Here’s what the GOP, frightened by the circus created by the extremists in their party, is doing to try to control the damage from a series of statewide and national stories talking about spear hunting, seceding from the union, and transacting state business in gold and silver.
First a few legislators tried their hand at the damage control, but they only made it worse. Rep. Warburton, Rep. Hansen, and Sen. Hutton managed only to prove the rumors true, talking about receiving thousands of disapproving emails and only three or four agreeing with their actions. Getting a birther involved didn’t work either.
Then Jon Bennion, whose organization, the local Montana Chamber of Commerce apparently has him on loan to the legislature as a GOP strategist, attempted to pass off as “jobs bills” House Bill 100 and Senate Bill 201, which simply create piles of paper in the form of additional reports for legislators on bills. Bennion made no mention of the 92 some unconstitutional bills introduced by the legislature so far.
Then GOP Chair Will Deschamps came out and said not only are there jobs bills, but there are “too many to list.” (If that were the case, he probably didn’t need to re-list the bills Bennion had already mentioned that simply create piles of paper.)
Deschamps sites business equipment tax reduction as an example of a jobs bill, but a Republican put in the bill only after the governor proposed it in his budget. He listed a bill by Sen. Jason Priest to make buildings less energy efficient, and so-called “tort reform” or corporate irresponsibility protection, a bill that GOP leader and Chair of the House Judiciary committee spoke out against at length when the bill was debated by the full House of Representatives.
Finally, Deschamps points to a couple of bills he says make it easier to permit mines, but the bills are “a solution in search of a problem.” Over the last 6 years there have been more new mines and development in Montana than any time within the last 30 years.