The Media

Awful Story about Legislative Rules

I only noticed this story this evening because a friend mentioned it, but who wrote this terrible piece about a “refresher course” on legislative rules for the Associated Press? It’s fascinating that the piece only names two lawmakers, both Democrats, after a contentious first half of the session and leaves out the name of Representative Peterson, who was at the heart of the controversy.

Clearly, the most contentious issue about rules during the first forty-five days was not when Representative Sesso’s voice rose, but when Representative Peterson refused to allow many people to testify in front of his community, despite rules mandating their ability to put their name in the record. How the did AP writer describe this?

One point of clarification was given on the disputed issue of public testimony. Legislative staffer Todd Everts said that people who come to testify at a hearing for a bill must be allowed to come to the podium to state their name for the record.
The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee previously ruled people’s signatures would suffice during a time-crunched hearing over gay-rights issues after a large number traveled to the Capitol to testify, stirring opposition from some legislators.

Maybe looking at another AP story would have refreshed the author’s memory about Representative Ken Peterson’s name.

Perhaps the AP felt it need to balance some of the coverage from the first half of session, which was often quite unflattering to Republicans. The truth had a funny way of making them look bad.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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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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