Tag Archives: Brad Hamlett

Wednesday Quick Takes

Montana’s Attorney General Tim Fox says marriage equality will “irretrievably” destroy his right to self-government  

Joe.My. God reports this week that fifteen attorneys general, including MT AG Tim Fox, have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in which they try to claim that a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage will “irretrievably” destroy their right to self-government. From the brief:

The Constitution takes no sides on same-sex marriage, and therefore leaves the issue up to the free deliberations of state citizens. The fact that Americans have reached different conclusions about this novel question is not a sign of a constitutional crisis that requires correction by this Court. It is rather a sign that our Constitution is working as it should. In our federal system, this issue must be resolved by the “formation of consensus” at the state level. To resolve it instead through federal judicial decree would demean the democratic process, marginalize the views of millions of Americans, and do incalculable damage to our civic life in this country.

Fox and friends acknowledges that there are “constitutional guarantees” on the equal application of marriage laws, but that somehow those guarantees do not apply to LGBT Americans.

#MTLeg Week in Review

Here’s the latest weekly Youtube updates from Montana Democratic legislators.  This week’s update is from Rep. Margie MacDonald and Sen. Brad Hamlett:


Representing the People Means Different things to Some Lawmakers


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

UPDATED: Dems Make Small Gain in Legislature

As of the time of this posting, with vote counts still coming in, it looks like the make-up of the Montana senate may be 21 Democratic senators to 29 Republicans in the next legislative session.   Democrats and Republicans appear to have won an equal number of the seats up for grabs, but Rs maintained an advantage in holdover senators.

During the 2011 session, there were 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats.

In the House, it looks like Democrats may pick up seven five seats, making that chamber 40 38 Democratic seats to 60 62 Republicans instead of 32-68 like the 2011 session.  This will help Governor-elect Steve Bullock sustain his 2013 vetoes.  UPDATE: As of 8:30 pm Wed evening, Dems have gained seven MT house seats. The Billings Gazette has the story.

All of the results STILL aren’t in yet, so this could change and the Dems could pick up more seats.

Here are a couple of highlights.  I’m sure there more more, please add them in the comments.


  • Democrats Brad Hamlett and Greg Jergeson were successful in winning tough Senate races.
  • Democrat Ed Leiser is leading Tim Baldwin.
  • Tom Jacobson appears to have taken out TEA Partier Cleve Loney.
  • Reilly Neill (D) looks to have taken out Dan Skattum in an ATP targeted race.
  • And in Butte, Ryan Lynch took back Max Yate’s house seat for the Dems.
  • Newcomer Jenny Eck was successfull in keeping her Helena house seat blue.
  • Gary Marbut lost in Missoula.


  • Janna Taylor and Dee Brown will be back in the Senate.
  • Militia-linked Jennifer Fielder is in from Sanders County is now a state senator.
  • Nicholas Schwaderer defeated Christine Johnson for the Superior house seat that was much in the news.
  • Dog killer Roger Webb is leading Wanda Grinde in Billings for the Heights senate seat, but all the votes aren’t yet in.
  • Warburton and Hanson will be back in the house. Though given the recent Frontline expose, she might be subject to a range of penalties, including removal from office, fines, or worse.  The question is whether there is a prosecutor out there who is willing to begin looking into this stuff.
  • Liz Bangerter from Helena and Joanne Blyton from Red Lodge will be back as well.


Political Quick Hits

Quote of the Day

The Billings Gazette ran an article today announcing the Democratic candidates running for office this year.  One man who had been through the 2011 session got right to the point.

“We don’t need to waste our time talking about whether we should or should not secede from the United States,” said Rep. Bill McChesney, D-Miles City. “I’m not here to do that. I’m here to ensure that my kids and their kids have an opportunity for a good education, a good job and a solid future in the state of Montana.”




Here is an interesting item from Congressional candidate Diane Smith. It is kind of a strange way to announce yourself, but maybe standing out gets you noticed. See for yourself.


Leadership Troubles

The top Republican legislator in the GOP House of Representatives says he’s waiting “to see whether another Republican candidate surfaces” before deciding to run again himself.  Speaker of the House Mike Milburn (R-Cascade) is termed out of the House but is eligible to run for the Senate seat that encompasses his house district.  That seat is currently held by Democrat Brad Hammlett.

“I’ve thought about running for the Senate against Democrat Brad Hammett, but haven’t decided yet,” Milburn said. “I’ll wait and see whether another Republican candidate surfaces and then decide.”

All things being equal it is unusual that the top Republican legislator would be so fearful of opposition from within his own camp.   It suggests that Republicans are not as unaware of the disastrous nature of the 2011 Legislative Session as they publicly pretend to be.