Mendenhall is a right-winger from Clancy, and served several terms in the legislature before being termed out a few years ago. If the rumor is true, then Hill has chosen, as his chief advisor to begin a potential Hill administration, a man who believes that a woman who is raped and impregnated should be required by law to give birth to the rapist’s child.
And Hill shares this belief, by the way, even if the anti-choice Helena IR hasn’t given it much coverage (and don’t hold your breath). So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he would enlist an anti-abortion zealot to begin assembling a gubernatorial administration, moot though that assignment may be.
Mendenhall has long been the darling of the religious right and is a fiery speaker at anti-choice events. He says that conservative Christians must fight against “the extreme liberal left,” which he claims seeks to “undermine traditional family values.” He also claims that women’s constitutional right to medical privacy is a “direct violation” of why America was founded. Mendenhall was an early endorser of the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Montana.
Mendenhall and his wife own an ultrasound business in Helena and Butte. During the last session, Mendenhall sent his wife to testify in favor of a bill which would force women to undergo vaginal probe ultrasounds before they were allowed to terminate the pregnancy.
The last time, by the way, that Rick Hill was involved in a transition was in 2001, when he led Judy Martz’s transition policy team for economic development.