Montana Politics

The Terrifically Stupid Twenty: More GOP Job Creation


While I urge you to read the “The Terrible Ten,” the Democratic leadership’s compilation of the worst billspresented at the Montana Legislature during this session, a mere list of ten items hardly captures the ridiculousness of the GOP agenda thus far. With certain knowledge that I can’t capture every terrible proposal, I humbly offer the rest of the Terrifically Stupid Twenty:

  • HB 384-– which allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars, banks and universities, passed in the House despite unanimous objection from law enforcement, university officials and banking representatives. Krayton Kerns (R-Laurel)
  • SB 112–which finally ends the oppression of Stone Age era hunters, granting them full rights to hurl spears at large land mammals. Greg Hinkle, (R-Marbut)
  • HB 278 — which would create the one job Republicans plan to create in the session, a half-time position to oversee the creation of a Montana Militia, allowing TEA Party members to play soldier at taxpayer sense while insulting the integrity and professionalism of the men and women in our National Guard. Wendy Warburton (R-Havre)
  • HB 154–which woud have eliminated educational requirements for the Superintendent of Public Instruction was narrowly rejected by the House. James Knox (R-Billings)
  • HB 280— which would mandate that women undergo an invasive, government-mandated ultrasound before an abortion, and subjecting doctors to criminal penalties for failure to comply. By a narrow margin, this might be the single most offensive bill proposed this session. Pat Ingraham (R-Thomson Falls)
  • SB 216--which establishes new heights of frivolous lawmaking as well as the “code of the West as the code of Montana.” Never have so many debated for so long something of such little significance. Jim Peterson (R-Buffalo)
  • SJ2–which actually has 48 co-sponsors, is a factually-challenged, irrelevant call for Montana to urge American withdrawal from the United Nations. Somewhere, Ed Butcher is smiling, and the Founders are crying. Dave Lewis (R-Helena)
  • HB 180–which passed the House with 67 votes decreases access to ballots because of imaginary fears of fraud, fraud that the passage of the bill will do nothing to combat. Sorry, 8,000 Montana voters who used same day registration! Champ Edmunds (R-Missoula)
  • HB 231–which continues a proud Montana Republican tradition of attacking emergency responders by eliminating the requirement that Montana cities have paid firefighters passed th House on a party-line vote. Randy Brodehl (R-Kalispell)
  • SB 279— which, dangerously enough, would allow the very same people who have written, proposed, and passed many of these idiotic bills to pack heat during the next legislative session. Verdell Jackson (R-Kalispell)
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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-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.

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