahhh, the pleasures of Dodd-Frank.

I’ve seen or heard plenty saying that the Full Faith and Credit act isn’t likely to pass filibuster – but I’ve yet to see or hear the same for the nasty derivative porn. I say it’s amazing but it really isn’t anymore – the crap these electeds get away with. Because truth be told, it rests on us who keep elected these fools. But here we are, an already weak bill being weakened again. Embracing derivatives? Geezus.

What will Daines do? I’ll be calling his D.C. office first thing tomorrow morning (202-225-3211) to let his staff know where I stand – and that I’ll be watching.

By CFS

Twitter and Facebook are increasingly becoming a part of people’s daily life and when it comes to politics, social media is an indispensable tool for organization, spreading information, and connecting people of like-minded attitudes.  But few politicians are actually making good use of these new tools.  Rather sadly, many politicians are using the tools to their own detriment or are simply using them to insulate and shut out criticism.

 

Here in Montana, politicians are beginning their primary pushes which means the long process of building a support network and raising funds, and in today’s age that means using twitter and Facebook to directly connect with as many people across the state as possible.  But so far this cycle our would-be political representatives seem a bit clueless.

Here are my suggestions of how our crop of Montana politicians can use social media effectively:

  1. Engage, engage, engage.  If you are using Twitter as a repository of press release like boring links, don’t even bother… I’m looking your way @DennyRehberg.  Twitter is a continuous conversation, be part of it, open your ears, and actually have a back and forth.
  2. Get rid of the staff.  I know social media can be a time-suck, but it is disingenuous to represent yourself on twitter and have a staff be the one tweeting.  If its overwhelming, have two accounts, one for the campaign run by a staffer, and a personal account that is solely yours.
  3. Don’t mass follow people… it just looks desperate and is akin to what sleazy internet marketers do.  That means you Franke Wilmer, who followed me the other day.  The first politician to seek me out for a follow.  Your followers, whether on Twitter or Facebook should come organically and not be sought after.  If you are a good candidate people will naturally gravitate to you.
  4. Make it personal, but not too personal.  Followers should feel as though they have an in on who you are and what your campaign is about that they can’t get via the television news, blogs, or newspapers.
  5. Google search for James Knox (R) Billings.  Look at his use of social media, then proceed to do the exact opposite.  Threats, crazy assertions, and lying in the social media sphere only get you ridicule and draw people’s attention who then quickly tear your arguments apart and make you look like the fool you are.
  6. Have a filter.  Before you hit that send button, think for a second whether you really want to put what you just typed out their.  As a politician you should realize that many of your followers are probably reporters, bloggers, and political insiders that will make as much noise and trouble for you given any opportunity.
  7. Be creative and witty.  Social media is geared to short bits of information, and to get attention you need to put out creative and authentic updates, being boring will kill you.
  8. Finally, study what people have done right.  For Montana, that means taking a look at how state legislators Ellie Hill, Bryce Bennett, and Mike Miller have used social media, especially during the hectic legislative session.  They were the best source on how things were shaping up at the capital and even during the busiest of times, kept their followers in the loop on legislative developments.  For my money, they are the best examples of politicians using Twitter effectively.

Other than that, good luck to all our candidates, except for Denny Rehberg, may Tester bitch slap you with his two-fingered hand.

For those of you interested in getting more information on our crop of Montana candidates take a look at the list I have compiled below.

Senate:

John Tester (D): Campaign site, @jontester, Facebook
Denny Rehberg (R): Campaign site@Rehberg2012, Facebook

Congress:

Franke Wilmer (D): Campaign site@Franke4Congress, Facebook

Dave Strohmaier (D): Campaign site@DaveForMontana, Facebook

Steve Daines (R): Campaign site@DainesforHouse, Facebook

Kim Gillan (D): Campaign site

Governor:

Rick Hill (R): Campaign site@RickHill2012, Facebook

Ken Miller (R): Campaign site, Facebook

James O’Hara (R): Campaign site, Facebook

by Pete Talbot

According to my informed sources (as opposed to my uninformed sources) Missoula Ward One Councilor Dave Strohmaier will throw his hat into the congressional race for Montana’s sole U.S. Representative.

I’ll let Dave make the announcement himself but one source said, “(he’s) getting very close to making a decision to launch a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.”

This is a good thing. The more the merrier, IMHO. May the cream rise to the top.

And then we need to work our butts off for whomever wins the primary and takes on Steve Daines (or anyone like him).

By Duganz

Politico reports that millionaire, excuse me, Republican, Steve Daines will be the first pachyderm to throw his hat into the ring against Sen. Jon Tester in 2012. This of course stands against the logical idea most people had that Rep. Dennis “You drive the boat” Rehberg would be going after the seat (He’s accomplished nothing in the House, so it’s about time he try and accomplish nothing in the Senate).

But Daines is saying he’ll have a big announcement Saturday, and it may very well be this run for Senate. (Here’s a Facebook page promoting it…)

It would appear the Montana Democrats are readying for the challenge from Daines, a pro-life/anti-tax/”kill the Muzzlams!” candidate if ever they could find one. They’ve filed a complaint against Daines with the Federal Elections Commission saying that he is already running for Senate, albeit secretly and (the kicker…) illegally. Their evidence? This:

To quote comedian Marc Maron…. “What the fuck?!” That’s quite clearly a political campaign ad. From start to finish.

But wait, there’s more.

Common Sense Montana, producers of the above, are now running a new ad on Montana radio that is dizzying with just how much bullshit it is willing to dole out. Of course I couldn’t find a way to snag the file of the ad (see prior link), but here is a bit of the transcript:

SFX:[door open]

Norm:This the patent office?

Bitsy:Yessir!

Norm:I want to patent this [thud].

Bitsy:My, what a big question mark!

Norm:It’s a Tester-Tester. Push this button and it asks a question Jon Tester can’t answer…

…at least with a straight face. Like this…

SFX:[Mnemonic: Bzzzz + computer whirring + ding]

TEST:“Why did Jon Tester cast the single deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare?”

Bitsy:[breath]…He can answer that?

Norm:Uhhh…No.

ANNCR:The way Jon Tester poses in manly Montana pictures makes you think we have a tax-fighting farmer working for us in Washington. Turns out he was the one vote the President needed to force us into ObamaCare…and he stood with Obama, not Montana. Jon Tester’s not running in November, but you can visit TesterTester dot org and ask more questions he…just can’t answer.

If you read that and said, “Wait. Wasn’t that *Rep. Bart Stupak who stalled the Health Care bill and then got what he wanted and was thus the deciding vote?” well, of course, you’re not the kind of person to vote for Steve Daines, or be led astray by such an ad. (Also, on a more personal note, how freaking sexist is it that the guy’s name is “Norm” and the woman’s name is “Bitsy”? Not the least bit, right? *Groan*) But how many people have already forgot Stupak’s name? I’m betting plenty, and so is Steve Daines and his cronies.

Anyway…

Who is Common Sense Montana? Good question. I can’t answer that. If you go to CommonSenseMontana.com you go directly to the Tester ad and are left without any explanation of who these folks are. However, if you move your cursor over either link on the page (“Home” or “Blog”) you see this:

So, that’s convenient. Montana is being manipulated by a Colorado group (so it appears… stay with me). Nice. An outside group adopts a homebase name and face and starts pushing an agenda. Perfect.

Common Sense Issues, the folks behind ideasforcolorado.com, represents the epitome of everything that is the rightwing scare base. The group is headed by Harold “Zeke” Swift, a rightwing ideologue from Procter&Gamble who helped push Mike Huckabee into the national spotlight. Here’s they’re mission, stated via GuideStar.org:

The organization’s primary exempt purpose is educating and informing American citizens about issues related to public policy and about working together to encourage opinion leaders and public officials to approach and seek solutions to the problems faced by Americans using basic common sense principles.

Again, to quote Marc Maron, “WHAT THE FUCK?!” How any of their ads are about “working together” is beyond me, I mean, my god, the above are anything but inclusive.

But the real kicker is that Common Sense Issues is based in Cincinnati, Ohio (That’s close to where Zeke lives), the Colorado connection comes via another Huckabee guy, Patrick Davis.

Davis, as his page shows, has a big ol’ issue with our Senators Max and Jon.  He’s also (by his client list) a HUGE supporter of the Teabaggers. More than that, however, is Davis’ past: he was a Conrad Burns insider via the Republican National Senatorial Committee.

Yup, that’s right, one of ol’ Burnsie’s guys is coming back trying to oust the guy who defeated Conrad.

And these are the people backing Steve Daines. He is their ideological front man in Montana, an anti-personal liberty conservative who is going to fight to repeal or end any health care reform efforts, back corporate America, and ultimately move us further right. Having worked with Swift at Procter&Gamble, and with Davis during the Burns years, Steve Daines is a well-connected and well-financed Republican puppet; a businessman of high class and low morals.

In other words: Meet the competition.

Me? I’m with Jon Tester, a really nice guy who runs a Montana farm, and is the furthest you can get from being a political ideologue. He ran a campaign in Montana, with Montana voters.

Plus, he liked the jacket I was wearing in the above photo. You know why? Cause he isn’t just posing for “manly” photos. He’s a real damn man… missing fingers he lost farming.

And the best part: He’s not some puppet backed by nutty Christians from out of state. He’s just Jon.

Author note: This piece originally called Rep. Bart Stupak a Senator. Commenter “Doug” caught that.




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