by Dr. Ed Berry
All governor candidates can rattle off Montana’s problems. We need only compare Montana’s economy with neighboring North Dakota. We have about 12% unemployment. They have 3% and they are employing many Montanans. Why?
North Dakota has a state bank to secure their money and they use their natural resources to power their economy. But Montana has allowed liberals and environmentalists to lock up its extremely abundant resources. So while North Dakota is enjoying a booming economy, Montana is sitting on its hands and doing nothing while its environmentalists rejoice.
All the candidates can rattle off these problems. But who can solve these problems?
We will look for solutions. But first, let’s look deeper into Montana’s problems.
Governor Schweitzer stopped four much-needed coal-electric power plants so he could “save the planet” from carbon dioxide. He bought into California Governor Jerkinator’s idiotic Western Climate Initiative. He pushed archaic, uneconomical wind energy on Montana, raising our electricity rates and our taxes. He mortgaged our future. He is a environmental nutcase working feverishly to lock up as much of Montana’s coal, oil and gas lands as possible while he is still in office.
Schweitzer’s tax-supported wind energy companies became liberal lobbying groups, giving money to our legislators to encourage them to vote for bills that give the wind energy companies more political power.
Schweitzer’s administration is reeking with Democratic stealth tax subsidies, grants and favors to liberals to further their political power in Montana. Schweitzer packed the University Board of Regents with liberal climate-change fanatics, and they in turn support the United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainability in our university. Schweitzer’s administration has brainwashed thousands of Montana students, turning them into Agenda 21 zombies, sustainability nut cases, and world citizens rather than Americans.
The success of the liberal brainwashing of Montanans is evidenced in the recent “Power Shift” conference supported by our taxes, colleges and universities. The conference was dominated by one-sided Sierra Club garbage about how we must further shut down our energy production and resource use, and therefore our economy.
The “Power Shift” conference, aptly named because it represents the shift of power to the eco-freaks, should be a wake-up call to all Montanans that we have lost control of our state. The Agenda 21 promoters are winning. We urgently need Agenda 21 fighters.
To learn about Agenda 21, read the PolyMontana articles under “Agenda 21”.
In summary, Montana’s problem is both physical and mental. Montana is not using its own resources and it is dominated by the environmentalist pseudo-scientific belief system that destroys the mind set necessary to build our economy.
We would like to elect a governor who will fight both these problems and Agenda 21.
Defining the principal issue of the election.
All the Montana governor candidates are good men. We do not criticize any of them personally. But we must make choices, hopefully rational choices. This is politics. A few will win. Many will lose.
I will definitely support Rick Hill over Steve Bullock. And I will not support any third party candidate no matter how attractive the candidate may be. If anyone wants to run as a conservative they must run in the Republican primary.
Necessary qualifications to be a governor.
It is natural to focus on a candidates platform. We want to know what a candidate stands for and what he will do if elected. However, there are other qualifications we should use to select our candidate. Here are some necessary qualifications:
- Real executive and management ability and experience.
- Owes no favors to anyone who may stand in the way of improving Montana.
- Is smart.
- Is street wise.
- Is a true conservative, e.g., opposes Agenda 21.
- Will stand up to the federal government.
- Understands Montana.
- Is electable.
A candidate may have an ideal platform but have no management ability, or may not be smart and street wise. Or he may be unelectable for a variety of reasons. We should be looking for a candidate who has the best overall qualifications … in our own judgment. We should not choose a candidate by platform alone.
If our first choice candidate becomes unelectable, then we should change to our next favorite candidate. There is no virtue and nothing gained by backing a sinking ship.
What is the greater embarrassment:
- To blindly stick with a losing candidate until the votes prove us wrong?
- Or to change horses and improve our chances to win?
Let’s take a lesson from the “Fast Five” movie
“I’m in,” said Luke Hobbs to Dominic Toretto after Hobb’s side was decimated by billionaire Hernan Reyes and his bad guys. Although Hobb’s job was to capture Toretto and his renegades, he was smart enough to quickly realize his best shot was to first eliminate Reyes, and the only way he could do that was to first join the Hobbs team.
Similarly, we must be flexible to achieve our goals. As a competitive sailor, I have won many races by changing my tack when the wind shifts, while those who stubbornly stick with their original tack when the wind changes always lose the race.
The Montana governor candidates
Many voters remain confused over the six candidates vying to beat Rick Hill.
A recent poll showed Rick Hill has only 20% of Republican votes while 70% remain undecided. The race is wide open. If there were a rush to elect Rick Hill then he would have already captured at least 40%.
The critical questions are:
- Which anti-Agenda 21 candidate can best beat Steve Bullock?
- Will the anti-Agenda 21 voters back this one candidate?
To beat Hill, Montana Republican voters must converge on the most viable candidate to beat Bullock as soon as possible but no later than April 14, the date of the highly-attended Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Kalispell.
Only three weeks later, the absentee ballots will be mailed to Montana voters. If there is a convergence on a candidate, it must happen in time to allow a trickle down to the average voter. By May 11, the primary race will be mostly over and we will be waiting to count votes.
Clearly, “constitutionalists and freedom fighters“need to focus. Therefore …
Let’s dump three candidates so we can focus on the remaining four.
How many times have we heard Kenny Rogers sing “The Gambler“? How many of us follow its sage advice?
“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”
The first three to fold ’em should have been Fanning, Lynch, and O’Hara. Their problem is they don’t know when to fold ’em and neither do their remaining supporters.
Fanning, Lynch, O’Hara have “no money” and have not put any significant amount of their own money into their campaigns. These days, if you don’t put your own money into your own race, you are not a viable candidate. None of these three can ramp up to be competitive before the primary election. Yet they each spent $3000 to stay in the race, which does not bespeak of good management skills for a potential governor. Rather it implies irrational, emotional thinking that we do not want in our governor’s office.
Fanning has a good tea party platform, mostly written by others, including me. His platform caught the interest of Ron Paul supporters but manydeserted him in late January when they realized he had no chance to win. He reads his speeches, which does not impress voters.
Fanning hinted in the Billings debate that he would run as an independent rather than support the Republican nominee. He thereby lost all hope of gathering sufficient Republican votes to win the primary. He lost my support.
Two days before his scheduled talk to the Kalispell Pachyderm Club on February 24, Fanning cancelled. No one can do this and ever be accepted in Flathead Valley. Fanning may have a good platform but he is unelectable.
I strongly suggest supporters of Fanning, Lynch, or O’Hara choose another candidate.
On February 21, when I interviewed Bill Coate, Independent candidate for governor, at Sykes, Ray Thompson and his wife Ladeine were having dinner at another table. After finishing dinner, Ray came over to our table and lectured Bill Coate about running as an Independent, correctly advising him that running independent will only help elect Democrat Steve Bullock. I agree with Ray.
If the governor’s race were conducted like the Olympic Trials, where the coaches make the selections on the results of heats, we would have only four candidates: Hill, Livingstone, Stapleton, and Miller.
A scientific perspective
Let’s briefly digress into science for some valuable perspective. Science, if used properly, guides us on how to make good decisions.
First, the scientific method requires us to use only valid data and to use data properly.
Second, the essence of the scientific method is:
If our prediction is wrong, then our hypothesis is wrong.
If we have a hypothesis about anything, we should test our hypothesis by making a prediction. If our prediction fails even once, we must reject our hypothesis.
Third, the scientific method requires us to use Occam’s Razor:
If there are two hypotheses that work equally well then we must choose the simplest hypothesis.
Finally, the scientific method requires us to:
- Always be willing to admit that our hypothesis is wrong.
- Never continue to “believe” in a hypothesis after it is proven wrong.
- When our hypothesis is proven wrong, find a new one.
Now, substitute candidate for hypothesis and unelectable for wrong you will understand how science relates to politics. Therefore, our rules are:
- Always be willing to admit that our candidate is unelectable.
- Never continue to “believe” in a candidate after he is proven unelectable.
- When our candidate is been proven unelectable, find a new one.
Rule: Never go down with the ship. Be willing to admit errors and to change horses. Stuff happens. Forge new alignments to maximize your results.
What about Ken Miller?
Ken has been campaigning for almost two years. Yet, he has not produced poll numbers more than half of Rick Hill’s numbers. With only six weeks left in the primary campaign, we have no evidence that Ken can attract enough votes to beat Hill.
To beat Rick Hill, a candidate must attract the support of the mainstream Republicans. But Ken Miller’s core support comes from avid tea party people who do not represent the vast majority of conservative voters. They are a small subset of conservative voters who decided over a year ago to support Ken because they believe he is their best hope to elect a “conservative.”
Building a campaign on tea party support has serious problems. Tea parties have not grown in the last two years. If anything, they have shrunk. In their meetings, you will find the same (mostly old) people who have attended tea party meetings for the last two years. Except now there are fewer of them because many have dropped out … or died.
Most of Ken’s key campaign management group have left. Ed Jonas, Ken’s former NW Regional Campaign Director, left and is now backing Livingstone. Glenn Swope, Ken’s former Bozeman Campaign Director, left and is now backing Livingstone. Ken’s former campaign manager Bill Mutch has left.
Ken Miller does not have the money or support to beat either Hill or Bullock, who is sitting on $1 million waiting to destroy the Republican nominee.
Ken Miller is a very good man but, unfortunately, he is unelectable. His supporters who stick with him will go down with the ship without making any lasting contribution toward electing our next governor.
What about Neil Livingstone?
Those who still support Ken Miller may do so because they believe he is the only “conservative” candidate. I respectfully disagree. Based upon the data available, I believe Neil Livingstone is more “conservative” than Ken Miller.
Some people point to Neil Livingstone’s resume on his Executive Action LLC, and suggest he is “CIA” and therefore should not be considered for our governor. I disagree. His resume tells me he is by far the most qualified governor candidate.
I don’t care if he did some work for the CIA among all of his vast accomplishments. The more experience in what goes on inside government, the better.
Read Neil Livingstone’s resume and be objective. If you were on the Board of Directors interviewing candidates for CEO of your company, you would want to select the CEO candidate who will make your company as successful as possible. You would forget about who’s your buddy. You would put little value on what a candidate says he will do. You will put most value on a candidate’s real accomplishments.
Neil Livingstone has proven he has the executive ability to achieve our goals.
Let’s go down the list of what we want in our next governor.
1. Real executive and management ability and experience.
Neil has extensive, proven ability to lead, which makes him the best candidate to lead the State of Montana. Rick Hill is my second choice.
2. Is smart.
I have employed software engineers. It is a fact that a smart engineer will outperform an average engineer by at least ten to one. The same is true for any executive, especially our governor. Elect an average, good old boy candidate and you can kiss Montana’s recovery good bye no matter how sincere the candidate may be. Neil Livingstone is the smartest candidate for governor. Rick Hill is second.
3. Is street wise.
We live in a real world, not a world of mom, apple pie, children and grandchildren. Corruption in government is real world stuff. We want a governor who can deal with the worst the real world can offer and not a “good old boy” who will be led by the nose by political pros. No candidate has more real world experience than Neil Livingstone. Rick Hill is second.
4. Is a true conservative, e.g., opposes Agenda 21.
To collect further information on Neil and Ryan, I attended their fundraisers on March 12 and 13 in Bigfork and Rollins, respectfully. After listening to their talks and questioning them, I am convinced that both Neil and Ryan are much more conservative than most people realize.
Neil Livingstone was among the first in America to criticize the Patriot Act. Read his views and his writings listed in his resume.
Neil does something no other candidate does: he names the environmental groups as enemy number one of Montana’s economy. Sun Tzu wrote we must identify our enemy before we can hope to win the war. Neil is exactly on track and no other candidate is.
Some conservatives say they cannot back Neil because Ryan Zinke is too liberal. I offer these rebuttals:
First, Neil is in charge and Neil does not let his subordinates make his decisions.
Second, I have listened carefully to Ryan’s speeches. He gives details about how to attract business to Montana that are very conservative. Ryan understands business needs very well.
Neil is the only candidate who clearly states Montana’s two-fold problem: we must not only begin using our own resources but we must also fight the pseudo-scientific environmental beliefs that destroy our economy.
5. Will stand up to the federal government.
More so than any other candidate, Neil is very clear he will stand firm against the federal government’s encroachment upon Montana’s rights, economy and freedom.
6. Understands Montana.
Rick Hill knows the most about Montana. Neil Livigstone is second. Neil has been studying Montana’s government and he is a quick learner.
7. Is electable.
Only Rick Hill and Neil Livingstone are electable. On March 9, Livingstone presented his case to the Kalispell Pachyderm Club. He made an excellent presentation and was very well accepted by the overflow audience. Livingstone has the backing of many high-profile Pachyderms. Of all Hill’s competitors, only Livingstone has become an “acceptable” candidate to mainstream Republicans whose support is critical to any candidate who is to win the nomination.
In my opinion, neither Miller nor Stapleton have positioned themselves as attractive candidates to most mainstream Republicans. Only Hill and Livingstone are “acceptable” to mainstream Republicans, and without this mainstream support, you cannot win the Republican governor’s primary.
Among those who openly back Neil Livingstone are Glenn Swope, Morrie Shechtman, Harry Hyatt, Ed Jonas and, for whatever its worth, me.
Here’s what we’ve got.
Neil Livingstone is the most qualified governor candidate, perhaps in the history of Montana. He is a true conservative who can win. He is smart. He understands Montana. He is tough. He is street-wise. He is a proven executive who knows how to get things done.
Rick Hill is also extremely qualified to be governor. I will back whoever wins.
Here’s what’s in it for you.
You may have had your tea party meetings, your Constitution studies, your emails about how federal government injustice, and your arguments against Obamacare. But you need to take one more step to reach your political goals. You have one and only two conservative candidates who can beat Steve Bullock: Rick Hill and Neil Livingstone.
Here’s what I want you to do.
Be like Hobbs in “Fast Five“. Say “I’m in” to Neil’s team or to Rick’s team.
Be a statesman like Abraham Lincoln.
In 1854, Abraham Lincoln conceded the Illinois Senate race to Trumbull, even though his delegates outnumbered Trumbull’s by 47 to 5. Lincoln was 4 delegate votes short of a winning 51. But it was a stalemate because the Trumbull delegates would not concede.
Lincoln put his personal pride aside and did the best thing for the cause. Later, he would be rewarded for his responsible political actions when he became President of the United States of America. You may read about this important event in American history in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, “Team of Rivals.”
There comes a time in the history of every great nation and state when people must put away their pride and sacrifice themselves to a greater cause, as did Lincoln.
Voters of Montana, you have this greater cause before you now. You have really only two electable choices before you for your Republican governor nominee: Rick Hill or Neil Livingstone.