A statewide coalition of conservative activists has issued a challenge to GOP primary candidates backed by Main Street Advocacy: repudiate that organization’s support or share in their ultra-liberal label.
Former lawmaker and current president of Montana Conservative Alliance Roger Koopman, termed Main Street Advocacy “a transparently left-wing organization, conceived and funded by Democrats, organized labor and the most liberal elements of the Republican Party.”
“Cloaking themselves in soft-sounding rhetoric, the group’s primary aim is to defeat conservatives in Republican primaries, so voters will have only left-of-center candidates to choose from in the fall. Using the tactics and resources of SEIU and other staunchly Democrat organizations, Main Street’s agenda is a cynical attempt to hijack the Republican Party, paving the way for higher taxes and bigger government,” Koopman said.
In recent weeks, Main Street Advocacy has poured thousands of dollars into 13 Republican primary races through radio ads and direct mail pieces linked to SEIU political director Ted Dick. The controversial union also directly donated $10,000 to Main Street, later returned by that organization under pressure. Not coincidentally, 12 of the 13 candidates Main Street Advocacy supports are running against conservative Republicans endorsed by Montana Conservative Alliance.
“These MSA-backed candidates can’t have it both ways,” said Koopman. “If they want the electorate to believe they are mainstream Republicans, they cannot pretend to look the other way when Main Street Advocacy enters the race on their side. If they are unwilling to distance themselves from this east coast funded, far left front group, then they are admitting to Republican voters that they are in sympathy with them.”
Koopman said the voters are fed up with Republican candidates who offer “not a dime’s worth of difference from the Democrats.” He said Main Street Advocacy’s spokesman, Sen. John Brueggeman, is being “politically manipulative and disingenuous” when he protests being labeled a liberal.
“No Republicans want to be identified as liberal, because the voters of their party will quickly reject them. Indeed, their greatest fear is that voters will become aware of their flight from the fundamental principles of their party.
But John can only blame himself for his solidly liberal voting record. Votes don’t lie. Using 70 recorded Senate votes, the Montana Conservatives Voting Index (TAB) rated Brueggeman a 3 percent conservative. That means he voted approximately 97 percent of the time with the liberal Democrats. This tells you a great deal about the organization he now represents,” stated Koopman.
“Montanans want to see government downsized, and they want to drastically reduce the presence of government in their daily lives. That’s what the Tea Party movement is all about. People have grown very weary of politicians in both parties who keep feeding the Government Monster at the expense of their families and their freedom,” he said.
“Unfortunately, too many nominal Republicans like John Brueggeman and Rep. Jesse O’Hara just don’t get it. In their arrogance, they don’t hear what the people are saying, and they end up being no better than the Democrats. They react negatively to every conservative idea, and become little more than obstructionists who block every conservative attempt to make government smaller and more accountable,” Koopman said.
“We don’t need to elect Republicans to advance the Democratic Big Government model. The GOP needs to remain true to its core beliefs, so voters will at least be offered real choices in the fall general elections. If out-of-state groups like Main Street Advocacy succeed in nominating their brand of liberal Republicans, voters will be forced to choose between Big Government Republicans and Big Government Democrats -- between Democrats and Democrats-in-Republican-clothing,” said Koopman.
Yellowstone National Park has begun to develop a long-range plan to respond to changing visitor and resource needs and conditions in the Old Faithful area.
Recognized internationally, the Old Faithful area is one of the premier destinations in Yellowstone National Park and the National Park Service (NPS). Identifying ways to enhance the visitor experience and accommodate park operational needs, while protecting the wealth of resources in the area, will require significant evaluation and analysis. The park would like to provide the public with an opportunity to participate early in the planning process.
By Webb Brown, President
In March, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) held an administrative rule hearing on proposed changes to the rule regarding wage levels for exempt employees. The proposed changes would have increased the weekly salary a person would be required to earn to be exempt to the state’s average weekly wage, as established annually by the DOLI. That would result in a change from the current $150 state/$455 federal threshold to a new rate of $626 a week (a 38% increase). If enacted, many workers earning less than $626 a week would have had to receive overtime. The $626 figure would have only gone up, as it was going to be tied to the average weekly wage.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife awarded MCS Environmental approximately $888,000 in stimulus funds for construction of a building at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and the demolition of an aging structure at Lee Metcalf NWR.
MCS will use American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (ARRA) funds to build a residential duplex and garage for Service employees. The refuge will also use the funds to remodel the refuge shop with energy-saving fixtures, new windows and doors and insulation. The structure will serve as staff housing.
By Phil Drake
Sen. Jon Tester has sponsored a bill that would force the federal government to put most public documents online, providing information to the average citizen with just a click of a mouse.
It’s too bad some lower levels of government in Montana aren’t following his lead, a Helena attorney said.
Mike Meloy, an attorney who provides freedom of information advice to the media through the Montana Newspaper Association, said he approves of the bill the Montana Democrat has introduced, and said he hoped it would prompt local city governments to follow suit.
The state of agriculture in Montana, from the perspective of bankers, in the last quarter of last year reflected, in general, a downward trend in economic strength, as compared to the previous quarter. As reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Montana vied with Wisconsin for having the most severe declines, of the five states within the district. Other states are North and South Dakota, and Minnesota.
Regional Economist, Tobias Madden reported that for the region a wet fall increased costs and delayed harvests. Profits and capital spending fell slightly for ag customers, according to lenders responding to the Minneapolis Fed’s fourth-quarter agricultural credit conditions survey. More farmers and ranchers delayed repayment and extended loans.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103