Breaking: Brian Schweitzer to headline Kulongoski event

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Kulongoski_and_schweitzerGovernor Brian Schweitzer -- the guy who led the "Montana Miracle" in the 2004 election cycle -- will be traveling to Oregon to support Governor Ted Kulongoski's re-election.

Since '04, Governor Schweitzer has rocketed to stardom in Democratic Party circles. After all -- despite a 60-39% Montana loss by John Kerry at the top of the ticket -- Schweitzer handily won the governor's race 50-46%, won four of five statewides, flipped the State Senate, and came within one seat of flipping the House.

And it's not just about winning elections - though that's pretty cool - Schweitzer has been pushing a strong progressive agenda through the Montana legislature. As David Sirota wrote:

What's going on in Montana is truly amazing. The state has its first populist governor in a long time - and the agenda moving through the legislature is setting a standard for other populist reformers throughout the country.

He's even been mentioned as a 2008 presidential contender, so much so that he recently called the Draft Schweitzer folks "a bunch of kooky pinecone smokers."

Anyhow, the details aren't fully fleshed out (it's breaking news after all), but hold this date: August 22. I've been told that it'll be a grassroots-friendly low-dollar BBQ event.

(Full disclosure - I built, but I don't speak for the governor or his campaign. I've met Brian Schweitzer and think he's great, but I'm not doing any work for him.)

  • Dan (unverified)

    You forgot to mention one of the coolest things about Schweitzer -- and one of the reasons he's gotten so much press the last year -- is his energy proposal for using coal to reduce our need on foreign oil. An interesting solution to a very timely problem.

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    Thanks, Dan. I agree, but I'd rather not see this post descend into the madness of the coal wars. We had plenty of that here at BlueOregon when previously I covered it - here and here.

    Lately, I've been much more interested in his health care programs for small businesses, lobbyist reform, and wind energy programs.

  • Clinton (unverified)

    Reason #33 to like Brian Schweitzer: He uses the phrase, "a bunch of kooky pinecone smokers."

    Kari, any reason for the matching Gov. + Dog pictures? I've never seen a dog look as bored as Schweitzer's is.

    Lastly, what's the word on how the Montana House is looking this year? Any chance of it swinging Democrat as well? Perhaps I'll have to go on Aug. 22nd to find out?

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    Kari, any reason for the matching Gov. + Dog pictures?

    Nah, just the magic of Google. Found 'em, used 'em. It's my understanding that in Montana, the governor doesn't go anywhere without Jax.

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    Lately, I've been much more interested in his health care programs for small businesses, lobbyist reform, and wind energy programs.

    Color me jealous of Montana. Must be nice to have a governor with some ideas. God, I hope some of this rubs off on Ted.

  • JB Eads (unverified)

    Nate, the Governor has been promoting a renewable energy portfolio that will put Oregon in a league of its own in the race to energy security. The Governor has articulated a goal of achieving 25% of our state's energy needs by 2025 -- a goal more ambitious than what our more progressive neighbor to the north has to go to the ballot to achieve.

    Most of the criticism has been that it's too ambitious, not that it's not a big idea.

    I work for the Governor -- so I'm happy to wear my bias on my sleave -- but I believe when we fully implement our energy agenda, our efforts will take their place among the Oregon beach and bottle bills as some of the best ideas our state's ever had.

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    This is from the Oregon AFL-CIO's Weekly Update:

    The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is hosting a fundraiser for Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Tuesday, August 22, at 5:30 pm. All are welcome, and Gov. Kulongoski, along with Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, will be in attendance. A $25 contribution includes live music and barbecue, and big spenders are invited for a private reception. The ILWU Hall is at 2435 NW Front Ave. in Portland. Contact Jeff Smith at ILWU, 503-709-8805 for tickets or more information.

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    JB Nate, the Governor has been promoting a renewable energy portfolio that will put Oregon in a league of its own in the race to energy security.

    Sweet! I guess I hadn't heard about that. How'd it do last legislative session? Will I be able to vote on it this November?

    Oh, you mean it's one of those ideas. It's great to "articulate goals," whatever the hell that means besides the obvious press release. That energy plan and $3 should just about get me a gallon of gas.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great plan and I hope Ted gets re-elected and implements it sometime in the next four years. And that he comes up with a stable and sustainable revenue plan for the state. And a plan to fund education. And affordable health care for all (hell, I'll take most) Oregonians. However, given his record over the last four, let's just say I'm not holding my breath.

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    The Longshore Workers just told me that Stewart Acuff, AFL-CIO Organizing Director, will be there as well. Stewart is one of the best labor speakers in the country.

    Tuesday, August 22, at 5:30 pm $25 contribution for music and BBQ ILWU Hall, 2435 NW Front Ave. Contact 503-709-8805

  • JB Eads (unverified)

    One of the first things the Ted did when taking office was to create a position of Sustainability Advisor charged with creating sustainability plans for the 20 largest state agencies. This isn't just rhetoric and press release stuff here; already -- for example -- we have the largest percentage of alternative fuel vehicles (30%) in the country.

    We've saved a quarter of a million bucks in gas money as a result. And our tailpipe emission restrictions to reduce global warming causing gases has been upheld in the courts.

    With 116K uninsured kids, we've got a lot more work to do on health care, no doubt about it. But we did add coverage to 30,000 children by expanding CHIP (Childrens Health Insurance Program), took on PHARMA to pass Oregon's bulk purchasing program and signed SB 1, the mental health parity bill that took years to pass.

    The Governor's first term focused on creating jobs and reducing hunger, and given that oregon had the largest hole in its budget since the great depression, those were the right priorities for our state. There's still a lot of work to be done, but I think (and again, I work for the guy) we've got a strong record of accomplishment from the past three and half years.

  • Jeremiah Baumann (unverified)

    I'm a native Montanan, and I've been a huge fan of Schweitzer ever since in his US Senate race he put Montana seniors on buses to Canada to get Rx drugs.

    But this energy stuff is a good example of where we have to look at the details. Our Governor K's 25% renewable by 2025 is not simply a goal (one of "those goals"). It's a very specific policy -- a renewable energy standard -- that has been proven to work incredibly well for giving renewable energy a significant boost in the arm. One way you can tell it's a real policy that'll make a difference: various industry lobbyists are already scurrying around the state trying to put the brakes on it. (And full disclosure -- I work for OSPIRG and it's one of our top priorities both for dealing with global warming and for addressing America's energy problems.)

    <h2>As someone else pointed out, Governor K aimed high. 25% is more than reasonable but it's also bolder than a lot of states have been willing to do. For all Schweitzer's good talk about wind energy, he let Montana's version of the same policy get watered down by utility lobbyists to the point most energy wonks don't think it'll have much of any effect; Governor K has already resisted efforts to water this policy down.</h2>

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