Why I’m a partisan hack: Carol Williams and Dan McGee

by Jay Stevens 

Sarpy Sam has pointed out two bills going before the Montana, SB 91 and SB 86.

Senate Bill 86 is:

AN ACT ELIMINATING THE TIME RESTRICTION FOR BECOMING A LOBBYIST FOR STATE LEGISLATORS, ELECTED STATE OFFICIALS, DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS, APPOINTED STATE OFFICIALS, AND MEMBERS OF CERTAIN PERSONAL STAFFS; REPEALING SECTION 5-7-310, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.

Got it? It’s intended to reverse the initiative that was pretty much overwhelmingly approved of by Montana voters in the recent election.

Senate Bill 91 is:

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSTITUENT SERVICES ACCOUNTS; PROVIDING FOR THE FUNDING AND USE OF MONEY IN A CONSTITUENT SERVICES ACCOUNT; PROVIDING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSTITUENT SERVICES ACCOUNTS; AND AMENDING SECTION 13-37-240, MCA.

Constituent services accounts are basically “slush funds” that candidates can use for just about everything. They’re shadowy, they’re easily abused, and they allow for politicians to get around campaign finance laws. In other words, they need exactly what this bill is requiring: transparency.

Often I’m criticized for favoring the Democratic over the Republican party. I’m partisan, untrustworthy, unreliable, biased, whatever, goes the crit. You know what? I think that’s bullsh*t. It assumes that both parties are equal in competency, ability, and ethics.

They’re not.

The first bill – an attempt to overturn an ethics reform bill approved of by a majority of Montanans – is sponsored by Republican Dan McGee. (You might remember him: he’s the lawmaker that proposed the “sour grapes” bill after Kitzenberg’s party switch. And he supported a bill that would allow the state to discriminate against gays.)

The second – an attempt to bring more transparency to government – is sponsored by Democrat Carol Williams, the state’s first female senate majority leader. (You might also remember that Williams is sponsoring the much-needed and popular initiative-reform bill.)

My point is, it’s pretty damn clear which lawmaker is working for Montana, and which is working in his own and his party’s interests.

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  1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    EggZACTLY! How does one find middle ground with psychos?! How does one negotiate with criminals?! Sometimes the gloves must just come off. It’s the ONLY thing a moron understands.

  2. cass

    Yeah except all those perpetual legislative newbies NEED the institutional memory of those dirty rotten ol’ lobbyists. They’d never get anything done without them.

    And no, I never favored term limits either.

  3. Um…cass…? The lobbyist bill has nothing to do with eliminating lobbyists from Helena, just increases the wait period for state employees and legislative representatives before becoming lobbyists…

    …you may remember this bill, it was on your ballot about two months ago…

  4. Points well made Jay. Nothing makes me angrier than when legislatures attempt to overturn the direct will of the people.




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