Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Don’t Believe Ryan Zinke is Worried? Then Explain This Ad

I’ve seen some terrible political ads, I’ve seen some dishonest political ads, and I’ve seen some desperate political ads. I’m not sure, though, that I have run across many that hit the trifecta of terrible, dishonest, and desperate quite as powerfully as the latest campaign ad from Ryan Zinke. Apparently fresh out of stock footage of commendations won by other members of the military, Zinke has released an ad attacking Superintendent Juneau, suggesting that she was somehow responsible for a small number of bus drivers hired by local districts having arrest records.

The ad is total garbage. As anyone from Montana knows, local school districts hire bus drivers, not the state, not the Superintendent’s office. Only someone who thinks OPI has 1000 employees would be ignorant enough to believe that local hiring decisions are managed by the state. And only someone worried that losing an election will threaten his opportunity to enrich himself would use schoolchildren to scare parents into believing that their school buses weren’t safe, and that drivers were not being screened.

Because if you read the story the Zinke ad flashes on the screen, Superintendent Juneau responded to the audit by recommending that the Board of Public Education mandate background checks:

The OPI will recommend to the Board of Public Education that it amend its administrative rules to require districts to perform criminal history background checks for school bus drivers.”

Those of us from Montana know that it’s the Board of Public Education who sets these policies. Those of us from Montana know that Superintendent Juneau has worked tirelessly to promote the academic development of Montana children and protect their physical and emotional well-being.

It’s quite clear that Congressman Zinke doesn’t have the interest of anyone in mind other than himself, and this latest ad makes it clear he’ll do and say anything to win an election—other than treat his constituents with respect and concern for their interests.

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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  • Seems like a lot of findings for the Office of Public Instruction on how to improve? They are suppose to know their system and improve it. Shouldn’t they periodically see what other states are doing and compare rather than glad-handing at lunches all the time. Juneau in Washington DC?

    Performance audits conducted by the Legislative Audit Division
    are designed to assess state government operations. From the
    audit work, a determination is made as to whether agencies and
    programs are accomplishing their purposes, and whether they
    can do so with greater efficiency and economy.

  • Bottom line, the LOCAL school districts call the hiring shots, and after all, isn’t that what GOP ALWAYS scream about, LOCAL control but NOT responsibility?

  • We need to send Juneau to Washington so her K – 12 Task Force can find the missing Clinton emails she destroyed after being served.

    Sry… that was a bit tacky.

  • Well, what has really caused more felons to enter the bus driving job is that they (whomever that means) have made it harder than hell for your average old fart to pass the CDL test any more. Yep. I recently lost my CDL too, along with many other fine drivers I know. Why? Why do they keep making it harder all the time to pass the dammm physical?

    Our very own legislature had a really brilliant idea (not) a few years back. What it was was this. It seems that since there were a few school bus accidents involving kids, they decided that every driver who hadn’t driven longer than two years had to go BACK and take the dammm CDL test again! Brilliant, right? I mean, how frickin’ stupid can you get? I had driven for one year and eleven months, but guess what? I no longer could continue to drive. I was forced to go back and re-test! What a bunch of BS. But THAT is the nature of our goofy Lege back then.

    Well, naturally I flunked the test. You see, if you’ve never taken a CDL test, you must understand that some of the women who administer the test are freakin’ crazy! (seems it’s mainly women who give the driving test). They will flunk you for the most bizarre reason and think nothing of it! They are on a female hormone infused power trip BIG time!

    But at the same time, I have seen women applicants who could barely drive around the block PASS the test! Go figure. That’s what happens when you hire nut cutters to give the test. True story. (For the record, I did manage to pass the test but I won’t say how.)

    But now comes a missive, from the Feds I assume, regarding the CDL physical. No longer can just any MD give you a physical. Nope. It has to be a person on their list. Here in GF we have a list of ten providers, eight of whom are chiropractors, a PA., and one Md. THAT’S IT! Pretty weird, right?

    And they have tightened the blood pressure requirements to where no one over twenty-five, or someone hopped up BIG time on medication can pass the test! Seriously. I’m not making this stuff up. The old docs used to be able to use their own judgement regarding your BP. For example, if you suffer from white coat syndrome, they took that into account.

    Hence, the pool of available drivers has basically dried up like fish in a side channel pool as summer wanes on. Hell, nearly everyone I know has lost their license. And for what?

    The ONLY drivers left are guys SO medicated up that they’re walking med cabinets! Oh sure, they might look like overweight fat slobs, and they are, but by God they got some real good drugs in their systems! They is healthy, right?!

    None of this makes sense. If you’re a healthy, skinny, in-good-shape old fart who just can’t quite tweak your blood pressure without drugs, you’re outta luck. And so are the kids. But if you’re a child molesting drug taking slob, by GOD you’re the man! The man we entrust our children to to get them safely to school.

    So don’t ask why there are no more drivers other than felons and perverts.

    Where have all the drivers gone?
    Long time passing.
    Gone to get another job.
    Long time ago.

    Why are all the felons on,
    Long time passing.
    Busses with our kids at dawn
    Long time ago.

    The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the gummint wind!

    BTW, pilots have the same problem. But they have a secret weapon. One last good doc! Who shall remain unnamed.

    So, wanna learn to fly? Forget it. Or get yourself some great drugs!

    • p.s. Guess I’m with the Deplorables on this one. Let people WORK if they want to work. This is a micro example of what many Deplorables are saying. Get the dammm gummint out of our lives! They do NOT have to overregulate things. That simply makes work for more gummint employees! Allow folks who want to work to work. It’s that simple. Hell, it worked for two hundred years of our history.

      And that’s the title of my next book. It’s French. Les Deplorables, about a guy barely getting by who loses his bus driving job and has to steal a candy bar to survive. Only thing is, he gets his arm stuck in the machine and has to break the glass to get the candy out! And hence, he is pursued the rest of his life by OSHA and the cops!………….and the blood pressure police!

  • Really Ryan?? Most of us know hiring school bus drivers is a school board decision. .this must be an embarrassing ad for you to have sent out as most if us are not that gullible. Really Ryan??

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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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