Political Trough: Boehner at the Buff, Sage Grouse, & more

The new husband/wife duo on Sacramento TV features Glasgow, Montana native and Montana TV personality.  Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) does breakfast at the Buff. (No…not in the buff- come on people)  6 things losing candidates say.  New gun control laws are unpopular in Colorado.  Forget Congress- states getting it done on tax reform.  And- don’t forget to replace your carbon monoixide alarm battery, especially if you leave your small children at home with your large marijuana stash in Billings….alll that and more in today’s Political Trough.   

But first, the big news that a Congressional hearing focused on sage grouse will be coming to Montana.  Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) first announced the news Friday morning.

Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) added this in a prepared statement:

Daines will be joined by Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), Congressman Kevin Cramer (ND-AL) and Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL).

“As a fifth-generation Montanan, I know firsthand how damaging federal overreach can be to the Montanans that depend on our land and resources for their income and their way of life,” Daines stated. “I’m pleased that the Natural Resources Committee has responded to my request for greater examination of the consequences of Endangered Species Act abuse and the potential listing of the Greater Sage Grouse, and agreed to hold this field hearing in Billings, where residents will be directly affected by the Department of Interior’s decisions. I encourage Montanans to join me at this hearing and look forward to hearing more about how these issues affect the people of our state.”

In light of the Department of Interior’s proposed Resource Management Plans and proposed priority habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse, Daines, along with Cramer, requested for Chairman Hastings to hold a field hearing on the implications of misguided federal actions under the ESA.

From Congressman Cramer:

Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the House Committee on Natural Resources will hold field hearings in Billings, Montana and Casper, Wyoming to examine the potential impacts of the Greater Sage Grouse receiving a listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Earlier this month Cramer and Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) requested the Committee hold a hearing in the region to bring the debate over ESA directly to the ranchers, farmers, landowners, irrigators, and energy producers who would be affected.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has maintained a Sage Grouse management plan since 2005, and is currently working on a 2013 revision. Potential federal actions under the ESA stemming from “mega-settlements” with environmental activist groups could have severe repercussions on domestic energy production. Additionally, misguided federal actions could impact livestock and outdoor recreation industries in the state. The latest settlement signed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011 requires the agency to make a final ESA listing determination no later than September 30, 2015.

Part 1: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
9:00 a.m. MDT
Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
2211 King Boulevard
Casper, Wyoming

Part 2:  Wednesday, September 4, 2013
1:30 p.m. MDT
Cisel Hall (MSU-Billings)
1500 University Drive
Billings, Montana

Great Falls Tribune: Bison Released on Ft Belknap Reservation

Fish and Wildlife released 34 wild bison free of cattle genes to hoots and hollers from about 150 people who gathered Thursday to watch.
“It’s a great day for Indians and Indian Country,” said Mark Azure, who heads the tribe’s bison program, moments after the final two big bulls rumbled out of a trailer and trotted away onto the prairie.

“It helped us, our ancestors, survive out here on the prairie,” Azure said of the bison. “So to be able to take that next step, and return the favor, so to speak, it feels good.”


Congrats to Courtney Hanson Carlmark and Meteorologist Rob Carlmark -the husband/wife team have BOTH landed on TV in Sacramento, California. Many of you know Courtney from Glasgow, Montana, or from The University of Montana, or from her time at KTVQ-TV in Billings. (And thus- many of you know Rob too now of course)

Speaker of the House John Boehner was in the Flathead for a fundraiser with Congressman Daines (R-MT).  He then attended a fundraiser  

Colorado Peak Politics:  Majority of Coloradans Oppose New Gun Laws

A new Quinnipiac poll of Colorado was just released showing 54% of Colorado voters oppose the state’s new draconian gun laws.

Forget all those figures about 90% support that Democrats trotted out time and again. A majority say they oppose them, while 40% say they make Colorado less safe to 37% who say they make the state safer.

StuRothenBlog: 6 Things Losing Candidates Say

Here’s a couple of my favorite…

1.“I’m running a grass-roots campaign.” This translates to: “I’m not going to raise any money.” Running an effective grass-roots and get-out-the-vote operation is important for a campaign, but winning a competitive House or Senate race requires multiple millions of dollars to make your case in paid advertising.

5.“I’m not going to accept PAC money.” It’s hip to reject contributions from political action committees and decry them as “special interest money.” But candidates taking this pledge probably weren’t going to get that money anyway. And if they did, they would call it “grass-roots support.” It’s possible to win without PAC money, but it usually means the campaign is supplemented with something else, such as a personal checkbook.

Washington Post: Forget Congress, some states show how to pass tax reform

While Sen. Max Baucus and Rep. David Camp, the Democratic and Republican heads of Congress’s tax-writing committees, lay the foundation for federal tax reform with their “Max and Dave” national tour, states like North Carolina have already debated and passed tax reform of their own. Chalk it up to whatever you want—an easier time getting the message across, an easier political climate, fewer vested interests or more urgency—but plenty of tax changes are underway at the state level.

Unlike the gridlocked federal legislative and executive branches, many states are under single-party control, making it easier to pass major tax changes. Legislatures in 46 states are controlled by a single party. The last time there were as few truly split states was 1944, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even if you take into account the parties of state governors, there are 38 states with single-party control.

In other words, many states have political climates conducive to getting something done, especially in places like North Carolina where Republicans took control of the legislature for the first time in more than 100 years in 2010.

Will Congress pass a flat tax?  That and more discussed in this Fox Business video with Camp and Baucus:

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

When it comes to the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Yellin or Summers) Baucus added in the video that he expects he will strongly support the president’s decision.  On Summers and Yellin, Baucus said, “I think they’re both very good candidates.”

From an earlier edition of Politico Playbook former Obama campaign manager, and former Baucus Chief of Staff, Jim Messina is apparently backing Summers for new Fed chair:

PALACE INTRIGUE – WashPost A1, at fold, “Allies of Fed candidates wage battle behind scenes,” by Zachary A. Goldfarb: “Lawrence H. Summers, one of the top candidates to lead the Federal Reserve, was being beaten up, and his friends from his White House years wanted to help him. So earlier this month, recently departed Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner and other former Obama administration officials joined Summers for a private strategy call … Rarely has the appointment of a new Fed chairman been accompanied by so much commotion … The fight pits allies of Summers, who also was Obama’s top economic adviser during the darkest days of the recession, against those of rival candidate Janet Yellen, the Fed vice chairman who has been an architect of the bank’s effort to reduce unemployment rates. … As Geithner has helped Summers navigate the uproar this summer, he also has been consulted by the president on whom the next Fed chairman should be …

“Longtime advisers to Obama such as Jim Messina and Stephanie Cutter , now in the private sector, … offered to lend a hand to their former colleague. Meanwhile, allies of Yellen publicized her attributes in the media while privately lobbying on her behalf – often without much success. Christina Romer, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and a top advocate for Yellen, encouraged her former colleagues in the White House for months to introduce Yellen to a wider range of Obama aides … Summers has witnessed the drama this summer from a home on Cape Cod, Mass., where he occasionally has talked to former colleagues between playing golf and tennis. Friends say he has been fairly philosophical about the whole thing – hoping that he is nominated, but not overly tangled up in plotting. …

And, to wrap it up, The Western Word has some advice in the “Making Montana Proud” segment:

-From the Billings Gazette: Jeremy Creed Houchin of Billings “has been charged with endangering his young children by leaving them alone in a house with a large amount of marijuana.”

The two young children evacuated their home and called for help when a carbon monoxide detector alarm sounded. Police investigated and found that it was because of the low battery. They also found about six ounces of marijuana and a scale.


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