Accountability Year

If you want accountability from Congress, better turn out the vote for Jon Tester

By Mike Jopek

It’s a New Year. I hope it’s not like last year that proved unpredictable, unstable, and politically unenjoyable. Sure fringe politics enjoy the disruption that chaos delivers. But relentless outbursts take their toll on society.

We managed to tear the scab off governing and allowed the beasts of Congress to pull at the threads that hold together society.

This year will be one of accountability. The yearlong party that political newcomers enjoyed is over. No more jet setting, no more minting commemorative coins on the public dime, and no more lying about governing.

Lying is the worst of politics. Shame on these politicians who won’t listen to more Montanans. It smells like many politicians are looking out for themselves and their ever-precious donor base.

While the boys of Congress were busy dithering away 2017, the rest of us were busy working to make row and grow food, shoveling snow and skiing the hill, framing houses and hanging drywall, or fighting the summer’s forest fires.

Last year was a busy one for teachers, nurses, realtors, trail builders, firefighters and the guys that pick up the leaf bags and plow our public roadways.

Montana stayed busy building and fixing stuff, teaching our kids, and enjoying the great outdoors while volunteering to make our community better.

For Congress, 2018 means getting its act together. Montana deserves more. We warrant respect from of our government, and we’re willing to vote our conscience to get it.

In the past many of us voted for the candidate, be they Republican or Democrat, who was trustworthy to do right by us. This year, add accountability.

We deserve some basic checks and balances to our unbridled government. Society at large, not just the politically well-connected, must advance.

It’s been a decade since the 2008 financial meltdown scorched our economy and forced thousands of retirement-thinking Montanans back to work. Those were gloomy days.

Today it feels like they’re stealing us blind, again. Many politicians seem out only for themselves. They seem to have it in for the average Montanan.

The most nonpartisan things that happened last year in Congress were oppositions to repealing Medicaid and debt-exploding tax cuts. Soon, we choose the next U.S. senator, congressperson, and determine the makeup of the state Legislature.

If you are not voting this fall to re-elect Sen. Jon Tester then you must be tired of moderation, accountability, and sick of working together.

Tester is nationally ranked as one of the most productive members of Congress, having passed more bills into law than he has fingers on his hands.

I hardly agreed with Tester’s voting 100 percent of the time. Hitting 80 percent seems doable; it’s a big diverse state.

Tester routinely stands up for veterans, advocates for public lands, and works to help our teachers, students, and nurses. He’s generally there for working people and small businesses.

Tester is a proven defender of Social Security and Medicare. He consistently works to make veteran services better. He stands up for children’s health services and is solid on the stuff that matters most to regular voters.

Tester has always been a regular working guy. On the farm he ran the meat grinders, tilled the fields, planted the seeds, harvested the crops, and taught music to school kids.

Tester is from the land and for the land. He does work that matters, is politically and personally compassionate.

Count on dark political forces to smear Tester. They’ll anonymously paint him up and down while pouring millions into Montana to make up stuff and taint the voting lens heading into fall elections.

Tester is hardly perfect — what would you expect from a farmer. Yet Tester remains ever strong when Montana needs him the most. If you want accountability from Congress, better turn out the vote for Tester.

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