Who said anything about wild bison lawsuits? Did the Governor and FWP already make up their minds? We’ll have the story for you in the Weekend Wrapup. Plus, Gardner grabs the lead in Colorado. The EPA withdraws plans to garnish your wages. When the West is pushed, it turns right, says Carl Graham for The Washington Times. And, Tester’s latest hobby- talking nonstop about efforts that lead nowehere- (first Citizen’s United, now Hobby Lobby) goes down in flames.
Those stories, and much more, are below.
First, you may have been hearing rumors about Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) stockpiling oil and gas money so that he can come up with a massive spending plan for a future legislative session. (Why else would he have vetoed infrastructure funding for Eastern Montana?) Well, rumors of a massive increase in spending to go towards public education for 4 year olds has now seen some print time. KXLH-TV had this on the Governor’s pre-k initiative press release that came out earlier this week.
I wonder if Gov. Bullock (who went to school in New York City) is taking some cues from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio?
The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley: Preschool Poppycock
So, why are unions championing universal pre-K? Because they know it’s a sop to Big Labor. It’s about creating more union jobs. This is of a piece with Mr. de Blasio’s opposition to charter schools, which is likewise rooted not in the merits or demerits of school choice but rather in the fact that most charter schools aren’t unionized. If the teachers unions could organize all of the city’s charter schools, the mayor’s opposition to charters would go poof!
For progressive liberals like Mr. de Blasio, public education—from preschool to high school–is primarily a jobs program for adults. It doesn’t matter that charter school students outperform their peers in traditional public schools. It doesn’t matter that preschool education studies, like the one released by the Obama administration in 2012, have found “no significant impacts” in education from programs like Head Start. None of this matters to progressives because the students aren’t their highest priority.
AgWeek.com: King Oil dethrones King Ag in ND (h/t The Williston Wire)
For the first time in North Dakota’s history, agriculture is not the largest engine in the state’s economy. That’s what a statistical study by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found after examining economic trends in the state from 2011 through 2013. It’s a startling development in that it’s historic.
It’s all very good news. But a cautionary note is in order. Agriculture and oil are subject to global economic forces over which North Dakotans have no control. All the back-slapping and high-fives about record crop production and oil revenues is feel-good stuff that tends to downplay economic fundamentals. It could collapse in a heartbeat, and no state-generated tax policy or business-friendly regulatory climate would make a whit of difference. That reality should hold the hubris in check.
Williston Wire: Fairview, Minot Men named “Money Heroes” by Money Magazine
Dennis Trudell, of Fairview, is a Montana Money Hero while Kyle Smolek, Minot, is a North Dakota Money Hero. The men earned the titles from Money Magazine. Trudell, 67, a Richland County landowner, utilized his financial savvy to help other landowners deal with oil companies that wanted to drill on their property. Smolek, 27, was recognized for initiating regular information sessions on finance at the Minot Air Force Base four years ago.
Washington Times: EPA pulls back from plan to garnish paychecks
The Environmental Protection Agency bowed to fierce criticism Wednesday and announced that it had hit the breaks on a fast-tracked plan to collect fines by garnishing paychecks of accused polluters.
The agency, which has come under withering attacks from Republican lawmakers for attempting a “power grab,” said it still intended to pursue the new authority to garnish wages without a court order. But now it will follow a more typical and longer review process.
But the EPA vowed to press on with its plan to snatch fines directly out of Americans’ paychecks.
Press release from Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT)
Representative Steve Daines today announced that following his urging, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reverse its overreaching claim of authority to unilaterally garnish wages of those the agency accuses of violating its rules.
Last week, Daines led 29 House members in calling on the EPA to reverse its claim and respect Montanans’ right to due process. Today, The Hill reported that the EPA will publish a notice tomorrow to rescind the rule “due to the receipt of adverse comments.”
“The EPA’s claim that they have the power to decide if the accused can even present a defense before the agency garnishes their wages is a violation of Americans’ due process rights. I’m glad that the EPA has heeded my call and that of the American people and reversed this senseless decision,” Daines said. “Federal agencies are not above the law and must respect the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of all Americans.”
Politico’s Morning Energy: STATES HAVE BIG DECISIONS ON EPA RULE – REPORT
Time is tight for states to make important decisions over EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas emissions rule for existing power plants, which include whether to go it alone or team up with neighboring states and how to decide agency jurisdiction on implementation matters, according to a white paper from the law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer. Co-author Matt Larson tells ME the paper made the rounds at NARUC’s Dallas meeting this week. The paper also argues that legislators are likely going to be needed – either at the state level to allow utility and environmental regulators to work together, or by Congress to approve interstate compacts. Read: http://bit.ly/1rmoLUd
– Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune says he has talked to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell about designating a 592,000-acre national monument in central Idaho. AP: http://bit.ly/1pg6CoP
Fox News First on Thursday: GARDNER GRABS LEAD IN COLORADO Q POLL
Republican Colorado Senate nominee Rep. Cory Gardner has pulled past incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in a Quinnipiac poll released today. Forty-four percent of voters support the challenger while 42 percent would vote for the freshman senator. In April, Udall held a one point lead. Respondents told Quinnipiac pollsters that Gardner would be better at helping the middle class, improving the economy, controlling spending and dealing with gun control. Like Udall’s recent campaign platform suggests, respondents thought Udall is a better candidate to take on women’s issues, abortion and environmental issues. But with 49 percent saying the senator did “not deserve to be reelected” and Udall having already saturated airwaves with social issue attacks on Gardner, the poll suggests that the incumbent has little opportunity to expand his support.
Dems crack up over fracking – Washington Examiner: “Democratic Sen. Mark Udall announced his opposition Wednesday to statewide ballot initiatives being bankrolled by Rep. Jared Polis that would impose restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Udall is facing a tough fight from GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, who has slammed the ballot effort, to maintain his Senate seat. ‘Colorado has served as a model for the nation on finding the right balance between protecting our clean air and water, the health of our communities, and safely developing our abundant energy resources. In my view, these proposed ballot initiatives do not strike that balance,’ Udall said. Udall’s move was compelled partly because Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, also up for re-election this year, canceled a special legislative session that aimed to shelve the Polis-pushed proposal. The ballot proposals are likely headed for the November ticket.”
Carl Graham for The Washington Times: When the West is pushed, it turns right
This isn’t a left/right or Republican/Democrat divide, although that’s how it is manifested in the voting booth. It’s an urban/rural difference of perceptions more than of aims, and it is too often exacerbated by cooked-up controversies and outside agendas insisting that urban and rural values must be competing rather than complementary. But those perspectives are different, and they do make a difference.
While there certainly is a growing critical mass of people, especially in the West’s vast rural areas, warming to many of the self-governance and free enterprise principles that conservatives have traditionally cherished, these families and communities are in a race with a growing urban majority that benefits from that rural production economy but is choking the life out of it by supporting increased regulation and decreased access to critical resources.
It hasn’t always been thus. The rural West has historically been a conglomeration of New Deal and union Democrats, post-reconstruction Republicans, ornery libertarians and anarchists, and pretty much everything in between. But a common thread running through this tapestry was an insistence on being left alone and a feeling even if not always accurate of self-reliance. This common thread allowed a sort of dtente between all these groups, so long as there was enough room and resources for them to leave each other alone.
Carl Graham is director of Sutherland Institute’s Coalition for Self-Government in the West in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Missoula Independent: Contraception Campaign targets Eden Foods
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that craft retailer Hobby Lobby can deny birth control coverage to its employees through its company health plan, Erin Steuer and Rachel Pauli turned their outrage toward a lawsuit brought against the Obama administration by Eden Foods founder and CEO Michael Potter.
Steuer, director of programs and communications for NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, and Pauli, a grassroots organizer for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana, are organizing a letter-writing campaign directed at Missoula grocers encouraging them to sever ties with the organic food producer.
According to Pauli, Eden Foods currently sells products to Pattee Creek Market, Natural Grocers, the Good Food Store, Missoula Community Food Co-Op and Orange Street Food Farm. As of Monday, the campaign has gathered nearly 200 letters from shoppers encouraging those stores to stop carrying Eden Foods products. Steuer says the collected letters will be delivered to Missoula grocers at the end of the month.
DailySignal.com: Sen. Jon Tester’s (D-MT) Hobby Lobby Bill Goes Down in Flames
Today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had a message for President Obama and Senate Democrats voting to undermine the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision: “If you’re litigating against nuns, you have probably done something wrong.”
Missoula Independent: Politics; A win for transparency
The frequency of political ads on local airwaves has increased noticeably in recent weeks. Candidates in Montana’s U.S. House and Senate races are dropping tens of thousands of dollars on 30-second spots attacking one another, and super PAC American Crossroads has already secured ad time well into October. But unlike past election cycles, detailed information on those media purchases is now freely available through the Federal Communications Commission’s website.
As of July 1, all broadcast television stations nationwide must comply with a 2012 rule requiring online posting of political files—documents that outline ad sponsor, payment and airtime information. Political files have long been open to the public but could only be reviewed in person at individual stations. Bill Allison, editorial director for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, calls the rule “a huge step forward” for campaign finance transparency.
Colburn, who spent more than 30 years working for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, says the resulting national-security risk has to do with the “clutter” of people at the border. He says all of the gains made since 9/11 came as a result of reducing the number of people crossing the border. The Border Patrol’s task is to sort through the haystack of people as they come across, he says. “What this situation on the border is doing is growing the haystack, is adding clutter, so that those dangerous needles get through because we’re tied up capturing, instead, juvenile children from Guatemala and El Salvador,” he says. “When you see the cartels — the Zetas and MS-13 and the Gulf Cartel — laughing about this on the Internet, you know what’s behind it.”
DailyCaller- Biden: Hope & Change Didn’t Happen
What is it with Democrats and the media and their hatred for successful business people? Either way, the response to a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman’s tweet was pretty hilarious:
— Kristopher Purcell (@purcellkris) July 17, 2014
In other news, I don’t know if the coverage of the latest Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wild bison meeting sounded simply odd to you or not. What happened to the days of FWP saying they’re just looking into the feasability of a wild bison herd? It certainly seems they have every intention of shoving this down the throats of farmers and ranchers in Montana.
Billings Gazette: Group offers up ideas to formulate new state bison management plan
A group outlined the ideas, which included examples such as community management committees, public-private partnerships and public hunting.
The alternative — taking no action — could take control over guiding bison management out of local citizens’ hands, said Ginny Tribe, the facilitator for the Bison Discussion Group, which held its second of back-to-back meetings in Billings at Big Horn Resort.
“The idea of being able to solve it together means you keep your power,” she told the group. “If it goes to court, it’s a jump ball.”
Who said this needs to go to court? Sounds eerily similar to our “So Sue Me” President…
— Haylie Shipp (@HaylieShipp) July 15, 2014