Montana Politics Steve Daines

John Bohlinger Makes the Case for Appointing John Walsh to the Senate

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I hadn’t intended to write about former Republican Lt. Governor John Bohlinger again tonight, but I was struck by his interview with Aaron Flint on the Voices of Montana radio programbohl today. In it, Bohlinger repeated what he told the Billings Gazette yesterday, that the appointment would give the person named a huge advantage in the campaign:

Bohlinger said that if Bullock picks Walsh, Bohlinger “would give serous thoughts to withdrawing from the race.”

Bohlinger says the interim appointment would give Walsh the power, name recognition and fundraising ability of an incumbent, making it almost impossible to defeat him in the election.

On the VOM show, Bohlinger went on to specifically say that the person appointed by the governor would have a “40 yard head start” in a 100 yard race.

In saying it, Bohlinger was no doubt speaking about his concerns in a primary, but the logic applies just as well to a race against Steve Daines in November. Since there is no way that Governor Bullock can appoint someone with Bohlinger’s conservative record to the seat, Walsh is the obvious choice—the only declared candidate who has a chance of defeating Steve Daines in November.

Anyone who thinks it won’t take a serious amount of money to beat what is likely to be an enormous Daines war chest simply doesn’t understand how desperately Republicans want to regain the Senate—and the vast sums they’ll have at their disposal to do it. Given the opportunity to give a Montana Democrat the chance to build his base in the state while serving well in the Senate is perhaps the only way to counter the money that will flood the race on the Republican side.

Given that the last seven people appointed to fill Senate seats have won their subsequent reelection, that John Bohlinger knows it will confer a huge advantage to the person named, and that Bohlinger’s own campaign staff called for the appointment months ago, it seems obvious that Walsh should get the appointment.

Doing anything else would be putting personal interest about Democratic policy priorities. While Mr. Bohlinger is a VERY recent convert to those priorities, it would be nice to seem him commit to them.

There’s no scenario that makes a win against Steve Daines an easy one, but as Mr. Bohlinger himself says, why not give a Democrat who’s an effective leader the best chance to win the race, no matter where he starts?

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

29 Comments

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  • You make a good case, and Bohlinger seems to be hearing that way as well.

    An newspaper article like that would certainly push the governor in a direction I think he’s already been leaning.

  • Top 10 reasons why you and your blogging friends should not continually claim you are an “effective leader” when you are running for the U.S. Senate:

    1. Your subordinate National Guard officers accuse you of bullying, coercing and intimidating them to join a private organization so you can get appointed to a position on that private organization.

    2. The Army issues an Inspector General report finding you guilty of using your leadership position for private gain.

    3. The Army issues a follow-up Letter of Reprimand calling you a poor leader that blocks your promotion to General.

    4. You try to defend yourself by saying you weren’t “punished” a few weeks before the press gets its hands on a report that reveals the Army did “punish” you by denying your promotion to General because you used your position for private gain and you were a poor leader.

    5. The Army General signing your Letter Of Reprimand sums up your leadership abilities by stating your “….actions were unacceptable, inconsistent with the conduct expected of our senior leaders” and adds your “. . . . failure to adhere to Army Values causes me to question your ability to lead.”

    6. Your former boss Brian Schweitzer who previously defended your leadership abilities doesn’t return phone calls to the press after it is revealed the Army issued a Letter of Reprimand blocking your promotion to General because it questioned your leadership abilities.

    7. The voters find out you demonstrated poor leadership qualities by hiding the Army’s Letter of Reprimand from them during the 2012 governor’s race.

    8. The voters find out you are the first National Guard leader in 25 years not to be promoted to the rank of General by the Army because it found you were a poor leader.

    9. While under fire for being a poor leader, you demonstrate your leadership abilities by skipping the Yellowstone Democratic dinner at the last minute to avoid answering embarrassing questions with some vague excuse of fundraising somewhere else with no specifics.

    10. Democratic bloggers question your handling of the leadership scandal, state you might not survive and encourage you to consider withdrawing from the U.S. Senate race.

  • I can see Pogo’s never been in the Military. Mountains out of Molehills. Everything you said proves that their is a partisan divide in the Military. Has been for years.

    1.There was a preliminary investigation regarding one officer and what he said.
    2. it couldn’t be quantified by others.
    3. The Investigation was dropped, because said officer refused to move forward or give his name to public discourse and investigation.

    4. Case closed. With no proof it hurt Johns career. You can substantiate nothing, and you obviously dont know how the military works for promotions.

    Move along little Buddy nothing to see here.

  • Lastly there is always a reprimand letter, telling the person whose was basically found innocent because their supposed crime never happened, to not get in trouble for said crime in the military. Always! I received two for not cooperating with male officers off duty. Thats right you heard me.

  • The official investigation of Wash by the Inspector General was completed and submitted. Here are the highlights of the official findings for those who still claim they don’t exist: http://www.flatheadmemo.com/archives_2013/oct_dec_2013/_documents_oct_dec_2013/ig_report.pdf

    “SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATION AND CONCLUSION: COL Walsh improperly endorsed a non-Federal entity (NFE). The preponderance of credible evidence established that COL Walsh improperly endorsed the National Guard Association…..”

    “SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATION AND CONCLUSION: COL Walsh improperly used his government position for private gain. The evidence indicated COL Walsh used his Federal and State position as TAG/Director, Department of Military Affairs to further his election as the NGAUS Vice Chairman, Army. . . . . .The evidence indicated that COL Walsh wanted the increased membership in NGAUS to bolster his candidacy for the August 2010 NGAUS elections.”

    “SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATION AND CONCLUSION: COL Walsh improperly used government resources. The evidence established that COL Walsh used Federal government resources to facilitate his endorsement of NGAUS as well as to solicit/coerce membership in NGAUS.”

    “SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATION: COL Walsh improperly endorse an NFE
    The preponderance of evidence established that COL Walsh improperly endorsed an NFE.”

    “SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATION: COL Walsh improperly used his government position for private gain.
    The preponderance of evidence established that COL Walsh used his government position for private gain.”

    “SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATION: COL Walsh improperly used government resources.
    The preponderance of evidence established that COL Walsh improperly used government resources.”

    “Walsh said his promotion got held up because of the Inspector General investigation into his actions on the National Guard Association, and eventually blocked by the adverse report.
    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/army-ig-s-adverse-report-prevented-walsh-from-promotion-to/article_fa5686bd-f374-5d71-9bc9-cda797aab24e.html#ixzz2rGg7zWQi

    If Walsh and Norma want to claim that a letter of reprimand that directly pointed out his leadership failures and an adverse report that resulted in Walsh not being promoted to General (the only leader of the Montana National Guard not promoted to General during the previous 25 years) is an endorsement of a “wonderful leader” then please continue to repeat that to Montana voters as often as possible.

    • The reprimand never came with a fine. and the keyword is “allegation” Pogo. You know what the definition of Allegation is don’t you?

      ALLEGATION:

      1. Something alleged; an assertion: allegations of disloyalty.
      2. The act of alleging.
      3. A statement asserting something without proof
      4. Law An assertion made by a party that must be proved or supported with evidence…. in a court of Law.

      The allegations couldn’t be proved by the nameless officer. It never went to court. In America Pogo, not in your mind, a person is considered innocent till proven guilty…. or didn’t other American horribly duped by republicans BS want to know that?

  • My final post at mark buttinski’s site. I had to post it somewhere before he erases it. It should be recorded for posterity. Perhaps you’ve heard of Angry Bird? buttinski considers himself to be the angry nerd! except that he ain’t smart enough to be a true nerd.

    Ah yes, “when the age is in, the wit is out”! Well, but when there was no wit to begin with, no great loss? Right, marky?
    You see, mark, you hate me. I accept that. You and craigy are BOTH javerts! (look him up) And that’s too bad. For u sea, many people truly like what I write, and you hate that. When cgirl banned me, there was an outcry from my fans to allow me back, and thus, she did so. But apparently I’ve been banned again.
    Now, has ANYONE ever clamored for you return? I think not. And that’s kinda sad. You see, you so desperately want to be someone/something that you’re not. I met lots of guys like you. You finally took your first trip overseas. Well, it’s a leetle too late now to become a world traveler. It’s kinda like reading a ton of Hemmingway and claiming to have served in the war! Sorry, but it don’t work that way.
    You’re simply not as smart as you think you are. You come across as an angry nerd, and no one is really interested in that. Sorry to be so blunt, but since this is my last post here, I don’t really care! You’re a sad and pathetic creature.

    You were AWOL, dude, when the rest of us were engaged. And now, in your dotage, as Abbey would say, you suffer the “dotage of the don’t”!, from The Fool’s Progress! Have fun with that!

    p.s. I am FAR more like Abbey than you will ever be. People read me. People laff at you!

    (and for the record, Abbey was a friend of my best friend, something ELSE you will never have!)

    p.s. You are quite unread, and you even admit it. Never read Shakespeare? Geez, dufus, who admits that?……..only someone who admits to wackin’ off to his sister’s picture!

    Addy yos,loser

  • And thus spoke Jesus! I must share with my Teabrained friends who might read Don’s blog, a message from Jesus, the REAL Jesus!

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