A Look at Montana’s Delegates to the GOP Convention

by Cowgirl

Take a look at the list of delegates the Montana GOP is sending to the GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Delegates who will represent Montana in July include (as Chair) Jeff Essmann, National Committeeman and Woman Errol Galt and Betti Hill. And a list of the who’s who of the TEA Party hard-right wing of the GOP:

Berglee, SethTEA Party speaker, voted with the TEA Party wing to block several bi-partisan compromises.

Brown, Dee – voted to keep a law on the books that made being gay an imprisonable offense (one of only 10 MT lawmakers to do so.)

Brown, James – Attorney for Western Traditions Partnership, renamed “American Traditions Partnership,” the entity found to have engaged in corruption with more than a dozen Montana legislators.  Brown has been a delegate before.  He even penned an op-ed in the Gazette that he was “looking forward” to experiencing a hurricane slated to occur a few years ago during a previous GOP convention.

Butcher, Edward – Butcher’s name was also found among the meth house documents in the above-mentioned mass corruption scandal. Butcher was most-known for bills designed to fight united nations conspiracy theories and was a proponent of horse slaughter. 

Fielder, Jennifer – Promotor and now leader of the group pushing the costly boondoggle to takeover all public lands and indian reservations, who has been a keynote speaker for the group that called environmentalists “domestic terrorists” and even after distancing herself from that statement, invited the same bunch to legislative hearing to testify. Fielder hired white nationalist candidate Taylor Rose as a legislative staffer.  She also made the papers when it was exposed that a staffer she had hired as a  “legislative aid” was also a registered lobbyist for the American Lands Council, the group she now leads.

Happel, Dan -who goes around wasting public resources  by filling other county’s commission agenda’s with Agenda 21 conspiracy theories and ravings about the county secessionist movement.
Hopkins, Mike

Lamm, Debra – This lobbyist for the Montana Family Foundation, the bunch that bussed in stale Chick Filet from Idaho to celebrate that fast-food corporation’s anti-gay stance, was elected to the Montana legislature.  Lamm believes that math and reading standards are a conspiracy of the United Nations to ruin American.

Manzella, Theresa – Believes that animal shelter workers, the people who take care of the pets terrible people have discarded, are a domestic terror threat and introduced legislation to crack down on them. You can’t made this stuff up. 

Miller, Ken and Peggy – former legislator who voted for electricity deregulation and even defended it later. Miller is a religious conservative from Laurel who once ran for Governor in the GOP primary, he later became a crusader against education standards in Montana schools.

Olsen, Eric – Leader of the “Montana Shrugged TEA Party” which in addition to calling for a boycott of all news, has pushed for Montana to secede from the U.S. Olsen is the father of Jennifer Olsen, who took heat for having posted the racist watermelon joke about President Obama on her Facebook page.  When it hit the papers, Olsen made the classic claim that “she was hacked.”  But that claim was later debunked. 

Noland, Mark – While many legislators were representing their constituents by paying close attention to issues being debated in on the House Floor last session, Rep. Mark Noland (R-Bigfork) was caught perusing his TEA Party “Honor or Dishonor” score on the Lewistown TEA Party webpage. 

Wittich, Art – The TEA Party lawmaker who a jury found was guilty of three counts of corruption. 

Landsgaard, Paul – A Bircher and United Nations conspiracy theorist who supported the Oregon standoff bunch. 

Mandeville, Forrest – TEA Party legislator who voted to obstruct several bi-partisan compromises.

Milanovich, Anita – Of the James Bopp law firm, and is also working to dismantle Montana’s anti-corruption and campaign finance laws. 

The list also includes:

Milanovich, John
Zinke, Ryan
Pfaehler, Karen Marie
Tuck, Thomas
Fagg, Harrison
Lotton, Bradley 
Nordwick, Suzzann


17 Comments on "A Look at Montana’s Delegates to the GOP Convention"

  1. Dear Cowgirl,
    Many of these folks on the list were elected by a majority when they ran for public office. It speaks loudly to how poorly educated the people of this state are when it comes to government and governing. Is the problem the people we elect, or do we need to look in the mirror? I’d like to think I’m better educated than most on the subject, but that’s just one person’s opinion, my own. Nothing will change in Helena, or DC for that matter, unless we’re all willing to change.

    John Marshall

    • No doubt the Montana GOP is in the hands of the wing nuts but John has a very good point . They were all elected by the citizens of Montana . I don’t know if people realize but these people have to pay their own expenses to the national convention. I seen estimates of. $10-12,000. per person for week. Some of these people are of modest income. Since they all have close ties to Koch group one wonders if that group is helping fund them. I wonder if any of them will show up for Trump next week in billings. Doubt it they are all craze Cruz people. Will be fun to see how some of them will no doubt make Montana look stupid in July. Found it interesting Daines is not a delegate because usually elected party leaders are. But he was for Rubio . But maybe the navy seal will keep them in line

      • Drunks for Denny | May 16, 2016 2:55 PM at 2:55 PM |

        Good point. All of these whackos were in favor of Cruz. Even if he doesn’t win the presidency, defeating Ted Cruz was a great accomplishment by Donald Trump.

  2. Donald rump vowed to send his minions to knock on doors and demand votes of delegates who might prefer Ted Cruz. Looks like our Montanans may not get much sleep during the convention.

  3. Complete ‘teabaggery’ and mad hatters!

  4. Like I said Before, The odds are stacked against normal sane Republicans…. as well as Hard working blue collar Democrats.

    Not a pretty sight, more like the beginning of a nightmare for this part of the country!

  5. ‘Bout time. One of the sharpest political writers in the state has finally made it into the newspapers. My friend, Don Pogreba, is in the GF Tribune. Wonder how long that will last? Kudos and props, Don.


    Oh, and Art? Wittich? Art Art cut a fart and blew it all apart! Yes, it’s juvenile. Yes, it’s from grade school. Yes, it’s silly. But damn it fits! The dude had it made, but he simply couldn’t keep his mouth shut. In other words, he blew the whole thing apart. Reminds me of the bumper sticker I saw the other day. It read, “Democrat, Because We Can’t All Be Greedy”. Or can we, Mr. Gianforte?

  6. Lorraine Collins | May 16, 2016 8:49 PM at 8:49 PM |

    I appreciate this but wish that Cowgirl could be more scrupulous in being sure the facts are accurate. This article says the Republican convention is in “Cincinnati.” Actually, it’s in Cleveland. Everybody knows that, don’t they? If Cowgirl is ignorant of where the Republican convention is, how many other “facts” could be suspect? Don’t open up yourself to attacks based on such careless errors.

    • Cowgirl has a long history of getting the facts right. In this instance, she made a mistake which I’m sure will be corrected. Given the context, it’s a minor embarrassment that does not diminish her credibility. It’s quite possible she was thinking that the GOP needed a Cincinnatus but got Trumped instead, and thus wrote Cincinnati when she meant to write Cleveland.

    • Thank you Lorraine – I have corrected the post to reject this!

  7. Interesting stuff. I’d also mention that according to Ballot Access News, the California Delegation could only get hotel rooms that are 58 miles from the main convention. That cost alone will run about 15,000 dollars a day if I remember right. Should you have mentioned Zinke as a Delegate. At the nominating convention in Billings Zinke said he supported Trump. Now he is distancing himself from Trump. No wonder why he has a reputation for waffling. At least we’ll have another choice on the ballot with the Libertarian candidate.

  8. Kevin Crawford | May 17, 2016 8:03 AM at 8:03 AM |

    If ignorance was explosive, the Montana GOP should’ve blown itself to hell a long time ago. Sadly, enough Montana voters (apparently a majority) are equally ignorant, gullible, and/or just plain mean enough to keep electing monsters and idiots like some of those we have (all too frequently) seen in the past.

    However, those candidates don’t exist in a vacuum – they don’t come out of the chute wearing tinfoil hats and reciting rote Ayn Rand gibberish only to be laughed off Montana’s political stage. No, what’s most frightening is that appealing to those voters has WORKED in the past – and worked so well, that these kinds of candidates know that they have a pretty fair chance of winning by appealing to plenty of Montanans with those very same (lack of?) human values, and who won’t demand sensible social and economic decisions from them – just platitudes and recycled trickle-down, Teapot rhetoric.

    It’s not our fault that there are idiots and monsters running for election, here or nationally – seeking power is what crooks and sociopaths do – but it IS our fault when we elect them.

  9. Don’t believe everything you read, a lot of these folks held elected offices in billings, I remember when it was a contest between billings and great falls for the biggest city in the state, Billigs will be 200,000 by 2020, great falls has went from number one to soon to be number four or five, this is the difference between conservative republican managment and liberal democratic managment of two city’s., just take a look at Chicago, Detroit or Baltimore all run by democrats and complete disasters.

    • Kevin D Curtis | May 18, 2016 9:08 AM at 9:08 AM |

      It’s good to keep in mind that all of the cities you mentioned are in states run by Republican Governors who have all decimated their states by cutting tax rates for very top and pushing the higher tax burden down to the local levels forcing cities to cut all services and raise taxes on the working class, it’s all part of the Koch Agenda and it’s a race to the bottom….for all but the richest of the rich.

  10. What’s keeping you here in Montana, dave? Seems that there’s lots of “progress” out there in Chicago or Detroit for a guy like you with a goofy looking sheriff’s costume. Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of cancer, dave. Did you forget that? You see, dave, some of us very old time Billings residents kind of liked the old Billings. What has happened to Billings, and Montana in general, is NOT an improvement. You and your ilk have simply Californicated our beautiful Montana. Does that really make you feel good? Here, let’s drink a toast to your “progress” with a nice cool drink of Flint water! You deserve it. Sellin’ Chinese junk is about like selling junk cars. ALL progress in you mind.

  11. Could that Harrison Fagg on the list actually be the judge in Billings? Is it just me or is it unseemly for a sitting judge to participate in such a totally partisan political exercise.

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