The Billings Outpost

Rehberg unqualified

I believe Dennis Rehberg is not only unqualified in his current position as a U.S. representative, but would be a disaster in the position of a United States senator.

He has been out of touch with the people of this state for many years, and needs to be retired.

There is one word which describes Dennis Rehberg, the “Little Dictator” and that word is: Kakistocracy.

It is more necessary than ever that our nation employ sound judgment, willingness to work across the aisle and common sense, which is currently sadly lacking.

I strongly support a vote for Jon Tester, and put an end to this stupidity.

Mike Barovich

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 13:00

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Republican record abysmal

“Over the past 30 years the Republican Party has adopted extremely conservative positions that threaten our country, society and future. Following is a listing of Republican positions voters should ponder before casting their vote Nov. 6. Voting for any Republican is an endorsement of these positions.

• It takes extreme positions and misleads Americans about the importance and role of taxes in government.

• It provided refuge and support for several million racists following enactment of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in 1964 and 1965.

• It spreads falsehoods and misinformation about deadly serious carbon pollution and climate change that endangers our economy, environment and planet.

• It consistently favors commercial development over protecting the environment.

• It disparages science as a basis for sound decision making.

• It equates money with free speech, supports the Citizens United decision, and resists all efforts to control campaign contributions.

• It opposes collective bargaining, the minimum wage, and other efforts to improve the lives of workers.

• It encourages citizens to fear and distrust their elected government, especially the federal government.

• It persists in trying to privatize and otherwise dispose of our public lands.

• It opposes trails and other alternative modes of transportation.

• It consistently opposes any regulation of business regardless of consequences.

• It consistently opposes social programs benefitting the poor, old and disadvantaged.

• It is oblivious to the 50 million Americans who lack health insurance.

• It is a party of business and the wealthy; others in its ranks are there only to provide votes.”

Auzie Blevins

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 12:59

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Hill best for governor

I am a concerned sportsman, landowner, and outdoor enthusiast who will be supporting Rick Hill for governor. I think his plan to “comprehensively change the agenda of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks” is long overdue and exactly what we need.

This goal will be achieved by appointing an FWP director and commissioners who will manage wildlife populations based on quality science. They will also work to rebuild relationships between landowners, sportsmen, and the department.

Outdoor recreation opportunities will improve when relationships built on trust are restored. Mr. Hill’s administration will develop a management plan that will deal with Montana’s large predators which will help restore our big game populations.

Priority budgeting has also been part of the Rick Hill campaign, and he intends to implement this policy throughout Montana government as well as FWP to make certain our taxpayer and sportsman dollars are spent more wisely. Rick Hill will work to improve outdoor recreations opportunities throughout Montana, and I believe he is the best choice for governor.

Troy Boucher

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 12:58

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Vote for I-166

Big government, small government, Republican, Democrat, other, etc.  Whatever issues or candidates are the most important to you, vote FOR the bipartisan Initiative 166 to protect your voice and help get big money out of OUR elections.

Jane Kingser

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 12:57

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Hill wrong on coal fund

Established by a vote of the people in 1976, 50 percent of the coal tax is set aside in a permanent Coal Tax Trust Fund for the benefit of future generations. Once the coal is gone, what will we have to show for this valuable resource that once existed in the Treasure State? While the income is available each year, it takes approval of three-fourths of each house of the Legislature to spend the principal.

Every Republican governor has been hell bent on busting this trust. Despite their rhetoric, Republicans can never seem to find enough money to spend. Just imagine their frustration; a big pot of money and they can’t spend it. Republican candidate for governor Rick Hill is no exception.

His education policy statement states, “The Hill Administration will place a referendum on the ballot to allow the people of Montana to cap the coal trust for ten years.” He proposes to use the funds to finance infrastructure improvements including school buildings. Whether you cap the trust and use the principal for 10 years or 100 years, it is still busting the trust to get at the principal.

First, Hill apparently thinks he can avoid the three-fourths vote requirement by amending the Constitution with a mere two-thirds vote of the Legislature and a vote of the people. But is this really something that should be put into the Constitution?

Second, the Treasure State Endowment already does exactly the same thing. All of the income each year from this fund, currently $242 million, is available to local governments for infrastructure improvements. It is a very popular program.

Third, with interest rates so low, there really is no need when money can be obtained so cheaply by bonding.

Fourth, it is a very bad precedent. If we busted the trust for every worthy cause, there soon would not be any principal left. That is exactly what has happened to every other trust fund that is not constitutionally protected.

And fifth, Republican candidate for governor Jack Ramirez had the exact same proposal 32 years ago and it was rejected.

Hill’s idea to cap the trust is a very bad idea. It steals from future generations for the hope of a few votes.

Tom Towe

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 12:57

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Tester, Obama in war on coal

Four years ago, President Obama campaigned on eliminating coal from America’s energy mix.

And, unlike many campaign promises, this one is coming true.

Recently, Billings was shaken when we learned that the Corette coal-fired electrical generator in Yellowstone County will be shut down due to new, Obama-administration regulations. What has been happening in many other parts of the country, but we thought would never happen here, hit us squarely where it hurts: in our community and economy.

Corette isn’t the first generator that is being mothballed due to the Obama administration’s War on Coal. Already, 204 generating facilities in 25 states — representing 31 gigawatts of generating capacity — will go off line as a direct result of a barrage of carefully implemented new Environmental Protection Agency rules aimed at ending coal production and use.

Sixty percent of Montana’s electricity comes from coal. At 154 megawatts, enough to power 100,000 homes, Corette represents a significant share of our energy mix that will now have to be replaced.

The likely result will be that electricity for Montana will come from possibly out-of-state sources, causing prices in Montana to spike in coming years.

And Corette isn’t the only plant in Montana that is in jeopardy. Obama’s EPA already has additional proposed regulations on the drawing board aimed at power plants like the larger Colstrip generators. Piling several of these regulations on top of each other causes compliance costs to skyrocket, making it nearly impossible for many existing power generators to stay in business. For Obama and his politically motivated EPA supporters, that’s the whole point.

Losing Corette put 35 hardworking Montanans out of work. This comes at a time when Montana is in the critical first stages of an energy boom that can create thousands of new jobs. Not to mention the increased tax revenues that go along with more Montana coal production. Sadly, we’re heading in the opposite direction.

Losing Corette also represents a loss of $2 million in property tax revenue a year for Yellowstone County. That’s money that goes to our schools, our roads, water and sewer infrastructure, and all the other important services government provides for our community. That’s $2 million that will be very difficult to replace.

Make no mistake, President Obama and the environmental activists entrenched in his administration and the EPA know exactly what they are doing. Closing Corette wasn’t an “unintended consequence” — it was the plan.

Our own Sen. Jon Tester was warned that these new EPA regulations that are forcing Corette to close would be devastating to Montana coal-fired generators, but he voted for them anyway. 

We have a right to expect better from our elected representatives. When we elected Jon Tester, we sent him to protect our interests. In this case he failed. He has a responsibility to make it right.

Mack Long

Republican candidate

Senate District 26

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 12:56

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