Cuccinelli Could Be Daines (or vice-versa)

In a Washington Post article today entitled , “Mr Cuccinelli has himself to blame for loss”, it was mentioned that:

The Cuccinelli record had nothing to do with job-creation or the state’s economic well-being or alleviating deepening transportation problems, all of which are central to Virginians’ well-being. It was mainly about bashing homosexuals, harassing illegal immigrants, crusading against abortion, denying climate change, flirting with birthers and opposing gun control. A hero to the tea party and a culture warrior of the first rank, Mr. Cuccinelli lost because he was among the most polarizing and provocative figures in Richmond for a decade. That made him the wrong candidate for Virginia.

Sound familiar?

I wonder if the “Cuccinelli Effect” will reach as far as Montana?

One can only hope.

Steve Daines with Ted Cruz

Steve Daines with Ted Cruz

Gallatin County Democrats Fundraiser Raises Some Great Questions

Sunday night I attended the Gallatin County Democrats Grand Opening Fundraiser at their new headquarters on Mendenhall in Bozeman. It was a great potluck- and crowded- which bodes well for the future of Democratic candidates in Bozeman this year.

Each candidate was allowed some time to speak. Pam Bucy and Monica Lindeen– both of whom I strongly support- shared energy, enthusiasm and common sense. They both need to be elected, in my very humble opinion.

I came to hear the Congressional candidates. I needed to see them and hear them in person. Their speeches were limited to 3 minutes, but all 4  had something important to say- mostly in contraposition to the Republican policy. Kim Gillan spoke about the need to control our own destinies. Franke Wilmer showcased her brilliant career as an academic and as an effective (as a Democrat could be last term) Montana Legislator. Dave Strohmaier shared a vision of the future which relied on non-discrimination (including LGBT persons!), progressive principles and conviction. And then there was Rob Stutz.

Stutz started by talking about taking back the Constitution- both federal and state- from the “hijack tactics of the Tea Party”. Excellent. And enthusiastic applause followed. Then he said something that made me stop.

“We have to have a plan to win in November. Do Democrats have a plan? We can’t wait until after the primary- we need a plan now!”

Like I said, I stopped. All of the ideas that were shared by the candidates were excellent ideas. The rhetoric was high. The enthusiasm inspiring. But Stutz is right. Where’s the plan? Because all the good ideas in the world don’t mean anything without a plan.

And without a plan, November could be disastrous for Democrats.

Who Benefits Most From Federal Dollars? Red States

Some of the memes of rural Republicans include: “the government is taxing us to death,” “we’re paying for other people’s programs” “where’s the benefit to the working man person?”.  Tea Party protests against government are being held on sidewalks, streets and in parks designed, paid for, cleaned and lit  by- you guessed it- the very taxes they’re protesting. Irony is begging for attention here.

Especially- according to the following article- in the red states:

It’s no secret: The federal budget is expanding faster than tax revenues, a trend that’s been fueled by the rapid growth of entitlement programs and exacerbated by the recession. As a recent New York Times article documents, even as fiscally conservative lawmakers complain about deficit spending, their constituents don’t want to give up the Social Security checks, Medicare

benefits, and earned income tax credits that provide a safety net for the struggling middle class…

States receiving the most federal funding per tax dollar paid:

R >20 R 10–20 R 3–10 R <3 to D <3 D 3–10 D 10–...

Image via Wikipedia

1. New Mexico: $2.63
2. West Virginia: $2.57
3. Mississippi: $2.47
4. District of Colombia: $2.41
5. Hawaii: $2.38
6. Alabama: $2.03
7. Alaska: $1.93
8. Montana: $1.92
9. South Carolina: $1.92
10. Maine: $1.78

Read the full article (with interactive maps) here.

Baucus, Tester Congratulated For Tax Relief

Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Ted Dick today released the following statement in recognition of the payroll tax relief just passed by Congress:

English: Logo of the Democratic Party of the U...

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work Jon Tester and Max Baucus have put in on this issue.  Montanans shouldn’t have to lose out on a $1,000 tax break because of petty partisan games in Congress.  Thankfully, Jon and Max worked together to get the job done for Montana families.”

“Senator Baucus did something you rarely see in Washington these days: He brought folks from both side of the aisle to the table to give tax relief to working families when they need it most. His work represents the spirit of working together that Montanans expect and deserve in their elected leaders.”

 For me, the political races of 2012 come down to one thing: desire for fairness vs the desire to impose dogmatism.
I don’t think I need to tell you which party is for what- or that Denny Rehberg’s history of cooperation is pretty sketchy- and I’m being generous.

World AIDS Day in Montana

On World AIDS Day we should not only remember the lives we’ve lost and think of those who are continuing to battle this disease, but we should also remember the challenges we’ve overcome and move forward towards the challenges ahead.
Here in Montana, we have a lot of challenges in regard to HIV/AIDS, but it’s important to me to highlight something some people may not pay particular attention to; something that drives me crazy every time I think about it;  the particular challenge of Congressman Dennis Rehberg.
Congressman Rehberg has a long history of furthering stigma and reducing access to treatment for people with HIV.
When he was our Lt.Governor, Congressman Rehberg argued against providing treatment for people with HIV, saying, “The problem with AIDS is, you get, you die, so why are we spending any money on people that get it...”
And no apology.
I’ve documented more recently that Congressman Rehberg hasn’t changed his thoughts on fighting this disease. In fact, he wants to eviscerate the budget. His recently released budget bill (in which he solicited no input from Montanans) would cut nearly $33 million from the CDC to fight the spread of HIV, Hep-C and other STDs. Obviously, Congressman Rehberg doesn’t realize that stopping the spread of these diseases now will save us millions of dollars in health care costs down the road- and potentially save the lives of millions of Americans and hundreds of Montanans.
He’s too busy pandering to the Tea Party.
I attended the Governor’s World AIDS Day awards today and I heard the award recipients and the many inspirational people talk about the theme of this year’s World AIDS Day, “Getting to Zero: Zero Infections, Zero Discrimination, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths.” It struck me as I was listening to the speeches, that, over his decades as a politician, Denny Rehberg has done an incredible disservice  to his hundreds of constituents living with HIV/AIDS- and their families. His ignorance and inability to separate HIV from stigma and shame is repugnant- and the exact opposite of the hope, selflessness, dedication and service those people in the Capitol Rotunda represented today.
Let’s make sure that by next year’s World AIDS Day Congressman Rehberg won’t be able to work against our efforts to stop the spread of this disease and the stigma associated with it.

Hate Running For Office in Helena

Bobbette Madonna (I know- I thought she was a drag queen too- but this is serious), she who was “pleased” that advocate of gay murder, Tim Ravndal, was put in charge of the Lewis And Clark Conservative Tea Party, is now running for the Helena Citizen’s Advisory Board.

And there are only two people on the ballot for four open seats. Cowgirl:

Unless Helenans elect three write-in candidates, Madonna will get to walk on to the council.

As of this post, there are two write-in candidates who have stepped up to the plate to run: Matt Oppedahl and Jessica Peterson.   If you hear of a third, email the tipline and I’ll post the name here.

Helena citizens would do better to elect a corndog to the Citizens Council than to let this woman on the board.

Wow. Get it in gear, Helena. This can’t happen.

I know you won’t let it.

“Right Wing Lunacy” To Enter State Race

Cowgirl:

Confirming a story that was first reported here at the Cowgirl blog,  TEA Party Republican Derek Skees, confederate sympathizer who has tried to set up his own Little South amid the ultra-right-wing colony in the Flathead, has announced his candidacy for State Auditor.

Skees will run against incumbent Monica Lindeen – D, and his candidacy will likely be based on a single issue: Say No To Federal Healthcare Reform.

...So Lindeen will have a fight on her hands.  But fortunately she, too, is now positioned against something unpopular: right-wing lunacy.  Skees is a national leader of a fringe of the GOP so far right that it barely considers itself Republican. 

Know your ballots, people. Full story here.