by Dan Lourie
Dan Lourie lives in Bozeman. He is a lifetime activist for peace, justice and equality, has written to newspapers since 1964.
During the 2015 legislative session in Helena, we watched with dismay the malevolence and utter disdain for our needs, our rights and our future displayed by the extremist right wing of the Republican Party. How sad to witness our own Gallatin County Republicans setting the standards for capitulation to ideology and fealty to the moneyed powers who support their campaigns, all the while ignoring the needs of their constituents.
Now, we are witness to a parade of Republicans fabricating increasingly ludicrous excuses and denials, as though we have not been paying attention. They ignore the truth and fashion outrageous fantasies. Their intent, with input from their colleague, Nancy Ballance, appears to be convincing the reading public that what we saw, heard and read never happened, that somehow we will accept her perpetuation of their lies.
There are no secrets, however. In addition to editors, pundits and observers in the media, Wittich, Burnett, White, Monforton, Sales and Vance have been properly called out by MSU President Waded Cruzado for their votes denying Montana citizens and educational institutions necessary funds for the progress we need and deserve. Dr. Cruzado correctly pointed out that Rep. Wittich “misrepresented MSU’s request for funding…” and criticized his “imprecise language,” while reminding the community that even in the face of such opposition, MSU is “committed to doing everything we can to help students succeed.”
And yet, after voting continually to the detriment of their constituents and the people of Montana, these Republicans want an “apology.” I suggest instead that voters remember all of this and vote accordingly in 2016.