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:
First, 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.
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.