Conservative Legislative Hypocrisy #743

by jhwygirl

Small Government? Fuggetabout it!

There are two proposals to expand legislative sessions to every year. On proposal – SB261 – is from Senator Jeff Essman, a Yellowstone Republican.

SB261 is a constitutional amendment proposal which, if passed by 2/3 of each house, would go to the voters. So there is no fiscal note.

The other bill, HB362, proposed by Representative Ken Peterson, a Republican out of Billings. HB362 proposes yearly sessions, one being budget the other being a general legislative session.

Anyone believe, first, that they’d stick only to budget?

Do check out the fiscal note on this one though. There’s a whole bunch of how it’ll get done – and no additional staff needed – and the whole thing will only cost $117,000 for the new session.

Thing is, as I know it the framers of our constitution wanted to citizen legislators and small government. They limited the sessions to 90 days. This left sufficient time to do the budget and little time for frivolous laws and more laws. It was set to function as keeping the focus on the basic necessities.

It’s really hard for me to find justification for this, especially this year. Why they’re not tackling the budget now? I know they are having hearings, but could they spread out the budget more amongst the committees so they aren’t dealing with crazy stuff? Why all those other frivolous things? Maybe if they spent more time on the budget and less on proposals to hunt with spears we wouldn’t have legislators seeking annual sessions? Resolutions telling the Federal government to take a flying hike on health care? Laws that essentially affirm the right of a 16 year old to drop out of school without having passed a high-school equivalency exam. Revise laws to lower the standards of minimal requirements for the State Superintendent of Schools. The list goes on of inane stuff that is a waste of the electricity it takes to run the meetings.

In other words – cut the crazy talk of trying to undo voters initiatives regarding out-of-state hunters and medical marijuana and get to work on the budget.

And then maybe we wouldn’t need to have a whole new industry of legislation created up in Helena.

Or are ya’all considering this proposal economic development?

Hope not, because I doubt the taxpayers agree.


  1. carfreestupidity

    Sweet, twice the sessions… Twice the crazy legislation.

  2. Craig Moore

    Right, that’s why the AP is reporting that HB362 has BIPARTISAN support:

    Take the 90 days and split it between 2 years focused on specific, focused areas. That is a conservative hypocrisy how exactly?

    • So it’s bipartisan. But aren’t Democrats supposedly big government? And Republicans small government?

      Either way, it’s still stinks if you ask me. Especially in the glare of the idiocy going on this year.

      Do ya really think they’d maintain the focus? As I point out, their main job the way our government is set up is to do the budget yet they fritter away time on inane legislation.

      • Craig Moore

        I’m all for defining a specific set of rails, but not expanding the number of legislative days. Just don’t get the title of you post regarding HB362.

        • JC

          WHat, you don’t get that there are conservative democrats? And that bunch of them act like republicans, because, well, there’s really not much to distinguish between the two? And they all mostly like big government because, well, they work for it?

          Quit trying to divide and conquer, Craig. Your tactics reveal your grand strategy. Dems can be just as stupid as republicans when it comes to legislating. But if you harken to the meme that liberals are for big government, and conservatives are for small government, then who is the hypocrite here? Obviously not the liberal–at least according to your definition of liberal.

          • Craig Moore

            Refocusing legislative sessions without increasing the number of days is neither a democrat, republican, conservative, or liberal issue. There are both R’s and D’s that see the need for more tightly focused sessions.

            I guess since I have never defined what a liberal is you must make one up to have an argument.

  3. Bill Harris, who “established a successful hunting business, Fort Musselshell Outfitters” and swore he would “fight to limit government” is presenting HB413, which says outfitters damaged by Initiative 161 are “entitled” to state compensation. So he’s against big government—except when it’s welfare paid by the state to line his own pockets.

    • I could establish a hypocrisy-a-day. Hell..I could do two bills a day that demonstrate big government. That make it out of committee or that pass the house or senate 3rd reading.

  4. mr benson


    So it’s clear. They claim to be for individual rights, small government, less regulation, etc.

    Then they want to legislate everything you do as this session has made abundantly clear. They want to grow government with more silly legislative sessions. (the legislature should really meet for two days every ninety years, not for ninety days every two years)

    The far right is as authoritarian as anything the left has to offer.

    The difference between the far left and the far right is that while both want to control everything you do, the far left is just nakedly unabashed about it. The far right claims to be all for freedom, but done exactly their way.

    If you on the left here haven’t had your eyes opened about the dangers of unfettered democracy, and activist government, and apply it to that person you see in the mirror and your own party, I’m gonna give up.

    Here in front of you are the dangers of success: it’s excess. Remember it when you’re in power.

    • JC

      You gotta get over this false equivalency about authoritarianism.

      Many of us on the far left are: 1) very libertarian; 2) not liberal democrats, we are independents; 3) are well aware of the abuses of “unfettered democracy”– to wit, GWB and his 5-4 victory in the SCOTUS, and his ensuing 8 years of ruin; 4) many of us far left indies actually come from a background of anarchical libertarianism (I could say communal hippies, and back-to-earth survivalists, but that would be too cliche); 5) we actually believe in getting the government out of our personal and private lives; 6) hate the individual mandate to purchase private insurance; 7) don’t like paying taxes any more than the next guy; 8) think our property taxes are too high; 9) think our government spends way too much money on things it doesn’t need–like a global hegemony; 10) think our government invests too little in things like basic infrastructure: transportation and water and sewer and education; 11) need I go on?

      Vive et vivas. Live and let live. It should be the state motto.

      • you’ve pretty much described the majority of americans there jc. it baffles me why the majority of americans put up with this two party system punch and judy show which pits us against each other to the benefit of the quasi corporate-wealthy-washington elite plutocracy.

        aristocrats have been getting the peasants to fight each other for thousands of years to divert their subjects while they undermine this nation by treachery, larceny and dishonorable feigned patriotism.

        if this nation hopes to keep it’s original spirit of freedom intact we had better find a way to join forces and defeat them.

        meanwhile, ignorance and willful stupidity rules……

        but like a very wise blackfoot elder once told me…

        “It is impossible to have faith in a government which dishonors it’s own dead warriors.”

        honor seems to be in very short supply within our government right now. crooks and businessmen who shirk the duty to pay their own employees are rewarded with positions of power while those who work for meager wages are further impoverished to feed the greed of 5% of our wealthiest.

      • mr benson

        Oh wud sum powr the giftie gie us.

        If you can’t admit you have a problem, you’re still not on the road to recovery.

  5. mr benson

    And one more thing: this is the worst legislative session I’ve ever paid attention to, except for the last United States Congress.

    Just wanna be “fair and balanced”.

  6. Craig Moore

    That’s right hoser. ;)

    Perhaps they can’t spell BAKKEN in Helena and are looking for a handout from North Dakota. Fix workers comp and unleash wealth creation.

    • JC

      Ok, I’ll bite. Just how do you get from “Fix workers comp” to “unleash[ed] wealth creation?” Somehow I have a difficult time figuring out how one begets the other. Or how a [what you view as] broken workers comp system stifles wealth creation.

      Somehow I miss that the grand and escalating differential in wealth accumulation (gap between the rich and the poor) had anything to do with workers comp.

  7. Craig Moore

    JC, it’s not my point. It’s a fact:

    Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking: Montana Highest, North Dakota Lowest

    Montana employers in the voluntary market pay, on average, the highest workers’ compensation premium rates in the nation at $3.33 per $100 of payroll, according to recent study. North Dakota ranked the lowest in the nation at $1.02 per $100 of payroll.

    • JC

      Ok, now where’s the correlation between that and wealth creation? And for whom is the wealth created? The business owner, or the worker?

      I’d like to see you justify that by dropping workers comp rates by 2% and raising the minimum wage by 2% (from $7.35 to $7.50/hour) that we are going to spur wealth creation at the bottom rungs of our wage scale. Heck, that $.15 per hour raise amounts to… wait for it, $288 dollars a year. About what it costs me to go see a doctor and get an x-ray. Or buy a used set of tires. Or drive home and see Mom for a weekend. NOt exactly something with which to create wealth with.

      And conversely, by gutting workers comp, those who are doing mostly menial (and more dangerous forms of) labor will have little to fall back on when they become injured on the job. They already are working without health insurance. And an accident on the job is just a bankruptcy in-waiting.

      Try again Craig. Show me the correlations. I’ve just show you the contrary.

  1. 1 Montana Blog Roundup February 12, 2011

    […] writers over at 4and20blackbirds focused on the unbelievable hypocrisy of the Republicans in the […]

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