I think all of the candidates are bad.
I don’t think a single one of them will help my life.
In fact, in 2 years or 6 years…I don’t think my life will have changed in the slightest because of what these people have or have not done.
Tester or Rosendale…Gianforte or Williams – ain’t gonna make one difference in my life.
That said, what are some of the reasons for you to vote for the Republicans this year?
I haven’t seen a whole lot of those. On the Democratic attack sites, I see lots of reasons not to vote for them…but little else.
So I thought it’d be fun to go to the GOP candidates’ own websites today and figure out if they list any reasons to vote for them.
#1 Fiscal Discipline
Matt Rosendale cut the operating costs of the Montana State Auditor’s Office by 23%.
He did this during a time of budget crisis…a crisis orchestrated and instigated by Governor Bullock.
And while Bullock was taking his biennial pay increase of 3.5% last July (pushing him to over $115,000 a year), Matt Rosendale actually turned it down (Elsie Arntzen was the only other elected official to do so).
Top state officials like that typically get a raise of 1% to 11%, while the average state workers doing the real work in the trenches can only look forward to 1%...maybe, if they’re lucky.
Rosendale was supposed to get a 3.7% raise, which would have bumped him up to over $95,000 a year.
Tim Fox took the largest pay raise during the budget crisis, a whopping 11%, which put him up to $137,000 a year.
That’s Tim Fox, a man that claims to be conservative unless there’s a chance to pad his own pockets.
#2 Honest Wages
Greg Gianforte doesn’t waste a lot of money on staff.
In fact, he pays his congressional staffers just $35,925 a year…or the lowest amount of any of the 535 clowns we have in the District of Criminals.
The highest paid staffers make over $81,000.
Now, Gianforte gets the Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA)…just like every other member of Congress.
They’re given this to cover the costs of personal expenses, office expenses, and mailing expenses.
The average MRA is $1.26 million a year (in the Senate it’s $3.3 million).
In the House we know that $944,671 of that MRA is eaten up by the office personnel allowance.
This allows congressmen to hire up to 18 full-time, permanent staffers.
Personally, I don’t think that Gianforte has 18 staffers. I’d be surprised if he had more than five, as when he was running for both governor and House, he kept his staff levels quite low.
And he pays them about the same level of wages that they’d make in Montana.
Some argue that this makes it nearly impossible to live in the District of Criminals, and I can believe it – that’s a town for the rich and entitled, not regular workers.
Here in Montana, I’d love to make nearly $36,000 a year, like Gianforte is paying.
In fact, Gianforte is paying his staffers nearly $500 more than the average annual wage in Great Falls, which is $36,572.
#3 Rosendale Might Help Veterans
“The VA is in abysmal shape,” Rosendale says on his website.
This is in contrast to Tester, who’s the ranking member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
In case you’ve forgotten, in 2015 we had 6,115 veterans kill themselves in this country.
That comes out to roughly 16 suicides a day.
Here in Montana, we had 46 veterans kill themselves in 2015, or nearly 4 a month.
And we know that “after accounting for differences in age, the Veteran suicide rate in Montana was significantly higher than the national suicide rate.”
For Tester, this is good. He’s doing a good job, really making a difference.
For Rosendale, this is bad. He feels the VA could do better, and he aims to make that happen.
What’s his plan? I have no idea, but I’m sure it’d follow the lines of privatization of the VA, something the GOP seems to like the idea of.
Personally, I can’t imagine things being any worse for veterans than they are now, and Tester’s the main guy that has their back.
Lot of help he’s been.
#4 They’re Pro-Natural Resource
I was up camping in the Seeley-Swan Range earlier this week with my son.
We had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the forest and lake. We actually hiked up to a waterfall, going through the forest all the while.
And my…that forest was packed. Oh, not with people…but with trees. Lots of the trees were fallen down, while others were really packed together.
And that’s why we often do logging operations, to thin those forests out. It also gives us wood to build stuff, and creates jobs.
In fact, when I was going through Seeley Lake I saw the Pyramid Lumber sign that said they were starting workers off at $16 an hour.
Damn…that’s almost twice what I’d get for a job here in Missoula!
In fact, the median wage for loggers is over $20 an hour nationally.
I wish we had more of those jobs, but we don’t. A big reason are groups like Alliance for the Wild Rockies, which has had a lawsuit for 3 years now to stop logging on 8,800 acres in the Seeley-Swan Range.
Mostly the issue comes down to roads, and specifically 2.2 miles of those roads. Remember, these are roads that no one is ever going to see because they’re out in the wilderness.
And let’s also remember that that wilderness is probably going to burn up at some point.
What the hell’s 8,800 acres compared to the 156,000 acres that burned up in the Rice Ridge fire last year?
Well, it means a lot to the liberal paper pushers working in the nonprofits (and by 'working' I mean sending out tweets all day).
If they couldn’t sue to stop stuff, they’d have no reason to exist. Then they’d be out looking for those $8.30 an hour jobs like the rest of us shmucks.
I’d rather make $16 working out in nature.
#5 They’re Not Democrats
I think the biggest reason to vote for both Rosendale and Gianforte this year is the simple fact that they’re not Democrats.
Remember, Democrats are the Party that actually rigged their own primary election so a certain candidate could ‘win.’
Here in Montana, Democrats actually started a budget crisis that cut off the health care and social services for thousands of needy people…all so they could blame Republicans.
Nationally, Democrats are so focused on campaigns of identity politics that they don’t even focus on bread and butter issues anymore.
If you’re gay or transgender or black or here illegally, Democrats would love to help you. If you hate the police or want ICE gone or think Trump is the worst thing that has ever happened to your life, then Democrats want to hear it.
If you want to make more money or get a better job or figure out how in the hell you’re going to save for retirement, then Democrats don’t have much for you, however.
The nice thing about the Republicans these days is that they’ll take anybody.
When it comes to Democrats, they won’t. To them, half the ‘anybody’ that the GOP takes is nothing more than a basket of deplorables.
Those are the high and mighty Democrats for you.
I wouldn’t vote for Jon Tester if you paid me.
I could possibly vote for Kathleen Williams, though I see absolutely no reason to at this point, and I doubt anyone will give me one. Reading her campaign website is like reading stereo instructions.
I’ve voted for Greg Gianforte before, and could see myself voting for him again. I know that whoever wins, my life won’t have changed two years from now.
When it comes to Rosendale…gosh, I dunno.
At this point I think I’ll just skip the Senate race, though that could change.
I sure hope Rosendale wins, though.
I’m sick of Tester and his corporate bullshit.
Drake, Phil. “2 state officials decline state pay increase.” Great Falls Tribune. 14 July 2017. https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2017/07/14/2-state-officials-decline-state-pay-increase/479727001/
Icsman, Marilyn. “Here are the congressional offices that pay staffs the highest and lowest salaries.” USA Today. 23 March 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/03/23/here-congressional-offices-pay-staffs-highest-and-lowest-salaries/450064002/
Locsin, Aurelio. “How Much Money Do Loggers Make?” Chron. Retrieved 2 August 2018. https://work.chron.com/much-money-loggers-make-6803.html
Longley, Robert. “Allowances Available to Members of US Congress.” Thought Co. 3 May 2018. https://www.thoughtco.com/allowances-to-members-of-congress-3322261
Lundquist, Laura. “Environmental groups say Lindbergh Lake logging would harm grizzly bears.” Missoula Current. 1 August 2018. https://www.missoulacurrent.com/outdoors/2018/08/logging-lindbergh-lake/
“Montana Veteran Suicide Data Sheet, 2015.” VA.gov. Retrieved 2 August 2018. https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/docs/data-sheets/2015/Montana_2015.pdf
“Rosendale, U.S. Senate.” Matt for Montana. Retrieved 2 August 2018. https://www.mattformontana.com/
“US Representative Greg Gianforte.” Gianforte.house.gov. Retrieved 2 August 2018. https://gianforte.house.gov/