I said we can, not will, elect a conservative Governor

by Dr. Ed Berry

Are Montana “patriots, constitutionalists, freedom fighters” smart enough to solve their problems? At the moment, it does not look like it. But I have not lost hope.

Here is a short subject list of recent email traffic from this group: Arizona nullification, federal government abuse of power, HB 1505, New Mexico law trumps federal law, mass exodus of oil refineries, EPA restrictions on coal plants, states against federal land grabs, Utah governor after federal land, NDAA, Archie Bunker, S1867, the feds have trashed our Constitution, etc, etc, etc.

Can anybody unravel from our problems long enough to focus on a solution?

Does anybody know we have a governor’s election going on?

OK. We disagree on our choices. Now what? Refuse to talk about it?

Do you know what we are going to accomplish if we cannot agree? We will nominate Rick Hill.

We all have egos. We all have feelings. We all have preferences. But if we cannot as a group choose a governor candidate to back in the primary, then we are going to nominate Rick Hill.

I presented my view. I congratulate Lark Chadwick for being the only one to openly express her views differing from mine. Where is everyone else?

If come June 5, we all vote in different directions and split our votes … we will nominate Rick Hill.

Unless I have missed someone, everyone else is avoiding expressing their opinion in public about the most important race in Montana. So what good have all the tea  party meetings accomplished?

Many have sent me private emails. All but one agree with me.

Morrie Shechtman, whom I consider one of the smartest people in Montana, wrote:

Ed:  Excellent article about the governor’s race (especially since I agree with you). Very balanced.  Montana’s never before seen as qualified a candidate for any office, as they have in Neil.

I must see the world differently than many. I am conditioned by having been in competitive sports all of my life. I compete but this does not make me hate my competitors. When I win, I congratulate others for being worthy competitors. When they win, they do the same. I do not understand people who hold personal grudges against others merely because they have a different opinion. I have competed with all types of people, all races, all religions, all political dispositions. Yet we have been friendly competitors. We help each other and encourage each other.

I will say this: when Ken Miller does not like what I write, he calls me and we have a good conversation, and sometimes he changes my mind. Therefore, I will take Ken Miller as my governor any day over Corey Stapleton or Bob Fanning.

I have learned a lot about our candidates from their responses to my challenges. Those who cannot stand disagreement are not worthy to be our governor. Being a governor is all about managing different opinions, confronting challenges, and pulling a team together.

In my opinion, there are only three candidates worthy of consideration: Rick Hill, Neil Livingstone, and Ken Miller.

The only reason I am not backing Ken Miller is because, in my opinion, Neil Livingstone is a more qualified candidate for governor.

In my opinion, Rick Hill would make a better governor than all but Neil Livingstone. In terms of management ability and relevant education, only Neil Livingstone exceeds Rick Hill.

If I were hosting a governor’s debate now, I would restrict it to Hill, Livingstone, and Miller. We need to let voters see more of these three. We don’t need to waste precious debate time by having nine or more contenders on the stage.

PolyMontana is about people expressing their opinions. I am waiting for supporters of other candidates to make intelligent arguments for their candidates. This is the only way we can make progress toward a unified opinion.

7 thoughts on “I said we can, not will, elect a conservative Governor”

  1. I've been following this narrative for the past weeks. Friends of mine have been trying to convince me that Ken Miller was the man. Something kept telling me to hold out, there's something else you need to know. Dr. Ed, your informative site brought the "something else" in the past articles spotlighting the gamut of candidates, and finally focusing on Neil Livingstone. I did my homework, and am in agreement with you on this one. I might be further into right field than most, and may have some disagreement on other issues, but as far as the gubernatorial candidates go, your support and informative articles of and on Neil Livingstone has opened my eyes. I'm supporting Neil Livingstone for Governor, and he's getting my vote in the primary.
    Hopefully, a venue will be soon announced for the Livingstone-Zinke meet-up in Missoula on the 5th.

  2. In this very important race for Governor I find our options very challenging.
    It is certain that Rick Hill has a tremendous amount of suport from his past political positions. That in itself is a credential that no other candidate can stand on. In addition to the name recognition, Rick has a potential pool of campaign funding that no other candidate can match. Afterall, remember, our retired Congresmen recieves a well funded nestegg in addition to multiple benefits.
    I thought that Bob Fanning would have been a valid potential Governor in the beginning, but he lost all credibility when he strayed from the despised 2 party system. Had Bob stood on his platform as a third party candidate in the beginning, that would have certainly been better for his camp. At the 11th hour to seek refuge with a complete and utterly dysfunctional Montana Constitution Party was suicide.

    Cory is certainly an underdog in most all respects. The Republican Party has openly shunned him and has never given him the respect for the challenge that he is taking. It reminds me of Ron Paul and the Lame Stream Media. Rodney Dangerfield can certainly submit here, "There is No Respect" I am not sure if Cory has the leadership abilities for the state of Montana, but I do trust him in his word, and I sincerly believe he maintains a professional attitude. If he left this or any other forum, it may be that an old standard was employed by Cory. It has been obvios to Cory and all others that have followed pollymontana that he never has recieved support in this venue. Engaging in an exercise in futility, is not productive, and can be destructive. It also divides the conservative base as Ed speaks regulary about.
    In regards to Jim, he reminds me of many politicians that seek a carreer in politics. His views that I have seen him put forward are no more than repeated soundbites from the playbook: "Who is the audience, and What do they want to hear?" I will give Jim credit for his slapping the State in the face with an open defiance for the rights protected under the 1st Amedment with his signs. Cudo's to Jim for taking that stand!!!! I do believe that Jim would certainly be genuine to the quest of smaller government, but I realistically do not see him having the statewide backing needed. Jim qualifies as an underdog and once again faces a funding issue in a two party favorite system.

    Neil the Fed Livingston! It is important to recognize that Neil and Ryan make a good team, and they have the devotion to run the guantlet for the nomination. I have talked to Neil before and have listend to him in the past forums held around the state. If there is one thing that bothers me about this candidate, it is this: "He has worked his entire carreer depending on goverment." The funding mechanisims needed to be in place for the work that Neil has been in, is directly part of our fiscal problems in America. I have a dificult time trusting Niel not to favor government programs that fund special intrest groups from one walk of life or another.

    Over 2 years ago, I was introduced to the Miller Campaign and was asked to come on board. I insisted that as an individual, I would remain neutral on the race until all candidates were filed. At that time, I would evaluate each candidate and then make my choice. Some may say this is part of the problem in getting good conservatives elected, but on the same point I maintain that a 2 year campaign is equally part of the problem. Of all the Candidates, I have to say that Ken has his heart and soul in his race. He is giving 110% and does not appear to backing down after all this time. This shows that Ken has the durability to stack up against anyone. His choice for LT Governor is honorable. Bill could easily fill the duties the idiot currently in office is tasked with. I must say that with the turmoil in the PSC, there is some baggage here and I think it will have an impact on the campaign come election day.

    In Closing, everyone is asking: "Well, who the hell do you support?" I must admit that my decision has not been finalized, and the primary election is only a few short weeks away. I think that the political cards are lined up for Rick Hill and I predict that he will be hard to beat. I cannot and will not vote for Rick, even though I sincerly like Betty. Cory is an underdog, and an honest sincere candidate that deserves consideration. Jim is associated with local government and understands fully the need to stop the tyranny at the local level giving him those points above everyone else. Niel has the "No Fear" attitude and I like that trait in a candidate that claims they are not going to stand for the status quo. Bob is toast! Ken has the heart and I give Ken a point above all the rest for his resolve.
    One thing is certain! We cannot put anyone up against the liberal left that will compromise or collaborate with the enemy of freedom. Each camp has its qualities and I have the highest respect for each and everyone of the candidates. When it comes to election day, rather than voting for the lesser of evils, you can trust that I will vote agaisnt evil.

    Finally, I will make suicidal statement here in this forum on behalf of the underdog. The Tea Party Movement here in Montana is a joke. Unfortunatley it is about as funny as a one eyed, one eared three legged dog. With a couple of exceptions, the movement has become the bastard child of the GOP or other groups capitalizing on grassroot energy. Instead of working together, we are now looking at a 4 year old fractured grassroots movement that has become a self serving platform. The quest to unite the people together has fallen on deaf ears. For the most part, groups have become focused with self promotion or has become a puppet for a national group. They can no longer see the big picture. As a citizen that has been in the battle for many years at the grassroot level, I see the cycle clearly running its course. Without a unified effort to stop the tyranny at the local level first, we are destined to continue down the path of socialism and the end of freedom. That energy that we all watched grow out of the 2008 election has subsided and or divided. It can be revived, but only with courage and the resolve to stand together. The fear of being politically correct will have to take the back seat to make things happen.

  3. Dr. Ed,

    I have been supporting Ken Miller. I took a look at Neil Livingstone earlier on and felt that he was soft on marriage and pro-life issues. I also was not excited in his selection of Senator Zinke who is also not much of a champion in those departments either.

    Morality is very important to me, but so is liberty, property rights, fighting against Agenda 21, excessive taxes, and all the rest. You make some very valid points in your article. We all have our "wish lists", but unfortunately, political reality usually does not coincide.

    I don't wish to concede any ground because far too much has already been lost and I've been down that road before. It happens every time we have an election and then I don't sleep as well at night.

    Ryan Zinke, is a fine military man and his positions are good on many issues. However, his record in the Montana Senate on some of the moral issues of our day falls short. If Zinke reflects Livingstone's "ability to lead", then I'm not yet sold.

  4. I would also like to know about Neil's character? Is he married? To the same woman or to more than one? Since he doesn't have a voting record we can look at, does he do what he says? Does he keep his word? Do his children respect him? These things matter immensly! I am not saying that he is not a man of character, but I would like to know more than just that he is a member of the NRA and has made a lot of TV appearances about national security.

  5. Timothy Baldwin

    Ed, I greatly appreciate how you are defining this particular issue.

    There is much talk about requiring the governor candidate to "stand for freedom" and the like. However, most people do not even define that term or perhaps do not know how. Many times, this means, you must agree with them on what "freedom" means and if you do not, you are an "enemy of freedom". That approach gets us nowhere in the real discussion of politics and freedom.

    There is an important element missing in the dialogue of most. It is this: how well can the candidate formulate and even create political ideas, suppositions, and complexities to draw a viable and rationale conclusion or set of conclusions about the current and future state of Montana under constant and flexing pressures and changes of political and economic circumstances.

    Political realities require the governor to possess all kinds of skills to turn ideas into realities, knowing that most things in politics do not happen over night but take time to develop and grow.

    Which candidate has the best qualities of a scientist, visionary, inventor, statesman, and motivator? On this score, it appears Livingstone has the upper-hand. Sure, any critic will be able to find a reason not to vote for someone in whom they find fault. We need more in this discussion than what people don't like about this or that candidate.

    Livingstone and Hill are two very different characters in almost every aspect. Perhaps someone can create a comparative analysis on these two candidates.

  6. @5 Tim, You make a very good point:

    Which candidate has the best qualities of a scientist, visionary, inventor, statesman, and motivator?

    What made General Patton a great general? Patton was great because he could think further ahead than other generals. Patton had "vision." MG Paul Vallely told me Patton could envision and analyze tactics out two weeks further than most generals. This allowed him to choose a game plan with the highest probability of winning.

    An analogy is the ability of a Chess champion to envision and analyze all possible moves out 5 moves or more, whereas the common player can see ahead only about one to two moves. He who can see the playing field further ahead will dominate.

    This ability is rarely recognized by the common voter, but it should be. By voting for the candidate who is the most intelligent and visionary, we will get the best results.

    In every field, there are some who have far more ability to succeed than the norm. It takes a combination of raw IQ plus experience. If we want our government to succeed then we must vote for the best talent, just like we would hire the best talent if we wish our business to succeed.

    All governor candidates can tell us a good story about what they are "going to do." But few can actually get the job done once in office … because the job is as complicated as directing a war. Few have the ability to do what they say they will do. Smart advisors will not solve the problem. It takes a smart leader to use smart advisors.

    Who, among all the governor candidates, is the "General Patton?" I think Neil Livingstone wins hands down on this evaluation.

  7. I am no longer a registered voter. If you would like to see verification of the cancellation I will be able to sent it to anyone that inquires. Thank you, have a nice election cycle.

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