Montana Politics

The 2012 Ballot Initiatives

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LR-120 (AGAINST)

Passage of Legislative Referendum 120 would have profoundly dangerous consequences.  Our legal system must protect the rights of those who are most vulnerable, even if the circumstances under which they need protection are quite rare.  To support LR-120 is to ignore the plight of teenaged girls who are victims of family abuse, who are victims of incest, or who fear that the decision to have an abortion will lead to violence in the home. It will force some young women to make incredibly unsafe choices, ranging from dangerous efforts to end their pregnancies to ending their own lives. Vote no.

LR-121 (AGAINST)

LR-121 is a damaging and unnecessary legislative referendum that Montanans will be voting on this November.  While its stated purpose is to deny a wide variety of state services to Montana residents who cannot prove that they are U.S. Citizens or lawful residents, it actually has implications for all Montanans, who will have to wade through additional red tape when applying for state services, whether it’s admission at any of our colleges, applying for a state license or permit, or even trying to get help as the victim of crime. Vote no.

LR-122 (AGAINST)

Legislative Referendum 122 is one of the crackpot ideas that came from the Legislature that couldn’t shoot straight. Its authors are more interested in politicizing health care and enriching insurance companies than in ensuring that young people and those with pre-existing conditions receive health care.  It also an incredibly wasteful initiative, because the conservative Supreme Court has already ruled that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Vote no.

IR-124 (AGAINST)

IR-124 is an effort from the Montana Legislature to overturn the will of Montana voters, who overwhelmingly supported the right of patients to use medical marijuana back in 2004.  I voted against the medical marijuana initiative back in 2004, but I was wrong then—and the Legislature was wrong in 2011 to overturn the will of the voters with SB 423. Dr. Edwin Stickney makes it clear that IR-124 dangerously prevents patients from getting access to medical marijuana: “The politicians have now made it more risky, legally, to recommend marijuana than to prescribe powerful narcotics. Vote for patients and physicians, not for politicians and prohibitionists. Vote no.

I-166 (FOR)

Passage of I-166 will send a clear and unambiguous message to our elected officials: Montanans do not believe that corporations are people with human rights. It will reject the thinking behind the odious Citizens United decision and remind our elected officials that human rights belong to human beings, not corporations.  Vote yes.

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.

6 Comments

  • Looks like most Montanans do not share your view on 4 of the 5. http://helenair.com/news/local/poll-montana-s-five-ballot-measures-appear-headed-to-passage/article_b0b845bc-2545-11e2-805a-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true

    The five ballot measures before Montana voters next week appear headed toward easy passage, including ones to uphold a new, more restrictive medical marijuana law and require parental notification on a minor’s abortion, according to a Montana Lee Newspapers poll.

    All but one of the five measures, which include three referenda placed on the ballot by the 2011 Legislature, had leads of nearly 20 points or more, among those surveyed by the poll earlier this week.

    Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C., surveyed by telephone 625 registered Montana voters who said they are likely to vote in Tuesday’s election. The survey has an error margin of plus-or-minus four percentage points.

  • Mr Progreba,

    I was shocked when I read in the IR in recent weeks your description of a person running for an office in the state house. Among other inflammatory items you stated that this person had “radical views” that were out of touch with her constituents. I had met and spoken with this candidate on several occasions–and felt she was a strong candidate who would represent my views well.

    As I look at your opinion on which referendums should or should not pass I note that on 4 of 5 of the initiatives voters in Lewis & Clark county clearly had a different opinion than you. Perhaps you are the one that is out of touch with those in this community.

  • You should look at that person’s voting record in the 2011 session and get back to me.

    I’m sure she’s a terribly nice person, but her views most certainly don’t reflect the values of most people in this community.

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