Tag Archives: Cary Smith

GUEST POST: MSU Sending Mixed Messages Over Guns on Campus

by pariahdog

In a recent article in the Montana State University Exponent, Kevin McRae, Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education, has publicly declared the opposition of the Montana University System (MUS) to the passage of Senate Bill 143 (Cary Smith-R) allowing concealed carry of firearms on MUS campuses.

The issue of campus carry legislation is now gaining national significance with Montana as one of the states involved in the debate.

In spite of the stated opposition of the Montana University System (MUS) to Senate Bill 143, there exists the appearance of duplicity on the part of the MUS. This appearance of conflict between words and actions arises from the fact that Montana State University (MSU)-Bozeman will be facilitating the annual fundraising banquet and firearms raffle/auction of the Bridger Mountains Chapter of the Friends of the National Rifle Association (NRA). This event will take place on Saturday, April 4, 2015 in the MSU Strand Union Banquet Hall.

Fifty percent of the proceeds of this fundraising event go to the national NRA Foundation. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), the lobbying arm of the NRA, currently advocates at the State level legislation for concealed carry of firearms on college campuses. This includes actively advocating for passage of Senate Bill 143 in Montana.

Facilitating a fundraiser for an organization actively lobbying for the passage of legislation opposed by the Montana University System sends a conflicting message regarding the MUS position on Senate Bill 143 both to students and the public. This is especially perplexing given that firearms are part of the official 2015 NRA Merchandise Package provided to the local organization for raffle/auction at their annual fundraising banquets.

Not only is the fundraiser being held on an MUS campus, but a select segment of the public is apparently being granted special permission to bring guns to campus for the purpose of raffling/auctioning them for funds that will then be used to support an organization currently advocating for a bill opposed by the MUS that allows concealed carry of guns on campus.

A clear solution to this appearance of duplicity would be to not facilitate NRA fundraising events on the campus of an MUS institution.  Indeed, there are many off-campus venues in the Bozeman area that could host such an event.

The same mixed message was sent by the MUS in 2013 when similar campus carry legislation (House Bill 240) was passed by the Montana Legislature and subsequently vetoed by the Governor.

That year, the same annual Friends of the NRA fundraising event was held in the Strand Union Building at Montana State University in Bozeman.

It is one thing to have open debate about the issue on campus, but quite another to facilitate on campus fundraising efforts by a group clearly working in support of the very campus carry legislation opposed by the MUS.  The words indicate MUS opposition to Senate Bill 143, the actions speak otherwise.


Gun Bills Move Forward: As Does Case Against Man Who Threatened to Shoot Up a Local School, Jewish Leaders

As the fight to nullify federal gun laws, force guns into college campuses and workplaces and encourage the proliferation of concealed weapons and ammunition stockpiles rages in in the Montana legislature, the Missoulian is reporting today that a man who threatened to kill hundreds of school kids and Jewish leaders will be arraigned in district court in Missoula this Thursday for “felony charges of intimidation and criminal defamation.”

David Lenio is the white -supremacist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and holocaust denier who tweeted comments saying he wants to execute  “grade school students” and “shoot up a school” and a synagogue, and put “two in the head” of a rabbi or Jewish leader. He also said he hoped to go on a killing rampage until “cops take me out.”

Lenio was also stockpiling weapons and ammunition, and for some reason,  “jugs of urine” in his van.  As Salon reported:

When they arrested this white supremacist, he had just finished a day of snowboarding in Montana. He had marijuana and a pipe in his van (along with jugs of urine). He worked as a cook in a local restaurant, and had three guns. He had on Sunday retrieved ammunition and two rifles—a bolt-action and a semi-automatic—from his storage locker.

Lenio even threatened the guy who uncovered his threats on Twitter.

That guy is Jonathan Hutson who has a background in investigative journalism and now serves as communications director for the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  He is also the dad of a first grader.  After Hutson discovered Lenio’s threats–and endured threats against Hutson himself and Hutson’s kids– FBI agents and local law enforcement officials in Montana and two other states were able to track Lenio down.


Meanwhile, there are just a few of the gun bills still being pushed forward by the MT legislature:

  • Legalize guns and rifles in office parking lots. HB 505 the official title of which is “establish employee safe travel to work laws”, by Matthew Monforton (TEA-Bozeman)
  • Lift the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons in bars, parks, and schools. HB 371 by Rep. Kerry White (TEA-Bozeman)
  • Legalize guns on college campuses. by Rep. Cary Smith SB 143 (R-TEA Billings)
  • Allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon. HB 298   Bill Harris (R-Winnett)
  • Nullify all federal gun laws. HB 203 by Rep. Art Wittich (R-TEA Bozeman)
  • Encourage the manufacturing of ammunition to prevent a national shortage. HB 122 by Matthew Rosedale (R-TEA Glendive)

Hutson shared some of Lenio’s tweets with the Cowgirl blog, and they are indeed disturbing. You can see them below the fold  (click continue reading):

Continue reading

Legislators on Committee Who Blocked Medicaid for Montanans ALL Take Government-Funded Health Insurance

hypocrisy meterThe members of the House Human Services Committee who used a rules bait and switch trick  to block health care for 70,000 working poor Montanans paid for by the federal government each willingly except two years of health care paid for by us the taxpayers.

It’s a point that’s was made both by Governor Bullock  in his state of the union speech and by that the Billings Gazette editorial made this past week in their support of Governor Bullock’s Medicaid expansion was that Montana taxpayers spend $887 per month on health insurance premiums for each state employee and for each of the 150 lawmakers who choose to be on the state health plan.  You can see the entire list here. “Waived opt 2″ means they accept a cash stipend (paid for by you and me) to pay the bill for the insurance they get through their job, spouse, or parents.

Rep. Stephanie Hess, Rep. Lawrence Redfield, Rep. Art Wittich, Rep. Kirk Wagoner, Rep. Doane, Rep. Bill Harris, Rep. Forrest Mandeville and Rep. Vince Ricci all accept it and are Republicans on House Human Services committee who voted “do not pass” on HB 249 on Friday, March 6th. Rep. Seth Berglee and  Rep. Al Olszewski accepted the cash stipend from the state and voted “do not pass”.  So all of the legislators (all are Republicans) on the committee that voted against the Healthy Montana Plan accept Montana taxpayer funded health insurance.

Attached is the 2015 list of legislators who are on  Montana taxpayer funded healthcare.  You can download a PDF list here to see if your legislator is on it: 2015 Legislators Benefits and PERS FOR MT PUBLIC.

You’ll note that also on the list are Nancy Ballance, who claimed that adults who don’t have a disability with no children living at home (like herself) should not get government-funded health coverage with her HB 455.  And Fred Thomas, chair of the Senate Public Health Committee.  And Cary Smith, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 148 which he claims will “reform” Medicaid (which to him simply means kicking tens of thousands of people out.)  Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen is on it–so is Senate President Debby Barrett. And readers of this blog (and anyone who has been on the internet ever) know that the Americans for the Prosperity of the Koch Brothers front man Joe Balyeat took taxpayer funded healthcare when he was in the legislature.

Isn’t it interesting that we never hear them complaining about how much their insurance costs the taxpayer, how it will “crowd out” services for people with disabilities, how it will harm funding for schools and roads, how much their insurance will cost us 10 or 55 years from now, or other such nonsense.


GUEST POST: Protecting 2nd Amendment Goes Hand-in-Hand with Common Sense Measures that Keep Us All Safe

by Pamela Owen, Moms Demand Action

As a Montanan, wife of a gun owner, proud believer in Montana’s outdoor heritage, and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, I cannot sit on the sidelines during this legislative session. Our elected leaders are considering a package of dangerous bills that would not only roll back our current, common-sense permitting requirements, but would also allow guns in sensitive places like bars and college campuses. These reckless bills tear at the fabric of our sensible gun laws. Instead of proposing laws that would make our families and communities safer, these bills’ sponsors would put us all at risk.

Numerous groups have spoken out against these bills, including the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Montana Police Protective Association, Montana Human Rights Network, Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America.

You have to wonder: Considering the strong opposition, who is really pushing this agenda? We must speak out and makes e sure our voices are heard.

Let’s start with House Bill 298 and HB 533. Both bills would dismantle Montana’s current concealed carry permit system. If passed and signed into law, these pieces of legislation would allow individuals without any prior training and those who have been convicted of weapons offenses to carry concealed loaded handguns in public. There will also no longer be a way for law enforcement to prevent people who exhibited dangerous behavior from carrying loaded hidden guns in public. That means our communities—our streets, our malls, and our farmers’ markets—could be at risk. I believe Montana’s sheriffs know best when it comes to protecting the communities they serve. People should continue to receive firearm training before they carry concealed loaded handguns in public. It’s just common sense.

Next up we have SB 143. This bill would force public colleges and universities to allow the concealed carry of loaded handguns on campuses across our state. Currently, public colleges and universities have the authority to decide whether they want to allow guns on campus, but SB 143 would revoke their authority to make this very critical public safety decision. Our legislators are pushing this bill despite widespread opposition from the people who would be affected the most. Indeed, 78% of students, 95% of college presidents, and 89% of police chiefs reject campus carry.

Schools have consistently opted against campus carry, and it’s currently not allowed anywhere in the state. I would love my kids to attend the same college their parents did, but I won’t sacrifice their safety. College life is full of risk factors like alcohol and drug abuse. Our young people are making impulsive decisions, and we need to ensure that university officials have the tools to protect them.

We should also consider the financial implications of this bill. In the first year after Idaho passed similar legislation in 2014, the necessary security upgrades have cost $3.7 million for five Idaho schools. Our schools are routinely suffering from budget shortfalls, and should not be asked to shoulder this new expense.

Our elected leaders should support legislation that makes our families and communities safer—not laws that would put us at risk. Protecting our Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with common sense measures that keep us all safe. As a mother, as a Montanan, as a community member, I ask you to raise your voice and speak out against these senseless bills.

To speak out against these dangerous bills, please click on the link below.


To learn more about Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, go to www.momsdemandaction.org.


The Puppet Show

Yesterday on the floor of the Montana House of Representatives, TEA Party Republican Randy Pinnocci gave a speech in favor of his bill to prohibit the United Nations from the “use of technology for controlling human activity…and the indoctrination of children for global citizenship.” (Which 41 Republicans voted for.)  Pinnoci said the goal of his bill was: “to prevent us from being told what to do by an outside entity.” “What I believe is that if we have a good idea in Montana we should implement it on our own,” he continued.

But two new and separate pieces of investigative journalism in the Bozeman Chronicle and the Flathead Beacon, and documents obtained by Cowgirl tipsters, show that outside entities are indeed telling the Montana legislature what to do, even writing boilerplate bills introduced in Montana and providing direct instruction to legislative bill drafters.

A Florida right-wing group called the Foundation for Government Accountability is instructing Montana legislators and legislative staffers on how to write our laws, and TEA Party lawmakers are attempting to pass boilerplate legislation provided by the same organization. But that’s not the only disturbing evidence of the extent outside forces are pulling the strings at the Montana Legislature.

Inside Job

First,  we turn to the office of TEA Party Senator Jennifer Fielder.  Fielder alone has requested dozens of different bills to address the same scheme – which republicans call TPL for “takeover of public lands.”  The Utah-based American Lands Council has been pushing the idea at at  ALEC conferences.  It is an ALEC boilerplate bill, and it would increase our taxes by hundreds of millions, and inflict a major blow to Montana’s tourism economy.

It has now come to light that the individual that has been serving as Jennifer Fielder’s staffer and legislative aide (granting him full floor privileges amongst other things) was at the same time being employed by the American Lands Council as their registered lobbyist.  Montanans deserve to know what the deal is here including the serious ethical questions raised regarding her own staffer being paid by the American Lands Council.

You can see here screen shots from the commissioner of political practices website showing he is the registered lobbyist of the Utah land-secession group.

And here is a shot of this guy’s Facebook page where the lobbyist publicly posts his position as a Senate Aide.

And finally here you can view a picture with him wearing his official Montana state legislature name badge which grants him unrestricted access to the Senate Floor and GOP leadership.

 Boilerplate and Behind the Scenes Instruction

Yesterday,  the Bozeman Chronicle reported that as many as 1/3 of the bills written by legislative staff come at the request of or under the instruction of outside groups rather than from Montana elected officials.

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The group behind this is the Florida-Based “Foundation for Government Accountability” or the FGA.  The group is active in several states – usually working to kill Medicaid expansion as they did in Wyoming and Tennessee.  They also worked to kill Medicaid expansion in Maine, where they conducted a biased “poll”.  A similar push-poll was also in conducted recently in Montana and is expected to be released soon.

Below is a screenshot of that FGA-AFP Facebook AD.

FGA-AFP Facebook AD

You can see the Florida group’s  Montana attack site here: http://dontexpandmt.com/ Here is their Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/TheFGA?fref=nf   Like AFP, the group is spending big bucks to kill Medicaid expansion in Montana with ads and talking points being parroted by right-wing, “legislators” (or should we just call them puppets). The FGA is saying that if we expand medicaid we will lose school funding, highway funding, prison funding, funding for first responders etc., which is obviously a complete lie.

But it doesn’t stop there.


The FGA is also behind Fred Thomas’s Senate Bill 206 - one of the worst bills of the 2015 session which would take assistance buying food from thousands of hungry seniors, people with disabilities, and kids. As the Bozeman Chronicle reported:

State Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, a longtime legislator, introduced a bill last month to create limits on food stamp assistance in Montana.

Thomas told the Associated Press that he drafted the bill after hearing from store cashiers that food stamps are being used to buy energy drinks, frozen pizza and other items.

According to emails obtained by the Chronicle, the bill was written in large part by the Foundation for Government Accountability in Florida. A copy of the group’s boilerplate bills was provided to drafters.

It’s not just Thomas who is pimping Foundation for Government Accountability boilerplate bad ideas- check out Sen. Cary Smith (TEA -Billings) who is carrying SB 148, an ALEC boilerplate bill also procured from him by the same Foundation for Government Accountability, as you can see here.  That bill aims to strip tens of thousands of the poorest Montanans from Medicaid or food stamps – even though they are still eligible.  As the Flathead Beacon reported:

 portions of a bill introduced in the Montana Legislature, SB 148, which aims to prevent welfare fraud, are taken nearly verbatim from a piece of model legislation by the American Legislative Exchange Council,

This is likely the tip of the iceberg and I expect more such evidence of who’s really calling the shots at the Montana Legislature to come to light.  The Great Falls Tribune and the Flathead Beacon have already reported on the series of fake “town hall meetings” that backfired on Americans for Prosperity recently.

With this latest revelation, Montanans will respond to the bills these right-wing legislators and out-of-state groups are attempting to foist on us with even greater skepticism.  Because while Fred Thomas embarrassingly tries to spin this insider influence for out-of-state special interests as a good thing, I doubt most Montanans would agree. 


Nutjob Bills in the Montana Legislature

Yes America, here are some of the major pieces of legislation that have been put forward in 2015 by the Tea Party Republicans who are now in control of the Montana legislature.

This is not a joke. These are real bills, and they are currently taking priority in the Montana legislature over anything legitimate that would improve jobs, Montana’s economy, or the health and well-being of our citizens.

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1. Exempt political ads by churches from campaign finance laws by classifying them as news reports. LC 1942 by David Howard (R-TEA Park City)

2. Require federalism training for state employees. LC 1760 by Jennifer Fielder (TEA-Noxon)

3. Create a state militia and outfit them with uniforms. SB 130 by Roger Webb (R-TEA Billings)

4. Ban Sharia law from Montana courts. SB 199 by Janna Taylor (R-TEA Datyon)

5. Force the secession of all federal public lands within MT borders from the United States government. SB 274 by Jennifer Fielder (TEA-Noxon)

6. Prohibit the state Board of Education from establishing math and reading standards. HB 376 by Debra Lamm (TEA-Livingston) and rescind any math and reading standards the state may already have established. HB 377 by same.

7. Prohibiting the use of technology for controlling human activity and outlaw the indoctrination of children for global citizenship. HB 583 by Randall Pinocci (TEA-Sun River)

8. Eliminate the ability of law enforcement to use animal shelter staff to assist in the rescue and sheltering of animals in cases of alleged animal cruelty and abuse, because animal shelter staff are probably terrorists.  HB 179  by Theresa Manzella (TEA-Ravalli County)

9. Allow hunting with silencers. HB 250 by Kirk Wagoner (R-TEA Jackson Creek)

10. Allow hunting of mountain lions and wolves with silencers. HB 450 by Kirk Wagoner (R-TEA Jackson Creek)

11. Legalize even more hunting with silencers SB 295. by Mark Blasdel (R-TEA Kalispell)

12. Legalize guns and rifles in school parking lots. HB 320 by Carl Glimm (R-TEA Ashley Lake)

13. Legalize guns and rifles in office parking lots. HB 505 the official title of which is “establish employee safe travel to work laws”, by Matthew Monforton (TEA-Bozeman)

14. Lift the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons in bars, parks, and schools. HB 371 by Rep. Kerry White (TEA-Bozeman)

15. Legalize guns on college campuses. by Rep. Cary Smith SB 143 (R-TEA Billings)

16. Allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon. HB 298   Bill Harris (R-Winnett)

17. Nullify all federal gun laws. HB 203 by Rep. Art Wittich (R-TEA Bozeman)

18. Encourage the manufacturing of ammunition to prevent a national shortage. HB 122 by Matthew Rosedale (R-TEA Glendive)

19. Allow anyone to refuse to vaccinate their children for any reason.  Amendment to HB 158 by Rep. Greg Hertz (R-TEA Polson)

20. Make it illegal to don a costume that would make it appear you might be naked or which includes a prosthetic anus. HB 365 by David “Doc” Moore (R-Missoula)

21. Prohibit the use of drones to spy on hunters or interfere with “post-hunting activities.” HB 278 by Jeff Essmann (R-TEA Billings)



GUEST POST: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Gather on Montana Horizon

By Anonymous

Like most Montanans, I looked at the looming legislative session with a certain sense of gloom…Little did I know.



HELENA, MONT.- Religious leaders in Montana today praised the first sign of the Second Coming, more commonly known as the Apocalypse.

“We knew our public servants in Christ would be part of the event, but never did we ever  imagine they’d lead it,” said booster club president Jeff Laszloffy at a Monday rally. Laszloffy and supporters had gathered to cheer the horsemen with signs emblazoned with:

“My vote punished man (and more importantly women and children)!”


“Honk if you’re ready to RAPTURE!”

Then, Representatives Art Wittich (Death*), Greg Hertz (Pestilence**) and Senators Fred Thomas (Hunger***), and Cary Smith (War****) emerged from a slightly sagging balloon arch to the ululation of the faithful as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Hertz and Thomas, the Horsemen of Pestilence and Hunger respectively, pledged this week that the will of the Lord would fall on Montanans first–and fall hard. Brandishing a 6-shot Colt pistol, the Horseman of War, Sen. Smith, punctuated his shouts of “Don’t restrict, RELOAD” with shots fired into the air.

“We did it,” Laszloffy whispered, a tear falling down one cheek.  It just goes to show you what we can expect when the power of true belief inspires public service. Plus now that the End Times are nigh upon us, Art Wittich doesn’t have to worry about going to jail.  Praised be His name.”


*Wittich is leading the fight against accepting the money to pay for health care for the working poor. According to the Montana Medical Association, 300 lives could be saved in Montana every year, if Medicaid expansion were passed. Wittich is also sponsoring a bill that is so illegal that, if passed, cause Montana to lose all funding Montana’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the program would be eliminated. HB 442

**Rep. Greg Hertz added an amendment making immunization optional to a bill that was intended to update Montana’s immunization requirements to the 20th century, if not the 21st. That bill is HB 158 

***Sen. Thomas is the sponsor of SB 206 which would take help buying food from thousands of needy kids, seniors, and people with disabilities.  The bill had no proponents.

****Sen. Cary Smith is sponsoring SB 143, a bill to allow guns on Montana college campuses.

*****Tom Burnett doesn’t appear to actually do anything except spout the cray-cray.  He gets honorable mention. Burnett has never passed a bill.


Big Rally in Helena Today to Derail ALEC Land Grab Nonsense

MTRALLYPOSTERMontanans from across the state are gathering in  Helena to oppose TEA Party Sen. Jennifer Fielder’s plans to takeover our public lands with SB 215 and a “package” of other such bills.

It’s ridiculous that the Lee Newspaper story on the land grab doesn’t even mention where Fielder got the idea, which is copied from a Utah state legislator named Ken Ivory and his “group” the American Lands Council.

Ivory has been touring around pushing the idea that states should condemn and sell of public land.  He says this will help pay off the national debt.   This is an ALEC boilerplate bill, of which there are several this session, 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 ridiculed across the U.S.  The Utah legislature’s own legal staff has said the idea is unconstitutional.

But that doesn’t stop those looking for ways to become the next Cliven Bundy or Robert. E. Lee–and since Fielder can’t figure out how to secede, she is hoping to spark a new sagebrush rebellion in the Montana legislature.

It’s also troubling that the Lee Newspapers article on this nonsense didn’t mention how the republican party distanced itself from the land grab during the 2014 elections, since the scheme is obviously extremely unpopular with Montanans.

The rally is expected to be one of the largest in recent memory.  Fielder isn’t pushing this because it’s the right thing for Montana.  She’s creating more TEA Party circus theatrics like the Bozeman Chronicle has already pointed out Rep. Art Wittich and Rep. Tom Burnett are guilty of:

Somewhere along the line, our state Legislature — or at least certain members of it — stopped deliberating on what is best for the state and turned the whole process into a stage for politicians to preen and prance in front of their base with absurd proposals that consume valuable time and money…..

We get it, Reps. Wittich and Burnett: Some of your constituents dislike and distrust the federal government. But is it really necessary to turn the Legislature into a circus sideshow to keep them happy? These measures aren’t going to be enacted, and even if they were, they are utterly unenforceable.

Let’s drop the theatrics and get to the state’s real business.

Bullock meme

Another glaringly ludicrous ALEC bill this session is Cary Smith’s SB 148, which is an almost verbatim version of the ALEC bill found here. The Florida ALEC “State Policy Network” affiliate Floridians for Government Accountability is also pushing a slew of boilerplate legislation designed to defeat medicaid expansion and crack down on the poor.


GOP Legislature Releases Mandatory Dress Code, Modesty Standard for Women

GOP also decrees:  Don’t get caught in fleece, jersey, or open-toed sandals

The TEA Party House Republican leadership of the 2015 legislature has issued a new edict, the first of its kind that I have seen.

Because they love freedom and personal liberty, they’ve issued a formal mandatory dress code for anyone who seeks to be allowed into the House floor.  Besides demanding “business formal” dress, the new decree calls on women to mind their necklines and skirt lengths.   House GOP leadership are empowered to police the new edict.

This important policy is written in all capital letters, of course, because what else would you  expect from world-class leaders.

Since this new dress code is not particularly clear, the Cowgirl Blog has provided a handy guide below.   After all, the dress code is not just for legislators but also for “LEGISLATIVE STAFF, MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA, INTERNS AND AIDES” who  “MUST ALSO ABIDE BY THIS POLICY IF ON THE FLOOR WHILE THE BODIES ARE GAVELED INTO SESSION.”

Once you see what’s in the dress code, it’s clear it is targeted at women–and probably reporters.  After all, reporters are really the only people who can access the house floor besides the legislators’ own staff–and a handful of high school “pages.”  Last session, reporters were required for the first time to get special permission or “passes” to be on the House Floor at all.  Then the next thing we know, the senate president is looking into evicting the Associated Press from its capital office. Now this. But let’s get right to the dress code. There are eight rules in the edict, however, rule #6 was not released and we must presume it is being kept secret for some reason.

UPDATE:  GOP Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen is now  blaming his staffer for the dresscode, as you can see in the Bozeman Chronicle article that just came out.

First,  women are ordered to be “SENSITIVE TO SKIRT LENGTHS AND NECKLINES.”

(No similar guidance was provided to men to be mindful of tight or sagging pants and hideously short eagle-carrying-an-assault-rifle-in-its-beak neckties.)

The dress code also bans leggings. The legging ban may be a dig at the young women of Skyview High School who are fighting a dress code policy that unfairly targets young women in Billings.

So leggings are out, as are open toed sandals.  However, under this dress code concealed carry holsters under beige suits with bolo ties would definitely be okay –at least once the legislature passes the obligatory “concealed carry for everyone” bill the TEA Party introduces every year. 


Next, I see that “FLEECE AND JERSEY (SWEATSHIRT) MATERIAL ARE NOT CONSIDERED “BUSINESS FORMAL.”  Somebody needs to tell the dudes that wrote this that jersey and sweatshirt material are two entirely different things, but alas until then the rule stands.  Jersey tops like this are banned:

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While this polyester number as shown on former TEA Party Sen. Joe Balyeat is just dandy:



It also appears that men and women are required to wear suits, or suit jackets at all times or, for women  “a suit-like dress” may be worn, whatever that is.  Unfortunately, that means some of the clothing worn by GOP lawmakers in their own official legislative photos does not meet the new code.

This attire on GOP Rep. Christie Clark is now banned:

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Rep. Christy Clark (R-Choteau)

Also banned would be any reporter who showed up to help inform the public dressed like this – as cardigans have been nixed:


While this garb (the closest thing I could find that might resemble the item supposedly known as a “suit-like dress,” and which ceased to be made 30 years ago) would be allowed:


suit-like dress


The dress code also specifies that “JEANS OR DENIM MATERIAL, INCLUDING COLORED DENIM, IS NOT ALLOWED.”  Which means the apparel worn by TEA Party Rep. Nancy Ballance would be banned:

Nancy Ballance


No mention is made of Colonel Sanders ties, but this must be an oversight and I expect further guidance on this Montana Legislature wardrobe staple soon (shown on former TEA Party Rep. Alan Hale).


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But it when it comes to requiring respectful behavior, there are some who would say this dress code appears to be geared more toward cracking down on women than on respectful behavior from men.

(I mean, it certainly would make everyone happier if men were more sensitive about the length of athletic shorts worn at the house/senate basketball game and if all Looney Tunes and Tasmanian devil ties were burned – but the dress code makes no mention of these.)

Instead of forcing backward modesty standards on women, here are some guidelines that the 64th Legislature would do better to adopt:

1. Legislators shall not refer to women as livestock, farm equipment, or household pets – and when debating a bill on breast cancer prevention, shall not berate their colleagues for supporting the “boob bill.”

2. Legislators shall take a breathalyzer test before they are allowed a vote, since they seem to think drug tests should be mandated on poor families.

3. High school pages shall be allowed to learn about the legislative process and not relegated to fetching 57 ice-cream sandwiches a day while being ogled creepily.

4. Legislators shall stop trying trying to hide their actions and true plans from the public and the press.

Bozeman Chronicle reporter Troy Carter tweeted a reaction from House minority whip Rep. Jenny Eck (D-Helena) this morning.  Eck said dems had nothing to do with the dress code.

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Twelve MT Lawmakers Call for Rounding Up and Arresting Federal Officials

by Cowgirl

Twelve Montana lawmakers are backing a bill to arrest any federal officials who try to implement the Affordable Care Act in Montana. The state legislators voiced their support for such a scheme in a survey from Ron Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty” TEA Party, on which they indicated they will either vote for or sponsor such a bill.

And what a group of legislators they are. Gordon Vance, Nancy Ballance, Cary Smith, David Howard, Kerry White, Sarah Lazloffy, Nicholas Schwaderer, Daniel Zolnikov,  Jerry O’Neil, Art Wittich and Mike Miller are all on record backing legislation to declare the Affordable Care Act illegal and to allow police to arrest federal officials who take steps to implement it in Montana.

These TEA partiers also say they support a nonsensical and unconstitutional dogma called “nullification” that holds that states can ignore the federal health care law–and other federal laws–if they choose. Two sitting lawmakers, Rep. Jerry O’Neil (RTEA-Columbia Falls) and Rep. David Howard (RTEA-Park City), both known imbeciles, were foolish enough to admit they would actually sponsor such legislation.

David Howard

Rep. David Howard has called for a new, modern-day Civil War and dedicated his entire Facebook page to racist, bigoted, bizarre and anti-gay posts. Republicans elected him Chair of the House Human Services Committee of the Montana Legislature.  He is running this year for a four-year term in the Montana state senate.

As Time Magazine reported in 2011 after TEA Party poster boy and perennial candidate Derek Skees began pushing the concept of nullification in the 2011 Bat Crap Crazy Montana legislature,

[N]ullification also has a controversial history. It was invoked by South Carolina lawmakers seething over tariff laws in the antebellum South, and again during the civil-rights era, when states opposed to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954 used the idea of interposition, nullification’s kissing cousin, as a mechanism to resist integration.

Out of over 200 candidates and legislators running for office this year, 34 loons answered the Campaign for Liberty questionnaire, as you can see here. Besides the twelve sitting legislators who back the arrest and nullification bill, an additional 18 candidates for the Montana state house committed to support it. Meanwhile six candidates went on record saying they will sponsor the legislation. Only four legislative candidates refused to answer or admitted they oppose the manhunts for federal health care officials.

Rep. Kerry White (RTEA-Bozeman) says he had hoped to join Cliven Bundy in his armed stand-of public employees in Nevada.

Rep. Kerry White (RTEA-Bozeman) says he had hoped to join Cliven Bundy in his armed stand-off against public employees in Nevada.

Every single one of these legislators and candidates should now be asked for specific explanations of why they support arresting anyone for implementing federal laws.

After all, the list of those up for arrest would be rather large.  All of the state’s navigators and certified application counselors are actually federal officials who have been given grants paid with federal dollars to sign people up for the Affordable Care Act. The biggest chunk of these officials are community health center, tribal clinic, and hospital employees. Additionally there are hundreds of insurance agents who were were certified to offer Affordable Care Act policies through the exchange using official federal funds and resources, and there are hundreds more state public employees whose work to implement the federal health care law is paid for with federal funds and required under federal statute.

Jerry O'Neil

Rep. Jerry O’Neil, RTEA- Columbia Falls says public beatings will save taxpayer money.

As of this posting, the legislators have not said whether the penalty for these hospital and health care workers would be jail time and fines or “humane whippings,” as Rep. Jerry O’Neil as previously proposed.