FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Politicians Should be Doing the Jobs They Have, Not Campaigning for the Jobs They Want

The 2020 elections are almost a year and half away, yet Montana’s politicians elected to statewide positions are now concentrating not on the jobs they were elected and paid well to do, but on campaigning for their next job. Montanans are fully justified in asking why, since they all stressed how much they wanted to do these jobs in “service” to the state, but are basically putting those jobs on hold – or delegating the work – so they can travel around the state and nation trolling for future votes. If they tried to pull this stunt in a normal job, where you’re expected to show up and put in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay, they’d all be fired.

Leading the pack in absentee officeholders is none other than Governor Steve Bullock, who has been distracted by his presidential ambitions well before this year’s legislative session started and continues to think his job is to go to Iowa and New Hampshire to beat his chest about being the only Democratic presidential wannabe who “won a Trump state.”

Why anyone would think a middle of the road coal and fossil fuel advocate is what Democrats need right now to energize voters is a mystery to many — so many that Bullock continues to hang near the bottom of the two dozen Demo presidential hopefuls. That he may well be excluded from the first Demo primary debates because his support is so low elicited a high-pitched whine from his campaign late last week.

The truth, besides his non-existent chance to win the Democratic nomination, is that national Democrats want Bullock to run against Republican Senator Steve Daines where, if Bullock is so confident of his ability to win in a “Trump state,” he is the natural choice to pick up a seat in the narrowly-divided U.S. Senate. But Bullock says he wants to be “in the executive,” not the legislative, and thus he’s now spending his time in states other than the one he was elected to govern.

Bullock is not alone in being mightily distracted by chasing the job he wants instead of the job he has. Montana’s lone congressman, Republican Greg Gianforte, has announced he’s running for governor. So have a pile of other Republicans including Attorney General Tim Fox, Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, and State Auditor Matt Rosendale. While Bullock and Fox are both term limited, none of the other top officeholders are — they just want to follow their political ambitions despite telling Montanans how critical it was that we put them in their current positions.

Abandoning his office to campaign is nothing new for Rosendale, who ran for Senate and lost against Jon Tester last year. As for Stapleton, he angered election officials statewide by falsely accusing them of allowing voter fraud. Then, being so laser-focused on his job, he cost Montana taxpayers $250,000 to reprint voter information pamphlets because he didn’t have time to proofread them. Why we’d want him in the governor’s office to make even more costly blunders is a dang good question.

Political campaigns are grueling affairs. They consume vast amounts of money, time, and physical and mental energy — the same time and energy that should be used to do the jobs these politicians now hold. While there’s no law to prevent officeholders from being distracted by campaigning for higher office, voters should weigh their promises to do their jobs in the future against their willingness to do the jobs they’re already paid to do.

More articles by:

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 19, 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Requiem for a Lightweight: the Mayor Pete Factor
Kenneth Surin
In China Again
Stephen Cooper
Abolishing the Death Penalty Requires Morality
George Ochenski
The DNC Can’t Be Allowed to Ignore the Climate Crisis
John W. Whitehead
The Omnipresent Surveillance State
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
Guaidó’s Star Fades as His Envoys to Colombia Allegedly Commit Fraud With Humanitarian Funds for Venezuela
Dave Lindorff
What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?
Howard Lisnoff
Try Not to Look Away
Binoy Kampmark
Matters of Water: Dubious Approvals and the Adani Carmichael Mine
Karl Grossman
The Battle to Stop the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, Revisited
Kani Xulam
Farting in a Turkish Mosque
Dean Baker
New Manufacturing Jobs are Not Union Jobs
Elizabeth Keyes
“I Can’t Believe Alcohol Is Stronger Than Love”
June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail