Political Gossip, Satire, and Analysis from MT's Capital City "…a viral sensation…"–Markos Moulitsas, Daily Kos "Among the best state-based political blogs in the nation."–Washington Post "MT Cowgirl gets more scoops than anyone. The online voice of the left in Montana." –Billings Gazette
Montanans got a scare when an article written a few weeks ago went viral quoting Michelle Bachmann as saying that she is moving to Montana.
During the debate leading up to the Marriage Equality Act that recently passed in the Minnesota Legislature, reportedly had Bachmann pronounced that if the measure passed and gays could marry legally in her state, she and her husband would leave Minnesota so as to “escape the new Sodom and Gomorah,” meaning Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Sadly for Montana bloggers (but luckily for Montana residents), this “article” turned out to be satire.
It’s easy to see why so many took it for the truth.
One can easily imagine Bachmann settling down in the Flathead Valley, to join her soulmates like Chuck Baldwin, Derek Skees, Tim Baldwin, Rollan Roberts II, John Trochmann and company; and to be near places like the Pinehaven Ranch, a boarding school which uses corporal punishment. Perhaps she would send her kids there. She might also enjoy hanging with the occasional skinhead. And in the legislature, she could pal around with Krayton Kerns, who once wrote that an Obama-induced Armageddon is imminent, along with a mass extinction of most humans but a repopulating of Montana by people who can shoot their own meat.
If she were to relocate here, certainly a run for office would not be far off, perhaps even US Senate in 2014.
At any rate, Bachmann bemoaning the sodomites descending upon her in Minnesota is a little too realistic to immediately strike one as satirical.
Bachmann and her husband remind me of the people who packed up their cars in a panic and fled to the countryside on the night of October 30, 1938, when they heard Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast and mistook it for an actual invasion by Martians. Montana needs fewer of these people, not more.Tweet
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.
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.
A TEA Party candidate from Whitefish has gotten in on the illegal money game. Tim Baldwin, son of Chuck Baldwin, is seeking to replace Derek Skees for the Whitefish House Seat. As you can see from this screenshot of Baldwin’s campaign finance report, the TEA Partier has taken two donations well above the $160 limit.
There is no known tally of how much illegal money has made its way into Montana legislative races across Montana. Check the Office of Political Practices reports to see if your local candidates have taken illegal donations.
A bizarre mail piece appeared in Whitefish arguing that voters should support Tim Baldwin for legislature because he wrote one of the worst nutjob bills of the 2011 session.
The piece actually brags about Baldwin’s work to write HB 414, one of the infamous nullification bills, an idea so nutty it made national news. As TIME magazine reported in its profile of Montana’s wacky bills, nullification has a sinister 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.
Like nullification fanboy Derek Skees, (R-TEA) who currently holds the HD 4 seat Baldwin is running for, Baldwin is a states-rights fanatic. He believes that the fifty states individually can, should and must override federal law when they please. He admittedly does not recognize the supremacy clause of the US Constitution, saying it is a tool of “socialist and nationalist ideologues” designed to bring “state annihilation.”
The concept of nullification was a key feature of the most extreme legislature in Montana history–nearly a dozen bills to declare federal authority “null and void” or unenforceable in Montana were introduced by Republicans during the 2011 session. Gov. Brian Schweitzer in his veto of this particular nullification bill, HB 414, wrote:
“The 2011 Legislature may best be remembered for its efforts to “nullify” numerous federal laws and set records for the greatest number of unconstitutional bills in a legislative session -as identified by its own legal staff.”
A Whitefish TEA Party Republican is arguing that laws against domestic violence are unconstitutional. This is because they discriminate against heterosexuals, Tim Baldwin says. Baldwin, who hopes to replace Derek Skees in the race for Whitefish’s House District 4, made this argument in court today as the attorney for a man charged with domestic violence.
“The state can no more discriminate against the heterosexual class of persons than it can discriminate against the homosexual class of persons similarly situated,” Baldwin wrote. “Were the [Partner and Family Member Assault laws] to enhance penalties only against homosexual partners, it would be facilely unconstitutional…”
Based on this argument, the Lincoln County justice court judge dismissed the domestic violence charge. The state of Montana has appealed.
Baldwin and his father Chuck Baldwin are featured in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s recent Intelligence Report, which focuses on the recent uptick in extremist activity in Kalispell and the Flathead. In the article “A Gathering of Eagles: Extremists Look to Montana” the SPLC details the activities of the various far-right movements and their leaders, including Chuck and Tim Baldwin.
Tim Baldwin took issue with the report on the TEA Party blog PolyMontana, saying that he is not a racist:
“Some of my closest friends are of African descent. The same can be said of Chuck Baldwin.”
A local Republican penned an opinion piece about some of the problems with Baldwin in today’s Bigfork Eagle. The author writes that he doesn’t find Tim Baldwin to have “a moral compass or common sense. This makes his Republican status irrelevant, and I hope it makes him unelectable.”
Baldwin is running against Vietnam War veteran and forestry consultant Ed Lieser.
TEA Party Republican Tim Baldwin has authored a book to explain his belief that Christian people need not submit to secular laws. Baldwin is a self-styled bible fanatic and lawyer that specializing in using the bible to find loopholes that allow True Believers to break the law. You need simply believe that the government is evil to do so.
If you believe that parking meters are a tyrannical conspiracy theory to prevent Christian people from getting a good parking space–you need not feed them. If you believe parking tickets are the faceless hand of government’s way of depriving the Godly of funds they were surely going to donate to orphanages–you need not pay. If you believe stem cell research is murder–you need not obey the government that prohibits murdering the scientists behind it.
The entire interview can be seen below. Baldwin is running for the Democratic-leaning Whitefish house seat formerly held by TEA Party Republican Derek Skees. Baldwin will face either Tom Muri or Ed Lieser depending on who wins the Democratic primary for this race.
A Flathead area property owner is taking on Republican Rep. Janna Taylor for paying less than 20 bucks in property tax for lakeshore property and raking in over a million dollars in federal farm subsidies. In fact, the TEA Partier is the number one recipient of government farm subsidy cash in the Montana Legislature.
Anne Marie Semsak, in a well-written letter in the Missoulian this week writes:
It is a matter of public record that Rep. Janna Taylor owns 15 acres, including 660 feet of Flathead lakeshore property, near Rollins, for which she pays $19 annual property tax, plus a little over $2,000 for the improvements on the land – house, dock and outbuildings. Her taxable value is $400,031.
We own 4.87 acres with 180 feet of lakeshore with two older houses and a mobile home. Our taxable value is $1,064,136.
Taylor is a state legislator, entrusted to fairly serve her district. She lists “rancher” on her biographical information, but their ranch is in central Montana, far from this legislative district. I have not seen “cherry farmer” on any of her information. One could conclude that she is taking advantage of the agricultural exemption, and I find this disturbing.
Taylor made waves in the Montana legislature for her hypocrisy in government spending and her statement that the death penalty is needed to address prisoner spitballs. Taylor is running for the Montana Senate against incumbent Sen. Carmine Mowbray (R-Polson) in the June 5 primary elections.
Tim Baldwin (R-Crackpot) Running in Derek Skees’ footsteps for Whitefish House Seat
Whitefish residents thrilled to find TEA Party Republican Derek Skees aiming for statewide office and abandoning his legislative seat are re-thinking their good cheer. That’s because TEA Party Republican Tim Baldwin, son of Chuck Baldwin, is running in his place. Baldwin is basically Skees with a law degree + uber-religious conservative + has dad with ties to the white supremacy movement–a truly scary thing.
In the video below, Baldwin discusses his theory on why true Christians don’t need to follow the law if they decide they don’t like the evil government:
Elizabeth Best Campaign Ad Up
Montana candidate for Supreme Court Elizabeth Best has a campaign ad up. Here it is: Tweet
Chuck Baldwin dropped out of the Governor’s race. But the end-times conspiracy theorist pastor isn’t done meddling in Montana politics. Baldwin is a TEA Partier who recently moved from Florida to Montana because he thinks it is “The Alamo of the twenty-first century.”
Now, Baldwin and his fellow TEA Partiers are after legislative seats–including the one currently occupied by Republican Party leader Bruce Tutvedt. Tutvedt went around shrieking about government handouts while raking in $640,000 in farm subsidies, so it’s not surprising that the TEA Party is going after him.
Baldwin calls Tutvedt a “neanderthal” among other things. As the Flathead Memo reports, Baldwin’s been pumping up Tutvedt’s opponent. Pyramid scheme marketer Rollan Roberts II, a member Baldwin’s congregation, is now primarying Tutvedt.
Perhaps one reason Baldwin is getting so excited about Rollan Roberts II’s race is that, well, he has to be. After all, Rollan Roberts II stepped aside and filed in a different district so that Baldwin’s own son, Tim Baldwin, could run in the open Whitefish house seat vacated by Derek Skees.
The Baldwinites had previously made a big charge at the Flathead Valley Community College board with a slate of TEA Party candidates–including Baldwin Junior–and got their asses handed to them.Tweet
Hate-monger Chuck Baldwin says the movement is God’s work:
“I really believe God is doing something in the Flathead Valley!”
It is true that in 2010, Montana saw a temporary increase in extreme right politician political activity, and Baldwin’s crew is clearly hoping that trend will continue:
Last year, local racist groups began reserving a room at the Kalispell library to show Holocaust denial films. In November, Flathead voters elected a Tea Partier to a state House seat who wore a Confederate flag jacket to a Memorial Day parade, and who maintains that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights, not slavery.
This year saw an apparent attempt by a right-wing cabal to wrest control of the Flathead Valley Community College Board of Trustees. One of the candidates was Tim Baldwin, a son of Chuck Baldwin. Another was an engineer and atmospheric physicist who doesn’t believe climate change is caused by humans. Another backed legislation that would give county sheriffs authority usurping that of the federal government—a concept derived from the Posse Comitatus.