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The Last Best Editorial

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The Helena IR editorial this morning really captures the important issues in the Senate race today, congratulating Senator Burns for his bold stand to offer an amendment to a spending bill protecting "The Last Best Place" from the clutches of evil trademark:

That’s why Sen. Conrad Burns’ efforts to protect the phrase from being hijacked by a Las Vegas businessman who wants to own it as a trademark are so universally applauded. Burns is pushing an amendment preventing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from approving businessman David Lipson’s request. The measure, like a similar amendment last year, would be included in a one-year spending bill.

He’d like to make the ban permanent in a separate bill, but isn’t sure that would succeed. How would the rest of country feel about such a self-congratulatory phrase?

If you are going to write an inappropriately celebratory editorial about a nakedly political ploy, shouldn’t you at least summarize the press release from Burns you are plagiarizing accurately?

The Burns press release said this:

Burns spokesman Matt Mackowiak said that renewing the ban in yearly spending bills is probably the best way, for now, to head off Lipson’s efforts. A permanent ban may "raise legal questions," he said, and would be difficult to push through a busy and distracted Congress.

See, the reason Congress probably wouldn’t pass this is a little more complicated than the rest of the nation being upset about our name: it’s a little difficult for a government agency to block someone’s acquisition of a trademark, and Congress needs to focus on slightly more important issues, like flag burning.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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.

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