The Billings Outpost

Values unite us

Montana has a long, successful history of thoughtful political and conservation leaders who have been a force against interests that would destroy our outdoor heritage. Steve Bullock has bravely defended access to public lands and waters and Pam Bucy defended our stream access law in front of the Montana Legislature as well as promoting large blocks of great fish and wildlife habitat open to all. Montana sportsmen have appreciated Kim Gillan’s demonstrated hard work in defending our Montana outdoor heritage. Sen. Jon Tester’s recent Sportsmen Act of 2012 will be the first piece of Legislation taken up by the U.S. Senate when it convenes in November.

Our unique outdoor traditions are an expression of who we are as Montanans. Our ability to hunt, fish, camp and enjoy the outdoors are fundamental values for citizens. Conservation of our basic outdoor resources is essential to our state’s economic health as it is to providing the setting to raise Montana families. Access to our public land, water and wildlife is the foundation to a huge part of our Montana economy adding dollars to main street businesses.

Our treasured outdoor heritage faces a difficult future. Monied interests are buying vast areas of Montana. The public is being denied access to thousands of acres of public land through illegal road closures. The wildlife, which is owned by the people of Montana, is often concentrated behind private fences secured for the few who have the wealth to buy these estates.  Our wonderful fishing rivers and streams are under constant assault by special interests wishing to keep us out and use our streams for their own use and profit.  A Montanan can look at the legislation pushed forward in our own Legislature; undo our stream access law, pushing roads into important habitat areas and undoing our public land and wildlife conservation systems.

There are core and guiding principles to safeguard this Montana outdoor trust:

• Preserve Second Amendment rights.

• Preserve and enhance access to public lands and waters.

• Manage public owned land, water and wildlife with focus on long term public good, not private profit.

• Sustain and enrich outdoor values.

• Develop natural resources with thoughtful stewardship.

• Manage the public’s wildlife using the non-market, science based principles of the North American Model of Wildlife Management.

• Protect public wildlands with significant wildlife habitat and opportunities for quiet outdoor recreation.

Bullock, Bucy, Gillan and Tester have consistently shown respect for these principles. They protect the backs of Montana hunters and anglers both in Washington and Helena.  Elections make a difference.  If you are an outdoors person whether Democrat, Independent or Republican you had better pay attention to this election and remember we are Montana hunters and anglers, not outside radicals.

John Gibson

J.W. Westman

Mike Penfold

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:58

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Incumbent prefers Bushman

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.

Brad Molnar

Public Service Commission

Helena

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:57

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Confusion over initiatives

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!

Ed Butcher

Winifred

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:57

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Not buying Hill’s tax relief

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.

Blaine Jensen

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:56

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Backing Micheletti

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.

Juli Dufresne

Billings

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:55

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Vote for Fox for healthcare

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

Absarokee

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:54

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