Representing Montanans on the critical issue of affordable, reliable energy for families and employers has been among the greatest honors of my life. Being term limited, I cannot run for the Public Service Commission again. I soon turn 63 so should quietly fade into the sunset. Not quite yet.
Kirk Bushman is running for my seat. With his engineering background, Bushman will possess the only skill sets on the commission necessary to analyze new wind, hydro and other generation projects. Bushman’s rock solid conservative fiscal stance will serve consumers well.
Compare that to his Democratic opponent, former Billings Mayor Chuck Tooley. When Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” came out, Chuck Tooley was in the first class of Al Gore’s three-day school on how to spread the alarm on global warming.
When Tooley tried to impose a 4 percent sales tax on your power and phone bills, public utilities and a co-op sued to keep your rates low. Tooley’s tax would have shown up in the utility bills of schools and therefore your tax bill as well. Tooley lost in District Court so appealed to the Montana Supreme Court. The people then gathered signatures to force a vote. Tooley’s utility sales tax died 60/40.
Tooley’s attorney then unsuccessfully argued that the Supreme Court should re-validate the utility tax anyway.
Tooley for Public Service Commission? No thanks, I’ll soon be on a fixed income. I doubt the utilities will sue him to keep our rates down again.
Public Service Commission
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:57
From calls I have received, it is becoming apparent that voters are having difficulty deciphering the language on several of this year’s ballot initiatives.
1. LR 120 – voting FOR requires parents to be notified before someone can abort their pregnant under-age daughter – logical since parents must give permission for someone to give their child an aspirin.
2. LR 121 – voting FOR stops taxpayer-funded services from being given to individuals in the U.S. ILLEGALLY and requires State agencies to notify Homeland Security that the individual has entered the U.S. ILLEGALLY.
3. LR 122 – voting FOR prohibits the state or federal government from requiring a person to purchase health insurance.
4. IR 124 – voting FOR supports the last Legislature’s efforts to restrict the use of marijuana to only terminal patients or those with medically diagnosed untreatable injuries, which was the original intention of the Montana voters which approved legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. AGAINST votes for a return in Montana of very little legal control of marijuana production and use which created legal and liability issues.
5. I-166 – voting AGAINST this union-sponsored initiative supports the recent Supreme Court ruling recognizing 500 years of laws defining corporations as legal entities with the same legal rights as individuals including freedom of speech and the ability to oppose political actions which could harm them. Voting AGAINST upholds this legal definition of a corporation which is critical to protect stockholders who invest in a corporate business without risking all of their unrelated assets and personal savings. Our economic system cannot function without the protection this initiative tries to eliminate.
The supporters of this last initiative are unions and radical environmental groups who have sponsored laws to restrict the ability of business to defend themselves from political attacks and unfair regulations — which the Supreme Court has ruled is an unconstitutional restriction of that business from the Freedom of Speech (First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) to defend themselves.
This last couple of initiatives were obviously written by liberal lawyers with the intent to confuse voters. This is a disgrace and abuse of our fair and open political system. When you mark your ballot, remember they are purposely trying to deceive you!
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:57
Charlie Brown always talks himself into believing that Lucy will let him kick the football. But as we’ve seen repeatedly in the comics, she always pulls it away at the last second.
Some voters may behave a little like Charlie Brown when they buy into politicians’ rhetoric on property tax reform. Remember when Republican Govs. Racicot and Martz said they were going to cut property taxes if we elected them? Remember how our property taxes went up instead? There may have been tax relief for the richest corporations with headquarters in Fort Worth and Houston and second homes on Flathead Lake, but that actually shifted the tax burden onto Montana’s homeowners and small businesses.
Rick Hill’s plan has the same fatal flaws. Don’t rush over and try to kick that football! Don’t fall for it! Vote for Steve Bullock and keep Montana moving forward.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:56
I heartily endorse Joan Micheletti, Republican candidate for Yellowstone County commissioner, for the following reasons:
1. No woman has been on the commission for three decades;
2. Joan is articulate, intelligent and a hard worker;
3. As a 48-year resident of Yellowstone County, Joan knows the concerns of its citizens;
4. Joan earned a fine reputation as a music specialist and counselor in Billings’ schools;
5. Joan earned a fine reputation as an astute business owner;
6. She will strive to maintain the credibility, accountability and good will of the Yellowstone County Commission.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:55
Attorney general candidate Pam Bucy and her friends are attacking Tim Fox because he wants to stand up for Montanans.
Bucy must think it’s OK that Obamacare will hurt senior citizens with $718 billion in Medicare cuts. Those cuts come from gutting Medicare Advantage and cutting provider reimbursements (at a time when many doctors are already capping or even refusing Medicare patients due to low reimbursement rates).
For all her talk about “consumer protection,” Bucy doesn’t seem to mind that, for the first time in our nation’s history, the federal government is forcing people to purchase a private product.
Bucy doesn’t appear to care that the government’s newly established (and unelected) Independent Payment Advisory Board and the call for using Comparative Effectiveness Research are tools for rationing health care. If you think a government with as much debt as ours won’t need to begin rationing health care at some point, you’re not paying attention.
The attorney general has many jobs, and defending Montanans against these and other assaults is one of them. Tim Fox has my vote.
Loretta Hoines Dell
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:54
One race that doesn’t get too much attention is the one for Public Service commissioner.
It is very important to pay attention to this one especially if you have an electric bill to pay every month.
Ever since Gov. Marc Racicot and his lieutenant governors, Dennis Rehberg and Judy Martz, sang the deregulation of electricity song in Montana back in the 1990s, the work of a Public Service commissioner became even more important for anyone who uses electricity, hence, all of us. Part of a commissioner’s job is discerning how much it is going to cost to fry your bacon and eggs in the morning, and how much it’s going to cost to turn on the air conditioner in the summer or the heat in the winter. After deregulation, the job got even trickier because a commissioner has to balance both the needs of the consumer’s ability to pay and the electric company’s ability to provide reliable service and earn a fair profit.
I’m supporting Chuck Tooley for Public Service commissioner. He got plenty of experience as mayor of Billings dealing with tough issues and has a proven record for being fair. He’s also been a board member of the Montana Electric and Gas Alliance and is well versed in the myriad of issues. As a bonus, he is a nice guy who is smart and knows how to listen and figure out solutions to problems.
Chuck knows the job of commissioner is not a matter of profits before people but involves both people and profits. Being a Public Service commissioner is a balancing act that I think Chuck could walk. Please join me and vote for Chuck Tooley for Public Service commissioner.
Mary Catherine Dunphy
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:52