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. 

Again, Please Update Your Bookmarks…..


We apologize for changing my mind….. again.  Late last year, we purchased the domain montanafesto.org in hopes that we could easily transition montanafesto’s readers to the new domain which would essentially be the same site, but with added features.  We urged followers to update their bookmarks and to subscribe to the new site instead, but few did.  No matter how much we promoted the new site on Facebook and Twitter, very few people visited the new site (they all continued to visit the original) so we felt obligated to post on both sites.  We finally just decided to go back to the old one, it continually receives countless more hits than the other.  If you were one of the few who did actually update your bookmarks, we apologize.

Yellowstone County GOP Chair’s Smear Machine Targets Innocent Candidate for Governor


“I am blessed with a great deal of energy, which I use to help our community elect Republicans.”- Jennifer Olsen.

But only SOME county Republicans apparently…. Jennifer Olsen, co-founder of Montana Shrugged Tea Party Patriots and current chairperson of the Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee has recently leveled baseless accusations against a rival GOP Gubernatorial campaign.  You may recall that only a few months ago, Ms Olsen was the administrator for the Ken Miller for Governor Facebook page, but it now appears that she has either abandoned the group of green-shirted morons in favor of the Neil Livingstone campaign or she was simply thrown overboard.  Now acting as Livingstone’s unofficial spokesperson on the Montana political blog rounds, commenting as “Drill Baby Drill”, she can be found typically lauding the many virtues of Mr Livingstone.  While I take no issue with her loyal support of her favored candidate, I am disappointed and frankly appalled that the leader of Yellowstone County’s Republican Central Committee has chosen the incredibly un-classy- and public- route of accusing a rival campaign of creating a depraved anti-war website featuring pornographic photos of Mr. Livingstone when literally ZERO evidence supports her claim. Check out her comments below, which were made on this Montana Cowgirl post.

Keep drilling, Ms Olsen. Perhaps you will eventually discover reality.

You may also recall this video clip featuring Ms Olsen.

I’m a Uniter, Not a Divider!

Ms. Olsen shockingly offers no evidence to reinforce her claims that the Stapleton for Montana Governor campaign was involved in any capacity in the creation of the pornographic anti-war website.  Stapleton, former Montana Senate Minority Leader raised more money than the other GOP candidates for Governor last quarter, while the other campaigns, including Livingstone’s, continued to struggle.  Perhaps the Montana Republican Party should ask whether it is in good taste for Central Committee leaders to smear rival GOP campaigns.  *On a side note, Olsen’s attack on the Stapleton campaign should be enough evidence for most Montanans to support his bid for Governor.  After all, he is obviously not enough Teatard to pass muster with the Queen of the Tea People.  I suggest making a donation immediately.

One is left to wonder why a world-renowned international security and counter terrorism expert (Mr. Livingstone) has not determined the source of the website.  Perhaps he designed it himself.  After all, it does depict him in a dominant and quite flattering manner. Also perplexing is that Mr Stapleton, a former naval officer, would be accused of making a site devoted to exposing war criminals.

Unfortunately for Ms. Olsen, Screwingamerica.com is actually registered to David Lambon.  Perhaps the guilty culprit is the dude in the photo below, who does vaguely resemble Mr.  Livingstone’s lucky lover in the pornographic cartoons.

His domain information is all available here…. In the future, I advise Ms Olsen to conduct even a minimum level of research before making such wild allegations.  Tin Foil Hat Warning: Perhaps she believes the Stapleton camp is in bed with Mr Lambon (not literally, we hope).  This isn’t likely either considering the site was created in 2008 and hasn’t been updated since 2010. All porn images on the site are of a homosexual nature.  It does appear that Ms Olsen intended only to throw some mud at Stapleton, hoping to slow the campaign’s momentum in an effort to assist her candidate.  Livingstone is a smart guy, I suspect he will quickly distance himself from the Olsen train wreck as Ken Miller did.

Thinking Republicans in Yellowstone County (I know there are some) would best question Ms. Olsen’s ability to lead the Republican Central Committee in the state’s most populous county in such an important election year.  All candidates should be highly uncomfortable with the chairperson of the county GOP inventing elaborate stories about candidates she opposes.  Hotly contested primaries are contentious enough without party leaders involving themselves in libelous claims.  Ms. Olsen should step down from her position and offer everyone involved a sincere apology.

Common Sense Conservatives, Lobbyist Lovers, Rookies… Montana’s GOP Gubernatorial Crop


This year, Montana’s Republican Party has an opportunity to change the face of the GOP, to elect competent bright leaders who are unsullied by incestuous relationships with lobbyists.  Who will win the GOP Gubernatorial nomination and perhaps defeat Steve Bullock in the general election?

Stapleton/Keenan- Tonight via a teleconference town hall, GOP Gubernatorial candidate Corey Stapleton announced his selection of former Montana Senate President Bob Keenan as his running mate.  Stapleton and Keenan were both elected by their peers to lead the Montana Senate, Stapleton in 2007 as Minority Leader and Keenan as 2003 Senate President.   Stapleton bested all of the other candidates in the last fundraising quarter and will surely benefit from Senator Jeff Essmann bowing out of the race, especially considering they both hail from Yellowstone County.  Keenan lost the 2006 Senate Primary against scandal-plagued incumbent Conrad Burns who went on to lose the race to Jon Tester.

Ken Miller/Bill Gallagher- Ken Miller recently announced that Bill Gallagher of Public Service Commission infamy will be his running mate.  A political newcomer, Gallagher adds virtually nothing to Miller’s colorful resume of non-accomplishments (dairy farming, woodcrafter, construction worker, former furniture outlet owner, former GOP party chair).  Miller’s last run for governor resulted in a third-place finish in the four-way primary.

Rick Hill/Jon Sonju- Hill leads the other nominees in fundraising, but any support for his campaign seems reluctant at best and his “family values” are at the bottom of the pack.  I will excerpt Montana Cowgirl for this commentary as I’m frankly too bored and irritated by this sleazy ticket to come up with anything original:

“Sonju and Hill have both earned a huge portion of their wealth from Government spending. Some of this spending has provided good stimulus for Montana; others, like the giant payments to Hill’s landlord business, are wasteful and sleazy. These contracts were most likely over-market, sweetheart, inflated rent payments. They were put under Hill’s Christmas tree by his buddies Martz and Racicot, and Hill collected this easy cash for decades while he was a sitting Congressman and also while his wife was in the Governor’s office puling the strings. It’s not pure welfare, but it’s pretty close.”

Neil Livingstone/Ryan Zinke-  The Livingstone-Zinke ticket is having difficulties fundraising and there have been few, if any; sightings of their flashy campaign RV. Livingstone is known far-more for his international terrorist-hunting/negotiating escapades than for any activity in Montana.

Bob Fanning/Chuck Baldwin- This ticket frightens me.  I will leave it at that.

Antisocial conservatism: Jesus, please protect me from your followers


The socially conservative members of today’s Republican Party tout their moral superiority at every opportunity.  When one of them is caught violating those precious family values, they are quick with excuses like “God has forgiven me” or “Blame it on my undying patriotism.”  What exactly does “family values” mean to the GOP arbiters of virtue?

Marriage is sacred:  This means marriage between a man and a woman.  Cheat on your spouse, divorce, marry the mistress, that is your business. Pre-marital sex is taboo and allowing any access to contraception would lead to an epidemic of immoral sexual activity.  Extramarital sex is none of our business, though.  Shhh.  Gays should not have the right to marry because such acts endanger the sanctity of traditional marriage.  Marriage, you see, is an agreement with society.  It is easy to understand how such an agreement between two same-gendered humans who are committed to one another would threaten the very core of American families.  For this reason, much of our time and resources are spent fighting all attempts to legitimize state-supported legal “rights” for an unnatural and unhealthy lifestyle condemned by God.  Thankfully we have heroes like Dr. Marcus Bachmann whose “pray away the gay” clinics have given homosexuals opportunities to cleanse themselves of the demons that influenced their choice to be gay.   Note: This can all be explained

All human life is precious.  Stem cells, embryos, and fetuses cannot protect themselves so we have  a moral responsibility to legislate and regulate proper treatment of unborn life. After birth though, watch out.  If you need medical care and cannot afford it, ask your church, I’m sure they will provide.  If you would like to use cannabis to relieve pain, sorry; that would require violating the law, which is immoral.  (See War section). If you have a terminal illness and would like to die with dignity, our religious beliefs require you to suffer,  but we do promise to pray for your eternal salvation.  God works in mysterious ways and you never know when to expect a miracle.  If you commit a heinous crime- like selling marijuana- we believe the death penalty is justified.  All life is precious so we remain committed to eliminating access to abortion, abolishing stem cell research, preventing death with dignity/assisted suicides, and to ensuring that depraved criminals are rewarded with death.  If you happen to be a suspected terrorist, add torture to the list.  And don’t you dare bring science into our schools.  Note: Education enhances rational thinking and provides people with rational, non-mystical mechanisms for understanding the world. 

War, the price of Freedom. We never met a war we didn’t like, but if we are criticized, we will call you unpatriotic.  After all, our soldiers are giving their lives to ensure we remain free.  Speaking of free, did I mention we incarcerate more people per capita than any other nation on earth?  This is to keep you safe.  Speaking of safety, did I mention the Patriot Act?  We named it such to promote unconstitutional acts as essential to fighting the global War on Terror.  We generally only use the Patriot Act to spy on suspected drug dealers, but this is to keep your children safe.  You don’t want your kids addicted to drugs now, do you? Marijuana is only a stepping stone toward addiction to methamphetamine and heroin, culminating in near-certain death which in itself justifies the War on Drugs.  Note: Violence and herd mentalities reign supreme in a low-IQ idiocracy. 

Less government, more freedom. We believe in personal responsibility. We want the government out of our lives, but only after we have eliminated prostitution, pornography, homosexual sex, drugs and other sinful behaviors from our nation.  We owe it to our children to remove all temptation from our lives so we can remain free.  Just wait until you experience the sort of freedom we have after all choice is eliminated.  Note: religion helps people confront the terror of uncertainty in their lives. 

In time, education and evolution will hopefully bring upon the extinction of the Social Conservative Big Government Statist.  The ideology is simply too contradictory to endure.  Dedicated followers of peace-loving Jesus Christ,  these Americans are the staunchest supporters of every violent military intervention in my lifetime.  They defend the military use of torture.  They believe in criminalizing consensual sex acts. They oppose most programs to help the sick and poor, yet have no problem with the government interfering in the doctor-patient relationship to make personal healthcare decisions.  Social conservatives use the bible to support prohibition of cannabis use, ignoring science completely. Historically, this faction of Americans promoted slavery and alcohol prohibition, fought women’s suffrage, and justified Jim Crow laws.  Fail, fail, fail, and FAIL.

The Republican Party needs to publicly repudiate this uneducated and profoundly irrational segment of its population in favor of some moderation.  It is time that the GOP re-examine the tenets of its philosophy and to if nothing more, be honest about family “values”.  It is embarrassing to rational Republicans that social conservatives continue preaching less government while promoting intrusion into our bedrooms, homes and daily lives.  My Republican Party restricts government, not freedom.

Gallagher Enters Ken Miller’s Echo Chamber of Green Morons


GOP Gubernatorial candidate Ken Miller bills himself as a state’s rights advocate as he naturally mentions his role model,  much beloved Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  Governor Brewer is perhaps best-known for her anti-immigration stance and willingness to dramatically oppose the federal government…. but only on issues that suit her.  For instance, Brewer recently launched an assault on a voter- approved medical marijuana law in her state, asking a  federal judge to strike down the law based on an arbitrary fear of federal prosecution of state workers administering the law.  Upon filing the lawsuit, she ordered the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services to reject ALL applications for dispensaries although they were allowed under the state law.  The judge has dismissed the case.

From the Missoulian:

“I look forward to the day that I can stand with Gov. Brewer on this battle with U.S. immigration and say, ‘Gov. Brewer, I’m sorry that we didn’t have a governor fighting the fight with you, but we do now.  I’m here and we’re going to stand with you’.  Then when we do that, she will be here on our issues on wolves or whatever that may be.”

One can certainly understand why Ken Miller would incessantly speak of Governor Brewer considering Montana’s current immigration problem is nothing short of a crisis.  Each day numerous, possibly even millions, of Canadians sneak across the Saskatchewan and

That's right Canadians, Ken Miller wants you to stop sneaking into Montana.

Alberta borders of Canada to give birth on Montana soil to instant American citizens. Likely, many of them are violent criminals, looking for the land of the free, the nation with the highest incarceration rate on the planet. They come in search of a better (albeit shorter) life free from the annoyances of the ever-so tricky metric system.  They take jobs from hard-working Montanans and are threatening the economic and social future of our state… right?  Does Ken Miller have any idea what the role of Governor entails?

Miller recently named Bill Gallagher as his running mate.  Gallagher is perhaps best known for being ousted as Chairman of the clown show now known as Montana’s Public Service Commission.  He is as inexperienced as Miller is ineffective.

 “It is with exceeding pride and joy that I join the Miller for Governor team. I do it because it gives the citizens, the voters, the families, and the businesses of Montana a very clear choice and an opportunity to send their message and stamp their message here in Helena and on the Executive Branch.”

These interesting announcements have come on the heels of the departure of Miller’s much-acclaimed campaign manager, William Mutch, who took an exciting post with the Colorado Springs Home Building Association amid rumors that Miller’s campaign is on its last legs.  Time will tell whether that is indeed true.  If his last quarterly filings are any indication, Miller is having fundraising troubles…. even in light of receiving the coveted James Knox endorsement.


What is higher, human body temperature or the IQ of the average Ken Miller supporter?

Adios Assmann!


Essentially citing lackluster support, tax-loving prohibitionist Senator Jeff Essmann has decided to focus on electing Republicans rather than waste his coin losing the 2012 GOP Gubernatorial primary election. While I can hardly control my excitement, I must admit that some part of me  was looking forward to obtaining the inevitable and infinite fodder for critique at the Yellowstone Young Republicans Gubernatorial Debate scheduled for February 9 in Billings.  Anyone who has witnessed Jeff Essmann partake in an original soliloquy knows exactly what I’m talking about.  Considering that the questions asked in the debate will not be shared with the candidates prior, one can only imagine the panic Essmann must have been experiencing.

Judging from the comments on the Billings Gazette article announcing Essmann dropping from the race, this decision has elated many Montanans.

 

Although Essmann didn’t endorse another candidate, he implied that he will be supporting Rick Hill. Many are speculating that Essmann was forced from the race after the Hill campaign discovered a scandal.  The Senator mentioned that he plans to return campaign donations… I urge those of you who contributed to Essmann to donate those funds to the campaign of Corey Stapleton.  I look forward to seeing you all at the GOP Gubernatorial debate in Billings February 9, hosted by the Yellowstone Young Republicans.

I’d also like to see approximately five of the current (crowded) GOP field of 8, after Essmann’s departure; drop out to provide a clear contrast among the remaining candidates. The filing fee exceeds some of the entire campaign treasuries of candidates and any who are unable to raise enough cash to pay for the filing fee are likely not the over-achiever we need in Montana’s Capitol.

James Knox Not Running for Re-Election, Blames Others


Merry Christmas to Montana’s HD 47.  Hopefully in 2012, you will elect someone less embarrassing to our state.  James Knox has decided that living in Houston isn’t conducive to legislating in Montana.  It isn’t his fault though… don’t blame his lies, bizarre and dramatic stories (remember the marijuana addict brother), or non-denials (he can’t recall whether he’s ever been a drug dealer).  It is because he cannot find a job and he lost his home.  So many forces seemed to push him away……  I readily admit that I was one of those forces.   Montana, you are welcome.

Aptitude, Attitude and Altitude: 2012


To accommodate our growing needs montanafesto has moved!  We are now located at our own domain, montanafesto.org. Please reset your bookmarks to the new site. In the upcoming days, our Twitter and Facebook accounts will also be redirected to the new site, so please “like” our page, friend us on Facebook (Commissar Montanafesto) and follow us on Twitter.    Although old posts will remain at this address, no new posts will be will appear here.  Our archive of previous posts will also be available at our new home.

In the last year, we have evolved from complete obscurity to a site that consistently receives hundreds to thousands of hits each day. 2012 will be an extremely important year politically and moving to our own domain allows us to integrate more precise site analytics.  Watch for site changes in the upcoming month.

The staff at montanafesto wishes you a Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays and hopes for a year of common sense reform in our state and our nation.  Thank you to all who continue to read our posts and especially everyone  most who are playing an activism role.  We have many important petitions circulating prior to the November 2012 elections, there is much work to do but the rewards will justify our toils.  We will be a force to be reckoned with at the polls, IF we are able to effectively mobilize our army. Please reward Montana’s prohibitionists with votes for their opponents in upcoming elections. Encourage the destructive members of our community to keep their eyes on the final goal and to let others take the reigns.

In this season of giving, we encourage everyone to support the MTCIA as we fight for liberty and truth in cannabis reform.  Without the MTCIA, the de facto repeal launched by Montana’s prohibitionists would have eliminated reliable and safe access to nearly all Montanans.

Here’s to the bright future of the upcoming year!

–Tana, Nic, and the montanafesto bloggers.

 

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.

 

Senator Jeff Essmann’s Taxing History


Jeff Essmann announced tonight that he will GASP be running for Governor of Montana.  In an uncomfortably awkward conference call- townhall meeting, Essmann prosaically  listed his accomplishments, forgetting all about the legislation that provided him essential name-recognition. His fluffer, Senator Jason Priest; assisted with creating some faux passion for the candidate who is generally regarded as the epitome of dull.  As Essmann would launch into another list of accomplishments, occasionally Senator Priest would stop him, exclaiming “I’m sorry to interrupt you, Senator Essmann, but what you just said was pretty exciting! Perhaps you’d like to share more about that with callers.” Repeated themes throughout the “event” included:  resisting the Obama agenda, standing up to federal intrusion in our state, and “Essmann with 2 Ns”.  The callers seemed to be plants- although many cannabis patients and providers on the call tried to ask questions, none of them were able.

My favorite caller was Warren, from Lolo. He is a retired, older gentleman living on a fixed income.  Although he owns his home, he suspects he will soon be forced to sell it as the property taxes are very high.  It is interesting that Warren mentions this issue, actually; he certainly was talking to the appropriate person anyway.  You see, Essmann’s legislation, a re-write of HB 658, was an attempt to mitigate the financial sting of property reappraisals.  The attempt backfired and instead of lessening the blow, Montanans were slapped with the largest property tax increases in their lifetimes… during an economic recession.

So, Warren; does that answer your question? Essmann, a self described “conservative republican” is no stranger to funding government growth with tax proceeds-in fact, he proposed adding a local sales tax as well. As the unpopular candidate struggles to stand out in a like-minded crowd his insatiable appetite for taxes will set him almost certainly set him apart from the pack.  Currently, nine GOP candidates are vying for the position of Governor, all of whom happen to be more interesting and well-liked than Senator Essmann.

Eight Isn’t Enough: The Axis of EGO Plans a “MAJOR” Announcement


Jeff Essmann plans to make a “major announcement” later today.  Perhaps he would like to apologize to the medical marijuana patients and growers for creating health-endangering legislation that makes compliance nearly impossible.  More likely, however,  Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann (Billings, Prohibitionist/Tax Increase Party) is going to stop with the “exploratory committee” insantity and finally announce his run for Montana’s Governor tomorrow. Senator Essmann in a shocking move (not) has hired Dustin Frost, of 47 North Communications, to manage his campaign.  Frost, a former Rehberg staffer who received massive head injuries in a Flathead boat wreck a few years back; was recently quoted in the Flathead Beacon’s article “Schweitzer’s Successor“.

State Sen. Jeff Essmann from Billings is “actively considering” a run. And, according to the AP, he is being encouraged to get in the race by GOP consultants with close ties to Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg. Dustin Frost, Rehberg’s former state director and a partner in 47 North Communications, said Essmann would be a “heavyweight” if he runs.

“He’s being encouraged……… by consultants with close ties to Rehberg”, wow…. talk about a shameless name drop.  It sounds like Mr Frost was in reality only promoting his employer.  Should Montanans be influenced by the endorsement of a candidate’s employee- a paid campaign consultant? Not this Montanan.

The GOP ticket was already uncomfortably crowded, with already ample representation from Yellowstone County– Former State Senate Minority Leader Corey Stapleton, Former State Senator and previously unsuccessful Gubernatorial candidate Ken Miller, and rising political star Keith Winkler…. perhaps that was a bit of an exaggeration.  Other Republicans running include former US Congressman Rick Hill from Helena, Neil Livingstone, a terrorism expert based in DC (although his home is in Helena) and James O’Hara, a Chouteau County  Commissioner. Earlier today, Drew Turiano of Helena filed for the race as did Robert Fanning, a retired CEO now living in Pray.  Current AG Steve Bullock is expected to be the Democrat Party nominee, but is planning a contested primary with Larry Jent.  Ron Vandevender is running as a libertarian.

Thanks to Montana’s disenfranchised medical marijuana patients, Essmann attained the level of name recognition necessary to run for a statewide office when he authored SB423, to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law.  In a field chock-full of conservatives, let’s differentiate Essmann from his peers.

  1. Taxes.  Essmann’s legislation provided many Montanans the sharpest tax increase in their lifetimes.  It was unexpected and during a recession.
  2. Personal Responsibility. When Essmann approached Governor Schweitzer to complain about the implications of the above legislation, the Governor said “Essmann complaining about his bill is like the architect that was warned by the engineer over and over again if you build it that way, it will fall down.”
  3. Family Values. With a penchant for liberal ladies (his wives are all lefties) Senator Essmann is childless.  Perhaps he has a puppy or something instead.
  4. Smaller Government. Essmann isn’t one to challenge the federal government. If the feds consider it illegal, he certainly won’t defend your right to use it.  Oh yeah, unless we are talking about guns, wolves, or Obamacare.   He forced massive taxes on property owners and rescinded the rights of tens of thousands of medical marijuana patients to access their medicine safely. I guess his ideology borders on hypocrisy.
  5. Liberty.  Essmann’s baby, SB 423 is a clunky, oppressive prohibition bill.  It overturns a very popular citizens initiative and essentially sends the sickest people in our state to the dark alleys to obtain necessary medicine. Several primary components have already been ruled unconstitutional. An initiative by Patients for Reform, Not Repeal has officially qualified the law for the 2012 ballot to enable voters to decide its verdict, with a particularly incredible showing in Yellowstone County, even in Essmann’s own district.  Note:  Essmann refused to sign the petition.
  6. Support.  Although the rumor is “Essmann already has more money than the other candidates combined”, we know if that is the case, it is his own.  Montana’s campaign laws prevent candidates from raising money until officially filing candidacy with the state so the money, if there is any; is likely his own cash.  The lovely ladies from Safe Community, Safe Kids are no doubt on board and his biggest fan is rumored to be Tom Hauptman, an oil player who has contributed to Rick Hill in the past.

Being Governor has reportedly been Essmann’s lifelong dream but  Essmann as governor would be Montana’s nightmare. Good luck to Frost.  Creating excitement in a campaign is difficult with such a dull candidate (thus, this “major announcement”). Last session, thankfully Essmann provided us with plenty of campaign material.  Regardless of his wealth, I don’t think Essmann has any chance in this race.

Houston, You Have our Problem


Rep Knox is now living in Texas. Their loss, our gain.

Montana’s favorite state representative James Knox now resides in West Houston although he is quick to remind his loyal Facebook friends again and again that the position is a temporary one. While he collects his healthy $733/month health benefits, compliments of Montana’s taxpayers, he is actually contributing to the Texas economy as opposed to the one in the state he was elected.  Claiming Montana Job Service was only able to offer him work as an independent Avon representative, he was forced to look for work out of state and thankfully was able to obtain a position with Peak Energy Systems on a “Dell/Exxon project”. After only two days on the job, he “was asked to take on more” and after only three days of training is already a “team lead” (sic).

He has settled in nicely to life in the Gulf, frequently enjoying his “favorite sticks” – “great Alex (sic) Bradley Black Market 6×60” or a “JDR (sic)Titan Madiro” on his patio. For those of you who aren’t brothers of the leaf or true aficionados; “sticks” are cigars, one of Knox’s many legal, health-conscious and high-class habits. Cigar smoking, according the American Medical Association, contributes to myriad health problems including several forms of cancer and…. uh oh, heart disease. The risk of heart disease is 27% higher in cigar smokers than non-smokers and those smokers who also enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage (Knox has been known to imbibe frequently and was often spotted wearing soiled wife-beater style tank tops at various Billings liquor stores while campaigning in 2010) are more than 8 times more likely than non-smokers to acquire mouth and throat cancers.  Hmm. Sounds like he might end up being very expensive.

Although Knox admittedly and proudly has several serious vices of his own, he is quick to criticize state-licensed medical marijuana patients and cannot remember if he has sold drugs in the past.  His wife once commented that she was actually excited that proposed legislation would take medical marijuana away from patients. One would think that a frugal TEA person type conservative like Mr. Knox would be doing everything in his power to avoid wasting our tax dollars, but from Knox’s photo, he and his wife both appear to be at high risk of extremely expensive health problems.  Thankfully, as long as he is a Montana State Representative, our tax dollars will provide the health insurance that will not only pay for his next heart attack, but also spread the liability across the group, effectively raising rates for everyone.

According to his Facebook posts, James Knox is well on the path to success. I suppose success means very different things to different people though, as James recently lost his business, KBS Computer Solutions, see reviews here. Maybe he feels he is so accomplished because he pulled off the ultimate caper, effectively fooling the voters of Montana House District 47 into electing him.  Barely able to form an intelligible sentence, he saddled the tea party wave to a 2010 victory.  He proudly served his 90 days in the legislature (minus the ones he spent in the hospital after suffering a major heart attack only days into the legislative session) making quite a name for himself, with testimony like this.

Knox also told a few of the biggest lies of the session, which was quite a feat considering the talent displayed by his competition.James Knox is also a big hypocrite, claiming he “practices what he preaches” while he essentially steals from his employees by neglecting to pay them.  When his four figure radio advertising bill was past due, the radio station attempted to negotiate the total with Knox, offering to write off 50% of the total. When Knox learned he wouldn’t be able to advertise with the station until the remaining bill was paid, he threw a glass of orange juice on the young female salesperson.  Knox was investigated for inappropriate conduct with the female pages during the legislative session. Mr Knox, I have heard that everything is bigger in Texas, now I know that is true.  We would like to wish Rep Knox the best of luck in his Texas endeavors.  If collecting health insurance compliments of Montana taxpayers while he abuses his body in Texas is the only additional price we pay due to this unfortunate choice by the uninformed electorate, we will consider ourselves truly blessed.  Perhaps now that Ron Paul isn’t running for reelection, Knox sees an opportunity in the Lone Star State.  He’s all yours.

The Knox family has been unsuccessful in locating a Christ-filled church in Houston. Perhaps Christ is afraid to be associated with someone so self-righteous.

Should Knox’s new position indeed be temporary and he runs for reelection, he will be happy to know that he is going to have some more moderate and reasonable competition in the Republican primary,  Stay tuned.

America’s Enemy Protectors


Whenever I think that America is by and large too intelligent to accept our federal government’s propaganda, another Facebook friend will remind me that I’m mistaken.  Last week, Ron Paul and Barney Frank introduced HR 2306, legislation to remove marijuana from federal regulation,  allowing individual states to create their own laws governing the plant’s use, cultivation, and sale.  The bill is obviously rather controversial and my Facebook news feed indicated that I had plenty of close-minded pals who were content to accept what ever current truth the government was peddling.

It’s illegal! It is a schedule I substance! It is a gateway drug! It is dangerous and addictive! It is immoral! I find it absolutely abhorrent that anyone places their trust in government.  Are you aware…..

Your government lies to you.  Period.  Regardless of political affiliation, our government serves to feed itself, certainly not to protect us.  We need to stop the partisan bickering and realize that our own government is the enemy.  We are overcriminalizing to justify expansion of law enforcement and tax increases while losing the fundamental liberties our nation was founded upon…. and yet Americans accept it.  Where is the public outcry?

Every 30 seconds another American is incarcerated for a cannabis “crime”.  Yet, in legislative hearings and court proceedings, so many of us blindly accept the words of narcotics officers as truthful.  Mark Long, for instance; is Montana’s Narcotics Bureau Chief.  Although that is his official fancy title, he often testifies on behalf of the Montana Narcotics Officers Association, a non-profit organization of law enforcement officers who aren’t even required to reside in Montana whose mission includes the statement “It is imperative that we, as law enforcement officers, have a better communication network than that of the people we deal with.” I suppose that is referring to criminals? Can we really trust that Mark Long would be honest? Especially considering the likelihood that a large portion of his friends, members of the association he represents would be unemployed as a result of rescheduling or decriminalizing cannabis?  If cannabis providers aren’t seen as credible witnesses because of their “profit-driven industry”, why are officers like Mark Long? Don’t we all protect our own interests?  Doing so, however; under the guise of public safety is inherently wrong and shouldn’t necessarily provide any appearance of truth in a courtroom- or anywhere for that matter.  Working for the government should not make anyone a more credible witness.

Mark Long recently spoke to the Gallatin County Republican Women about the rise in crime rates since Montanans approved the use of medical marijuana in the state in 2004.  A short time later, a preliminary injunction hearing was held on Montana’s new medical marijuana law, SB 423.  In testimony,Long clarified the statements he’d made to the Republican women, which were blatantly false.  He claimed that he was only referring to the increase in medical marijuana crimes in Montana since 2004.  Considering medical marijuana didn’t exist prior to that time in Montana….. hmm. OK.  Mark Long’s postition provides him immediate credibility with a bulk of Montana’s voters, but why is that?

Stockholm Syndrome. The abusive are masterful. They are doing this for our own good, who knows better than the almighty federal government?  The government is addicted to its own bloated budgets.  The self-righteous hypocrites trample the US Constitution while shouting that they are upholding it. In a world where alcoholics and pill addicts thrive, cannabis users are criminals.  The people least able to defend themselves, the ill; are forced to live in fear of their own protectors. The government propaganda machine is so refined that even highly intelligent individuals are lulled into surrendering their rights. Question authority.  It isn’t unpatriotic, it is American.  When we accept  what “authority” claims to be true without demanding proof, we betray not only ourselves, but all of mankind.


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.

Senator Essmann’s Insatiable Appetite for Taxes


“Now, more than ever, Montana needs leaders who understand that more government doesn’t mean more prosperity,” said Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings. “Montana needs leaders who know that higher taxes don’t lead to more jobs … and who understand that environmental obstructionism doesn’t put food on the table for struggling families. …

In 2009, Montana’s economy was struggling.  Unemployment had nearly doubled while the quality of jobs had declined.  Nationally, the mortgage crisis, bank bailouts and healthcare reform all contributed to the erosion of opportunity in the Treasure State.

While Republicans typically oppose tax increases and reject virtually all new taxes, Jeff Essmann regularly defies party principles in attempts to boost the tax burden to fund government growth. Although such legislation is typically carried by Democrats, during the 2009 legislative session Essmann proposed implementing a local option sales tax. Regarding this additional tax, the senator said “Everybody talks about property tax relief, no one does anything about it – this is my attempt to do so.”  Opponents criticized the legislation as increasing taxes on not only tourists, but potentially all Montanans and the bill eventually died.

Maybe Essmann was only trying to prepare Montanans for the impending fiscal shock of their lifetimes. The senator rewrote HB 658, to mitigate the impact of Montana’s property tax reappraisals which are mandated every six years. The previously revenue neutral legislation was sponsored by Rep. Mike Jopek (D) who actually voted against the bill after Essmann and his committee dramatically modified the piece.  The unpopular legislation passed on the  last day of the session, eliminating the possibility of an amendatory veto and it became law without the signature of Governor Schweitzer.  As a result of the bill, property taxes for many Montanans skyrocketed during this difficult financial time and Essmann conveniently placed responsibility for his own legislation on Governor Schweitzer and Revenue Director Dan Bucks. Essmann compassionately suggested that Montanans utilize reverse mortgages to cope financially, effectively placing the burden on their heirs.

Now it appears Essmann, the owner of a water vending business,  is poised to announce his run at the 2012 GOP Gubernatorial nomination. Montanans- especially Republicans- need to seriously consider whether they are comfortable with the possibility, albeit a remote one; of a tax-lover like Essmann governing the state.  The campaign cycle will no doubt be brutal as the race is already very crowded, already featuring a number of other declared candidates – three more from Yellowstone County alone and rumors of others soon to join.

 And just when I thought I’d recovered from enduring hours of Essmann the Senator’s pompous,dry, slow speech patterns….  I cannot imagine the level of arrogance he’ll display in his attempts to convince Montanans to hire him as the state’s CEO.

 Although a formidable opponent in the bragging department, Rick Hill’s campaign has been plagued by sleazy revelations about his personal life that gained national exposure.  Hill’s “Mermaid-Gate” was responsible in part for Politico raising the rating of the 2012 MT Governor’s race, which is now considered the most competitive in the nation.

Corey Stapleton, a former naval officer who served as Montana’s Senate Minority Leader was recently called the “future of the Republican party” by former US Congressman Ron Marlenee.  Perhaps best known for sponsoring Otter Creek coal development legislation and saving taxpayers millions by replacing the Montana Department of Revenue’s failed POINTS computer system, Stapleton has thus far managed to avoid most criticism.

Ken Miller, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2004 (who came in third in a four-way primary, ironically placing only ahead of a democrat), believes we should “reject federalism when harmful to state’s rights” and that “we should stand with AZ Governor Jan Brewer”. The TEA party favorite, Miller lacks the support of mainstream Montana Republicans.

Neil Livingstone has the most interesting resume, but is largely unknown to Montanans.  Rumors have circulated that he is only using this race to increase name recognition for a 2014 run, but sources in his camp deny this. Jim O’Hara, a Chouteau County Commissioner, is an advocate of wind farms and other renewable sources of energy. He is passionate about world hunger and resource management and also lacks statewide name recognition. Keith Winkler, another Yellowstone County Republican, is largely unknown even in Billings, where he resides.

 

 

 

And then they came for…..


 Editor’s note: This post was written by Elizabeth Pincolini of New Frontier Patient Care. With the exception of her use of the word  “democracy” , we enthusiastically endorse her message.  We will save the discussion of the evils of democracy for a later date. 

Democracy is under attack in Montana and we need everyone’s help to stop it!

This year in Montana, for the first time in our state’s history, our state legislature voted to overturn a voter Initiative. Int. 148 was voted in 2004 with 62% of voters voting for it. Keep in mind 62% is approximately 270,000 votes, in a state with less than 1 million people. That is a significant achievement and a true example of democracy and the will of the people at work!

Do you believe in the democratic process? Do you believe your state legislature has the right to supersede the will, intention and votes of the people in your state or any other? How do you feel about personal choice? Or the right to privacy? Do you believe people should be free to live their lives free from government intrusion?

Will any of those beliefs change when I tell you Int. 148 was Montana’s Medical Marijuana Act?

Our law was attacked by outside special interest groups based out of California. Politically timed federal raids, suspiciously coinciding with legislative votes, were deployed. Our state law was under attack and our legislators were helping to lead the charge. Senators and their wives, as well as State Representatives, chaired and ran this group that was opposing our rights and our votes. Their connections allowed them what seemed like unlimited access to lobby throughout the capital all session, without the constraints and the rules and processes the “regular” lobbyists needed to follow.

While our governor vetoed an outright repeal bill, we were left with a law that would essentially leave legitimate patients without safe access to their medicine, or even to a doctor’s recommendation. A bill that make providers provide medical cannabis for free, for no more than 3 people, after they are made to identify themselves to the FEDERAL Government as a provider, via fingerprint and background check submitted to the FBI. ( Yes, you read that correctly – to provide free medical cannabis in Montana you would need to tell the FEDERAL government you will be doing so)
(The full version of SB423 can be read here http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/BillPdf/SB0423.pdf )

To help fight this horrible legislation and the blatant attack on Montana’s democratic process, the Montana Cannabis Industry Association emerged. http://www.mtcia.org/
This is a grassroots organization fighting for the rights of patients, providers and voters across the state. The battle will now be waged in the courts and through a voter referendum signature-gathering petition. This is once again, the will of the people at work, trying valiantly to preserve “…by the people, for the people…”

It is for this reason I am writing. We urgently need financial backing from all supporters of democracy.
Even if you do not live in Montana, the outcome of this battle may very well affect your state laws.
If we are defeated in our attempts to stop the overturning of a law the PEOPLE saw fit to put into place for themselves, it opens the door for this assault on state’s rights to be waged in your state as well.

This battle is not just about medical cannabis and a patient’s right to choose what they put into their own bodies. It is about democracy. It is about the will of the PEOPLE to make their own laws in the states in which they live. It is about stopping those in Legislative power from changing the will and intent of the people in favor of their own personal beliefs or those of special interest groups. It is about taking back our rights as individuals and as Americans.

Whether you live in Montana or elsewhere, please consider going to http://www.mtcia.org/ and donating. Help take a stand for democracy, personal freedom, personal choice, and the right of the people to enact their own laws and govern themselves.

Thank you,
Elizabeth Pincolini
Billings MT

President Obama’s Audacity of Dope


By now it is clear to most Americans that many of Barack Obama’s campaign promises were nothing more than hollow rhetoric.  Obama’s failure to deliver is a relief to most conservatives who weren’t excited about the prospects of net neutrality, higher taxes, and cap & trade legislation while Obama’s base is also livid with him because he didn’t fight hard enough for single payer health care or ending tax cuts for the wealthy, and he also failed to reform our immigration policy.  While shocking to virtually nobody, progressives expected more of Obama.  After all, he had also promised an unprecedented level of transparency.

Obama appears to be particularly hypocritical in his administration’s prosecutions of medical marijuana.  Obama made very specific promises regarding federal prosecution of medical marijuana facilities in states with medical marijuana laws in place.

The White House, in 2009 offered the following statement:

“The President believes that federal resources should not be used to
circumvent state laws, and as he continues to appoint senior
leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects
them to review their policies with that in mind.”

Despite numerous vows to the contrary, only days after his inauguration, Obama allowed the DEA to raid multiple medical grow facilities in California and other medical marijuana states.  Since Obama took office, his administration has engaged in over 100 aggressive medical cannabis raids– in comparison to the Bush administration’s total of just over 200 raids…. in EIGHT entire years. When not engaging in raids, the Obama administration terrorizes medical marijuana patients and businesses via the IRS.   Americans for Safe Access, a medical cannabis advocacy organization,  has given Obama a failing grade for his medical cannabis policies.

It appears that Obama considers the cannabis-friendly crowd to be a  politically disposable bloc of voters, and maybe he is correct.  I suspect, however; that if Montanans come out of their cannabis closet- even if only to vote- that our state legislature will look VERY different in the 2013 legislative session. The question is how to effectively mobilize them- doing so has traditionally been a challenge.

Smaller government is a core belief of the Republican party- one would expect that allowing citizens, with their physicians, to choose the health therapy they prefer would fit into the smaller government component, but that isn’t always the case.  While the Republican-led Montana legislature should certainly be blamed for the fate of medical cannabis in the state (a repeal bill masquerading as a reform bill-  Senator Jeff Essmann’s SB 423- is likely on Governor Brian Schweitzer’s desk today), not all conservatives support a nanny-state government.  Milton Friedman’s criticism of the failed war on drugs was based on his devotion to the principles of limited government.  William Buckley, founder of the conservative National Review, supported legalization and mocked silly fear-based rhetoric utilized by prohibitionists.  Glenn Beck, Pat Buchanan, and 2012 GOP Presidential hopefuls  Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson also support legalization.

While Democrats have traditionally been credited with advocating cannabis reform, Obama has shown us via actions and policy that the Democrat Party does not necessarily support cannabis reform endeavors either.   We all need to ask our politicians- regardless of party affiliation and prior to primary elections- specifically how they feel about issues important to us all.

Rick Hill: Campaign Negativity is Only OK When its MY Choice


Mermaid-Gate a dirty democrat trick?

A full 12 days after the Mermaid-gate scandal arose, Rick Hill decided to respond….. by pointing the finger- or is it a FIN- toward anyone other than himself.  Posted on Hill’s Twitter account was a link to the following statement, with the words “responding to anonymous attacks on my family”.

Campaigns are tough.  After a while you expect the nasty attacks and the anonymous charges.  It goes with the territory.  But I’ve learned that the best way to deal with shady attacks like this is to hit them head on.

So let me quickly respond to the latest anonymous email and blog attacks.

Thirty-four years ago, I had a difficult marriage and went through a rough divorce.  That’s the reality.  Like any Montanan who has ever gone through one knows, it was unfortunate for everyone involved.

Since that time I’ve been blessed.  My wife Betti and I will have been happily married for 28 years this June.  We’ve raised three great boys.  And we’ve been graced with 7 grandchildren.

My family is my foundation. So it’s disappointing that they have to put up with twisted anonymous attacks from 30 years ago… and it’s disappointing for them to hear the same recycled Democrat dirty tricks that didn’t work when we won my first race for Congress.

But unfortunately this kind of stuff is par for the course in today’s politics.  And that’s exactly what people are sick of.  With so much at stake this election—a soft national economy, job losses here in Montana, a growing debt, and a government takeover of healthcare—Montana needs this election to be about big things, not little things.

So that’s where my campaign is going to stay focused: on fixing Montana’s business climate to achieve the job growth we need; standing up to federal overreach into Montana’s affairs, and fixing our broken education system.

Montana has big challenges we need to address.  And even bigger opportunities if we get them right.  See you on the campaign trail soon.

First of all, nobody attacked his family.  This is about RICK HILL’S indiscretions, not his family.  This may be the first time that Hill didn’t beat his opponents to the punch in going negative.  “High Country News” posted a story about him from in 1996 called “A scrappy Republican tries to cut down a green Democrat”…..  from the story:

Rick Hill was so far behind in the polls last winter that his two Republican primary opponents said Hill wasn’t even a contender for Montana’s one seat in the House of Representatives.
So Hill tried something. He went negative.
He attacked his Republican opponents, who both complained he was being nasty and unfair when he called them tax-and-spend liberals in bad disguises.

But the strategy worked. Hill rallied in the final weeks of the campaign and won the primary with 44 percent of the vote, eight points more than his closest opponent.

In an article in the November, 1997 edition of Time magazine, called “The Secret GOP Campaign

Two weeks before the 1996 election, Democrat Bill Yellowtail was in a neck-and-neck race for Montana’s only House seat when a TV ad swooped out of the Big Sky. “Who is Bill Yellowtail?” it opened. “He preaches family values, but he took a swing at his wife.” Yellowtail lost. A year later he’s still trying to figure out who really took a swing at him. The ad’s sponsor was a nonprofit group with a do-gooder name, Citizens for Reform. But the deeper mystery was how the organization knew to air a domestic incident more than 20 years old. Republican documents obtained by TIME help piece together this puzzle. What they point to is the possibility that G.O.P. candidates and groups that purport to be independent may have broken election law by coordinating their strategy.

Citizens for Reform was really a shell for Triad Management Services, a firm based in Washington that matches conservative donors with candidates and causes. In late September, a Triad agent huddled with the campaign of Yellowtail’s opponent, Rick Hill, and figured out how to help. According to a Triad memo, Hill needed a “3rd party to expose Yellowtail” on “wife-beating.” Citizens for Reform launched its ad a couple of weeks later, sparing Hill the indignity of playing the mudslinger. It was a turning point in the race, and it appears to be a prime example of the new dirty word in the financing of elections: coordination.

Clearly, Hill is upset that someone attacked before he could.  After all, he is the one who typically goes negative.  How dare someone beat him to it.  He may consider carrying on a humiliating affair a “little thing”, but I’d bet his ex-wife would disagree.  Perhaps more damning than the actual affair however, were his ex-wife’s statements about living with constant emotional abuse from Hill claiming he ridiculed her about her looks and lack of education.  The marriage and eventual divorce may have been rocky, but the ex-wife came forward with these allegations only after Hill attacked his opponent on his lack of family values when he had a little issue with his own. 

To this day we don’t know where the email originated, but the evidence still points to the Miller camp.  It has tea party written all over it. As for the  “anonymous email and blog attacks”, no bloggers attacked him.  We simply posted the email.  We aren’t exhibiting any  “The same recycled Democrat dirty tricks that didn’t work “.  In fact, all signs point to someone farther to the right of Hill, not the left.  In addition to that, whoever was responsible apparently learned from reading Rick Hill Campaigning 101.  

Highlights From Lowlifes: Montana’s 62nd Legislature


This legislative session it seems Montana is ALWAYS in the news.  We’ve made “The Colbert Report”, “Anderson Cooper 360”, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, and according to Speaker Milburn, he was interviewed by the Swedish World Federation Against Drugs on a radio show.  We have yet to confirm this interview’s existence with anyone other than Speaker Milburn, but he assures us that it exists, and naturally, we believe him.  After all, he is the one who informed us that Montana is now known as a “source country, just like Columbia” because of our massive marijuana exports.  Although the session isn’t quite over, as leadership needed a vacation, here are a few highlights from Montana’s 62nd Legislative session.

  1. ‎”I’m going to ask that we take a minute here and reflect upon our own hypocrisy.” Rep. Rob Cook R-Conrad. INDEED.
  2. “If Jesus Christ himself were here today he would be an opponent of this bill,” Harris Himes speaking against a bill to abolish the death penalty.  Yes, Rev. Himes, if you were in the chair, he may indeed approve.
  3. “It’s poison, a kind of poison, it’s kind of like taking arsenic with Valium in it – it will make you feel good until it kills you. That’s the truth.” Rep. David Howard (R-Park City) speaking about medical marijuana.  And we all know marijuana kills…. how many people annually?  That’s right Rep. Howard, ZERO.
  4. “It is God himself who said homosexuality is an abomination and he has various punishments for it….. they will surely be put to death”.  Rev. Harris Hines in testimony supporting discrimination of gays. Again, that death thing.
  5. “The most important reason to repealing medical marijuana is  that marijuana and its usage is offensive to God”  Rev. Harris Himes.  Himes may want to check out Genesis 1:29
  6. “He (Dr. Carlton Turner)  told us he’d take almost any of the other drugs- crank, heroin, methamphetamines under clinical  conditions- but he wouldn’t take marijuana.  Every time they’d done a human test on it, it scared him half to death.”— Rep David Howard admits FEAR motivates him to lie?
  7. I’ll never have my brother back,  we need to save others people’s brothers.— Rep James Knox, fighting tears as he pimped his brother for marijuana repeal while inadvertently advocating nanny state government.
  8. My birth mom told me had abortion been legal, I wouldn’t have been calling her.”  Rep James Knox testifying on house floor on an abortion bill, making a great case for post natal abortion.
  9. Open Cow, Open Woman, Rep Regier compares women to cows.  This one defies all explanation.
  10. There’s new ways to kill you know, in prisons, they take little pieces of paper.  They take their blood, their saliva and do blow darts on the guards, there are new and unique ways to kill.” —Rep Janna Taylor.  I’m not sure what Taylor is getting at here.
  11. “I also voted no on this bill, the body should know that the people who run ponzi schemes, they don’t have any money of their own…. I couldn’t imagine standing in front of my constituents in Park City, where none of them make more than $35,000/yr to say we’re gonna come up with a scheme to get back up to 25,000 of what people have lost investing…….”  –Rep. Dave Howard who thinks his constituency is poor.
  12. Two wrongs don’t make a right– Sen. Verdell Jackson referring to victims of rape and incest.  While I’m not a fan of abortion, I wonder if Sen. Jackson would feel differently if he had been raped.
  13. ‎”The only way I’d be supportive of that (Dept. of Ag regulating medical marijuana) is if they treated marijuana as a noxious weed.” –Sen. John Brenden (R-Scobey). I grew up in this senate district and I can tell you, nobody up there gives a damn about medical marijuana.  Brenden is a bit noxious himself.
  14. “Across the street from the church was a bevy of good-looking young ladies going in and out of this place……they were growing marijuana across the street…. I didn’t know such good-looking women were interested in horticultural prospects”– Rev. Harris Himes. Where do we find these guys? Himes is made for mockery!
  15. “I got a medical marijuana business who moved in next door to me and it’s been craziness ever since. You see ’em them behind their shop, behind the commercial building, they got their arms outstretched, they’re trying to fly. I find people sleeping in my vehicles in front of my business. A month and a half ago they buried a van.”– Austin Kaufman, Billings.
  16. Rep Ken Peterson: If women would make better choices they wouldn’t get cervical and breast cancer. So defund family planning already.
  17. If you act gay in public, Rep Ken Peterson wants your felon ass in jail for a decade.  Ten years in prison will teach you how to be straight, right?
  18. Steve Zabawa in SB 423 hearing: “Marijuana is illegal! The state of Montana is gonna get arrested!” Zabawa is no stranger to illegal activity, he does sell cars for a living.  He also hires most of his employees from the Alpha House, a halfway house for men returning to society after being imprisoned for major crimes. Several of his current sales and management staff are felons, actually.  A couple of them defrauded the federal government by filing false FEMA claims after Hurricane Katrina. After serving time, Zabawa hired them back!
  19. Sen. Ed Walker saying, “I don’t believe it can be reformed. It needs to be repealed. There are times the voters get it wrong, and that is what happened in 2004.”  I wonder if we may have also got it wrong in 201o when you were elected, Ed.  Just sayin’.
  20. Montana is now considered a “source country”, same as Columbia.“- Speaker Mike Milburn (R-Cascade) I wonder why anyone would bury a van filled with  marijuana if that is the case.  So many questions.
  21. “Sometimes the most compassionate answer you can give is no you don’t need this,” Senator Rowlie Hutton (R-Havre) said.  “When you love someone you are willing to do an intervention. I love this state, and it’s time we do an intervention,” concluded Hutton, who wants to take away medicine from the ill. Compassionate indeed.
  22. “The people who use medical marijuana for legitimate uses, they’ve been had. I think they probably feel like the dog who gets in the car and as they’re driving they realize they are going to the vet instead of the park. They got in with the wrong crowd,” testified Sen. Edward Walker (R-Billings).  The wrong crowd, Sen. Walker, spends time with you and your buddies at that creepy temple under the rims.
  23. Tough DUI laws “are destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years,” said Rep. Hale.  But medical cannabis is WAY too dangerous.
  24. “Homosexuals can’t go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts,” Peterson says. He provides an example: “‘Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.’” Peterson hasn’t actually seen this happen, he says, because “I don’t associate with that group of people at all… I’ve associated with mainstream people all my life.” Again, those mainstream people hang out at the LDS temple in west Billings.
  25. And then we have this beauty.  You be the judge.
Special thanks to Hiedi Handford of Montana Connect Magazine for editing and uploading the 300+ testimony videos.  Other legislative testimony can be viewed on her YouTube channel here

Washington Post: Rick Hill, Weak Candidate


Cowgirl has the story:  According to the Washington Post…….

Republicans aren’t totally sold on Hill, who notably attacked a female opponent in the late 1990s for being unmarried and without children. But even a weak GOP candidate could put up a tough fight in this Republican-leaning state. And once the state’s legislative session ends, some fresher faces could jump in on the GOP side.

 

Who knew Montana had mermaids? Rick Hill did.....

As if the dramatic stories flapping around about Hill’s extramarital affairs with tailed ladies of the sea weren’t enough….

 

Hill may have raised more cash than the other GOP candidates thus far- after all, he is a former US Congressman- but something tells me the MONTaliban members dominating the right wing these days won’t soon forget about Hill’s character flaws.  Rep Ken Peterson wouldn’t likely associate with someone so far out of the mainstream and oh my…. what would the rough and tough proponents of the Cowboy Code of Ethics have to say about this?

The majority of donors to Hill are shady and scandalous lobbyists, moderate ex-legislators, wealthy insurance executives, and reluctant Helena insiders.  Hill has yet to issue any statements in response to Mermaid-gate but the exposure may have played a part in some prominent members of the “moral majority” (which is neither) making contributions to Ken Miller- notably, a couple of the masters of propaganda pillars of the community, Rep David Howard and Jeff Laszloffy (Montana Family Foundation).  Republicans may be wise to distance themselves from the elderly Hill as there are a number of  far superior GOP hopefuls in the 2012 Gubernatorial election.

H/T Montana Cowgirl

Dear Mr Zabawa or Milburn, Essmann, Howard, Knox, and company


UPDATE: Zabawa’s testimony on SB 423 today can be viewed here. This morning another of our bloggers received a Facebook friend request from “Mercedes Benz- Billings”, an auto dealership in part owned by one of our favorite prohibitionists, Brother Steve Zabawa.  A source within one of Zabawa’s businesses confirmed that the Facebook page indeed belonged to Zabawa so she sent a…. factually scathing message in response to the request.  After I posted her words to Zabawa on our blog’s Facebook page earlier today, she posted a comment clarifying the post.  She said that she’d received a polite response from the dealership, from a “product specialist” who claimed to monitor the page.  Although making it clear he understood his employer’s motivations and respected his right to express his opinions, he assured her that not everyone within the dealership was aligned with Zabawa’s agenda.  Because the friend request apparently did not originate with Steve Zabawa, I pondered whether or not he’d ever see her words.  After much (not really) thought, in the case that Zabawa was indeed shielded from the criticism, I took the liberty of posting it here,  utilizing , in vain, our public forum in hopes that Zabawa would notice, take heed, and engage his opponents in a productive discussion.  While the letter was written to Zabawa, the intended target could have been nearly any Republican currently serving in our state legislature as well.  I challenge any puritanical republican to address the concerns mentioned in the following letter:


Nicole French April 6 at 2:08pm
Dear Mr Zabawa, 

Considering your opposition to personal liberties, obsession with control and devotion to driving the legislative process in the opposite direction voters desire, I am puzzled by your motives in requesting my friendship.

It appears a vast majority of your Facebook friends are politically active Republicans, so initially I assumed you were innocently seeking more local political connections, but I suspect your request isn’t so innocent. Do your liberty-minded Republican friends support your determined effort to not only overturn legislation created and approved by our state’s voters, but force seriously ill Montanans to make the unfathomable choice to either participate in a crime or needlessly suffer from a debilitating condition? You may be surprised.

Whether you are aware or not, I have defended your organization in public forums on countless occasions- primarily on principle as I believe each party involved in a conflict deserves an opportunity to dispel false accusations. Isn’t that odd? Although I do not know you personally and generally am opposed to the sort of licentious behavior of which your establishment is regularly accused, I am a principled and honorable human being, always willing to participate in open and honest discussion- which is where you and I obviously differ.

What I find most astounding about your group’s opposition to the creation of a regulated industry is your continual refusal to participate in any sort of pro-active conflict resolution discussion. Although many consider you and the other group members to be truly moronic, I disagree. Your recurrent fallacious testimony quickly elucidates any possibility of a naive ignorance.

I will overlook your unwillingness to acknowledge science and patient testimonials for a moment to examine political principles. Republicans fight for smaller government, a free market, retaining more of what we make, and especially liberty. Although I’m not a cannabis user, I appreciate the freedom to choose, with my physician, alternative forms of treating illnesses. Our federal government runs Amtrak, the US Postal Service, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid…. the list of insolvent entities goes on and on. The FDA has approved a litany of drugs that kill Americans on a daily basis, but yet so many are comforted by the federal government’s approval or disapproval of substances. It is astounding that any intelligent American would appreciate federal intervention in any manner beyond the power granted by our Constitution.

Liberty is integral to being an American and especially so to many Montanans. Our voters approved the use of this substance and overturning their wishes is truly reprehensible. If this truly “isn’t what Montanans voted for”, those citizens would place reform or repeal on the ballot. To date, no one has successfully done so, so I adhere to the belief that what we have now, however flawed it may be, is closer to voters’ intentions than an outright repeal.

In testimony of marijuana opponents, I hear of frequent abuses of the current statutes, exploitation of patients in pursuit of profits, use in schools, illegal diversion of medical cannabis, the list is endless. What I fail to understand is why those perpetrators are not as a result, arrested. The industry begged regulation and especially for enforcement. Three previous legislative sessions failed to address the concerns and the “frequent abuses” have apparently gone unpunished. Patients who legitimately, effectively, and safely treat their conditions with cannabis are instead the targets of your mission.

Laws aren’t created to provide a substitute for competent parenting and historically prohibition primarily benefits criminals. Actual drug dealers, the predatory sort, not the state-licensed law-abiding providers you are complaining about today, will return to their profitable businesses- without paying taxes, hiring employees, or adhering to any sort of ethical protocol. The dangers to our communities and kids presented by prescription drug and alcohol abuse far surpass those created by allowing legal medical use of cannabis. For this reason, I’m shocked you would continue this obsession while ignoring the most dire dangers facing our state.

We owe our children more than the false “safety” that destroying an industry may provide. We owe them the truth. The truth is, overturning a citizens initiative is an assault on our Constitution and rights. The topic itself, however discomforting you consider it, should not determine that the right of the people to self-govern is void. Montana’s constitution does not define the right to citizens initiative to be inclusive of only what is palatable to the elected.
Montana voters spoke. The governing body has now decided to use the power of position to arrogate. This is a wrongful use of power and is symbolic of the underlining reason the people’s distrust of all things government has become so palpable.

Perhaps your understanding of the long-term repercussions of such action would require a personal stake in it. For your sake, I truly hope that you and your loved ones are never presented with as dire of consequences as you are seeking for Montana’s infirm.

Upon receiving this message, should you decide to address my concerns, I will accept your offer of friendship. You and I won’t necessarily ever agree on this particular issue, but we likely would on virtually all others. I hope, through not only education but by setting a positive example, that someday the vast conflict surrounding this particular substance is reduced substantially.

Sincerely,
Nicole French

Republican Rick Hill’s Mermaid Mistress: A Sordid Tail


This evening we received the an interesting message via email, posted below.  It appears to be, if nothing else, a sweet compilation of 2012 Montana Gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill’s more lurid accomplishments.    Perhaps the virtuous young lady was only a cocktail waitress and not officially one of the mermaids, we aren’t certain. The lounge’s unique window allows bar patrons to get drunk while lusting over the mermaids swimming seductively….. The image of  the now-elderly adulterer Hill caressing his young mermaid mistress while his wife and small children beg him to return home to his family presents an incredible visual and when Piano Pat Spoonheim is playing show tunes on the lounge’s organ, I’d imagine the temptation is just too great.

While not quite a murder, adultery would hopefully be considered an immoral act by Hill’s own party.   You know, the Republican party that thinks being gay should remain a felony, in spite of  being ruled unconstitutional and that using cannabis medically is unethical because the nanny federal government says so.  Unfaithful spouses are generally dishonest and self-centered, but sex with a young, wet mermaid is no doubt tempting.

Will Montana’s morality police accept such a flawed Republican candidate? It seems many already decided not only to accept Hill, but to support him financially as well.   Medical use of marijuana is far too immoral for the 2011 state legislature, but banging a mermaid at the Sip N Dip is not an issue.  Senator Taylor Brown, his wife and others in his family maxed out their contributions to Hill. Senator Bruce Tutvedt also supports Rick Hill, proving he picks his nose better than his candidates. Other notable members of Montana’s legislature supporting Rick Hill include  Mormon Liz Bangerter,   Walt McNutt, Jim Shockley, Jon Sonju, Don Steinbeisser, and others.  Want to see all of the lobbyists and hypocritical family values promoting Hill supporters?  Check it out here, but a bath may be required afterwards.

So who is behind the anti-Rick Hill email?  The Scribd page hosting each of the articles posted is:

nancy_davis_53

Nancy Davis has 2 followers so far- Jeff Bolstad and 2012 Republican Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Miller.  I’m sure that is just a coincidence though.

Dear Socially Conservative voter:
We are writing to apprise you of something very unfortunate that is happening in Helena.  A republican congressman from the 1990s, Rick Hill, who left office under the cloud of an extramarital affair,  is trying to buy himself the GOP nomination for governor.
Rick Hill cannot win the governor’s race. Why? Because he has had too many women in his life. While he was married with little children, he carried on regular sex with a cocktail waitress at the Sip and Dip Lounge in Great Falls. (Sip and Dip is a bar similar to “Hooters,” because waitresses wear bikinis and mermaid outfits to seduce the customers.). And he even carried on his relationship on one occasion in front of the children, according to the Billings Gazette and other major newspapers (the articles are attached to this e-mail).
These revelations–compounded by the fact that Hill enjoyed touting his “family values”– caused Mr. Hill to make a hasty departure from Congress.
Also, Hill’s first wife, who he emotionally abused and who he divorced in an ugly 8-year long custody battle, told the press that on one occasion, when he hadn’t been home in weeks to see the kids, she brought her kids to the bar where he was enjoying the company of his mistress. They begged him to come home, but he said no to his family. This is not a conservative. And this is a dead duck, politically.
We believe a Republican Primary is for nominating a candidate who  EMBODIES CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL VALUES, like family and faith. We cannot allow a person with “Bill Clinton values” to be a nominee for the Republican Party for Governor.
Please also remember that the Democrats–and their liberal big-mouth Governor and their environmentalist Attorney General (who will be the Democrat nominee for Governor)–are all praying that Rick Hill is the Republican nominee.  With his womanizing past, they know he is easy prey.
Let’s not give them what they want. Do Not Compromise on the principles that unite us: conservative values, family values, and candidates who actuallly practice them. And shame on the liberal republican establishment in Helena who are giving Rick Hill money and secretly trying to seal-up the nomination for him.
We have attached links to several newspaper articles for your review.  Please read them and be informed.
Thank You,
Montana Conservative Families

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?

Rick Hill: A Lot of Baggage, Still NOT “A Lot of Folks”


While there still aren’t a “lot of folks for Rick Hill”, the 2012 hopeful republican gubernatorial candidate is at least aware that he needs some more folks.  Late last week, he sent out an email virtually begging for new followers, perhaps because nearly all of his devoted supporters (primarily lobbyists and insurance executives) already have maxed out their contributions to his campaign.  He expressed his intentions to have the most friends, Twitter followers, blog subscribers, etc and vowed to show everyone how an online campaign is run.

Dear Friend:

I’m very pleased to announce the launch of our new web site at:

www.rickhillforgovernor.com

When I last ran for public office over ten years ago, the Internet was still fairly new, and the social media revolution was in its infancy.  But I’m excited to get to try new things with this campaign, and I’ve made it my goal to be on the cutting edge of technology this election cycle.  It is my goal to be the candidate all others are trying to catch up to in our online presence.  I want the most Facebook friends, the most Twitter followers, the most subscribers to my blog, and most importantly, I want to raise the most money online.

Over the weekend we launched a new web site, a new Facebook page, and a new Twitter feed.  I need your help to get the word out to start building our presence.

Please forward this email liberally.  Please go to your own Facebook networks and suggest they join me.  Please spread the word in every way you know how and let’s show Montana how an online campaign is run!

Join me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Subscribe to my RSS feed

Contribute to my campaign

I can’t thank you enough for your support,

Rick

Paid for by A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill, Republican

PO Box 1585

Helena, MT 59624

Note:  He has not been making any friends in the medical cannabis industry, in fact, he has mocked patients and caregivers at every opportunity in nearly all of his speeches at area Lincoln Reagan Dinners.


Well one thing is for sure, Hill isn’t short on arrogance, although the fact that he wears lifts in his shoes and generally travels with a stool (kind of like tiny Michele Bachmann) to create the illusion of height at his public appearances would lead some to believe he is indeed insecure.  Because of his desire to have the most friends, most Twitter followers, etc, he has recently been imitating opponent Corey Stapleton, posting photos very similar to his and copying his Facebook status update topics.   Stapleton must be doing something right though, he has more Facebook friends and more Twitter followers.  Stapleton’s posts are generally thought provoking and he often encourages friends to comment on controversial issues.  In contrast, each of Hill’s posts masquerade as news articles about … you guessed it, Mr. Hill himself.  In reality, however, the links lead visitors to his own campaign website.  As a result, one of the candidates seems REAL while the other one seems manufactured.  I will let readers be the judge.

Unfortunately for Hill, arrogance isn’t enough to be elected governor, especially after a sudden shady decade long “retirement” that included obtaining a faux online law degree (ironically while he was supposedly going blind, cyber braille perhaps?) and working as a lobbyist.  In addition to that, some “folks” may recall his public infidelity and subsequent divorce, temper tantrums that included hurling a letter opener at a congressional staffer, abysmal JBS Freedom Index scores, and reputation for tyrannical behavior.  Hill holds a slight lead over Stapleton, but the race is young.  Former US Congressman Hill suffers from low name recognition (all of the GOP candidates do, but Hill was the only one who held national office) as well as high negatives.   Obviously the liberals are having fun mocking Hill, today Cowgirl referred to him as the GOP’s crusty leading man but he has real trouble on the right as well. A lot of baggage, but not “a lot of folks”.

(we anticipate a prompt response from  Hill’s yes man operative, Chuck Denowh, to defend his honor)