It’s been quite a year for TEA Party imbecility and nonsense. Here’s a countdown of the top 10 Cowgirl Blog Posts of 2015. Thank you Cowgirl readers and tipsters for another great year!
Upset over a discussion of a confederate fountain in Helena, a local Justice of the Peace wrote an angry screed to city commissioners saying that the main reason the Civil War was fought was not slavery but rather “banks.” JP Mike Swingy also decreed that there are no race issues in Helena, and said that white southerners “discovered” Helena. (Despite the fact that the many tribes who were the First Montanans had been here for generations.)
The Montana GOP ran out of funds this year and is effectively defunct at the moment. The office that it occupied until recently was shuttered and the premises abandoned, and a new office location, which Phil Drake of the Great Falls Tribune had to track down, is unoccupied and consists of little more than a sign on the outside. At the time this was posted, all staff had apparently been laid off.
During a Gallatin County GOP event, TEA Party Republican legislators Matthew Monforton, Art Wittich, and Tom Burnett told a small group of GOP insiders what they really think about the GOP brand, their fellow Republicans, the 2015 legislative session and the people of Montana. A transcription of audio obtained by Cowgirl tipsters included comments by TEA Party hothead Matthew Monforton, comparing the MTGOP brand to a dead rat at the bottom of a can of diet pepsi. And that was just the beginning.
TEA Party Rep. Theresa Manzella (R-Ravalli) sponsored a bill this session that would have eliminated the ability of law enforcement to use animal shelter staff to assist in the rescue and sheltering of animals in cases of alleged animal cruelty and abuse. (HB 179) Apparently she believes one reason the bill is needed is that animal shelter workers are likely terrorists.
“Reading from holy books daily”, “weekly church attendance” and a “zero-tolerance policy for drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and porn” are all part of the recipe for “preventing serious disabling mental illness,” according to one Rep. Tom Burnett, (TEA-Bozeman).
Anyone who read this guest post by former Supreme Court Justice Jim Nelson about Kim Davis knows why the post was among the top ten most viewed even in a year that featured a record number of guest posts.
Montana Growth Network spent $878,000 to elect a rightwing state Supreme Court justice, Laurie McKinnon. The group was run by Jason Priest, a TEA Party former state senator who went to jail for domestic assault. There were only a dozen donors, many of whom were actively fighting Montana’s stream access law, which was soon to go before the state Supreme Court, including Charles Schwab, James Cox Kennedy, and Kenneth Siebel.
Justice McKinnon, the conservative Justice this bunch elected to the Supreme Court, sided with Schwab, Siebel, and Kennedy and their pals in the 5-2 decision in which the court upheld the rights of citizens to access waterways (So the bigwigs lost the case, but at least they got their money’s worth from McKinnon).
Gianforte got stuffed badly by one speaker at a tech event hosted by Steve Daines, a man named Doug Burgum. Burgum started a company in Fargo, and sold it to Microsoft for three billion dollars. But at the summit, Burgum chose to talk not just about taxes and gigabytes in his speech, but about marriage equality.
His point, which he delivered directly to Gianforte and Daines who were watching from the crowd, was that if you have a right-wing social climate, you will not attract the people you need for a robust tech economy, namely, the millennials. In other words, attracting young wingnuts to the state who don’t know how to use a computer is not a good idea. You need regular young people, and these folks overwhelming support marriage equality and will have reservations about moving to a place that does not endorse it.
Apparently, one can never be too surprised at the level of ludicrous and moronic legislation proposed by TEA Partiers in Montana’s legislature.