Montana Politics

Dear Democrats (a pre-M&M Dinner plea)

It’s that time of year again. Democrats from across Big Sky Country will be descending on Helena for the Democrats’ annual Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner. Democrats –from political insiders to grassroots organizers – will rub elbows, drink, and be merry. There will be calls to action and impassioned speeches about moving on from a rather rough 2014 cycle.

I would like to take this opportunity to make my own plea to Montana Democrats and I think many readers may agree: focus on working families.

The Montana Democratic Party is a big tent, unlike the Montana GOP, which has two somewhat smaller tents: the TEA tent and the Responsible tent. Montana Democrats generally represent the interests of small business, educators, hunters and anglers, conservationists, social liberals, and working Montanans.

But big business is setting up a table under that tent.

There are rumblings in the Democratic Party. It may not be as divisive or as vocal as the divide in the GOP, but there are rumblings. The Warren-Clinton “divide” is, perhaps, the greatest manifestation of the Democrats’ fork in the road. On one hand you have Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee who is close to Wall Street and will rely heavily on Wall Street to bankroll her campaign. On the other hand you have a Senator like Elizabeth Warren who may or may not run for president, but is getting plenty of attention from within the Democratic Party. Why? Because she is the anti-Wall Street, pro-working class (possible) candidate for president.

While national Democrats may be at a tipping point in becoming another pro-big business party, Montana Democrats can still chart their own course. We always have and we always should. Montana Democrats have consistently bucked national trends and I would urge them to do just that when it comes to getting in bed with Wall Street.

Working families – union families – made this state what it is today. Without unions, we would not have a middle class. Without a middle class you cannot possibly expect there to be such truly grassroots support for things like public access to public lands or good quality education (both of which benefit working families).

The middle class, which is preserved by labor, is what sustains and protects our incredible quality of life here in Montana. If Democrats want to protect the environment, fund education, and ensure basic human rights for all, they need to start by standing up for working families .

The time is now for a real gut check within the Democratic Party – especially here in Montana. Do Democrats follow national trends or stick to their guns and always put working families first? Hopefully we get a clear answer this weekend in Helena.

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.


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  • I love Elizabeth Warren in the Senate, and I loved her as a Harvard professor talking Josh Marshall at TPM’s readers through the 2005? bankruptcy law. I emailed her a question about child support and insolvency—SHE EMAILED ME BACK!!!

    I am hoping we can get a strong Bernie Sanders Candidacy because he is proven, solid and ready to risk his career. My only concern about Warren is that the Presidency could neutralize the position that she has earned with the media and public opinion.

    As for me, I always put working families first so I could not get behind a Clinton candidacy- no matter what. Jon Tester is not up for re-election until 2018, that is IF he decides to run again, something that I predicted he would not do over a year ago.

    I am looking at a 2018 run for the PSC myself, but all of our ground level campaigns need their ground to be tilled now for working families to get a fighting chance.

  • FOR MY INBRED PALS DURING THE LEGE BREAK! Not EVERY one is interested in Cracker Jeezus! And that kinda really truly SUCKS for you! I feel your pain………NOT! This is AMERICA, assholes! We don’t, will not, NEVER, ever, suckCUM to your ignorance and hatred in the name of religion! Get over it, you sh*trhea bassturds! You’re morons, illiterates, inbreds and ingrates! You have TOTALLY forgotten just WHO brought your miserable existence up to THIS level! Hint: it WASN’T that Big Kochk brother in your pie hole, your moronic inbred reeeetarts! It was us LIBERAL, progressives! You’re welcome. Now, let’s try to get your inbred KIDS a standard of living that us old farts enjoyed! The hard reality is that JEEZUS ain’t gonna save your sorry fat ass, and your LAST name ain’t BUSH!
    Enjoy the TRVTH. It’s time.

  • Great piece, valid points. Dems didn’t get the shit kicked out of them enough this past mid-terms to actually make changes or understand the needs of the middle class in a way that would actually benefit us.
    The idea that courting big biz/Wall Street to advance a middle class agenda is erroneous & desperate. Big biz/Wall Street really doesn’t need the middle class to sustain itself; just tax breaks, less oversight/rules/regs & they can feed off themselves for at least a couple of generations. The English aristocracy proved that.

  • This week, in an unprecedented show of solidarity, over 60 labor unions in the U.S. – representing close to 20 million working families – sent this letter to Congress opposing ‘fast-track’ and the secret TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).

    The Obama administration’s strong support of the TPP – and willingness abandon working Americans, organized labor, the environmental, food safety and consumer movement and most all other Congressional Dems – in favor of working closely with the U.S. Chamber, Business Roundtable and Rep Ryan, Rep Boehner and Sen McConnell to “fast track” the TPP through Congress is a vivid example of what this blog post is about.

    Q: Does anyone know where Senator Tester stands on the TPP and giving President Obama ‘fast track’ trade promotion authority? The TPP would be the largest ‘free trade’ deal in the history of the world, impacting 40% of the global economy and nearly 1 billion people…but apparently there are other more pressing issues for the statewide, and national, media to focus on. Go figure.

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