Steve Daines Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

ICYMI: Steve Daines can’t gavel away negative press

Republican Senator’s actions this week show he’s not listening to Montanans

It seems as if Sen. Steve Daines has forgotten this week that he represents the people of Montana, who are livid about his recent decisions to stop listening to his constituents and try to shut down folks’ First Amendment rights.

  1. Tuesday when he cast the last vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education, despite several calls, letters and visits to his offices in Montana urging him not to elevate the out-of-touch billionaire to the highest education post in the country.

  2. Tuesday night he tried to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate. And then he bragged about it on social media.

  3. Wednesday students in Bozeman walked out of their high school to protest his vote on DeVos.

  4. Wednesday, staff in his Missoula office tried to limit freedom of the press when they tried to kick a Missoulian photographer out of the office.

  5. In Kalispell Citizens protested against Steve Daines for not listening to his constituents as they had clearly told him not to vote for Betsy DeVos. It was reported that he chosen to vote for her because he had received 46,800 in donations from her.
  6. Today, a Billings Gazette editorial slams Daines for failing to understand the First Amendment and being out-of-touch with Montanans. “If you can gavel down a senator whose speech you don’t like, what’s to stop you from muzzling others, Sen. Daines? Who’s next to be told to take their seat? So I say, in full celebration of my First Amendment right to do so: Gavel this: You can force a senator to shut up, but not me.” — Darrell Ehrlick, Billings Gazette

“Steve Daines has had a terrible week and Montanans are paying attention. He silenced a female Senator for speaking out, he had Montana students protesting his vote, and he has been limiting access to his office,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Steve Daines is clearly not listening to the people of Montana.”


48 Comments on "Steve Daines Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week"

  1. Steve Daines is doing his job. Elizabeth Warren is so far left she isn’t even in the real world. She needed to be silenced.

    • Old Line Democrat | February 9, 2017 9:40 PM at 9:40 PM |

      I take the position that you are so far to the right that you need to be silenced.

    • Gannon??? Really??? You related to Bobby who gave us dereg?? Now that’s funny. Amazing that you folks show your face in public.

      Hey, why don’t you come with me to meet some folks who lost their life’s saving from the actions of Bobby?

    • Clearly she needed to be silenced, if you do not believe in civil rights, equal pay for women doing the same work as men, banks to big to fail, social security and medicare, progressive income tax, repairing our infrastructure and several other things you apparently find no need for. I take a somewhat different view.

    • Then why was Jeff Merkley allowed to read the letter in its entirety after Warren was silenced?

      • Because of the half hour Senator Warren introduction of the subject hours before. Especially because the public responded very pro-Warren.
        Because of the press of free press in the USA, Senator Merkley and other Senators later had the Floor.

    • You cant be serious. You cant even be from this century!

  2. Feeling his power, too bad he’s on the wrong side of history.

  3. I understand that Steve Daines shut off his phones and eventually even shut down his fax machine – too much democracy for him apparently.

  4. The malevolent expression on Daines’ face as he gaveled Sen Warren to silence was captured on C-Span. That image will haunt his political activities for a long time to come.

  5. He’s either a total tool of Mitch McConnell or totally beholden to DeVos. Elizabeth Warren was QUOTING, for heaven’s sake!

  6. I started thinking about the division among my family, friends and people I have known for some time. I found that education, how successful they had been in their life and so many other factors were the same in the one’s who voted for Trump. They do no research for truth, blame someone else for everything wrong in their life and can’t stand it if someone make fun of their idol, yet President Obama endured the most evil ugly disrespect for eight years without retaliation. They believe Trump is going to make their life what they didn’t attain by waving his magic wand. They forget it was the MAJORITY of Americans who did not want Trump, and that majority is starting to unite now.

  7. DAINES = TOXIC 45 BAGMAN for Ditzy Devos, a Dunce cap for her! Daines turning off his phones, fax machines NOT acceptable!

  8. I’m thinking that maybe Daines voted for DeVos because he the thinks he got a lousy public education – something he proved later the same day when he apparently had no idea who Coretta Scott King was.
    In one day he brought more shame to our state than Conrad Burns managed in an entire career.

  9. I emailed our senator and explained, as a lifetime educator, how demoralizing, illogical and just wrong Betsy Devos was for Montana. I received no response from his office and after reading he accepted $50K from her – well duh!

  10. Let’ face it. Steve Daines is a “climber” just like Ryan Zinke. They both want to elevate their status in politics and are willing to ignore their constituents to get what serves THEM best. I think hitching your wagon to the Trump Whitehouse may be a long downhill ride without any brakes.

  11. In my opinion ONLY, what’s most important is the degree to which our Freshman Senator GROSSLY NEGLECTED CITIZEN COMMUNICATION REGARDING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE.
    What’s less important, and maybe overlooked, is how long Senator Warren spoke up.
    “Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a freshman who was presiding over the Senate at the time, issued a warning to Warren at that point, singling out Kennedy’s “disgrace” comment, and 25 minutes later McConnell came to the floor and set in motion the battle, citing the comments in the King letter as crossing the line.
    Warren’s speech ended with a simple admonition from Daines: “The senator will take her seat.”
    McConnell later defended his decision.
    “Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation,” he said. “Nevertheless, she persisted.””
    The above from the Washington Post, is consistent with other reports I read about the length of Senator Warren’s speach introducing historical opinion regarding Senator Sessions.
    Food for thought. In and out of Montana, some people who watched the episode, and later observed Montana criticisms ignoring fact checking the time Elizabeth Warren held the Floor, may well be criticizing those criticisms, AND BE MORE INCLINED TO $UPPORT A GOP CONTENDER FOR THE HOUSE SEAT, soon to be left open, if and when Representative Ryan Zinke becomes head of the Department of the Interior.
    Other people will recognize the strength and vigor in standing up for 25 minutes+ to deliver a composed presentation of authoritative relevance.
    And want to Vote for a Democrat with strength, vigor plus reliable wit and wisdom to Represent Montana in the People’s House in Washington D.C.
    And go on and read today in Flathead Memo, of a few reasons the Democratic Party may not spend big in the Montana campaign to Elect a Democrat to be on the Special Election Ballot for a new person to Represent Montana in the US House under Paul Ryan’s hatchet and hammer.

  12. Darrell Ehrlick’s editorial was spot on. Daines is proving to Montanans that he in Washington, D.C. only to further his own career and pad his pocket at our expense. He has shown the rest of nation that just because we live in the last best place, we do produce assholes from time to time. Mr. Daines, you are despicable.

  13. An important distinction evident from the video and audio recording of this incident:

    Steve Daines repeated word-for-word – instructions given to him by the Senate Majority Parliamentarian, who stood in front of Daines and mouthed the prepared censure statements, which Senator Daines then repeated into the microphone. In a nutshell, Daines was ordered to Instruct Senator Elizabeth Warren to be silent, and sit down. Senator Daines made no decisions on his own. He was a conduit; a spineless tool of right-wing power; and he had the gall to boast about his ‘accomplishment’.

    The essence of the Statement parroted by Daines: “Rule 19 does not permit the use of quotes… to disparage another Senator”.

    Senator Warren did not disparage another Senator, she was disparaging the disgusting bigotry, and the flawed character of a candidate for US Attorney General. There is no moral justification for the gag order imposed on Senator Warren; nor the bragging of the toad who delivered the order issued in fact, by Mitch McConnell.

    Senator Warren was introducing a relevant Congressional record of great historical value.

    History: from the heart of Dixie:
    In 1985, Jefferson Beuregard Sessions indicted three civil rights workers (accusing them of ‘voter fraud’). The civil rights workers were registering black ‘senior-citizens’ to vote, and then transporting the absentee ballots from those individuals to the official pole places.

    Evelyn Turner, one of the accused later wrote:
    “Despite none of us having any history of criminal activity, Sessions wanted to give us the maximum sentences, adding up to two centuries in prison. My husband was willing to plead guilty for crimes he didn’t commit if it would keep me from going to jail. But I knew we were innocent and refused the offer. Thankfully, the case against us, the “Marion 3,” was weak. The vast majority of charges were dismissed outright for lack of evidence, and a racially-mixed jury only took four hours of deliberation before acquitting us.”

    Fear… intimidation. Some of the absentee voters were compelled to testify before the grand jury in a location over 100 miles from their homes. One of the absentee voters swore she would never vote again.

    What Jeff Sessions did is unforgivable; not merely an indiscretion or a momentary lack-of-judgement. Sessions used his official office to mount a strategic attack on black voters and activists. Whites doing the same faced no charges.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech, vetting the nominee during which she quoted Ted Kennedy’s 1986 character reference of Jeff Sessions:
    “… It is inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. attorney, let alone a U.S. Federal judge. He is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”

    Senator Warren also quoted Coretta Scott King’s letter concerning the character of the nominee: Scott-King’s letter stated that Jeff Sessions: “lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge,” and accused Sessions of pursuing a “shabby” voter fraud case against African American activists when he was a prosecutor.

    Steve Daines said: “You stated that a sitting senator is a disgrace to the Department of Justice.” In my own opinion, Jeff Sessions is a disgrace to the Department of Justice; but Elizabeth Warren didn’t state that.

    Mitch McConnell stuffed the gag in Elizabeth Warren’s mouth.

    Jeff Sessions’ actions, cruelty, and unmistakable message to poor, black, and illiterate potential voters and election advocates was this: If you participate in this activism. If you attempt to register black voters and deliver their ballots to the polling places… I will put you so far back in jail they will have to pump air in to you. If you are a poor, black, illiterate senior citizen, and you cooperate with these activists, I will make your life a living hell.

    My opinion: Jeff Sessions should not be practicing law – neither should he be a United States Senator. Mitch McConnell is a disgrace to the United States Senate. Steve Daines is beneath contempt.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren was performing her civic and official duties in an honorable manner, by opposing this nomination of this man in the strongest terms. The truth is this: Senator Mitch McConnell used his power to issue instructions (through a mindless proxy) – ordering Senator Elizabeth Warren to shut her mouth… to sit down and shut her mouth. Montana Senator Steve Daines was the muppet who mouthed the order – and credits himself with pride.

    This is shameful – Absurd; an embarrassment.

  14. How come only the same 4 or 5 people on here. I guess no one else cares what is posted here.

  15. Teahadist Daines has been promoting a bill to “split the 9th”. Obviously in response to the 9th circuits objection to Preznit Baby Hands travel ban, which isn’t a ban, even though it is. Daines is a pinhead, obviously.

  16. Oh, by the way, how’s is the Clinton Foundation going? I hear Chelsea’s husband’s hedge fund went belly up and is closed. hummmmmm?

    Steve, good job, contrary the Dems are not above the law. Thanks for evoking the Senate rules. I wonder if we could get an extension on the Warren gag order. ahhhh, never mind, Let her sink herself for the 2018 election. The general public / voters are getting tired of the far left protests and politicians. More dems gone in 2018 unless the big changes are made. Unfortunately, this may hurt moderate Dems like Tester and Heitkamp.

    • Chelsea’s husband’s hedge fund went belly up – that pleasures you. Like snuffles after swallowing his dog biscuit. Hummmmmmm.

      Sadism — characteristic of fascists. Sadism is a symptom of other unholy disorders: The after power for the sake of power… and money.

      Sadism is the poison on the breath of a very sick society… like the smell of Garlic after a DMSO rub… or the smell of bitter almonds on cyanide victims. A cup of Sadism following a glass of wine and a cigar and a newspaper filled with news of fresh persecutions. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

      • Or perhaps this is just evidence of the corruption that was going on. Not my pleasure, just justice. Let’s see what happens now with the new DOJ.

  17. The description of Daines’ week is really one of his politics.

  18. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be the Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, has committed an unpardonable sin. Yes, she has tried to help millions of disadvantaged families have the ability to send their kids to better schools. This is of course reprehensible behavior on her part that must not be rewarded.

    Oh, and there is one more thing, she has spent millions of dollars of her own money in order to try to help these kids be able to achieve their dreams. How awful.

    In Louisiana we enacted the biggest school choice statewide program in the country. And in New Orleans every public school will soon be a charter school, allowing for real innovation. There will be literally zero traditional public schools, and education is improving.

    But let’s be clear, this is Holy Grail for the American Left. They will fight to the last gasp to stop anyone from delivering equal opportunity in education. They attacked me for it every waking hour after we got our program enacted, in the same irrational and nasty manner they are now attacking Betsy.

    Yes, the hard Left and the teachers unions are vilifying Betsy DeVos for exactly the reasons I listed above. They believe that allowing the money to follow the child is an attempt to destroy public education and ultimately the United States.

    These people are not rational. They are protecting a one size fits all monopoly that creates winners and losers in our education system. The winners are kids whose families have money and the losers are those who do not.

    If you are born to affluent parents – good news, you will either live in a ZIP code with good performing public schools, or, they will put you in an expensive private school. You are all set.

    If you are born to middle class parents, they are likely going to either make sure they live in an area with decent public schools, or they may save and scrimp and send you to a private school, albeit not at the country club.

    But, if you are born to poor parents, or one parent who is struggling to make ends meet, you may be out of luck. Your parent or parents don’t have the resources to move, and they certainly don’t have the money to send you to a better school. And the chances are pretty strong that your local public schools are failing, and there is a decent chance that you are an ethnic minority.

    So, one would logically assume that every bleeding heart liberal in America is rooting for you, and wants you to be able to go to a better school. Right?

    Because they care about people more than money, they certainly want you to have a choice. Right?

    No, wrong.
    The Democratic Party and the American Left opposes equal education opportunity. Write it down and memorize it.

    They oppose equal opportunity in education. They demand that you keep your children in a failing government school and they tell you to wait for their reforms to finally kick-in sometime in the next 100 years.

    These people are illogical and really should not be teaching anyone anything anywhere.

    Which brings me back to Betsy Devos. She has fought tirelessly for decades to give disadvantaged kids the opportunity to receive a great education. That is the sum total of why these Luddites on the Left are attacking her.

    You really have to hand it to Donald Trump here. Instead of picking an education bureaucrat, he picked a person who sees the bigger picture and knows that American education must get out of the Stone Age and move into the 21st century. Because Trump does not come from out of the political class, he has no regard for how hard it is to make any progress on education reform. Thank goodness for that. This is the breath of fresh air we needed.

    Finally, there will be a lot of folks to testify at Betsy’s confirmation hearing, and many will be raging liberals who are desperate to protect the Stone Age monopoly that is America’s education system.

    Not one of these people, not one, will have done as much in his or her life to improve the lives of kids in need as Betsy has. And most of them are total hypocrites who do not practice what they preach when it comes to their own children.

    Remember that while they rage. Also remember that it’s not the kids they are fighting for, it’s the antiquated government monopoly that they are protecting.

    What we have now is a closed government system that is failing. What we need is an open system that allows for change, choice, and innovation.

    Donald Trump clearly understands what is at stake, and that’s why he picked a reformer who cares about helping those kids who are currently being left behind.

    Republican Bobby Jindal is governor of Louisiana and a former Republican candidate for president of the United States.

    • Betsy DeVos, in an interview for “The Gathering”: “Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom.” I guess, like Gianforte, she doesn’t have much time for science, or quality secular education. From Detroit Free Press
      In Detroit, parents of school-age children have plenty of choices, thanks to the nation’s largest urban network of charter schools.
      What remains in short supply is quality.
      In Brightmoor, the only high school left is Detroit Community Schools, a charter boasting more than a decade of abysmal test scores and, until recently, a superintendent who earned $130,000 a year despite a dearth of educational experience or credentials.
      On the west side, another charter school, Hope Academy, has been serving the community around Grand River and Livernois for 20 years. Its test scores have been among the lowest in the state throughout those two decades; in 2013 the school ranked in the first percentile, the absolute bottom for academic performance. Two years later, its charter was renewed.
      Or if you live downtown, you could try Woodward Academy, a charter that has limped along near the bottom of school achievement since 1998, while its operator has been allowed to expand into other communities.
      For students enrolled in schools of choice — that is, schools in nearby districts who have opened their doors to children who live outside district boundaries — it’s not much better. Kids who depend on Detroit’s problematic public transit are too far away from the state’s top-performing school districts — and most of those districts don’t participate in the schools of choice program, anyway.
      This deeply dysfunctional educational landscape — where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion and “choice” means the opposite for tens of thousands of children — is no accident. It was created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome.
      And at the center of that lobby is Betsy DeVos, the west Michigan advocate whose family has contributed millions of dollars to the cause of school choice and unregulated charter expansion throughout Michigan.

      • More mis-informtion from above

        Based on the findings presented here, the typical student in Michigan charter schools gains more learning in a year than his TPS counterparts, amounting to about two months of additional gains in reading and math. These positive patterns are even more pronounced in Detroit, where historically student academic performance has been poor. These outcomes are consistent with the result that charter schools have significantly better results than TPS for minority students who are in poverty.

        • @bill – So, I’ll match your far-right National Review with center-right Politico.

          “Despite two decades of charter-school growth, the state’s overall academic progress has failed to keep pace with other states: Michigan ranks near the bottom for fourth- and eighth-grade math and fourth-grade reading on a nationally representative test, nicknamed the “Nation’s Report Card.” Notably, the state’s charter schools scored worse on that test than their traditional public-school counterparts, according to an analysis of federal data.

          Critics say Michigan’s laissez-faire attitude about charter-school regulation has led to marginal and, in some cases, terrible schools in the state’s poorest communities as part of a system dominated by for-profit operators.”

          • Round 2

            A New York Times article on June 28, 2016, claimed that students in “half the charters perform only as well, or worse than, Detroit’s traditional public schools.” But the Times claim relies on limited data that fails to account for some of the most important factors in educational performance. A more robust study concluded that students enrolled in Detroit charters had higher average learning gains than students elsewhere, even when they were poorer. That is demonstrated in part by the fact that “charter students in Detroit gain over three months per year more than their counterparts at traditional public schools.”[13]
            Therefore, the claim is misleading.

            • Plus you need to look at the success in other states. Hope for the inner-cites. Are you trying to hold them back? Tell the teachers unions to go pound sand. Other union members/voters did when they seen their jobs leaving the country.

  19. Dr. Alveda King reacts to Sen. Warren’s comments
    Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reacts to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife in the Senate.
    The Senate voted along party lines in favor of a rule that essentially silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday night after she quoted from a letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, during her criticism of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for Attorney General.

    The rule states that senators may not “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

    Senator Warren spoke after the dust up about what she couldn’t say, early Wednesday.

    “This is about Coretta Scott King’s letter and that’s all this is about,” Senator Warren told reporters. “She wrote a powerful letter about an important moment in history that directly involved Jeff Sessions and is directly relevant to the question of whether Jeff Sessions ought to be the attorney general of the United States — and Mitch McConnell didn’t want me to read that letter.”

    Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., however, said Senator Warren is using the King named to play the race card and stir up emotions.

    “In that letter [Coretta Scott King] would be referring to some of [Sen. Jeff Sessions] comments,” King told the FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto. “However, she would agree today that he of course ended some [school segregation and] he worked to prosecute members of the KKK.”

    King added: “It’s almost like a bait and switch, stir up the emotions, in the name of King—and my name is Alveda King… [and] play the race card, which she was attempting to do.”

    Nevertheless King said the issue hasn’t divided the family.

    “We are taking a look at many things that Mrs. Coretta Scott King said, Martin Luther King Jr., my daddy A.D. King,” she said. “But our family—we are peacemakers, we bring people together… we do not divide people.”

  20. Bill read the end of the letter. Cowboy up and practice for one month being a peacemaker. Avoid tearing off pieces. Avoid being a divider.
    Avoid pasting up puerile pieces published by politicised dividers.

  21. Bob, listen to both sides of the issues and then decide which is BS.

  22. Who are the dividers? Are you hearing fact or opinions on the major news feeds. Seen an award show lately or the late night TV talk shows……have you been harassed, intimidated, ridiculed, for voting for Hillary? Hollywood is losing you voters. The dems need to reinvent or 2018 will be ugly as you run off more voters.

  23. You should also note that people can no longer go to his Billings office without an appointment. The building, Granite Tower, now has a sign on the main entrance door saying no one can enter the building without an appointment.

  24. Judy, consider sharing picture, maybe.
    For me, one of the most sensible responses to Daines deign to forum decorum, is at Intelligent Discontent, under the Guest Post: Senator Daines Unfinished Business. Scroll down to the comment on 2/10/17 at 1:31 PM.
    While there, you might take note of the adjacent 1:36 PM post of 2/8/17, that acknowledges Fox News framing then focusing on Dr. Alveda King’s remarks that Bill shared first at ID, second here at MC, so we could all look at both sides, and throw out the BS.

  25. Buh bye, Steve Daines! You’re such a buffoon and 2018 can’t come soon enough.

  26. “In Kalispell Citizens protested against Steve Daines for not listening to his constituents as they had clearly told him not to vote for Betsy DeVos. It was reported that he chosen to vote for her because he had received 46,800 in donations from her.”

    One more, of MANY MANY, examples of why we need to change the way that we fund political campaigns. Politicians have too much attention on the people who make big donations to their campaigns and not enough attention on the people they are supposed to represent.

    Here’s a video that illustrates the problem:

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