Category Archives: Montana Legislature 2011

Ousted Bozeman TEA Partier Hopes Belgrade Voters Haven’t Heard of Him Yet

RepTomBurnettOfficialCowgirlBlogHeadshot

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 himself has claimed that Food stamps = Red Bull.  He’s also written that teachers are what is keeping Mexico in poverty.  Yeah.

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.

 

 

Selling Glacier to “Pay off the national debt”

Republicans have been touring the state to promote a most moronic idea: That states take over all federal land and sell it off to “pay down the national debt.

Ken Ivory is leader of the latest sagebrush rebellion. He’s a state legislator from Utah pushing the idea that states should take over public land and sell it off, 95% of which would “pay off the national debt” and 5% for schools. Ivory is making a stop in Bozeman before he heads to the Montana legislature tomorrow, Wed. Jan. 8.

Actually, he’s been touring around pushing the idea that states should condemn and sell of public land.  This is an ALEC bill, and Ken Ivory, basically Utah’s Derek Skees, has been pushing it at  ALEC conferences.  Montanans rejected the idea, which was among the infamous nutjob bills of the 2011 legislature which were ridiculed across the U.S. and if it couldn’t pass in a session dominated by wacky bills and hard right Republicans.
And it wouldn’t be a GOP event without an assault rifle raffle. At this event two assault rifles will be raffled off to whomever wanders in.

The Big Sky Pachyderms, Gallatin County Republican Central Committee, Bozeman Tea Party, Gallatin County Republican Women are all listed as sponsoring his speech tonight at the Bozeman Holiday Inn. This man is scheduled to appear in front of the EQC Committee of the MT legislature at 1:00pm today.

 

A Real Gem

Interesting development in Idaho this week. A Republican state Representative was busted for lying about his criminal record and had his concealed weapons permit revoked. But he says he’s the victim – of a sheriff out for revenge after the legislator inquired about the sheriff’s office expenditures.

Idaho state Representative Mark Patterson (R-Boise) did jail time and pleaded guilty to a rape-related charge in Florida when he was 21.  A few years later he was acquitted of rape at trial in another city.

Patterson was charged with forcible rape in May 1974.  As the Idaho Statesman reports:

The victim, then a 46-year-old mother of five, told police that Patterson forced her to have sex twice and threatened to have his Doberman pinscher attack her if she refused, according to police reports.

He pleaded guilty in exchange for a lesser charge (assault with intent to rape).

But now, the Republican is trying to say not only that he didn’t commit the crime but that he didn’t lie about it either.  He claims his memory has been wiped clean of any recollection of this whole affair by a chemotherapy treatment he received to treat a case of Hepatitis C he says he got at the dentist.

Patterson says he’s the victim of a local sheriff who by revoking his permit is really:

staging a political hit against him, trying to “shut me down and silence me and get me the hell out of the way,” because he has scrutinized the way Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney spends his department’s money, according to a detailed report in the Idaho Statesman.

Here’s the kicker – thanks to an Idaho law that automatically grants concealed weapons permits to legislators, legislators were able to make sure their own criminals were above the law.

Montana lawmakers tried to pass a similar law here.  TEA Party Republican Verdell Jackson tried to pass Senate Bill 279 in 2011– a bill to allow legislators to carry guns–both concealed and open–in the state capitol building.

Former GOP Lawmaker Unloads: It’s the Right-Wing Extremism, Stupid

Evangelizing to the far-right rather than actually representing constituents is “eroding the effectiveness of some of our elected state representatives,” says a Republican and former Montana state legislator.

Following yet another embarrassing legislative session,  a panel of lawmakers have been tasked with finding “ways to restore trust, respect, faith and confidence in the legislative branch.”  The panel discussed ways to keep the legislature in Helena more often (the worst nightmare of anyone who is not a sitting legislator.) Continue reading

Look Who’s Back

[This spoof article about former state legislator Tom Burnett's new 2013 "study" called "Deceptions in the Hunger Crusade," in which he purports to prove that no one should help hungry children get something to eat is making the rounds via email. While the quotes appear to be satirical, these are the same arguments Burnett actually makes in his new study. The credo is Burnett's exact wording.]

RepTomBurnettOfficialCowgirlBlogHeadshotFormer state legislator Tom Burnett (R-TEA Bozeman), Montana’s leading crusader for barring hungry kids from receiving food,  reached out to food banks today claiming he has new groundbreaking research to prove there is no such thing as childhood hunger.

Writing from an undisclosed bunker in Gallatin County, Burnett said “I embarked on this crusade with a simple goal: to keep basic low-cost food out of the reach of ordinary Montana children who God chose to punish by bringing them up to parents who don’t make a lot of money. And while a battle was lost when voters booted me from office, that dream—that precious, cherished dream—will live on.” Continue reading