Rock stars are dropping like flies. David Bowie, the Eagles’ Glen Frey and now the Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner.
Kantner also played, briefly, in one of my favorite bands, Hot Tuna. So I went to YouTube to listen to some of his old tracks and what should appear but a 60-second TV spot for Republican candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte. This might be considered bad product placement but I have to say it was a decent commercial: high production values, strong delivery by the candidate and a concise, albeit pandering, message.
The spot’s title is “Bold” and the buzz words are “big, forward thinking ideas.” The problem for me is that his ideas are anything but big and forward thinking: his support for extractive industries that are on the way out, his views on education, the gutting of regulations for industry (including clean air and water) and government bashing in general. Maybe we can all do tech start-ups in our basements and become millionaires but if not, c’est la vie.
I’m also wondering who produced the spot, always a bone of contention with me since I used to be in the business. Democrats, that goes for you, too. You better hire a Montana production company to produce your commercials, especially if you’re going to highlight “job creation.” Gianforte’s spot had a lot of dolly moves and maybe some HMI lighting, which Montana production companies are capable of but also are the signature of L.A. commercial houses.
I couldn’t find an expenditure on his C-5, though. On further investigation, !#*$@ Gianforte spent $28,500 at a Virginia firm for a “Video and Digital Shoot.” I’ll bet a Montana company could produce a spot of the same or better quality for substantially less money.
I was wondering what happened to Brad Johnson. He was the first Republican candidate to announce for the governor’s race. He’s been passed over by his party in favor of Greg Gianforte and so has decided to withdraw. As seems typical these days, MTN’s Mike Dennison broke the story. I’d forgotten that Mark Perea, a long shot if ever there was one, had also filed as a Republican candidate. That means Johnson won’t be needed to help Gianforte raise money for both the primary and general election.
MTN also broke Montana Attorney General Tim Fox’s re-election bid. No surprise in that announcement but what Dennison pointed out in a Tweet was that no Democratic candidate has filed for the position. Please, Democrats, don’t give Fox a free ride.
There was talk that Fox might have an opponent in the Republican primary. Someone to Fox’s right, which would make that candidate very far-right, but no one has emerged yet.
In my neck of the woods, we have a contested Montana Public Service Commission Democratic primary. Past PSC member and former state legislator Gail Gutsche has announced. It’s District 4, and includes Granite, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Ravalli and Sanders counties.
Former Deer Lodge County Commissioner Mark Sweeney, a Democrat, has already filed. Although incumbent Bob Lake hasn’t filed yet, the assumption is that he’ll be on the general election ballot facing the winner of the Democratic primary.
The often overlooked PSC races are of particular importance this year with the raging debate over Colstrip, and in Missoula, the sale of Mountain Water to … ?