State Senator Greg Barkus Drunk – Charged With 3 Felonies

by jhwygirl

So no one’s gotten to this yet? Whee!

But seriously…no surprises there, right?

Senator Greg Barkus (of Kalispell) had 3 felony charges filed against him, in what was a day of minute by minute (practically) updates from a bunch of Montana news tweeters as the charges played out. NewWest has Dan Testa’s report from the Flathead Beacon.

Barkus’ BAC was .16 – twice the legal limit – 1 hour and 45 minutes after the crash.

4 hours after the crash, Barkus’ BAC was .12.

Barkus appeared in court today. He and his lawyer have already disputing the BAC figures, saying he’s got receipts showing he didn’t purchase enough alcohol to be that drunk…or something like that.

How soon before he surfaces his ‘..but my gps was broke‘ defense?

The “my gps was broke and even though I was drinking, I wasn’t drunk because, you know, it’s Montana and drinking and operating a motorized vehicle is no big deal, and it’s a good thing that I nearly killed people that were my friends, because, like, could you imagine what would happen to me if I had nearly killed someone I didn’t know?” defense. Yeah – that one.

Besides that…with all that national press, he might as well give ’em a little extra to write about. I mean – even Roll Call picked it up.


  1. Big Swede

    Not one snide remark about Denny and his involvement.

    You running a temperature or feeling woozy, jgirl?

    • I never weighed in on that before, but since you ask: I think that anyone who is getting into motorized vehicle, whether they are driving or a passenger, has a social and civil obligation (at the least) to stop someone who is clearly drunk from operating a vehicle. Was Denny responsible? No more so than all the other passengers – in my eyes.

      There are laws. Frankly, you’d think an elected official would have the horse sense to say “ahh..maybe we shouldn’t,” but apparently there’s a whole bunch of people around here who seem to think that is OK in Montana. I don’t happen to be one of them.

      Others have defended, saying “who hasn’t done that,” as if two wrongs make a right. If that is “right” as in Montana’s right wing politics…..oh..never mind.

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. Drinking and operating a motorized vehicle is against the law.

      Turning your head the other way when it happens does not make Denny a hero. Or even OK.

    • goof houlihan

      it’s hard to tell, I know, but this comment isn’t commenting on the author’s words:

      I thought the view from the far left was that “nothing will every happen to Barkus” because of all his political connections and people who supported his campaign? Will there be silence, or mea culpas?

      When the reality was, when the cops and prosecutors shut up and go slow, it’s because they don’t want to screw up the case.

      I think it was all projection. We know how far the left will go to protect their own, don’t we, Mr Rangel?

      • I thought the view from the far left was that “nothing will every happen to Barkus” because of all his political connections and people who supported his campaign?

        Actually, Goof, that was me, and I’m a hella far cry from being “far left”. Far cynical, maybe. And I’ll still believe that justice will be done when I see it happen. (Shane Hedges anyone?)

        I think it was all projection. We know how far the left will go to protect their own, don’t we, Mr Rangel?

        If you want to start a corruption competition here, Goof, you should at least show the class to stay in context of state or local politics.

        • goof houlihan

          In Bozeman we have some reason to be cynical. I remember when a Mayor’s wife wasn’t prosecuted for a DUI because all the prosecutors wanted to be the next judge.

          You were the only one saying it’s just a Montana reality, Wulfgar!. The others were using it to grind the partisan party line.

    • Big Swede

      I was hoping someone would bring up Wrangel. Two point for the assist, goof.

  2. Nmae


  3. I respect the right of Barkus and Rehberg to defend themselves in a court of law. But, you have to wonder the political wisdom of justifying the behavior. (“No, your honor, I don’t remember Barkie drinking 2 scotchs, 2 glasses of wine and a chaser. I guess it all depends on your definition of under the influence.”)

    • Big Swede

      Reherg won’t be defending himself in court.

      Not unless, failing to count your buddies drink ounces, is a punishable crime.

      • JC

        Rehberg may have to defend his actions in a criminal trial against Barkus or other civil actions against Barkus or himself.

        “Mr. Rehberg, will you please tell the court, having seen Mr. Barkus consume several alcoholic beverages, why did you get in the boat with him, and allow your employees to get in with you?”

      • Actually Big Swede, I think that’s the point I’m making … I know that Rehberg is not on trial himself, but I think he will be defending himself (politically) when asked to testify in the Barkus trial.

        • Big Swede

          Ok, let’s go your route. Denny testifies and the prosecution turns it into a show trail where he’s the accused, not Barkus.

          Do ya think the Montanans are that stupid to see this for what it really is? Straw grasping is transparent.

          I predict backfire if that happens.

      • Rehberg is probably making a big mistake. By not trying to back away from the situation – but instead, even now, walking into it by issuing a statement that ‘Barkus didn’t seem drunk,’ even after the 3 felony charges were brought forward.

        Of course Rehberg was going to say that, for crying out loud – He was drunk or at the very least, He was drunk or at the very least, even if we take his BAC of .05 hours after the crash.

        At .05, he lacked the judgment to determine whether Barkus was drunk…which is about as good of a disclaimer as the Reagan president who we know was probably in the early throes of Alzheimer’s when he didn’t “recall” any arms-for-prisoners deals.

        Rehberg might be called for testimony, who knows – but Ms. Smith seems to be quite willing to tell the tale.

        It seems to me that the wiser politician would have immediately issued an apology for what is becoming quite apparent to be a serious lack in judgment. And then something nice but not too nice which distances himself from Barkus.

        But, yeah – continue condoning Rehberg’s behavior of running around like an irresponsible 20something is something to accept as OK. I’m sure it’s all good for you boys in the bar. Just what I want – a drinking buddy as a representative in congress.

        Sleeping on a couch, nonetheless.

  4. elkamino

    isn’t there someone in denny’s posse who’s job is to prevent him from boarding a boat driven by a man likely breathing a .20?

  5. Dick Sawhill

    3 1/2 years ago I got a Felony DUI. I didn’t turn on my lights and when I pulled out of the parking lot I was stopped ( No tail-lights ) My BAC at that time was .16. I went to the Watch Program. I learned alot there. Alot about myself and about all the people I hurt. And even though I Haven’t drank in that 3 1/2 years, I’ll always be a Felon. I have realized alot about myself while I was at Watch. I am a much better person for it. I think Greg Barkus should have visited there. He would have seen things alot differently now. My daughter loves me now, so I think I’m doing great now. Thanks for your time.

  1. 1 Coach Bobby Hauck Continues His Asshole Behavior « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Or maybe it’s the boys-will-be-boys mentality? Kind of a more sanguine version of the everybody-drinks-and-drives-here-in-Montana defense thrown up by Sen. Greg Barkus and Rep. Denny Rehberg fans? […]

  2. 2 Various & Sundry for the Weekend « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] mis-appropriated funds to Kalispell-based Swank Enterprises, a long-time generous supporter of the Montana GOP’s latest felon, Sen. Barkus. Schweitzer’s taking the late-minute insertion into the state’s budget bill quite […]

  3. 3 A Matter of Convenience? « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Barkus has been charged with 3 felonies. […]

  4. 4 Surprise, Surprise… Day after Election, Barkus Files Plea Agreement « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] his November 29th trial pending on three felony counts for “piloting” his boat with Denny Rehberg and staff to a near fatal crash on a rocky […]

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