Montana Politics

Congratulations, James Knox. New Poll: Worst Bill


I’d like to congratulate Representative James Knox for winning the highly competitive and apparently coveted title of Montana Legislature Hypocrite of the Session. Given public discussion of his business practices, ethical lapses and memory loss, it’s probably safe to assume that Mr. Knox won’t be winning any more contests any time soon, so I hope he appreciates his come-from-behind victory over Janna Taylor.

And now we move to the ultimate challenge: what is the worst piece of legislation that has been introduced in the 2011 session? After days of consideration, I’ve narrowed it to the following five choices:

  • HB 2: A budget that systematically underfunds nearly every government service, despite revenue estimates that makes its draconian cuts entirely unnecessary.
  • HB 456: A “sex education” bill so poorly written that it will make everyday class discussion and learning almost impossible.
  • HB 516: A hateful piece of anti-gay discrimination that violates human rights, basic decency, and local control.
  • HB 321: An ideologically-driven attack on the Endangered Species Act that would cost the state millions of dollars annually.
  • HB 309: An attack on Montana’s proud, unique tradition of stream access for recreation.

If these choices aren’t enough for you, I highly recommend filling out the March Sadness bracket, which really puts this session in perspective.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


  • EeGads!! I have been around legislative sessions since 1985, and I hafta say: this is by far the most strange, non-productive and angry session I have ever seen. Yuk. And when they “go home”, the rest of us will be hard at it, figuring out how to make our state work – and that’s all the businesses and governmentals. The sad fact is that most all of the legislators will be very proud of what they have “accomplished”. When in fact, they should be ashamed and embarrassed.

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