Montana Political Quick Takes: Zinke Announcement, Rosendale Tin Foil, Empowered Legislature, Road Kill, and More

In a speech so cliché-laden that Peggy Noonan is considering suing, to a crowd almost numbering dozens, Ryan Zinke announcedtea-party-mtal-primary-montana his candidacy for the US House today in Billings. While I couldn’t make it through the riveting video of the event, I’m told that Zinke neither water boarded anyone nor revealed American military secrets at today’s event. I suspect he also failed to mention signing this truly insane pledge back in 2012. I will give Zinke credit for chutzpah, though. It takes a hell of a lot for someone who volunteered as Neil Livingstone’s running mate to talk about restoring trust to government.

In what was news to me, the Glendive Ranger-Review offered more information from Maryland developer Matt Rosendale’s announcement for the House last week. Carefully fitting the tin foil over his flat top, Rosendale offered this nuanced, reasonable assessment of the President of the United States:

He accused the pair of running roughshod over anyone who disagreed with their policies and engaging in “a program of broad, deep social engineering.”
“They run a government that has taken over one-sixth of our economy and when their ideas are challenged, they refuse to engage in discussion,” Rosendale said.

It’s not just Champ Edmunds and PSC Member Roger Koopman who think Steve Daines is in trouble because of his vote to end the GOP government showdown. Today, The Atlantic’s Philip Bump said Daines was one of fourteen Republicans most damaged by the shutdown.

In perhaps the most terrifying news out of Helena since the end of the legislative session, a panel of legislators met today to discuss “ways to strengthen the legislative branch.” I’d humbly suggest that they consider first strengthening their grasp on reality before anyone thinks about giving Kim Jong Essman or Art Wittich any more power.

The Montana Legislature even came up while I was vacationing in Portland last weekend. Two columnists discovered the Legislature’s well-conceived road kill bill and it was discussed with the mockery it deserves:

However, they’re happy in Helena now that it’s legal to salvage road kill for the dinner table. It’s not just legal, it’s also going to be convenient. You can now go online to get a permit to eat your flattened squirrel. And very soon, there will be an app for that as well. Something tells us, people who eat road kill don’t have a “smart” phone.

Rick Hill’s legal troubles continue with a ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong which prevents Hill from returning $300,000 to the GOP state party.

Hill argued the threat of an investigation by the state commissioner discourages him from giving the $300,000 left from his failed campaign to the state GOP for the 2014 elections…”By Hill’s logic, any fine — including parking tickets — would implicate the First Amendment if the defendant could plausibly assert a wish to spend money on expressive conduct,” the judge wrote.

Even Charles Krauthammer thinks it’s time for Washington to change the name of its football team:

Why? Simple decency. I wouldn’t want to use a word that defines a people — living or dead, offended or not — in a most demeaning way. It’s not a question of who or how many had their feelings hurt, but whether you want to associate yourself with a word that, for whatever historical reason having nothing to do with you, carries inherently derogatory connotations.

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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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    • True, and I particularly liked this line too about Neil and his trained seal, the Barking Benghazi Seal!

      .” It takes a hell of a lot for someone who volunteered as Neil Livingstone’s running mate to talk about restoring trust to government. ”

      In any event, DAMN Don nails it! He nailed the door shut on the clown car that is the Pube Party in Montana! Great stuff! Kim Jon Essman! BeeeYOOTeeful!

  • Zinke says in this riveting speech “The last two wars were fought because of our reliance on foreign oil. It’s time we stop sending our kids overseas to fight for foreign oil.” Which 2 wars is he speaking of? He’s spent a lot of time convincing us how important our military is in fighting our last 2 wars, which he’s always touted as Wars on Terror….Wars for our freedom…keeping us safe from those who would do us harm etc…

  • Do you think he’s become interested in domestic oil, and now wants to convince us that these are” wars on foreign oil” and not” wars on terror” because he sits on STWA’s board of Directors? STWA is an energy company that is publicly traded. And Zinke not only sit’s on the board but his LLC, Continental Divide, Inc., is an independent contractor for this company that receives a monthly salary plus expenses for “consulting”?

    • Sad, so sad. The Barking Benghazi Seal needs an intervention! The dude just can’t seem to WEAN himself off’n the gummint teat! Thas why he aligns himself with the Teat Party. Sad, so sad. Twenty years in the military, and now, POLITICS!…and of course the energy companies and all their gummint subsidies! He’s got a BAD case of suckitis! The major symptoms are military pension, political pension, and ENERGY job! The dude’s got TRIPLE DIP suckitis! The very worst kind!

  • Here is what I think Assman and Wittich really want. (besides exploring ways to circumvent Bullock next session) They want a yearly session so they can have a budget session right before the election cycle. That way they can complain about spending throughout the election, while it is still fresh in the minds of the voter..

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