Governor Schweitzer Blows a Gasket


 

Governor Schweitzer is accustomed to getting his way.

 

When Governor Brian Schweitzer realized he wasn’t going to get his way, he had a hard time controlling his anger. Check out the video on The Flint Report. Governor Brian Schweitzer is suing the Montana Legislature over House Bill 676 because he believes it covers more than one subject and therefore violates the Montana constitution.  The legislators disagree.

Schweitzer has the nerve to criticize them for hiring additional legal staff for the lawsuit while failing to admit they wouldn’t need any lawyers for this issue had the governor not sued the legislature in the first place.  Governor Schweitzer needs to stop wasting Montana taxpayer money.

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The Tiniest Progressive in Montana


I’d like to take a moment to discuss Montana State University’s newest president, Ms Waded Cruzado.  But first, let me preface this by adding that I am deeply concerned about the Progressive movement in this state and the direction in which we are headed.  It is a plague of California proportions.

I’ve been hardpressed to put a finger on just who this little woman is and why MSU’s decision to hire her over the other finalist for the job, Steven Leath, who comes from an ag-school background and seemed to be a wonderful fit for MSU, bothers me as it does.  Let’s see: In 2005, Dr. Cruzado provided leadership to establish the J. Paul Taylor Symposium of Social Justice at NMSU.  Social justice huh?  Of course, Waded is a minority.  Apparently, in this country, if you are a minority you are automatically entitled to be angry.  I’ve met Ms Cruzado.  She is a tiny woman, just over 5 feet tall.  I did not find her to be angry.  In fact, she is quite a likable woman.  I did, however, find her to feel entitled.

Let’s examine this entitlement mentality which some members of the minority class seem to have.

MSU (you, the taxpayers) are paying Ms Cruzado $280,000 annually.  That makes her the highest paid government employee in the state. That’s $75,000 more than her predecessor, Geoffrey Gamble, a white man.  Mr. Gamble was quite a popular figure at MSU, and he was known for his penchant for giving.  Mr. Gamble never once while at MSU kept his raise in pay.  Instead, he gave it back to the university.  In fact, upon retiring, he and his wife announced that they would be leaving the university their entire estate upon their deaths.

Let’s contrast this for a moment with Ms Cruzado first year at MSU.

I’ll quote my wonderful MSU source here, who asks not to be named.  “Cruzado has demanded more of the university than anyone can possibly imagine.”

According to my source, progressives do truly believe in the power of personal sacrifice.  That is, unless it is themselves who are being asked to make such a sacrifice.  In reality, all that sacrifice would be best dished out by the conservatives of this country, who have long lived selfish, meaningless lives which have trampled on the rights of others who perhaps do not have as much.

“Maintenance personnel at MSU have been asked to work round the clock to welcome Ms Cruzado.”  The presidential residence, just outside of campus, a posh three bedroom spread in a very comfortable neighborhood of south Bozeman, was just fine for the Gambles.  Apparently, however, Ms Cruzado’s tastes were too rich for the hovel.  “MSU has already spent in excess of $200,000 in materials and labor making her digs more modern and comfortable, all at Cruzado’s request.”

She actually asked for “more modern”?  Yep.

But that’s not all.  MSU has also spent more than $100,000 updating her office space–making it…more modern.

So, let’s recap.  We are now paying almost $300K for the president of a small university–a minority progressive–another $300,000 for her new digs, and oh yeah, another $50k annually for a new retirement package to help keep her here.

While all of this is scandalous in itself, let’s add to the equation by stating that the rest of the university’s employees are experiencing a wage and hiring freeze, ongoing now for almost two years, with no end in sight.  Add to that the increase in their insurance premiums, which yes, are paid for by the State, however non-single employees have found that their out-of-pocket expenses have increased in one year’s time to almost $100/dependent.  The cost of living has increased.  The cost of gasoline has increased.  And effective next year every state employee with a healthcare plan will be taxed by Obama at it’s face value.  For most employees that equates to about $9000 in taxable income.

But thank God we have the assets to modernize the university president’s life.  How could we possibly expect her to perform her duties with cheesy brass colored doorknobs and sink faucets, ivory colored appliances and tacky lampshades?

Cruzado is currently asking the State to “temporarily” foot the bill for new stadium seats, to the tune of $8-$10 million.  She’s referring to the plan as “responsible”, since some of the funds will come from private sources and the rest will be “borrowed” from the State and repaid with football ticket revenue.

Perhaps the employees at MSU are wondering where is the logic in constructing a larger football arena with nonexistent funds when they are being asked to sacrifice for the good of the community?

Social justice huh?

Montana Environmentalist Democrats: Protection from thee, not from me


Montana Democrats Fail to Practice What They Preach

While we are all accustomed to receiving campaign literature, the amount, frequency and content targeting incumbent Montana state senator Roy Brown (SD 25) by either his opponent or  those working on his behalf  are not only excessive, but bordering on libelous.

Many Montana Democrats campaign on their “environmentally conscious” platforms,  so one would expect them to practice what they preach.  Perhaps they should consider an all email campaign to protect our forests.  Since absentee ballots were sent out early this week, voters in MT SD25 have received an astronomical number of expensive 2 sided, full color pro-Kendall Van Dyk mailers.  Some households have reported receiving twenty or more of them since Tuesday.

All Montanans care about maintaining the beauty and future of our great state.  To criticize a candidate as ecologically irresponsible while Van Dyk himself condones and supports forest devastation is rather hypocritical.  How many other issues does Van Dyk  promote while his lifestyle indicates otherwise?

The hypocrisy of not only the mailer content but the premise of mailers themselves is an issue that needs to be addressed.  Campaigning as an environmentally conscious candidate while ridiculously portraying your opponent as a tyrannical oil baron is duplicitous- especially when the eco-friendly candidate is partaking in the earth-raping deforestation by mailing large postcards in bulk.

These mailers, varying in size from large to gargantuan have no mention of the use of recycled paper or soy ink.  None of them display any indication of  biodegradability or if perhaps the liberal candidate has chosen to offset  contributions to our environmental demise by planting trees.

Our candidates for elected office strive to shine as heroes in one aspect of their lives and/or careers. When environmentalism is that aspect,  one expects to see that candidate promoting it in not only words, but actions.

An former boss once told me that the secret to his success was to determine what issues and characteristics were important to his employers and to then make those things important to him.  WE employ elected officials, isn’t it time our needs are important to them? Masquerading as “green” and condemning your opponent for being pro-energy is diabolical unless those values are also actions.  It is time that we hold our candidates to their campaign promises and start asking the tough questions.  We may or may not approve of Roy Brown’s stances on the issues, but we can all admit that they are consistent with his lifestyle.

If Van Dyk is MAKING Laws for Us, He Should Also Follow Them


Gasp! Say it isn’t so! Democratic Montana State Representative Kendall Van Dyk who is challenging Senator Roy Brown in Montana’s Senate District 25, posted photos of his completed voting ballots on his Facebook page.  One was posted May 11, 2010 and the other was posted October 5, 2010.
Based on my admittedly amateur interpretation of Montana Elections Law after researching the statutes here, it appears that Montana’s fearless environmental savior, Representative Kendall Van Dyk, is indeed in violation of MCA 13-35-201 for photographing and posting his marked ballot on his Facebook profile for all to view.  He completed his absentee ballot and posted an image of it on his Facebook profile on May 11, 2010 with the words ” hope your ballot looks like this”.  After completing his general election absentee ballot October 5, 2010, he again violated Montana election code when he photographed  his completed ballot and posted the image on his Facebook profile with a similar message that served to potentially bully or intimidate constituents who have yet to vote.

13-35-201. Electors and ballots. (1) An elector may not show the contents of the elector’s ballot to anyone after it is marked. An elector may not place any mark upon the ballot by which it may be identified as the one voted by the elector.

The Official Photoprez.com blog is a free platform for sharing and viewing photos of the American election experience.  Their article,  How to Photograph the Election and Your Vote (November 2008), lists the election laws and interpretations for each state as a guide to the legality of photographing votes on election day.  The section on Montana listed the following information and FAQ.  I have underlined the core components related to this particular violation by Rep Van Dyk:

 

Montana

Can you photograph or video your vote inside the polling station–either a paper ballot or electronic screen?

Not after marked: A Montana voter “may not show the contents of [his or her] ballot to anyone after it is marked.” MT ST 13-35-201

(available at http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-201.htm). Photographing or videotaping an unmarked ballot does not appear to be restricted.

Can you photograph or video yourself voting inside the polling station?

Probably: Although a voter is restricted from disclosing the contents of his or her marked ballot, photographing or videotaping the ballot before marking a vote, or the voting process generally does not appear to be restricted.

 

Can you photograph or video others voting or the working of the polling station from within it?

 

Maybe: You may not photograph or video any voters marked ballot, but there does not appear to be any restriction on photographing or videotaping other voters within the polling place itself. Election officials in Montana restrict media access to the actual polling place, but you should be able to photograph or video the operation of the polling place while you are voting yourself. If your actions are seen as disruptive, however, election officials may ask you to stop. To be safe, you should consult the chief election judge about how best to record your voting experience while minimizing disruption. See MT ST 13-35-203 (available at

http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-203.htm), MT ST 13-35-218 (available at http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-218.htm).

 

 

 

Can you photograph or video the polling station from outside it?

 

There does not appear to be any restriction on photography or videotaping a polling place from outside the actual building.

 

 

Can you photograph or video people leaving the voting station?

Without delving into rights of publicity, there doesn’t appear to be any restriction on photographing or videotaping people leaving the polling place.

 

 

Can you ask people questions leaving the polling station and can you video or blog their answers?

Questions about votes must be outside: Montana does not allow asking anyone “within a polling place or any building in which an election is being held” about how they voted or plan to vote. MT ST 13-35-211(3) (available at http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-211.htm). Additionally, the Montana secretary of state has restricted media access to the actual polling room. It is likely that once you have completed voting, you will be required to leave the polling room, but questions unrelated to votes for/against a particular candidate or initiative should be permissible there.

 


While some may feel that even mentioning these violations of our state’s election laws is being small-minded (or in the words of Mr Van Dyk, “intellectually small”) or petty, we must not forget that Mr Van Dyk holds his opponents to often impossible standards of perfection that he obviously isn’t willing to maintain for himself.  For instance, he filed a complaint against Roy Brown alleging violations of MCA 13-37-217, 13-37-229, and 13-37-231 concerning a $100 campaign contribution made to Brown in the name David Berg instead of David Fulwiler (David Fulwiler and David Berg are actually the same person which Mr Van Dyk acknowledged).  The Commissioner of Political Practices dismissed the complaint after determining that it held no merit whatsoever.
I’m typically not one to be preoccupied with trivial matters but this candidate seems almost desperate in his paltry attempt to discredit Roy Brown over a $100 campaign contribution.  In the today’s dirty political world, I doubt that Van Dyk’s minor violations of election ethics laws  but if one plans to dish it out, they also need to be prepared to take it.

Obscure PAC Uses Deceptive Propaganda to Influence Montana Senate Race


Absentee ballots will arrive today in 140,000 Montana mailboxes.  Hoping to influence outcomes in the contentious Montana Senate District 25 race between incumbent  Republican Roy Brown and challenger Democrat Kendall “Tax Hike” Van Dyk, “Values Energy & Growth PAC” recently sent mailers to arrive immediately before absentee ballots.  Loaded with distortions, misrepresentations, and outrageous lies, the mailer portrays Roy Brown as a “Big Oil” tycoon who seeks to murder trout, vitiate the Yellowstone River and otherwise rape the earth as he protects the interests of big oil companies. In reality, it has been 14 years since Brown worked in the oil industry and nearly 3 decades since he was employed by Marathon Oil- although in the ad,  Roy was pictured wearing a “Marathon” label  (and a poorly-Photoshopped one at that)on his shirt.

Note : all red text below was added by ME to point out the distortions and lies.  Please click on image to expand to full-size.

Values Energy & Growth PAC

I'd take "Big Oil" Roy Brown over Kendall "TAX HIKE" Van Dyk any day.

LIES

The left loses more credibility each day.

A PAC is a political committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates.   Unfortunately, some  don’t register their organizations with the FEC or the state and many that do register, don’t disclose their involvements.  Just who is the group “Values Energy & Growth PAC“? Registered to a Bozeman Post Office Box, Christopher Cady of Bozeman is listed as the  caliginous group’s treasurer.  Other than that,  little is known about this group.  A Google search of the group’s name returns nothing of value and searching the Federal Elections Commission website also turns up nothing. Update: The group abbreviated as “VegPAC” (how appropriate) filed a C2 in Montana on September 30,2010.  Although it provides little additional information, the filing claims intent to “support and/or oppose legislative candidates”.

Numerous 2010 Montana primary elections were potentially  influenced by last-minute attack ads and mailers from difficult-to-track  shadowy groups.  In one such race, Montana HD 57 , Debra Bonogofsky was defeated by Dan Kennedy after voters received a mailer criticizing Bonogofsky’s failure to return the group’s survey.  Bonogofsky is, according to Republican party insiders, a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and is listed as such on rinopoacher.com.  Although she was one of only two Republicans in Montana to receive the endorsement of the radical environmentalist group Montana Conservation Voters (who has endorsed Kendall Van Dyk in the SD 25 race) in June’s primaries, she denies that she is a RINO and isn’t willing to surrender without a fight.  After considering an illegal party change  (Democrats entertained the idea of her running in the general election as their candidate, which says much about her “conservatism”), Debra instead launched a write-in campaign.  It will remain to be seen if voters will regard Debra’s persistence as that of a sore loser-it is easier to blame special interest groups for a defeat than to look within.

If you have questions today as you are voting from the comfort of your own home, don’t hesitate to research further. Ask questions.  Know your candidates. If you aren’t familiar, information is available on the voting record, issue positions, and group ratings for most candidates at Project Vote Smart.  This year, absentee voters can also check the secretary of state’s website to make sure their ballots are received by the county.