TEA Party Leadership in Montana Took Wyoming Dress Code and Made it Stricter

A quick update on dresscode-gate.

First TEA Party Speaker of the House Austin Knudson, after originally refusing to comment, later insisted that it was a member of his staff who created the dress code being mocked across the nation (and apparently referred reporters to that staffer).  Later Knudsen admitted that while he did indeed say it was a member of his staff that made the dress code, “the buck stopped with him,” and began responding to reporter questions.

Knudsen said the Montana dress code “mirrors” one from Wyoming. However the Cowgirl Blog has obtained a copy of the Wyoming document and while indeed many passages are plag taken verbatim, there are a couple of interesting differences.

It seems Montana’s GOP took steps to make Montana’s dress code even more stringent than Wyoming’s.

First, note that the Wyoming document specifically allows bolo ties. That language is stricken from the Montana document.  Here’s Wyoming:

Bolo ties are acceptable forms of neckwear, but the bolo must be worn tight with the top button of a collared shirt buttoned.

Perhaps the offending accessory became so associated with former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer that TEA Party lawmakers can no longer bare the sight of it without being reminded of the regular drubbing he gave them.

Montana GOPers also removed an item from the Wyoming dress code allowing sleeveless dresses–IF and only if they were worn under jackets that is.  Apparently however, the thought that some woman might be sleeveless underneath her suit coat was too much for MT Republicans, so they took it out.

Finally, although Wyoming lawmakers have generously been allowed to wear knit dresses–if sufficiently covered by a jacket. That language is also removed from the MT dress code.  Perhaps  one of these items was the mysterious item number six which was missing from Montana’s dress code.  That document skips from 5 to 7.


21 Comments on "TEA Party Leadership in Montana Took Wyoming Dress Code and Made it Stricter"

  1. Old Line Democrat | December 10, 2014 8:31 AM at 8:31 AM |

    It seems our conservative Tea Party legislators are at a loss for any original ideas of their own. Why must we be looking to Idaho and Wyoming for ideas and model legislation? Haven’t they done enough damage to their own states? We are going to be sucked down to their level in no tim. With our general population not even knowing it’s happening.

  2. I suppose jogging bras and thongs are off limits also? His next piece of legislation will include guidelines for proper attire in the bedroom and that means utilizing only the missionary position. The last best place has become the first best place to get a laugh from idiot legislation.

  3. Behold the maturity level of those entrusted with making our laws. Again, all of you folks planning on frequenting the capitol this session: wear what you feel is appropriate and make the infantile nature of these ALEC zombies the issue when they try to bar your entrance. I hope there’s a House member or two already planning to do just that. Really, nothing useful will get done with this kind of BS hanging over your heads. Don’t let ’em get away with it. It’s not fair to us.

  4. If you’re wondering how business schools define “business formal,” here’s a fine presentation:


    Regarding the Montana Legislature’s dress code, I think it should be ideologically aligned with our political parties:

    For the GOP, only Wall Street approved fashions designed before Herbert Hoover left office. Clerical collars would be okay because all conservatives know God is on their side.

    For Democrats, slate blue pants and Mao jackets for men and women, proletarian footware, and padded jackets for cold weather. Mixing bowl haircuts for women, shaved heads for men.

    For reporters, aides, pages, and staff, the duds worn by prison trustees, the uniforms favored by service stations, or the attire worn by the untouchables trying to stay alive along the Ganges. But blond women reporting for Fox News would allowed to wear hot red dresses with a low cloth to skin ratio.

    For the Speaker of the House, add a crown made from gold colored foil, a silver wig, and a crimson robe made of lush, heavy, velvet in an offshore garment factory without sprinklers or fire exits.

    Finally, no thinking caps allowed.

  5. Knudson and crew are infantilizing the legislature with their ludicrous focus on 18th century morality and controlling the bah opt of others. This guy is a joke and will go down on history as such- and not just for the dress code. The TEA party wing has passed new rules making it virtually impossible to pass any legislation not sanctioned by TEA party hardliners- making this session sure to accomplish absolutely NOTHING.

    Here is what I mean- the new house rules allow the Speaker himself to place additional hurdles in front of bills- and require a 3/5 vote to overturn his ruling.

    This one is going to be a disaster….

  6. Should read controlling the behavior of others- typo there above.

  7. Congratulations, MT. Cowgirl. Using the term “dresscode-gate” reduces an otherwise serious topic to the trash heap of sensationalism. Not that it won’t have real consequence, mind you, but generally that kind of show-boating celebratory language should be reserved for those who are actually winning something.

    Regardless of how many articles get written at Reuters, the Huffpo Daily Kos or even the New York times, I remind all of what I’ve written to the wingnuts before: In order to shame someone into proper behavior, you have to share a moral standing with them. The GOoPers in Montana don’t care about the outrage from abroad, or even Montana Democrats (LIBRULS!) and even many of the moderate Democrats I know in state are writing that they think it’s good to have a proper code of decorum for the legislature. This isn’t a “gate”, whatever the hell that means. It’s a humorous side note that polishes the turd of Tea-peep manipulation of rights, over press and expression. Calling it “dresscode-gate” simply reinforces the ridiculous nature of the topic as presented.

  8. I suppose a Saran Wrap dress with sleeves would be OK? Or do they need to revisit the code and make it illegal?
    Maybe they should outlaw women wearing pants while they are at it?

  9. Catherine Courtenaye | December 29, 2014 9:19 AM at 9:19 AM |

    If women’s attire is to be so restricted in the Montana’s legislature’s new dress code, it’s only fair that men bear some of the brunt: no comb-overs, no overhanging beer guts, and no soul patches.

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