Can it get any worse?

Big Fin

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Just when you thought Montana was done being the focus of nationwide humor for our legislative idiocy, we have some who are trying to steal the spotlight from the legislator whose primary focus is to ban Yoga Pants in Montana. I'm not sure who this MTCowgirl is at the blog link below, but she usually has the inside scoop on some things. I have been in her crosshairs before, but what she has posted here makes the picture of Montana politics even more insane.

http://mtcowgirl.com/2015/02/25/puppet-show/

Not only do we have a large number of legislators convinced the UN is taking over MT, but we now find out what legislators are really for sale; a question I asked at the Public Land Rally last week. I stated that sooner or later, some legislators would self-identify who is for sale. Guess we are finding out.

Now, we find out that Jennifer Fielder, Montana Senator from Thompson Falls and poster girl for the Utah group pushing for the public land transfer has hired a UT lobbyist to be on her state payroll as a Senate aide. Nothing like a little double dipping. Nothing like having your out-of-state donors have complete access to everything going on in the Montana legislature. Nothing like having a paid lobbyist on your staff, clearly conflicted by the other paycheck they are getting from out of state. Nothing like have an out of state lobbyist be privy to every email and every comment on land transfer legislation; emails and comments that can then be used by the Utah land grabbers for future ammo in the battles to come.

Stupid is one thing. Crooked and blatantly smearing it in the face of Montana voters takes it to a completely new level.

This double dipping vote selling to the Utah land grabbers needs to be on the front pages of Montana newspapers. Hopefully the media will do its job and expose it for what it is. Then again, it is the media I am hoping to do their job, so I best not get my hopes up.
 

roadhunter

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Funny stuff. I saw it on Yahoo last week.
 

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Nameless Range

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Part of me wants to say that because of the nature of Montana Legislative Districts, kooky outliers slip through the cracks. Unfortunately, the goofball views of many in the Montana Legislature are only a microcosm of the goofball contingent nationwide.

There are US Senators and Representatives spouting off about UN conspiracy theories too.

The validity of ideas can still shine through though - at least for now. Montanans have shown overwhelmingly that they can see through the B.S. that is the idea of a land transfer. It will die this session, and hopefully the cause of its death will be remembered.

In the age of corporate personhood and politics as increasingly an economic industry, corruption and bad ideas are rampant as hell. Montana is a target, because smaller populations will in theory be easier to skew,

"The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation…. There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done…Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs." - Teddy Roosevelt, 1910
 

katqanna

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This is ironic. William Macon Richardson III, Fielders staffer that is the Montana American Lands Council representative, has a facebook page with pictures from public lands trips he and his wife have taken like YNP and Glacier since he moved back to Montana.

He goes by William Macon Richardson on his facebook, William Richardson as the Montana Staffer and Macon Richardson as the ALC Montana Coordinator.
 

hank4elk

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$ talks and they are up to their necks in BS.
Feel for MT folks. I once lived their and almost moved back.
We all have our Sarah Palin idiots it seems.
Two timeing back stabbers.Carpetbaggers.
Ours in NM is Steve Pierce and he wears the shiny suit and pointy toed boots of a Trophy ranch owner,and lights up with TX oil money.Would sell his mom for a chance to sell off NM state lands and all US public lands here.
Bet he goes to the Elk Camp in jeans and slaps backs at the range too......
 

Big Fin

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Here is an excellent article that explains how the Republican Party has been hijacked by groups led by a former Senator from Bozeman; a person now on the payroll of a big out-of-state group, Americans For Prosperity.

These out of staters are getting a great return on their investment in Montana. They are targeting the districts where the true race for the legislative seat is the Republican primary. The districts are so strongly Republican that the ballot name with the "R" beside it is going to win the general election. They go after any incumbent who does anything that looks like governing.

http://flatheadbeacon.com/2015/02/25/whos-pulling-strings/

As you can see in that article, AFP is holding open houses in the home towns of these Republicans they have on their target list. Many of these Republicans are ones who see through the BS on many bills promoted to lessen hunting access and opportunity, on bills that are crazy crap like the UN Agenda 21 stuff, on bills that try to make Montana a theocracy. Yet, because these Republicans are not walking the party line as defined by the bought and paid for leaders of their party, they are now the target of the hatchet men.

Almost makes me feel like I have some "street cred" for being kicked out of Republican Party meetings as a result of wanting to provide insight on hunting, fishing, access, and public lands. I was told my presence was no longer welcomed, as I was not "Republican enough." One of the people who told me that is the same guy who is now on the payroll of, and running the Montana operations for, Americans for Prosperity.

So long as this tides of money are coming in to the Republican primary elections, in every legislative session I expect Montana to re-set the lowest rung on the political ladder of ineptitude, nation-wide comedy, and incest with lobbyists.

And we thought Minnesota was bad when they elected a professional wrassler for their Governor. Montana seems hell bent on make that clown look like a sophisticated statesman.
 

James Riley

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Who remembers Helen Chenowith out of Idaho? How's about we sell Yellowstone to the highest bidder so's we can put some ranchettes and condos in there and help balance the budget? All public lands for that matter. Mad as a hatter.

End rant, sorry for the highjack.
 

RobG

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Here is an excellent article that explains how the Republican Party has been hijacked by groups led by a former Senator from Bozeman; a person now on the payroll of a big out-of-state group, Americans For Prosperity.

These out of staters are getting a great return on their investment in Montana. They are targeting the districts where the true race for the legislative seat is the Republican primary. The districts are so strongly Republican that the ballot name with the "R" beside it is going to win the general election. They go after any incumbent who does anything that looks like governing.

http://flatheadbeacon.com/2015/02/25/whos-pulling-strings/
That article is way too long for my attention span at the moment :D. As you probably remember, there was a 2012 Frontline show about the same subject where AFP pumps a bunch of money into the primary election which normally doesn't have much money available, and when you are outspent 10:1 it is hard to come out ahead. Even if you do win, the message is clear: if you don't kiss AFP's butt you are going to get hammered, even at the national level. Pretty scary when you think about it. Thanks Citizen's United... http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/big-sky-big-money/
 

bigskyblueman

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Indeed, it will get worse, since the U.S. Supreme Court saw fit to overturn the 100 year old Corrupt Practices Act of 1912. Now, dark money can flow into Montana politics from anyone and anywhere , including foreign governments and corporations. As Montana Attorney General , Gov. Bullock did his best to preserve this law, which emerged from the copper barons, William Clark era corruption. The law functioned fairly well for a century, but SCOTUS has placed a FOR SALE sign on Montana politics.
 

James Riley

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True. Money does not = speech. Speech is still free; but few are listening. Rather, money = being heard.

It's good to remember, for every industry ad on T.V. there is an opposition out there being marginalized or not heard, because they can't afford it. And most folks go to the polls having heard money, and nothing else, speak. Apparently that's the way "we" like it. The market place of ideas drowned in the marketplace.
 
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Sytes

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I find it frightening how many kool aid lappers there are in the US. I don't know if they simply lick their lips due to an exciting extreme anti <pick your political party> or if they are sooo flat out gullible they fit the "If it's on the internet, it must be true!".

I would chuckle over it though it really is borderline frightening...
 

Ben Lamb

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That article is way too long for my attention span at the moment :D. As you probably remember, there was a 2012 Frontline show about the same subject where AFP pumps a bunch of money into the primary election which normally doesn't have much money available, and when you are outspent 10:1 it is hard to come out ahead. Even if you do win, the message is clear: if you don't kiss AFP's butt you are going to get hammered, even at the national level. Pretty scary when you think about it. Thanks Citizen's United... http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/big-sky-big-money/

You're thinking of American Traditions Partnership, a different dark money group that had most of their illicit documents seized when a meth lab was busted in Denver.

Different verse, same song. AFP is out of Kansas and is funded by the Koch Brothers almost exclusively. We don't really know, though, because they don't have to disclose their donors.

These groups generally work together though, coordinating attacks, etc. Funny how ALC shows up right when D.C. Dillholes launch green decoys (for the third time), and AFP goes from 3 staffers to 11.

Coincidence or corporate strategy?
 

RobG

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You're thinking of American Traditions Partnership, a different dark money group that had most of their illicit documents seized when a meth lab was busted in Denver.
Oops, the acronyms were so close that escaped me... same tactics though I believe. The video is informative even with Frontline's drama.
 

hank4elk

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Who remembers Helen Chenowith out of Idaho? How's about we sell Yellowstone to the highest bidder so's we can put some ranchettes and condos in there and help balance the budget? All public lands for that matter. Mad as a hatter.

End rant, sorry for the highjack.

I testified before a commitee in Congress she was on,I still have nightmares......:eek:
 

Ben Lamb

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Oops, the acronyms were so close that escaped me... same tactics though I believe. The video is informative even with Frontline's drama.

More than likely, it all comes from the same few billionaires.
 

BuzzH

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One of the best all-time bumper stickers ever regarding Helen Chenoweth...Can Helen, not Salmon.
 

RobG

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This is directly related to dark money, but maybe it is starting to get better... I just saw Rep. Art Wittich throwing a fit on his FB page over the MT House passing the second reading of HB 454. A lot of Republicans voted for it and it is supported by our Republican AG Tim Fox.

Wittich says it will kill his lawsuit to close the primaries. This is a dang good thing IMO. Closing the primaries would prevent independents from having a say in who gets on the ballot - only registered republicans could vote. Sounds ok at first glance, but closing the primaries would make dark money's strategy of using the primaries to kick out anyone who doesn't kiss their behind far easier. That is, it will concentrate the power even more in the hands of out of state interests.

Wittich doesn't even pretend that he is not trying to make his party more extreme by closing the primaries. This seems like a good bill with bipartisan support, and that Art hates it seals the deal for me. What do you guys think? I hadn't even heard of it until today.

The third reading will be tomorrow. Go here to send a note to your rep.
 

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