Now, I don’t know a whole lot about Forward Montana other than that they’re a grass-roots organization that was started…well, in 2004, primarily with the intention of getting more young people to vote.
When you think about it, just having more young people voting is an agenda in and of itself. When young people vote you know they’re more likely to vote Democratic, for a woman’s right to choose, for protection of the environment, and a myriad other issues that scare the pants off Republicans.
But I didn’t really go down there tonight to see those folks fall all over themselves in congratulations, although I saw quite a bit and honestly was impressed. There’s a lot of great speakers there, young energy, and appealing voices.
I can see why Bryce Bennett has ascended to the minority whip in the House – the guy co-founded this organization that got more than 11,000 people registered to vote in 2012. They also played a large part in getting Steve Bullock elected as governor that year. Watching Bennett talk tonight together with another woman whose name I didn’t catch really shows that he’s got what it takes.
But he’s gay.
Yeah, so what. I know a lot of Republicans won’t like that and I’m pretty sure a lot will be rankled knowing they have to sit in the same House Chamber with him in a few months (Bennett is running unopposed in his district).
What I caught right away tonight was how much more fun the Democrats are than the Republicans. I mean, you had some guys running around that are pretty flamboyant. Gosh does it bring some life to the party.
There was one guy tonight with blue pants and a yellow shirt and suspenders and he was dancing and having a great time and infecting others with it as well.
I brought my son Paul to Caras Park around 6 and the thing started at 7. We played around and then later went inside the tent. Some smart folks had set up a ping pong table, little hacky-sack boards, and some other fun toys for kids. Without that stuff I’m sure I’d have left early and wouldn’t be writing this.
I was happy to see the owner of a gas station I go to here on South Avenue by the mall at the benefit tonight. When the call came around for people to stand up that would donate $150 he stood up. I know where I’ll be buying my gas from.
That’s the thing with Democrats – we support one another.
I saw Willis Curdy tonight at the event, and for those of you who don’t know, Curdy beat my ass in the primary this June. But I went up and shook his hand and said I’d be writing a letter to the Missoulian supporting him and telling those 126 people that voted for me to vote for him.
That’s licking your wounds and falling in line and doing the right thing. I hope more Democrats do that starting soon. I was disappointed to see that no one nominated John Bohlinger today at the nominating convention. I like him myself and thought he did a great service to the state by running this year and giving people a choice. But I know he’ll be voting for Curtis come fall.
Those that supported Dirk Adams today need to do the same thing, and I think they will. Again, licking wounds.
- I was happy to see Diane Sands down there tonight, who’s running for SD 49 here in Missoula. I’m confident she’ll win – she’s in my district so I’m voting for her again – and I’m confident she’ll do a helluva job in the Montana Senate.
- I saw Kimberly Dudik there tonight and her husband Matthew Lowey, who’s running for Justice of the Peace here in Missoula. I know one will win because she’s running unopposed and I sure hope the other wins as well.
- I saw Sheriff T.J. McDermott down there tonight with his wife and, oh, I think two kids. They stayed for a bit, probably just to meet Curtis. I thought I got a strange look from him – perhaps he read the piece I wrote on him before the election.
Well, he’s in so like I said, I’ll support him now. That’s how Democrats work, even if sometimes you have to go home and crab a couch cushion and press it to your face and scream until you’re seeing spots.
Thankfully I don’t really feel that way about anyone right now (John Boehner doesn’t get to Montana until next week).
So…I guess that brings us to Amanda Curtis, the one that everyone came to see tonight, and the one that spoke last and probably least. I was hoping we’d hear from her more, and that more people would pay attention. Alright, this might require some explanation.
She started talking after they got the tickets to the dunk tank going. There was a guy walking around in a red Teletubby outfit and they got him into the seat then starting calling out numbers. People grabbed some of those big yellow baseballs and started throwing, and I’ll tell ya, we got that bastard in that tank about 4 times before I left.
It was great, but kind of stole the show. So as I was leaving with Paul on my shoulders, I walked up and said hello to Curdy and then Curtis, who he was talking to.
I mentioned that I wrote my short bio on her and she said thanks. What I have to tell you is what a knock-out she was tonight. Perhaps you’ll see some pictures, but she had this great dress…well, I know you’ll see some pictures because they had her by the river recording a video earlier…but gosh darn, she looked good.
This is great because when a lot of undecided men meet her they’ll notice her charisma and together with their wives badgering and pestering them, they’ll vote for her.
Anyone who watches her YouTube videos knows she’s got some good facial expressions, and she uses them to good affect to convince you and sway you. She’s adamant and forceful, and I wanted to say ‘good luck’ but I could tell she was going to be fine.
Papers should be done at the bank on Monday and the donations can start coming in. I hope she starts touring around the state, perhaps with some of the bigger cities first, using that Forward Montana network and grass roots organization I saw tonight.
Word of mouth is going to be key, and I feel that when people see her speak they’ll talk about her and momentum can build. Hopefully that begins to happen soon and we can call her our first woman senator from Montana.