I think it is, because that way those legislators can go back to that district in 2 years and just crow about all that they’ve done.
- They had extra staff to help them draft legislation;
- They had extra muscle to get that media word out;
- They had resources so they could do their job.
Now, if you’re not in a landslide district, if you’re in a district where you were in a tough primary fight and then a tough general race, you might be screwed.
For all your money went to getting elected, which was its purpose. But gosh darn, you know what? Now you’re even further behind than when you started!
The Magical World of Political Mailing Lists
Legislators hiring staff? WTF!
I figured this was something worth getting to the bottom of, even if I wasn’t planning on doing any political footwork today. Here’s how the conversation went:
The Magical World of Montana Political Staff
I’m sorry, but can anyone refresh me on Rep. Hunter’s legislative accomplishments in 2013? I guess he had some – he’s still got his leadership position.
Excuse me if I sound a little untoward, but the idea of having help, and paid help at that, just doesn’t sit right with me. I mean, wasn’t it just the other day that I read a comment saying something about some legislators not even having enough money to buy a proper suit?
So this presents a problem for leadership on both sides of the aisle. On the one hand, you have those with staff, the people with dedication and resolve and the willingness to get the job done. They raise money, and they do whatever it takes to do so. Because they know damn well that they need staff around them so they can move up to the next level.
On the other hand you have the guys that didn’t raise much money, and therefore have nothing left over. They need every penny of that paycheck just to get by, and any work they do will come from their own hand, or one of the helpful lobbyists extending theirs.
This issue of using excessive campaign funds rubs me the wrong way, leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and makes me shake my head. Oh, it might be alright, it might be in the rules. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I got into this conversation with my wife last night. I brought up the example of winter.
You know, a lot of people don’t like winter and they complain about winter and they just hate it!
But it’s winter!
That doesn’t mean they have to like it, and you’re going to have to expect they’ll complain about it!
Then move where it’s warmer!
How many times can we as a country keep moving? The world’s a global place now, however silly that may sound, and the policies and procedures of one locale affect them all. Instead of walking away from our problems, maybe we should solve them.
I’m not arguing that Zolnikov won’t be more effective – I think he will be, he has Kyle Schmauch as his communications director – and I’m sure he’ll be able to argue his positions more effectively because of it.
I’d also like to point out how easy it is to get a leg-up in Montana politics, or as we’d say in the world of online marketing, how ‘niche’ it is. It’s a small world, with a small audience. Here’s an under-30 representative from Billings – someone that in any other state would probably be laughed out of even trying for a spot in the legislature – and who will probably be a name we hear of more in the coming years. Schmauch will ride those coattails, either getting a position in the legislature himself, or getting a higher position on someone else’s staff, steadily moving up until he’s at the national level.
Think that’s a joke? I remember Marnee Banks from my Chinese languages classes at UM in 2007-8, back when she was still dragging herself out of the dorms in the afternoon. Now she’s Jon Tester’s press secretary or communications director or something like that.
Interesting things can happen in the Treasure State, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of treasure to make them come about. Of course, if you’re in a district where you can run unopposed in the primary and then win in the general by 71.8% then you don’t need to spend a whole lot in the election. So then you’re just raising money for after you’re elected.
Or am I completely stupid here and that’s not the case at all?
But they don’t want that, don’t ask me why. And the idea that Bullock and Tester are going to take that same losing message national? God help us.
Folks, I’ve got news for you – Bullock lost in 2014, and a gain of two seats is not a win. When you don’t have the legislature, that’s not a win, that’s five months of damage control.
Montana Democrats don’t want to think like that, however. I don’t like the feeling of sand running out of my ears after my head’s been in it for so long, but guys, can the country afford what just happened in Montana? Or is that legislature not fucked?
It’s the economy, stupid! The national debt is killing us and there are no jobs. The jobs we have suck, everyone knows this, except the few on the top scrambling to keep theirs. Their benefits and retirement will be gone soon enough, however, and then they’ll be down here in the ditch with the rest of us.
Then what? I guess we just hope to hell there’s not a landslide to bury us alive.