Republicans in the People’s Republic of Missoula
Montana Republicans held their platform convention in the Garden City this past weekend. I was out of town or I would have stopped by, to open arms, I’m sure. Very little coverage of the event except a story from MTN’s Mike Dennison and a short piece from MTPR’s Corin Cates-Carney. I have no idea what planks the party is advancing. The focus of the convention was “jobs, the economy and unity.” No surprises there.
I saw one agenda item that had me scratching my head, “Campaigning in Indian Country.” It was presented by the GOP’s lone tribal member in the Montana Legislature, Bruce Meyers, a Chippewa-Cree out of Box Elder. Dennison wrote about it.
Meyers handed out a schedule of this summer’s Montana powwows and emphasized what the tribes and Republicans have in common: they’re patriotic, they value strong families, they support “responsible use of resources” and they believe in a creator.
One suggestion from me, Republicans: maybe not thwart the tribes at every turn when they try to claim their water rights. Also, it doesn’t look like Meyers is backing Denise Juneau (Mandan and Hidatsa) in the U.S. House race. Good luck on your outreach campaign, Montana GOP.
U.S. Supremes say ‘no’
SCOTUS won’t hear the appeal of medical marijuana providers. The Montana Supreme Court ruled that providers of the herb could only have three patients, which is not what you’d call an economy of scale. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association took a long shot and asked SCOTUS to overturn the Montana Supremes. It denied the request without comment. Again, it’s Mike Dennison with the story.
It looks like there will be a ballot measure this fall to overturn the three-patient limit and some other medical marijuana restrictions. Initiative 182 supporters say they have enough signatures.
Zinke votes for dark money
I’m not sure how I missed this. It might be its phony title, “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act.” Sounds like a cool bill, right? But HR 5053, introduced by Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), was really an attempt to keep dark money in the dark. From the League of Women Voters (and 12 co-signers):
If donor disclosure to the IRS by 501(c) groups is eliminated, however, as the Roskam bill would do, no one will be in a position to determine if a 501(c) group illegally spent foreign money in our elections – other than the group and foreign donor involved. Any check will be gone and there will be no way to hold a group and foreign donor accountable for illegally spending foreign money in U.S. elections.
It shouldn’t be just foreign interests that are held accountable but anyone who donates to a 501(c) organization that spends many on political races, IMHO. And the donations should be public record. Going against the wishes of most Montanans (less money in politics, not more) Rep. Ryan Zinke voted for Roskam’s bill and it passed in the U.S. House. It’s now in a U.S. Senate committee. I can’t wait to see how our senators vote.