MT GOP: Don’t Create Another Bubble in Helena
Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't mind living in Helena at all. I love hiking Mount Helena. I love the folks at Fort Harrison. And I love the fact that you've got lakes and mountains right in your backyard. There's a lot to love about Helena.
But when Ron in Bigfork encouraged me not to go anywhere, I said, "I'm not going anywhere. I've got the best statewide office in Montana" with our statewide radio talk show broadcasting LIVE from the top floor of the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Billings.
It was a fun conversation with Ron, and I should say first and foremost, thanks to Ron and the others for all of your kind words about how much you enjoy the radio show.
But it did also get me thinking. There probably are a few folks out there who are considering working in state government, especially now with the opportunity facing the state following the GOP sweep of all statewide offices in the 2020 elections.
Kyle Sammin has an interesting piece on The Federalist website. If Joe Biden becomes president, he says, Democrats will blow a Biden presidency "big time." Why? Because "Democrats live in their Washington bubble, and they don't know how to get out."
Montana Democrats also got trapped in their Helena bubble, refusing to get out and spend much time talking with everyday Montanans, or even come on local radio shows to take phone calls from across Montana. There was a time when Democrats controlled most all of the statewide offices in Montana. Then they got trapped in the Helena bubble, and now their bubble burst.
This is also a good, cautionary tale for Montana Republicans. Don't get caught up in the Helena bubble. In fact, let's take it a step further. One of the best things President Trump did in his first term was push more of the federal government jobs out West. The new state leaders in Helena can do the same. Not every single one of these jobs needs to be in Helena. Why not Lewistown, Billings, Libby, or Glendive?
Fortunately, Governor-elect Greg Gianforte (R-MT) is already starting out on the right foot. On a near-daily basis, he has been announcing advisory teams with a cross-section of Montanans and Montana interests to guide decision making in a number of state agencies.
As much as we hate to burst the bubbles of the lobbyists and the community organizers, it is what the lawmakers hear back home in their districts that should matter more than who can pack more people into a hearing room in Helena.