Confederacy of Imbeciles Cannot Stop Dark Money Bill

Lots to catch up on today in the Legislature.

First, a confederacy of imbecile Tea Partiers in the House tried to block Gov. Steve Bullock’s campaign finance reform bill, SB 289, which is being carried by a Republican legislator Sen. Duane Ankney.  It has the support of moderate Republicans and all Dems, and will therefore pass the House. It’s already sailed through the Senate. Tea Partiers can’t do a thing about it.  Although they tried to. They offered dozens of amendments, trying anything they could to bottle up the measure with unpalatable language.  Rep. Greg Hertz (R-Polson) offered 17 of the 22 amendments designed to defeat the measure.

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He then ludicrously tried to claim that the reason he doesn’t support the measure is because it didn’t go far enough–and that he plans to tell voters that he tried to address the issue of dark money.  Sen, Ankney, as you can see in the picture above, was not impressed.

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But the coalition held strong, and it passed out clean.  Now it will head to the Governor’s desk.

And when I say imbeciles, I mean imbeciles.  The best part of the debate came when a few Tea Partiers began complaining that the new law would seek to have candidates file their financial reports online, which most do already.  Rep. Kerry White (R-Bozeman) said that this was a bad idea because 50% of people in his district don’t know how to use a computer.  If White thinks that 50% of people in Bozeman can’t use a computer, then he is 100% an idiot.

Clayton Fiscus, (R-Billings) topped that, though.  He proudly informed the chamber that the year he graduated college, the word “computer” wasn’t in the dictionary. Therefore, he said, has no interest in being forced into doing anything on any computer.

And Rep. Art Wittich (R-Bozeman) decried the bill as unworthy of passage because, he said, it was all about “more regulation.”  Yes, it is.  Um, that’s the point.

Worse, for the duration of the debate, the “designated legal counsel” on the floor was the uber-angry Mathew Monforton.  At one point, he opined that the bill was unconstitutional simply because it requires candidates to file their reports online.  Even if the bill did require this, it would not be unconstitutional.  But the moderate Republian Geraldine Custer (R-Forsyth), who has been on the right side of all election bills, scolded Monforton and told him to read the bill, and he would see that it says a candidate “may” file online.  At which point he mumbled something and then sat down, and was heard from no more.

Also opposing the bill in recent days is Jeff Laszloffy of the Family Foundation, who has tried to claim that this bill would require churches to report small donations in the donation box.  This absurd claim was proven without merit.  Laszloffy, by the way, is only a host for a virus: his money, virtually all of it, comes from Greg Gianforte, the religious nut who is the presumed challenger to Steve Bullock next year.  And the two of them directed huge funds into attack campaigns during the 2014 legislative primaries, attacking moderate Republicans, many of whom ended up winning anyway.  And it was they that Laszloffy tried to lobby on this campaign finance bill.  You can understand why was shown the door by these Republican legislators, as Troy Carter points out in this must-read Bozeman Chronicle piece.

Its all another way of saying that the Tea Party has created for itself a giant mess.  As a result, we will see campaign finance reform and probably reform to close the health coverage gap as well, meaning that Montana will end up accepting the $5 billion in our own federal funds for healthcare and jobs.  We will also see an infrastructure bill, more closely aligned with the format that Bullock wants and Montana needs.

Speaking of Gianforte, incidentally, he was sited two weeks ago in the Capitol, rubbing elbows with legislators and taking their temperature on their feelings about a gubernatorial run by him.

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12 Comments on "Confederacy of Imbeciles Cannot Stop Dark Money Bill"

  1. Jeff Laszloffy is one hopeless fascist tool. Same for Monforton.

  2. I find it interesting that he once stumped for the Democrat for California Attorney General (and she is probably soon to be state senator): http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2010/10/14/harris-takes-aim-at-cooleys-enviro-record/ but then mocks his own party for even considering something like moderation.

    Wonder what else he left behind in California…

  3. For many years before he was elected Kerry White bragged about starting a website called “Bad Bills” (You can find references lurking in Teabaggery links to this day.) He and his friends were constantly on hate radio encouraging citizens to get on the internet to make a difference. But now. Computers/internet too hard. Kerry White, not only an imbecile, but a liar.

    Representative Hertz is correct this bill doesn’t go far enough. What we really need is an ID system similar to the one already voted in by the baggers which is supposed to prevent voter fraud at the polls. Campaign contributors need to provide an ID before giving money. This will prevent fraud before the actual day of the vote. It’s just wrong that I need ID to vote but the people trying to buy my vote can remain unidentified, hide in the shadows, lie and make unproven disparaging remarks about candidates, and I have no way of figuring out where this comes from. And minimum jail time for offenders.

    • What’s next, Gianforte asking voters to walk ‘arm in arm with Jesus and dinosaurs’ while our world
      is melting away…………Oh, for the ‘Rapture’ baggers!

      • But, But, he just gave a million or so to Bozeman…..I’m sure the University System will be sure to help get him elected as god now.

  4. The Gianforte-Laszloffy-Daines Holy Trinity is only interested in two things: money and power. They are especially enamored with having the power to control people’s individual freedoms and beliefs. Unfortunately, their theologically-based sense of superiority is inflated every time accommodating entities of Montana State government such as the Montana University System osculate their collective posterior by granting them honorary doctorates (even though their grasp of reality is tenuous, as evidence by their Young Earth creationist leanings), take their endowed chairs and scholarships (hey, money talks), and host little private affairs on campus (in State-owned facilities) such as the annual fundraising banquet of the Montana Family Foundation or religious Creation Science conferences masquerading as “real science”.

  5. Not suprised teaturd-blossum Wittich would not support that bill. Wouldn’t want to cut off his dark money cash cow. He doesn’t even realize that voting in favor of this might help his case with his upcoming hearing on illegal campaign contribution charges. His opposition makes him appear even more ‘guilty as charged!’

    • Rep. Wittich predicts “The worm will turn, the worm will turn!”
      But instead, the WORM is wiggling out of the dark and into the light–
      Waging Our Reform Movement.

      • Did Rep. Wittich misquote Shakespeare when he said
        “The worm will turn. The worm will turn!”
        The complete quote from Henry VI:
        “The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
        And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.”

        In modern English: Even the lowliest creature will try to defend itself.
        and the peaceloving will fight for what is dear to them.

  6. ISO site listing who in House voted For/Against(51-49) SB 289.
    Thankyou, Bob

  7. There are plenty of people who aren’t connected to the web and prefer sending or faxing forms. This bill was simply an incumbent protection bill since those incumbents can’t take the heat. I think we’ll see a lot of things come up that supporters will not like. Remember we are giving rule making authority to the COPP. Things won’t stay the same.

  8. Whoa … this is bad news for Senator Tester. Dark money saved his sorry ass.

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