This week’s reads include a post from a new blog by Representative Ellie Boldman Hill, a dash of satire (I hope) from MT Cowgirl, a national take on what it means to be a constitutional conservative.
Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Welcome to the 2015 Session of the Montana Legislature | talesfromthedome – “My Week One blog post is admittedly scattered and short because I have to work, like a lot. I know this gig is supposed to be all whiskey and fat cigars, but quite frankly, it just ain’t. We are at the Capitol most every morning at 7:00 am… all of us, on both sides of the aisle. For the most part, your Montana legislators are folks who care deeply about their convictions, albeit diverse convictions, and really do want to make Montana a better place. That said, roughly like 40% of the body is new (freshman!) and it makes the learning curve tiresome and steep. Term limits are bad in a small state like Montana. I will repeat this to you often.” Tales from the Dome
Family Foundation Private School Textbook List Revealed – “The Montana Family Foundation is obsessed with privatizing Montana’s schools and using your tax dollars to do it. Last session, they tried to force an ALEC boilerplate bill sponsored by Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen to use taxpayer money to subsidize private schools in Montana, but did not succeed. They also control the house eduction committee, which has frightening implications for Montana’s public school classrooms. Just look what happened in Texas when fringe groups got control of school curricula. They required schools to teach about the communist threat, censored the word capitalism and required that “free enterprise” be used instead, and required students to read treatises by political leaders of the confederacy.” MT Cowgirl
Bringing on the Heartache – “Sponsored by Senator Doug Kary, this bill would remove the prescription that landowners must allow public hunting as a condition of receiving sportsman’s license dollars to help mitigate problematic concentrations of critters. The issue is being promoted by the same outfitter who tried unsuccessfully for the last 3 sessions to set archery seasons by legislation rather than through the 100 year old process through the Fish & Wildlife Commission. The problem you see is this: Landowners who don’t allow any public hunting and take large amounts of money to either outfit or lease their ranches don’t want elk eating their hay. They want FWP to come in and either kill them, haze them , or buy the landowner a lot of very expensive fence. So, in essence, they want to have their cake and it too. “ Hellgate Hunters & Anglers
Gone Fishing – “All that may seem pretty cut and dried, but now we have former senator Verdell Jackson, arguing in a Great Falls Tribune piece that the Hellgate Treaty, rather than validating off-reservation rights, actually “forbids” them! Jackson reaches this rather novel conclusion based on his reading of Article I of the treaty, which he thinks means that the Tribes, when they gave up their claims on land outside the reservation, gave up their rights to hunt and fish there as well. This is, in a word, nonsense. Tribal rights to hunt and fish off reservations are robust and have been repeatedly upheld by the courts” Barret for SD47
No. Sorry. You’re Not a ‘Constitutional Conservative’ – “At the end of the day, though, the federal constitution was created to battle and overpower the political ideals and devotion to limited, weak government that today’s Tea Partiers and ‘constitutional conservatives’ embody. The history leaves no other possible conclusion. The central belief of the men who spearheaded the constitution was that only a strong central government could make America great and strong and thus safe.” Talking Points Memo