Needs work.  Brent Mead of the Montana Policy Institute says Sen. Webb will be too busy on other issues to be our sponsor, and we don’t have anyone else nailed down.  Plus, there’s apparently some confusion between our bill and the CoS bill.  I’ll have a long talk with Brent on Thursday and get all this straightened out.  He seems to think there’s no problem.  Until we have a bill and a sponsor, there’s a problem.

Brent did connect me with the exec.dir. of the Montana Republican Party, Chris Shipp.  I’ll use Chris to get to Speaker Knudsen and the Senate President to make them aware of Kasich’s planned visit.  A lot of the media think of Kasich as a second tier candidate, but people with political smarts know better.  Word of his visit will be big news in Helena, Montana.

Brent’s former roommate is Sen.-elect Daines’ chief of staff, so we’re hoping for support there.  He thinks Daines may be addressing the MT legislature the same week Kasich’s set to be in Helena.  With no R governor, Daines is the leader of the Republican Party in Montana.  Having him at the presser, endorsing Kasich’s initiative, would be a nice touch.

Jeb Bush is forming an exploratory committee, which means he’s the first to informally declare.  In Phoenix Kasich said something very interesting.  When he left Congress, and the Budget Committee, in 2000 he says there trillions of dollars the federal government had in reserves (I assume he means all the money that was in the Social Security Trust Fund, and other such trusts).  He expressed amazement, exasperation, that it’s all gone.  What’s interesting, of course, is that this didn’t all happen under Obama.  A president named Bush, Jeb’s brother, as a matter of fact, got the ball rolling.  If Kasich runs, I bet he goes after the spending practices in D.C. for the last 15 years.  He’ll criticize Bush for his spending, as well as Obama.  Does Jeb throw his brother under the bus?  He may have to.  And what about the moronic nation building in Iraq that cost us so many lives, and so much treasure?  Does Jeb throw W under the bus for that, too?

The tide is at ebb, the flood has not begun.  But there are signs.  Uber is mobilizing its loyal customer base to fight off the regulators.  These are millennials, mainly.  And Uber’s winning.  These kids are learning that the state is not their friend.  It’s so twentieth century.  There’s a libertarian impulse in these kids.  Rand Paul hits a nerve when he says nobody has a right to get into my cellphone  –the whole NSA thing.

They went for Obama because it was the cool thing to do.  Biracial, cool dude, fresh face.  It was all bullshit, and they’re starting to figure it out.  We can get these kids.   Kasich could get them, so could Paul.  Maybe a couple others.  But Bush?



Because of NFIB’s Suzie Budge, we’ve got a shot at Idaho this year.  We cc’d this morning, and she agreed to figure out who we want as a sponsor in the House.  We’ll start there. She says it’s more fertile ground than the Senate.  Senator Hagedorn will concentrate on his work with the Mt. Vernon Project, setting the table for the Amendment Convention’s procedures.  She’ll use Hagedorn’s office to get a new, updated version of our bill drafted.  She’ll also see if she can find any potential Birch/Eagle opposition in the legislature.  They haven’t been a force to be reckoned with in Idaho, which is welcome news, and contrary to my expectations.

The main reason for optimism in Idaho is the nature of our opposition.  It’s not the rabid right, it’s the more moderate, establishment types.  Speaker Bedke, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, and Gov.Butch Otter all fall in this category.  These are not RINO’s, by any stretch.  They’re conservative Republicans who think the new wave Tea Party types are wild eyed ideologues.  We should be able to get these guys.  Kasich is the perfect guy to make the pitch.  Absolutely perfect.  Following him up will be Natelson  — the mild mannered, perfectly reasonable Professor who knows more about Article V than anybody.

Suzie was a little skeptical about bringing Palin in, afraid she’d run off the moderates.  I think she’s open to it, though.  It will be Kasich’s call, anyway.

We’re all tickled pink to have Kasich in on this.  If we don’t get 34 in ’15, which you’d have to bet on, we should get pretty close.  I’m counting on MT, WY, UT, SD, ND, WI, SC and WV.  That’s 32, and we’ll get there by late spring.  Quite a feather in a potential Presidential candidate’s hat.  Big mo going into 2016.  Meanwhile what will Christie or Bush have accomplished?  For the country, not for themselves.

I don’t take Christie seriously.  Bush will be Kasich’s competitor for the “moderate” alternative.  Signs point to a Bush run.  He’s got a lot going for him.  He’s a lot smarter than his brother, but that’s not saying much.  I’ve been wrong plenty of times, but I can’t see this country going for a third Bush.  Especially when there is a perfectly acceptable alternative in Kasich.  Bush won’t be able to buy it.  He’ll probably have the most money, but plenty of others will be able to compete.

Being smart, like Kasich, is always an advantage.  I think it’s even more important in a crowded field.  You gotta be nimble, you gotta be quick.  I’ve been into Presidential politics since 1964.  50 years.  Reagan, in ’80, was of course the best.  This will be a wild one.  The odds on Kasich are 40-1.

Want to make a bet?

Our man in Wyoming

Tyler Lindholm is a youthful freshman in the Wyoming House, and he just made me feel a lot better.  Sen. Jeff Wasserburger told me yesterday that there was a big problem in legislative drafting, and we might have trouble getting our bill written in official form.  And he says he’s so busy with his work on Appropriations that he can’t worry about it.

So I’m thinking, Great, we get Kasich to Cheyenne and we’ve got no bill for him to support.  I emailed Tyler, he called, and it turns out we shouldn’t have any problem at all.  What a relief.

In every state you’ve got to have one person you can count on, someone who will keep you advised of the situation on the ground.  I’ll be counting on Tyler in Wyoming.

I emailed Madrid and Lynch in Kasich’s office and made a couple suggestions.  Like have the Gov. write an op-ed for the WSJ, extolling the BBA and explaining his campaign on its behalf.  And giving a speech to the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce when he’s there in January.  These are pretty basic, fundamental things, which probably would have occurred to them anyway.  I hope they don’t resent my making suggestions.  I’d like to work closely with these guys.  The Task Force and Kasich’s staff have a lot to offer each other.

It’s like they’re the Prussians at Waterloo.  Just in time.

The Law of Threes

We’ve got Kasich, and I’m betting he brings Coburn aboard.  My son Darren tells me there’s a Law of Threes.  You want three.  Not two.  Not four.  Three.

I think we can get Sarah Palin as our third big hitter.  She may not be much of a factor nationally anymore, but in parts of the country, like, say, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Utah  — you get the picture  — she’s still very popular.  And she’s popular with the sort of people we need to bring around  — Eagle Forum types.

I’ve never met her, talked to her, or seen her in person.  But when she was starting out in Wasilla politics, she had a mentor of sorts in State Senator Rick Halford, my closest ally in the legislature.  Rick and I were pretty tight.  He wanted to be Governor, which I wasn’t interested in.  I wanted to be a United States Senator, which he wasn’t interested in.  Neither of us had any money, and weren’t going to be able to raise much, either.  The oil companies wouldn’t do anything for either one of us in a Republican primary.  To get the oil boys behind you, you had to give them everything they wanted.  90% wasn’t good enough.  My strategy was to be the most conservative Republican in the field.  Nobody would get to the right of me, unless they were crazy.  Rick had a similar strategy.

Palin was in his district, and he kind of took her under his wing.  I remember him telling me I should keep an eye on her  — she was one to watch.  I left Alaska in 2001, before she made her splash.  I’m sure Rick gave her a lot of good advice when she decided to take on incumbent Republican Frank Murkowski in the 2006 gubernatorial primary.

I’d like to get Palin to Boise on Jan. 23 for a rally with Kasich and Gov. Butch Otter.  She’s a native Idahoan, and went to college there.  If she’s got juice anywhere, it’s Idaho.

She was pretty active in the last election.  She had an impact in some races.  If she wants to do something politically in 2015, we’re a perfect fit.  We know she’s with us.  When Andy Biggs killed our bill in Arizona she got on Facebook and tore him a new one.

I’ll get ahold of Rick and ask him to get me in touch with her.  When she was starting out I was still a player in Alaska politics.  Wasilla is 30 miles from Anchorage as the crow flies, and there’s no doubt she read my columns and listened to me on the radio.  She’ll give me a listen.

When Rick made his run for Governor in ’98 he asked me to run his campaign.  I might have been able to get him elected.  I was pretty good.  But I turned him down, and he lost.  I thought of myself as a candidate type, not somebody else’s campaign guy.  And, to be blunt, Rick wasn’t much into gratitude.  I should have done it, anyway.

He would have been a hell of a Governor.

The Grand Tour of the Mountain West

Merle Madrid and Jim Lynch of Kasich’s office have us penciled in for 1-21 through 1-23.  Kasich’s apparently tight with Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, and wants the junket to wind up there on Friday.  Ideally we’d have Kasich start off in Pierre on Wednesday the 21st, then go to Cheyenne for the evening.  On Thursday he’d do Salt Lake, then to Helena for the evening, followed by Boise on Friday.  Who knows what the final itinerary will be, but if we can get him in these five states it would be awesome.  It sure seems like he’s raring to go.

Fruth brought up Oklahoma, where Birchers are born, as a state to concentrate on.  This allowed us to seg into Sen. Coburn, and what he could do for the cause.  We asked them to see if the Gov would call Coburn, so that they can coordinate with one another.  I’ll bet a dollar to a doughnut that they were tight back in the 90’s, when Kasich was Budget Chair.  Coburn was in the House from ’94 to 2000, I believe.  He’d promised to serve only three terms, and, unlike most who make such a pledge, kept his word.  Unless there’s some personality problem between them (Coburn’s a little prickly) it makes sense that they were allies in the war against the deficit.

I’m betting Kasich brings Coburn aboard with the Task Force, something we’ve wanted for months.  Watching Kasich in Phoenix showed me he’s one hell of an effective advocate.  I don’t know about Coburn, but the man has a presence, and stature.  He’s retired as of Jan. 3, so as long as his health holds up he should be able to hit all our targets.  Like Kasich, he’s a golf nut, so getting him to Arizona and South Carolina should be no problem.

it’s been a good week.  The wind blows stronger.

There are waves, and winds, and tides.  Waves are a one off.  But a strong and steady wind can drive a ship a thousand miles.

A tide, now, is a different thing.  It carries all before it.  It changes landscapes.  The tide has ebbed against freedom in this country for a hundred years.  The law of tides says the flood is as strong as the ebb.

Can the tide have turned?