by William Skink
Since I don’t have time to write more involved posts about the myriad issues swirling around that concern me, I’ll try to touch on a few of the issues briefly with the hope of writing more down the road.
The first issue I’ll mention is the problem of homeless camps around the Reserve Street bridge. After the fall clean-up last year homeless campers returned in numbers not seen since the first clean-up in 2013. In response, a clean-up is scheduled for August and from one of my contacts on this issue, police are having to more frequently go out there. Driving home today I saw a fire truck and two police cruisers parked along the Reserve Street bridge.
This week Missoula approved another annual tax increase. While Emily and Jon traded barbs, what isn’t being talked about by council members is the role of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in keeping the benefit of development from expanding the value of the tax base. Dan Brooks has a good piece on the TIF scheme as it relates to the Marriott project downtown, but it just barely scratches the surface of TIF shenanigans. I definitely hope to write more on this topic soon.
At the state level, low revenue is going to trigger brutal cuts to DPHHS. How badly this is going to hurt people is not quite clear yet, but it’s going to be bad. Meanwhile, Montana’s Governor and the stupid partisans who support him seem to think it’s a good thing Steve is grooming himself for higher office. This ridiculous piece at Cowgirl made me want to puke. Here’s a taste:
News came last week that Steve Bullock has started a political action group to amplify his voice nationally and perhaps even lay groundwork for a run for president or senate. This welcome news to democrats in Montana and nationally. Bullock is one of the most popular governors in the nation and could also bring red-state progressive chops to the 2020 contest.
Amid this news, it’s hard to imagine how utterly frustrated Republicans must be by now, given that Democrats in Montana seem always to be led by star power, by politicians who get strong mention as presidential timber or otherwise are able capture the country’s imagination (Bullock, Schweitzer, Tester). The GOP, meanwhile, now must settle for Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte. Can you imagine any of these duds trying form a national PAC and get 2020 buzz?
When will the Governor find time to do his actual job while he travels around the country and makes cable news appearances? Montana Democrats sacrificed a lot to ensure Steve won his reelection. Beyond that election, Democrats in Montana got their asses kicked. With the State of Montana on fire and the most vulnerable getting hit with budget cuts, anything that takes the Governor away from his duties to the people of this state is going to be a dangerous distraction.
There is so much more I would like to delve into right now, but I just don’t have the time. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for the contributors at Logicosity, a great blog turning out posts almost daily.
I’ll leave it there for now. Thanks for reading.