Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Montana GOP Hypocrite of the Week Award Goes to…

Daines Hypocrite Award…Steve Daines, whose speech at the RNC lionized his ancestor as not being “Saved by Government” when that ancestor received a huge government handout in the form of a homestead under a federal program called the Homestead Act.

In his speech to the GOP faithful, Daines told a story about how his great-great-grandmother’s tombstone read “Saved by Grace” and certainly did not read “Saved by Government.” Zing!  Daines became so excited by the story himself he forgot which generation a Montanan he was claiming to be.  5th? 6th? Too exciting to worry about it, I guess.

The faces of the Montana GOPers in the crowd are flush with ecstasy over Daines’ tale of government aid.  As they pump their fists in the air, there is no trace of comprehension of how ridiculous they appear for missing the irony. Instead, one sees only joy and delirium.

It takes a special kind of hypocrite to trumpet government programs in a speech railing against government programs.  And that’s why Steve Daines deserves such a special award.  Get back out there on that yacht and celebrate Mr. Daines.  As you pound down the martinis and coconut shrimp, don’t waste a thought on how today’s GOP would treat your great-great-grandmother, an impoverished, immigrant widow with seven children.


Cue the Circus Music

The State Republican Party sent its team of stalwarts to Tampa for the national convention this week. Among the delegates are veritable treasure trove of politicians who have dabbled in — or fully embraced — the wacky views, hypocrisy, and nutty ideas of the 2011 legislature.  If you liked the national scrutiny last session received, you’ll love this crew.

Let’s take a look at who Montana Republicans sent to represent them on the national scene:

Joanne Blyton, birtherFirst, there is Birther Legislator Joanne Blyton of Red Lodge. Rep. Blyton  voted to support Rep. Bob Wagner’s bill in the 2011 session. Yes, that’s the same bill that later made the Montana Legislature famous on CNN.  

Then, there is state Rep. Ken Peterson of Billings.  Peterson, an attorney, made a name for himself by pointing out a loophole that still allows GOP-ers to prosecute people for being gay–even though the courts have struck down a state law saying that being gay will get you prison time.  The penalty on the books is ten years and a $5o,ooo dollar fine.

Peterson says that gays can still be prosecuted for “recruiting.” Here’s how Peterson describes how “the gay recruitment” process goes down, in his own words:

Here young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts.  You’ll find you’ll like it.

Next there is Tamara “Tammy” Hall of Bozeman.  Hall  is the ultra-angry, ultra right-wing radio commentator in Bozeman who  pens an occasional column for the Bozeman Chronicle and is supposedly a “motivational speaker” for a living.  Hall’s favorite topics include hating on feminists and Governor Schweitzer and loving on Chick-fil-A.

Stephen Zabawa of Billings is the anti-medical marijuana crusader who appeared in the Billings Gazette after his attempts to get in on a share of a medial marijuana business came to light.

Former state legislator Gary Perry of Manhattan will also attend.  This foot soldier in the War on Women sponsored a bill to allow insurance companies to discriminate against women in insurance pricing when he served in the legislature.  He’ll fit right in with this bunch.


Cyndi Baker (left) and Rep. Cleve Loney R-Great Falls (right) at a TEA Party Rally in Great FallsRep. Cleve Loney and TEA Party leader Cyndi Baker of Great Falls are there too.   The couple is pictured here.

Baker was a Great Falls City Commission candidate  who campaigned against school district spending, then turned around and sought a district paycheck.

But it’s worse then that, as the Great Falls Tribune reports, Baker tried to threaten the local government for taxpayer funded payola in the form of a position as “ombudsman” to the local TEA Party anti-government activists.   TEA Party Republican state Rep. Cleve Loney is on the left.


POLITICO: Pro-Rehberg “Crossroads GPS” Group’s Bankroller also Funds Baucus

The week before last I learned that the Koch brothers are one of Max Baucus’ largest donors.   Today, this item appeared in Politico. It’s a profile on one of the right wing’s biggest backers.

Seems that Las Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn, who has given millions to Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS (the group that is running negative ads against Tester)  is also a major Baucus donor, Politico reports.

Wynn Resorts has also given $350,000 to the Republican Governors Association this election cycle. The RGA is the group that’s running ads against Steve Bullock.   He also gave half a million to the Republican Party’s “Leadership Committee” which focuses on electing Republicans to state legislatures and Tier B races.


GOP Conventioneer Looking Forward… to Hurricane

GOP Convention attendee Jim Brown has penned a blog post for the Billings Gazette which notes that he’s looking forward to experiencing the hurricane. Brown makes no mention in his piece of any anticipation for the convention itself.

Jim Brown, the attorney for the Montana Republican Party, said:


this will be first time to experience a hurricane. I’m actually looking forward to the experience.


I doubt the locals whose families, homes and businesses are at risk are looking forward to the hurricane much at all.  However, I can’t blame him for a lack of excitement over hearing Republican dullards recite speeches day and night.

You can read the rest of Brown’s piece on the Gazette website–complete with spelling and grammatical errors. Brown also chronicles some of the edifying experiences he has already been a part of, such as seeing Karl Rove in baggage claim and learning that some convention events have been cancelled.

Rehberg was Early Supporter of Akin

Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s attempts to distance himself from Missouri Congressman Todd Akin become more difficult today after it was revealed that Rehberg’s own political action committee, BOOT PAC, gave $5,000 to Akin’s Senate campaign in June of last year.  Rehberg had previously benefited from a big media splash when he gave away Akin’s donation to his campaign, but he declined to mention his own donation to Akin.

Here’s a screenshot from Congressman Rehberg’s July 2011 FEC report (Page 10).

Rehberg’s donation to Akin’s campaign came long before Missouri’s recent Senate primary election.  Rehberg choose to donate to Akin but not to the leading GOP candidate in that race, John Brunner, or to Sarah Steelman who had previously been the frontrunner in the primary.

Here’s a transcript from Congressman Rehberg’s appearance on the Laura Ingraham’s conservative talk radio show yesterday, in which Rehberg said what a nice guy he thinks Akin is:


DENNIS REHBERG: … I wanted to take the money I received from Todd and give it to the Florence Crittenton Home in Helena for teen pregnancy and babies and such just to show a line of support to that.  And I distanced myself from Todd…

LAURA INGRAHAM: Do you know Akin personally?

REHBERG: Oh yeah. We were freshmen together back in 2001. We were sworn in at the same time.

INGRAHAM: Is he a nice guy?

REHBERG: He’s a very nice guy. He wears his religion on his shoulder. You know—it’s what in his heart. He thinks pro-life.  He is very adamant about his position so, that’s just Todd Akin.


Rehberg and Akin also both cosponsored draconian bills in the U.S. House of Representatives restricting women’s health care.

H.R. 358 is the Let Women Die Bill, which I wrote about Rehberg’s support for here.  According to a National Women’s Law Center analysis, the bill “would allow any  hospital to refuse to perform an emergency abortion—even if a woman would die— without running afoul of the federal law designed to prevent individuals from being denied emergency medical treatment,”

H.R. 3, (post here) would prevent the following situations from “counting” as rape: women who are drugged or verbally threatened and raped, minors impregnated by adults, and women who say no but do not physically fight off the perpetrator for fear of being murdered.