Long-time Helena leader Kelsen Young (pictured) says she’s running for office because she believes “we need more strong, independent and progressive voices at the State Legislature.” So true.
Bangerter is a Republican first-term legislator campaigning for re-election to Helena’s House District 80. She was elected to represent a liberal district by pretending to be a moderate. Then, she turned out to be one of the most conservative GOPers out there. Bangerter voted for Derek Skees’ unconstitutional scheme to create an eleven person panel to nullify federal laws and voted to allow hunting with silencers. Worse, she actually sponsored the bill to legalize insurance company discrimination against women.
It turns out that Bangerter actually serves on ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force. For those of you not familiar with ALEC, here’s the deal. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators like Bangerter exact changes to the law they want passed.
What kind of bills? Often these are changes to the laws that will make the corporations more money. They are also often bills that the GOP will introduce only to attack Democrats in the next election, based on their votes. The pre-drafted ALEC bills are all wrapped up with neat little talking points and press releases so the legislator doesn’t actually need any brain cells.
Besides legislators like Bangerter, only corporations have full membership standing in ALEC. Corporations sit on all ALEC task forces–like the one Bangerter is on. The corporations vote with legislators to approve “model” bills–the only difference is that the corporations get veto power over any legislator ideas.
And so, Bangerter is one of the last people we need making Montana laws. Thankfully, with a top quality candidate like Kelsen in the race, it looks like Bangerter’s is one more seat that the Republicans won’t be keeping.