Political Trough: “Daines Hits Fringe Environmentalists in Ad”

Even those with concerns over the potential transfer of federal lands into state hands admit that it is a conversation that needs to be had.  We’ll have that story for you in this week’s Political Trough.  Plus, McFaul says there is an easy answer on Ukraine, the abortion rate is declining, and VP Biden says it is time to “take America back.” (Didn’t MSNBC say that was racist?) 

But first, maybe it’s just time that labor unions simply take Labor Day off.  Nationally, the head of the AFL-CIO was quoted over the weekend saying labor is in “crisis,” and adds that unions are too small to make much of a difference anymore.  Locally, the Montana AFL-CIO was attacking a longtime union member and former leader who said “fringe environmentalists are trying to destroy our jobs.”  I take it the Montana AFL-CIO disagrees with that statement? 

From TheHill.com:  Daines hits ‘fringe environmentalists’ in ad

The 30-second ad buy features an endorsement from Democrat Bob Winger, a retired union leader who made a living working for coal plants in Montana.

“There are fringe environmentalists trying to destroy our jobs,” Winger says in the ad. “These environmentalists actually told me to retrain my membership for lesser-paying jobs.”

Here’s the ad:

The Montana AFL-CIO responded by attacking Winger, and claimed that Democratic US Senate candidate Amanda Curtis (D-MT) would support infrastructure if elected to Congress.  There’s just one big problem- only three state House Democrats voted to override Gov. Steve Bullock’s (D-MT) veto of an Eastern Montana infrastructure spending bill, and Curtis wasn’t one of them. 

Meanwhile, from The Washington Examiner- Labor dismay: AFL-CIO boss says unions too small to make a difference

With membership stuck at an historic low, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is confessing that even with the recent pop in the economy, workers are still fighting to make ends meet and his unions are struggling to gain bigger numbers.

“We are still too small to be able to change the economy to make it a shared economy, or prosperity for all,” he said.

Townhall.com: Why Won’t Endangered Democrat Senate Candidates Repudiate Their Todd Akin?

There are a whole bunch of Democrats running for Senate this year, though in this case “running” seems to mean running as far away as possible from failed liberal messiah Barack Obama. You’d practically think they were Tea Partiers by the way they publicly espouse conservative principles like support for the family, protection from crime, and respect for religion. But they can’t run away from their duty to repudiate the single most offensive, anti-woman, anti-family, anti-Christian candidate running under their Democrat Party’s banner.

Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, we can only assume you agree with Democrat Amanda Curtis that women have no right to protect themselves from rape.

Democrat Mark Pryor of Arkansas, where have you been as Democrat candidate Amanda Curtis was insulting and rolling her eyes at the mere mention of Christianity?

ICYMI:  A look at Steve Daines and RightNow Technologies

RightNow had grown from a startup in Gianforte’s Bozeman home to a company that employed 1,100 people worldwide, including 500 in Bozeman. It pioneered the concept of “cloud computing,” in which a software developer, rather than giving software to its customers for them to run, operates that software itself, for the customer firm, on its own computers and data centers.

Daines, Montana’s Republican U.S. representative, pitches himself as the candidate who helped grow a Montana-based company that became a major employer, supplying scores of top-paying jobs in Bozeman and bringing hundreds of millions of dollars of new wealth to the state.

Fellow employees say all sales managers had to “carry a quota” they had to meet — and that they can’t recall Daines ever missing one.


Has President Obama written off the Senate? The move to delay sweeping executive action on legalizing illegal immigrants is being cast as a nod to endangered Senate Democrats who could face a backlash from voters. But that acknowledges the demise of the dream that firing up the party’s base could produce a come-from-behind victory for Democrats as it did for Obama in 2012. (It’s also a nod to reality as new threats from Islamist militants and the ongoing chaos at the southern border has dramatically altered public perceptions of the issue.) But moving his focus from a pre-election Hail Mary on immigration to a lame-duck move in the post-election session of the outgoing Congress is the strongest evidence we’ve seen that Democrats don’t expect the environment to improve.

TheWesternWord.com: 34 Days Till Absentee Ballots Are Mailed

As of today, there are 63 days until the November 4 General Election, but probably the most important date for politicians and campaigns is October 6, 2014. That’s the date by which ballots are mailed to electors on the absentee list.

Politico Playbook: WEEKEND WEDDINGS

— Jim Messina and Dr. Taya Cromley celebrated in Paradise Valley, Mont. After a week of rain, the weather broke for an amazing outdoor ceremony. Friends came from more than 20 states and six countries. Well-wishers included Ambassador Max Baucus, Eric Schmidt, Travis Kalanick, Stephanie Schriock, David Plouffe and many Obama 2012 alumni, including Ben LaBolt, Teddy Goff, Jarvis Shean, Newell, Corrigan and Bevins.

MichelleMalkin.com- Going full Biden: Veep of almost 6 years says ‘it’s time to take back America’

The effectiveness of Biden’s “points” usually depend entirely on an ignorant audience (the Hope & Change guide book recommends a crowd ranging somewhere between “willfully ignorant” and “rock stupid” for full effectiveness), and now Joe’s even got to convince them that Obama/Biden haven’t been in the White House for going on six years — the first two of them with the Dems having carte blanche over Congress and the WH.

Politico: McFaul sees an easy end to Ukraine conflict

McFaul said the solution is for Ukraine to create a more decentralized government in the eastern part of the country and to accept the Russian language in an official capacity in the region.

Michael McFaul is a Montana native, and former US ambassador to Russia. 

LifeNews.com: Why is the Abortion Rate Declining? (h/t Michelle Malkin)

Over the most recent decade for which data are available (2001–2011), the overall U.S. abortion rate, calculated as the annual number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44), has dropped, continuing a trend that first appeared in 1980. The decline has been steeper since 1990, with a brief plateau in the middle of the past decade. The 2011 rate for the nation is the lowest since 1973.

Perhaps more importantly, six of the 10 most recent Gallup polls (between May 2009 and May 2014) that examine the question have demonstrated that a majority of respondents self-identify as pro-life. That increase may be both cause and effect of parental decisions to respond to unexpected pregnancies by carrying the child to term. James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal has described this as the “Roe Effect”—the shift in the belief characteristics of a population where birth rates, while declining overall, show strong divergence between parents indisposed to abortion and parents for whom it is an acceptable response.

 In case you missed it over the weekend, Lee Newspapers carried a series of reports attempting to discredit the effort to transfer some federal lands into state hands.  Either way, it seems after highlighting any of the potential concerns, even those hesitant about transferring all federal lands agree that a discussion needs to be had.

Transferring federal lands to Montana: Political theater or a viable option?

Proponents and many opponents of a transfer argue that the state outperforms the federal government in management of public lands, and that the wood products industry needs more access to national forests for timber and other natural resource development. The Montana Republican Party’s pushed the issue forward into an even more prominent position in June 2014 with resolution supporting the land transfer as an official party platform.

“I don’t think it’s been a really productive discussion and even putting it into a party platform shows a disconnect,” said Gov. Steve Bullock. “We cherish our public lands. The last thing we ever want to do is have those lands lost.”

Well, the GOP may as well call the Governor’s bluff on this one.  In fact, I would argue that conservatives should simply grab the “keep public lands public” mantra and run with it.  State lands ARE public lands.  Federal lands are owned by a bankrupt federal government.  Maybe it’s time to transfer some of these lands into state hands before it’s too late.  Besides, would you rather have someone in New York decide the fate of these lands, or Montanans? 

Billings Gazette: Ranchers cautious about state takeover of federal land

The price difference between the state and federal government, as well as the difference in leasing terms, has ranchers pulling back on the reins as Republicans, who have made a state takeover of federal lands part of their party platform, ride ahead.

“I think it’s a discussion that should be held because of the mismanagement of our federal lands,” said John Youngberg, Montana Farm Bureau Federation CEO. “Do I think we should just take over 30 million acres of federal land in Montana tomorrow? I don’t think that’s reasonable.”

“I think the state’s a better neighbor,” Youngberg said. “If I want more weed control on state land, I go to the Legislature and have a legislator introduce a bill. We don’t get that kind of result when we go to Congress.”

Ranchers are right to be hesitant, the Democrat-controlled State Land Board recently raised grazing fees again.  Why would they trust the current Land Board to look out for Montana’s number one economy?  Any legislative proposal should ensure that grazing rights currently on federal land are protected.   

The last piece in the series should largely be ignored.  The report spent most of the print on left-leaning organizations like Hellgate Hunters and Anglers (a dark money liberal front group started to promote liberal causes).  

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