by Travis Mateer
The decline of Montana Democrats, as reflected in their last electoral slaughter in state-wide races, might lead one to question if this party has hit rock bottom yet.
One partisan who spent the last 16 greasing this downward skid won’t be around to answer that question. According to one of the last liberal bloggers, James Conner, the Democrat cheerleader once known as “Pogie” is throwing in the towel and moving to Hawaii.
My initial reaction? Good riddance.
When I wrote for the progressive blog, 4&20 Blackbirds, my sense of what progressive meant didn’t include DNC bootlicking. Over the years both myself and fellow blogger, JC, took issue with how our Helena-based progressive advocate conducted himself. Like this post from 2014 where JC took Pogie to task for attacking Dirk Adams.
For a media scold like Don Pogreba (Pogie), it must have stung to have a candidate say this about his blog:
“This is the stuff of Fox News and worse.
I have to get back to reality now.”
Those in the world of recovery understand that the real work doesn’t usually start happening until after one “hits bottom”. Can the same concept apply to political groups?
I’m sure there is something I will miss about a partisan blog hanging up the rhetorical spurs, like those insightful peeks into the rarified lens of liberal elitism Don provided, but for now I’m looking at the potential positive of a divisive partisan saying adios to Montana and aloha to Hawaii.
Since I’m a curious fellow, I wondered what kind of connection this Hawaiian school might have to Montana, and I found it in a Parker School board member by the name of Frances Simperman. From the link:
She is currently a board member of both the Elsie Pauly Corette Scholarship Fund at Carroll College in Helena, Montana and the Simperman Corette Foundation in Seattle.
A little more digging turned up this article (PDF) about her husband, Roy F. Simperman, a working class man from Butte who married up and made it big with a career that included work at Boeing and NASA. From the link (and note that Diane passed away in 2000, so Roy remarried):
In 1965, Roy married Diane Coree. From one of the 50 most influenal families in the state of Montana, her affluent and prominent background clashed with Roy’s working class heritage, but love won out. The couple moved to Seale, where Simperman went to work for Boeing, coding and calculang trajectories for NASA lunar orbiter computer simulaons, creang soware for NASA mission navigaon and guidance control, and working on a fusing system for a nuclear warhead in a missile. Realizing he needed another degree, Simperman enrolled part‐me in the highly compeve MBA program at University of Washington, earning an MBA in finance and economics.
Simperman next brought his experse to bear in a thirteen‐year career at Weyerhaeuser Timber, where he designed and developed a computer simulaon to model the forestry program from genecs to mber harvest, making the company more profitable. In 1985, he purchased Audio Control, a manufacturer of equalizers and signal processers for audiophiles. He also bought a stock photography company which sold photos online before the Internet was widely known. Simperman’s work at the stock photo company led to the creaon of Semaphore in 1994.
I don’t know if this is the connection that afforded Don Pogreba’s sunny relocation opportunity, but Roy and Frances will surely be good people to know, considering they all have roots in our State’s capitol.