Why is Senator Fielder Playing in Texas During the Session? And Calling Law Enforcement Officers Murderers?

Look, there’s no one happier about the idea of Senator Jennifer Fielder not being at the Montana Legislature and bringing her retrograde views to bills important to Montanans than I am, but it’s hard to understand how a so-called small government conservative like Fielder can justify taking weeks away from the session to post inflammatory content on Facebook and visit Texas on a little vacation.

But that seems to be just what Fielder has done. Not only did she not appear for votes all week last week and today, but the Senate Fish and Game committee she chairs hasn’t had a hearing since January 17th and 16 bills have stacked up in her absence.

Where in the world has Senator Fielder been?

On January 20th, Fielder posted a picture from Tioga, Texas about her weekend visit to visit her friend, country singer Randy Travis. While it’s been some time since Mr. Travis has had a hit song, it appears he and Fielder share at least some of the same values when it comes to law enforcement.

According to CNN in 2012, Travis responded to police officers in a way almost guaranteed to warm Fielder’s heart, by threatening to kill them:

He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and felony retaliation, after allegedly threatening to fatally shoot highway patrol troopers who responded to a concerned caller who notified authorities of “a man lying in the roadway” Tuesday. The DWI offense is a misdemeanor, authorities said.

While in custody, Travis allegedly threatened “to shoot and kill the troopers working the case,” Sgt. Rickey Wheeler of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

It seems Fielder has found herself a Better Class of Losers to spend time with than her colleagues at the Montana Legislature and one more inclined to her worldview about law enforcement and terroristic threats.

Fielder seems not to have left Texas after that “weekend” getaway, as she continued to post from Tioga, Texas until at least yesterday. This evening, she’s been posting Facebook Live updates from her gate at an airport somewhere, perhaps even heading back to do the job she was elected to do.

In the past week, Fielder has found the time (when not posting travel pics) to post memes praising Donald Trump, an image claiming that Malheur terrorist Lavoy Finicum was “murdered by Oregon police,” some pictures from Breitbart, and a link to her piece in a militia news outlet.

Quite the whirlwind vacation, really, all while Fielder should be working at the Capitol, misguided and wrong-headed as her views may be while she’s there. Maybe the next time Fielder gets front page coverage of a speech designed to strip reproductive rights from women or op-ed space to misrepresent her dangerous views about land transfer, some enterprising reporter can ask her to explain her vacation in the middle of the session.

And while they’re Digging Up Bones, maybe they can ask her if she really believes that law enforcement officers are murderers.

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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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  • is she following a repub playbook? close my eyes, i ain’t there aka mcconnell. what a waste in one of the poorest counties in montana. who paid for her trip? what a peice of bad work.

  • I mean, this isn’t what she was talking about, but Native Americans are killed by police at a higher rate than anyone else. Next are Black people, people like Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Sandra Bland, on and on and on. Law enforcement are murderers.

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