Ken Miller Campaign Above the Law


In a blunder only a true idiot could make, the Ken Miller campaign robo-called the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices office yesterday.  Automated, or “robo” calls are illegal under Montana law.  When confronted about the calls, Miller said he thought that former Attorney General Mike McGrath had declared the law “unenforceable”. Hmm.  I suppose I would consider Montana’s law prohibiting homosexuality unenforceable considering it has been held unconstitutional, but I’m pretty sure when your campaign is stupid enough to call the COPP, which is already investigating a complaint alleging rampant campaign finance fraud in the Miller campaign, that you deserve to be prosecuted.  In reality, McGrath did not declare the law unenforceable anyway, in 2004, he issued a press release reminding campaigns that such activity was illegal.  Commissioner Murry has referred the case to the Lewis & Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher.  Although robo call cases have not be prosecuted in the past, Gallagher did not rule out the possibility.  Most likely, the Miller campaign will be sent a letter warning that such campaign activity is illegal.

Earlier this week,  Ken Miller asked that the campaign finance fraud complaint alleged by a former campaign employee be dismissed because he believed the uncertainty could cloud early voting.  The political practices office declined to dismiss the complaint and says the investigation will continue.

Call Ken Miller’s cell phone number (406) 670-8318 and ask him why he believes he is above the law.  Then ask yourself if someone this dull is suited to serve as Governor of our great state.

Montana’s Politicians… An Impotent Lot


We tell the feds to get lost when it comes to healthcare, wolves, and guns, but those we elected beg for help from the federal government to enforce marijuana laws? Please.

Today we learned that Montana medical marijuana advocate Tom Daubert was able to negotiate a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Daubert is the founder of Patients and Families United, a medical marijuana advocacy group. He was influential in the drafting of I-148, the initiative that Montana voters approved overwhelmingly to legalize medical marijuana in 2004.  Daubert was also a one of a handful of partners in Montana Cannabis, one of several caregivers who were raided in March of 2011.  Others involved in Montana Cannabis have not been quite so fortunate as they were recently indicted on multiple federal counts of conspiracy, cultivation, and gun charges.  According to news reports,  Daubert has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of “conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises”. Unlike the charges Daubert’s former partners are facing, his doesn’t carry a mandatory minimum sentence.  Recent federal cases have indicated that this is an increasingly common charge by the feds- especially when cases against the accused are relatively weak and built primarily on circumstantial evidence.

Montana’s indicted cannabis caregivers have accepted plea deals featuring significant charge and sentence reductions (most sentences range from 6 – 18 months in federal prison) although they were also subject to massive asset forfeitures and additional fines.  So far though, it appears nearly everyone has been negotiating with the feds, but what happens to those who refuse the plea deals?

Lindsey's legal practice is built upon helping clients adhere to state law. He now faces mandatory minimum sentences of 690 years as a result.

Take, for instance; Chris Lindsey.  He is a soft-spoken, educated, non-violent intellectual. He is a husband and a father to a young son.  Lindsey, a Missoula attorney, served as in-house legal counsel for Montana Cannabis (yes, Tom Daubert’s company) for less than a year.  He left the company a full fourteen months before the March 2011 raids that preceded these federal indictments.  He was indicted last week on a long list of federal conspiracy, drug, and gun charges.  The guns weren’t his. He wasn’t a drug dealer and as far as conspiracy goes, well, I suppose I’m breaking some of those federal statutes simply by writing this post.  Chris has built his legal practice around helping Montana’s medical marijuana patients adhere to state law.  He has not been accused of breaking any of Montana’s statutes and yet he is unable legally to use his clear compliance with state law in his federal defense.  He says he can’t accept a plea deal on something he believes in. So what does that mean for Chris?  Brace yourself.

Mandatory minimums on his charges amass sentences of 690 years in federal prison.  Maximum sentences are 25 consecutive life terms plus an additional 85 years.  What purpose do we serve by incarcerating a productive professional with no history of criminal activity- someone who has never been accused of any sort of violence?  This is a travesty of epic proportions.  Keep in mind that there is no parole in federal prison and that convicts must serve 85% of their sentences.  Doesn’t this make you wonder why those who make a deal (thus maintaining frightening and artificially high federal conviction rates ) are criminals who upon acceptance of a plea deal, are instantly benign enough to warrant sentences averaging one year yet those who value their principles enough to defend them in a court of law are scary enough for consecutive life sentences?

Our state government allows this injustice, without so much as a complaint. While politicians from other states protest the federal crackdown medical marijuana, those from Montana are silent. Montana politicians typically claim to exhibit a sort of libertarian-streak that is native to our people- people who just want to be left alone.  In reality however, our politicians are pussies.  Nearly every one of them.  They are too worried about being reelected to actually take a stand to protect the very people who elected them.  From our Congressional delegation to our local sheriffs, Montana politicians LOVE federal intervention on marijuana cases.  In fact, instead of actually working with our existing state law, state law enforcement often refused to prosecute those in defiance of the law in order to set up a repeal of I-148 in our last legislative session.  Rumor has it, to ensure a repeal, our elected officials even worked with federal agents to schedule a key legislative vote simultaneously with dramatic federal raids taking place in the state capital, as well as cities across the state.  On one Republican state representative’s Facebook page, he declared immediately after the raids  “Praise the Lord and Praise the Feds”.  I guess these faux Libertarian-minded Montanans believe they can deal with everything on the state level- healthcare, wolves, guns- everything but the “scourge of Montana” (yes, another state legislator called it that), marijuana.

Our governor, Brian Schweitzer, did absolutely nothing to protect Montanans from federal intervention.  Rep. Denny Rehberg and Sen. Jon Tester are fighting for Tester’s US Senate seat.  Conveniently, neither of them have stood up to federal medical marijuana intervention.  Max Baucus recently announced his intent to run for reelection in 2014- has he taken a stand?  Nope.  Our attorney general, Steve Bullock, who has continuously opposed legislation as well as legal maneuvers designed to protect patients, now wants to be our governor.  Nearly all of the prohibitionists in our state legislature are running for either reelection or election to yet another state office.  If our state governments refuse to protect us from the tyrannical federal government by use of the “supremacy clause” and a disgustingly broad interpretation of the commerce clause via Raich v Gonzales, what is the point of having state governments at all?
As we head farther into campaign season, let me remind you all that politicians are the biggest criminals alive.  We reward them with our votes and pay them healthy salaries with our taxes. We subsidize the failed war on drugs by allowing our government to perpetuate violent crime on our borders in the name of security. I am BEGGING you all, please do NOT disappoint me.  Get your asses out June 5 in primary elections and don’t you DARE neglect to vote in the general election November 6.   I do not feel safer with Chris Lindsey behind bars- or Tom Daubert, for that matter, do you?

Montana’s politicians are vacillating, submissive cowards and it is high time for some outrage from Montana’s citizens, this is embarrassing. 

An Alternate Path to Defeat: Democrat Files for Montana GOP Governor


The Montana GOP is going to need a bigger tent to fit all of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor.  Yesterday, former state transportation director Jim Lynch announced his candidacy in the already very crowded field. Lynch, who lost a Senate race as a Democrat in 1994 and has been a member of Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer‘s  cabinet since 2005 insists he is actually a Republican.  In today’s Billings Gazette, he says

 “I’m probably like most Montanans,” he said. “Most of my views are Republican. I’m a Republican. I’ve never voted for a Democrat for president in my life.”

Although he claims he is running to “pave the way for economic development”, it appears he simply needs a job after Governor Schweitzer asked him to resign under very questionable circumstances.  The governor claimed the DOT’s  hiring of Lynch’s daughter potentially violated nepotism laws but rumors have circulated for some time that Lynch was also under investigation for misappropriating hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to buy an airplane, violating Montana’s constitution.  Shortly before Lynch resigned, a district judge also ruled that the DOT had violated the Montana Environmental Protection Act in approval of the mega-loads plan with an insufficient environmental assessment. Considering the hiring of his daughter took place four years ago, it does appear there may be more to the story.

Sorry Lynch, I don’t think you are like “most Montanans”.  In fact, you may have even more baggage than Rick Hill. Ironically, Lynch was rumored earlier this year to be pondering a Democratic run at Governor, but apparently further fracturing the Republican Party was a preferable path to defeat. Fourteen have filed for candidacy thus far:

Republicans:

–State Sen. Jeff Essmann, Billings. Essmann crafted the unpopular SB 423, which essentially forces medical marijuana patients to seek black market medicine.

–Bob Fanning, Pray. Fanning is an anti-wolf activist.

–Ex-U.S. Rep. Rick Hill, Helena. Ahead in fundraising, behind in morals.

–Neil Livingstone, Helena. Livingstone’s campaign is essentially broke, but he has the means to buy himself name recognition.

–Jim Lynch, Kalispell.

–Ex-Sen. Ken Miller, Laurel.  Ken Miller was sent by God to run for Governor….. again.  His campaign is rather peculiar.

–County Commissioner Jim O’Hara, Fort Benton.

–Ex-Sen.Minority Leader Corey Stapleton, Billings.

–Drew Turiano, Helena, self-published sci-fi author

Democrats: Attorney General Steve Bullock, Helena, and State Sen. Larry Jent, Bozeman.

Independent: Robert Coate, Bozeman.

Libertarian: Ron Vandervender, Cascade.

No party disclosed yet: Ronald Lassle, Helena.

Is Lynch a Republican or a Democrat?  With his “grandiose sense of self-importance”, he perhaps suffers  from a cluster B personality disorder, like Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Many afflicted have a shifting morality, they are always ready to shift values when necessary.

 

Saint Essmann: The Innocence of Malignant Narcissism


Thanks to Montana Cowgirl for picking up my slack…. Senator Jeff Essmann stammered while attempting to answer a question on Aaron Flint’s Voices of Montana this morning.  That question?  “Senator Essmann, have you ever smoked marijuana?” reminded me of the time Rep James Knox (RWNJ-Billings Heights) was asked if he’d ever sold drugs.   Unfortunately, I’m far too busy coordinating the eastern side of the state in the Patients for Reform, Not Repeal quest to actually fulfill voter intent by allowing the actual voters to decide whether Jeff Essmann’s baby, SB 423 is a hot mess or a brilliant piece of legislation.  Hypocrisy reigns in the prohibition crowd….

I don’t really care if Essmann has smoked marijuana nor did I really care if President Clinton was receiving extra-curricular blowjobs, but I don’t appreciate liars- especially those who feed at the public trough. On the other hand, maybe Essmann is just that much of a dork. He could in fact be the only adult human being I’ve ever met who hasn’t tried marijuana… but I doubt it.

A Greed Lecture from a Politician/Attorney….. and one from ME.


In today’s Billings Gazette, Senator Jeff Essmann, sponsor of SB 423 “The Black Market Bill” said:

“Montana voters should be concerned about any group that is selling a schedule-one controlled substance that can raise $50,000 in less than a week,” he said, referring to federal law. “I don’t believe Montana voters wanted to have that kind of activity in the state of Montana.  It should be very obvious that this is no longer about the medicine or the therapy. This is about the money for these people.”

“This is about the money for these people”……. I love being lectured by a politician and attorney about greed.  He is concerned that the cannabis industry could raise $50,000 in less than a week.  What exactly would that entail, I wonder.

  • Each of Montana’s approximately 30,000 patients could donate $1.67
  • Each of Montana’s nearly 5000 caregivers could donate $10
  • Each of our GOP legislators could have done their job at the biennial legislative session and we wouldn’t need the services of attorney Jim Goetz.

I find it so interesting that Essmann mentions that marijuana is a controlled schedule I substance.  Considering he is a fan of ignoring the federal government on wolf protection and Obamacare implementation, one wonders why he is so concerned about the Controlled Substances Act. It is the responsibility and duty of the state Legislature and our governor to protect our state and its citizens from federal intrusion. If our elected officials refuse to defend our citizens from the unconstitutional overreach of the federal government, they need to be replaced.  Our most recent legislative session was led by a Republican/Tea people backed majority focused almost solely on invasive, oppressive bigger government and our populist Governor Schweitzer has expressed his intentions to “hold his nose” as he allows SB 423 to become law.  Oh my.

While I am offended at the implication by Essmann that we are greedy, I’m also reminded that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Most of those sending you emails, blogging, holding meetings and conference calls are NOT paid representatives of the industry.  They are donating their time to this cause and deserve our thanks. I am not comfortable asking anyone for money and I am well aware that most people in the industry are only one harvest away from bankruptcy. I also know very well the costs associated with this business, but unless we are prepared to make unemployment and insolvency part of our plans for the VERY near future, we owe it to everyone involved to put some money where our mouths are. Posting Facebook rants may be liberating, but it isn’t what we need to survive.

I’m begging not only patients, caregivers, and Montanans to donate to this cause, but AMERICANS.  There is far more at stake than simply the medical use of cannabis in our great state, our very liberty is under fire. While disguised as a reform/regulatory bill, anyone who has read SB 423 knows it intends to eliminate the use of medical cannabis in Montana which is in opposition to the will of Montana voters who approved I-148 by a landslide in 2004.

Please go to http://www.mtcia.org/ to assist in preserving Montana’s liberty.  Protect us from the tyrannical religious zealots we unfortunately elected to represent us.   Our goal is $50,000 by the end of today and we are currently short $15,000.  The amount is necessary to retain the legal services of attorney Jim Goetz. On behalf of caregivers and patients statewide, Goetz intends to employ legal actions initially delaying the new law’s implementation as well as  eventually striking down the law in its entirety.  He is the right attorney for this endeavor and we need your help.  Please donate whatever you can, whether it is a significant amount or a few dollars.  The entire nation is watching Montana right now, let’s show them our strength!

The Trust of Montana’s Innocent


 This is the initial segment in a series investigating the motivations of Montana’s anti-cannabis crusaders. Today’s post  features “Pinocchio” Pat Keim, big Tobacco/private prisons/wheat exporter lobbyist.

It has been said that the trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.  Montana’s 62nd legislative session hearings were rife with exaggerations, unfounded accusations, omissions, and blatant lies.  No oath is required when testifying before legislative committees in Montana.  Legislators appeared happy sifting through the lies, choosing the very best to repeat in future testimony and closing arguments.  Video and audio archives are available online  in case private citizens are interested in fact-checking testimony and testimony clips are available on you tube as well.    Meet Pat Keim, a Montanan typically lobbying for Big Tobacco companies (like Altria and Philip Morris) who, in testimony on behalf of Columbia Grain of Montana, claims the company is unable to find job applicants who test negative for medical marijuana.  Mr. Keim alleges that 100% of applicants were unable to pass necessary pre-employment drug screenings because of their medical marijuana use.

Montanafesto has received information that Mr. Keim’s testimony is not only misleading, but patently false.  In the last six months, we know of at LEAST 3 people, all from the same Columbia Grain facility in Plentywood, MT; who have passed all necessary drug tests and have been hired by Columbia Grain.   Mike Preemer was hired approximately 6 months ago, Mike Fraiser was hired at the beginning of the year, and Nick Chase was hired shortly before the March 11 testimony Keim provided in the preceding clip.  While Fraiser has since left the company, Preemer  and Chase are current Columbia Grain employees.  In Helena last month, an industry activist confronted Keim about the company hiring Nick Chase. Keim reluctantly acknowledged the hire but justified his testimony, claiming the statistics he used in testimony were completed prior to Chase’s employment.

Keim, whose clients in Montana’s most recent session were Alternatives, Inc (a non-profit corporation providing incarceration and treatment facilities for criminals)  and Columbia Grains International (Montana’s largest international grain exporter) for some reason wasn’t working for his typical Big Tobacco clients this session…. or was he?

Perhaps we should examine Columbia Grain’s great concern for eliminating the option for Montana’s ill to use medical cannabis as treatment for their debilitating symptoms.  From Montana’s Office of Political Practices:

I find it somewhat strange that EVERY bill of concern for Columbia Grains International concerned medical marijuana.  Although in limited capacity, I can appreciate the company’s interest in HB 43, which sought to clarify employers’ rights regarding employees who use medical cannabis, it does seem rather suspicious that none of the bills actually involve grain, exports, or anything agricultural.

Patrick Keim provided testimony that was utilized and repeated frequently by GOP cannabis repeal advocates.  If we can discover THREE employees from only ONE of their numerous facilities across the state who were indeed hired recently, it seems all of Keim’s testimony is suddenly suspect. Out of a total number of employees of the company- a number ranging from 93-100- which varied depending on Keim’s particular testimony, it only requires ONE to blow the credibility of his “100% failure” claims.

If medical cannabis is indeed such a dangerous substance, why do opponents of its use need to exaggerate claims and use fictitious figures to project their points?

When testifying in court on very minor offenses, which likely affect only the person cited for the offense; we must swear before the court to provide honest testimony.  Why do we allow lawmakers to rely on flawed and dishonest testimony to create legislation that affects all of our state’s citizens?  If  safety is our goal, we owe our children and communities policies based on facts- not fictitious, profit-driven, religious, or ignorant agendas.  Montana’s 62nd legislative session was truly a disgrace.

What can we, as private Montana citizens, do to combat this disgrace?  First of all, REGISTER TO VOTE.  If you aren’t certain of your registration status, check here.  

Corporate and Cannabis Socialism, Montana Republicans Sell Out


Montana’s Republican-led 2011 legislature has taken its assault on liberty to the legislative finish line after approving legislation giving corporations unprecedented power via eminent domain as well as passing bills responsible for decreased patient access and the  inevitable destruction of the medical cannabis industry.

Common sense Republicans, like those of us at montanafesto, have been critical of the legislature since the session began.  A Republican friend working in Helena during the session said “it is frightening that the only ones making any sense in Helena are Democrats”.  Numerous posts via social media outlets summarize the session accurately but the only ones supportive of the Republicans  are typically from the Montana GOP itself or one of its pathetic party loyalists, and even those posts are all but disappearing.    A recent tweet by a Democrat operative said “you know when Rep Ellie Hill and Montanafesto are agreeing on issues, this session has gone off the rails.”  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to have an admin of Left in the West promoting anything (here and here) written by any of our bloggers let alone myself.

The outrage is not limited to Montana bloggers, Tweeters and Facebookers, however.  Even the Republican Liberty Caucus is disgusted with Montana’s legislature.  In a post entitled “Montana Republicans Sell out for Big Government“, the author writes about the Montana GOP:

they are not committed to common sense government at all, but are instead beholden to special interests, corporate socialism, and the nanny state.

Most of the GOP legislators who supported the nanny state-style measures were TEA party-supported.  The TEA party, whose power and size appears to be diminished, likely in part due to this sort of  hypocrisy, should be up in arms about Montana’s Republican legislators, but I haven’t heard a peep from them. In all fairness, that could be in part due to the fact that local leaders blocked me on Facebook after I began questioning their motives and practices.  I believe that  inconsistencies between the TEA party’s stated positions and actions of its leaders are contributing to the decline and ultimate demise of the TEA party.  The defense of liberty will continue, with or without the TEA party.

According to LibertarianRepublican.net

 “Sounding like something straight out of an Ayn Rand novel, a renewable energy corporation out of Canada is pushing legislation to allow for seizure of private property rights in Eastern Montana. The Bill pits small landowners such as ranchers in Eastern Montana, against government-backed corporate interests and many environmental groups in support of renewable energy.”

One exception, Rep. Mike Miller, who was noted with Rep Jerry O’Neill as opposing the big government measures, said via Facebook:

I am surprised by some of the “liberty loving” reps. that voted to repeal and that let their personal anti-drug feelings override their principles for less government and a persons right to control his own body.

A blogger at 4 and 20 Blackbirds, early in the session summarized Montana’s GOP hypocrisy accurately:

The Montana GOP loves them some freedom, but only when its smothered in their own special GOP brand of Freedom Sauce. While they push issues such as setting up local militias, givingsheriffs ultimate local law enforcement authority, giving healthcare providers freedom to deny services to patients because of differing morals, and expanding individual gun rights including no longer needing a permit to carry a concealed weapon; on many other issues currently up for debate in Helena the GOP is proving that they want to curtail local decision-making and even the role that individual citizens play in politics and policy making.

Perhaps the biggest GOP attack on individual freedoms in Montana is the GOP’s push to override voter initiates and weaken the voter initiative process in the future. If Montana voters had passed initiatives banning abortion or abolishing the state’s DEQ I’m sure conservatives would be praising the Montana citizenry’s grounded and well thought out votes.

If nothing else, I’ve grown through this session- not only into a very disgruntled Republican, but also as a blogger and a person. If LITW and even Montana Cowgirl can be in agreement, even if only occasionally, with those of us at montanafesto, there is hope for our state.  I look forward to a day where Rep Ken Peterson-style statements are condemned not only by Democrats or even Peterson’s own Republican Party, but by everyone- as Montanans and as human beings.


Howls From a Far-Left Vitriolic Hate-Filled Wolf in Conservative Clothing


The recent comment from “Ayn Rand” listed below inspired some  self-reflection and analysis over the weekend.

I have been unable to find one instance where you defended ANY republican and/or conservative. You are a vitriolic, hate filled individual. I can only hope you are comfortable in your wolf’s clothing for you are as far left as any blogger I have read..

With the assistance of liquor, I arrived at few conclusions about my current political ideology- whether or not those conclusions can be labeled right or the left, I’m not certain.  It has been an eye-opening legislative session for me….   I’ve been criticized as a one-issue voter, a traitor to my party, a far-left liberal activist, and a even a pot-zombie (I’m not a cannabis user). I’ve made enemies within the Republican party- one legislator has even threatened legal action and is now broadcasting lies about me via social media outlets.  Shedding light on inconsistency and dishonesty within  local tea party leadership cost me a couple of close friends.  The list goes on and on.  Exposing hypocrisy is a rather thankless and lonely job.

Far left, huh?

My core beliefs are as follows:

  • I believe in limited government, individual freedom and personal responsibility.  I don’t need a nanny.
  • I believe that government has no money nor power not derived from the consent of the people.  Ignoring the vast majority of constituents to pass unpopular legislation does not qualify as consent.
  • I believe individuals should be free to pursue their own lives as long as they respect the rights of others.  If legislators have the right to eat, drink and smoke themselves to death while we pay their health premiums, we certainly should have the right to self-medicate with whatever we please.
  • I support maximum liberty in both fiscal and social matters.
  • It isn’t the government’s job to legislate the moral values or religious beliefs of others. From this day forward, the more prominently a candidate’s religious affiliation is presented, the less likely I will support the candidate.
  • If alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment, so should drug prohibition.  The federal government has overstepped its bounds.
  • Laws enacted via ballot initiatives should require the same to be overturned,  to ensure that the will of voters remains intact.

According to the Nolan Chart, I am a libertarian.  I disagree with a few of the libertarian party’s principles but I doubt many of us qualify as cookie cutter party members.  If indeed I am a one-issue voter, that one issue is liberty. I’m a registered Republican who will likely be disgruntled with the left and the right and who can blame me?  Am I a far-left vitriolic hate-filled wolf in conservative clothing? I guess I will allow the reader to make that determination.

“Ayn Rand”, I must ask why you continue to read my posts and comment on them.  Whether you agree with me or not, I am honest and fair.  I post EVERY comment- even the ones written by vitriolic hate-filled individuals. Perhaps instead of labeling me, next time you will instead engage me in a reasonable discussion of the ISSUES and FACTS at hand.  If I bite, I promise to only nibble.

Speaker Milburn: Please Control Representative James Knox


Representative James Knox, Continues to Dig his Hole

I’d sure appreciate if Montana’s Speaker of the House, Mike Milburn, would assert some control over his representatives. I’m tired of defending their actions as well as defending myself FROM them, one in particular.  James Knox sent me an email a few minutes ago.

from Rep. Knox <james@vote4knox.com>
to Nicole French
cc Alicia Knox <alicia@kbscs.com>
date Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 3:00 PM
subject My lawyer will

Nicole,

I and my wife have printed all conversations and the message you have posted on the web is not in any of our history.  I ask that you email me the date your claim of this valid message else I will be taking legal action for slander against my wife.

Your call, I will.

James

_______________________________

 

James Knox, you asked for it so you’ve got it!  The date in question is April 5, 2011.  Would you care to look at the screenshot again?  Although I do actually like your lovely wife Alicia, I don’t care for dishonest politicians.  Just one time, I’d appreciate if you could accept the blame and move on- you could even try apologizing for your increasingly improper behavior. If I were you, I would be more concerned about the other allegations circling about you.  Here’s a screenshot anyway though, watch for any grammatical mistakes, as I’m sure they are the fault of someone else, perhaps George Soros.  I feel the need to remind you that Mr. Knox would NEVER use poor grammar….


Oh, but it gets even worse.  This evening, in reply to a letter sent by Hiedi Handford of Montana Connect Magazine, Rep Knox responded in a delightful manner- the exchange is as follows:

On Fri, 8 Apr 2011 15:28:05 -0600, “Rep. James Knox” wrote:

Montana’s across the state have clearly said repeal it.
Thank you,
Rep. James Knox
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES KNOX House District 47
406-534-9582
____________________________________
From: Hiedi Handford [mailto:hiedi@mtconnectmagazine.com]
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011 3:32 PM
To: Rep. James Knox
Subject: RE: A message from the “Scourge” 

You are so full of shit Knox. Look beyond your own damned nose……

Oh – and you and your wife celebrating patients suffering? What a nice couple you are…….”I’m glad we can take medicine away from people who need it”

Please move back to whatever rock you climbed out from under in whatever state you came from. You most certainly are NOT a Montanan.

Montana Connect Magazine
P.O. Box 432
Lincoln, MT 59639
~ We Bring Integrity & Credibility to the Medical Cannabis Industry~

_________________________________
On Fri, 8 Apr 2011 15:37:19 -0600, “Rep. James Knox” wrote:

 

FYI that post is slanderous and photo shopped I have initiated legal actions. If you actually can believe my wife would actually say that or I would in such poor English say something. Your high. Oh you are.
Thank you,
Rep. James Knox
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES KNOX House District 47
406-534-9582
“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” George Washington, letter to Edmund Randolph, July 31, 1795
______________________________________
Knox, by informing others that I used Photoshop to create a false post from Alicia Knox that he claims doesn’t actually exist (although it did before it was deleted) he is actually slandering ME.  Admonishing Hiedi over his unwillingness to use poor English gave me a chuckle because the post in question was actually one of his finer ones grammatically speaking. To mock a legitimate cannabis patient, calling her “high”, however; is reprehensible.
I must admit that posts about Knox were initially sort of sickly entertaining but now, I’m over it.  I’m tired of him hearing of his antics.  I’m tired of him mocking critically ill Montana voters, I’m tired of paying his salary and $733/mo health benefits, and I’m tired of him embarrassing the Republican Party (of which I’m a disgruntled member) and most of all, I’m tired of his actions contributing to our legislature’s public humiliation.  A biennial legislative session shouldn’t remind us of a Jerry Springer or Days of our Lives episode.

Do we really want someone like this representing us?

Interested in more information about James Knox? See the following links:

Eating our Own, A How to Manual By Rep James Knox

James Knox: Montanafesto Links

James Knox: Montana Cowgirl Blog Links

James Knox: Intelligent Discontent Links

James Knox: 4&20 Blackbirds Links

Perhaps you’d like to watch him cry?

Here are some more screenshots for your viewing pleasure.  I didn’t use photoshop on them- they are disgusting enough without alteration.  Click on each thumbnail to expand to full size.



 

The Log In Governor Schweitzer’s Eye


“In politics, it doesn’t matter what the facts are, it matters what the perceptions are. It is the way you frame it.” Brian Schweitzer, Montana Governor

Governor Brian Schweitzer, well-known around Montana for his hard-drinking and overly flirtatious behavior recently used a tax revenue press conference to publicly criticize Montana’s legislators.       Citing Department of Revenue data indicating that wholesale liquor sales increase in Helena during the biennial legislative session, Schweitzer appeared to place that blame solely on the legislators.  “These are the ones who are the biggest boozers” said Schweitzer.

In a session already expected to be contentious, the comments aren’t sitting well with Montana’s lawmakers.  “That is outrageous. We work very hard,” said Dave Lewis, a Helena Republican who has worked in one capacity or another around the Capitol for decades.  Considering the number of lobbyists and legislative staff in Helena for the session, it  is ridiculous to blame the liquor sales spike on only the 150 elected lawmakers.   Legislators  make significant sacrifices to serve  in Montana’s 90 day session living away from their families and being paid only minimally.

Hallmark mechanisms  of alcoholism and other addictions are the use of  projection and a tendency to blame others. Recognizing and owning one’s problems is key to recovery.  Perhaps Governor Schweitzer is hiding his own chemical dependency issues by projecting his faults on to his adversaries.  I have personally witnessed on numerous occasions,  excessive “boozing”  by Brian Schweitzer himself and his behavior is certainly not becoming of the office he holds.  In the past, Schweitzer has criticized legislators for eating “thick steaks and old whiskey” compliments of lobbyists.  No word on who buys the beef and spirits for the governor.

Not a Lot of “Folks for Rick Hill”


Rick Hill Fails to Rally the Base

Peaking at 78 folks, Rick Hill’s campaign Facebook group “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill” has apparently folded only seven weeks after his announcement to run for Montana Governor in 2012, possibly due to a lack of folks. Lackluster support is proving to be a problem for the candidate who refers to himself as a “fixer” and “member of the Tea party before it even existed”.  Younger conservatives are distancing themselves from Hill at a rapid pace.

A closed group with the same name, created a month ago by Beth Yount Ries, remains.   She added another 24 people to the group, but only a handful of them are current members.  Notably absent are former members Rick Hill and GOP candidate for US Senate Steve Daines.

In stark contrast, campaigns for Hill’s GOP opponents feature strong and passionate support. Ken Miller’s Facebook group, Ken Miller for Governor ,  has hundreds of people “liking” it.  The group was created last summer.  Corey Stapleton‘s Facebook group, Corey Stapleton for Montana’s Governor 2012, was created most recently-after Rick Hill’s- and has a couple hundred fans.

Rumors are plaguing the Rick Hill campaign, ranging from infidelity to scandals of Conrad Burns proportions and some hope he drops out of the campaign to avoid embarrassing reluctant  supporters.   Hill, a long-time lobbyist,  has also faced criticism from  Tea party leaders and members who don’t consider him conservative enough and don’t appreciate his comments implying he was endorsed by them.  Mark French,  former GOP candidate for Montana’s US House Representative harshly criticized Hill’s voting record on the blog PolyMontana.

Prior to Hill’s announcement, he confided in friends that many Democrats had encouraged him  to run for Governor because he was more moderate than the other candidates.  Democrat Dave Wanzenreid of Missoula apparently believes Hill isn’t moderate enough as he also recently filed to run for the position.  Term limits prevent current Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer from running for reelection.

Did Montana’s GOP Legislators Get the Message? Maybe, Maybe Not


Is Montana's 2011 Legislature Being Led by RINOs?

“This election sent a clear message. America looked socialism in the eye and they said we’re scared.” Mike Milburn, Montana House Speaker.

Indeed.  Why then are Montana Republican legislators being discouraged from associating with  bills seeking to repeal national healthcare reform mandates? Rumors are circulating that Senate President Jim Peterson (R-Buffalo) and Majority Leader Jeff Essman (R-Billings) have asked legislators sponsoring bills calling for  the repeal of Obamacare not to proceed after a legislative analyst suggested the Senate should not be focusing on such legislation this session.

Is it up to legislative analysts to direct our future?  If Attorney General Steve Bullock continues refusal to join other states filing suit against the mandates,  it will have to be addressed legislatively.  Many states are pursuing repeals of the unpopular law which was recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.  About the decision, Montana’s lone representative Denny Rehberg had this to say.

“After months of rate increases and service reductions, Montanans continue to wait for true health care reform that lowers costs and increases access.  The sooner that Obamacare is wiped off the books, the sooner we can get to work finding real solutions that benefit Montanans instead of the powerful interests in Washington, D.C.  Most of the folks I’ve heard from will be happy with the decision in Virginia, and are only upset that an independent-minded state like Montana has sat quietly on the sidelines while other states take the fight to the overzealous federal government.  It’s past time for Montana to get in this game.”

We elected conservatives to REPEAL Obamacare, to STOP the growth of the government’s size and scope, to CREATE jobs and STIMULATE the economy.

We did NOT elect republicans to take the pragmatic approach.  We did NOT elect republicans to negotiate deals with radical environmentalists and other liberals in effort to gain leadership positions.  We did NOT elect Republicans to work with Schweitzer.  When our elected officials appease progressives, Marxist ideals increase exponentially.  We cannot abandon constitutional principles under any circumstances.

Moderation is dangerous in today’s world.  The leftists aren’t moderates- they are socialists.  Negotiating with them is a recipe for death of our republic.   Montanans elected conservatives in November to rail against Marxist ideals, not to dilute our principles.  Many GOP legislators were elected not because they were Republicans but because they were not progressives. Montanans aren’t concerned with social issues this time around, our future is hanging by a thread.  Our government has lost its way as legislators have compromised their values in favor of “bipartisan” efforts.

Advice to elected GOP officials:

  • Fiscal  concerns trump all religious agendas.  Accomplish what we elected you to do and you will earn political capital.  Don’t waste our future in mediation with thieves.  If your principles don’t cost you anything, they weren’t worth very much.
  • Stop preaching that we all need to remember why Republicans were elected unless your actions are consistent with your message.  That means you are a hypocrite for sponsoring bills to repeal medical marijuana when Montanans are concerned with fiscal issues.  If you want any credibility, you must counter that proposed loss of 5000 caregiver jobs with creation of at least that many positions.
  • Don’t act like Baucus and Tester.  Both US Senators ignored their constituents and made decisions that will affect Montana forever.  In the process, they made passionate enemies on both sides of the aisle.  Progressives say they didn’t do enough while we say they overstepped the Constitution to advance an unwelcome agenda.
  • Remember that you were elected not to rule, but to serve.
  • Integrity requires courage.  You took an oath.  It does mean something.  Worry more about being respected than about being popular.

The 2011 Legislative Session will reveal if we wasted time helping liberals get elected as Republicans.  Hopefully instead, our efforts will be rewarded with consistent conservative votes and a structurally balanced budget.  Hopefully the rumors are unfounded but regardless, don’t hesitate to call/write/email your legislators.  Tell them you expect Montana to repeal/nullify/opt out of Obamacare.

Montana Conservatives Not Sold on Rick Hill


Establishment Republicans Hill and Conrad Burns

While it appears GOP Gubernatorial candidate  Rick Hill has the reluctant? support of the typical establishment Republicans in Montana, the new breed of Montana conservative isn’t so sure.  While I love a guy with confidence- anyone with confidence for that matter- there is a fine line between that and arrogance.  If a candidate is going to mention, in a newspaper interview; that he was part of the TEA party before it was cool, he better have the voting record to back up such claims.  In the case of Rick Hill, he clearly does not.    This morning, a prominent Montana conservative forwarded me the following email thread which was sent to a list of other prominent liberty-minded Montana Republicans:

Hello everyone,

I went to the JBS web site and looked up the old Freedom Indexes for when Rick Hill served in Congress 1996-2000.  Can you say RINO?  I have attached them if you are interested.

105th Congress:  Aug ’97   –   60%

Jan ’98 –      40%      July ’98 –     70%

Oct ’98   –    39%  (yes, that’s what it was)

106th Congress:  Aug ’99    -   80%     Jan ’00   –     65%

July ’00  -     65%          Nov ’00   –    65%

And a reply from another prominent Republican:

Good job XXXXXXXXXX!
These are the real issues of this man who calls himself a Republican but does not pay much attention to the Republican platform, not to mention the Constitution. He is a pretty polished and experienced showman, but what about the heart of the man? Shouldn’t that be what matters? He is a politician. Is that what we need? NO!!! We need statesmen who revere the Constitution and the Republican platform. Lipservice Republicans are repulsive and devastating to our state and nation. This is what has put us in the shape we are in!
People, DO NOT fall for this empty show biz!
I took the liberty to put labels on his unconstitutional and socialist votes.
Take a look for yourself. I don’t think we want this man at the helm in our state.
Congress 105-1
1. Extension of  rural multifamily rental housing loans, guarenteed by the taxpayer.Please show me where this is listed in the enumerated powers of the Constitution. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it. HR 28
2. Build more prisons. HR 30. We need to use capitol punsihment or other deterances to keep people out of prison. We don’t have enough money to educate our kids, but we choose to lock people up to the tune of $100,000 per year. If a body can not control the disease within it, it will die.
3. $20 billion spending for socialist programs. HR5
4. Auto pilot federal spending. HR 1469
5. He opposes withdrawl from UN. HR 1757
6. Spending. FEMA, Peace keeping in Bosnia. Disaster relief. HR 1871
7. Most favored nation trading status for China. HJ 79
Congress 105-2
1. Opposed constitutional disclosure of intelegence spending. HR 1775
2. For Federal block grants. HR 1818. Where is in the enumerated powers? Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
3. He opposed eliminating the national endowment for humanities. HR 2107
4. Opposed eliminating sugar loan subsidies. HR 2160. The Constituion does not allow for charity. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
5. Opposed eliminating of market access programs. Subsidising overseas advertising for big corporations. HR 2160
6. Opposed eliminating export subsidies. HR 2159
7. Opposed eliminating population controls and foreign aide. HR 2159
Congress 105-3
1. He favored VA/HUD appropriations. HR 2158 The constitution provides no provision for charity. People are to give freely if they choose. Government has nothing to give unless it takes it from someone first.
2. For foreign aide. HR 2159
3. For a global crime court. H.Con res 137
4. For dismissing Dornan election fraud. HR 355
5. For IMF Bailout. HR 3579
6. Dissanster assistance to Bosnia. HR 3579. If people or organizations choose to be charitable, great. Government has no provision for charity. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
7. For more federal involvement in public schools, stealing the local schools autonomy.HR 6
Congress 105-4
1. For super pork. HR 2400
2. Monkeying around with the 1st amendment. HJR 78
3. For food stamps etc. S 1150
4. Against 150 billion in tax cuts. HJR 284
5. Opposed Elimination of corporate welfare. HR 4101
6. For Agriculture subsidies. HR 4101
7. For funding welfare for women, infants and children (WIC). HR 3874 Again, no charity. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
8. For taxpayers subsidizing trade with China. HJR 121
Have ya had enough? There is more
Congress 106-1
1. Voted against Clinton impeachment article. HR 611
2. Voted for wild and scenic rivers land grabs. HR 193
3. For more AG subsidies. HR 1906
Congress 106-2
1. More support for China. HJR57
2. Opposed slight farm aide cut. HR 2606
3. Supported corporate welfare. HR 2606
4. Supported more foreign aide. HR 2606
5. Opposed transparency in campaign dislcosure in Doolittle campaign finance legislation.
6. Supported assult on 1st amendment and free speech. HR 417
7. Supported more Ag subsidies. HR 1906
8. More Federal Education subsidies, removing local autonomy. HR2
9. For Federal Education grants. HR 2
10. For labor/ HHS / Education spending. Where is does the Constituion address education? Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it. HR 3064
Congress 106-3
1. For small business admin. corporate welfare. HR 3843
2. Opposed 2001 budget by conservative action team. This bill wanted $270 Billion in tax cuts.
3. Supported HUD expansion. HR 1776
4. Supported providing TV for “underserved areas. HR 3615
5. Supported funding for disabilities education. HR 4055. Note: Veterans need to be taken care of under the well funded department of defense.
6. Supported monies for more land grabs by Feds. HR 701
7. Supported permanent normal trade status with China. HR 4444
Congress 106-4
1. Automatic funding of the welfare state. HR 853
2. Opposed disclosure of intelegence spending to Congress. HR 4392
3. Supported the welfare state mother load. > 7% spending increase. HR 4577
4. Assault on the seconf amendment. June 21, 2000, Roll call 308.
5. More Ag subsidies. HR 4461
6. Foreign aide giveaways. HR 4461
7. More normal trade relations with communists. HJ 103
And another reply:
Let’s nip this one in the Bud. We don’t need another fake Republican!!
It appears the establishment Republicans would like us to believe that Rick Hill has this locked up.  AJ Otjen, who along with Mark French lost to Denny Rehberg in the 2010 GOP primary race for US Congress, has expressed her support for Hill publicly.  Otjen claimed her  reasons for supporting Rick Hill were the same reasons she supports Barack Obama.  Does Rick Hill share her Keynesian belief of spending our way out of crises? Sources close to Hill say he told them that even Montana Democrats were urging him to run because he was the most moderate in the race.  That doesn’t sound very “tea party” to me nor does his voting record.  If these rumors are true, Steve Daines who is hoping to unseat Senator Jon Tester may be wise to distance himself from Rick Hill.

Last week, my grandmother received a polling call asking if she intended to vote for Steve Bullock or Rick Hill for Governor in 2012.  She refused to answer.   The 2012 elections are nearly 2 entire years away and my grandmother is hopeful that there will be a clearer choice after primaries as she is tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.  I sure hope so too.

Montana Governor Isn’t a Fan of Tourism


King Schweitzer Hates Tourism

So what is a glory-hound bully king governor to do when it appears he will eventually lose his ill-conceived battle? He changes the rules, of course.

Through Governor Schweitzer,  Montana is sending quite the message to the more than a dozen online travel booking agencies that he is suing in his quest extract more tax revenue.  That message is: “Hey, promote some other state, we don’t like tourism.”  Perhaps those companies will treat us like they did Columbus, Georgia.  After a court ruled that the online travel companies should indeed be paying more taxes, most major booking agencies simply dropped the city from their listings all together.

In Montana, the difference between the bed tax revenue that is paid and the amount the governor thinks it should be is estimated at a paltry $100,000  annually.  One of the agencies targeted by Schweitzer, Travelocity, had just announced a half-million dollar promotion plan for our state when Schweitzer thanked them with a bright, shiny, new lawsuit.

Many jurisdictions across the nation have filed similar lawsuits across the nation and nearly all rulings have favored the travel booking companies.  A representative of Expedia said the lawsuits are a question of whether the companies should pay taxes on their margins and fees. Cities and states that levy taxes on the Expedia’s commission lower its incentive for doing business there, he said.  Some cities, after failing to win similar lawsuits, have amended their laws and informed hotels that if they cannot force the agencies to pay, they will force the hotels to do so.  It is expected that, in the event the cities prevail, the booking agencies will do whatever it takes to recoup the taxes from the hotels.

Claiming that it is just the usual housekeeping, the Montana Department of  Revenue plans to publish new rules that apparently recast implementation of the hotel bed tax which clarify the the taxes. The new rules specify that the agencies need to pay tax on the retail amount received from customers, not the wholesale  value of the room.

In Montana, the online booking agencies have some help in the ongoing dispute.  The Montana Chamber of Commerce and the Montana Taxpayers Association say the Department of Revenue is wrong to use a rule-making process to go after the online companies.

However things play out, it is obvious that these lawsuits will hurt our state’s entire tourism industry.  The economic impact will remain to be seen but surely it will be larger than $100,000/annually.   And in the event  Travelocity and the other number of agencies are victorious, perhaps Governor Schweitzer will send  his brother Walt, who has been described as “Helena’s 800-pound gorilla and state government’s elephant in the room” to shake them down.

Mr. Healthcare Seeks to Change Bill He Wrote Without Reading


 

GASP!

Gasp! Guess I should have read it....

Suddenly, that infamous  bill Baucus wrote yet did not read isn’t quite what he thought it was.  After over a year of avoiding all encounters with angry Montanans prior to passing sweeping and unpopular health care reforms, Max now says:

 

“I have heard small businesses loud and clear and I am responding to their concerns. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in my home state of Montana and across the country, and they need to focus their efforts on creating good-paying jobs – not filing paperwork. I have fought hard for small businesses and worked hard this year to pass a Small Business Jobs bill that improves access to capital, stimulates investment and promotes entrepreneurship. It’s my job to work for small business owners in Montana and across the country and that’s exactly what this bill will do.”

Baucus seeks to strip The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act‘s (PPACA)cumbersome requirement that all businesses report payments to and purchases from any business totaling more than $600 in a calendar  year.  Some 40 million Americans were potentially subject to the requirement, including 26 million sole proprietorships.  Wherever will the democrats steal the money to fill the gaping hole surely to be left by removing this provision?

Apparently Max is again looking out for Max.  Montana shifted considerably to the right in the mid-term elections and Max knows we blame him for Obamacare.  Way to make an effort, Max.  Perhaps if you would have read the bill in the first place or, GOD FORBID, held town halls and listening sessions in Montana instead of hiding cowardly beneath your DC desk with your chubby buddy Jon Tester, you would already have known how much people hated this horrible law.  How much money would we have saved- or allow me to present this in a more liberal-friendly way- how many trees’ lives could be spared by eliminating this provision from the bill initially?  Better yet, by never enacting any of it in the first place? Perhaps Max’s constituents would have preferred he propose enabling insurance companies to sell across state lines and some sweeping TORT reform instead of this monstrosity.

Way too little, way too late, Max.  I am still planning a hell of a retirement party for ya in 2014.

Humble Governor Schweitzer Continues Embarrassin’ the Big Sky State


Yesterday, Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer was quick to dismiss any truth in all of the rumors he started that are apparently flying around about his plans after his term is up.  Due to term limits, he is prevented from  making himself our king running for another term and according to him, the rumors have been circulating in democratic circles for WEEKS.  He would like Montanans to know that he has no plans to run for President and that a recent New Hampshire poll about such a bid by Schweitzer had nothing to do with him. Ever the boastful blowhard sheepish cowboy, Schweitzer pointed out that Obama will likely be interested in the job anyway and said “It’s kind of silly, really. I’m just learning how to be governor of Montana.”

Many in Montana would agree with that assertion considering bashful Brian’s recent embarrassing lawsuit against over a dozen online travel booking agencies over a dispute over how bed taxes in the state are assessed.  At the 2010 Montana Economic Development Summit, he very publicly attacked the leaders of Travelocity after they announced formal plans to promote tourism in the state.

To any of you who may think this isn’t worthy of a story, think again.  It has been the Billings Gazette headline for hours.  Don’t worry about Schweitzer though, according to him, he always gets a job.  Whether it will be doing some fencin’ on that land that the public no longer can access,  practicin’ his Arabic,  or vyin’ for higher office, we can expect to have him hanging around for years to come, embarrassin’ the Big Sky State.

Confused By Laws, Governor Schweitzer Sues Online Travel Companies


Schweitzer and his beloved Jag

Today Governor Schweitzer and the state of Montana sued more than a dozen online travel agencies instead of thanking them for bringing tourists to our struggling state.

According to the MT Department of Revenue, Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, and others pay bed taxes on the wholesale portion of the room as opposed to the total amount which includes their fees.  The booking agencies claim that Schweitzer’s interpretation of law is incorrect and that the bed taxes should only be accessed on the amount of money taken in by Montana hotels and that the difference between the total amounts and the wholesale prices is so minuscule that it would produce only $100,000 or so for the state.

Earlier this year,  at Max’s 2010 Economic Development Summit, Schweitzer embarrassed the state by publicly confronting Travelocity leaders over the dispute on the very same day that the group laid out plans to formally promote Montana.

Governor Schweitzer, your big “surplus” shouldn’t be saved by raping an industry that already contributes significantly to Montana’s economy.   Sorry buddy, this time you may have to enact some cuts in state government to make up for the nearly half billion projected budget shortfall.  You may have to stop bragging that you run your state like a ranch and start admitting you are biting the hand that feeds us.

Injustice: Marc Racicot’s Montana Legacy: Part III


Was Judge Swandal a Casualty of Cronyism?

In March 2008, Judge Cybulski rejected Beach’s request for a hearing based on the testimony before the state parole board, including witnesses who said they heard two women talk about being involved in the killing. Judge Nels Swandal was assigned the case on April 2 after the Montana Supreme Court ordered Cybulski to appoint a new judge.

Although the Department of Justice refused to specify why,  the state asked that Swandal be removed from the case. As a result, District Judge E. Wayne Phillips of Lewistown will preside over the hearing scheduled in August of 2011.

It seems to be a somewhat logical conclusion that politics was at play here.  The conservative Nels Swandal was likely not the favored candidate of the Montana Department of Justice- a group of liberal lawyers.  Were they were afraid that the Beach case, which is sure to garner national attention, would provide publicity for Swandal and thus endanger their candidate, a Department of Justice/Helena insider?  Perhaps it simply suited Marc Racicot to have a friend on the Supreme Court?  I’d love to believe that Racicot’s endorsement was heartfelt and driven solely by belief that Baker is the best candidate for the job, but I’m not convinced.

For all of these years, Marc Racicot has maintained that Barry Beach was responsible for the death of Kim Nees.  I wonder how he is able to sleep at night although maybe, just MAYBE; he is convinced that his prosecution was fair, along with a host of other big decisions he made for our state that impact us to this day.  Had the internet been more prevalent during his tenure, I wonder if he would be remembered as Montana’s most popular governor or as a ruthless narcotics smuggler, Mr Deregulation, Enron lawyer/lobbyist, or the guy who stole Barry Beach’s entire life simply because he was overly ambitious and more concerned about his future than the truth.

From the Montanan online:

Racicot makes no apologies for deregulation or any other policy decision, although without giving specifics does admit “not everything I did was right.” He hopes his legacy is his approach, saying he will be remembered for “the character of my service and the civility of it.”

Injustice: Marc Racicot’s Montana Legacy: Part I


Questions Surround Racicot’s Endorsement of Beth Baker

RINO Racicot

Former “Republican” Montana Governor Marc Racicot‘s letter to the editor (QCN, Sept. 29, 2010) endorsing Beth Baker for Montana Supreme Court Justice, may not be as puzzling as it appears at first glance….

Beth Baker beat Nels Swandal in the race for Montana Supreme Court Justice earlier this week.  Although Swandal was, from the beginning, the underdog in the race, many consider Racicot’s endorsement as one that sealed Swandal’s fate.  While Baker campaigned as a non-partisan candidate, Swandal refused to deny his conservative values. While she may portray herself otherwise, an analysis of Beth Baker’s political contributions (to only democrats or “non-partisan” judicial candidates over the last 17 years) combined with her endorsements from liberal environmentalist groups (her husband Tim Baker is former head of Montana Wilderness Association and currently their legislative campaign coordinator) imply that Baker is hardly non-partisan.

Let’s look at Baker and Racicot’s history…. In 1989, Beth Baker became an assistant attorney general with the Montana Department of Justice after four years as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Charles Lovell.  As assistant attorney general, Baker worked under Republican Attorney General Marc Racicot and Democrat Attorney General Joe Mazurek and became chief deputy of the department in 1997.  She is currently in private practice as the managing partner for the law firm Hughes, Kellner, Sullivan and Alke, PLLP in Helena.  Racicot said in his letter to the editor, in reference to Baker:

…Montanans could elect no better candidate to their Supreme Court than Beth Baker.

…we both believe that Beth is the embodiment of what a judge ought to be.

…In this race, and especially with this candidate, our party affiliations are irrelevant.

One questions why a “conservative” former governor/RNC Chair/Bush campaign manager/DC lobbyist would publicly endorse- jointly with a Democrat- a clearly liberal environmentalist with no judicial experience.

Next:  Part II

Montana Democratic Party Hiding Behind Shadowy Veg PAC Attack Ads


 

 

Acceptable For Me, Not For Thee

 

Liberal Hypocrisy: While Quietly Funding Sleazy New PAC, Montana Democrats Whine About Kendall Van Dyk Being Unfairly Tied to Obama in “Attack Ads”

 

Across Montana this election season, letters to the editor and newspaper articles are denouncing the Values Energy & Growth PAC’s sleazy campaign tactics.  The obscure new political action committee’s C-6 filed recently with the Montana Commission of Political Practices sheds some light on this group which has been making waves primarily in the Montana SD25 race between Roy Brown and Kendall Van Dyk.  The Democratic Legislators Alumni Association, funded by the Montana Democratic Party is the SOLE source of funding for the group behind numerous large mailers suggesting that Roy Brown intends to kill the trout in our rivers with his pals at BP.  Misleading at best, the group’s mailers all present Roy Brown as a wealthy out-of-state oil executive who is out of touch with Montana’s needs. In reality, he hasn’t worked in the oil industry in over a decade.  While the Montana Democrat Party funding the Veg PAC isn’t necessarily illegal, Montanans certainly deserve to know who is behind the mudslinging.

Kendall Van Dyk’s virtual silence on this issue- combined with the “coincidence” that his campaign mailers use the very same photo of Roy Brown used in the Veg PAC’s attack mailers- suggests collusion.  The latest mailers quote Montana Cowgirl, an anonymous liberal blogger under fire by her own supporters for “gay-baiting”.  While the blogger is a consistent supporter of the liberal agenda- in particular that of Montana’s governor Brian Schweitzer and Kendall Van Dyk, her credibility is non-existent as her defense and incessant praising of all things Schweitzer suggests she exists solely for that very reason. The Veg PAC’s use of consulting firm Strategies 360 is also interesting to note considering the group’s VP is a former deputy communications director for Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Kendall Van Dyk has denied knowledge of the Values Energy & Growth PAC and the Democratic Legislators Alumni claims they gave funding to the group after the Montana Democratic Party put them in touch with the group- which only existed 5 days prior to absentee ballots being mailed.  As reported in the Billings Gazette last week:

The Democratic Legislators Alumni Association had given $15,000 to VEGpac the day VEGpac was formed and another $10,000 on Oct. 8. Also required to reveal its finances Thursday, the Democratic Legislators Alumni Association listed just one donation from June 24 to Oct. 16: The Montana Democratic Party, which gave the Democratic Legislators Alumni Association $49,384.

It isn’t difficult to follow the money here, folks.  Everything is connected.  An anonymous Schweitzer cheerleader blogger, an environmental extremist candidate, the Montana Democratic Party….. yet everyone involved knows nothing.  Interesting.  In typical liberal fashion, they are keeping it classy.

I encourage those in SD 25 who have yet to vote to denounce attack ads with your vote.  This story is only the beginning.  Roy Brown’s campaign has been classy and respectful, choosing to attack Van Dyk’s record and agenda as opposed to creating dishonest connections and smearing his opponent personally.  Although democrats are complaining of Van Dyk being smeared by attempting to tie him to Obama, it is difficult to defend when the numerous photos of Rep. Van Dyk posing with Obama are on his flickr photostream.  In contrast, tying Roy Brown to BP is an outrageous assertion as there is no evidence to suggest anything of the sort.

Governor Schweitzer’s Paid Personal Cheerleader Under Fire for Offending the Gay Community


Poor Montana Cowgirl has made enough liberals upset that her blog was featured on a Billings Gazette headline this morning.  I find it odd that it was never a story until it bothered other liberals.  Cowgirl’s entire blog is devoted to lying about and mocking conservatives.

The rude anonymous blogger has apparently posted information using the state Capitol computer system according to the Gazette story.  Considering her love of all things Schweitzer and to a lesser extent Bullock, I’m pretty sure there is a scandal lurking within this story.  How much is our state paying Montana Cowgirl to be the governor’s personal cheerleader?  It makes sense to vote against corruption…. I suggest that Cowgirl’s sleazy tactics be rewarded with votes for the opponents of her pet candidates.

Check out the story on the Flint Report.

Governor Schweitzer Blows a Gasket


 

Governor Schweitzer is accustomed to getting his way.

 

When Governor Brian Schweitzer realized he wasn’t going to get his way, he had a hard time controlling his anger. Check out the video on The Flint Report. Governor Brian Schweitzer is suing the Montana Legislature over House Bill 676 because he believes it covers more than one subject and therefore violates the Montana constitution.  The legislators disagree.

Schweitzer has the nerve to criticize them for hiring additional legal staff for the lawsuit while failing to admit they wouldn’t need any lawyers for this issue had the governor not sued the legislature in the first place.  Governor Schweitzer needs to stop wasting Montana taxpayer money.

Montana’s Top Elected Democrats In Violation of Ethics Laws


Isn’t it time for Montana’s top elected Democrats to start setting a good example?

Birds of a feather….

While Governor Brian Schweitzer claims the home of the governor is exempt, Republicans believe that a fundraiser held Monday October 18, 2010 at the Governor’s mansion is in violation of a state law banning use of government resources for political work.  Montana law states, “a public officer or public employee may not use
public time, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, or funds to
solicit support for or opposition to any political committee, the
nomination or election of any person to public office, or the passage of
a ballot issue.” (MCA 2-2-121(3)(a)).  Among co-hosts of this party were the state’s top law enforcement officer, Steve Bullock, the state’s top elections officer, Linda McCulloch, and a number of partisan lobbyists.  We will keep this in mind when Bullock is running for governor in the future.

The chairman of the Montana Republican Party, Will Deschamps:

“I have a number of questions: How does the state’s top elections official justify her involvement in a partisan event that appears to violate ethics laws? How does the state’s top law enforcement official justify his involvement in a partisan event that appears to violate ethics laws? Is Kendall Van Dyk ignorant of the Montana definition of ethical, or did he flout it deliberately? Are we giving lobbyists free reign to use the people’s property for their political arm twisting? And when will Governor Schweitzer stop using taxpayer funds for partisan political purposes?”

Van Dyk has a history of  flouting the law so this should come as no surprise.

Van Dyk is running a dirty campaign against Roy Brown in the SD25 race in Billings.  Voters of the district have received  numerous nasty mailers sent out by Van Dyk and his friends.  Values Energy & Growth PAC, a new shadowy political action committee is responsible for many of the attack mailers and ads airing now.

It appears Van Dyk’s platform of one issue- stream access- isn’t enough to win a race so he is resorting to criticism of the incumbent senator’s home decor and other very worthy attacks.  Kudos to Roy Brown for handling this sort of rubbish with class.

The villain in the governor’s mansion, Brian Schweitzer should know better… and I’m sure he does.  He simply doesn’t care.  Vote for Roy Brown, send Kendall Van Dyk downstream.

Political Playground Bully “Big Government” Kendall Van Dyk’s Diabolical Campaign of Distortions


Montana Democrats to Vote Against “Big Government” Van Dyk

Although it is a key Montana race, I hate to continue to write about the Kendall Van Dyk campaign’s hypocrisy and mud-slinging.  The Montana Cowgirl blog’s posts here and here today combined with breaking news that Democrats are tiring of their candidate have, however; warranted another post.

According to sources within the Montana left, Democratic leaders are panicking over a trend they have noticed in Billings voters.  Apparently democrats in SD25 are seriously favoring conservative businessman Roy Brown over radical environmentalist community organizer, Kendall Van Dyk. Whether these voters fear big government,  are tired of the deceptive ads by Van Dyk and his minions, or they simply realize the importance of this election, voters from all ends of the political spectrum are showing support for Republican incumbent senator Roy Brown.

Rumors swirling about Brown’s covert veganism have likely contributed to this trend (the PETA crowd surely approves) but many voters are simply saying that they simply cannot elect someone with a one-issue advocacy history. Thanks in part to Van Dyk, Montana stream access laws have been clarified, but he has accomplished little else in his time in the House. His reputation for ego-driven tirades and failure to be a team player is obviously a contributing factor in this important election.

Billings Gazette readers commenting online have mentioned with increasing frequency that although they are Democrats or they voted for Kendall Van Dyk in his last House election, they’ll be voting this time for Roy Brown. Roy’s accessibility has been lauded while Van Dyk  frequently resorts to using uninformed youngsters carrying Droids to canvas neighborhoods in SD25. Roy has consistently campaigned with dignity, always on a platform of why he deserves your vote as opposed to why his opponent does not. His honorable tactics have been rewarded with attack ads filled with lies and distortions about his career and lifestyle. Although collaboration would be illegal, it seems like quite a coincidence that mailers sent by Values, Energy, & Growth PAC use the very same photo of Roy Brown in a long black coat and a red scarf as those sent by Van Dyk.   Montanans, Democrats and Republicans alike want candidates to know that we are tired of malicious campaigns.

Montana’s economy has been struggling to keep up with the spending of the democrats in power and Montanans from the left and right of the political spectrum are realizing that we can’t spend our way out of this recession. The reality for most Americans is that our federal taxes are going to be skyrocketing. With Montana’s projected state budget shortfall of nearly a half BILLION dollars, increases on state taxes are almost certain. Van Dyk hasn’t ever met a tax hike he didn’t like while Roy Brown was listed by Legistats as the third most fiscally conservative member of our state’s senate.

Maybe voters have decided that voting for local and state legislators who support Obama’s destruction of our nation is a bad move….but whatever the reason, Billings voters will be sending clear messages to the big Montana government on November 2nd, 2010.  Gutter politics should not be rewarded.  Ask Kendall Van Dyk to stop being the political playground bully and to keep his campaign clean.