Spoiled Speaker Milburn Punishes Detractors, Montanans Suffer


Mike Milburn, Montana’s Republican Speaker of the House is reportedly angry with the Senate Judiciary Committee for killing his precious little bill, HB161 and has been clearly seeking retribution in a rather juvenile manner.

Friday morning, as many are aware, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Jeff Essmann’s anti-free market bill to destroy the medical cannabis industry and significantly increase the healthcare costs and risks of thousands of Montanans, in part by forcing patients to obtain expensive, frequent and unnecessary MRI and CT tests.  Generally, hearings on medical marijuana are held in rooms on the first floor of the Capitol because it is significantly easier patients with debilitating medical conditions to access the room and many handicapped people typically testify at the hearings on this issue and accessing the third floor of the Capitol is rather difficult for many of them.  These hearings have historically attracted hundreds of patients who want their voice heard and the first floor is better suited for an overflow crowd.

Some may have noticed that Friday’s hearing was on the 3rd floor, in the old Supreme Court Chambers though.  Why? Milburn was asked if he would switch his house committee out of a first floor room to accommodate the hearing on Essmann’s draconian SB423.  Milburn responded that he’d absolutely not be accommodating any of the Senate Judiciary hearings because they killed his bill that would repeal Montana’s citizen’s initiative allowing the medical use of cannabis.  One wonders how this issue could be so important to Milburn that he is willing to partake in such childish behavior, perhaps he has some sort of undisclosed financial interest.

Sadly, this sort of petty behavior has become rather common at the legislature- Republicans from the House and Senate regularly poke each other on random issues, according to our source.  Apparently, the House is angry that the Senate is killing some of the more extreme (and ridiculous) bills so the House seeks revenge by playing petty games and punishing patients in the process.  The house has also killed some legislation Senate legislation that Republicans would, and should, typically support.  Where are those compassionate conservatives we’ve heard about?  Surely not in Montana.
Why are our elected officials playing playground games on our dime? This is abhorrent behavior and the Republican legislative leadership should be absolutely ashamed. Unfortunately it appears that our myopic GOP legislators feel they are beyond reproach as they blindly execute their  “morally-superior” agenda, hopefully also executing their political futures in the process.
Montana deserves better leadership and legislation based in facts, not dramatizations or ignorant, maniacal talking points.   Several US government health and cancer agencies have recently admitted marijuana is an effective medication for cancer and other debilitating diseases- whether you agree or not, these are real Montanans with legitimate medical conditions- not some faceless crowd of stoned hippies.  The Montana voters decided, when legislators weren’t willing, to approve the medical use of cannabis, abolishing or severely restricting the industry should be a decision only voters make.  Why should we allow the same people who were too lazy to address the issue in the past to now create legislation to regulate this industry after they’ve repeatedly refused education and clearly remain ignorant?
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28 thoughts on “Spoiled Speaker Milburn Punishes Detractors, Montanans Suffer

  1. I am also rather DISGUSTED that they IGNORE their own Senate Joint Resolution COMPELLING them to study chronic pain!

    http://montanaconnect.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/i-was-for-alleviating-chronic-pain-but-i-think-i-forgot/

    Their answer? Remove ALL chronic pain folks from the database……

    ESSMAN voted in FAVOR of this! Squires was involved ALL THE WAY!

    What? Did we all just magically “appear” to “smoke dope”?

    NO! We are patients – pain patients. NOT criminals. read their report – it’s all in my post.

  2. Well, there is a law with punitive means and measures, known as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and all forms of government are required to make reasonable accommodations for the disabled. Milburns actions can cause all kinds of severe problems for the state, especially if those affected get together and file a class action complaint with the civil rights commission. See the ADA law is actually a civil rights law and the federal agency protecting civil rights is very aggressive, even more aggressive than the DEA.

    • With some politicians, it is easy to see that they are simply stupid. Milburn isn’t stupid so I’m quite certain that he is well aware he is deceiving the public. The question is why though…. is he looking for notoriety, perhaps he is receiving some sort of financial gain, I don’t know, but I don’t think for a moment that he believes his own words.

      • it is a sad day in our history that even when confronted with over whelming evidence of the across the board benefits of pot that there are still people being this pig headed about it. it is a tragic thing to watch when someones belief system comes crashing down around them. there grabbing a straws to try to salvage the last of it and it is not working. insted of going forward to the future with open minds, we have been subject to this out dated dogma. and because he cant bring him self up to speed with current events, the rest of us get to suffer for it.

  3. I wonder if we can Repeal the votes that got these Irresponsible Reps into office in the first place, fileing under the ADA could be a good place to start! It is reprehensible the way the GOP treats the voters of Montana.

    • The simple answer is no. Recall (another citizen initiative) was partially gutted by the Montana Supreme Court years ago and further wittled down by a number of District Court Decisions – the lastest being the one that was made in Dillon Montana a few years ago. It is now easier to prove that a public official has actually committed a crime (assuming the statute of limitations hasn’t expired) than it is to effect a recall petition. You can thank our Montana State Judges (particularly Judge Tucker in Beaverhead County) for that. One more citizen initiative destroyed.

      • Thank you for the info it is getting harder and harder to sort out Montana politics and laws, I think it is time for me to printout a copy of the laws ect. and put them in the loo to brush up on(yes this is what I consider lite reading).

        • Reading the laws themselves won’t help a lot. In the course of my trials and tribulations with the Dillon City Government, I found it necessary to read them multiple times. Without context, they are not all that easy to understand – even for someone like me that has legal training. Further, many of Montana’s laws have been further interpretted (read changed) by decisions made at the District Court level and the Supreme Court level as well as Rulings by the Montana Attorney General. Good luck and I am sure you will enjoy sorting through them. It was …. interesting.

          BTW, I was involved in the Recall effort in Dillon that resulted in the Decision made by Judge Tucker. It was an eye opening experience.

  4. I’m finding this a little hard to believe. Are you absolutely sure that Senator Murphy requested a change of location and was turned down by Rep. Milburn? This is the first I’ve heard of this, but I’ll ask Sen. Murphy when I see him first thing tomorrow.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee regularly meets in the old Supreme Court Chamber which readily accommodates at least as many people, if not more, as the first floor meeting rooms and given the number of elevators is just as accessible. In fact, given that the number of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee is so much smaller, using the first floor hearing rooms would be less desirable if a larger crowd were expected because two-thirds of the room is taken up by the space for the members of the committee.

    • Thank you for some facts here Auntie Lib. There are 4 elevators in the building, and large hearings are typically moved to 303, not out of 303.

      Not surprised that the folks here at Montanafesto are so blinded by their tunnel vision on this issue that they are accusing Milburn of everything under the sun. I hear he kicks puppies too.

      • This “tunnel vision” you regularly mention has nothing to do with our accusations against Milburn. His pettiness got the attention of several sources who thought we should know about the situation. Period. We’ve never mentioned anything as silly as kicking puppies, but one could definitely say he likes to kick sick people, in one way or another. We are all Republicans here, by the way. One wonders about the character of someone who would defend every action of anyone under the umbrella of the republican party simply because they have an R behind their name.

  5. Speaker Milburn is following “The People’s Republican Party’s” platform to enslave and punish! check out Jessie Ventura’s youtube video on the FEMA camps! After watchin git consider the Wisconsin governors ready willingness to assault the states own citizens with the national guard, many of the protestors would no doubt have been placed in on of the fema camps.

  6. Yes, thank you! House Human Services have met on the first floor the entire session, and not for MM folks either, wow! Senate Jud. has met in the Old Supreme Court the entire time as well. That whole building is handicap accessible from the basement to the 4th floor…… nice try though.

  7. Pardon – but your bias is showing. Big Time. And it’s not doing your credibility any good.

    Ok – I visited with Senator Murphy before the committee hearing this morning and he confirmed that someone (not a legislator) had inquired about changing the rooms but it was not logistically possible. Rep. Milburn had absolutely NOTHING to do with where or when the hearing was scheduled.

    You owe Rep. Milburn a sincere apology.

    • There seem to be conflicting reports…… which have nothing to do with our credibility. We received several complaints about what had happened with this hearing as well as why. The sources were confirmed and considered very credible. Nobody in the GOP, other than loyal blog commenters, have attempted to clear up the story here, so we will stand by it.

      • Unless your source is Senator Murphy, then I think the story has been cleared up. The committee chair is entirely responsible for when – and if necessary – where the hearings will be held. Would you like to divulge your sources – then we can judge the credibility of the “conflicting reports”.

      • It is hard not to associate the Republican Party with the Tea Party here in Montana (or nationally, for that matter). The Republican Party embraced the Tea Party Movement with open arms to get elected. Even Rehberg listed himself as a Tea Party associate (though I find it interesting that he is trying to distance himself from the Tea Party now). As a conservative, I would certainly NOT list myself as a Republicn – in part because of the antics of the Montana Tea Party.

        Expect the average person to see them as one in the same. It will be years before the stink of the Tea Party (or at least what the Tea Party has become now) to wear off the Republican Party.

        • I agree with you, Moorcat. I think each of us at montanafesto at one time considered ourselves members of the tea party movement. Unfortunately we all grew tired of the embarrassing behavior and pervasive dishonesty of local leaders. One of our original bloggers was actually one of the Tea party leaders in Montana. I won’t air the dirty laundry publicly, but I will say that she is no longer with us. I agreed with the original fiscal responsibility-driven focus of the tea party but social issues have derailed them and the egotistical characters desiring their portion of the minute amount of “fame” available with the tea party, locally anyway, has corrupted their interests. I see them as a group of formerly politically agnostic rednecks who got involved in a fledgling political movement initially with benign motives. I loved that the tea party was filled with real people concerned about our nation’s future, back when it was completely leaderless. That is not the case these days and I began distancing myself from the tea party when I could no longer make excuses for the abhorrent diva-like behavior of a few in positions of leadership. When the tea party started writing regular posts in support of repealing Montana’s medical marijuana law, I responded immediately, calling out their hypocrisy. Their reaction was squishy…. which will always piss me off. I cut all ties to them and I must admit that my skin crawls a little when I hear the words “tea party”.

  8. Another well-written article. Thank you. I read so much junk, it’s really kinda nice to read someone across the aisle who I agree with. And put me in the category of wondering just where the hell these milbums get off thinking that they can outsmart the will of the people. That really sucks.

    • Well, Larry; it is a strategy that will pay off big for you guys in 2012. Why the GOP can’t see the big picture is really beyond me…… The marijuana issue will bring voters from the left in droves- the prohibitionists already vote- there aren’t that many of them either. The same few loud and whiny people attend every hearing on the issue- those who support marijuana were often uninvolved politically until now. We all know that whether the industry or the prohibition crowd places cannabis on the ballot, it will be there. You guys need to be doing voter registrations at cannabis events, symposiums, etc because I think there is a great opportunity to acquire some suddenly active voters in 2012. The Republicans are making big mistakes this session and I predict democrats and previously uninvolved voters (who will likely vote democrat) will come out in droves as a result. This could prove disastrous for the GOP across the board.

      • While what you say is probably true, I would expect a lot of moderate Republicans and conservative independants to vote Democrat too, this time around. I have quite a few friends that used to call themselves Republican that now call themselves independants because they don’t want to be associated in any way with the Tea Party insanity going on now in the State Senate. Even Wellborn, our Republican Representative is distancing himself from the Tea Party because he is afraid that, while there is little chance for a serious challenge to his position here in Dillon, the Tea party antics will bite him next year. Dillon is a seriously conservative town but we aren’t insane and won’t stand to be represented by an insane person.

        • Agreed. While I suppose technically I will now consider myself to be independent, I readily admit that I’m a disgruntled republican right now because I think it gives me some legitimacy with the moderate or common sense conservatives. While I hate attacking my own party, what I hate worse is that their actions necessitate my harsh criticism. I have spent wasted so much time helping bad people get elected that I’m actually deeply ashamed. I will definitely learn from my these experiences however. The type of insanity I’ve witnessed this session is shocking. I’ve never seen more maniacal lies being repeated and embellished at every opportunity- all while proudly refusing any and all education that may provide an opposing viewpoint. Apparently power is very impairing.

        • The obvious exception to my statement above (Dillon will not tolerate insanity) is Debby Barrett. Since she represents the moneyed ranchers and land owners (and always has), she continues to get elected to State office, even though she does not well represent the majority of people in the area. Wellborn has done a much better job in the position she was term limited out of (before she ran for Senator) and has proven himself to be a conservative, but not entirely bat shit crazy.

  9. i really hate that prick , He is not are dad ,and less hope he’s not are mother,he does not pay our bills ect,Let us do what we want and he can kiss my Country Butt,We do not tell Milburn what to do .and if we try he would act like a SPOLIED BRAT like he is now , It is called Grow up, Milburn and get your own life and stop trying to Run our life !!!!!!!!!! BECKY VANDEVENDER

  10. milburn is a sell out to big pharma and to doctors whos main incomes are derived from kick backs from their pain pill puppets ! this is all about money ! he dont give a shit about helping anybody but the lining of his pockets! He is the definition of political scumbag! in it for money and only money !LOSER ! LOSER ! LOSER!LOSER !

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