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Republicans making a mockery of special session

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Thanks for wasting time and taxpayer dollars at the special session, Montana Republicans.

You’re supposed to fix a budget shortfall that’s bound to affect thousands of Montana families. What transgender folks want on their birth certificates has absolutely nothing to do with the task at hand.

The discriminatory bill is LC26 and it’s one of the most boneheaded moves to come out of the Montana Republican delegation in a while, and that’s saying a lot. This quote is from a social media post by Rep. Amanda Curtis (D-Butte):

The MT R’s just expanded the session to discriminate against Trans Montanans. Jeff Laszloffy, lobbying for the hate group MT Family Foundation, got it pushed through. Says he works in the name of Jesus. I disagree.

What’s Laszloffy’s motivation for throwing a wrench into this special session? (Hint: there’s good money in it for him as The Montana Post discovered.)

But a better question is why would Republicans take up the anti-rainbow banner when there’s so much that needs to be accomplished in this truncated session? They say it’s to save money but the Montana Department of Health and Human Services disputes that claim. Here’s reporter Chuck Johnson’s article on the subject.

Oh, now I see: it was introduced in the Montana Senate by Albert Olszewski (R-Kalispell) who is running in the 2018 U.S. Senate race. It’s his opportunity to pander to Montana’s far-right constituency. Right now, Al is an outlier compared to frontrunners Matt Rosendale, Troy Downing and Russ Fagg. That Republican legislators are going along with Olszewkis’ cheap theatrics is despicable.

On the upside, though, there will be blood in the 2018 Republican senate primary contest.

In the meantime, Republican legislators aren’t addressing budget shortfalls that jeopardize the wellbeing of many Montana families. They’re playing dog-whistle politics ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

This is not what we want accomplished in Helena. Call your legislator — (406) 444-4800 — to register your disgust.

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

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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  • This ugly and costly move by hate filled Republicans must be published loudly so all can see the devious intent by these clowns.

  • I think the R’s willingness to break commitments that are codified in statute to avoid breaking a commitment – no new taxes – that isn’t codified demonstrates their lack of understanding and respect for responsible public service is even more despicable.

  • This entire fiasco rests at the feet of the Legislature. Taken over by the far-right extremists, the Legislature created a booby-trap budget that they KNEW would inevitably fail, hoping it would result in draconian cuts to the programs that help the most in need, and be blamed on the Governor. They even BRAGGED about that as a “win” !!

    Now the so-called “moderates”, Jones and Cook, are trying to avoid their responsibility by surrendering to the extortion of CoreCivic’s demand for a 10-year contract in exchange for $30M. It’s blatantly and obscenely nothing more than a pay-day loan; an “investment” that the for-profit corporation knows will generate a 300-400% return – at Montana taxpayers’ expense !!

    I will remember this nasty game-playing in next year’s election, and I will do everything I can to remind all voters of it.

    • Jones and Cook are not surrendering to CoreCivic’s political extortion: they’re part of it. They’ve been in cahoots with CoreCivic from the gitgo. And it appears they’ll get away with it. Crime pays, especially in Shelby.

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