Here’s how that breaks down:
I like that map because it gives me an idea where my audience is.
For instance, Havre there only gave me 18 visits this month.
Helena has given me 511.
There’s a lot more places, though they’re small. Harlem, Saco, and Chinook, for instance, only gave me 1 visit each.
Still, they’re visits, and I think those visits come because people are concerned about the state.
They’re concerned and they want information.
I’m happy that I can supply information.
I’m also happy that some of you choose to email me with different perspectives from around the state.
That’s what this post is about – a different perspective.
I suppose I could say who emailed me, but I won’t. The main reason for that is these emails often come from smaller towns where everyone knows everyone else.
That could cause a lot of needless hassle.
So we’ll just keep names out of it.
Gianforte was up in Plains and Thompson Falls today. The crowds were relatively small with pretty much just old people.
The Regulation Roundup events he held were pretty mellow.
Many people are agreeing with his economic points, but they want to see how he intends to get there.
His uneasiness about taking questions really keeps people guessing as to whether they should support him or not.
It’s pretty clear to many people that he wants to be governor and he wants to do a good job.
Despite this, I’ve been told that some find listening to him about the same as listening to Marco Rubio trying to not sound like a freakin' robot.
People in those areas of Montana know that lots of speculators come through those rural counties promising a better future.
People in those areas know that these folks just pass through and don't really give a shit.
Is Gianforte that same man?
I don't know.
What is going to be interesting to see is if he continues to pal around with Jennifer Fielder and her ‘friends.’
A lot of people that call themselves RINOs up in that area are not happy with her.
They don't support her far right politics and land transfer agenda.
In fact, they may be sitting this one out. We shall see, though, and I hope someone files by March 14 to really give her a run for her money, and beat her.
I’m told she has something up her sleeve.
And no, I’m not just talking the fancy new $110,000 a year lobbying job with American Lands Council.
That doesn't really settle well with people who work 3 to 4 jobs just to live in Sanders County but who still can't crack $18,000 a year.
From what I’ve been told, Jennifer Fielder was talking about land transfer with Gianforte.
They were chatting how it could serve as a great way to jump start Montana's rural economies.
- At what cost?
- How the hell does this help Eastern Montana? What? Are you going to start the damn railroads running again and get dry farming back up?
- What is the effect on our huge tourist industry when those folks can’t get to the places they want to get to?
Fielder had mentioned she was looking to serve him in a more prominent role in the future.
He replied that he had something in mind when the time is right.
Would it be too premature to talk about Jennifer Fielder as a possible LG pick for Gianforte?
For the most part, many don’t see Gianforte being able to do much for the poorer counties in the state.
You can cut every stand of timber and open up another forty mines, but if that money isn't going to be redistributed back into the county no one is going to give a shit.
Also, the silence from Gianforte on the public lands issue is disconcerting. Later it might unbearable.
Right to Work is another one that AFL-CIO is playing up a lot on Twitter, saying "it's been 13 days and 9 hours and still no answer from Gianforte," or some such.
Still, from what I’ve been told, no one outside of Butte and maybe Great Falls gives two shits about right to work.
What they do care about is seeing some hard data, stats, and figures on how Gianforte intends to get people in Sanders County, Mineral County, Lincoln County – and a ton more just like it – making more than $16,000 a year.
Let’s not forget that the infrastructure argument doesn’t really fly in some of those areas, either.
You saw those Gianforte photos – places like Libby and Superior have more infrastructure needs than places like Plains or Thompson Falls or Trout Creek or Troy.
That means those smaller places aren’t going to be getting any construction money and the jobs that go with it.
Up in the Cabinet Mountains there they do have mining, however. The state just accepted approval for the Montanore and the Rock Creek mines.
That’s 200 to 350 permanent jobs. Still, many of those jobs will be filled with people outside those counties.
Also, Bullock and his state cronies are going to do everything they can to issue those permits to show they're trying to do something. Considering the lack of timber jobs, they don’t have much choice.
It’s also important to remember that Boze-angeles is not Sanders County.
McCone, Petroleum, and Garfield Counties are not Bozeman either.
Bozeman has an economy.
From what I’ve been told, Sanders County has no economy to speak of.
People in that area of the state want change in Helena. At the same time they don't really trust anyone with their counties.
Greg Gianforte can rub elbows with the Jennifer Fielder all he wants, but people up there want to see some action.
Tax cuts to the rich is another problem for Gianforte. There's a policy that probably won't be discussed much during the campaign but which will probably happen if he’s elected.
How does that help most Montanans?
When it comes to infrastructure funding, people would rather mostly use cash and rely on bonds for what cash won’t cover.
Despite this, the Tea Party might have something up its sleeve on this.
Anyways, that’s a look from farther afield.
I hope it gave you something to think on.