Archive for November 14th, 2009

by jhwygirl

The Rep. Gordon Hendrick’s promotion of secession talk for parts of Missoula County continues to bug me.

We’ve got a state representative here who represents an area that is more Missoula County than it is Mineral County (about 60%), promoting – or looking into – the secession of a region of Missoula County to Mineral County. He’s not been down to the local courthouse in Missoula to see what those county commissioners down there think about it, yet along inquire about the issues the so-called 70-80% of Petty Creek residents have that is precipitating such a drastic request. You kinda think he’d head down to that governmental body first and try and help things out there – since he’s such a helpful guy and all – instead of adding up the tax dollars a particular group of home down there pays.

He might try, too, knocking more than a handful of doors up Petty Creek. Apparently, Hendrick’s hasn’t really contacted a majority of residents there.

Beyond that, we’ve go a state legislator that is apparently very unaware of the Montana Constitution: Article IX of the Montana Constitution mandates that the boundaries of Montana’s counties remain as they are until approved by a majority of those voting on the question in each county affected.

I mean, really? From the time Hendrick caught wind of the issue – to talking to whomever he talked to – to figuring out the money – to scheduling the meeting with the county – and so on and so on – it didn’t dawn on him to look into the law surrounding the issue of changing a political boundary within the state?

Come to think about it – maybe it isn’t so shocking. We’ve got a bunch of laws out of this last legislative session alone that are “illegal” out of the hatch. Maybe there needs to be some sort of basic government 101 class for our elected people up there in Helena, because here’s how it is folks: In Montana, aside from that pesky U.S. Constitution that trumps all, at the top of the heap we’ve got the Montana Constitution. Our legislators – even if every single one of ’em agreed – can not write a law (Montana Code Annotated) that contradicts (violates) that Constitution. From there, we’ve got Administrative Rules….and those are implemented to uphold law (MCA)…and those, too, have to uphold everything above it.

Many legislators – and even some executives – in our government, it seems, forget that. We’ve got laws, for example, that are written to ignore the Montana Environmental Protection Act (Article IX of our Montana Constitution). I’ll take a lesser politically polarizing (polarizing nonetheless, but not in the R vs. D kind of way) example: Rep. Ed Butcher’s horse slaughter bill HB418. Out of the hatch, Butcher proposed a bill that exempted horse slaughter plans from MEPA review and and MEPA appeal to the courts to shut it down. That was illegal out the hatch. Shouldn’t of even gotten out of committee, but it did with some amendments. Eventually the thing made it through two committees, two floor votes – remaining essentially intact with buffers from MEPA challenges and impediments to making those challenges – and up to the Governor’s office. He offered an amendatory veto (being concerned about the Constitution and all), which was ignored…and then the Governor signed it into then the Governor left it for two weeks, allowing it to become law anyway.

MEPA, in fact, was a favorite target of laws which were introduced by both our legislators and our state agencies to circumvent that pesky Montana Constitution.

But getting back to Rep. Gordon Hendrick – who has announced that he will not be seeking re-election. Unless he’s willing to propose a constitutional amendment to then take it to the voters of both Mineral and Missoula counties, he might as well move on to his next biggest and latest project, whatever it may be.

But please – leave it within a county line, OK?

by jhwygirl

Please consider this an open thread.

Wow. Didn’t know compliance with state laws was voluntary. Pretty convenient, huh?

Bitterroot foreclosures are skyrocketing.

I follow a number of foreign tweeters, including some chinese folk who continue to try and push stories out about the melamine-in-baby-food problem. One that I follow was arrested and then later released probably because he tweeted his own arrest. Now, that tweeter is tweeting that organizers for the families of the victims of the tainted milk have been arrested. There’s one guy who has posted pics of his tiny baby who is in kidney failure. It is heartbreaking. Their government is failing them, and the world needs to know.

Twitter is all very interesting. There is great potential there to influence and help promote democracy from what seems a silly tech site. When the Iranian guard cracked down recently most media and even those within Iran agreed that Twitter served as a tool to save lives from the harsh government crackdown. Another group that I’m aware of is trying to get 5 Cubans released, and wants the U.S. to intervene. Twitter makes the world larger for one of it’s most difficult issues: human rights.

Melinda Gopher, Democratic candidate for Montana’s lone House of Representative seat, has a website up. Ms. Gopher is OjibwekweOgemaw on twitter.

Forward Montana is hiring a managing director. No mail or phone calls, please. Deadline is December 7.

Facts are, apparently, a problem for former Republican Vice President candidate Sarah Palin

If you aren’t reading the Indy’s blog every day, you are missing out.

The Montana Kaimin reports on the woefully sad story of how the Board of Regents is going to have to have to give King George a $75,000 raise, all because the hired a new president out an MSU. The Missoulian covered the same story about a week ago…and it, too, had interviews with persons who were more than happy to frame it as a “oh, poor us, we have to give him a $75,000 raise.” Sorry. Not buying it. No where else in Montana is an entity hiring new people based on competitive wages and then giving a raise to every single other person of the same job a raise.

In more irony, these people are framing this as some sort of search for excellence. Let’s be clear here, with regards to George Dennison. He’s there already. What has he done to increase his excellence rating to a tune of $75,000? And lately, he’s not really shown any excellence in leadership towards education. Football maybe. Beyond that – isn’t he due to recycle his let’s-bulldoze-the-golf-course-and-build-condos plan again? I say let him prove his excellence to someone else if he wants $280,000 a year…and then let’s promote from within the walls of UM. I’m sure there’s someone down there not only capable, but more than willing to take the job on at less than $280,000.

Well now – that’s enough, isn’t it? What say you?

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