A compromise on fracking may be in the works in Colorado. The GOP primary will set the tone in the 2015 legislature in Montana. RightNow Technologies founder Greg Gianforte hits it out of the park with his commencement speech (much to the chagrin of the protest-hoping media). And, Westerners fear another federal land grab. That and more is included below, but first- here’s the latest in the US Senate race in Montana:
AmericaRisingPAC.org: Walsh Won’t Acknowledge Support for Obamacare
It’s well-established that John Walsh supports ObamaCare and has even called it a “good move.” But the consultant-driven Walsh does not want voters to focus on his support for the unpopular law…That’s why he was desperately trying to point out at the Montana Senate Democrat primary debate over the weekend that he did not vote for ObamaCare in 2009 because he was not in the Senate.
Walsh and Adams are two of three Democratic US Senate candidates running in the US Senate primary. Steve Daines (R-MT) is the likely Republican nominee.
You may recall a previous post where I noted former Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s (D-MT) attack on Steve Daines’ international business background….that, of course, led to this:
MediaTrackers.org: Schweitzer’s Hypocritical Attacks on Steve Daines
Schweitzer’s bio boasts that he has “visited 37 countries across the world.” Seven of those years were spent living and working in Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, as well as Saudi Arabia.
Back in Montana, Schweitzer’s own business acumen is under question. Last year, Schweitzer engineered a takeover of the Billings-based Stillwater Mining Company after the previous chairman announced a plan to diversify the company’s assets by investing in ventures in Canada. Schweitzer took over as chairman, claiming that the move to oust his predecessor was necessary to save Montana jobs. However, last month Stillwater announced that it was laying off 48 Montana workers. Just yesterday, the company announced that it was buying out the contracts of 50 more Montana workers.
State Sen. Jennifer Fielder (R-Thompson Falls) is noted in this Washington Times piece examining the effort to transfer more federal lands into state hands- Hold your horses: Nevada standoff reveals bigger fight over federally owned land
The federal government hasn’t shown any inclination to do so, but support for the idea is growing. Last month, Mr. Ivory and Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder hosted more than 50 legislators from nine states at a Legislative Summit on the Transfer of Public Lands in Salt Lake City.
At the Salt Lake Tribune debate, former BLM Director Patrick Shea said he opposed the movement to put states in charge of federal land within their borders.
“I don’t think states are capable of the complexity of managing these lands, and I think people like Rep. Ivory get off on these rhetorical pitches that don’t have a historical basis and they certainly don’t have a scientific basis,” Mr. Shea said.
Salt Lake Tribune: Westerners fear Obama preparing monuments land grab
Obama already has named a handful of monuments across the country — using his unilateral power under the 1906 Antiquities Act — and has promised more.
“I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations,” he said in his State of the Union address earlier this year.
That commitment has some in the West fearing more intrusion by the federal government into their backyard, undermining locally driven efforts to decide the future of public lands. That fear isn’t without precedent.
Is it just me, or does this editorial staff at The Billings Gazette seem really disappointed that RightNow Technologies founder Greg Gianforte seemingly hit the ball out of the park with his commencement speech at Rocky Mountain College.
This was their headline (web headline at least): Gianforte’s commencement speech welcomed with no controversy
Bozeman entrepreneur Greg Gianforte was greeted with applause from an attentive audience when he spoke Saturday at Rocky Mountain College’s commencement.
When he and his wife came to Montana almost 20 years ago, everyone told them they were crazy to start a global business. They said there wasn’t the capital, the bandwidth or the airlines the business needed.
“But the naysayers underestimated two things,” Gianforte said. “They underestimated the power of the Internet and they underestimated Montanans and their ability to get things done.”
The Great Falls Tribune’s John Adams: GOP primary could set tone; Main streeters and hard-liners battle for ’15 state Legislature
“This is the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Montana State University political scientist David Parker said.
In all there are 26 Republican primary races in the House and 12 in the Senate.
“I think there’s part of the Republican Party base that thinks we have a big spending problem in this country, and there are legislators who reflect that view,” Essmann said. “Then I think there are people who don’t think there’s a problem with spending and are happy to keep spending. I think that’s the fundamental split.”
The Daily Caller: Colorado Lawmakers Scramble To Head Off Anti-Fracking Ballot Measure
Colorado Republican lawmakers are willing to consider a bill that would give cities and counties more control over oil and gas operations in order to avert a November ballot initiative that would open the door to fracking bans.
Republican state Rep. Frank McNulty told Denver’s Fox 31 that a legislative compromise is preferable to the economic impacts of widespread fracking bans if the ballot measure is successful.