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April 30, 2005

Comments

Rocky Smith

No doubt, Mr Vincent is clean as wind driven snow.

Wulfgar

Rocky, I was just gonna give that comment a pass, but I gotta know: What point are you trying to make, here?
'You got something to say? Please say it.

Rocky Smith

Other than that he has been getting paid by public tax dollars for most of his life, I have no dirt on him. Other than that he is a liberal that is very skilled at spending tax money, I'm sure he's a saint. I do have a problem with former legislators lobbying the State legislature, but he's hardly the only one to have done that.

Wulfgar
Other than that he has been getting paid by public tax dollars for most of his life, I have no dirt on him.

Like most educators do. I'm not seeing an issue here, unless you believe that public school teachers shouldn't be paid by public funds. And if that is your contention, I would hope that you'd have a better suggestion?

Other than that he is a liberal that is very skilled at spending tax money, I'm sure he's a saint.

Prove what you know. You call him a "liberal", as if that's a bad thing, and then accuse him of being skilled at spending tax money. Uhmm, Rocky, in America any elected representative who is fiscally responsible is "skilled at spending money". You want to allude to something else, I'm sure. So state your case and back it up. Then we have an honest discussion, and not one moment before. And unfounded snark about sainthood isn't making your case, but it is building your obvious (oblivious) strawman. No one here or elsewhere contended that John Vincent was a saint. But we do contend that he is a good person, well qualified, a proven civil servant and far preferable to Roger Koopman. You're welcome to join the rest us in that discussion, or create your own discussion of a person who doesn't exist except in your head ... your choice, of course.

I do have a problem with former legislators lobbying the State legislature, but he's hardly the only one to have done that.

Now you've written something of substance, and I am intrigued. What problem do you have with those who know the legislature attempting to accomplish an agenda? What has he been lobbying for? The betterment of Montana's people, in his work for the HRDC? The improvement of Gallatin county, growing well beyond the state's ability to provide public service (state roads {highway 191/JackRabbit lane} that are safe, business access and the like)? Perhaps you're upset that he's lobbied for another judge in a county that desperately needed one? Come on, Rocky, it's a simple question: What has John Vincent done to you that would deserve such distrust?

Or is the point that it doesn't matter? The point being that all lobbyists are bad and the fact that many ex-legislators do this is proof of a corruption in the system? Simply put, Rocky, extremism is making absolutes out of instances. You appear to be becoming more of an extremist as Montana moves more to the rational. You hold JV's lobbying against him, when in fact he's running a campaign to serve the public in the legislature, elected by vote and supported by the public. Who would you rather see? Really? Some idiologically driven novice like Sinrud, or someone who has devoted their time and effort to improving conditions for the Montanans that he serves? A lobbying effort on behalf of PP&L (from the Governor {former, being Racicot} no less), or someone who recognized that energy deregulation would hurt Montana interests? I'm seriously asking; how extreme are you at this point?

Rocky Smith

Boy do you go past the point Wulfgar. The fact that Mr. Vincent has always made his living from the public trough makes him inexperienced in the private sector world that most of the rest of us live in every day. It makes him more supportive of big government programs and less likely to seek out efficiency and common sense in how these programs are run. All his buddies get their programs, their pay and their very jobs supported by a guy who sees things from the insider point of view. Mr. Vincent, like you, is a liberal that believes government programs are the be all and end all of every societal problem. This is why he doesn't earn my support. Not because I think he is a crook or a communist, but because he doesn't support my point of view. Last I checked, I am allowed to be against someone based purely on political points. I don't doubt that he is a nice guy. He simply does not support my point of view. I want a guy who is frugal with my tax money, not skilled at spending it and getting more programs started. Has he done some good things? No doubt. Mr.Koopman and Mr. Sinrud have probably done some good things too. Do you have the honesty to admit that? The only difference is point of view. I'm not a voter in this district, so I won't be voting for either guy. You are free to vote for and campaign for Mr. Vincent all you like. Maybe you don't think he's a saint, but you sure seem to get quite ticked off by any criticism of the man. Is he your brother or something? I can find some fault with lots of people. My own Republican Legislator and State Senator don't always do what I want. They are generally good people, but I'm not going to go ballistic if you post a criticism of them. Both of mine have worked in the public sector. They've met payrolls and know some of the problems of private business first hand. Are they perfect? No, just better equipped to know the real business world.

As for former legislators (or Governors) lobbying the legislature, I stand on my position that it should be curtailed. I don't care if it is a Democrat, a Republican or a Zulu tribesman. This practice leaves open too much room for the "good ole boy network" to do improper things and allows for improper influence peddling. I AM NOT SAYING VINCENT DID ANYTHING WRONG ON THIS. Did you get that? I would say they should be barred from lobbying for 5 or 6 years. After that, let er rip. There are plenty of competent people to do lobbying efforts without using these former lawmakers. I'm hardly alone in this point of view. I have some liberal friends who wholely agree with me on this point, so it's not an extremist view.

By the way- I couldn't care less if you call me an extremist. I'm as entitled to my opinions as you are yours. I don't like our "SuperGovernor" much either. Gee- I really am extreme, aren't I. I must be the only guy in the State who doesn't care for these two guys, right?

Wulfgar
The fact that Mr. Vincent has always made his living from the public trough makes him inexperienced in the private sector world that most of the rest of us live in every day. It makes him more supportive of big government programs and less likely to seek out efficiency and common sense in how these programs are run.

Your conclusion does not follow from your premiss. You assert that anyone who works in the public sector is ignorant (excuse me, "inexperienced") with how the private sector works. Disregarding how foolish that assumption is, you leap directly from that assumption to the conclusion that that inexperience predisposes him to a set of behaviors ... with absolutely no support or proof of your claim. Rocky, that's a complete line of bull.

And kindly drop the "trough" crap. That's insulting to the people who hire, pay and elect these *pigs* who snort at a trough. If you don't want to pay for public employees then say so. But you insult them and us when you allude to animal feeding habits. And by the way, might I point out that Craig and David, whom I'm sure we both respect, also feed at that public ... "trough"?

Mr. Vincent, like you, is a liberal that believes government programs are the be all and end all of every societal problem.

There you go with the strawman falacy again. Define "liberal", with proof. Otherwise, you're just making stuff up based on your fears that others might have designs on *your* money. I asked you to show what you know. All you've done is make stuff up out of whole cloth. You don't know what I believe in anymore than you know John Vincent. I'm asking you again: prove what you can.

Not because I think he is a crook or a communist, but because he doesn't support my point of view.

Other than wild accusations of false sainthood and some vague references to "liberal" being bad, you haven't defined your point of view. Do you think all governemnt spending is bad? How so? You've already assumed what I think. I don't consider it at all impolite to request that you pony up with your ideas of what's bad. And in the context of this discussion, it would immensely helpful (actually kind of required) if you would actually show some evidence tying either myself or John Vincent to what you think is bad.

I want a guy who is frugal with my tax money, not skilled at spending it and getting more programs started.

Government programs are necessary. That's a simple fact, unless you would prefer to build your own roads, dams, and schools, not to mention spend your time helping the mentally incompetant/unbalanced. A person who is skilled at spending my money will get the most bang for the buck. The person who is foolish with my money will let the society that supports the needs I have go straight to hell. So, since you've spent a great many words *not* clarifying your position regarding John Vincent, perhaps you'd like to explain what government spending is good and what is bad? Because, if we follow what you have presented, then all government spending is bad, and you appear to be an anarchist. I know that's not the case, so please do tell what spending you object to, and what you don't.

Mr.Koopman and Mr. Sinrud have probably done some good things too. Do you have the honesty to admit that? The only difference is point of view.

That is grossly incorrect. I have the required honesty (getting a little testy, are we?) to admit that Koopman and Sinrud have done some good things. I also don't give a flying frip. What they've done in the legislature, which I do care about, has been bad ... nutcase insane type bad, and ineffectual to boot. That's not a point of view ... that's a point of fact.

Maybe you don't think he's a saint, but you sure seem to get quite ticked off by any criticism of the man.

I'll accept all criticisms of John Vincent, except specious ones. I've called on you to present any, and you've got nothing except snark about liberals and assumptions. As I've said, show what you know.

And you've been around this website long enough to know when I'm ticked off. This ain't it. I'm just convinced (and appear to be arguing very well) that you're just wrong.

Both of mine have worked in the public sector. They've met payrolls and know some of the problems of private business first hand. Are they perfect? No, just better equipped to know the real business world.

The public private sector argument has no credibility with me, whatsoever. I've worked in the private sector most of my life, and the vast majority of Montana businessmen I've met would sell their mother's kidneys for a contact, endorsement or contract for services. In an argument such as this, an appeal to the idea of private sector wisdom needs to be proven, not just stated as if it will be accepted as rote.

Your lobbying argument I actually like, and somewhat agree with you. I would point out, however, that there is a huge difference between a public administrator (John Vincent as Gallatin County Commissioner) and a private shill doing lobbying. I actually expect my public servants to harangue the legislature for my interests. Perhaps you disagree, but I'd like to hear your argument with full acknowledgement that there is a difference between private and public lobbying. You seem to find a difference elsewhere, perhaps you could address this significant point.

By the way- I couldn't care less if you call me an extremist. I'm as entitled to my opinions as you are yours.

Heh, heh. Okay ... and yes, seriously, yes you are, just as much as I am entitled to tell you that you're wrong. You've indicated that you have nothing against John Vincent save that he appears to stand against your ,as yet undefined, ideology. I pretty much consider that an extreme stance. I defined extremism as making absolutes out of instances. You have yet to show how your generalizations are anything but that.

I don't defend John Vincent because he is a relation. I defend John Vincent because I'm very tired of crap arguments. I repeat myself here, 'You got somethin' to say, say it. If you think John Vincent will be bad for Montana, then back it up. And it's really kind of silly to expect that I won't respond to generalizations, assumptions and snarky callouts about "wind driven snow".

Rocky Smith

I'm a busy man, Wulfgar, but here goes-

First, there is definitely a difference between public and private sector lobbying. I won't argue that point. I still don't want ex legislators doing it- even for their home county.

Secondly, you wanted some things on the concrete that I disagree with Mr. Vincent on which might show him to lean liberal:

1. Mr. Vincent is pro abotion. I am not.
2. Mr Vincent wants to increase the business equipment tax. I am against that. It would harm my employer and many others.
3. Mr. Vincent is for a special tax on all the big box stores. While I am no fan of Walmart, I don't see how you could call such a tax fair and equal.
4. While I agree that deregulation of energy companies has been a bust, I cannot support Mr. Vincent's idea to purchase Northwestern Energy's transmission lines. I'm not for state ownership of utilities. (socialism?)
5. Mr. Vincent is always for increasing school funding. I'm not stupid. I am well aware that there are some things we must be taxed for and government must do. I am not against our schools getting what they need. I simply don't think Mr. Vincent sees very clearly where his teaching buddies are concerned. I have a son in sixth grade here in Billings. While they whine that they don't have enough money for new textbooks, they apparently do have the time and money to show DVD movies in his classroom. Yes, no money for textbooks, but enough to buy TVs and DVD players (not to mention the existence of non-educational Hollywood movies in class). They showed a non educational movie in class ( a gross waste of precious instruction time) and then took everyone in his class to Dairy Queen for the afternoon! This waste is what makes people like me see red and decide that the school doesn't deserve more money since they will waste it. You don't buy DVD players when you don't have new textbooks! Tell me why this incident shouldn't make my blood boil.
6. Mr. Vincent does not have much experience in private sector work. He has never had to make a payroll and hasn't experienced the pressures of private business. This dosn't make him a bad guy, just lacking in knowledge of how things work in the real world. He has little empathy for a private businessman whom has several employees dependent on him for a living. His lack of experience in this area (having spent much of his career in government and teaching) simply makes him unaware of these day to day pressures the rest of us work under. He will be more likely to bend to the wants of those running government programs than those of us evil bastards who profit in the private sector. Your disagreement with this point will show that you too are liberal, even though you won't likely admit it. That's fine.

Government programs ARE a necessity. I'm suprised that you think I'm stupid enough to believe otherwise. People like myself aren't against them. We simply want the most bang for our tax dollar. Politicians such as Mr. Vincent are quick to spend on things like education since that is his background. I can understand that. As I stated before, I'm not against schools getting what they need. I have little confidence in one of their own holding them accountable on their spending though.


I'm no expert on your friend, Mr. Vincent. I know even less about Mr. Koopman. In the end, it is up to you people who live in his district whether he goes back to Helena or not. He might be a great guy, but he wouldn't likely get my vote.

Rocky Smith

By the way-

I heard that Mr. Vincent's wife has MS (I think) and is not well. I sympathize with Mr. Vincent on this and wish he and his spouse better fortune on this in the future. That's got to be rough. My prayers will be with him on this.

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