So politics needs to be fun, it needs to be sexy, and it needs to make people stand in line like they will be for that new Star Wars movie.
How can that be done?
I really liked the approach Mark Levine had when I first heard his radio show one day this past summer.
But this is America, and here we can say what we think…can’t we?
That’s great, but I’m not sure it does all that good. I mean, you can see a lot of people saying what they want, and it makes it so no one wants to listen to ‘em. Hell, maybe I’m one.
Regardless, I think it’s appropriate that we assign ‘pet names’ to our 2015 Montana Legislative characters. These will be the names I refer to these folks as for the entirety of the session, unless something monumental happens or they change course or just stop acting like…well, the way they do.
It takes a lot of thought to come up with these names, and I welcome your suggestions. Remember, from 2008 to 2013 I was out of the country, so a lot of the Montana political names you might know and love/hate, I might be a little clueless on.
So if someone got caught boffing the maid or there’s an illegal in the closet, then gosh darn, we might have to give them a better name.
Until then, here’s your 2015 Montana Legislative line-up:
Montana Senate President
Debby Barrett’s got a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Montana and a 0% from the Montana Environmental Information Center. MEA-MFT gives her an 8%, as does just about every other education association and such. Montana Human Rights Network gives her 15%.
She does have 75% approval rating from the Montana Contractors’ Association.
She voted against pay raises for state workers, she voted against teacher’s retirement, she voted against Montana. The NRA gives here 92%. She voted for SB 405, which would repeal same-day voter registration. In 2012 she failed the Political Courage Test.
This woman is a real piece of work, let me tell you. And people think the Republicans want to work with Bullock? Shit.
So what should we call this woman? The Dragon, Old Yellow, Madame Sell-Out, the Tongue that Likes the Boot?
My Choice: Madame Sell-Out
I’m going to have to go with Ripley’s Believe It or Not for this guy, mainly because anytime there’s some kind of compromise, some kind of moving the chains forward, we’ll know it came from compromise.
Yeah, fucking believe it or not! And that might really depend on how you dissect his voting record as well. There really are some oddities there. We’ll see what happens, but I bet it’ll be frightful at times, to say the least.
Senate Majority Leader
And his voting record and endorsement record probably won’t either. Hell, if you want to know about this guy, just go to the other Montana blogs like MT Cowgirl or Intelligent Discontent – I’m sure they’ve got reams of crap on this guy.
Me? I’ve never heard of him until this primary this year. So I can’t really point to his accomplishments, his record of service or anything else that’s worth bragging about.
On the same token, I can’t really point out his incompetent legislative decisions, his blunders in public, or those times when he put his foot in his mouth.
I just don’t know enough to speculate on those things, so I choose not to. But that doesn’t mean we can’t give him a name. How about Runner-Up, since he came in #3 in the 2014 U.S. House Primary?
Senate President Pro Tempore
And what shall we call him? I’m leaning toward “De-Reg Dumb-Ass,” myself.
A President Pro Tempore is a fancy name for the guy that fills in for the Senate President when they’re gone. What else do they do? Beats the hell out of me.
And that’s why Eric Moore is such a good candidate for this position – because there’s really no importance to it at all. Did I mention this is where future GOP leaders could come from?
And what shall we call this member of the GOP leadership team in the 2015 Montana Legislature? How about Midnight Cowboy.
Senate Majority Whips
Guess we better go easy on him. I’m going with Lassie, considering he was an emergency responder and rescue driver. Hopefully he can warn us when trouble’s coming.
So how does he vote? Well, pretty damn conservatively, you can be sure of that, and maybe with God too, for good measure. He did introduce the anti-science sex-education bill, which, with a name like that, has gotta be goddamn dumb.
It’s just come to me, perhaps in a moment of Divine Inspiration, but I do believe we have go with God’s Own Apostle on this one.
Senate Committee on Committees
This year we’ll have the following folks on this committee:
- Rick Ripley
- John Brenden
- Dee Brown
- Kris Hansen
- Janna Taylor
- Chaz Vincent
Speaker of the House
- First, he accepted $700,000 in federal farm subsidies while voting against helping struggling Montana families, as MT Cowgirl reported. She’s got a whole bunch on him, so grab some potato chips.
- Next, he worked for one of the main oil and gas law firms in the state, Plentywood’s O’Toole Law Firm. In fact, if you want to read some skuzzy shit, check out this article from July 2013 where O’Toole threatened to fire Knudsen because of how he voted. Boy, they got some real gems up there in Plentywood, don’t they?
- Finally…I dunno, something just strikes me as wrong about this one.
Maybe it’s that shit-eater grin, I don’t know, I just can’t put my finger on it. But I can put my finger on this guy’s nickname, and that’s Mr. Fabulous.
House Majority Leader
This guy’s a GOPer, and while there are a few that have sense, the overwhelming majority do not. Oh, we can smile and nod and kiss each other’s hands today, but in a couple months we’ll be cursing their name over our breakfast.
Nope Keith Regier has the same abysmal voting record as the rest of ‘em, and to me that means voting against the interests of working people in favor of those working to get as much money into offshore banks as possible.
"Every now and then he writes an oped for the InterLake arguing that preventing the expansion of Medicaid saves lives because people insured by Medicare are more likely to die in surgery (a claim widely debunked) than people with private insurance," Flathead Memo's James Conner said to me in an email.
I’m sorry if you don’t agree with that assessment, many won’t, but that’s how I feel. I mean, here’s an Education major voting against education, an educated man that compared “women to pregnant cattle and a fetus to an unfinished barn.” So what name then would be good for our House Majority Leader? I’m going with The Barn Door.
House President Pro Tempore
I mean, really – there’s nothing to differentiate this guy from the other mindless GOP zombies shambling around down there on the House floor. At this point I’m calling our boy here Flipper, until something better comes along.
House Majority Whips
According to Google’s Wikipedia showing, whips
are a party's "enforcers," who typically offer inducements and threaten party members to ensure that they vote according to the official party policy. A whip's role is also to ensure that the elected representatives of their party are in attendance when important votes are taken.
He’s been in the House since 2008, and honestly, I really don’t see much to talk about with him. Would Mr. Invisible be a good name? It’ll do for now.
Does Doane feel the same way? Well, when it comes to businesses that might help poor or working folks, I think the answer is yes. He doesn’t want you to vote on election day, he doesn’t want you to have human rights, and he doesn’t want you to have health insurance. But if you’re a student and you want to bring a gun to school, well gosh, go right ahead!
I think Alan Doane will hereafter be referred to as Ammo Belt.
Still, it’s good to point out that last session he was all about simplifying the tax code (doublespeak for kissing corporate ass) and raping the land of its resources. Oh, we are a resource state, but we're also a state that likes to use that as an excuse to remain stuck in our ways while pretty much ignoring a lot of the environmental calamities going on in the world.
Is Greg Hertz any different? I doubt it, and if we want his party to get going we need to help get them some forward thinking, someone that can move. I think the obvious choice for Greg Hertz is Rent-A-Car. I think it’s got a certain ring to it, and maybe it’ll catch on. If you’ve got a better idea, the comments are open.
What has she done? Well, she’s representing Laurel’s House District 57 and has a 6% from the Human Rights Network, 6% from MEA-MFT, and 7% from the Montana Conservation Voters. Yep, 667…just one off.
Don’t let the Vixen fool you – I have a feeling this woman could rip your balls off to trample them all over the Democratic agenda, and all before mid-morning break. Watch out.
It’s fun, and besides a few angry people, it’s great! Oh, they might say their feelings are hurt, but people that have their feelings hurt look sad and mopey and all cry-y:
Well, don’t vote like the idiots you are! And sure the fuck don’t come complaining to me about it. Oh, and if you’re wondering when I’ll put up the Democratic leadership, I just figured I’d leave that to the GOP blogs in this state.
Happy legislating, and good luck!