Letter to the Editor - Lair

Dear Editor,

 The budget process used by our state and legislators is flawed. The State relies on cost-plus base line budgeting rather than needs-based priority budgeting with performance measurements. Government budgets get inflation adjusted increases whether needed or not and they grow-forever. Montana is no different than Washington DC.  Legislators fight over insignificant cuts to a massive spending addiction which head us for the biggest train wreck this Country has ever seen. Simple mathematics dooms the current model to eventual failure.  It is based on the power of compounding, and eventually it will exceed the ability and willingness of taxpayers to fund it. Budgets should move up and down with reality, need and usefulness, just like our budgets at home.  Can you imagine what is going to happen with the thousands of inflation adjusted budgets when our inflation sky-rockets?  This is where our leadership both state and federally, have failed us. The Code of the West is not the solution. Under Senate leadership’s direction, education funding in Montana is receiving an inflation adjusted increase this biennium.  By use of Companion Bills like HB316, our legislators are robbing funds (including county funds) to augment the General Fund in order to continue the K-12 education spending addiction.  Leadership has become detached and tone deaf to the message ringing across the Country:





Please, learn more about the process.  Help change the budgeting process to priority-based budgeting and work to replace present leadership.  

Doug Lair

Big Timber



Letter to the Editor - Marbut

Dear Editor,

Texas legislator Dr. Suzanne Gratia-Hupp said, “How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual… as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of.”

Every election cycle we see candidates with marginal commitment to gun owners doing a masquerade intended to deceive voters.  A standard buzz-phrase these candidates use is “hunter access,” words designed to bait unsuspecting gun owners into thinking the candidate is truly committed to the right to bear arms.

Don’t take the bait for that particular trap, and don’t fall for the on-paper-only, hunting-sounding “groups” that emerge only shortly before each election to offer political cover for candidates who do not fully support the right to bear arms.

Rather, trust the entities that have been in the trenches for decades fighting for your rights - the Montana Shooting Sports Association and the National Rifle Association.  Both MSSA and the NRA evaluate candidates for you.  Find the MSSA evaluations at mtssa.org or at VoteSmart.org, and the NRA evaluations at nrapvf.org.

Don’t get sucked in by the photo op candidates who borrow a shotgun for a campaign photo.  In Montana we call that “All hat and no cows.”  Check candidates out carefully or trust MSSA and the NRA to have done a good job evaluating candidates for you.  As Dr.

Gratia-Hupp implies, a candidate’s true attitude about your gun rights is a litmus for much else about that candidate.

Gary Marbut, President

Montana Shooting Sports Association

P.O. Box 4924

Missoula, Montana 59806



Letter to Editor - Kennedy

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Yellowstone County Commissioners, MetraPark, United Way and Big Sky Economic Development, I’d like to thank each of the 400 volunteers who gave their time Tuesday to clean up the MetraPark grounds littered with debris from the recent tornado. We saw individuals young and old from families, churches and groups come out ready to roll up their sleeves and help. We received many generous donations for the event from Wal-Mart, Costco, Exxon, and Bright ‘N Beautiful.

I also appreciate the many other groups throughout our generous community who have not only helped clean up tornado debris, but have lent a helping hand to both neighbors and strangers in their time of need. It’s often said that hard times bring out the best in people, and over the last couple weeks we’ve seen great people doing extraordinary things. I’m truly convinced I live in the best community in this great nation.

Commissioners Ostlund, Reno and I know MetraPark is a large economic driver in this community. Please be assured that we, along with Bill Dutcher and his dedicated staff at MetraPark, are working quickly to bring the Rimrock Auto Arena back online to once again be full with concerts, rodeos, tournaments and so much more. At the same time, I’d remind everyone that MetraPark is open for business, playing host to hundreds of events in the Montana Pavilion, Expo Center, Grandstands and throughout the MetraPark grounds.

Thanks again to everyone for their hard work, it is deeply appreciated.  We’ll see you at MontanaFair!

Bill Kennedy, Chairman

Yellowstone County Commissioners




Letter to the Editor - Kennedy

Dear Editor,

Christmas time was a lot brighter for children in our community because of the generosity of our citizens.  I would like to thank the many people and organizations that dropped off toys in the Toys for Tots Campaign.  Staff Sgt. Dan Bowler and his fellow Marines and the Eugene Sara Detachment, did an exceptional job this year in leading the charge to provide toys for our children this Christmas.

I would like to thank the many organizations that helped collect toys and work at the toy drop off site at MetraPark for our 24 hour marathon.  Thank you to Mike Mace and the Rocky Mountain College Football and Volleyball players, Billings Senior High Student Council and Drum Corp, Billings West Student Council (it was a great competition between Senior and West), Billings Central Student Council and Jane Ray, school librarian, Skyview HS, Huntley Project HS, Custer HS, Billings Fire Department, City of Laurel and Laurel Middle School, Goldwingers, Ellen Robison and Downtown Rotary members, MetraPark staff, Lonnie Bell, KTVQ-2, KULR 8, Billings Gazette and the many radio stations covering this event.

Also, thank you to the many 4-H clubs for the collection of toys, and the Chase Hawks members for allowing us to collect funds for the Toys for Tots.

It was amazing to me how many families shopped late at night and dropped off toys at MetraPark after midnight so we could meet the goal of over 26,000 toys for different programs in Yellowstone County. Last, but not least, Wal-Mart stores and staff played a large part in helping us meet our needs.

Thank you and God Bless to all of the generous people in this community.  Christmas time is for giving and you all made it happen.

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County Commissioner


Letter to the Editor – Lenington and Reno

The State of Montana vehicle license plate system is broken and needs to be replaced In today’s computer age there is little justification to require our busy citizens to come to the courthouse to buy a license plate You can now get your temporary plates where you buy your car or truck and the same should be true for permanent plates Our citizens should be able to order them at the point of sale. Today the dealer knows the identity of the new owner, serial of the vehicle, has confirmed the owner has liability insurance and a current Driver’s License. This is the same procedure used at local motor vehicle offices. It would be very easy for the dealers to initiate the titling process resulting in new plates arriving at your home in the mail. However this procedure will require legislature approval. We call upon the Montana State Legislature to make this simple change in the law. As we say in Yellowstone County our taxpayers deserve to be online and not inline.



James E. Reno, Commissioner

Max Lenington, Treasurer



Letter to the Editor, Scott Orr

Dear Editor,

Montana Conservative Alliance promotes conservative values and liberty through limited government.  We work with dozens of like-minded organizations throughout the state, actively supporting legislative candidates who, through their voting records and candidate surveys, have proven themselves to be friends of the taxpayer and friends of freedom.

Read more: Letter to the Editor, Scott Orr

Letter to the Editor – Ostlund/Reno

The new regulations proposed by the EPA to limit greenhouse gas emissions will take effect Jan 1, 2011 unless Congress intervenes.  These proposed regulations have the potential to increase costs for many businesses in Montana and millions of businesses nationally.

America is moving toward clean energy and at a responsible pace.  However, the move to clean energy must be well thought out by all Americans and their officials that they have put in office to represent them.  Regulations and laws should be by the people, not dictated by a federal government agency.

Read more: Letter to the Editor – Ostlund/Reno

Letter to the Editor - Woosley

Dear Editor,

Yesterday I read your article (while waiting at the Billings airport) regarding private property rights.  Congratulations!  Loved the reference of “that lone minority of one that the Bill of Rights was most aimed at protecting. When Souter decided that “economic benefit” was justification for condemnation of property rights.  My sons are fighting this in our local community with some commercial property we own.  Keep up the good work.  Why not forward this to the Wall Street Journal...and to Congress! Thanks.

Marian Woosley, Bellevue, WA



Letter to the Editor, Anna Widdicombe

Dear Editor,

Spring 2011 MSTI will begin functioning and Montanans power bills will immediately increase up to 300%.

Montana produces 18,000 kilowatts of energy per hour, which circulates throughout the state on a closed loop system. Energy created here stays here. MSTI is a new power line that will transfer all the energy Montana produces to California.

Californians have banned the development of new energy production facilities and now must ‘shop’ for ‘green’ energy. Montana’s energy is ‘green’ because it’s created using wind and other natural resources.

Read more: Letter to the Editor, Anna Widdicombe

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