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May 4, 2016     Sidney Herald
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I 6A WEDNESDAY, MAY4, 2016 Viewpoints SIDNEY HERALD PUTTING A WOMAN ON TI4E T ENTY Power, politics, and a man to remember BY JIM ELLIOT[ Several years ago, when I was a member of the Montana State Senate, a constituent called me to ask for my help in an issue she was having with a state agency. I don't remem- ber what it was, but it must have been pretty simple because it took only a short phone call to resolve it and I was able to call her back the same day to tell her it had been taken care of and in the way she had hoped for. "I wish I had that kind of power!" was her immediate response, and my knee-jerk response to that was, "You do. I just used it for you." And that is where the power of an elected office comes from, it is the sum of the power of the individuals that the oEme represents. That is sometimes forgotten by those we elect and they come to believe that they are the powerful ones when in fact the power is only loaned to them. That's when you see arrogance, that's when you see misuse of power. Most legislators understand that they have been elected to serve, not to rule, and they are the best of the lot. One in particular, was a man from Harlem, Mont., Francis Bardanouve. Francis was born to a poor ranching family on the Hi-Line, he told me how he covered the holes in the soles of his boots to wall to school. Francis was also born with a cleft pal- ate, and suffered ridicule because of the way he talked. When he went to the caf6, he would point to what he wanted on the menu, so he didn't have to speak. Luckily, Francis had a neighboring family that cared about him and gave him what his parents couldn't. "If it hadn't of been for them, I would have been a hermit," he told me. He was able to go to Seattle to have his cleft palate operated on, and eventually married his speech therapist. In 1958, Francis won a seat in the Montana House of Representatives which he held for 36 years. People told stories of how he would study the state budget at night, sometimes all night, and then would move the papers aside and climb up on the table to sleep. He knew more about Montana fmances than anyone, and chaired the Appropriations Committee was a I just heard the Governor for our great state of Montana say he triedto get an "infra- structure Bill" passed during the last legisla- tive session. He said it was due to "partisan politics" that it didn't happen. I have been trying to get the truth out about this so-called "Infrastructure Bill." This is what I've dis- covered: Senate Bill #416 was introduced by Senator John Brenden from Scobey. When you read SB 416 the first line says "an act providing funding and authoriza- tion for Capital and infrastructure projects statewide." If you ask anyone what SB 416 says, they would tell you it was an infrastructure bill. On the second page of the bill, you will fred grant funding to local gov- Montana Heritage Center -- $25 million ernments for local infra- (authority only) structure projects." Montana University System: However, on page seven, Romey Hall Bozeman -- $18.4 million section 10 (b) the maximum (CPA), $4.6 million (authority only) amount of grant funding Missoula-UM-Renovation Clapp Science that may be received in a Building-- $10 million (CPA) single county, including MSU Billings Library Renovation-- $2.65 grant funding under {this million (CPA) GUt 't act} and any grant fundingMSU Great Falls Learning and Veteran Column Duane Mitchell of Montana. awarded by the 64th legis- Center-- $3 million (CPA) lature, may not exceed $5 MTECH Butte Renovate Engineering million dollars. All ofwhich Facility -- $6 million (CPA) $4 million sounds and looks good for (authority only) the infrastructure projects Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks Lewis and throughout this great state Clark caverns electrical SP upgrades-- $1.75 million (CPA) for many years, the following: "Infrastructure projects' Perhaps because of his disability, he was. means: (a) drinking water systems; (b) waste a champion for the disabled, the disenfran- water treatment; (c) sanitary sewer or storm chised, and the poor. In his first session he sewer systems; (d) solid waste disposal and vigorously opposed a bill that discriminated separation systems, including site acquisi- against Hutterites, and as a result was the tion, preparation and monitoring; (e) local However, what most of those I've spoken with are unaware of is in Section 11, which reads in part: "authorization and appropria- tion for 'Capital Projects' upon passage and approval of the act provides funds for the following projects: You do the math! My question is this: What part of the infra- structure definition do these projects fit in? I would also like to add, there are a couple of candidates running for positions in Hel- ena for the next legislative session, who have object of bitter personal attacks in his second election, which he won, and because he was a man of courage and principle, he never again had serious opposition. There is also the story of his first visit to Boulder State Hospital, which was the home for the developmentally disabled, and how one of the residents took Francis' hand and held it through the entire tour. As long as Francis was a legislator, the state hospitals had a champion. In his long career he made close friends an both sides of the aisle. He had strongly held beliefs and defended them passionately, but always politely. He was often the most pow- erful person in the Legislature, but he drove government surplus pickups and the soles of his boots still had holes in them. He was tight-fisted, compassionate, and humble, and he never, never forgot that he worked for the people of the State of Montana. Jim Elliott served sixteen years in the Mon- tana Legislature as a state representative and state senator. He lives on his ranch in Trout Creek. Knock on just a roads; or (f) bridges. Dept of Public Health and Human servic- givenmethe distinct impressiontheywould Keep in mind that t ras{rucmre.is to es; F St step ' Mental Health-- $7.6 million {? ve passed this tax and spend bill. be paid for on a matching fund grant. : (CPA) ........... lknowRepresentative Scott Staffansondid Section 2 of the bill says, "There is within Note: All funds for the following projects in the right thing when he voted'NO" on SB 416! the state special revenue ftmd provided for the indicated amounts in this section [listed I urge you to readthis bill for yourself. in 17-2-102 an account called the local infra- below] are appropriated to the Department Go to www.leg.mt.gov/bills/2015/billhtml/ structure grant program account to provide of Administration: SB0416.htm. 1S To the editor: This system is obviously not working For years the Montana Legislature has -- especially when we have underfunded been controlled by the GOP, and the Dem- schools, roads in ill repair, and residents ocrats have fought against them. Prior to moving away at an alarming rate. What we this partisan divide both parties worked can do to fLX this is to send an individual to together for the greater good of all Montan- Helena that is willingto work for the people ans. This is no longer the case. Instead of and isn't afraid to tell the party NO. I am both parties working together for the good this individual. ofthepeopletheyhavefocusedprimarilyon Some folks in the community are con- the needs of their respective parties. When cerned with my age. Let me say this. I was you have politicians that are more willing 17when!IjoinedtheMarines--asaveteran to vote to satisfy their party's agenda rather I have proven that I am willing to work for than what is best for the people you HAVE the people. I ownedtwo successfulbusiness A HUGE PROBLEM. before the age of 26 and I am working on a degree from Western Governors University. IfI am elected, I believe we can bring back the spirit of Eastern Montana. Obviously being older and being part of the "Good Old Boy" network is not working for Eastern Montana. It is high time that the good people of Senate District 18 elect someone who will represent THEIR needs in Helena-- and not fall into partisan politics or outside agendas. I am looking forward to being that Repre- sentative for you here in Eastern Montana. -- Casey Brock Glendive State Senate District 18 candidate few more doors BY BOB BROWN Air Ambulance flights add insult to injury The best political advice I ever received was BY JESSE LASLOVlCH Flight Network (which recently acquired from North Dakota. fromthelateUnitedStatesSenatorLeeMetcalf. NW MedStar) patients will receive a bal- Their amendment empowers states to It was during the Vietnam War, and I was in Last September, John Andrews suffered ance bill for their flight, sometimes more rein in these out of control air ambulance Washingtn'D'C'withmyfellwMntanaState a brain aneurysm and was airlifted via than $90,000. Reach Air will work with us bills. Many Montanans are strong advo- University student leaders, Kelly Addy from helicopter by Life Flight Network from in helping you. They recognize that even cates of state's rights, for good reason, but Shelby and Bob Quinn from Big Sandy. Anaconda to Missoula. He was charged though it's not their legal obligation, it is companies like Life Flight Network resist I had just filed for the Montana legislature $34,200, his health insurer paid almost half, their moralobligation. Life Flight Network these efforts, putting Montanans at their along with Dorothy Bradley of Bozeman, and and Life Flight Network billed him the bal- does not. financial mercy. Metcalfhad seen the news reports in the M0n- ance - $18,678. Upon arrival in Missoula, John's story is like every other story we Whether Congress acts or not, our Air tana papers about the young college students, St. Patrick Hospital decided John needed encounter in our office, whether it's the air Ambulance Working Group is working on one a Democrat and the other a Republican, to be airlifted via airplane to Seattle, this transport of a child or adult. Theyhadmedi- solutions with the Legislature, which will running to make change within the system, time by its own affiliate, NW MedStar. He cal emergencies, they have health insur- end the ridiculous notion that whomever A combat veteran of World War H, Metcalf wascharged$57,867,hishealthinsurerpaid ance, noneofthemchosewhoprovidedtheir getscaileddictateswhetheryourfamilywill was becoming increasingly opposed to the aboutone-third, andNWMedStarbilledhim airtransport, andyettheyarebeingpushed be financially stable after an air transport. Vietnam War, but he was also growing resent- the balance- $37,931. to financial ruin. Their medical emergen- We need the help from our hospitals, health ful of the thousands of student protesters who Two flights. Two companies. Two large cies have become financial emergencies, insurers, air ambulance companies, and for many days had crowded the corridors of bills. And one call to action. It's wrong. It's unacceptable. And it must you. the Congressional ofirmes buildings making it JohnandfamilieslikehisacrossMontana be fixed. Call Congressman Zinke and Senator nearly impossible for Congress to function. A are why I am chairing an Air Ambulance Without question, in a rural state like Daines and urge them to support Senator tousled man of burly build with areputation for Working Group to come up with solutions Montana where distances separate us from Tester's bipartisan amendment to give Mon- cantankerousness, Metcalf appeared troubled to protect Montanans from exorbitant air our doctors, we needair ambulancecompa- tana the ability to help ourselves when it and weary. He told me he had read about my ambulance bills. Far too many Montana nies because they save lives. But we don't comes to air ambulance transports. legislative candidacy and invited me to visit families are enduring what John's family need some of their billing practices. Many of us are determined to get some- with him about it. I vividly remember that is enduring and State Auditor Monica Lin- The problem lies in the hands of Con- thing done. The financial futures of families behindhis cluttered deskweretowers of stacked deen's office is working with our hospitals, gress and nothing is easy in Washington, like John's depend on it. newspapers. On top of one of them was a large health insurers, air ambulance companies, D.C., even if the solution is obvious and has sleeping cat. and others to stand up for families like bipartisan support. That's what we have, Jesse Laslovich is Chief Legal Counsel to He told me he had first run for the Montana John's. though, with a common-sense amendment Montana State Auditor Monica J. Lindeen. House of Representatives when he was only Many hospitals don't have their own air sponsored by our own Senator Tester and He is also a candidate for State Auditor, on a little older than me. He said he had done so transportation. If they callReach Air or Life his Republican colleague, Senator Hoeven the Democratic ticket. because he was inspired by the New Deal, and was determined to be a part of implementing in ..... : : ::: : : : our state, what he believed were its critically needed reforms. Becauseoftheextremeimpor- ......... ::::::::: :::: :: : tance of this to him, he campaigned intensively. .......................................... ..... : ........... ..... On the evening before the election he j oined his parents in their Stevensville home for dinner. He said his mother commented to him that he hadn't asked any of the Metcalf neighbors for their votes. They had known him nearly all his life. Did he need to? 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