As KTVQ Billings reports, court documents “filed in Carbon County District Court by Assistant Attorney General Mary E. Cochenour, show Priest is accused of grabbing his 4-year-old daughter and throwing her to the ground, causing an injury to her scalp.”
Here we have a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), which he introduced in 2011. It was called the “Making Public Lands Public Access Act of 2011″ and uses funding from the Land and Water Conservation fund acquire lands around existing public lands that would also to improve access for hunters and anglers access to those existing public lands.
—GOP legislative candidate Matthew Monforton. Since Monforton wrote a letter to the editor in the Bozeman Chronicle this week denigrating the elected body he himself is seeking to join as a “parliament of whores,” he is clearly is this week’s winner.
If the GOP-TEA controlled legislature is full of people he calls “whores,” why does Monforton want to be part of it?
Monforton waxes apoplectic against the “whores” elected by the Montana Republican Party in this letter, yet has he accepted the Republican Party’s cash Continue reading
Sen. Jason Priest has been arrested and was, as of 10:00 am this morning, in the Yellowstone County detention facility. A reliable source tells me he is there for Partner Family Member Assault and resisting arrest, with other assault charges pending. More to come.
Priest is an important figure because he is the rebel leader in the civil war within the Republican Party and runs a dark money group called Montana Growth Network, which tries to defeat moderates and take over the Montana Supreme Court. Continue reading
Is up at Intelligent Discontent, where Don Pogreba writes another of his excellent point by point take downs of shoddy journalism.
I’ve read some terrible headlines from Montana newspapers in my day, but today’s story headlined “Political practices commissioner accused of using questionable tactics to get results” has to be one of the worst. More accurate headlines would include “Those accused of campaign finance violations cry bitterly about it” or “Commissioner Motl works to restore trust in Montana elections.”
A rumble between two Republicans infamous for their anti-gay remarks will soon be underway in the Sweetgrass, Columbus, Park City area, where two TEA Party hotheads are going to tangle for state senate in a very conservative district. Rep. Joanne Blyton (R-Red Lodge, birther) has also filed for the seat.
The first candidate is state Rep. David Howard, chair of the House Human Services Committee, a man who has scoured the internet for world’s least credible anti-gay propaganda sites and furiously posted them to his Facebook page, night after night.
Here is his latest post:
Howard’s post links to this article. Howard must spend a lot of time on such sites–his Facebook page is dedicated almost entirely to anti-gay postings. (And occasional donkey porn apparently.) Even as the rest of the world has started to finally realize that marriage equality and recognition of committed loving relationships is an important civil right, the Republicans anti-gay propaganda just keeps getting more embarrassing.
Rep. Howard is also on the record saying he believes a Civil War is imminent. He also believes that “the godless liberals are forcing America’s kids to be sitting ducks” for mass murderers, and that medical marijuana leads to death. And it just gets wackier–and creepier.
Howard is expected to face TEA Party Sen. Jason Priest in the primary, although he has yet to officially file. Priest is the lawmaker who was forced to apologize for anti-gay remarks he made on his Facebook page, the Billings Gazette reported. Priest used his “hateful, homophobic talk” to argue his dislike for paying taxes.
Priest worked with a group of America’s most far-right activists who are pushing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to do away with our union as we know it--a constitutional amendment that would allow states to nullify federal laws by a vote 2/3 of state legislatures. Montana State Senator Jason Priest (R-Red Lodge) is one of the movement’s leaders. Priest says:
“Montanans are a liberty-minded people and I will proudly sponsor the Article V application for the Repeal Amendment in the Montana Legislature to send a clear, strong message to Washington that we are a sovereign state with Montana-made solutions to today’s challenges.”
Priest had been listed on the movement’s website among the dozen or so leaders of the amendment, but the site has suddenly been taken down now that Priest is in a race for GOP leadership against Ravalli County TEA Partier Fred Thomas. Billings Sen. Jeff Essmann (R-TEA Billings), is running for house and seeking a house leadership position. There is no non-TEA Repub in the running for GOP leadership at the time of this posting, although Sen. Llew Jones has been mentioned as a likely leader for his abilities to work with all sides.
The concept of nullification was a key feature of the most extreme legislature in Montana history–nearly a dozen bills to declare federal authority “null and void” or unenforceable in Montana were introduced by Republicans during the 2011 session. However, Democrats and moderate Republicans joined forces to defeat the nullification bills time after time. Governor Schweitzer called the bills “anti-American.”
Priest has drawn national attention before. Speaking to group of Tea Party followers, apparently unaware of a running camera, Priest said,
“I live in Red Lodge where I’m that guy that nobody agrees with, and I don’t mind. I have to talk to them about things that are important to them in ways that aren’t offensive to them. That’s a good lesson to learn. I would rather tell them they’re insane… Is that camera on?”
Priest has also taken heat for making his considerable wealth from the medical debt of people who can’t afford health care.
An interesting letter to the editor was published in the Billings Gazette during the 2011 legislative session which asks about the conflict of interest incurred by state Senator Jason Priest. Priest sponsored a bill that could reap financial benefits for the medical debt collection industry he comes from.
For years Sen. Priest was the CEO of a company that specialized in collecting unpaid medical debts owed to hospitals. The LTE reads:
State Sen. Jason Priest is the founder and president of Medipent, a New York company that relies on the huge mountain of personal debt generated by our broken health care system for its existence. Yet, as a representative of the people, he aligns himself in opposition to health care reform — a program that intends to eliminate the debt that sustains him and his company. How is his involvement not a conflict of interest?
Will Belgrade Take Bozeman’s Leavings? Not Likely
An absurd former TEA Party legislator who was ousted by Bozeman voters last cycle appears to be hoping that Belgrade voters may be unfamiliar with his record and may vote him back into office.
That man is Tom Burnett, who served one term in Bozeman in 2011 and was immediately voted out in the next elect. The former lawmaker may soon be under investigation for having been caught up in the Meth House Scandal, in which documents found at a meth house in Colorado were found to implicate certain GOP lawmakers for illegally coordinating with a dark money group, the American Tradition Partnership. But that’s just the beginning.
Tom Burnett has accused a youth support for LGBT young people in his community of meeting to recruit people into becoming gay. He has also written that he wonders whether the high school support group would soon include pedophiles and beastiality:
“Is it only a matter of time before the umbrella covers pedophiles, necrophiles, and zoophiles? When will the high school advertise a group called Beastiality Acceptance Alliance, BAA?”
Burnett took the post down after his ravings appeared in campaign flyers and on a reporter’s blog.
But perhaps what Burnett is most known for is his obsession with preventing poor people from getting enough to eat. For a peek into the serpents’ nest of irrationality that is this guy’s brain, look no further than what he calls his “studies” which consist of lies, unsubstantiated anecdotes, and incoherent wackiness he found on the internet.
Burnett’s latest screed, released in October of 2013, is a follow up to his premier work “Childhood Hunger, the Myth” in which he reveals that pictures of fat kids he found on the internet prove that there is no such thing as childhood hunger.
His bizarre writings prove nothing other than that the snake on a yellow background is the perfect symbol for the TEA Party.
Consider Burnett in light of the recent scandal in Iowa. That state’s top GOP-appointed public-health official resigned just last week after she was caught making unsubstantiated comments about food stamps.
“The No. 1 food item bought with food stamps in Iowa is Mountain Dew,” the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health claimed, even though states obviously don’t track such purchases. The woman later claimed through a spokesman she “found it online” but couldn’t remember where.
After this scandal, Montanans are even less likely to put someone like this in charge of making decisions here–someone who makes things up to demonize and perpetuate stereotypes about the poor.
Burnett has organized TEA Party events with Tim Ravndal, the Helena TEA Partier who made national news for comments he made that implied support for violence against gays.Burnett also is the author of the famous bill to eliminate law that requires landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors (House Bill 354) It made the venerated 2011 Montana Nutjob Bills list first published at Cowgirl Blog.
Good news for Helena, a well known social justice advocate and longtime supporter of working families is running for legislature against GOP incumbent Steve Gibson. Mary Ann Dunwell filed in House District 84 representing southeast Helena and the city of East Helena.
“I want to restore responsible leadership to the state legislature, encourage public engagement in our government, and make sure that all Montanans can enjoy equal opportunity to thrive, prosper and succeed,” said Dunwell, who has worked as a state employee for the past ten years.
In a press release, Dunwell said her priorities include working for all Montanans to have access to quality affordable health and mental healthcare so they can fully enjoy Montana’s quality of life. She’ll work to create jobs that pay a living wage with equal pay for equal work, good benefits, and healthy, safe work conditions. And she’ll support a strong public education system from early childhood, through k-12, and work to make sure it’s not such a financial struggle to get a higher education.
She has worked at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and currently works at the Montana Department of Revenue. Dunwell serves as elected democratic precinct committee woman in Lewis & Clark County. She has served on the Lewis & Clark Brownfields Task Force, the Helena Citizens Council and the PTA at Jefferson Elementary and Helena Middle Schools.
Gibson has struggled to support public education in the legislature. He’s earned a 61%D rating with the Montana Education Foundation. Gibson shares Todd Akin’s position on forced birth for rape victims. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo. is the guy believes that rape victims should be forced to give birth and said that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Even as Republican candidates across the county have tried to distance themselves from Akin, Gibson actually voted for an amendment to the Montana Constitution to ban abortion, under all circumstances, with no exception for rape or incest (fixed link). Dunwell was the first candidate to file for office yesterday, which was the first day candidates could file. If that’s any indication of her work ethic, Steve Gibson is in trouble.
Her campaign Facebook page is facebook.com/
The Cowgirl blog will be highlighting important legislative races across Montana. Candidates may submit information, photos, and links to the blog tip line mntnacowgirl [at] gmail.com The Flathead Memo is doing the same. James Conner writes:
Flathead Memo will cover Flathead and statewide elections in as much detail as possible. If you’re a candidate, campaign manager, party operative, or someone who knows, please put us on your media email list and send us your press kit. Use jrc [at] flatheadmemo.com