Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stories from the Campaign Trail

I've been knocking on doors, talking to voters and constituents, for months. In the past few weeks, as more people focus on the upcoming election, the conversations and enthusiasm have increased. Here are some of the funnier stories from the campaign trail lately!

There was the dog bite that tore my jeans but didn’t draw blood. Here's how that went: I was walking in the neighborhoods in the southern part of my district, where there are larger homes on larger lots, and there must also be a rule that everyone own a dog, because there are a lot of dogs. I like dogs, and I understand that some of them perceive an unknown person walking up to their house a threat, so if there's growling, or posturing, or barking, I back off. No need to traumatize the protective family pooch! But in this case, I was walking from the street up the driveway, and a little black and white terrier-type dog greeted me. No barking, no growling; instead, tail-wagging and walking alongside me! I greeted him but didn't reach out to pet him, and he continued walking with me, but hung back a couple steps. Then I felt a tug and heard my jeans ripping (just below my behind!) and that little dog was trying to take a bite out of the candidate! I couldn't believe it! No indication that he wanted to taste-test the visitor! I drew my hands up and turned on my heel and walked back down the driveway, so surprised! His owner came to the door of her house and said, "Oh, he's friendly." Huh. Maybe so, but he's also apparently hungry! Ask to see my dog-bite jeans sometime. That little dog was going right for my tookus.

Last week in my neighborhood I knocked on a door and a lady answered. We talked for a couple minutes before two little six- and eight-year-old girls poked their heads out around their mom and told me they’d vote for me! For more support, they each took Pomnichowski bumper stickers for their bikes!

I was out on a miserable cloudy and wet night, and knocked on a door in a nice neighborhood to the south. By that time, I was pretty well rain-wet and not very presentable, but a lady offered me dinner at her table! People are kind, even to politicos!

One of the best days was an early Saturday in October, wet, snowy, and cold, so it must be...MSU Homecoming! My pals and I stocked up on blue and gold mini-footballs, and tossed them to an appreciative 'Cats crowd all along the parade route! That was a blast. I'm an MSU grad, and I've been the only girl on the MSU Football stat crew for 19 years; it was great throwing footballs to the hometown crowd in a snowstorm at the Homecoming parade!

Last weekend, I was in Bridger Canyon and Jackson Creek Road and drove up to a house, knocked on the door. A lady answered, and in the background, I could hear a football game on TV and somebody cheering loudly! I must have looked a bit curious, because she said, "Football. First the early game and now the afternoon game." No humor about the situation. I said, "Well, at least there's no Sunday night game tonight." Through gritted teeth, she said just two words to that: "World Series!" Other than being clearly disgruntled with the full-on sports day at home, she was gracious to me, and took my campaign info, a bumper sticker, and a yard sign! But thinking back, maybe she took the yard sign just to get out of the football-fanatic house for a couple minutes!

The funniest thing from the campaign trail has to be my fellow representative, Mike Phillips, who so believes in me that he has bought a house in my district and is moving there before Election Day, just to give me three more votes! Mike, his wife, and adult daughter vote Pomnichowski! Thanks, Mike and family!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On the Campaign Trail (and On the Job!)

I've been so busy campaigning and doing legislative work that my blog updates have suffered; my apologies, dear readers.

Here's what I've been up to:

I traveled to Helena to meet with staff at the Department of Environmental Quality about oil and gas leases on state lands; I also met with staff at the Department of Revenue to ask how the reappraisal of three types of property (agricultural, residential, and forest) is going as part of the regular six-year review and adjustment.

I met with Japanese visitors this past Tuesday, October 14, to describe Bozeman and Gallatin County's volunteer civic boards and commissions and their advisory role in local government. I'm honored to serve on three city boards currently: President of the Bozeman Planning Board, Chairperson of the Zoning Commission, and Chair of the Board of Adjustment. I know first-hand how our society works when everyone contributes, and Bozeman is far better than some in the amount of service people give, and the expertise they offer. It's an honor to serve both at my city and county level, and as a state representative!

Last weekend, Saturday was snowy and blowy and cold, so it must be...MSU Homecoming! Yay! Go, 'Cats! The JP campaign-mobile, captained by Barb, worked its way down the parade route, and we were the hit of the parade! I had mini-footballs for paradegoers, and Mike Phillips, my fellow representative, and Kathy, most excellent campaign gal, helped dispense the footballs to MSU appreciative football fans!

This morning, Thursday, Oct 16, was the Chamber of Commerce's forum for candidates, and I was proud to report that I voted to eliminate the business equipment tax, to expand Insure Montana (a program for businesses to pool together to buy health insurance for their employees), and I carried a bill for technology TIF districts (tax increment financing districts, where tax revenue is directly returned to the business district in infrastructure and other improvements that directly help the businesses there).

This evening is the League of Women Voters candidate forum, 7 pm at the county courthouse. Come one, come all, and be educated voters!

Oh, and how about this BILLBOARD!!! The Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers has endorsed my candidacy, and they've posted this lovely billboard along the Frontage Road! NICE! Thanks, MEA-MFT! I'm a proud product of Montana public schools, and fully support continuing in our Montana tradition of excellence in education. I'm honored and humbled to have an election season billboard!

The campaign is going strong! Help me finish strong! If you can help in these last remaining days before the election, please email me (pomnicho@montanadsl.net). I'm grateful for all your help, and I'd truly be honored to continue my service as a state representative.

Rock on, everybody! Nineteen days and counting!