Tag Archives: Tea Party Caucus

The Montana TEA Party Hypocrite of the Week Award Goes To…

Cyndi Baker (left) and Rep. Cleve Loney R-Great Falls (right) at a TEA Party Rally in Great FallsGreat Falls City Commission candidate Cyndi Baker, who campaigned against school district spending, then turned around and sought a district paycheck.

But it’s worse then that, as the Great Falls Tribune reports, Baker tried to threaten the local government for taxpayer funded payola in the form of a position as “ombudsman” to the local TEA Party anti-government activists. Here’s how the threat worked.   Baker  had been complaining for some time that it was “illegal” for district employees to criticize her opposition to district funding.  Baker said if she were hired, she’d keep the “illegal” activity quiet.  She did not explain how the proposed ombudsman position would work with people who are divorced from reality.

As the Tribune reports, while the district’s criticism may not have been flattering to Baker, there was nothing illegal about it.  What the Tribune didn’t report is that Baker is the leader and spokesperson for the Great Falls TEA Party. Apparently Ms. Statue of Liberty (Baker’s preferred costume when at TEA Party rallies) is engaged to TEA Party Republican legislator Cleve Loney (who prefers to dress as George Washington, among other things, as you can see from this KRTV video).

So there you have it folks.  Another city commission candidate seeking your vote as a platform to spew right wing nonsense in public meetings, in the newspapers and on our airwaves.


Koch Brothers Caught Bankrolling Iran…and Dennis Rehberg

The Koch Brothers—best known for using their billions to launch the TEA Party—are all over the news again this week.

In case you missed it, Koch Industries reportedly sold millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to Iran.  Yes, Iran.  The nation we officially consider a global sponsor of terrorism.

So what’s wrong with making a few bucks off of a state sponsor of terrorism?  Nothing really, if you’re a Big Oil billionaire.  All you have to do is ignore some rules, like the one that bans U.S. companies from trading with Iran in the name of national security.

Where are all the ticked off TEA Party Patriots now?  Too busy shrugging?

So is Montana’s only member of the congressional TEA Party Caucus.  After all, Dennis Rehberg has accepted $8,500 in campaign donations from Koch Industries.  And he has supported the agenda of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Brothers’ secretive political organization, 90 percent of the time.

Dennis Rehberg’s ties to the Koch Brothers doesn’t end there.  According to public records, Rehberg has paid $22,000 to the consulting firm 47 North Communications for “campaign management fees” so far this cycle.

47 North Communications is run by Rehberg’s former state director (and Rehberg boat “accident” survivor) Dustin Frost, and Jake Eaton.

If you’re like most people and tend to forget Jake Eaton, you probably won’t remember that way back in 2009, he used to work for a whacko anti health reform group called “Patients First,” which was bankrolled by… you guessed it… Americans for Prosperity.

Now Dennis Rehberg and others associated with the Koch Brothers and Americans for Prosperity can also call themselves “Americans for Iran’s Prosperity.”

Tsk Tsk.

Bloom is Coming Off the Tea Party’s Rose

They were a national sensation, but they are fading away one by one. The crazy bills that the Montana GOP introduced upon taking office–encouraging global warming, funding militias, giving sheriffs autonomy over the federal government, and many more–in the Montana legislature have slowly and quietly been killed by the GOP leadership, which had to face the stark reality that if they didn’t do something to extinguish the craziness, they would do additional damage, additional to the already permanent damage that the Tea nuts have done to the Montana GOP.

If you think it’s not permanent, check Denny Rehberg’s numbers. He’s tanked. He shot his mouth off last fall, about how he’s a Tea Partier. He joined the Tea Party Caucus. Then in February, stupidly thinking that Tea was something more than an idiotic fad of the moment, he showed up at a joint session of the legislature to deliver one of the angriest, fringe speeches ever recorded in the chamber. Now, with the help of the Tea Party’s notorious craziness in the legislature which has left a bad taste in Montana’s mouth, Rehberg’s association with this movement has brought his job approval down to the 40s, for the first time in many years. Months ago, polling had Rehbherg with a strong lead against Tester. Now they are dead even.

Tea, anyone?

Right-Wing Editor of the Daily Inter Lake is Way Far Gone

Are people paying real money for the Flathead Daily Inter Lake?A week after writing an editorial in which he offered an impassioned defense of birthers, birther bills and the birther movement, Frank Miele–the ultra-right-wing editor of the Flathead Daily Inter Lake–has outdone himself.

Miele’s latest column takes aim at the “far left wing Associated Press” and the AP’s state-wide profile last week about the Tea Party.  That story gave a fairly benign description of all of the bills and proposals that the Tea Party has pushed forward in the legislature.

Laments Miele:

“I wish I could go through the entire story with you, and highlight all of the unfair reporting, but it would just take too long.”

What’s really hilarious (or absolutely frightening) about Miele is how far gone he is.  He cites this paragraph in AP reporter  Matt Gouras’s article…

“With each bill, newly elected Tea Party lawmakers are offering Montanans a vision of the future.  Their state would be a place where officials can ignore U.S. laws, force FBI agents to get a sheriff’s OK before arresting anyone, ban abortions, limit sex education in schools and create armed citizen militias”

…as the “only fair reporting in the AP article.” In other words, Miele agrees with everything in the above paragraph.

What upsets Miele is that Mr. Gouras goes on to suggest that a number of Montanans are turned off by the agenda described above.  The nerve of the AP to make such a suggestion. Miele says he sees nothing wrong with abortion bans, states’ rights, nullification and militias.  Miele sees all of these items as totally reasonable, and he is outraged the the Associated Press would presume to write an article suggesting that any portion of Montana should be turned off by these elements of the Tea Party agenda.

This guy Miele is half a sandwich shy of a picnic, and no progressive in the Flathead Valley should ever pay 50 cents for the Flathead Interlake. Read it online, and then only for the entertainment value.

Nutjob Bills in the Montana Legislature

For your reading pleasure, here are some of the major pieces of legislation that have been put forward by the Tea Party Republicans who are now in control of the legislature.  This is not a joke. These are real bills, and they are currently taking priority in the Montana legislature.  Enjoy.

Welcome to the land of nutters, the Montana Legislature.

1.  Legalize hunting with hand-thrown spear (Senate Bill 112)

2.  Create fully-armed militia in every town (House Bill 278)

3.  Allow legislators to carry weapons in the Capitol (Senate Bill 279)

4.  Create an 11 person panel with authority to nullify all federal laws (House Bill 382)

5   Allow guns in schools (House Bill 558)

6.  Eliminate educational requirements for persons seeking job of State Superintendent of Schools (HB 154)

7.  Lift nuclear ban for purpose of building a nuclear reactor in the Flathead Valley (House Bill 326)

8.  Withdraw the United States of America from the United Nations (Senate Joint Resolution 2)

9.  Eliminate all state incentives for developing wind power (House Bill 244)

10. Omit Barack Obama’s name from the 2012, ballot because his father was born outside of America (House Bill 205)(this guy was on CNN this week)

11. Compulsory marriage counseling for people seeking a divorce (House Bill 438)

12. Give sheriffs authority over the federal government in terror investigations (Senate Bill 114)

13. Legalize hunting with silencers (House Bill 174)

14. Lift the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons in bars, churches and banks (House Bill 384)

15. Eliminate law that requires landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors (House Bill 354)

16. Require the federal government to prove in court that the National Parks were lawfully acquired. (House Bill 506)

17. Officially designate the “Code of the West” as the “Code of Montana” (Senate Bill 216)

UPDATE: 18.  Declare that global warming is good. (House Bill 549)

h/t RastaMon for this photo.

Some Questions On the Montana GOP’s Militia Proposal

Tim Ravndal kindly shared with the rest of the world last night the real meaning of Wendy Warburton’s  (R-Havre)  HB 278.

Why do we need a militia?  What’s wrong with the Montana National Guard?  Does Warburton have a personal hatred of the Havre outpost?

The conspiracy theory crowd believe that President Obama has activated a “private army” and that the law authorizing this was “hidden in the Health Care Bill,” is this why Warburton is bringing the bill forward?

Is this because our President is a black man?  What IS the deal with all the ties between Montana militia groups and white supremacists?

Who Did Rehberg Spend SOTU ‘Date Night’ With? Teabaggers!

For Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, Montana’s millionaire Congressman was one of the few members of Congress who thought it best to sit with his right-wing buddies instead of reaching across the aisle.

Rehberg at the State of the Union Speech...is that Alexander and Scalise he's sitting next to?Look closely at this photo, and you’ll see Dennis Rehberg (upper left, holding a sheet of paper) sandwiched between Congressmen Steve Scalise and Rodney Alexander, both Republicans from Louisiana, and both fellow members of the Tea Party Caucus.

After Dennis Rehberg refused to participate in the spirit of bipartisanship this week, he did admit the seating arrangement was a “big hit.”  Montana’s two Democratic senators, by the way, sat with Republicans.

But when asked by KECI, Rehberg tried to downplay the issue, saying he doesn’t think the seating chart should get so much publicity.  Maybe not, but if you don’t believe in bipartisanship, you’re going to need a better excuse than this:

“Frankly most of the conversations in Washington aren’t necessarily Republican versus Democrat.  What we find is urban versus rural.”

Really?  Maybe that’s why Rehberg voted twice against New York City’s 9/11 emergency responders.  And it looks he’s having a tough time trying to explain those votes, and his lawsuit against Billings firefighters, to Montanans these days…

TEA Party Republican Legislator Explains His Opposition to Improving Access to Voting

The Billings Gazette reported this week that the bill by Secretary of State Linda McCulloch to allow for statewide voting by mail is advancing with bipartisan support.  But one Republican who voted against the proposal was Derek Skees (R-TEA Whitefish Kalispell).

In the House State Admin committee on January 24, Skees explained his opposition, which is transcribed below:

I’m all about getting out the vote, but I think getting out the vote is an educational component, not a easing down to the least common denominator and allowing everybody who is a procrastinator to vote. To vote is one of our sacred duties in this Republic, and it is something that those of us that consistently do it take it deadly serious.

We’ll make sure that our registration is up to date that our precinct numbers is up to date, and we’ll make sure that the county has our addresses up to date.

We’ll follow the issue, go to every single one of the forums and we’ll vet our candidates and have a really good decision before the primary and before the general elections.

Those are the people who should vote. We should educate everybody to think and behave that way because it is such an august responsibility for us to do it.  All we’re doing is dropping it down to people who vote on one issue, and they are not fully informed on other issues.

And we’re making it easier for the less informed to vote. I would like to improve the less informed, but I think we should do it through education, not by dumbing down the electoral process. With that in mind, I intend to vote against this bill.

Mr. Skees, I hate to break it to you, but uninformed voters are the very folks who put you in office.

Other Republicans who voted against the bill include:  Reps. Gerald Bennett of Libby; Joanne Blyton of Joliet; Dan Kennedy of Laurel; James Knox of Billings (by proxy); and Tom McGillvray of Billings.

T.E.A. Party’s Number One Earmarker Campaigns Against Earmarks on Taxpayer’s Dime

Here we see what looks like a pretty typical piece of sleazy campaign literature: An oversized, glossy, mailer touting the evils of earmarks.  But the first problem is that it is from Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg, Citizens Against Government Waste’s Number One Porking Earmarker in Congress.

Now take a closer look.   It’s not a piece of campaign literature, it’s a piece of congressional franking–paid for with our taxpayer dollars.   Not only is it a clear violation of the spirit of the franking rules, if not the law itself, but it is the embodiment of wasteful government spending to campaign against wasteful spending on the taxpayers’ dime.

Indeed, Rehberg’s ethical indiscretions have been raising eyebrows and filling mailboxes for years. There’s a pretty blurry line between what is or is not a legitimate use of franking privilege, but just the message alone here makes this one cross it by a mile.

Rehberg Abuses Franking Privilege1Rehberg Abuses Franking Privilege2

View both sides of FrankingPrivilege here.

Rehberg’s Earmark Hypocrisy Causes Rumblings in Montana T.E.A. Party

It appears that not all TEA party members in Montana blindly accept that Denny Rehberg is really for controlling spending, after this article came out revealing that members of the so-called Congressional TEA party caucus had taken more than $1 billion in earmarks.

“It’s disturbing to see the Tea Party Caucus requested that much in earmarks. This is their time to put up or shut up, to be blunt,” said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste. “There’s going to be a huge backlash if they continue to request earmarks.”

A Montana TEA party member posted the article on the Montana Shrugged Facebook page and this discussion followed: