The Billings Outpost

Tooley best for PSC

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

Miles City

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:52

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Voting for Rick Hill

Do you wonder why a political campaign against Rick Hill has a need to attempt to impugn his judgment and intentions by relating to past situations taken out of context with the circumstances at the time? The truth is in understanding his thoroughly considered well organized policies developed for Montana.

Responsible government provides a working environment that allows progress in education, property tax reform, agriculture, energy and natural resources, conservation values, limiting federal over-reach, Second Amendment rights, and protection of the future, all of which will enhance the economy.

Space allows only a sample of many policies. Efficient administration will use priority budgeting by evaluating state programs based on performance. By elimination of certain government interference caused by excessive regulations, energy and natural resources can be more developed with use of new technologies while recognizing conservation values. The revenue would allow for increased funding to revitalize education and give property tax relief.

Additional information pertaining to policies may be found at

Donald Harr


Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 10:51

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Democrats better for growth

I recently Googled “stock market results under Democrats and Republicans.”

Every source that came up verified the same conclusion.

Then, I searched for the historical growth of national debt to compare the two parties. Everything below can easily be verified online, and I encourage readers to do so.

Between 1929 and 2008, D’s and R’s had nearly 40 years of presidency each. If someone invested $10,000 (S&P Index) only during the GOP years, it would have grown to only $11,733. Exclude Herbert Hoover’s reign, and the number increases to $51,211.

Compare those numbers to $300,671. That is the Democratic total, resulting from a compound rate of 8.9 percent. Since 2008, the market has rebounded under another Democrat, erasing the losses of the Bush era.

Regarding the “Gross Federal Debt,” the following percentages represent the “increase” in debt during the tenure of each president:

Reagan – 218 percent; Bush – 55 percent; Clinton – 37 percent; Bush W. – 86 percent; Obama – 34 percent.

The debt-to-GDP ratio is a better measure of economic health than raw debt figures alone. Under the five Democratic presidents from Truman through Clinton, ALL reduced public debt as a share of GDP whereas the last four Republican presidents ALL oversaw an increase in the USA’s indebtedness (Wikipedia, Economist Mike Kimel).

Finally, 42 million jobs were created in the last six terms with a Democratic president in charge, 18 million more than Republicans produced in their last seven terms. Lately, Republicans have kept millions out of work trying to put one man out of a job!

Dave Klarich


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:52

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We can trust Tooley

I am sure we are tired and frustrated with all the political attack ads in the media and look forward to voting and putting election day behind us.

That’s why this is not an attack letter. I am writing in support of Chuck Tooley, who is running for Public Service commissioner. Chuck is a man of professionalism, objectivity, intelligence and integrity. As Billings’ longest serving mayor, Chuck was an example of level-headed leadership under challenging conditions.

As mayor, he was directly involved in regulating the Public Utilities Division. He understands energy issues. One of his sterling qualities is being able to evaluate all the facts from all sides in a professional, calm and fair manner.

Chuck Tooley doesn’t hold the record of Billings’ longest serving mayor by accident. Voters believed in him because they trusted and respected him and his expertise. It is a breath of fresh air to know that, as Montana residents and consumers, we can truly trust Chuck Tooley to protect and represent us.

The Public Service Commission is a five-member board that regulates private utilities such as electric, telephone, gas, sewer and water companies. The PSC has been in the headlines recently due to dissension amongst its commissioners. Chuck Tooley is the right choice for professional, calm, fair leadership of the PSC.

I have known Chuck Tooley for over 28 years. Let’s not miss our opportunity to elect Chuck Tooley on Nov. 6, 2012.

Nancy Swanson


Last Updated on Saturday, 20 October 2012 22:54

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Supporting Gillan

I am supporting Kim Gillan for Congress. Kim has been a friend of my family for many years. She is truly concerned for the well-being of the middle class, including small business owners and wage earners.

Kim stood up against gender discrimination when she opposed using gender to set insurance rates and retirement plan benefits. National studies show that women pay higher rates when gender is used to determine premiums.

In her 16 years as a Montana legislator, Kim Gillan has approached leadership with trusted statesmanship and a willingness to listen and work with lawmakers on both side of the aisle.

Examples of this are the innovative graduated driver’s license bill that passed with broad-based support and the recent anti-bullying bill. While serving on the taxation committee, Kim demonstrated her ability to get things done with a clear understanding of the economics that make a healthy economy.

We need someone in Washington who understands the needs of hard-working Montanans and will work for us. Kim Gillan is the working family’s choice for U.S. Congress.

Ed Logan


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:51

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Bullock for governor

Why support Steve Bullock for governor? There are a number of reasons that make Steve Bullock a clear choice for Montana’s next governor.

Steve is raising his daughters in the same Montana community he grew up in. He knows the importance of looking out for our kids. That’s why he’s put more cops on the street and online to keep our kids safe. That’s why he’s worked as attorney general to support after school programs and help prevent prescription drug abuse. Steve will be a champion for quality public education finding ways to improve our schools through equitable funding formulas without dismantling the current system.

His opponent Rick Hill has said that he’ll take our tax dollars from public education and give them to private, for-profit schools, and supports closing schools in rural communities. In Congress, he voted to cut $137 million from Montana schools. He sat on the board of directors of a major insurance company when they cut health care coverage for hundreds of kids in Montana while approving a CEO compensation package of over $1.4 million.

We need a governor that will put the education and health of Montana’s children first. Vote for Steve Bullock and John Walsh.

Connie Keogh


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:50

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