…Roger Koopman and Bob Lake. For voting in the legislature to repeal the privacy rights of women and then for voting in the PSC to make the salaries of utility company CEO’s a secret (citing privacy concerns), Lake and Koopman are this week’s clear winners.
…Roger Koopman. The honor is well-deserved.
While running for a seat on the Public Service Commission, Koopman demanded that fellow Republicans be “sanctioned” for calling him “ineffective and divisive”. He then used the first PSC meeting to vote against the PSC’s own legislative proposals–bills his fellow Republicans unanimously supported.
As the Bozeman Chronicle reported:
After one day on the job, Public Service Commissioner Roger Koopman cast the lone unfavorable votes on two PSC-sponsored bills headed to the Montana Legislature.
Koopman voted against a bill that his fellow GOP commissioners believed would fix flaws in an existing program–flaws that would force utility companies to waste money. He said he’s against fixing the problems because to do so would imply support for clean energy, which he called ”anti-market, anti-consumer and anti-freedom.”
But the hypocrisy didn’t end there.
Koopman had campaigned on what he called a ”no show, no dough” platform, saying if you don’t show up you don’t get paid. (His opponent had attended some PSC meetings by phone so he could care for his wife, who has MS.) While the other commissioners agreed to talk about their legislation at the next meeting, Koopman told them he wouldn’t be showing up. Seems he can’t even make it to the second meeting.
…Steve Daines, whose speech at the RNC lionized his ancestor as not being “Saved by Government” when that ancestor received a huge government handout in the form of a homestead under a federal program called the Homestead Act.
In his speech to the GOP faithful, Daines told a story about how his great-great-grandmother’s tombstone read “Saved by Grace” and certainly did not read “Saved by Government.” Zing! Daines became so excited by the story himself he forgot which generation a Montanan he was claiming to be. 5th? 6th? Too exciting to worry about it, I guess.
The faces of the Montana GOPers in the crowd are flush with ecstasy over Daines’ tale of government aid. As they pump their fists in the air, there is no trace of comprehension of how ridiculous they appear for missing the irony. Instead, one sees only joy and delirium.
It takes a special kind of hypocrite to trumpet government programs in a speech railing against government programs. And that’s why Steve Daines deserves such a special award. Get back out there on that yacht and celebrate Mr. Daines. As you pound down the martinis and coconut shrimp, don’t waste a thought on how today’s GOP would treat your great-great-grandmother, an impoverished, immigrant widow with seven children.
Mr. Daines first revealed his hypocrisy to Montana voters when he said that we need more transparency in Congress. If Daines really wants more transparency in Congress, he should probably remove himself from the Montana house race.
Here’s what happened. Responding to Kim Gillan’s call for Montana’s next Member of Congress to pledge that they will place their assets in Blind Trust to avoid ethical conflicts of interest in Congress, a Daines spokesperson said in the Billings Gazette that Congress need to focus on “the real issues of increasing transparency.”
But even the briefest glance at Daines’ background reveals that Steve Daines is not really a big transparency fan.Take the two $10,000 donations Daines collected for his political action committee (PAC) called the “Daines Montana Victory Committee.”
The law says that Daines must report the occupation and employer of his PAC’s donors. However, months have passed since Daines received the cash and he still hasn’t made that information public. That’s what makes him an award winning hypocrite.
The checks came from a Sid Greehy and a Sam Tallis, who both claimed 214 Main Street in Scobey, Montana, as their address. This same address is listed as belonging to the Shale Exploration Oil Company, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. An internet search shows that Greehy is the CEO of the Shale Exploration and Tallis is the Texas company’s president. Neither Greehey or Tallis were found in a search of Montana voting registration records.
Of course this isn’t the first time Daines has hidden his financial backers from Montanans. Back in 2007, Daines started a shadow 501(c)4 organization that attacked the Governor Schweitzer for being fiscally conservative. When asked in the Billings Gazette to disclose who was funding his front group, Daines declined:
“Daines has declined to reveal who’s funding the group or how much it has spent, and he said GiveItBack.com will disclose whatever is required under the law.”
…a right-wing group calling itself “Montanans Against Assisted Suicide. This is the group that is fighting to revoke the right of terminally ill patients to request aid in dying from their physicians.
You see, GOP-ers are always trying to say that they oppose the Affordable Care Act because “it puts a bureaucrat between you and your doctor.” Meanwhile, its minions at the so-called “Montanans Against Assisted Suicide” are fighting to insert politicians and crackpots into that relationship at every turn.
Basically, these guys can’t win in Montana. We’re a state that doesn’t want the government deciding what health care is best for us. At all.
They’ve lost at the Montana Supreme Court level. They lost at the state legislative level–even in the Bat Crap Crazy Legislative Session of 2011. The general public in Montana wants access to aid in dying—and wants these decisions to be between doctors and patients. And now they’ve lost with the Montana Board of Medical Examiners. They’ve got no game. So they’re reduced to making litigious threats against doctors and the non-profit group Compassion & Choices, as you can see from this bucket of crazy. People that want to control other people’s lives get very frustrated when they’re not allowed to do it. This is what that frustration looks like.
The fact that these guys are so frustrated is a testament to the people of Montana. Government has no business coming between citizens and their end-of-life decisions. And so, for continuing to attempt exactly what the critics of “Obamacare” claim to worry about most: forcing the government between a patient and a doctor–this group is the Montana GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
But don’t feel too bad, “Montanans Against Assisted Suicide.” This hypocrisy is just as embarrassing for the GOP as it is for you.
While defending Citizens United in the Lee papers, Rehberg said that rather than overturning the ruling, “the correct response is strong laws requiring those who spend money on elections to report their spending.”
“I believe that every single dime ought to be accounted for,” Rehberg said during a June 16 debate in Big Sky, Mont. “It ought to be disclosed from dollar one, within 24 hours on the Internet.”
I guess when Rehberg says “disclosed,” he’s talking about his own ability as someone who matters to make sure he gets information about who is donating to his opponents. When the Congressman wants to hide his backers, disclosure doesn’t apply. Just last month, after Rehberg failed to file his last fundraising report on time, the Federal Elections Commisssion sent him this warning.
Earlier this year, Rehberg was caught hiding some $25,000 he took from lobbyists in 2011. As the Associated Press reported, “It turns out Rehberg has been taking donations from some lobbyists without disclosing their place of employment.” Probably his dog ate the list of corporate lobbyists so they could not be reported.
Rehberg was endorsed by the organization Citizens United last fall. He’s benefitted from millions of dollars in secretive special interest money thanks to the controversial ruling.
…TEA Party Republican Rep. Janna Taylor has passed the official GOP legislator’s fit for duty exam. (No, a drug test was not involved.) Taylor says that what’s wrong for everybody else is very very right for her.
I’m talking of course about government money. Rep. Taylor is the number one recipient of government farm subsidy cash in the Montana Legislature. In fact, Taylor, one of Montana’s loudest and proudest Tea Partiers, and also the Montana House whip, has collected $1,000,000 over the last 10 years in federal cash farm subsidies, according to recently released figures.
But her campaign has a good defense. It goes something like this: “Well somebody had to take the money–the government keeps advertising it.” Principles to live by.
In a letter to the editor in the Missoulian recently, Taylor writes:
“Interestingly, as we try to remove land from the CRP, the federal government is advertising for more to be put in. The other programs are set up to decrease food costs for the public.”
Taylor’s been on the dole to the tune of a 100 grand annually for the last decade. Do we expect her to let that kind of cash fall off the money tree, hit the ground, and rot?
In the past, Taylor had written to voters that government spending concerned her because she was ”worried about the debt we leave our children.” But in her most recent missive, she’s just worried about getting the government cash for her own son:
“Now our son, a fourth-generation farmer, is working to keep us in agriculture. That’s not easy when our property taxes over there are over $28,000 yearly, workers’ comp, payroll, seed, fertilizer, fuel and the list of costs goes on and on. We pray he succeeds. Agriculture is the backbone of America.”
And hypocrisy is the backbone of the Montana Republican Party. Pat yourself on the back Rep. Taylor. You’ve wowed us once again.
…Republican state legislators David Howard and Champ Edmunds.
Rep. Champ Edmunds is a father of two who says the Bible is his favorite book and hosts a Bible study group at his home. Rep. David Howard is a married mouthbreather who compares poor people to animals.
But there is one thing they have in common. They both enjoyed a donkey porn video enough to share it on their Facebook pages. Here are the screenshots. Looks like Judge Nels Swandal is also “in.” Swandal is the Livingston conservative judge who made the news recently for some questionable behavior.
And so, for using their Facebook pages to lecture others on morality and family values, and then using those same Facebook pages to post donky porn, these elected officials are the lucky winners of the Montana Cowgirl Blog GOP Hypocrite of the Week Awards.
Reps. Howard and Edmunds, take some time to celebrate your awards, but please, keep any records of the celebratory activity you choose to yourselves.