The Billings Outpost

A political game

For nearly 250 years the right to vote has been America’s ultimate check and balance. For some Montanans, this right has been diminished by the current Montana secretary of state.

Primary elections allow for qualified political parties to decide among themselves the best candidate to put forward in a general election for elected office. Ms. [Linda] McCulloch’s directive to forgo a Libertarian Primary is a slap in the face to voters across Montana who identify with that party and effectively dilutes their constitutionally guaranteed vote.

This type of political game has been played time and time again in Montana’s history with those in power using their office to help out their friends and political allies. Apparently the partisan incumbent is no different. The secretary of state needs to be a facilitator for fair elections, not judge and jury for politically charged dilemmas. Make no mistake; Ms. McCulloch had a choice to allow a Libertarian Primary to take place. Instead she chose to ignore the votes of thousands of Montanans in choosing our crucial vote in the United States Senate; this is inexcusable.

Scott Aspenlieder

Republican Candidate

Secretary of State



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:02

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Preparing students

Referencing the April 19 article about School District 2 levies and bonds, Interim Superintendent Jack Copps said the most attractive feature of the bonds is that the federal government will pay the interest. The federal government also subsidized the 2010 SD2 levies by paying the interest on those bonds as well.

These subsidizes are a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/School Infrastructure Bond Programs passed by Congress through the urging of President Obama in February 2009. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester voted for the Act while Rep. Dennis Rehberg voted against it.

Colleen Jensen



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:01

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Thanks for show

Some friends and I had dinner downtown, walked to the Babcock Theater and attended the last concert of the Montana Logging and Ballet Company on Friday evening, April 27. True to form, the quartet of Montana musicians, comedians, political satirists and humanitarians pleased and warmed the hearts of the sold-out crowd.

After performing for 38 years, the group still has its magic. It was a wonderful night of spice, song, silliness and soul that lit up the Babcock Theater.

The members are still best friends. They can still make us laugh at ourselves. They can pick up The Billings Gazette and read the titles of the newspaper’s major articles and make us realize our human foibles. They still are connected to Rocky Mountain College where they met each other back in 1967. In fact, the proceeds from the concert will go towards establishing the Montana Logging and Ballet Company Arts Scholarship at Rocky Mountain College. That kind of generosity has been a hallmark of their work, i.e., in 1991 when they brought Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Helena and raised a million dollars in one night to fund college scholarships for South Africans and Native Americans.

It was Bob Fitzgerald in the final moments of the concert who said goodbye for the group. Bob had brought them back to his hometown for their swan song. Our families were next-door neighbors back in the 1950s on Spruce Street and he made me laugh way back then. Poignantly, he said to the audience, “It isn’t the next leader who will make things better. It isn’t a new political group that can change things. It is only us, each of us, individually who can.”

And so it is, four humble, talented Montanans can make all the difference in the world.

Thanks, Montana Logging and Ballet Company.

Sally McIntosh



Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:01

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Most people llike Pledge

I just finished reading the article that you, Mr. Crisp, wrote in the April 12 edition of The Billings Outpost, “Tea Party ralliers still have high expectations.”

Several paragraphs into the article, you wrote, “In honor of my own Tea Party roots, I declined to join in the Pledge of Allegiance. My fundamentalist upbringing turned me against the Pledge when the words “under God” were added in 1954, which we viewed as a blasphemous attempt to enlist religion in a rote exercise aimed at promoting a secular cause.”

I must ask a question: If we aren’t one nation under God, than what are we? I would also like to add another quote: “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

Those words were declared by President Ronald Reagan on Aug. 23, 1984, and the warning is just as relevant today!

God has blessed this nation and the people living in this nation over and over again! A few of those blessings come to mind immediately: The Constitution, The Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator (GOD) with certain unalienable Rights.”

Our founders felt so strongly about including God in the process of writing a document to protect the people of this nation that God was included. Every state constitution includes God in the preamble. Sounds like God is pretty important.

If you choose not to participate in the Pledge, that’s your right as a free person. However, consider these statistics (from /if-we-ever-forget-we-are-one-nation-under-god):

• 93 percent want “In God we Trust” to remain on coins and currency.

• 90 percent support keeping “under God” in the Pledge.

• 84 percent support references to God in schools, government buildings, and public settings.

• 82 percent support voluntary school prayer.

• 76 percent support Ten Commandments displays on public property.

Now, I have another question for you, Mr. Crisp. Does it bother you that “In God We Trust” is on your money? I’m sure you don’t turn down cash at any given time.

In closing, one of the problems in our nation today, that I have observed, is that far too many people have turned away from God. That really needs to change.

Kathy Galbreath



Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 21:37

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Tooley for PSC

Chuck Tooley will be a real shot in the arm for the Public Service Commission.

Many people know Chuck as the longest serving mayor in the history of Billings and a candidate for the Public Service Commission in District 2.  What many people don’t realize is that Chuck is an Army veteran, having served in Vietnam, and has been in business in Montana for over 30 years.  He was also a public servant here for over 15 years.

Chuck is a fourth generation Montanan who spent six years with PSC-regulated Mountain Bell and later served as a board member of the Montana Electric & Gas Alliance.

In addition to his qualifications, the other reason why I’m voting for Chuck for PSC is because he’s a fair guy who’s going to bring fairness back to our PSC seat. He believes that Montana families and businesses need to keep utility costs at a reasonable level. With his positive attitude, his dedication to public service, and his business skills, I will vote for Chuck for PSC and I hope you will too.

Dawn Bell



Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 21:35

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