And this is supposed to be the fluffy, feel-good, candidate profile story before the election….yet- the ties between Democratic US House candidate John Lewis (D-MT) and the Obama Administration are spelled out. And, the connection between Lewis and the left wing special interest group MontPIRG is detailed. We’ll have that story for you in this week’s Political Trough. Plus, US Senate candidate Amanda Curtis (D-MT) won’t even state her position on the Keystone XL pipeline. The AFL-CIO endorses a Republican….in Helena? What do professional crisis managers have to say about the now-cancelled campaign of appointed Sen. John Walsh (D-MT)? And, this one simple policy alone could lower gas prices. Those stories and much more are below in this weeks Political Trough.
In case you missed it over the weekend- great reporting by KTVQ-TV as US Senate candidate Amanda Curtis (D-MT) refused to state her position on the Keystone XL pipeline.
When asked what her stance is on the pipeline, Curtis did not answer directly, instead pointed toward Daines.
“I’m not surprised Congressman Daines is ready to ship our jobs to China again. But Montana should be fighting to build the infrastructure here. So that we are refining it here. So we have the jobs here in Montana,” Curtis said.
When asked a follow up on what a pipeline timeline would look like if she took office, she said she’s “always fighting for Montana workers and their families.”
The Daily Signal: This One Policy Switch Could Make Gas Way Cheaper
For nearly 40 years, there’s a been a ban on exporting crude oil from the United States to other nations in the world.
Now, a just-released study from a liberal think tank says lifting the ban could boost the U.S. economy between $600 billion to $1.8 trillion and save motorists up to 12 cents a gallon at the pump.
AFL-CIO Endorses…A Republican in Helena
Tammy Pilcher, the president of the Montana State AFL-CIO, in The Helena IR: Workers unanimous in support for Gibson
I am offended that the former Montana Democratic Party Chairs singled out the Montana AFL-CIO in their Sept. 8 column regarding the endorsement in House District 84. The Chairs suggest they know who the working men and women of the Montana labor movement should select, better than the workers know for themselves.
Unions are not bound by political party. There is no reason not to support a Republican with a good voting record. Labor-endorsed candidates must have the values, legislative skill and the political finesse to achieve measurable results. We look for those that can protect good laws, prevent bad laws, and be proactive in passing and strengthening laws that help lift families into the middle class.
On Nov. 4, please help elect the labor-endorsed, working families candidate in HD 84: Steve Gibson.
Lewis Running from Obamacare, Ties to Obama/ Radical Left Wing Group MontPIRG
And this is the nice article meant to show candidates in the most positive light…
In the campaign, Zinke has tried to tie Lewis to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the controversial health care law also known as “Obamacare,” of which Baucus was the chief author.
“I had nothing to do with the policy of that legislation,” Lewis said. “No. 1, I was living on Montana. No. 2, I was no more involved in the writing of that legislation than Ryan Zinke was involved in the planning of the mission to capture Osama bin Laden.”
Lewis said he did listen to Montanans’ opinions about the health care overhaul law, but didn’t provide options to the senator.
MoneyNews.com: Montana Dem Talks About Crisis Management, Walsh Referenced
For professional crisis managers, a crisis can be a ka-ching moment. Two practitioners, Rob Jesmer, a partner at FP1 Strategies, a Republican consulting group, and Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, a Democratic consulting group, appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal recently to discuss their work, including cases, under the title Campaigning 101: “Crisis” Management, as part of a week-long series. They were interviewed by veteran host Steve Scully.
Scully immediately brought up the plagiarism scandal involving Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., an appointed senator who was running for election to a full term, and he asked Lake, who is from Montana, to explain the mistakes that ultimately derailed the campaign.
She observed that the plagiarism itself, which involved the thesis for his master’s degree he received in 2007, would not have been fatal, because other candidates have survived such scandals (she could have mentioned Vice President Joe Biden, who has certainly prospered, even with a reputation as a source of endless gaffes). She credited Jesmer with identifying the ultimate mistake as a failure to respond “within the brand” and the candidate’s personality. First the campaign said he didn’t do it, then that he didn’t know about it, then he invoked PTSD, whereas he should have gone straight to an apology that would have spoken to his military service and admitted that he failed to fulfill voters’ expectations.
Speaking of Walsh…
The New York Times: The Vain and the Desperate
As CNN’s Peter Hamby noted in a study he wrote during a fellowship at Harvard last year, the accelerated news cycle of the social-media age demands meaningless scoops, trumpets dubious gaffes and turns the reporters trailing a candidate into “one giant, tweeting blob.”
That blob suffocates its quarry, often at the prodding of his or her rivals, who supply opposition research (or “oppo”) that strays from serious byways down silly cul-de-sacs. This was captured in a story about the Senate elections that was splashed across the top of the Politico website Friday afternoon.
The headline blared, “GOTCHA! How oppo took over the midterms.” And the story began, “Why would anyone want to talk about immigration, terrorism, gun control or the national debt, when there’s Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bus, John Walsh’s thesis, Bruce Braley’s chickens and Pat Roberts’ recliner? Gotcha stories — ranging from those tangentially related to issues of the day to the completely ephemeral and even absurd — have been front and center in an abnormally large number of top races this year.”
Montana Petroleum Association newsletter: Daines proposes East Rosebud Creek protections (Billings Gazette, Sept. 18)
U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced a bill Thursday to protect East Rosebud Creek in Carbon County under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The bill, which mirrors legislation introduced in the Senate in May by U.S. Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., would protect two segments of the creek.
The first segment is a 13-mile stretch from the pristine creek’s origin to East Rosebud Lake. The second segment begins below the East Rosebud Lake outlet to the point seven miles downstream where the creek enters private property for the first time.
The group Friends of the East Rosebud has been spearheading efforts to gain the wild and scenic designation. Concerns about hydroelectric projects on the creek sparked the recent interest for federal protection. Preliminary permits for those projects expired last year.
From The Billings Gazette:
East Rosebud Creek begins in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and eventually flows to the Yellowstone River. The last time a Montana river was added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was in 1976. The state has four wild and scenic rivers — a 150-mile stretch of the Upper Missouri and three forks of the Upper Flathead River. All of those waterways were protected in 1976.
The coal industry, however, and the state Republican Party criticized Bullock Friday for “embracing” the Obama administration’s proposed crackdown on greenhouse gases, saying its costs will outweigh any benefits.
“What we should be doing right now is looking at the pros and cons of the EPA rule and whether we should be doing it or not,” said Chuck Denowh, spokesman for Count on Coal Montana, a coalition of the industry and supporting businesses.
“We’re seeing other elected officials raise those questions, other governors,” he added. “It’s disappointing that Governor Bullock has chosen not to participate in that discussion and instead embrace the president’s rule.”
Montana Chamber of Commerce: EPA RULES WILL INCREASE ENERGY RATES
The Montana Chamber put out a press release last Friday to highlight a study showing that Montana’s wholesale electricity prices are projected to increase by 26 percent in 2020 as a result of the EPA’s proposed regulations requiring states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. (http://montanachamber.com/MT.Electricity.Prices.Affected.by.EPA.Rule.pdf) The analysis was conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis for the National Mining Association and warns that those price increases will be passed on to Montana consumers and businesses.
The new report sheds light on the concerns a lot of Montana business have had about skyrocketing energy prices as a result of the EPA’s proposed rule. The increases would come at a time when the state’s economy is emerging from the Great Recession and as the manufacturing sector is growing because of affordable and abundant electricity.
The right to live, work and worship according to one’s faith is a freedom foundational to the United States. Many of the first settlers, having faced religious persecution in England, sought a place where they could freely worship and live according to their conscience without interference from the government. The Founders were clear, and the Bill of Rights makes it fundamental to our constitutional order that the government should not infringe on the free exercise of religion.
Obamacare is finding new ways to force individuals and families to pay for health plans that cover elective abortions. The law’s lack of transparency about abortion coverage, coupled with a mandatory abortion surcharge, is so serious an affront to conscience that it has led at least one family to file a federal lawsuit. The health care law also only includes limited protections for medical professionals who decline to participate in, perform, or refer for abortion because of their moral or religious beliefs. Those loose protections, coupled with the administration’s weakened guidance on federal conscience regulations, could endanger the ability of doctors, nurses and hospitals to continue working in accordance with their values.
Yahoo News: In US, huge grain crops spell headache for farmers (h/t The Drudge Report)
US corn and soybean crops could break records this year, but for farmers the bounty has a dark side: falling prices and a logistics nightmare getting crops to market.
Once all these logistics challenges are dealt with, US farmers face another problem: a drop in revenues.
With the prospect of abundant harvests, buyers have pushed prices into a freefall. The corn futures contract recently slid below $3.50 a barrel on the Chicago Board of Trade, well below the $8 level it fetched in 2012, a year when crops were stressed by drought.
Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone. The Arab world today is more violent, unstable, fragmented and driven by extremism—the extremism of the rulers and those in opposition—than at any time since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. Every hope of modern Arab history has been betrayed. The promise of political empowerment, the return of politics, the restoration of human dignity heralded by the season of Arab uprisings in their early heydays—all has given way to civil wars, ethnic, sectarian and regional divisions and the reassertion of absolutism, both in its military and atavistic forms. With the dubious exception of the antiquated monarchies and emirates of the Gulf—which for the moment are holding out against the tide of chaos—and possibly Tunisia, there is no recognizable legitimacy left in the Arab world.
Nonetheless, most of these groups do belong to the same family tree—and all of them stem from the Arabs’ civilizational ills. The Islamic State, like al Qaeda, is the tumorous creation of an ailing Arab body politic. Its roots run deep in the badlands of a tormented Arab world that seems to be slouching aimlessly through the darkness. It took the Arabs decades and generations to reach this nadir. It will take us a long time to recover—it certainly won’t happen in my lifetime. My generation of Arabs was told by both the Arab nationalists and the Islamists that we should man the proverbial ramparts to defend the “Arab World” against the numerous barbarians (imperialists, Zionists, Soviets) massing at the gates. Little did we know that the barbarians were already inside the gates, that they spoke our language and were already very well entrenched in the city.
From Politico Playbook: POLL OF THE DAY
“Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession,” by Reuters’ Scott Malone: “[A] new Reuters/Ipsos poll found [that some] 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away.” http://yhoo.it/XJsgcF
Football, talk shows, and cable news…Roll Call has this: The Best TV Shows for Political Advertisements (h/t The Western Word)