Mostly, I just feel like talking politics and issues.
Let’s do that.
Scott Sales and SoS
Someone told me late today that Scott Sales is running for Secretary of State in 2020.
That seems to be the case, as he filed a C1 statement of candidacy with the state on Monday. He's serving as his own treasurer, which might point to a more 'spur of the moment' kind of decision on this.
It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. Current Secretary of State Corey Stapleton filed his C1 way back in November 2017. His latest C5 campaign finance report has him with $13,000 in the bank for the primary, and another $7,000 for the general.
As you might know, Sales wanted to send taxpayer money south to fund Trump’s border wall, and this at a time when we recently had to cut essential services for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and those in care facilities.
On the money side, Sales raised nearly $10,000 to win his latest election, and about $22,000 the time before that. So he can raise money, but can he raise enough to win SoS, and can he convince enough primary voters to vote for him?
He’s more of a hardline Republican, one who will probably oppose the bonding that more moderate Republican Mike Hopkins wants for infrastructure. We don’t yet know how the hardliners and the moderates will fight each other in next year’s primary.
Money and Bullock
First, have you heard about the story pertaining to money in Montana elections?
Mostly, it’s about a bill put forth by Misosula’s Nate McConnell to limit the amount of foreign money in Montana’s elections.
So I did a quick Google search and you know what? I didn’t find a single story about foreign money in Montana elections.
I think a bigger problem is all the American PAC money that’s in our elections.
Mostly, on this issue I think it’s Bullock trying to ensure he has an easier go at beating Daines when he declares for that race a year from now.
Perhaps Bullock thinks Daines will throw some of that China money at him. Daines was instrumental in creating 6,500 jobs for Proctor & Gamble in China, after all, usually at the expense of American workers.
Or maybe this is just more presidential posturing on the part of Bullock.
Bullock’s timeline is simple:
- February 3 is Iowa
- February 11 is New Hampshire
- February 15 is Nevada
- February 29 is South Carolina
- March 3 is Super Tuesday
- March 16 is Montana’s filing deadline
So a year from now Bullock will have had his bell rung in one primary state and three caucus states, as well as the twelve states and territories that vote on Super Tuesday.
He’ll know he has no chances being president at that point, and that’s when it’ll get interesting.
You see, he has absolutely no chance at a cabinet-level position or at the VP spot if he jumps out of the race.
Well...that’s not totally true.
If he does run against Daines and loses and a Dem wins the White House, they could tap Bullock. If he does beat Daines, Bullock will be stuck in Congress for six years. His wife Lisa will love that.
In 48 days it’ll be May 1 and I suspect Bullock will declare by then.
He’ll then have 326 days to convince voters in Iowa to give him a win, or a damn good second- or third-place showing.
I think Bullock will come in close to dead-last in that race and the others.
At that point it’ll be interesting to see if he sticks to his guns and stays in the presidential race.
And what the hell are Montana Democrats going to do if he does that?
By the end of this summer they need to have a candidate in place to challenge Daines. It sure would be awkward if the MT Dems had a candidate they were pushing, then Bullock decides to jump in a week before the filing deadline.
It could happen.
Currently there are no people in the state that anyone can think of that might run against Daines that’s not called Bullock, though I think Great Falls’ Casey Schreier is angling himself for the role.
I can’t think of a single Democrat on the scene in Montana today that can beat Daines, however.
I suspect that for the first time in decades (1930s maybe?) we’ll have all our congressional seats and every statewide office and both chambers of the legislature sitting in GOP hands.
That’ll be a helluva legacy Bullock left the state.
The Legislature Doesn’t Represent Me
I don’t feel the legislature represents me. I don’t think the people serving in the legislature have my interests at heart.
A big reason for this is their age.
Here’s how the Billings Gazette put it a couple years ago:
“In 2015, the average age of a Montanan was 48 while the average age of a legislator was 57. Millennials held 6 percent of legislative seats that year although they accounted for 29 percent of the state population, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”
This year we know that only one member of the legislature is under the age of 25, and just 18 are between 25 and 34.
So 12% of the legislature are millennials or younger.
26% are Gen Xers and 58% are Boomers. Just 3% belong to the Silent Generation.
I can see how little the legislature cares about me or younger people in general by the way they act.
Currently we have some silly issue to revive Colstrip, even though most young people know that fossil fuels are becoming more of a problem than a solution. The legislature refuses to consider alternative energy options; our PSC has all but abandoned the idea.
There’s no talk in the legislature about our massive student loan debt crisis, our lack of affordable housing, and how difficult it is to have kids here and then raise them.
The legislature is focused more on Montana’s past than its future.
Frustrated, But Still Here
Finally, I’d like to talk about this site and it’s audience and its reach.
It’s no secret that I get frustrated by my inability to reach more people, or even influence the debate.
I get frustrated when I see sites like MT Post and Missoula Current get hundreds of likes on articles and issues that I don’t often agree with.
Who are these people giving all these Facebook likes...and why don’t I get that kind of love?
I don’t get a lot of likes on Twitter or shares and very few comments on the site. Visits are way down too.
Despite all that, I know that people read my stuff. I also know it’s some of the best stuff in the state.
I get frustrated by the lack of hard information on the other Montana sites and in our newspapers.
That’s a big reason I’ll go out and research facts and figures for things like recycling or snow plowing or legislator ages.
I think this adds to the debate and gives people more information.
And you know what? I like doing it.
And with that, have a good one.