Why don’t Montanans run for national office?
This year we have the following:
- Alaska-native Elinor Swanson moved here in 2014
- Maryland-native Matt Rosendale moved here in 2002
- California-native Kathleen Williams moved here in 1995
- California-native Greg Gianforte moved here in 1995
Swanson and Breckenridge are hard to peg-down.
For Swanson, she went to college in California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Oregon before moving to Billings in 2014 (I choose that year as it’s when she finished her last year of college).
I’d like to assume Tester-opponent Rick Breckenridge was born in Montana as well, but the truth is that I can’t find anything on where he was born!
Since Montanans are pretty good at highlighting their roots, I think it’s safe to assume that he wasn’t born here.
Kathleen Williams makes a conscious effort to obfuscate where she was born.
In fact, the only person running for federal office in Montana that’s actually from Montana is Jon Tester, who was born in Havre in 1956.
Why don’t native-Montanans feel they need to represent themselves…and why aren’t native-Montanans voting for their own?
I guess we like being represented by out-of-staters.
Or maybe regular voters – native or otherwise – just don’t care where someone was born.
It’s not just a problem with national office, but also with our legislature.
Lots of non-natives are in the legislature, and many of them run for it after living here only a couple years.
Personally, I don’t think people living here their whole lives fully understand the state. I find it hard to believe some transplant has it all figured out.
But transplant or native, those in the legislature aren’t really doing a good job for the state.
They might be doing a good job helping themselves, but they’re not helping the rest of us…and by that I mean the 95% of us that aren’t making huge amounts of money each year, didn't make our money elsewhere then move here.
Earlier this week we saw Nathan Kosted at Montana Post get after the legislature for the recent arts cuts at UM.
Well, the school doesn’t have any money (they’re $10 million in debt) and the state isn’t funding them.
The school could raise rates for students, or they can make cuts. What other options are there? Hell, when I went to school students had to make up for the Athletic Department's partying spree by paying $5 for our football tickets.
The reason the state isn’t funding our colleges is twofold:
- First, Republicans control the legislature and don’t want to fund higher education.
- Second, the Democrats can’t win the legislature so can’t fund higher education as much as they want.
The truth of the matter is that Democrats have no one to blame for this but themselves.
If the Montana State Democratic Party had been run correctly at any point over the past 20 years, then the university might have gotten the money they needed.
But the Party hasn’t been run properly, and instead of realizing this and fixing it, Democrats blame all of their problems on Republicans.
The problem with the Democrats in Montana isn’t really the candidates and it’s not really their lack of money.
No, it’s the message.
The message pushed by the Montana Democratic Party hasn’t worked in recent times.
It’s not working this year – that’s why you see all the attack ads, all the outside money.
Those are the things you have to rely on when you’re so bereft of ideas that all you can do is rely on the rich man’s money.
Very sad, I know…but we want it this way.
If we didn’t, it simply wouldn’t be this way.
But we’re either unwilling, unable, or just don’t care enough to change our system, change our world.
Whose fault is that?
Look in the mirror.