(NOTE: As Pogreba trots the globe, I’ll endeavor to pick up some of the slack at ID. Here’s my version of his popular In Case You Missed It series.)
Even though Laurel is upstream from Billings, there must be something in that Yellowstone River water that cranks out characters like the Montana Family Foundation’s Laszloffys (Jeff and Sarah), former anti-science state senator Dan McGee and sexist, racist “Doc” Krayton Kerns. Kerns served in the Montana House of Representatives from 2007 to 2015.
David Crisp at Last Best News has a great write up on Kerns’ latest racist screed. Here is a Kerns quote from the story:
Democrats are encouraging the Black Lives Matter movement because the violence it propagates helps the ruling class advance their gun control agenda. After all, a few dead police officers are a small price compared to achieving a Marxist utopia.
There’s no need to even comment on that statement.
Since there aren’t enough gun deaths in the U.S., Gary Marbut’s Montana Shooting Sports Association is promoting more guns in the hands of more people. MSSA has released its legislative wish list, as reported by Logicosity. Guns in K-12 schools, on college campuses and in restaurants serving booze are just part of the agenda, as is a legislative appropriation of $1 million every session to develop shooting ranges.
There are also a bunch of militia-type bills being suggested: sheriff’s should be the law of the land, the establishment of a “Home Guard” and prohibiting the enforcement of federal gun laws.
It’s time for Montana legislators to stand up to the deadly paranoia being advanced by Marbut.
And then there’s the Marbut/Greg Gianforte bromance. Flathead Memo’s James Conner posts a photo of Gianforte supporters packing more heat than a SWAT team and a sign reading “Veto Bullock Save Our Guns.” Conner writes:
The civic safety caucus, which is still the majority, would applaud less brass and more common sense. Brandishing firearms in support of a political candidate is the hallmark of a banana republic, not a mature western democracy such as the United States.
Current gun laws, which allow for almost unfettered access to anything short of a machine gun or a bazooka, and let folks pack them just about everywhere, are too restrictive by Marbut’s standards. Gov. Steve Bullock, a consistent Second Amendment supporter, isn’t gun gung-ho enough. In this Logicosity post, Marbut pimps for Gianforte:
Gianforte is clearly the best candidate to occupy the Governor’s Office for the next four years. Greg would sign the pro-gun bills that current Governor Bullock has vetoed, which MSSA and Montana gun owners worked so hard to get through the past two sessions of the Montana Legislature. Montana gun owners have been stonewalled long enough by an incumbent governor who doesn’t truly believe in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as an unalienable human right that the people have reserved to themselves from government interference.
Brewing but not yet in the news, is the formation of the Montana Progressive Democrats. Mostly made up of Bernie supporters, some of them recent delegates to the Democratic National Convention, it hopes to become a chartered organization within the Montana Democratic Party.
In my day, there were a number of these organizations — Native American, women, hunters/anglers — and they packed some clout. The power of these groups has diminished over time, at least at the executive board level. Still, it could be a foot in the door for the MPD.
Progressive movements aren’t new to Montana. Between the labor unions in Butte and Anaconda, and the Hi-Line farmers, many who had Scandinavian and German progressive roots, there has been support for progressive campaigns. Montanans were involved in Teddy Roosevelt’s 1912 Progressive Party and the Farmer-Labor Party from 1918 to 1944. Montana Sen. Burton K. Wheeler ran for Vice-President in 1924 on the Progressive Party ticket with Robert M. La Follette.
In recent times, there was the successful, for a while, New Party in Missoula and later, the Progressive Democrats of Montana. The U.S. Supreme Court put the kibosh on the New Party when it ruled against fusion voting, the party’s main plank. The Progressive Democrats of Montana died from a lack funding, momentum, and some internecine squabbling (IMHO). Neither of these two movements actively pursued partnership with the Montana Democratic Party, which makes them different from the MPD.
We’ll see if MPD meets any resistance from the state Democratic party. It takes a 2/3 vote of the party’s executive board for MPD to become a chartered organization. We’ll keep you posted as developments warrant.