Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Yes, it's been awhile since I've posted. But it's summer, darn it. Time for vacations, baseball, enjoying the pre-forest fire season heat and the long days. Definitely NOT time for partisan politics. Nonetheless, there are some things worth mentioning, if for no other reason that they're so...well...amusing.

Democrat John Driscoll, who faces incumbent U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg in November, told fellow Dems at last weekend's platform convention in Miles City that he'd pull the plug on coal if elected. Not exactly the thing to say in coal country, or to an audience that has hopped on Gov. Schweitzer's coal train. But could it win votes from the global warming crowd? It certainly got him quite a bit of free media. (The only kind he's willing to get.)
It's really too bad Driscoll isn't campaigning more. Is he eccentric? Sure. Impolitic? Absolutely. I don't always understand whence his views come. But he's still one of the most interesting politicos I've ever met.

Republican Senate also-ran Patty Lovaas of Missoula continues to rail at the admittedly unexplainable victory of Bob "Eyebrows" Kelleher in the GOP's June Senate primary. (Can't we just do the obvious and question the intellect and political knowledge of this year's GOP voters?)
Lovaas believes Kelleher won by fraud, based on her empirical observation that she hasn't met a single person who voted for him. Under the law, Lovaas (or anyone) can go to court to challenge an election, as long as it's filed within one year. So far she hasn't done that, but she has asked the Secretary of State for an audit comparing voter registration records with polling place logs.
Lovaas says she never met a Kelleher voter during her petition campaign to put herself on the November ballot as an independent. That effort also has gone nowhere, since state law doesn't provide for it. Now, Lovaas is banking on a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision and a federal ballot access lawsuit by Montana environmentalist Steve Kelly.
Put simply, Lovaas' name is becoming a household word at the Secretary of State's office, where she's taking the "gadfly" role to a whole new level.

As in Nader. Yes, The Man Who Gave Us Bush is back on the ballot in Montana in the race for President. What's more remarkable is his organization claimed to have gathered twice as many petition signatures as they needed to put him on the ballot. Maybe they signed up all the Ron Paul voters who had nowhere else to go.

Democratic nominee for Attorney General Steve Bullock should write a really nice thank-you card to the Missoulian for its recent series on prescription drug abuse. That subject is a centerpiece of Bullock's campaign. It's always nice for a candidate when a major newspaper decides your issue is relevant and compelling. Meanwhile, Bullock's opponent, Republican Tim Fox, was recently in the Missoulian, too. With an Op-Ed advocating guns in national parks. I don't think I've ever met a statewide candidate who has made Second Amendment issues such a hallmark of his campaign.

With August heat still ahead and the national Presidential conventions a month away, I hope the only political stories I see in the next 30 days are amusing ones. Summer just ain't the time to be serious about anything except pennant races and forest fires.