It seems that the people TEA Party representatives Tom Burnett, Ron Ehli and Art Wittich subpoenaed to rail against medicaid expansion and other help for Montanans in need have been caught using an analogy which references the people they were paid to help as “wild animals” and liars. This is shameful and repulsive. As Intelligent Discontent writes, given this email has come to light “presumably [Wittich, Ehli, Burnett and crew] were aware of her attitude and lack of evidence—and they chose to present this farce to the people of Montana in order to gin up a controversy about fraud in public assistance programs.”
At the “hearings” in which Ms. Brown and a couple of other Libby public assistance workers were brought in to denigrate Montana’s most vulnerable citizens, no members of the public were allowed to speak, nor was any requirement made that these individuals verify any of the claims they made. The “hearings” spectacle did serve one purpose: it exposed the motives and true beliefs of Wittich, Ehli and Burnett.
Gaffe of the Week
This week, John Fitzpatrick, chief lobbyist for NorthWestern Energy this week called net metering of renewable energy ”
As the Billings Gazette reported, a net metering device allows customers to sell back to utility companies any power generated by the renewable energy systems like wind or solar that the customer didn’t use.
“There is no such thing as a small piece of melanoma,” Fitzpatrick told the committee, “because, as it grows in time it causes bigger and bigger problems. And that’s the fundamental problem with net-metering.”
Fitzpatrick’s comments pits the utility against rational thought, modern innovation, and logic. I mean, even Art Wittich is sponsoring a bill to increase this practice so you know it isn’t controversial. Montana’s solar industry is growing, bringing jobs and reducing future pollution. Basically, what Fitzpatrick is saying I guess is that he considers growth in any industry other than his own to be a cancer. Duly noted.
Ohio Governor John Kasich in Helena Today
Ohio’s Republican Governor will be in Helena today to “rally” about an amendment to the U.S. Constitutional Convention he would like called in hopes that it will pass a balanced budget amendment. As many have already pointed out, passing a balanced-budget amendment wouldn’t actually balance the budget. Only decisions by congress about what to fund and how to pay for it can do that. So anyone attending this rally in Helena needs to tell Montanans, on the record, which specific programs they would cut. The Montana Budget and Policy Center has a good fact sheet out on this nonsense:Fact Sheet ConCon ResolutionFINAL.
Kasich is an interesting figure in GOP politics because of his vocal criticism of fellow Republicans who oppose Medicaid expansion, which Kasich supported. Ohio is moving forward with expansion and expects 366,000 to sign up for Medicaid expansion by this summer.
“The opposition to [Medicaid Expansion] was really either political or ideological,” Kasich told the Associated Press. “I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives.”
Gov. Kasich told a local state legislator,
“I respect the fact that you believe in small government. I do too. I also happen to know that you’re a person of faith.”
“Now, when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor,” Kasich said. “Better have a good answer.”