Political Trough: Walsh Can’t Keep Story Straight

Aaron Flint posted on March 18, 2014 14:20 :: 3546 Views

Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) is hit by the liberal leaning editorial boards again over his controversial appointment of John Walsh (D-MT) to the US Senate.  Liberal columnist George Ochenski says it’s off to the races for two wounded parties, in a well written article that also gives a different take behind the Montana GOP legislative leadership battle.  MSU is set to honor former Clinton cabinet official Donna Shalala with an honorary degree.  And, another “pro-gun Democrat” is hit for casting an anti-gun vote.  That and more is included in the political trough below.

Ochenski: Off to the races with two wounded parties

The reality is that Wittich, who has long experience in Montana government, understands the basic truth of how the legislature works. Namely, all appropriation bills must start in the House. So when Wittich says he “wants to be where the action is,” he’s really saying he wants to control the purse strings for the state budget from the very beginning – not come in late in the game when the budget bill is transmitted to the Senate.

Overshadowing that, however, is the controversy of Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock’s appointment of his former lieutenant governor, John Walsh, to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Max Baucus’ appointment as ambassador to China.

There is now a cloud of controversy hanging over the Walsh appointment that will undoubtedly dog Walsh throughout the campaign and may affect Bullock’s chance of re-election in 2016. Why the governor didn’t just play it straight with the press and public right from the start remains an unsolved mystery.

The liberal-leaning editorial board at The Missoulian took another shot at Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) for his controversial appointment:  

Indeed, Bullock badly mishandled this particular appointment. He shut out the public, failed to explain his reasoning and ultimately appointed the most politically expedient candidate.

In any case, it’s a done deal now. Why keep bringing it up?

Because Bullock’s poor handling of Walsh’s appointment process continues to haunt him – and could wind up haunting all Montanans if a ballot initiative proposed earlier this month ends up passing.

Montana State University to honor former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala:  

MSU to award honorary doctorates to former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and Yellowstone historian

Donna E. Shalala, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Clinton administration and current president of the University of Miami, and Yellowstone National Park historian Lee Whittlesey will receive honorary doctorate degrees during Montana State University’s spring commencement, university officials announced today.

Shalala, 73, was named president of the University of Miami and professor of political science in 2001. She has more than 30 years of experience as a scholar, teacher and administrator. She also served for eight years as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.

Washington Examiner:‘Pro-gun Democrat’ once more places Obama administration over gun rights

Debo Adegbile, who Obama has reportedly been quietly moving toward the vestibule of the U.S. Supreme Court, is also an anti-gun zealot,” NRA’s Wayne LaPierre elaborated in 2012 when the nominee was being “groom[ed] for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — the traditional stepping-stone to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

This is Tester’s second vote for administration interests over those of his gun owner constituents in a little over a month. In February, he joined anti-gunners in the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs to continue requiring peaceable citizens to disarm in Post Offices. It follows a long pattern of negating “pro-gun” actions by endorsing Barack Obama, the man NRA calls “the most anti-gun president ever to occupy the Oval Office,” and helping to confirm the likes of Eric Holder, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. That enables Tester to play both sides of the fence, claiming he voted for gun owner interests on certain key bills (when in reality, a vote against them would have been political suicide in Montana), yet still advance party interests to allow the executive and judicial branches of government to undermine legislative checks and balances.

Politico’s Morning Energy: OBAMA SIGNS WILDERNESS BILL

President Barack Obama yesterday signed into law the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act, which designates 32,557 acres in Michigan as wilderness and grants the land greater protections. It represents Congress’s first public lands designation since 2009 – and Obama says Congress needs to do more. “There are currently dozens of conservation proposals before Congress – many supported by Democrats and Republicans – that would protect important lands across the country and help grow our economy,” he said in a statement. “Congress should act on these proposals, and in the meantime, I will continue to do my part to protect our federal lands for future generations to enjoy.” Obama just this week used his authority to designate a new national monument in California.


Here’s an update to a story I shared last week…

WashingtonPost.com: Montana Supreme Court rules in church dispute

… (Montana Supreme Court Justice Jim Rice) said control of the foundation’s assets should remain with Faith Lutheran, and not go to New Hope. The foundation is a stand-alone entity and a nonprofit corporation that is tied to Faith Lutheran without regard to its denominational affiliation, Rice wrote.

Montana Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion had urged the Supreme Court to prevent the foundation from being turned over to New Hope, saying it would set a bad precedent. The attorney general’s office oversees charities and nonprofit organizations operating in Montana.

 “Donors who give to foundations and designated funds at community foundations may be chilled from making such donations in the future because of uncertainty as to their eventual use,” Bennion wrote.

ICYMI: From State Sen. Elsie Arntzen’s (R-Billings) who is running for the US House:

I was honored to receive the endorsement of Montana’s former U.S. Representative, Rick Hill. In making his endorsement, the former Congressman noted that my unique perspective and positive approach to problem-solving will allow me to be an effective voice for Montanans in Washington.

“Elsie has succeeded in being elected and reelected in a swing legislative district while being faithful to her conservative values. She is a public school teacher who supports school choice. She has a solid fiscal record. She has demonstrated her concern for policies that promote jobs and a growing economy. And as the Chair of important committees such as Ethics and Business & Labor, Elsie has earned the respect of legislators through her thoughtful approach to major issues,” said Hill.

FoxNews.com: Montana ballot measure urging equal number of men, women in Legislature passes first test

A ballot measure in Montana that would require an equal number of men and women to serve in the state Legislature is a step closer to getting on the November ballot.

The measure is still several steps away from ever becoming law. But even if it did, the text of the initiative doesn’t exactly make clear how such a drastic overhaul of the Legislature would be carried out. The text says the Legislature “shall be composed of fifty percent men and fifty percent women,” and that the transition would not take effect until “on or before the second general legislative election held after the next redistricting.”

It’s like reading Shakespeare for Pete’s sake…

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