Meet the 13 Mutineers

by Jay Stevens

There’s a nice story in today’s Gazette on how 13 Republican legislators met over last weekend with members of Governor Schweitzer’s staff to come with a broad agreement on spending and taxation for the legislative special session.

First, the thirteen. Revile or praise them, as is your wont:

–Llew Jones (Conrad)
–Alan Olson (Roundup)
–Michael Lange (Billings)
–John Ward (Billings)
–Edith Clark (Sweetgrass)
–Tom McGillvray (Billings)
–Elsie Arntzen (Billings)
–Gary Maclaren (Victor)
–Wayne Stahl (Saco)
–Jesse O’Hara (Great Falls)
–Carol Lambert (Broadus)
–Bill Nooney (Missoula)
–Walter McNutt (Sidney)

Nooney, for one, had to know his voting record this legislative session won’t play well in this town, even in the conservative neck of Missoula he represents. That’s the downside of marching lockstep with your caucus, especially if it’s on the extremist side. No doubt he’s anticipating a reelection battle; compromise now will help him appear to be a moderate.

Then there’s this little nugget:

Conspicuously absent was House Speaker Scott Sales, the highest-ranking Republican in the House.

Sales said later he wasn’t invited. Those at the meeting said they wanted people there who were willing to negotiate. Sales, an outspoken conservative, has been adamant in his call for deeper spending reductions and longer-term tax cuts.

Even his own party views him as an obstructionist.

There was some talk to rehabilitate Sales’ image – Lange, notably, said that Sales intransigence gave the 13 Mutineers some advantage in their negotiations with the Good Guv’s people. In other words, the GOP went along with obstructionism and helped scuttled the general session for…a bargaining chip?

I know how much the Speaker enjoys his manly war analogies, so I’ll offer this one up: when you surrender, you offer up your sword with the hilt given to you enemy. Don’t stick him with the point.

  1. noodly appendage

    Interesting how you criticize the GOP for their intransigence when their wasn’t a democrat who broke with their party.

  2. noodly appendage

    “there” “their” “they’re”

    “when THERE wasn’t a single democrat who broke with THEIR party.

    As for “victory” or “surrender” I’d say the people of Montana are the losers for the behavior of both parties, and there are repercussions from this that will be felt at the next election. The Governor lost face, gallivanting around the country.

  3. I’ve criticized the Governor for helping create the budget kerfluffle. I stand by those comments. I’d even say he was largely responsible for Democratic intrasigence.

    The military analogy was to make that same point — the language and accompanying posturing is patently ridiculous.

  4. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Sorry, I saw NO “intransigence” on the part of the Dems. The Dems did INDEED attempt to compromise. The Repubbies wouldn’t. What the Dems did NOT do is vote for horrible bills. Now, there IS a difference.

  5. noodly appendage

    someone else is criticizing the chest thumping and pompous posturing of the Governor. Like with Bob Raney before, the word “bully” is being used.

  6. Laslovich is a good man. I’ve been hearing more of these accusations lately, too. I think Schweitzer needs to watch out, or he might find this story coming to a head just in time for 2008.

  7. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Lassyvich is wet behind the the ears. Hey, I have a great idea. Let’s return to the days of judy mars and marky ratco! Come ON, fellas. Get a grip. Schweitzer simply REVITALIZED a limpo Dem party! So, let it lie. I personally refuse to participate in the circular firing squad AGAIN! If you want bully, how bout Ratco when he fired Cathy Siegner, along with ANYONE in Helena who objected to him! I mean, my God! Are your memories really that short? Schweitzer is an angel compared to what we’ve had. Is he a wuss? Nope. And that’s a good thing. Cause just take a gander across the aisle at some fellas that really ARE mean and nasty bullies. I want Scwheitzer in my corner, not a cutandrunner like Lassyvich! Hey, if he don’t LIKE the Dem side, he can switch!

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