Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Is this a contribution?

Do you suppose that Gubernatorial candidate Bob Brown will hear from anybody else about posting his name in big black letters on the front of the 2004 Voter Information Pamphlet? Seems as though he was severely criticized for his television promoting of the voting laws, etc., just a little while ago. More importantly, will anyone connect the Secretary of State with the election race? Or am I just kidding myself?

And the pamphlet itself contains some interesting information about the issues. If you haven't made up your mind about them, be sure to read what it says. Particularly the actual content as well as the ballot wording. It's informative.

Oh, and you have to bronx cheer the Republican Party for managing to get a political barb into what's supposed to be strictly a voter information booklet. They manage to dis the Democrats in two paragraphs of what their party stands for and the state's environmentalists in the third. They do take credit for our poor economic standing (that's my interpretation of what the state is like after 12 years of them in power although they put a different spin on it). And they really want the religious to take over the state as "we urge stronger support of ... faith-based organizations." I can't think of anything worse that could happen to Montana. We've always been a bunch of free thinkers and the Republicans, the interlopers in this state, want to turn it over to those who are anti-free thinking.

With a Republican Secretary of State putting his name big on the front and the party taking political pot shots on the inside, I wonder if the Republicans are reporting any donations from the state of Montana?


Blogger Eric Coobs said...

The last City election, I didn't see any candidates claiming donations from the BILLINGS GAZETTE for their free press/endorsements/advertising.

Aren't you suggesting the same thing? I say it's fair play.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Somehow, Eric, I think that the newspaper and an official publication of the State of Montana are not the same things. One is not an official publication. I suppose since Brown is Secretary of State now, the party thinks they can get away with this?

9:52 AM  
Blogger Wulfgar said...

Being my usual nattering nabob of negativity, Chuck, I'd say that they HAVE gotten away with it. Whether it will matter in Nov. remains to be seen.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Eric Coobs said...

I think we're on to something here Chuck. Re-legislate the campaign-finance laws so that any 'free' press like the aforementioned flyer be subject to limits.

If the GAZETTE charges $450.00 for a 3 x 3 ad, any candidates they endorse and promote should have to claim at least that much for a contribution. And if the printing/mailing cost for a 8 1/2" x 11" flyer would be $5,000 a candidate with his name on the cover should have to claim that amount.

And since corporations cannot legally contribute, it would make the candidates spend their own money, not ours.

Think any politicians will be interested though in promoting this?

9:19 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Eric, as usual you don't know what you're talking about. The flier is an official publication of the state of Montana. It is not a newspaper or a television station or anything of that nature. It is an OFFICIAL publication of the state and, therefore, should not be in a political mode. It is intended as information; it is not intended for political proselytizing.

However, i agree that perhaps endorsed candidates should have to claim the column inches of the Gazette endorsements as contributions. Since they mostly support Republicans, I think that would be a really good thing.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Eric Coobs said...

I've got one of the election flyers on my desk, so I actually do know what I'm talking about - as ALWAYS!

It doesn't say 'Vote for Bob Brown' on it, so it's not too blatant, but he is getting free press for it, isn't he?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Not when you're comparing an official, required publication of the state of Montana with newspaper endorsements. That flyer is supposed to be informational only, and the Republican party's statement provides nothing but political smoke. It's a blatant misuse of the document.

9:44 PM  

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