Chuck Johnson reported yesterday that the Flathead Republican Party has publicly censured veteran Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell for not being enough of a right-wing TEA Partier and for daring to actually support water rights for the one Montana tribe which still lacks a water compact.
Today, Senate Republicans are expected to announce their committee assignments. Cowgirl tipsters report that Republicans will stack certain committees with more republicans than merited by the make up of the house and senate (so that some committees are not representative of the proportion of Ds and Rs in the Senate) as a way of thwarting the efforts of moderates to properly represent the views of the people in their districts.
There are also rumors that GOP leadership is pulling more experienced and knowledgable people from committees they’ve served on in the past if right-wingers fear they they will not toe the TEA Party line. The senate may also cut the entire number of members on the senate’s most important committee Finance and Claims. Whether this is a move to make sure no moderates have a voice on that committee or as a way to punish moderates for past votes I can’t say. These contortions may help right-wing leadership more easily force its will on GOP lawmakers, but they also ensure the voters of many districts will not have the representation they deserve.
None of these games serve the people of Montana well.
We’ll see if this holds true when the senate assignments are announced today. House assignments are rumored to be much worse.