Political Trough: The Primary to Watch in Montana

Aaron Flint posted on August 12, 2013 16:21 :: 2171 Views

Mother Jones gets it wrong.  Dana Perino gives a shout out to her Montana intern. The primary to watch in Montana.  A picture of elk crossing through a firefighter staging area in California.  How rare is it for someone to lie in state in the Montana capitol?  All that and more, in no particular order, are in this week’s Political Trough.  

First- make sure you tip….well.  

A local waitress and Tea Party activist in Great Falls says she was called a “Tea Bagger” in a comment card filled out by the local Democratic party chair.  He says no, she maintains her charge.  All this, as The Western Word sums up the tiff from The Great Falls Tribune:    

To set this up, a few weeks ago (July 20) Great Falls Tea Party activist Cyndi Baker wrote about a customer at the restaurant (reported as Jakers in the Great Falls Tribune) where she is employed leaving a note on the customer comment card that was mildly critical of her political views. Baker contends the note was left by Cascade County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Carl Donovan. You can read that post HERE.

In the Saturday Tribune article, Donovan “denied writing the comment on the Jakers comment card.” Baker was quoted saying, “I stand by my blog.” 

Then last week (August 5), she wrote about another customer “former school board chairman Steve Erwin” whom she had disagreements with in the past saying about his visit to the restaurant, “To his credit, he was nothing but polite, civil and gracious. He even left a 15% tip!” It was kind of a comparison of Erwin and Donovan – two people she has had disagreements with and how they handled it.

I guess I may be a little new school, but I figure 20% is the standard for tipping nowadays…either way- kudos to Irwin. 

Dana Perino gives a shout out to her University of Montana intern Kyle Schmauch: (known as old man by Bob Beckel apparently) 


Mother Jones gets it wrong on concealed carry story: 

The fact that the AP never has and never planned to indiscriminately publish personal information about concealed carry holders in the first place was lost in the angry backlash.

The reason that “fact” may have been lost on readers is due to the fact that the AP waited several days before stating that they had no intention of publishing the list of names.  Instead, they told reporters from this Network, the Montana Television Network, Montana Public Radio, and Montana Media Trackers that they “do not comment on ongoing reporting efforts.”

Now that the state of Montana has said goodbye to former First Lady Betty Babcock, Dan Boyce asks, “How rare is it for someone to lie in state?

The last time anyone lay in state in the main Rotunda was in 1962—Governor Donald Nutter who died in a plane crash after a year in office. His death moved Lieutenant Governor Tim Babcock into the Governor’s seat. Betty Babcock became first lady.

Chief Program and Information Officer at the Department of Administration, Sheryl Olson said there isn’t any specific policy or law on the books detailing what it takes to lie in state in the Capitol.

“So, in this situation the family requested that Mrs. Babcock lie in state in the capitol, and we were very pleased to honor that,” she said.

NPR: 2014 Senate Math Favors Republicans But Primary Battles Loom

Working in Republicans’ favor during the 2014 election cycle? The math.

There are 20 Democratic and 15 Republican seats in play, and, at this point, the seats in danger of flipping are almost all Democratic.
A growing consensus is that the four most winnable-for-Republicans races include, for the moment, South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia, where Democratic senators are retiring; and Arkansas, where Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is the party’s most vulnerable.

What about Montana’s legislative races?  With less than 9 months until absentee ballots hit mailboxes across Montana, which will be the primary to watch in Montana?

From The Flathead Beacon:

Perhaps even more interesting in 2014 will be the race for the state Senate seat that Sonju is vacating. He has endorsed current Speaker of the House Mark Blasdel to replace him, but Kalispell Mayor Tammi Fisher has also announced she is running.

“That primary will be one that everyone has their eyes on,” Sonju said in a recent interview.

 Just because it was interesting….

And, for “Fred in Kalispell,” National Review reports that the US is number one in public employee pay: (h/t RedState.com)

In a 2011 AEI paper with Jason Richwine, I concluded that federal workers receive salaries and benefits around 37 percent higher than do private-sector workers with similar levels of education and experience. This prompted congressional requests for the Congressional Budget Office to conduct its own analysis, which, the requesters hoped, would rebut ours. Using slightly different methods, the CBO showed a smaller wage premium for federal workers. They omitted a $2.3 billion per year federal subsidy to government workers’ accounts held by the Thrift Savings Plan, but still reached qualitatively similar conclusions: Federal workers receive pay and benefits 16 percent above private-sector levels.

But here’s another approach, thanks to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the “rich man’s club” whose membership includes most of the world’s developed, high-income countries.

The results aren’t surprising. U.S. federal employees receive significantly higher total compensation than do central-government workers in other countries. For instance, in the U.S. federal government, a secretary receives total annual compensation of over $69,000; in the central government of the average OECD country, less than $48,000. With apologies to my friends in federal-policy shops, U.S. economists, policy analysts, and statisticians appear to do best of all, earning nearly twice the OECD average.

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