Joe Balyeat has resigned from the Bat Crap Crazy Legislature to become the new leader of the Montana TEA Party. The Washington D.C. TEA Party booster club Americans for Prosperity has struggled with keeping and finding leaders since it started meddling in Montana politics in 2009. Now, the group has quietly instated its fourth new leader in less than three years. Henry Kriegel, Jake Eaton, and Scott Sales, have all come and gone, making the organization less about pretending that the TEA Party is a grassroots phenomena and more of a contest to see who can be America’s Next Top Crackpot. So Joe Balyeat it is.
Balyeat’s first acts as the new TEA Party leader include sending out a robo-call on behalf of TEA Party Dennis Rehberg, which can be heard here. A leaked photo of Balyeat’s remodel of the TEA Party offices can be seen below. (Don’t tell anyone where you got this, I don’t want AFP to know I have a tipster on the inside.)
Montana Cowgirl Blog readers know Joe Balyeat well. For some reason, however, the TEA Party’s official biography of Balyeat does not mention that he’s the author of “Babylon: The Great City of Revelation,” (from $7.95 used on Amazon.com) which attempts to make the teabaggers’ case that if Christians don’t get involved in politics, “not only will hell prevail against us, but abortionists and homosexuals and humanists and pornographers and tin-horn TV networks will as well.”
Shortly after Balyeat’s world class work of non-fiction was published, Balyeat became vice-president of the Christian Coalition of Montana. This was the group that fought to uphold Montana’s unconstitutional law that actually made it illegal to be gay in our state. When a Montana court struck down the law making it illegal to be gay in the 1990s, the Christian Coalition was outraged, saying that the law making gay people illegal was “a necessary health and safety statute.” Balyeat is also known for introducing a bill to require creationism to be taught in schools. His bill failed in committee even though Republicans controlled the legislature by a wide margin.
Balyeat’s TEA Party bio doesn’t mention Balyeat’s attempts to declare war on Montana voters with a myriad of failed and legally flawed ballot initiatives. In 2006, Balyeat was behind the infamous ballot initiative scandal in which three initiatives were stricken from the ballot after a judge cited “pervasive fraud in the signature gathering process.” (CI-97 would have arbitrarily limited state spending, CI98 allowed for recalling judges for any old reason, and I-154 would have made governments pay corporations if they passed consumer health and safety laws which the big wigs claimed limited their profits.) This year, the courts rejected two more of Balyeat’s ballot measures: to restrict the ability of every Montanan to vote in all Supreme Court justice races and to gut the Montana budget with a tax give-away to big corporations.
Anyway, it seems Balyeat’s former pursuits weren’t wacky enough so he went looking for another fringe cause. He definitely found it in Americans for Prosperity.