I Am Proud of Montana Democrats in the Senate

by jhwygirl

I am proud of the Montana Democrats who stood loudly and proudly for their Montana Constitutional right to represent us – the people – on the floor of the Senate.

From Supermontanareporter John S. Adams:

Mike Dennison has and excellent step-by-step breakdown of what happened.

Adams, at his blog The Lowdown has the full bevvy of official responses from Governor Bullock, both parties and the Montana Senate GOP, which controls that body.

Montana GOP can claim Sen. Shannon Augare’s move a crap thing to do all they want, but at least he didn’t violate the Montana Constitution. There are rules to follow – and when the presiding member of a body fails to recognize the minority leader, then we’re talking about some serious concerns for free speech.

Plainly: Senate President Jeff Essman impeded the right of representation for those that elected the minority.

Theatrics? Short of breaking into fist fights, what were Dems to do when their right to speak on the floor of the Senate was ignored?

I thank Montana’s Senate Democrats for not taking this violation of democracy sitting down. And I also thank those in the galley who stood in support, even after Essman attempted to clear the galley of witnesses to the constitutional violations committed under both his leadership and his guidance.


  1. lizard19

    while I consider the behavior of the MT GOP despicable, both with the procedural BS from Essman and the content of the two bills some MT Dems felt necessitated today’s creative tactics, I’m still uncomfortable with what this gamble is risking, like medicaid expansion.

    of the many tweets from John S. Adams, I’d like to know more about this one:

    Democrats are making the calculation that stopping the Top-Two Primary is worth blowing up the entire 2013 #mtleg

    what is this going to turn into? and what will it cost? does this take up all the oxygen in the room for the remaining weeks of the session?

    there are so many more questions. this will be getting national media by Monday.

  2. Charles Johnson reports on the history of this event, noting that’s it’s been used by the Republicans back in 1987.

    Apparently the Dems recognized the Republicans on the floor of the House. How novel.

    I am still shaking my head this morning thinking about yesterday’s events – I see the turning point coming precisely where Essman refused to recognize Sen. Minority Leader John Sesso.

    This is Essman’s failed leadership. Machiavellian might-makes-right approach.

    Undemocratic. Morally devoid. Bullying. Unethical.

  3. Eric

    jhwygirl – I gotta ask – exactly why are you proud of the Dems ?

    I think they were acting like little kids, and then I look at what they were trying to block, which was OUR right to vote on a referendum.

    I’m not proud of legislators who are afraid of the voters.

    • Matt

      Eric, then why bother passing any bills in the legislature? Why not put all of them on the ballot? The answer is in our representative democracy, we elect representatives to act as our proxy. Checks and balances in the executive, legislative and judicial branches and all that jazz. Rights of the minority, etc., etc. Does this ring a bell or were you asleep during your civics class?

  4. Eric

    Do you fear the voters too Matt ? If so, why?

    • Matt

      I sure don’t fear them. But, I do fear politicians removing the rights of the minority party. Sort of how you wouldn’t like taking away Mitch Mcconal’s filibuster. But since tat benefits you, I bet you don’t mind it.

  5. Eric

    If you don’t fear the voters, let the issue go to a vote.

    If you believe in our form of government, you have to believe that the voters will get it right. When it gets on a ballot, the ‘politicians’ have only one vote also – just as you and I do.

    • Who needs elected officials then? Let’s just have mob rule by the masses. The budget, laws, etc.

      The Republicans are the ones who quashed citizen speech when they held the committee meeting & vote w/a 3 hour notice.


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