Mainly, it’s about asking your current boss if you can do your job from Montana.
Sounds kind of strange, huh?
Well, the internet makes things like that possible. More, it’s appetizing to employers as it cuts costs.
But is it good for Montana, or even viable?
I mean…can a lot of people do this, enough for it to matter.
And what about all of us that are living here now…what do we do?
I decided to find some facts on telecommuting.
According to an August 2015 Gallup report, 37% of people in the US are telecommuting.
That’s a long ways from the 9% that were doing so in 1995.
- Most of these people are doing this 2 days per month and 46% are doing it during the workday.
- That means 54% of people are actually could just working from home on the weekend.
- Of these people, 52% are making more than $75,000 a year.
If you want to go by a September 2015 Global Workplace Analytics report you’ll find that up to 25% of workers telecommute “at some frequency.”
- We’re also told that 80% to 90% of people would like to telecommute.
- Considering that 3.7 million American workers are already working from home, or 2.5% of the workforce, this is doable.
- Telecommuting employment grew by 6.5% in 2014 while regular employment only grew 1.8% during that time.
Big companies are doing this, too. Anthem, a huge health insurance company, has a third of its employees working from home. That’s nearly 17,000 workers!
Back during Gianforte’s 30-city tour he pointed out that Oracle had 1,300 jobs listed, all of which could be done over the internet.
Gianforte also stresses the high-tech nature of these telecommuting jobs.
We know that high-tech jobs pay $63,000 a year on average, while healthcare pays $42,000 and finance pays $56,000.
That’s a lot better than the average pay in this state.
So is Gianforte’s telecommuting plan viable?
It seems like it could be for a lot of people. And let’s not forget that a lot of families like seeing their kids move back to Montana…and their grandkids.
There could be a lot of support for such a plan.
Fake Twitter Account
So far they’ve sent out 24 tweets and have managed to garner 14 followers.
I’ve been unimpressed by the level of quality of the tweets, myself. Personally, I like a bit more teeth in my insults.
And why was this account created and why does it continue on?
If you go by the timeframes you can see that the first tweet was sent out on January 8.
My belief is that my January 6 post on more staff changes in Bullock’s office is what prompted this.
It’s also my belief that Bullock may have strayed into the granting of political favors to cover his ass. That is not good.
It could also be that my overall reporting on the alleged Bullock affair is the cause of this account…though that story is old news by now.
Personally, I don’t believe Republicans are behind the account. I think this because many of the followers of this account are Democrats.
I also believe this because the main Democratic website of Montana is written by an anonymous person.
So I wonder what the goal of this account is.
- On the one hand, ridiculing me might make me think twice about whatever it was that I did ‘wrong.’
- On the other, ridiculing me could just make me talk more about the stuff that caused the account to get created in the first place, kind of like the Streisand Effect.
So that’s a bit of a conundrum.
It doesn’t really hurt me either way – how could it?
I’m not a candidate and most people don’t really care what I say. Overall, I have no real power.
But I have a voice and a platform and I know how to use ‘em. Throughout history, that’s always made certain groups nervous…usually those in power.
2 Days to Filing
Wow, has it been two years already since I got it in me to run?
Sure enough, it has. And some of you might even remember the first political post I did back on January 29, 2014.
My, how time flies.
That was back when I gave a hoot about running a regular campaign. There’s a lot of groveling there.
I saw a bit of that on Twitter today and was reminded of my own groveling two years ago.
What I’m getting at is the news today that Zolnikov would have a challenger in HD 45.
Yep, Daniel Zolnikov is being challenged…at least at the early C-1 stage of filing (a C-1 merely means you want to raise money).
His challenger is John Bedford and has an address on his C-1 as the Billings UPS store.
I was informed later that he’s a former police captain in Billings and the former head of the Montana Police Protective Association.
I dunno about this race. On the one hand, Zolnikov has the experience in office. On the other, Bedford has a bit more professional clout.
Could Zolnikov’s ‘no’ vote on infrastructure come back to haunt him?
That’s a good question, and others might want to ask that as well.
Personally, I like Zolnikov. He’s smart and hardworking and active and has some good ideas.
Will that be enough to get through the primary?
I dunno. I do know that I agree with his vote on infrastructure, as I made clear months ago.
We had the cash, we should have used it. Now that cash is quickly diminishing.
Next session we won’t have near the surplus. The bankers will still be ready for us to bond, however.
So far, this is the only House GOP primary we see setting up.
Some other races to look at for the legislature are:
- HD3: This has incumbent Democrat Zac Perry, GOPer Josh Austill, and Libertarian Taylor Rose are all going for this one.
- HD23: This one has two Democrats going at it but no GOPer yet.
- HD74: This is the race with Amanda Curtis, no GOPer yet.
- HD79-84: This whole Lewis & Clark County area contingent is represented by Democratic women. Will it stay that way? I have a feeling it will.
- HD95: Newcomer (as far as I know) Shane Morigeau is in this Missoula House race, no GOPer yet. Actually, no Missoula House races have GOPers yet.
- HD99: This one has me and a former MEA-MFT exec.
There’s not much on the Senate side of things, just SD6, SD10, SD15, and SD26 for two-party races.
Things are early.
Statewide, this is how they shape up:
- Governor: We know it’s Bullock and Gianforte and that’s about it. This race is 100% up in the air.
- Secretary of State: So far it looks to be Monica Lindeen against Corey Stapleton. I dunno, I have to lean in the Lindeen direction as she has more governing experience. With increasing insurance rates, however – something that could backlash against current State Auditor Lindeen – Stapleton might do better than expected.
- Attorney General: I think we can all agree that no matter whom the Democrats finally field in this race, Tim Fox will win it again.
- State Auditor: Jesse Laslovich will take this easily, as he took the money game more than 6 months ago.
- Head of OPI: So far it’s Melissa Romano and Elsie Arntzen running in this race. I remember the first time I got a mailing or email or whatever from Romano, one with her picture. The first time I saw that beautiful face, attractive smile, and shimmering blond hair I knew the Democrats had a sure-fire winner on their hands.
- PSC: The Montana PSC races have been a real disappointment, with hardly anyone making it known they’re running. So far I think Pat Noonan will win against…is it Koopman? I get him and Bob Lake mixed up a lot, and that’s as good a reason as any to get rid of those two guys. Their coddling of the industry will also suffice.
- U.S. House: I really like Denise Juneau and was impressed to see that she raised $262,000 in 2 months. Despite this, I don’t see her winning against Zinke. Call me a pessimist. Mainly, the first time I heard that Zinke had gone to Marc Racicot when he was first thinking of running, I knew this guy was smart. I wouldn’t underestimate him – we did that in 2014.
- Supreme Court Races: I’m not paying much attention to these and I don’t think anyone else is. The justices are raising big money, that’s about all I know. That kind of low-knowledge environment isn’t going to help things.
Wow, lots of stuff going on, huh?
We’ll be hearing a lot more political news on Thursday night. Stay tuned!