Monthly Archives: November 2011

Shockley Shockers

A couple of items from Republican Attorney General candidate Jim Shockley this week demonstrate a shocking lack of skills and indicate the state senator from Ravalli county is probably not ready for statewide office.

First,  a unique fundraising piece put out by the campaign seems to explain why Shockley isn’t raising money.

Second, the genius brain trust that seems to be advising the would-be AG might want to rethink their strategy. Or maybe they’re deliberately advising him on the best way to lose. If that’s the case I say: carry on.

Shockley is positioning himself as the big brother, big government conservative who readily takes a position against the will of Montanans. Recall his odd rant in July against the judge’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of the GOP’s medical marijuana law had him actually taking the side of the federal government over Montana citizens.

And now his piece in November’s issue of Montana Lawyer has Shockley trying to refight the lost battle over legal aid in dying: (starting on page 7)

This one is already over.  The bill to make aid in dying illegal in Montana failed. Badly.  The practice is legal (as Sen. Anders Blewett so articulately explains in the same periodical on page 6).  63% of Montanans agree with the court decision that affirmed the legality of the practice, too.

According to Shockley, Montanans are just not quite up to the challenge of making their own medical decisions.  What’s next? They’re just not up to having guns in their homes?

2011 Montana Legislators Who Receive Full Health Care Paid for By the Government

The following lawmakers chose to be covered by the state health plan, with the state paying them $733 a month to cover the cost (asterik indicates lawmaker is a state employee):


  • Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip
  • Liz Bangerter, R-Helena
  • Tony Belcourt, D-Box Elder
  • Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula
  • Gerald Bennett, R-Libby
  • Tom Berry, R-Roundup
  • Mark Blasdel, R-Somers
  • Carlie Boland, D-Great Falls
  • Randy Brodehl, R-Kalispell
  • Christy Clark, R-Choteau
  • Patrick Connell, R-Corvallis
  • Rob Cook, R-Conrad
  • Ron Ehli, R-Hamilton
  • John Esp, R-Big Timber
  • Lila Evans, R-Browning
  • Steve Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls
  • Kelly Flynn, R-Townsend
  • Timothy Furey, D-Missoula
  • Steve Gibson, R-East Helena
  • Alan Hale, R-Basin
  • Betsy Hands, D-Missoula
  • Kristin Hansen, R-Havre
  • Bill Harris, R-Mosby
  • * Cynthia Hiner, D-Deer Lodge
  • Roy Hollandsworth, R-Brady
  • * Galen Hollenbaugh, D-Helena
  • David Howard, R-Park City
  • Chuck Hunter, D-Helena
  • Pat Ingraham, R-Thompson Falls
  • Douglas Kary, R-Billings
  • Dan Kennedy, R-Laurel
  • Harry Klock, R-Harlowton
  • James Knox, R-Billings
  • Austin Knudsen, R-Culbertson
  • * Steve Lavin, R-Kalispell
  • Cleve Loney, R-Great Falls
  • Bill McChesney, D-Miles City
  • Walter McNutt, R-Sidney
  • Mike Miller, R-Helmville
  • Michael More, R-Gallatin Gateway
  • Jerry O’Neil, R-Columbia Falls
  • Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo
  • Carolyn Pease-Lopez, D-Billings
  • Lee Randall, R-Broadus
  • Joe Read, R-Ronan
  • Scott Reichner, R-Bigfork
  • Michele Reinhart, D-Missoula
  • Matthew Rosendale, R-Glendive
  • Diane Sands, D-Missoula
  • Trudi Schmidt, D-Great Falls
  • * Dan Skattum, R-Livingston
  • Derek Skees, R-Whitefish
  • Sterling Small, R-Busby
  • Cary Smith, R-Billings
  • Carolyn Squires, D-Missoula
  • Wayne Stahl, R-Saco
  • Janna Taylor, R-Dayton
  • Bob Wagner, R-Harrison
  • Wendy Warburton, R-Havre
  • Jeffrey Welborn, R-Dillon


  • Ron Arthun, R-Wilsall
  • Shannon Augare, D-Browning
  • Joe Balyeat, R-Bozeman
  • Anders Blewett, D-Great Falls
  • John Brenden, R-Scobey
  • Taylor Brown, R-Huntley
  • Edward Buttrey, R-Great Falls
  • Mary Caferro, D-Helena
  • Jeff Essmann, R-Billings
  • Steve Gallus, D-Butte
  • Kim Gillan, D-Helena
  • Bradley Hamlett, D-Cascade
  • Greg Hinkle, R-Thompson Falls
  • Larry Jent, D-Bozeman
  • Llew Jones, R-Conrad
  • Christine Kaufmann, D-Helena
  • Jim Keane, D-Butte
  • Bob Lake, R-Hamilton
  • Cliff Larsen, D-Missoula
  • Dave Lewis, R-Helena
  • Lynda Moss, D-Billings
  • Terry Murphy, R-Cardwell
  • Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, D-Crow Agency
  • Jim Peterson, R-Buffalo
  • Jason Priest, R-Red Lodge
  • Jon Sonju, R-Kalispell
  • Don Steinbeisser, R-Sidney
  • Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell
  • Kendall Van Dyk, D-Billings
  • Gene Vuckovich, D-Anaconda
  • Edward Walker, R-Billings
  • Dave Wanzenried, D-Missoula
  • Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder
  • Art Wittich, R-Bozeman


The following lawmakers chose to accept up to $733 a month from the state to cover out-of-pocket expenses for their own private health coverage:


  • Elsie Arntzen, R-Billings
  • Dick Barrett, D-Missoula
  • Bill Beck, R-Whitefish
  • Joanne Blyton, R-Red Lodge
  • Virginia Court, D-Billings
  • Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka
  • Champ Edmunds, R-Missoula
  • Edward Greef, R-Florence
  • Gordon Hendrick, R-Superior
  • Ellie Hill, D-Missoula
  • Brian Hoven, R-Great Falls
  • Krayton Kerns, R-Laurel
  • Margaret MacDonald, D-Billings
  • Gary MacLaren, R-Victor
  • Sue Malek, D-Missoula
  • Edith McClafferty, D-Butte
  • Tom McGillvray, R-Billings
  • Mary McNally, D-Billings
  • Jonathan McNiven, R-Billings
  • Robert Mehlhoff, D-Great Falls
  • Mike Menahan, D-Helena
  • Mike Milburn, R-Cascade
  • Pat Noonan, D-Butte
  • Jesse O’Hara, R-Great Falls
  • Ken Peterson, R-Billings
  • Jean Price, D-Great Falls
  • Keith Regier, R-Kalispell
  • Don Roberts, R-Billings
  • Dan Salomon, R-Ronan
  • Jon Sesso, D-Butte
  • Frank Smith, D-Poplar
  • Kathy Swanson, D-Anaconda
  • Gordon Vance, R-Bozeman
  • Kathleen Williams, D-Bozeman
  • Franke Wilmer, D-Bozeman
  • Max Yates, R-Butte


  • Debby Barrett, R-Dillon
  • Gary Branae, D-Billings
  • Ron Erickson, D-Missoula
  • Tom Facey, D-Missoula
  • Bob Hawks, D-Bozeman
  • Rowlie Hutton, R-Havre
  • Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell
  • Frederick Moore, R-Miles City
  • Alan Olson, R-Roundup
  • Rick Ripley, R-Wolf Creek
  • Jim Shockley, R-Victor
  • Mitch Tropila, D-Great Falls
  • Carol Williams, D-Missoula


The following lawmakers chose to accept no health coverage benefit from the state:


  • Tom Burnett, R-Bozeman
  • Robyn Driscoll, D-Billings
  • Mike Phillips, D-Bozeman
  • Ted Washburn, R-Bozeman


  • Carmine Mowbray, R-Polson
  • Chas Vincent, R-Libby
  • Ryan Zinke, R-Whitefish

Keeping Up with the GOP Gov Kandidates

There’s a whole lot of crazy tumbling out of the GOP Kandidate Klown Kar this week.  The latest?  TEA Party blogger Ed Berry writes on the Oathkeeper’s website that the Reverend Dr. Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 Constitution Party’s presidential candidate, has jumped onto the ticket of far-right candidate Robert Fanning to be the Republican Party nominees for the Governor’s office.

Now, governor candidate Robert Fanning, an expert in economics, finance, wildlife and resources, has been joined by 2008 presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin as his lt. governor running mate. Fanning made this historic announcement last night at a Gubernatorial Forum in Billings.

Speculation that Baldwin would run for Montana statewide office began earlier this year, when in a speech to a packed room at the Outlaw Inn in Kalispell last January Baldwin warned the audience that “There’s a fight coming.” In his speech, which some thought seemed to call for a civil war, Baldwin described “waking in the middle of the night and imagining himself as governor of Montana.”

he all but declared his candidacy, describing the prospect as, “so thrilling I just get goose bumps.”

To win a Republican nomination, a candidate has to move right, recant absolutely any past position that violates the current conservative dogma and never, ever dare to speak the truth that the Democratic Schweitzer administration has managed the state budget better than any time in state history.

Fanning and Baldwin are already so far right they won’t have to do much moving.  Consider the anti-Semitic sermon written by Baldwin, in which he lashes out at the Jewish Banking Conspiracy and refers to Jews as the modern day “moneychangers” which Jesus banished from the temple. He also says these same moneychangers control the media and thus will never report on their own banking conspiracy, and so of course it is he, Chuck Baldwin, who must bring us the truth about them.

“They are destroying America,”  Baldwin says, “but Christians don’t see it,” and so he implores Christians to wake up to the reality of what Jewish leaders are up to.

Baldwin was heavily involved in the modern-day incarnation of the White Citizens’ Council that supported segregation and opposed the Civil Rights Movement.

Baldwin said he was drawn to the Flathead and the Rocky Mountain West by what he described as a “freedom-minded spirit in that area that is superior to most places in the country.” He spoke in May at the “Liberty Convention” in Missoula, and at a conservative gathering in Hamilton last year.

The Liberty Convention was the event that included headliners several white-supremacist speakers including Red Beckman, Baldwin and a small handful of  others.  Red Beckman is guy whose name you have probably heard before.  In addition to refusing to pay his taxes, Beckman believes that Jewish people are the literal children of Satan, and people of color are sub-human “mud people.”

In a recent Flathead Beacon article, it was reported that Baldwin has written a column in which he expressed this view:

“The South was right in the War Between the States, and I am not a racist,” he wrote. “Neither do I believe that the leaders of the Old Confederacy were racists.”

Fanning and Baldwin must know at some level that not all of their ideas are fit for prime time. Or maybe it’s just that there are some conspiracies that are too sensitive to discuss publicly.  That’s because on their website, their position on Agenda 21, the insidious UN Black Helicopter agenda in favor of food for hungry people and bike paths, is for certain eyes only, and is password protected. Here’s a screenshot: Agenda 21

They should keep all of their ideas far from public eyes, because the more Montanans learn about this pair, the less there is to like.

Return of the Jedi

In 2010, the Empire struck back, hard. The Dark Side destroyed the Democrats, the first piece of sizable revenge exacted by the GOP ever since their Death Star (which had dominated the galaxy for two decades) was destroyed in the span of four years by Schweitzer, Tester, Bullock, McCulloch, Lindeen and Juneau.

The 2010 elections were bought, not won. There were millions of dollars brought in illegally by the GOP’s wealthy friends. Much of it was funnelled in by shell groups from undisclosed sources, and mostly by one particular front group called Western Tradition Partnership. This group is currently being prosecuted civilly in the Montana courts for their dirty 2010 campaign activity. Of the estimated million they brought in, none of it was reported nor the sources disclosed. In other words, we still don’t know who, exactly, owns the GOP-controlled Montana Legislature.

I’m told that the same shady GOP Darth Vaders who operated in 2010 were back at work this cycle, trying to buy themselves victories in city races around the state. They came up empty-handed, humiliated. Like John Sinrud, backed by the Montana Realtors, who wants to build high-rise condos and strip malls on farm land in and around Whitefish. Or Chuck Denowh, who is Rick Hill’s chief advisor but apparently took a hiatus to try to work some of the city races in the Flathead and elsewhere.

They were working hard behind the scenes trying to get victories. It hasn’t been calculated yet how many hundreds of thousands of dollars these losers spent on city commission races around Montana, but not a single Tea party candidate won election in Bozeman, Whitefish, Kalispell, Great Falls, Helena, Billings or Missoula last week.

Best Announces for Supreme Court

News outlets across the state reported this week that Great Falls attorney Beth Best has officially announced her candidacy for the Montana Supreme Court Justice.  Best is running for the seat that will be open when Justice Jim Nelson retires. Beth stated she

“is running for the Montana Supreme Court because I believe in public service, and access to justice for every person as guaranteed by our Constitution.”


Throughout state history only four women have ever been elected to the Montana Supreme Court.  If elected, Best would be the fifth. You can read more about Best from her press release, a portion of which is pasted below the fold.  Or, visit the campaign website:

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