Monday, October 29, 2018

Conduct due dilligence before voting for county attorney


There is a stark contrast between the two candidates for Park County Attorney. In most cases, when the management of a public office is not news, it’s an indication that the affairs of the office are being handled appropriately and dutifully. Such is the case with the administration of the office under County Attorney Bruce Becker.

A few years ago, when researching a possible attorney in Livingston for a proposed mediation, I came across Kendra Anderson’s record online. I became concerned when I saw she had received a public admonition from the Montana State Bar’s Supreme Court on Practice.

In the March 2016 edition of the “Montana Lawyer” publication I discovered online, Ms. Anderson was cited for “delaying withdrawal from her representation of a client she had begun seeing romantically.”

The article further notes that, “In exchange for Anderson’s conditional admission to the charge, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel dismissed two other counts against Anderson — that she had a conflict of interest in the case and she engaged in conduct that was prejudicial to the administration of justice by contributing to an acrimonious dissolution proceeding.”

While I went with another local lawyer for my legal needs, I was incredibly concerned to see Ms. Anderson’s name on signs advertising her for the next Park County Attorney. I do not believe a person so recently cited for being “engaged in conduct that was prejudicial to the administration of justice” is capable of being free from personal bias.

I recently learned that Bruce Becker does not take campaign contributions because he says he believes it’s unethical for a county attorney and such donations could result in potential conflicts of interest.

I urge Park County residents to conduct their own due diligence as far as investigating Ms. Anderson’s record. I’m tremendously concerned that this important information about her is not widely known to this community and we could potentially install a County Attorney who lacks the gravitas and ethics to serve in the public position.

Reilly Neill Snow

Election is a chance to send Congress a clear message


Vote on Nov. 6 to save Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Under the GOP’s agenda, we can afford tax cuts for billionaires, but not the benefits Montana’s seniors have earned.

GOP leaders McConnell and Ryan say that Congress must now rein in “entitlement” programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in order to slow America’s rapidly increasing national debt (rapidly increasing, in part, because of the recent GOP tax plan that gave huge tax cuts to corporations and the ultra wealthy). Both Senator Daines and Representative Gianforte voted for that plan. Also adding to the debt are spending increases and rising interest payments on the national debt.

Candidate Trump promised that he wouldn’t cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, but as president, his budget proposals have included significant cuts to all three programs.

I prefer to call Medicare and Social Security “earned” benefits (since I paid into them my entire career) and Medicaid a safety net.

It is loathsome for Republicans to now suggest cutting these earned middle-class programs as the only fiscally responsible solution to solve the debt problem. We can’t trust Greg Gianforte to protect these programs. He has refused to answer questions about Medicare and he says that Montana seniors have an “obligation to work” because “retirement is not biblical.” Matt Rosendale wants to privatize Social Security and has called for a “straight repeal” of our current health care system, which has expanded Medicaid and critical Medicare benefits.

The upcoming election gives us a chance to send a clear message — that Congress must protect our earned benefits. Democrats Jon Tester and Kathleen Williams oppose privatizing Social Security (a GOP proposal which would provide more opportunity for their billionaire donors and corporate fat cats to cash in) and they oppose turning Medicare into a voucher system (a favorite GOP proposal which would shift costs to Montana’s seniors).

Karrie West

Local production a must see


This past weekend, we went to the Shane Lelani Center for the Arts and saw our local production of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” This is one of our favorite musicals. We have seen it on two prior occasions performed by the professional Broadway touring company. This is a local production, and though performed by our local neighbors and friends, there was nothing amateur about the production or the performance. Our local production was outstanding and I would stand their performance up against the “professionals.” We need to support our local organizations and our local talent. If you don’t see this production, it runs through November 11, you have truly missed a great experience.

Go see this show, take a break from the real world, and have a few laughs (actually a lot of laughs). As Russell Lewis says at the beginning of each performance (I know I won’t get it exact), “Sit back. Relax and enjoy the show.”

Robert Quinton

Thoughts on candidates leading up to Election Day


If you saw the debates, Greg Gianforte thinks he is running against Nancy Pelosi but should be pleased that the woman is actually a virtual unknown prior to the primaries. He just took another $1,000,000 out of his vast fortune to spend on his campaign because a working widow named Williams is running neck and neck (45 percent each) and may just wax his posterior. I sure hope so. Maybe he can amass fortunes to buy power and influence but he’s not smart enough to pay attention to who he is running against?

Jon Tester certainly has become a Washington insider who plays farmer on the weekends but he has done much for veterans across America and much for his home state of Montana. His passed legislation surprisingly often has President Trump in agreement. He’s the last of the “work across the aisle” politicians. When you see Matt Rosendale speaking he even looks like he is talking out of the side of his mouth.

When you see how he has supported the insurance companies he is supposed to be regulating, and they have supported him you can be sure that talking out of both sides of his mouth is not an illusion.

I’m a longtime NRA member and think they ought to stay the hell out of Montana politics and that Montana voters should ignore the organization’s recommendations just as the dumb Montana Democrats ignore the NRA’s questionaries. I-185 has had so much dark, out-of-state money thrown against it, I just have to vote for it. I-186 is simply a continuation of our rational citizens outlawing of cyanide leach mining. I was here when they were mining the huge open Berkeley Pit and if you have seen the vast and deep (goose killing) Berkeley Reservoir and realize that ASARCO continues to negotiate for a better deal decades later, you just have to vote for 186.

I’m sure John Esp is a great guy and he comes across with surprisingly Democratic rhetoric pre-election. I’ve voted for Republicans before and when they got to Helena voted the party line against education, medical insurance and social services. I’m afraid John will too.

Brad Bichler’s endorsement campaign overkill including everyone and his brother leaves me feeling suspicious and his storm trooper picture does not portray the kind of guy I’d like to see as our community sheriff. What happened to the cowboy hat, snap-button shirt, secure in himself kind of sheriff?

That’s all folks, be sure to vote if you haven’t already!

Steven Hughes