What exactly IS AG candidate Pam Bucy’s position on medical marijuana? UPDATED WITH BUCY’S RESPONSE


The following collection of statements from Montana Attorney General Candidate Pam Bucy (D) indicates her position on medical marijuana is confusing at best.

From Q2 News:  As Montana’s top law enforcement official, how do you plan on enforcing the state’s medical marijuana law while balancing federal law which says marijuana is illegal?

“I support the people’s right to pass law by initiative, and I will enforce Montana’s medical marijuana law to ensure that the patients who need this therapy have access without fear of prosecution.

One of the issues Montana has faced in regard to our medical cannabis law is a lack of clarity on how the federal government will enforce their laws. As attorney general I’ll work with other attorneys general in the country to get clarification from the federal government on their enforcement strategy. This will allow us to have a clear picture of how we can enforce the law in a way that will protect patients while ensuring that law enforcement have no question about the law and are supported in their enforcement of the law as passed by the people of Montana.”

Bucy, while representing the Police Protective Association in 2011 Legislative hearings, opposed SB326, which expanded the list of  the list of diseases treatable by medical marijuana to include diabetes, hepatitis C and post-traumatic stress disorder. Bucy said

“We respectfully disagree with proponents that this is in line with what the voters of Montana agreed to.”

And the latest twist in the Bucy flip-flopping saga is the following email sent from a reader (name and email address removed).

Yet, in the Lone Tree Lookout, Bucy said the following in response to the question “What’s your perspective on citizen created ballot initiatives?”

To be honest, I love the process. It’s such a grassroots way for people to participate in making policy. It is direct legislation by the people. It is refreshing and you don’t find that everywhere. I really do support it but it allows some reactionary issues to make their way to the ballot. Because some of them haven’t been necessarily well vetted, there are often problems. But, I spent a lot of my time in the Attorney General’s office defending citizen initiatives, and I will continue to do that because I think it’s an important role in Montana, to make sure people continue to have direct access to legislating.

If we are to believe Bucy’s own words, we are rather confused on her stance.  She supports the right to pass legislation by initiative yet she opposes I-148, an initiative passed by 62% of Montanans. She opposes SB-423, the ridiculous stealth repeal that Sen. Jeff Essmann sponsored and passed right before the ending bell of the 2011 Legislative Session but she also opposes opposes allowing Hepatitis C patients access to medical marijuana.  I recently took some heat from the medical marijuana community for refusing to note Bucy as cannabis-friendly in the montanafesto 2012 Cannabis Voters Guide.  I stand by my assessment- she is listed as neutral as the jury is still out of Pam.

Hopefully Pam’s campaign will clarify her position on this important issue.  Her opponent, Tim Fox has a significant lead according to the most recent polling data.

10/29/2012:  Bucy’s response is as follows:

I strongly support the citizen’s right to initiative, and I support I-148.  I oppose efforts to repeal initiatives as passed by the citizens of the state of Montana. I voted against IR-124. While on the road, I mistakenly responded to an email where I mixed up the initiative numbers. This was a typo, not a switch in position.  In my work with law enforcement, we strove to implement this law in a way that stayed true to the spirit of the initiative. As you know, there is a fundamental conflict of law with the federal government which has made patients fearful of prosecution. As Attorney General, I will work with the federal government and with other states who have passed this initiative to find a workable solution to ensure patients get the therapy they need.

Please continue to reach out to me if you have further questions about my positions on these important issues.– Pam

 

No Civility in this Disobedience


It doesn’t get much better than this…. although the entire video is umm, interesting; skip to the 21:00 mark to watch activists from Earth First! and Rising Tide North America’s display of disrespect. They literally DANCED on the governor’s reception room table.  Protesters also chanted slogans and scaled flagpoles as they made it clear they take their Big Oil hatred very seriously.

The civil disobedience team was called to defuse the situation.  Though the team, which includes a dozen Lewis and Clark County sheriffs deputies and Helena police has existed since 2007, their services were never utilized prior to this event.  Five arrests occurred after a group chain locked themselves together outside the governor’s office.

This juvenile display seemed far more media and attention-driven than rooted in a sincere desire to evoke change. The protesters wasted an opportunity with their desired audience, Montana’s media and Governor Schweitzer; to present their message effectively and no doubt lost any credibility they may have previously had.

I apologize for the lazy post, this spectacle deserves more commentary, but I’m stretched rather thin this week, so it will have to suffice.

I See Dumb People


 

Montana’s GOP renounced the tea party in dramatic fashion earlier today.  Jennifer Olsen, Queen of the tea people was defeated in her quest to become Vice Chair of the Montana GOP.  Incumbent Chair Will Deschamps defeated his less moderate challenger Mark French as well (although I don’t necessarily consider French a tea person- certainly not the same flavor of tea as Olsen anyway).  Jennifer, from Billings; is the co-founder (with her father Eric Olsen) of Montana Shrugged, Tea Party Patriots.  Montana Shrugged is known for its divisive tactics and inconsistency in following the principles it espouses.

Pardon me while I laugh.  Upon viewing the preceding clip, I was initially certain it was a joke.  Seriously.  Never before have I encountered a more contentious person in the Republican party.  Not even A.J. Otjen…. although she often makes me laugh as well.  Representative Cary Smith, of medical marijuana GOP God Squad infamy, nominated Jennifer Olsen for Vice Chair of the MT GOP and in doing so mentioned that she is actively involved with the Young Republicans.  As someone who actually IS actively involved with the Young Republicans, I can attest that there isn’t much farther from the truth…. which isn’t surprising considering the source.

Audrey Walleser, newly elected Chairwoman of the Montana Young Republicans, and current Treasurer of the Yellowstone Young Republicans issued the following statement:

“Ms. Olsen on numerous occasions has slandered and libeled the Young Republicans.  She has shown nothing but contempt and disrespect for the Montana Young Republicans and their missions and goals.  She has also never attended a YR event nor paid dues to any YR club or organization, therefore is not a member of either the Yellowstone Young Republicans or the Montana Young Republicans.”

I offer the following screenshots as evidence of her loyalty to the Young Republicans, apparently fighting for our principles is easier than living up to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrast the preceding screenshots with this one:

 

 

 

I am a big fan of individual liberty and personal responsibility as well as fiscal constraint, all principles that are typically associated with the tea people.  I don’t abhor everything Tea, my problem is primarily with Montana Shrugged- more specifically its leaders. Although they claim to be a patriotic force- and one to be reckoned with- independent from the GOP, two of their three leaders are now members of the executive board of the Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee.  Yellowstone County is a bastion of RWNJ ideology- most members of the GOP God Squad call that area home- Representatives James Knox, Cary Smith, Tom McGillvray, and Ken Peterson as well as Senators Jeff Essmann, Ed Walker…. and those are off the top of my head.  Forgive me if I’ve forgotten any key prohibition players in Yellowstone County.

It is no secret that I’m disillusioned with both the tea people and the current hypocritical majority of the Montana Republican Party and I doubt anyone would accuse me of being a uniting force in the party these days.  However, I do believe we need to either expand our tent or distance ourselves from the uneducated extremists in the party or we will face blowing defeats in 2012 elections.

Mainstream Republicans have to know that the Tea “party” gave us a group of legislators responsible for the most ridiculous legislative session in recent history.  Some of their legislation was purely symbolic, many bills were blatantly unconstitutional and some of the profoundly flippant legislation bordered on obsessive…. all of which obscured any successes of the GOP in 2011.

The Comforting Embrace of the Government Nanny


 Montana’s 62nd legislature, led by a healthy Republican majority, sought repeatedly to overturn citizens initiatives and impose new moralistic standards upon its citizens.  As a result, the hypocritical right; who profess a dedication to smaller, more localized government and less intrusion, is being criticized state-wide by its own members. The left generally looks to the government to solve whatever problems we face but most Montanans are already aware that the government’s solutions are generally more destructive than than any problems presented to us. What ever happened to this? Montana is widely known for its libertarian bend and traditionally has had no problem in the past saying no to the federal government.  Real ID, wolves, firearms…. we generally prefer to rule ourselves.

Forget political ideology, Montanans should be dropping labels and stereotypes and embracing each other in the battle our own federal government is waging against us. Instead we are divided, selectively enforcing components of the constitution to meet political needs.

Gonzales v. Raich, the Tenth Amendment, and Controlled Substances Act

Gonzales v Raich essentially ruled that even intra-state marijuana activity was subject to federal jurisdiction via the Commerce Clause. Federal intervention falls under the category of “powers delegated to the United States by the Constitution” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3).

While condemning Republicans for their anti-liberty actions regarding Montana’s medical marijuana industry, I’ve noticed frightening inconsistencies in both sides of the political spectrum.  With great frequency I wonder how the left is able to justify their support of national healthcare reform (Obamacare) considering the very decision- Gonzales v. Raich -that made such a mandate possible is also utilized in federal intervention in medical marijuana states.  On the other hand, many conservatives advocated the federal government’s limitless reading of the commerce clause to fight the war on drugs, but now denounce the use of such power to enforce Obamacare…. selective application.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Constitution provides that the powers of the federal government are limited and specifically defined. Because the Constitution did not give Congress the authority to regulate alcohol, prohibition required a constitutional amendment.  If we are taking a principled stand on limiting the scope of the federal government, we need to do so consistently.  Medical marijuana or socialized medicine, we need to ask ourselves whether allowing the federal government to regulate anything and everything is acceptable to us.  The Commerce Clause is a double-edged sword.

How many Republicans would be willing to enforce the Tenth Amendment when the issue is marijuana? How do Democrats justify involving the federal government in healthcare but not in regulating cannabis?

IRS

New tax mandates and penalties included in Obamacare will cause the greatest expansion of the Internal Revenue Service since World War II, as 16,500 agents will be hired to enforce the law.  The IRS is also harassing medical marijuana dispensaries.  According to Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, no deductions or credits can be claimed by businesses “trafficking in controlled substances”. So, medical marijuana dispensaries across the state are being audited and disallowed all  business deductions (e.g., buying marijuana, hiring staff, paying for office space, etc.), essentially taxing businesses out of existence.  Using the IRS to enforce health care reform sounds ridiculous, nearly as crazy as involving federal agencies like the EPA, ICE, DHS, or OSHA in medical marijuana raids.

FDA
The Food and Drug Administration wants to hold your hand as well, they essentially believe in no health freedom at all. From the FDA in a dismissal notice filed in Iowa by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds.”

“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.”

The FDA believes that it is the only entity granted the authority to decide for you what you are able to eat and drink. The government nanny, in other words, may override your food decisions and deny you free access to the foods and beverages you desire.  This is of course, the same entity that gave us Thalidomide, Vioxx, Phen-fen, and a host of other unsafe pharmaceuticals that were eventually pulled from the market after killing and maiming countless Americans.  Naturally, the FDA has also “definitively established” that marijuana has no medical use or value.

Under the guise of public safety, our populace has been conditioned to believe, despite the overwhelming oppositional evidence, that our government is acting in the name of public safety.  Bans on smoking, including toys with children’s high calorie meals, circumcision, salt, and cell phone use while driving, as well as laws requiring seat belt use can all be easily justified by the sheep.  In reality, they are all affronts to liberty.  Adults should be able to make their own choices, free of government instruction or guidance.   Sure, we all want affordable healthcare- but don’t tell me the federal government has a right to force us all to purchase a product while you claim they have no right to regulate our use of banned substances.

This isn’t about Republicans, it isn’t about Democrats. This isn’t about health care or medical cannabis, this is about liberty.  This is our future and we can’t have it both ways.  We need to forget partisan politics and defend the constitution.  Where is the Tea party now?


Montana Raided Again by Obama’s Anti-Cannabis Thugs, Schweitzer and Bullock Silent


The federal government once again has invaded our state to enforce the  unconstitutional Controlled Substances Act, perpetrating a raid on Sleeping Giant Caregivers in Helena today.  Notably but not surprisingly, Governor Schweitzer and Attorney General (Gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Bullock have again remained silent, caring more about saving their political future than defending Montana’s ill.  Federal intervention is apparently acceptable to them, as long as it only hurts one of their  non-crucial voting blocs.

A search and seizure warrant signed Thursday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch of Missoula authorized federal agents to seize items that are “evidence of the commission of drug trafficking offenses,” including marijuana and hashish, weapons, transaction records and other documents and paraphernalia as well as up to 1.2 million dollars in the business’s account at Mountain West Bank.  Naturally, the case has been sealed, no other details are known.  Let me guess, the government will destroy the plants, keep the money and continue on to the next assault on America’s freedoms.

View News 5’s exclusive video here.

Watch the following clip, anyone recall Obama’s stance pre-election?  How do all of you pro-cannabis democrats like your “badass” President now? He’s on track thus far to FAR surpass the number of Bush administration raids which numbered just over 200 in 8 years.  The Obama administration has raided well over 100 facilities already with almost almost 2 years left in his first term. So much for those campaign promises. So much for that Ogden memo.

Across the nation, the federal government continues its attempts to intimidate elected officials in hopes of influencing state policy.  I wonder why it even tries considering laws made by states obviously matter very little to this gangster government.  Remember the last series of raids in Montana?  They occurred shortly before a hearing on HB 161 on March 14.  According to the public record (although it wasn’t correct), a hearing was scheduled for 1:30pm in Lewis & Clark County regarding MTCIA’s injunction against SB 423.  Today’s raid occurred just prior to 1:30pm.  I’m sure these are just coincidences though.

Regardless of your stance on medical marijuana, this concerns all Montanans and all Americans as all of our rights are at risk. Call Governor Brian Schweitzer at 406.444.3111 and Attorney General Steve Bullock at 444.2026 today to ask them to condemn the federal intervention and assault on freedom.   Governor Schweitzer has no problem standing up to the federal government when wolves are concerned, ask him why he’s been completely silent about protecting Montana’s ill.  Steve Bullock wants to be your next governor, I suggest you focus your attention on him.  Montana needs a governor who isn’t afraid to do the right thing.  If Bullock ignores the Montanans who are unable to help themselves now, how will he treat them AFTER he has their vote?

This guy wants to govern Montana. He won't defend ill Montanans who use medical cannabis, what makes you think he will defend you?

If you care about your rights and are able to attend,  I will see you tomorrow night in Billings- not at the Yellowstone County Republican Lincoln Reagan dinner, but at a fundraising and networking event held by the MTCIA.  Event details can be found here.

Bloviations by Governor Brian


Shovel-ready indeed. It is getting deep! Sen. Hamlett is right about one thing, BS is certainly a tool.

During Schweitzer‘s SOTS speech, liberal  media/bloggers/lobbyists hacks were tweeting the praises of our Governor to the point that I was tempted to ride out the rest of the event in a pair of thigh-high boots… it was really getting deep, but such tweets were unnecessary as nobody does a better job of praising Governor Schweitzer than the ego-centric proud governor himself. Governor Schweitzer,with his frenzied appearance, bloated body, shiny (slime or grease perhaps) happy face, and trusty bolo tie  looked like a statesman heart attack waiting to happen as he delivered his final lecture SOTS address to the Republican-controlled legislature last night.

Governor BS delivers Montana some more BS

 

Arrogant blowhard Never one to brag, Governor Schweitzer gave credit where credit was due- to himself.  Placing the focus on jobs- after poking fun at Republicans of course- Schweitzer touted mining and natural resources, agriculture, and our bright future.  Instead of being forthright in admitting  that his budget relies on raiding various pots of one-time money to squeak by the next two years, he chastised Republicans for always utilizing low revenue projections, telling them that if they chose to cut funding for public education, they would be doing it as a reflection of their values, not because of fiscal need, citing Montana’s “money in the bank”.   I find it ironic that he is punishing the fiscally responsible schools in eastern Montana by stealing taking their surpluses to fund education in western Montana.  If our economic forecast is so bright, why is this necessary?

Perhaps our next governor will need neither, Bob.

Now there is an idea....

I would like to remind Governor Schweitzer of his own words used early in his address: “Be careful of half-truths, you may just get the wrong half.”  Indeed, I feel very a little dirty after listening to his hour-long  brag-fest address.

Montana Democrats: Thy Name is Contradiction


We should leave it to the person’s own faith and values, not the government, to make personal decisions.  No one’s actions should be dictated by another person’s faith.”

Calling the Montana’s 2011 lawmakers (according to pro-choice leaders, all 96 Republicans in the legislature are pro-life) one of the most extreme anti-abortion legislatures in two decades, leaders of abortion rights groups urged their supporters to pack the Capitol to defend their right to exterminate the live repercussions of their sexually permissive lifestyle at their will.  Today’s rally attracted 150 abortion fans who waved signs with emblazoned with phrases like “Birth Control, Not Bans”, “Montana is PRO-CHOICE”, and “Pro-Choice, Pro-Family”.

Juliana Crowley of NARAL Montana said of anti-abortion lawmakers this session:

“They are not close to being moderates at any level.  They have an extreme agenda, which aims to strip women of their ability to make private medical decisions.”

I find it ironic that the same people claiming that Republicans are stripping away rights and allowing the government to make private medical decisions are also the same people who advocated the federal government forcing millions of Americans to purchase undesirable and expensive health insurance via Obamacare.  The liberal mentality is such an enigma.  Let me get this right…putting criminal monsters (like Nathanial Bar-Jonah) to death is entirely too barbaric yet obliterating the most innocent lives is a RIGHT.  The federal government can apparently make all healthcare decisions for us except those involving our unwanted offspring.   If they’d truly like to see the government stay out of their decisions, Planned Parenthood should be defunded  (half billion+).  Maybe people would begin to take responsibility for their own actions if the government was no longer in the abortion business.

City Lies: Montana left giving Pinocchio some stiff competition


City Lies: Montana's Democrats Lie to Constituents

Today the Billings Gazette features a beautiful contrast between the members of the media who prefer to ignore facts and those who respect Montanans enough to print the truth.  Ed Kemmick, TEA party/liberty hater, penned the article “City Lights: Learning From the News”.  In it, he inadvertently yet efficiently demonstrates to Montanans why exactly we don’t, in fact, learn anything from the news.   In Chuck Johnson’s “Horse Sense: Contrary to rhetoric, lawmakers did not raise salaries” Johnson wrote a far more factually accurate account of the Republican “hypocrisy” Democrats, including Kemmick; have alleged.

Fortunately for “journalists” like Kemmick, most Montanans haven’t developed the critical thinking skills required to discern media bias, so I appreciate the Gazette throwing us a bone with this display of Kemmick’s obvious (and typical) partiality.  The title,  “Learning from the News” is actually hilarious.  To those of you who aren’t familiar with the events in the Montana legislature this week, allow me to recap.

  • HB1, also known as the “feed bill” passed on a strict partisan vote.  All 68 Republicans approved it while all 32 Democrats voted in opposition.  This $8.8 million bill pays for the entire legislature- staff, equipment, salaries of the legislators, etc.  It is equal to only .24% of Governor Schweitzer‘s proposed budget.
  • HB1 is $370,000 less than in 2009.
  • Legislators are paid $82.64/working day of Montana’s 90 day biennial session. Their per diem allowance increased by $1.62/day, to $105.31/day (such increase by law is adjusted based on the lowest of three factors).  In reality, due to calendar differences, this legislature will actually be paid slightly LESS than the one in 2009.
  • New legislators are allowed $1000 for the purchase of a laptop- some argued that they should be forced to use their own.  Either way, the allowance is a full third LESS than in 2009.
  • Fees for health insurance of all state employees has risen from $626/month in 2009 and $679/month in 2010 to $733/month this year.  Legislators, as state employees, are eligible for either health insurance or a subsidy, they cannot be blamed for rising health insurance premiums.
  • Democrats have accused the Republicans of “voting themselves a pay raise”, something that is actually impossible according to Section 5, Article 5 of the Montana Constitution (yes, that same Constitution many Democrats believe is among the best in the nation) preventing lawmakers from legislating their pay, whether it be an increase or otherwise.
  • Condemning the GOP as hypocritical for their opposition to national health care reform mandates, the left presented acceptance of  health benefits as equal to taking a government subsidy, when in fact, this generous benefit is available to all state employees.  Shall we consider each Montana government employee a ward of the state? Furthermore, I have a feeling that if Americans were all offered the opportunity to purchase the same health insurance as our state employees instead of being FORCED to buy a product from which US lawmakers exempted themselves, public sentiment would be drastically different.

Regardless, this difference in ideology is not an excuse for blatant dishonesty by our Democrat public officials. For those who aren’t aware of what constitutes a lie, according to Webster’s big red book of definitions, a lie is:

a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, something intended or serving to convey a false impression, an inaccurate or false statement, a falsehood.
Let us examine the words of our state’s liberal elite:

Kendall Van Dyk, Senator from Billings,
said tea party-backed Republicans who have trashed government spending need to live by their own rhetoric. He pointed out lawmakers get to keep the laptops even if they lose their next election.  ”Before they do any legislative action up here they sign up for a free computer and free health care all on the taxpayer dime,” he said. “Given the economic times where you are talking about a Republican majority that is looking at cutting $360 million, maybe they should back away from the government trough before they start making cuts to education.”
“On one hand they come to town and they want to cut the size of government — does that mean all of government except themselves?” Governor Schweitzer said. “I think if you are running for public office you probably have a personal laptop and that should be good enough.”  Governor Schweitzer has also recently accused the Montana legislature of being the “biggest boozers”.

From these statements, one could reasonably assume that both Senator Van Dyk and Governor Schweitzer use their own computers for work,  refuse a salary including the per diem allowance and forgo all health benefits.  We can also assume that other than Schweitzer’s Sunday mass communion vino, he probably isn’t much of a drinker.  Surely their liberal mouthpiece, Montana Cowgirl is not being paid with any Montana taxpayer dollars either, right?  After all,  that would make them all HYPOCRITES and you know what they say about those in glass houses.



Hypocrisy or Hyberbole?


Montana’s GOP legislators, most of whom campaigned on a platform of fiscal responsibility and cutting government waste are now being labeled as hypocrites by Governor Schweitzer and many of the legislature’s Democrats.  After proposing early budget cuts, nearly every move made by  GOP lawmakers thus far has been criticized by the left.

  • Approval of $1000 stipend (down from the previous $1500 allowance approved in 2007) for purchase of a laptop to be used by members of the legislature- Governor Schweitzer thinks they should use their own computers while the legislature argues that other state employees aren’t asked to supply their own equipment.
  • Inclusion of provisions to increase health benefits for legislators in HB #1, the “feed bill” which pays for the biennial legislative session.  Democrats say that it equates to “voting themselves a pay raise” while Republicans state that voting for increased compensation for themselves is constitutionally impossible.
  • Intentions of repealing/nullifying exceedingly unpopular national health care reform mandates- Schweitzer and other Democrats are calling Republicans hypocrites for accepting health insurance from their employer, the state of Montana; while actively trying to thwart the implementation of Obamacare within the state.
  • Schweitzer also recently stated publicly that the legislators are the “biggest boozers”.  His accusation was most likely directed at the left as well as he didn’t distinguish between political parties.

What do you think?

The Petty Perspective From Within King Schweitzer’s Glass House


Brian Schweitzer and Kendall Van Dyk think Republican legislators are hypocrites and boozers.

Governor Schweitzer really loves Montana’s legislature.  In light of the high rate of compensation ($10 or so/hour) the lawmakers  rake in at work, he wants them to provide their own personal laptop computers for legislative use.  After all, they are making the big bucks while working during Montana’s biennial session.   Today Schweitzer blasted Republican leadership for approving laptop purchases for legislators, calling them hypocrites for campaigning on fiscally conservative platforms.  Schweitzer said that he stopped all computer purchases in the executive branch a few months ago to save money. He says he now only purchases computers if absolutely necessary.

There is no word on whether the governor’s staff uses their personal computers at work, but House Majority leader Tom McGillvray doesn’t seem to think so.  Schweitzer’s comparison to the ban on new executive branch computers is flawed because none of those state employees are required to use their own personal computer. And neither should lawmakers, McGillvray said.

The “feed bill”, which pays for operation of the legislature was approved Monday containing a computer stipend capped at $1000 for lawmakers.   Since 2007, legislators have been given a stipend of up to $1,500 to buy a laptop computer for their own use.

Some democrats plan to oppose the bill.   Sen. Kendall Van Dyk of Billings said tea party-backed Republicans who have trashed government spending need to live by their own rhetoric. He pointed out lawmakers get to keep the laptops even if they lose their next election.  “Before they do any legislative action up here they sign up for a free computer and free health care all on the taxpayer dime,” he said. “Given the economic times where you are talking about a Republican majority that is looking at cutting $360 million, maybe they should back away from the government trough before they start making cuts to education.”

“On one hand they come to town and they want to cut the size of government — does that mean all of government except themselves?” Schweitzer said. “I think if you are running for public office you probably have a personal laptop and that should be good enough.”  Last I checked, Brian Schweitzer was indeed an elected official.  I’m guessing he probably doesn’t use his own personal laptop for work but I could be mistaken.  Where does Governor Schweitzer live?  Perhaps he should forgo his accommodations at the Governor’s Mansion in favor of an more economical Airstream?  Surely the state could make some extra money by turning the governor’s house into a Bed and Breakfast… although I doubt Travelocity and Expedia would assist.  And Sen. Van Dyk…. I’m guessing you are working without compensation or health insurance?

Anyone who has known a state legislator (or has cared to research the issue) is probably aware that the service they provide is a substantial sacrifice.  Their compensation is actually rather minimal and they reside away from their families during the session.  Governor Schweitzer has consistently criticized the entire legislature for everything from being “boozers” to being fed by lobbyists.  For a guy who keeps talking about bipartisanship and working together to pass an adequate budget, he sure has an interesting way of displaying his affection.

I’m not sure how things work in the Montana state government, but I’ve never had an employer expect or even allow me to use my personal computer at work,  primarily due to security concerns.  I do believe that the computers purchased with legislative stipends should probably belong to the state and that upon leaving the legislature, they should be returned.

Governor Schweitzer Loses a Round to the Boozers


Schweitzer isn't likely laughing now.....

Helena District Judge Kathy Seeley dismissed Governor Brian Schweitzer‘s lawsuit against the 2009 Montana legislature today due to a lack of legal standing.  Claiming House Bill 676, a companion bill to HB2, was unconstitutional because it contained multiple subject matters (Montana’s constitution allows only the general appropriations act, House Bill 2 to contain multiple subject matters) and that as a result,  Schweitzer’s veto powers were compromised.  Schweitzer, instead of vetoing the bill, allowed it to become law without his signature in 2009.   Lawyers for the legislature argued that he could have vetoed the bill if he had legal issues with it and Judge Seeley agreed as Schweitzer wasn’t able to identify any impairment of his veto power whatsoever.  Judge Seeley’s decision can be found here.

Legislators on both sides of the political aisle praised the judge’s ruling, expressing hope that the litigation has come to an end to avoid wasting further taxpayer resources.  Schweitzer has not yet decided if he will appeal the judge’s ruling to the Montana Supreme Court.

Last week, Governor Schweitzer took jabs at the legislature, claiming they were the “biggest boozers”.  He cited Department of Revenue data that showed a spike in liquor sales in the Helena area during Montana’s biennial legislature.  Ignoring the fact that the legislature brings literally thousands of people to Helena in lobbyists, legislative staff, and citizens testifying on bills, he instead chose to place the blame on Montana’s lawmakers.

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.

Lefty Love Affair With Endangered Democrat Jon Tester Ends Like a Bad DREAM


The End of a DREAM

Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester have had few successes in recent years.  Conservatives feel they have  ignored the wishes of their constituency in pushing through national healthcare reform mandates and other unpopular legislation while progressives feel they haven’t done enough.  Some liberals now refer to the Montana Senators as “blue dog democrats” and describe their political ideology as “right of center”.

You know things are really bad  when your most vocal and loyal fans turn on you though.  In a tragedy befitting a political Harlequin romance novel,   Markos  Moulitsas, the influential founder of the lefty website DailyKos, has broken up with Senator Jon Tester.   After the desperate Senator expressed his intent to vote against the controversial DREAM act,  Moulitsas took to publicly criticizing the man he’d once described as the “future of the Democratic party”.   Moulitsas tweeted “Good luck getting reelected now A**hole” as well as a host other disparaging Twitter comments about the man he’d once loved.

The DREAM act is over, possibly forever; and with it ends the liberal dream of millions of new undocumented Democrats becoming legal voters.  Moulitsas and other progressives have been betrayed by Tester’s desperation as he is facing a difficult reelection bid in 2012.  Montana voters would not forgive the Senator’s support of the DREAM  act on top of the national healthcare reform mandates so Tester caved.  It remains to be seen whether liberals will forgive Tester or express their disappointment in the Senator by closing their checkbooks but it is certain they will not soon forget.  Steve Daines,  a Republican Montana businessman is thus far Tester’s only opponent in the 2012 election although there is speculation that Montana’s lone Congressman Republican Denny Rehberg will seek Tester’s seat in the US Senate.

 

End of a DREAM, Loyal Supporters Turn on Tester

 

 

Brian Schweitzer’s Pathological Projections


Whether invented to cover for revenue projection mistakes in his initial budget or due to delusions, Governor Brian Schweitzer has suddenly discovered an additional $120 million to add to his structurally unbalanced budget proposal.

Schweitzer blasted the Legislature and its fiscal staff for routinely under-estimating the revenue required to formulate the state’s budget yet in recent years, revenues were also considerably lower than the governor’s budget director’s projections.  The governor also made it clear that there will be no need to cut state programs (sigh) and implied that any future cuts in education could essentially be blamed on misguided priorities of Republicans in the legislature.

Schweitzer still plans to use one-time money to balance his budget as well as robbing surpluses in fiscally responsible school districts.

According to Montana Policy Institute’s recently released Pork Report, 10 out of the 25 highest paid state employees are psychiatrists.  Although that may seem excessive and wasteful, Schweitzer is a tough case.  We may need to hire a few more mental health professionals.

Yes, Your Vote DOES Count


In the final recount, Kendall Van Dyk has defeated Roy Brown by a margin of only four votes in Montana SD25.  My condolences to the state of Montana, in particular to members of the state senate.

Congratulations to the Montana Democrat  Party aka Veg Pac (Values, Energy & Growth PAC).  Apparently sleaze is an effective campaign tactic, one that was rewarded with a landslide victory of 4 votes.

 

I hope Kendall doesn’t find his new senate colleagues to be too  ‘intellectually small‘ for him.

Schweitzer’s Pseudo Balanced Budget Scheme


 

Schweitzer tries to sneak by a budget lacking structural balance

 

With barely an  increase in revenue, a sluggish economy and increased costs, how can Montana balance their budget without making cutbacks or increasing taxes?  Governor Schweitzer’s proposed budget manages to do all of the above, but how?  And is it legal?

First of all, his budget will spend more than it takes in, which means it is not structurally balanced.  His budget relies heavily on  various pots of one-time money in order to “balance” but the next Montana governor will not be able to rely on that money and will likely be left with quite a mess.  $95 million dollars of one-time money will be added to the general fund in his proposal.  This money is in large part, from the coal tax fund which is typically used for local government grants.

By essentially stealing money from oil-rich school districts and giving it to the poorer schools, Schweitzer is able to punish the districts for their fiscal conservatism while rewarding those who can’t manage their money  in order to pay for his proposed $38 million increase in education funding.

He also plans to provide state employees one and three percent raises over his two year budget.  Ever the trickster, his budget only needs to pay for 6 months of the 3 percent increase as he proposes it take place in January of 2013.  He is also proposing tax breaks for many businesses and homeowners.  $28 million will come from enhanced crackdowns on those he and the Department of Revenue feel aren’t paying enough taxes.  Sounds lovely.  Get a tax break, receive an audit.

Republicans want to fix the state’s troubled pension funds but Schweitzer failed to address this in his proposed budget.  Although Republicans can rewrite Schweitzer’s entire budget, it ultimately requires his signature so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  Montana requires a balanced budget, does one that is structurally unbalanced really fulfill that requirement?

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Attention Eastern Montana Schools: If You Don’t Spend Your Oil Money, Schweitzer Will


 

Another liberal who punishes fiscal responsibility

Schweitzer has a message for Eastern Montana school districts that don’t spend all of the money they receive from oil and gas tax revenue- he plans to spend it for them.  Instead of recognizing and appreciating their frugality, he plans instead to punish the schools by forcing them to share their oil and gas revenues with the liberal side of the state.

 

Eastern Montana school districts rely heavily on the oil and gas tax revenues.  The few counties that would be impacted by this change are sparsely populated and remote.  The climate is very extreme.  Other than hunting season, tourism is almost non-existent.   When is the last time you heard of someone vacationing in Baker?  The K-12 school there budgeted only $300,000 of the $5.9 million they received in oil and gas revenue, according to Schweitzer.

Montanans in the areas producing most of the oil and gas in the state feel that this proposal is fair only if oil and gas development is open to the entire state.

But Willie Duffield, lobbyist for the Oil, Gas and Coal Counties, called Schweitzer’s plan “a bad idea.”

“The state’s already getting over 50 percent of the oil and gas revenue and distributes it around the state,” Duffield said. “So there’s no need for any more.”

If the state wants to distribute this additional oil and gas money to schools around the state, Duffield said, it needs to authorize drilling for oil and gas in more places.

“There’s oil and gas all under the state,” Duffield said.

We are all aware that the bulk of Montana’s natural resources are produced in these areas and that the schools there benefit from them. To those who want to benefit from Fallon County‘s oil and gas revenue, I suggest they relocate to Fallon County.  Liberals just don’t get it.  Here’s a news flash…. New concept: Cut SPENDING and eliminate wasteful programs instead of finding new ways to steal the required funding.

Montana Democrat Party Hires Purple-Shirted Thug as New Executive Director


Get ready for the purple shirts, Montana!

The Montana Democrat Party was apparently unimpressed with election results as they released their executive director last week.  SEIU political director, Ted Dick of Helena was hired to replace him.

What can Montana expect from Mr. Dick?  It is likely that the dirty mud-slinging campaign tactics he is known for will intensify.  Earlier this year, Ted Dick and the SEIU donated  at least $10,000 to Main Street Advocacy, a progressive “Republican”  group supporting moderate Republicans in contested primary races with Tea Party backed candidates.  Main Street Advocacy eventually returned the money, but Dick’s connection to the group appears to be significant.

Montana Republicans may want to investigate Senator John Brueggeman’s connections to such a group as well.

The Montana Democratic Party has its work cut out.  The people of Montana have spoken and they said, loud and clear: “We prefer a conservative direction in our state”.  So, Mr. Dick, I can’t wait to see how the SEIU’s signature  dirty political practices will affect campaigning in Montana. Will the Democrats have purple buses and rent-a-mobs at their disposal whenever necessary?  Will we see purple-shirted operatives counting ballots perhaps?  After the dirty campaigning by Kendall Van Dyk in SD25, one almost wonders how it could get much nastier.

Something tells me Montana’s political practices commission will be rather busy.

Montana Democrats:Premature Yet Rampant 2012 Paranoia


 

Answer our questions, Tester.

The paranoid Montana Democrats have filed a complaint against Steve Daines, who they claim is running an illegal shadow campaign for the US Senate seat currently held by Jon Tester.

 

At issue is a youtube ad posted by Common Sense Issues PAC attacking Tester and Baucus and appearing to endorse Steve Daines for their jobs- although the ad never mentions Daines, nor does the group’s website.

In a telephone interview with the Billings Gazette today, Daines maintained that he isn’t currently a candidate and expressed concern that the Democratic Party had consulted with the media before filing with the FEC.  The Gazette also mentions the “Draft Steve Daines for US Senate” Facebook group but fails to note that it was created by College Republicans- not by Daines, the Montana Republican Party, or the Common Sense Values PAC.

While it is widely believed that Daines will be filing soon (rumored to be November 13), there is also some speculation that current US House Representative Denny Rehberg is also interested in the position  which has led many to wonder if Daines will instead run for Rehberg’s House seat.

Personally, I just think Jon Tester is unhappy with the new website the PAC created which pokes fun at the senator’s inability and unwillingness to answer questions from his constituents.

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.

Montana SD25 Race: Dirty Democrat Guide to Stealing Elections


 

Kendall Van Dyk's Campaign Tactics?

Although the margin of victory exceeds the margin that triggers a mandatory recount, Roy Brown is still considering whether or not to call for one anyway.  Sixteen votes separate the candidates currently.

 

If Kendall Van Dyk wins this race, we are sending a clear message- dirty attack ads prove victorious.  Never have I witnessed such a nasty race- Van Dyk’s mailers were nothing short of SLIMY, rife with distortions, false accusations, and blatant lies.  In stark contrast, Roy Brown retained his dignity and campaigned like a gentleman.

The following are lessons we can learn from this election:

  1. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy so pay people like you to do your work- over and over.  Van Dyk’s campaign paid at least 17 people WAGES.  Roy Brown?  One.  Don’t bother knocking on doors yourself, use your employees.  While Roy was seen several times at each door in SD25, most residents didn’t see Van Dyk once.
  2. Never waste a perfectly good crisis. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose   No matter how vague of a connection, make outrageous statements connecting your opponent to emotional issues.  If he worked for an oil company three decades ago, connect him to the BP oil spill.
  3. Never go outside the experience of your people so utilize national figures and the state and national party to provide assistance.  Have DC fundraisers for a state election in Montana. Use shadowy PACs. The Values Energy & Growth PAC is funded solely by the Democratic Legislators Alumni PAC which is solely funded by….. the Montana Democratic Party.  Your constituents won’t know how to follow the money though, you’ll be alright.
  4. Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy. If your opponent has maintained dignified campaigns in the past, step it up a notch. Always take the low road.  It is difficult to flaunt your strengths when you don’t have any.  In these cases, compensate by attacking your opponent.  Name calling is a bonus.
  5. Ridicule is man’s most powerful weapon. Whine about how your opponent has gone too far.  For instance, accuse him of “trying to tie you to Obama”.  Never mention the several photos of you attending various events with Obama at your side- after all, that doesn’t tie you to him.
  6. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules- I consider this projection:  Exploit your own weaknesses by presenting them as your opponent’s. If you were raised out of your district,  present your opponent as an outsider. Don’t mention he moved here as a toddler or that you lived most of your life on the opposite side of the state.  If you were the local NORML chapter president, instead paint your opponent as “weak on medical marijuana laws”.
  7. If you do have ANY accomplishments, make sure your opponent appears to contrast you.  For instance, if you authored a stream access bill (even though the your bill looked nothing like the final one), present yourself as a savior to sportsmen.  Publicize photos of you hunting, fishing, being a MAN.  Ignore the fact that your opponent was the one endorsed by all of the sportsmen and firearm rights interest groups.  That is irrelevant.  Most people are too stupid or apathetic to research these fine details, so don’t worry about it.
  8. It isn’t about what you have, it is about what they THINK you have. Use subliminal advertising.  If you don’t have a wife and children- or even a girlfriend, take campaign photos with your sister and her children.  Voters will simply assume you have a cute little family. Don’t mention that your entire family is republican either.
  9. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside so NEVER actually address accusations lodged at you by your opponent.  When he calls you “Tax Hike Van Dyk”, address his name-calling, not the name itself.  Don’t mention that you LOVE taxes and big government and that you cannot wait to make your nickname a reality.
  10. Shake things up a bit.  Use different tactics so it never becomes a drag.  Attack from every angle.  If you can get your opponent’s supporters angry with him, this is a bonus.  If stock growers support your opponent, accuse him of being a vegetarian even if he eats meat regularly.
  11. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.    The ends always justifies the means so don’t worry about ethics.  You will win in the end.  Good luck!

Anything Short of Condemnation is a Compliment to Liberals


 


Liberals: Do as I Say, Not as I Do

In the Republican state senator’s op-ed October 27, 2010 in the Whitefish Pilot, Ryan Zinke wrote the following:

 

At the local level, the big event is the house race to fill the seat vacated by the Honorable Mike Jopek. It’s a tight race between Derek Skees, a Republican, versus Will Hammerquist, representing the Democrat side. Aside from all the negative campaign tactics, the truth is that the two candidates are very different and your vote matters.

Derek Skees is a conservative who champions cutting government, state sovereignty, strong property rights and believes that economic recovery is best achieved through the free market. If you believe in those ideals, Derek is your man. Will Hammerquist, is a moderate with a background in environmental non-profit organizations and is an advocate for government-funded health care and conservation easements, and supports the use of government subsidies and tax credits for economic recovery. If you believe in those ideals, mark Will on your ballot.

Ryan Zinke is listed as a supporter on campaign literature of Derek Skees yet liberal bloggers have somehow chosen to interpret Zinke’s statement as some sort of compliment to Hammerquist.  James Conner of the Flathead Memo wrote:

Talk about damning with faint praise! The “…two candidates are very different and your vote matters.” In my book, that’s a backdoor endorsement of Will Hammerquist.

For months far-left Montana bloggers (are there any other kind?)  have tried to paint Derek Skees as a extremist. The campaigns have become increasingly negative and voters are tired of the mud-slinging.  Zinke’s statement was an endorsement of conservative ideals and by presenting it in this way,  he achieved respect from even the liberals.  Montana Cowgirl even referred to him as “the highly respected State Senator Ryan Zinke“.  My interpretation- and I’m not a member of any organized political party- of Zinke’s description of Hammerquist was:  big government advocate with no experience in the private sector supports Obama-care and government land grabs as well as redistributing your wealth.

Ryan Zinke’s words confirmed Derek Skees’s conservative values while neither endorsing nor alienating Hammerquist or his supporters, which I think is a wise strategy.  It is indeed a tight race and the candidates are very different.  The choice should therefore be very simple.  Your vote matters.

Dennis McDonald’s Campaign’s Last-Ditch Horse and Ass Spectacle


According to the latest campaign finance reports, as well as those prior,  it appears that Democratic US House Rep candidate Dennis McDonald’s campaign is broke.  Incumbent Republican Denny Rehberg has over a half million more dollars to use in the next ten days than McDonald.  These financial problems likely prompted McDonald’s latest publicity stunt- riding across the state of Montana on horseback- which he claims will display his incredible work ethic.

Unfortunately for McDonald, all potential vote gains disappear upon hearing reports from a Rehberg supporter tailing him since he embarked on his journey.  In a red rental car emblazoned with Rehberg stickers, Kaycee Hoagland of Billings estimates that McDonald has only ridden the horse at most a couple of miles since the trip began.  He claims McDonald transports the horse as well as an ass wearing a McDonald campaign garment via trailer, stopping outside of each town to saddle up and ride in for the photo opportunity.  In typical liberal fashion, McDonald’s story differs greatly as he estimates traveling from 60-80 miles of the trip on the horse.

His stop in Missoula, a liberal stronghold, had a turnout reflective of a lack of faith in McDonald’s ability to even compete in the US House Representative race.  The members of the local press and a group of vagrants out numbered the two supporters Mark Anderlik (Missoula Area Central Labor Council President) and Sharla Gade (Democratic State Committeewoman)  who publicly greeted their candidate.

Although McDonald mentioned that if he wins, he may ride his horse all the way to Washington, we all know that isn’t going to happen.  This is obviously a stunt designed to supply much-needed publicity for his struggling campaign and I must admit I really do enjoy seeing him on his pony  holding a Montana flag as his campaign donkey accompanies.  

 

 

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.