Senator Daines’ Unfinished Business – Guest Post

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Post authors: Cherilyn DeVries and Alison James

It didn’t take long for Montana women to notice that the mouthpiece of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s unprecedented interruption of Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday night was Montana’s junior Senator, Steve Daines. You can watch the whole thing here, but suffice it to say that though McConnell interrupted her, it was Daines, as the presiding officer, who cut her off.

Daines attempted to silence Warren as she was reading a letter written in 1986 by Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. This letter has only recently surfaced, even though it was submitted as testimony against Sessions when the Senate was considering him for a federal judgeship with a lifetime appointment. (The Senate rejected Sessions due to testimony by Sessions’ own staff about racist statements he allegedly made.)

So Daines silenced Warren, who was giving voice to a previously silenced King, who was reporting on Sessions’ own behavior. Why? Testimony about Sessions’ own actions has suddenly been classified as impugning another Senator, which is against Senate rules.

We’re not surprised. Montana women are accustomed to being dismissed by Senator Steve Daines. On healthcare, reproductive rights, education, and domestic violence prevention, Daines has been working against women all along. And it’s also not unusual to see Daines acting as the mouthpiece of the GOP’s ultra-conservative agenda.

We’re not surprised, but we are fed up with Senator Daines and his inability to listen. So let’s help him out with some unfinished business this week: stop by one of Daines’ offices and drop off a copy of King’s letter along with a personal note stating your objection to Daines’ behavior toward Warren.

You can print the letter here: Coretta Scott King statement on Jeff Sessions

After all, the only person impugning Sessions is Sessions himself.

Senator Daines Office Locations

Billings

222 N. 32nd Street, Ste. 100
Billings, MT 59101
p: (406) 245-6822

Great Falls

104 4th Street North, Ste. 302
Great Falls, MT 59401
p: (406) 453-0148

Helena

30 West 14th Street, Ste. 206
Helena, MT 59601
p: (406) 443-3189

Bozeman

13 S. Willson Ave. Ste. 8
Bozeman, MT 59718
p: (406) 587-3446

 Missoula

218 East Front Street, Ste. 103
Missoula, MT 59802
p: (406) 549-8198

Kalispell

40 2nd St East, Suite 211
(KM Building)
Kalispell, Montana 59901
p: (406) 257-3765

Sidney

609 S. Central Ave. Suite #4
(Central Plaza Building)
Sidney, MT, 59270
p: (406) 482-9010

Hardin

310 N Center
Hardin MT 59034
p: (406) 665-4126

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Nathan Kosted

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Kim DesticheKatie ClarkeLynnEric CoobsBill Recent comment authors
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Tyler Evilsizer
Member

The reason that it was Daines in the chair is because freshman Senators are often assigned to sit in the chair and act as presiding officer, as a way to learn Senate procedure.
His actions as presiding officer have more to do with enforcing the actions of the Senate, in this case, the result of the majority vote. The outcome would have been the same if it had been a different Republican freshman Senator presiding.

Katie Clarke
Guest
Katie Clarke

I think a key insight here is that they used this procedure to silence Warren reading the letter, but the next day male senators read the same letter and were not told to sit down or be quiet. I’m not sure what Senate rule that’s about, but it sounds like sexism to me.

Pete Talbot
Admin

You could be right, Tyler, but it still looked like a Keystone Cops moment to me. McConnell rushing in to interrupt Warren, Daines grappling with procedure, a staffer telling Daines what to say and Warren flustering Daines at every turn. WaPo wrote a little history piece about Rule 19 that was invoked by McConnell. It harkens back to Thomas Jefferson days and is seldom used: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/08/the-silencing-of-elizabeth-warren-and-an-old-senate-rule-prompted-by-a-fistfight/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.474615652880 And as James Conner points out in an earlier comment, if McConnell and Daines had just let Warren finish, this story wouldn’t have made the news cycle. Now it’s front page. Between the Warren… Read more »

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Randi Rhodes showed the CSPAN footage of Daines being told what to say by a Staffer and McConnell coming in to save his butt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp3MX02Hh6A&feature=youtu.be&a

Kim Destiche
Guest
Kim Destiche

Daines doesn’t think he had a bad day at all. He is relishing in his new-found notoriety as some badass who put a liberal woman in her place and told her to take her seat. He’s hanging with the big boys now (McConnell et al). He can’t be bothered by some pesky Montanan women being upset with him and posting snarky insulting comments on social media; he feels quite safe and unstoppable, but hopefully not past 2020.

Bill
Guest
Bill

More Fox news. Dr. Alveda King reacts to Sen. Warren’s comments Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reacts to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife in the Senate. The Senate voted along party lines in favor of a rule that essentially silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday night after she quoted from a letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, during her criticism of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for Attorney General. The rule states that senators may not “directly or indirectly, by any form of… Read more »

Bill
Guest
Bill

Massachusetts GOP Chairwoman Kirsten Hughes sent a fundraising email highlighting the WBUR poll to assert, “voters are sick of Elizabeth Warren and they want fresh, new leadership. …Voters clearly see that Warren’s hyper-partisan, extremist rhetoric does nothing for our state, and serves only to isolate her in D.C.”

Pete Talbot
Admin

What a shocking statement from the Mass. GOP Chairwoman. One would figure she’s a big Warren booster. (This is snark, Bill.)

Bill
Guest
Bill

hehe, got ya….

Bill
Guest
Bill

Very interesting statement. How many other names could you plug in here.

Bob Williams
Guest
Bob Williams

Bill, read Alveda King again. How about for one month you practise being a peacemaker instead of practising being a divider.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Who is the divider? Have you seen any one chastised, ridiculed, intimidated, or harassed for voting for Hillary? Have you watched CNN, CNBC, NBC, a award show lately or a late-night television talk show.

Eric Coobs
Guest
Eric Coobs

Predictably Sessions was confirmed, as will be the case with all of the Presidents cabinet. I think this ‘Outrage’ by the Dems will fizzle out quickly.

Pete Talbot
Admin

On the contrary, Eric, momentum is building. Just wait and see. Taking a page from the Tea Party playbook, Democrats are showing up en masse at town hall meetings, swamping Senate and House phone lines and emails, organizing rallies and protests, and getting fired up for the 2018 and 2020 elections. The times they are a-changin’.

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