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Montana Politics

Quick Hits: Missoula Crimes, Rick Hill, and the Death Penalty

While the Missoula Independent is reporting that the recent report of a hate crime in Missoula is false, D Gregory Smith’s observation about our obligation to prevent these kinds of attacks in our communities is still valid. As Smith notes, “And that’s why we can’t be silent. That’s why we need to keep standing up in the face of bullying and violence. It goes against the values of the Montana I know and love.”
He’s absolutely right–and if it turns out that Mr. Baken faked his attack, he’s done real harm to the victims of bullying and violence in our communities, both things that are still far too common.

The state of Texas seems to be ready to show off its compassionate conservatism tonight, planning to execute a man with an an IQ of 61, despite the Supreme Court holding the practice unconstitutional in 2002. As The Nation reports, “Thus, barring a last-minute intervention, a man who has been diagnosed with an IQ of 61 and who sucked his thumb well into adulthood now faces the prospect of being strapped to a gurney and injected with lethal chemicals until he is pronounced dead.” It’s simply time to universally end this barbaric practice.

Rick Hill chose perhaps the best possible national political figure to come speak on his behalf, a governor with a record of self-promotion and little to show for it. As The Atlantic notes, Christie has increased state spending, increased taxes, and failed to fund a badly underfunded pension system. That sounds a lot like a guy who broke Montana’s Workers Compensation system and supported a sales tax to me.

It seems that Ryan Zinke is running into more scrutiny, following the start of his AstroTurf anti-Obama Super PAC. When Mr. Zinke was a younger man, he left the SEALS after being accused of ethics violations related to his travel back home to Montana. His non-denial denial is priceless.

The Montana Human Rights Network is calling for transparency about the investigation into the decision to reinstate Bruce Norum to his position as a detention and deportation office for the Department of Homeland Security, despite the clearly racist e-mail he sent earlier this year. You can join their call for action here.

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.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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