Brian Schweitzer : biography
Schweitzer’s reputation led him to be mentioned by some political pundits in the blogosphere as being a potential running mate for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/22/123044/624/890/572708 Schweitzer gave a speech on American energy independence at the 2008 Democratic National Convention that was widely acclaimed.Los Angeles Times (2008). . Retrieved August 28, 2008.CBS News (2008). . Retrieved August 28, 2008.Newsweek (2008). . Retrieved August 28, 2008.
Governor of Montana (2005-2013)
Governor Brian Schweitzer campaigning in [[Billings, Montana for Jon Tester in September 2006]]
When incumbent Governor Judy Martz announced she would not run for re-election in 2004, Schweitzer announced his candidacy. His running mate was John Bohlinger, a Republican state senator. He won the general election by defeating Montana Secretary of State Bob Brown (Montana politician) 50%-47%.
Schweitzer won re-election to a second term by a landslide, 66%-33%, over Republican State Senator Roy Brown.
Policy and image
Both while campaigning and as governor, Schweitzer became known for a folksy public persona. The governor’s dog, a Border Collie named Jag, regularly accompanied him on work days at the Capitol, as well as some other official occasions.
Schweitzer was known for his unsparing use of the veto, a power exercised 95 times during his tenure. He vetoed 74 bills in the 2011 legislature; none of which were overridden., June 3, 2011 For instance, in April 2011, Schweitzer made news with his unconventional use of a branding iron to publicly veto several bills passed by the Republican-controlled legislature., Helena Independent Record, April 14, 2011 He denounced them as "frivolous, unconstitutional and just bad ideas" that were "in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana." Billings Gazette, April 13, 2011http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_7142652a-68a9-11e0-acee-001cc4c002e0.html He has endorsed an expansion of wind, solar, and biofuel technologies as well as a plan to turn coal into diesel fuel.Patrick Mazza, “Montana moving to top ranks in renewable energy, Gov. Brian Schweitzer tells Harvesting Clean Energy Conference”, Climate Solutions, Jan 30, 2009 Schweitzer has pointed out that Montana has had the highest ending fund balances in the state’s history under his administration, with an average ending fund balance of $414 million. The average balance of the eighteen years prior was $54 million., Helena Independent Record, August 1, 2012
Schweitzer consistently held one of the highest approval ratings among governors in the nation, with polls regularly showing a rating of above 60 percent.http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/article_18a3dd5c-d30b-11de-b6ec-001cc4c002e0.html Due to term limits in Montana, he was barred from running for a third term in 2012.
As Governor, Schweitzer was an active member of the Democratic Governors Association. Prior to becoming Chair, he served as the organization’s Vice Chair, Finance Chair, and Recruitment Chair. Montana’s electrical generation capacity has increased more during his term as Governor than the previous 16 years combined.
Governor supported and signed into law voluntary full-time kindergarten., Billings Gazette, January 23, 2007 Senate Bill 2, which passed during a special session of the legislature, created full-time kindergarten. Governor Schweitzer signed the bill May 17, 2007., Retrieved April 1, 2008 Governor Schweitzer was instrumental in implementing, for the first time since the Constitutional Convention of 1972 called on the State to “recognize the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians”, Indian Education for All funding. Indian Education for All was funded in House Bill 2 and signed into law by Governor Schweitzer on May 6, 2005., Retrieved April 1, 2008 As one of his first endeavors, Governor Schweitzer proposed and passed the “Best and Brightest” scholarship program. This scholarship has given opportunity to over 2700 students who will study at any of Montana’s 2-or 4-year public colleges and universities, including community and tribal colleges., Billings Gazette, July 12, 2012