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Montana Guv Laments Indian Bias

“All over Montana, you can walk into a bar, a café or even a school or a courthouse and just listen for a while as people talk to each other,” Schweitzer explained, shortly after noting 93 percent of his state’s population is classified as Caucasian. “And you will hear somebody, before very long, say something outrageously racist about the people who’ve lived in Montana for 10,000 years” — Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer at Ohio Democratic Party annual dinner.

Just the other day, Politico said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s rhetorical prowess is a valuable asset and a dangerous liability for his future political ambitions. Case in point: Less than two weeks ago, Schweitzer delivered the keynote address at the Ohio Democratic Party’s annual dinner. In the speech, he told a gripping tale of his grandmother immigrating to the United States to start a new life. Riveting. In the same address, Schweitzer dipped into darker rhetoric to blast Caucasian Montanans as racist toward American Indians/Dustin Hurst, Watchdog.org. More here.

Question: Is there a bias against Native Americans in Idaho?

Dog Attacks Montana Guv’s Collie

A “big red boxer” jumped Gov. Brian Schweitzer's border collie, Jag (pictured in photo from Montana governor's Web site), on Wednesday evening during a walk on Montana State University's campus, the state's top official confirmed Thursday. Schweitzer said he was walking Jag southeast of the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse when another dog jumped on top of him and bit him. Schweitzer, a Democrat, questioned whether the offending dog might have been a Republican or a member of the tea party/Amanda Ricker, Bozeman Chronicle. More here. (H/T: Amy Cannata)

Question: Has your dog or cat ever been attacked by a loose dog?

Marc: A Contrast In Veto Styles

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (right), he of the bolo tie, has been swinging the decisive veto club with abandon over the last few days. As of a couple of days ago Schweitzer, a Democrat, had vetoed more than 50 bills approved by the Republican controlled Montana Legislature. Schweitzer has generated many headlines for vetoing, among others, legislation dealing with concealed weapons, medical marijuana, abortion, federal health care, mining with cyanide and employment taxation. Schweitzer, a clever and confident politician if ever there was one, seems to revel in casting the final vote and he has used ever occasion to bash the legislature. Across the Bitterroots in Idaho meanwhile, Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, with an overwhelmingly GOP legislature, drew headlines for his one and only veto of the just completed session/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Which bill passed by the Idaho Legislature deserved to be vetoed most?

Montana Guv: Tea Party Vision Goofy

This Jan. 12, 2010 file photo shows Montana Gov. Brian Scweitzer during a Bozeman City Commission meeting in Bozeman, Mont. Newly elected tea party enthusiasts in Montana are offering a vision of the future with a variety of new proposals. Their state would be a place where officials can ignore U.S. laws and FBI agents get a sheriff's OK before arresting anyone. But some residents, Gov. Schweitzer and even some Republican lawmakers say the bills are making Montana into a laughingstock. Associated Press story here. (AP Photo/Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Sean Sperry, File)

Question: Which state has a more extreme Legislature — Idaho or Montana?

Montana Guv: Nullification unAmerican

Gov. Brian Schweitzer, pictured, told fellow Democrats Monday that bills advancing in the Republican-controlled Legislature to “nullify” federal laws in Montana are “anti-American” and do nothing to solve problems faced by the state. Schweitzer, speaking to a meeting of House Democrats, said if Montanans and others disagree with federal polices, they can advocate for Congress to change them. “But a state like Montana saying, ‘We will pick and choose which laws we will enforce?' ” the governor said. “That's not the American way. … “Some of these (bills) are actually passing. … The nullifying bills are anti-American”/Mike Dennison, Missoulian. More here.  (AP file photo)

Question: Do you think “nullification” bills are un-American, as Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer does?

Montana Governor Backs Megaloads

Item: Several groups – and Montana governor – contend mega-loads mean mega-dollars/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter

More Info: Schweitzer says that those who are worried about the shipments leaking or spilling have no need to fear because the drums are only constructed of steel and contain no fluids.  Speaking on a Montana radio show, Schweitzer said he supports the plan and his state will work to make load transportation easy and simple while following state law.   The Montana governor has also said that if permits are denied for the large loads, it would be a “job killer” for his state.

Question: If there’s no real danger to the environment, since no liquids will be transported, is there a real reason to protest the mega-loads when so many jobs are on the line?

Johnson: Montanta Deals w/Tax Cheats

For as long as I can remember Idaho has had a running debate about whether to really invest in a robust program of tax compliance in the interest of finding those individuals and businesses who, through villainy or ignorance, don’t do what the vast majority of us do - pay our taxes. Historically the Idaho response has been to not make it a public or budgetary priority to go after the tax scofflaws. A modest investment was made in the Idaho compliance effort this year, but what was done also suggests there will be a modest payoff. Montana does it differently. Gov. Brian Schweitzer made national headlines last week when he announced that tax audits and other compliance efforts in Montana have produced $80 million in new revenue this year/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Why does revenue-strapped Idaho allow tax cheats when Montana doesn’t?