Sunday, September 30, 2007

Governor Schweitzer gets yet another mention

Brian Schweitzer [of course] receives praise for winning the Montana governorship three years ago in a Los Angeles Times article today.

The gist of the article is about who ofthe current Democratic presidnetial frontrunners will play best in the Mountain West states.

CAMPAIGN '08: MOUNTAIN WESTLocal Democrats in West fear impact of unpopular ticket leader

Noam N. Levey

Los Angeles Times
September 30, 2007

BOZEMAN, MONT. -- Election day was still more than a year off when Sen. Max Baucus recently stopped by the new Boys & Girls Club along a creek outside this fast-growing city in the shadow of southwestern Montana's jagged Bridger Mountains.

But the silver-haired Democrat looked every bit a candidate in a nail-biter as he finger-painted with children at the log-cabin clubhouse and then raced 100 miles down the Missouri River to the state capital to talk up what he was doing for the state in Washington. Baucus is the longest-serving senator in Montana history. As chairman of the finance committee, he writes the nation's tax laws. He is one of the most popular politicians in the state. And his party, which controls the governor's office, the Legislature and the state's two Senate seats, is on a roll.
Yet, as he prepares to run for a fifth term next year, Baucus is entering treacherous territory. Despite recent gains by Democrats in the Rocky Mountain West, party officials across the region are increasingly anxious that their congressional candidates may get dragged under by Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.

The New York senator and Democratic front-runner was by a wide margin the most unpopular of 13 potential presidential candidates in Montana, according to a June survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research for the Billings Gazette; 61% said they would not consider voting for her, compared with 49% who would not vote for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and 45% who would not vote for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

The most unpopular Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was rejected by 51%.

Recent polls in Colorado, Nevada and Arizona have found similar distaste for Clinton.

"She's carrying huge negatives out here," said Floyd Ciruli, an independent Colorado pollster who said Democratic congressional candidates would have to highlight their differences with the national party to be successful next year. "It's that liberal East Coast image that is so hard to sell in the West."

One key advisor to a prominent Democratic congressional candidate, who asked not be to identified discussing tensions within the party, went even further. "It's a disaster for Western Democrats," he said. "It keeps me up at night"...

...But party leaders and strategists also attribute the recent gains to candidates who connect with Western voters and their values, in part by distinguishing themselves from the national Democratic Party.

Perhaps no one is more of a poster child for that success than Montana's colorful governor, Brian Schweitzer. Three years ago, Schweitzer became the darling of Democratic politicos when he swaggered into office with a dog and a pair of cowboy boots.

Schweitzer, a cattle rancher and the grandson of homesteaders, is no Democrat in name only. He is a proponent of energy conservation and environmental regulation. He favors abortion rights. And while the Bush administration was pushing to expand surveillance powers with the Patriot Act, Schweitzer pardoned 78 Montanans, most of them German immigrants, who had been convicted of sedition during World War I.

He also champions gun rights and coal -- a major Montana export -- positions that reflect clear differences from the Democratic Party's coastal wings.

"There are two kinds of people in Montana," Schweitzer joked in a recent telephone interview. "Those who are for gun control, and those who run for public office."

Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Governor Schweitzer and John Edwards

Who knows what this means, if anything, but Governor Schweitzer is saying some nice things about John Edwards.

Too many will try and read the tea leaves here -- let's just say that Schweitzer and Edwards are interchangeable when it comes to the perversion that lobbyists infect into democracy.

From the Washington Post's Chris Cizzilla and his column The Fix:

Edwards and Schweitzer: Perfect Together?

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) will be introduced by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer later today at a fundraiser in Missoula, according to his campaign.

Sources on both sides were careful to note that Schweitzer's presence at the "Small Change for Big Change" event, which is to be held as the University of Montana, did not constitute an endorsement. But, that won't stop the Edwards campaign from using today's event to bolster the argument that Edwards is a candidate who has real appeal in red states...

Here is a kick-ass quote and the primary tie that binds them:

In an interview today, Schweitzer said that Edwards "says out loud what I say every day here" when it comes to the overpowering influence of lobbyists on the legislative processs. "Lobbyists are not the fourth branch of government," said Schweitzer. "They don't run the government, but they act like they do."

Go here for the complete article.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Jag writes a book

Hey, who knew the four-legged member of the Schweitzer family was as equally erudite as his master? Maybe Disney will option it for turning into a film.

Jag bones up writing skills, pens kids' book
Richard Ecke
Great Falls Tribune

September 2, 2007

Thousands of books have been written about dogs.

Few have been written by dogs.

That means Jag, Montana's first dog, will break new ground as the author of a book called "First Dog."

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will play a supporting role helping promote his dog's book. Jag often accompanies the state's top executive on visits to schools, newspaper offices and on other occasions...

Go here for the reminder.