It seems that in Billings he said some things that, well…could be taken out of context.
I’m already hearing concern from GOP voters on this.
Today I got an email from a 67-year-old veteran in Northwest Montana. He said that he was concerned about some of the things that Zinke said to veterans on Tuesday, which you can read in the IR.
Zinke was in the Magic City “speaking to a small group of veterans” when he said “he worries about ‘economic slavery’ of government services” in regard to the VA.
When it came to veterans that are suffering from PTSD, Zinke said they need both therapy and jobs.
Although the discussion about requiring PTSD-suffering veterans to get jobs is “a taboo subject in Congress,” Zinke thinks it’s important to talk about.
“No one cares more about veterans than I do,” he said.
I find that last statement odd, as he wants veterans with PTSD problems to get a job to keep getting their benefits.
Considering that we gave those veterans PTSD by sending them to fight in needless wars for the rich of this country, I feel it’s only fair that the rich of this country go ahead and keep funding those benefits.
Zinke does not think this should be the case.
Not only does Zinke think cutting taxes on the rich is acceptable, now he thinks it’s more important the rich get their money and screw veterans with serious problems.
At a time when the VA in Montana has 150 staff vacancies, Zinke thinks it’s more important to talk about curtailing veteran benefits.
Denise Juneau should be all over this. She should be all over a few things, as the veteran told me in email. When it came to Zinke he said:
I couldn't believe it with him always reminding us of being navy seal. I actually voted for this guy but not again. I would hope Denise would run with this but not word from her or party.
We have nearly 100,000 veterans in Montana, as I reported last November, and as I followed up last month, the VA is still doing a horrible job.
Thankfully Senator Tester is working on this and I’ll hopefully be the first to tell you what happens with the Montana VA when Congress is back in session in a week or two.
Until then…am I the only one scratching my head at the lackluster performance from Democrats on this issue?
To me, veterans are not a group that Republicans have a lock on.
We can take a lot of these voters, damn it, and the reason is simple – they’re not happy with how they’re being treated!
So…start listening to them and start paying attention to them and help them!
Alas, we’re not even talking about them on the campaign trail.
Now, it is early…I guess.
I mean, if you’re running in the general you’ve got 7 months and a few days.
If you’re running the primary, however, you have about 40 days.
Oh, did you think you had longer? Sorry, I guess you were under the impression that absentee ballots don’t matter.
Yep, absentee ballots in Montana will go out on May 9.
That’s when a lot of people vote, especially older people. If you don’t have your message out by then…chances are good that you’ll lose.
I’m not worried about Denise Juneau losing in June, mainly because she has no primary opponent.
The same goes for Zinke.
When it comes to November, however, I just don’t see Juneau pulling this one off.
She could win if she develops some kind of strategy for winning.
What might that look like?
- First, go around the state a lot more. I guess that might be hard since she is technically supposed to be in Helena at her job during the week. Well, maybe now’s right to use up that vacation time.
- Next, get a lot more free media. This is incredibly hard but it has to be done. On a Saturday-Sunday schedule, however, it’s damn-near impossible (weekend reporters are the worst).
- Finally, get mad. If things are so bad in Washington and Zinke is so bad for Montana, why are you so happy all the time? My life sucks, damn it, and I want you to be angry about that. Fight for me!
So far, we’re just not seeing a lot of that from the two candidates.
You can compare the two candidates media presence by looking at their websites and their Facebook pages.
This is where there messaging is at before the big ad buys come in, oh…May or June.
Yeah, that’s early…especially with no primary opponent. I personally would be surprised if we’re seeing our first ads in July.
Could be that they’ll do more targeted Facebook ads, however, saving the TV for later.
We all know that personal contact is the most effective, however, but damn – it’s tough going around the state all the time.
I am surprised that Zinke hasn’t put anything new on his site since November.
Wow, talk about lazy.
Could this be an opportunity for Juneau? I dunno, but I was happy to see her put up a new post on her site finally.
Something else I’m not seeing a lot of is TV or radio interviews by Juneau. That should be worked on.
Now, what areas of Zinke supporters can Juneau peel away?
- How about veterans? After the flap this week, we know there’s support there.
- How about ranchers? Juneau if from this area and she needs to focus on issues like land management, federal funding, and other things of that nature to draw these conservative-leaning voters to her.
- How about older workers? I’m talking about people that are struggling and working two part-time jobs but still think they’re Republican. It should be so easy to convince these people that their life is only getting worse. They need to change things with their vote, and that means Democrats this year.
- How about the elderly? Healthcare is not working…for anyone. The poor can’t pay deductibles and the rich can’t pay premiums. Talk about this! Don’t let Jesse Laslovich be the only one ahead of the curve here, damn it! I will say, I’m ashamed he’s the only one that had the balls to bring up this debacle at the Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner. Hopefully others will talk about it too.
- How about stoners? Medical marijuana smokers are mobilized right not, as are young, hardworking pot smokers. Why not let them know you care and cement their vote now, early, and get it out of the way? And when Zinke attacks you on this, attack him back hard. He and the GOP are behind the country on this.
I wouldn’t focus on gays or guns. Gay people will vote Democratic because they’ll never vote Republican. They have no leverage so you don’t need to work for their vote – they’ll give it to you, eagerly.
I wouldn’t focus on guns because you’ll lose the support you managed to pick up in the rural areas through focusing on those groups above.
Please don’t go full-on refugee with us, either. People that are concerned with Syrian refugees or any refugees have viable concerns most times and they want to be listened to. Ignoring them – or God-forbid, bashing them – just won’t work. This is an issue I’d stay on the fence on.
Besides that, well…have Lauren Caldwell figure it out. That’s what you’re paying the former MDLCC-head for, isn’t it?
I'm not sure how that'll help.
Juneau’s got some University of North Dakota press piece coming out on her soon.
I'm not sure how that'll help her either.
Going after Zinke on something as stupid as what he said on Tuesday, however, now that might help her.
Get to work…please!