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Montana Politics Steve Daines

Saturday Quick Takes: Draft Baucus, the Farm Bill, TRS, and More

Another interesting read up at the Flathead Memo today, reporting about the effort to draft Senator Max Baucus for “one last term.” James Conner writes:

Should Baucus change his mind and run for another term — I don’t think he will — I’ll vote for him. Better Baucus in the Senate, his ties to the health care cartel notwithstanding, than any Republican.

I sense a great disturbance on Twitter over this one.

Good news for the Teacher Retirement System, which is in much better financial shape after some simple modifications during the Legislative session that increased contributions from teachers, districts, and the state.  Fascinating to see that sensible legislation is even more effective than ideologically driven calls to gut the system.

Senator Tester killed the Monsanto Protection Rider this week, a move that was correctly praised by the Center for Food Safety, who called it  “a major victory for the food movement” and “sea change in a political climate that all too often allows corporate earmarks to slide through must-pass legislation.”

Radical Republicans in the House, including Montana’s Steve Daines, continue to threaten sensible agriculture policy and threaten the livelihood of Montana farmers. Despite the Senate once again passing an Ag bill, House Republicans are putting TEA Party politics ahead of farm policy.

The worst part? The Republicans are blocking compromise legislation because they’re listening to the likes of Tom Burnett of Bozeman, who is continuing his one man crusade against science, logic, nutrition, and human decency. In his latest screed to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former legislator and current crackpot offered his typical brand of terrible evidence to attack food assistance programs.

Also in the Chronicle, Governor Steve Bullock’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force met to discuss the fact that Montana women earn $.67 for every $1 earned by men.  I’m optimistic that the group came up with proposals better than addressing the concern presented by state economist Barbara Wagner, who said, “One major reason for the gap, she said, is that women choose occupations and industries, like teaching, that pay less than male occupations, like piloting aircraft.”

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 has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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