What Sen. Carol Williams Had to Say About How the Public Was Treated Today in the Capital

by jhwygirl

Senate Minority leader Carol Williams speaks to today’s violation of public hearing rules today in the House Judiciary committee:

Sen. Williams made her statement today at the base of the Jeanette Rankin statue in the Capital hall because testimony was not only cut short, but people who traveled from across the state were not allowed to at minimum read their name into the record as a proponent or opponent. This is a written and enacted rule of the legislature: “”Any person wishing to offer testimony to a committee hearing a bill or resolution must be given a reasonable opportunity to do so orally or in writing.”

They attempted to start the hearing on HR516 at 7 a.m., after moving the schedule up one hour, knowing that buses were coming in from across the state to testify in opposition to the bill. Opponents, though, had apparently been given ample warning.

Committee Chair Rep. Ken Peterson attempted this move despite notifying the House during the floor hearing on Thursday afternoon that the first hour would be executive session.

Playing games with public hearings is not nice.

It’s criminal.

  1. these tea party republicans are apparently drunk with power….

    gonna be a doozy of a headache in the morning for them.

    • Oh yeah. At one hearing, Rep. Peterson testified either as opponent or proponent to a bill by saying “I’m not even going to read my name for the record, you know who I am….”

      Disrespectful..but it’s his party running the show, so he knew he’d get away with it.

      If, say,Rep. Michele Reinhardt had started her testimony that way?

      • mr benson

        I commented on the HB 516 hearing under Carefreestupidity’s post linking to Marnee Banks.

        Carol is right. The five and ten minute time blocks ticked off every side of every discussion.

        However, I don’t buy the “organize the turnout, then count the turnout” method of making an argument. It’s too easy to expose, and then, being busted, the turnout becomes refutable.

        But the effort of coming a long way to speak at the “people’s house” requires recognition. Would have been preferable for the presiding officer to have permitted 30 seconds per capita, or better yet, spent more than a day hearing a weeks worth of bills.

  2. morning will come on november 6 2012……….

    but i am guessing the republicans will wake them up sooner with a hot cup of coffee in june and primary out a bunch of these cracker-asses to the curb for disposal.

    the more repulsive elements of the republican right wing will face some strong head winds when they return home after people who voted for them see what these clowns have done (or tried to do) to this state.

  3. Lt. Col (Ret, Army) Richard Liebert

    A travesty, this is being ‘fair’ under the ‘Cowboy Code’?

  4. ayn rand

    criminal?….hire a lawyer…. and sue…you got a bunch of nuts from MSO that will contribute.

  5. ladybug

    Those pesky “people,” want dialogue, debate, participation and all those silly rights enumerated in our federal and state constitution. We can’t have that, now can we? Last month, these clowns swore an oath to uphold the rights of every Montanan. Maybe they just forgot. Father knows best.

  6. The cowboy code didn’t do much for the Blackfeet, Crow and Cheyenne either.

  7. Pancho

    Worth a read, the story and comments in Peterson’s home town paper, the Billings Gazette. It also mentions another nutcase allied with Ken: Krayton Kerns.


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