Former Legislator, Dan Fuchs thinks it could be coming back and he joins us on Voices of Montana!
The Long Range Planning Committee for Metra Park has been asked to delay any plans to replace the horse race track until after the 2019 State Legislative Session, in the hope of passing legislation that could resurrect horse racing in Billings and elsewhere in the state.
And, last week, the Montana Board of Horse Racing unanimously supported proposed legislation brought to them by Dan Fuchs which would give them authority over pari -mutuel wagering of historical horse racing terminals, a relatively new approach to gambling which holds the potential of generating new revenue to support live horse racing in Montana.
Fuchs, a former Montana state legislator with a life-long passion for horse racing, will be monitoring the bill through the state legislature which he says will “level the playing field” for horse racing with video gaming machines. It was the advent of video gaming machines that brought about the decline in live horse racing in Montana.
The legislation which is being sought simply changes the definition of the HBOHR’s oversight authority.
Fuchs said that he has been talking to a wide-variety of business owners in Billings and other communities, gauging their support and it has been very enthusiastic. “People really want to see horse racing come back,” he said.
A new organization hopes to draw upon that enthusiasm to support and help fund promotional efforts. The Montana Racehorse Owners & Breeders Coalition has been formed and is raising money to hire an executive director to help lobby for the legislation.
Phil Kerpen began his career in 1999 as an intern at the Cato Institute, because he “became disillusioned with insularity of academic debate” while attending the University of Pittsburgh.
Kerpen was a policy analyst for the Club for Growth. Until June 23, 2006, he was Policy Director for the Free Enterprise Fund, a United States free market advocacy group. Kerpen was the vice president of Americans for Prosperity for more than five years, ending his tenure there in April 2012. Kerpen is a syndicated columnist and a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues. Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a conservative 501(c)(4) organization which he founded in 2012.
By Phil Kerpen
President Trump recently tweeted that he wanted to end subsidies for General Motors “including for electric cars.” In this case the president’s personal pique aligns with an opportunity to advance good public policy. One of most significant subsidies from which GM benefits – the $7500 tax credit for electric car buyers – is already scheduled to phase out as GM passes the 200,000 vehicle cap on the full credit, entering a one-year phase-out before the subsidy ends completely. It’s a rare circumstance in which a government program could actually end just by Congress doing what it specializes in – doing nothing.
Unfortunately, while the House version of tax extenders leaves the cap in place, the Senate has been discussing lifting the cap and allowing subsidies to keep flowing to GM and Tesla, which has already reached the phase out. The president should make clear he would veto any legislation to lift the cap.
Democrats should support letting the credit phase out because it is a tax break for the rich. The Pacific Research Institute looked at the most recent IRS data and found that more than half of the electric car buyers claiming the credit make more than $200,000 per year and nearly 80 percent make more than $100,000. Just 1 percent make $50,000 or less.
They conclude: “the subsidization of EVs has some reverse Robin Hood impacts where tax dollars are taken from all households (including lower-income households) and given to wealthier households.”
There is also a geographic dimension to the wealth redistribution. The most recent industry data shows that half of all electric vehicles sold in the United States were sold in California, which has its own lavish subsidies at the state level. In August, the most recent month with data available, 53 percent of electric vehicle sales were in California.
A September 2018 NERA Economic Consulting study looked at the economic impact of eliminating the cap, as some in the Senate have proposed and for which Tesla and General Motors have been heavily lobbying.
They found that the costs of lifting the cap outweigh the benefits, because lower gasoline costs are more than offset by the direct and indirect costs of subsidized EV infrastructure. The study finds total household income falling as a consequence of lifting the cap by $7 billion in 2020 and $12 billion in 2035, which is about $50 to $70 per household in lost income every year.
That’s a cost of over $50 every year to middle-income middle-Americans to pay for subsidies for rich people in California.
As Tom Pyle recently explained in The Hill, the subsidy for electric vehicles was always meant to be temporary.
Orrin Hatch, the original sponsor of the bill, explained the logic behind the cap in 2007:
“I want to emphasize that like the tax credits available under current law for hybrid electric vehicles, the tax incentives in the FREEDOM Act are temporary. They are needed in order to help these products over the initial stage of production, when they are quite a bit more expensive than older technology vehicles, to the mass production stage, where economies of scale will drive costs down and the credits will no longer be necessary.”
At the time, big subsidies for electric vehicles were justified based on the theory that they were needed to lessen American dependence on foreign oil. A decade later, America is the largest oil and gas producer in the world and electric vehicles are a mature enough technology that they should be left to succeed or fail on the preference of consumers, not politicians.
Congress should let the subsidy phase out as scheduled – and President Trump should force their hand by making clear he will not sign any bill that increases or eliminates the cap.
Senater Duane Ankney and Colstrip’s City Council Member, Lori Shaw come in to the studio to talk about the new Lawsuits against Talen about the Clean-Up and the future of Colstrip.
Former Colstrip power plant co-owner and operator PPL is suing Talen Energy over claims that PPL was late in funding environmental cleanup and pension costs at the facility.
In District Court, PPL asserted that any shortage in cash for environmental cleanup or employee benefits was because of the mismanagement by Talen.
Talen, sued its predecessor, claiming PPL took $733 million from its Montana holdings that should have stayed with the Colstrip operation to cover worker benefits and environmental cleanup commitments.
Derek Skees is the head of the 2019 legislative rules committee for the 2019 legislative sessions, he gives us all an update on the important legislative meeting to be held Tuesday, with both the Democrats and the Republicans legislators.
The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 4th. We will recap it with Republican Chairman Derek Skees.
Congressman Greg Gianforte will join us later in the show around 9:40 am to pay respects to former President George Bush Senior.
Mr Llew Jones is a highly respected Montana Senator that is now apart of the Montana House.
He recently wrote a Guest Editorial and emailed Voices of Montana a copy, Here it is.
Montanans would benefit from Simple Majority Montana House rules
I never planned on being “Old Man Jones”, but time never stops. I am currently the longest serving Republican in the Montana House, having served 8 years as Senator and 6 years as Representative. I have served under the Senate simple majority rules, and the House super majority rules. I have served in the majority, minority, and leadership. I support changing the Montana House procedural rules (not bonding or veto override, …) to the Senate’s simple majority format.
Changing the House rules to simple majority is good for the legislature:
The House super majority rules allow the Speaker/Leadership to ignore legislative members within their own caucus and across the aisle. Rather than engage in the messy reality of true leadership exemplified by honest negotiation, the Speaker can bury contentious issues in a ‘kill’ committee, or worse, simply never schedule bills for consideration. This has been done by previous Speakers of both parties, including last session. This is the ultimate centralization of power: where a single individual uses “rule processes” to dictate to 99 elected representatives. The expediency of these solutions is ‘fool’s gold’ as failure to honestly negotiate exacerbates the natural schisms within a caucus and across the legislature. The result: sustained unproductive intra-party and legislative feuding. Public trust is completely eroded.
Real leaders do not require rule gimmicks to address legitimate differences of opinion. They work at building consensus within their own caucus and across the aisle. Operating under the 2017 simple majority Senate rules, President Sales earned the respect of the Senate body by being radically transparent and honest, even when members disagreed with him. The committee work was respected, debate was fair, and bills lived or died on their merit.
Changing the House rules to simple majority is good for Montana:
A key premise of our U.S. political system is that centralized power reduces accountability and increases potential corruption. The current super-majority House rules place excessive power in the hands of a few legislators, and, at times, in the hands of a single individual (Speaker). This amplifies lobbyists’ and party bosses’ opportunities to dictate legislative outcomes through opaque rules processes, often avoiding transparent debate entirely. Simple majority rules distribute power to all 100 legislators, ensuring that all ideas can be fairly heard and debated. In the Senate, I had bills both tabled and passed, but I always was confident my bill would be heard. Montana benefits from decentralized political power.
Changing the House rules to simple majority is good for Montana constituents:
There are legitimate differences of opinion across the legislature. Many differences are predicated on geography not party. Urban Districts have vastly different problems than rural Districts. Issues in Eastern Montana are different from Western Montana. Effectively addressing these issues is stymied by super-majority rules. The Leadership/Speaker’s agenda becomes the controlling agenda. The loser is every other legislative district. Simple majority rules ensure legislators can serve the constituents that elected them.
Alex Newman is an international journalist, educator, author, and consultant. In addition to serving as president of the small media and information consulting firm Liberty Sentinel Media, Inc, he writes for a wide array of publications in the United States and abroad. He currently serves as a foreign correspondent for The New American magazine, a contributor to WND, and more. He has also written for numerous newspapers and magazines such as the Gainesville Sun, Liberty magazine, Crisis magazine, The Diplomat magazine, and many more. In addition, he has co-authored two books, including a major exposé of the plot to dumb down American children using government schools, published by WND Books.
For the last four years, Alex has been teaching advanced economics to high-school seniors through FreedomProject Education, an accredited K-12 school offering a classical education. Before that, he worked for the Leadership Institute. He also spent time working in marketing and branding. Alex has a B.S. degree in journalism from the University of Florida with an emphasis on economics and international relations, as well as an A.A. degree in foreign languages from Miami-Dade College. Alex has lived in seven countries (US, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, France, South Africa, Sweden) on four continents and speaks multiple languages fluently.
Dr. Jay Lehr is expecting a “Climate Change Crazy” 2019. Many Dem’s ran strictly on a Climate Change platform, convincing constituents that “we will all burn up by 2020.” The truly sad thing is that its a total fraud!
“Democratic socialist wunderkind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Friday that her surprising election victory, and those of other liberal congressional freshmen, are on a par with a series of landmark moments in American history.
During a press conference hosted by the Sunshine Movement, an advocacy group that leverages youth protests to oppose global warming, the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez said her Nov. 6 achievement ranks with the 1969 Moon landing and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
‘We’ve done what we thought was impossible,’ she told a small crowd who braved 40-degree weather.
‘We went to the moon. We electrified the nation. We established civil rights. We enfranchised the country. We dig deep, and we did it. We did it when no one else thought that we could. That’s what we did when so many of us won an election this year.’
Lot’s of questions still exist about the “peoples compact” including, what about the claims of the elimination of all the off reservation water claims filed by the Tribes and United States in all of Montana, Plus why those claims have no basis in law or history.
We also talk with the authors, about the study the Indian Claims Commission settlement the Tribes signed in 1966 which forever barred them from seeking any off reservation claims for anything, in any forum.
This fact, plus other relevant facts including Article 3 of the Treaty of Hellgate and the definition of a federal reserved water right, are the solid reasons the People’s Compact simply does not include any off reservation claims.
Senator Daines and Congressman Gianforte give us an update from DC including on the new Farm Bill that has been passed by the senate Tuesday night.
We speak to the gentleman that has filed a law suit against the state of Montana and Child Protection Services.
Dr. Randall Gibb, board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and specialty board certified in Gynecologic Oncology, is the Chief Executive Officer at Billings Clinic, a fully integrated health system that includes a multi specialty group practice with more than 420 physicians and advanced practitioners offering more than 50 specialties and is the region’s largest health care organization. Dr. Gibb was the first Gynecologic Oncologist in Montana, Wyoming and western North Dakota.
Billings, MT— Billings Clinic has again been recognized as the No. 1 hospital in Montana and a Best Hospital for 2018-19 by U.S. News & World Report. It is the seventh consecutive year Billings Clinic has earned this honor.
The annual Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 29th year, are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or for common elective procedures.
Billings Clinic was also recognized for high performance ratings in the following specialties, procedures, conditions or treatments. They are:
- Colon cancer surgery
- Heart failure
- Hip replacement
- Knee replacement
“We are extremely proud to receive this recognition and attribute it to the incredible teamwork and collegiality that makes Billings Clinic a phenomenal place for patients to receive care,” said Randall Gibb, M.D., Billings Clinic CEO. “This would not be possible without strong and continuous commitment from our interdisciplinary teams. We strive to be among the best in the nation and this honor serves as a reminder of the high standards we must continue to meet.”
December 15th was “Bill of Rights day” So on the 17th we will have Robert Brown in studio speaking on, what this day means and how important are the Bill of Rights?
Geoff Fiess, Head of the MTA joins us for an update on the telecommunications industry in Montana looking towards the 2019 legislature, Plus is there monies available through the Farm Bill?
Also our DC insider, Drew Lesofski joins us from Washington DC and comments on the Zinke resignation.
Items to be discussed is a preview of issues in the upcoming Legislative session, Habitat Montana, conservation easements and their benefit for working farms and ranches, and continued efforts to prevent conflicts with grizzly bears.
“How many bears are enough in the wild!”
Nick came to MWF after an 11-year stint with newspapers in Bozeman and Butte covering government, public lands, natural resource development, wildlife, the outdoors and hunting and fishing issues. A lifelong hunter and angler, he enjoys the outdoors with his daughter Leticia and dog Sapphire throughout Montana and the Northwest.
Lesli Allison, Executive Director
Western Landowners Alliance (WLA), a landowner-led nonprofit organization focused on advancing policies and practices that sustain working lands, connected landscapes and native species, released the following statement today after Congress released the conference report on the 2018 Farm Bill.
Western Landowners Alliance would like to thank members of Congress for working together across party lines to find common ground on one of the nation’s most important pieces of legislation. The Farm Bill represents a long-standing public/private partnership to ensure healthy, affordable food, clean water, wildlife habitat and a strong agricultural economy.
“The public depends on the food, fiber and energy that working lands supply,” said Lesli Allison, executive director of the Western Landowners Alliance. “But we also want these same lands to provide things like clean water and wildlife habitat. Farm Bill programs make it possible for farmers and ranchers to meet these needs while also supporting rural livelihoods. This is why the Farm Bill has traditionally had solid bipartisan support. Americans recognize that taking care of the land is essential to our collective well-being and national security.”
“In a time when the West is facing unprecedented challenges, from wildfires to water shortages, we are particularly pleased to see continued support from Congress for the conservation programs that help us meet these challenges,” Allison said.
Professor Robert G. Natelson, who contracts with II, heads the Institute’s Constitutional Studies Center and its Article V Information Center. He is a nationally known constitutional scholar and author whose research into the history and legal meaning of the Constitution has been cited repeatedly at the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals courts, and state supreme courts—both by parties and by U.S. and state Supreme Court justices and by federal appellate judges. He is widely acknowledged to be the country’s leading active scholar on the Constitution’s amendment procedure and among the leaders on several other topics. In September, 2018 he was named a Senior Adviser to the Convention of States Project.
He was a law professor for 25 years, serving at three different universities, where among other subjects he taught Constitutional Law, Constitutional History, Advanced Constitutional Law, and First Amendment. Professor Natelson is especially known for his studies of the Constitution’s original meaning. His research on that subject has carried him to libraries throughout the United States and in Britain, including four months at Oxford. His books and articles span many different parts of the Constitution, including groundbreaking studies of the Necessary and Proper Clause, federalism, Founding-Era interpretation, regulation of elections, and the amendment process of Article V.
U.S. Supreme Court justices have relied explicitly on Professor Natelson’s research in six cases:
- Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm’n, 135 S.Ct. 2652, 2684 (2015) (Roberts, C.J., dissenting)
- National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550, 2596 (2014) (Scalia, J., concurring)
- Town of Greece v. Galloway, 134 S.Ct. 1811, 1835 (2014) (Thomas, J., concurring)
- Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., 133 S.Ct. 2247, 2265 (2013) (Thomas, J., dissenting)
- Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, 133 S.Ct. 2552, 2565 & passim (2013) (Thomas, J., concurring).
- Upstate Citizens for Equality v. United States, 583 U.S. ___ (2017) (Thomas, J. dissenting from denial of certiorari).
He has been cited on constitutional and non-constitutional subjects in several federal appeals courts:
- By Justice (then Judge) Gorsuch in Kerr v. Hickenlooper, 754 F.3d 1156,1195 (10th Cir. 2014) (dissenting)
- United States Telecom Ass’n v. Federal Communications Comm’n, 855 F.3d 381, 414 (D.C. Cir. 2017) (Srinivasan J., concurring)
- Upstate Citizens for Equality v. United States, 841 F.3d 556, 568 (2d Cir. 2016) (op. for court, Carney, J.)
- Berlin v. Renaissance Rental Partners, 723 F.3d 119 (2d Cir. 2013) (Jacobs, C.J., dissenting)
In addition, his work on constitutional and non-constitutional subjects has been relied upon by the highest state courts in Alaska, California, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington, and by the highest court of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Besides writing articles on the U.S. Constitution, he
Professor Natelson also has published extensively for the popular market. He authored the highly influential Article V Handbook for state lawmakers and the popular book, The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant. He is currently a regular columnist for both the Daily Caller, a leading news website, and The Epoch Times, an international newspaper. His contributions have appeared in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, The Economist, the Denver Post, the American Spectator, the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Townhall.com, The Hill, and CNSNews, and many other news outlets.
There are several keys to his success as a constitutional analyst. Unlike most constitutional writers, he has academic training not merely in law or in history, but in both, as well as in the Latin classics that were the mainstay of Founding-Era education. He works to keep his historical investigations objective. He also has the benefit of lessons and habits learned in the “real world,” since prior to entering academia he practiced law in two states, ran his own businesses, and worked as a journalist and at other jobs.
For about a decade, Professor Natelson had a career in public life in his “spare time.” He created and hosted Montana’s first statewide commercial radio talk show; became the state’s best known political activist; led, among other campaigns, the most successful petition-referendum drive in state history; and helped push through several important pieces of legislation. In June 2000, he was the runner-up among five candidates in the party primaries for Governor.
Recreation? he loves to spend time in the great outdoors, where he enjoys hiking and skiing with his wife and three daughters. He also likes travel, science fiction, and opera, and is active in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild.
Yuletide shoppers are familiar with the tinkle of bells wafting above the tinny sounds of Christmas songs, wafting above the din of beleaguered parents searching for the “must have” toy of the season.
Bell ringers stand apart as they represent the opportunity to give during the season of giving; to give to strangers along with whose name you drew at work, or to pile gifts on gifts for opening on Christmas Day. The Red Kettles of the Salvation Army have been the definitive spirit of Christmas for 125 years.
The iconic Red Kettles can be found in Korea, Japan, Chili and many European countries but are prominent across the United States. In Billings/Laurel there are twenty kettle sites. On a good day five or six of them are manned by volunteers. The rest are paid volunteers receiving $10 per hour to ring their bells. Some start at 10AM and work till 7PM. Ninety percent of those are former members of the Salvation Army that were helped by its programs.
In Billings the $1M worth of programs are run by three full time staff, one part time cook, and a plethora of volunteers. Half of the money goes for programs to feed the poor….8000 meals a month. Salvation Army vans pull up in low income areas and honk their horn. Those that respond are fed; no questions asked.
When financially challenged families run out of gas while passing through Billings the Salvation Army will buy them a tank of gas. Coordinating with other social service providers’ mental health and job training are made available. Last year in Yellowstone County the Army put 32 families on the path from homeless to home ownership. During disasters the Salvation Army is there.
While the kettles are an important funding mechanism the majority is from community donations and grants; there is zero federal or state taxpayer funding of the SA which functions as a church. They believe you can speak of salvation but if the listener is hungry they cannot hear. So the SA is devoted to easing the burden of the poor so they might accept an offer to improve their lot physically and spiritually.
Brad Molner, for Voices of Montana.
We all hope you will enjoy this special “Best of Show” this morning.
Remeber we will not be taking calls and texts during the special show.
The new speaker, Greg Hertz joins us to talk about the upcoming 2019 session of the Montana Legislature.
Some items to discuss include Medicaid expansion, passing a balanced budget, little or no new taxes and infrastructure funding.
Republicans have controlled both chambers within the state house for the last several sessions, but not the governors position for a decade and a half and that is something the republicans wish to change.
Also, Republican Senator Keith Regier will join us from Kalispell.
The 2019 Legislative sessions is just a few short weeks away and nothing is more controversial than Medic Aide expansion. Nobody is more engaged than Great Falls Senator Ed Buttrey. Mr Buttrey joins us and as always your calls are welcome as we talk about the upcoming session.
The Montana Nursery and Landscape Association will be holding their convention in Billings beginning January 8th. Learn how you can be part of it and learn more about the association on this edition of Voices of Montana.
These two Representative have a lot to talk about including why they think we should not change the way the house votes even though many in the senate think they should.