Archive for the ‘Christine Kaufmann’ Category

by jhwygirl

Aside from my own personal feelings on texting-while-driving regulations (texting only being pretty much unenforceable) the Montana GOP sent quite a message in the legislature on Friday, such that Senate Minority Leader Carol Williams at the end of the day called it “Black Friday” and “the absolute worst day of the legislative session.”

HB516 moves forward out of Senate Judiciary to a floor vote probably Monday. Amendments were made on Friday that aim it at ordinances only, leaving intact Bozeman’s equality resolution. (Search HB516 here for more background.)

The conservative attack on the budget was in full mode in Senate Finance Friday morning, and among the leaders speaking out against unnecessary cuts and a lack of priorities were the governor’s budget director David Ewer and Health & Human Services Director Anna Whiting-Sorrel. The message was loud and clear from Schweitzer’s office – and even Bloomberg Businessweek picked up the story.

There was more, and to be honest, I am ill-informed on the entirety of it all. As for the topic at hand, though…..

HB241, a bill that would make texting-while-driving illegal, with a $100 fine was postponed indefinitely on the floor of the Senate after passing Senate Judiciary on an 8-4 vote. The bill was proposed by Sen. Christine Kaufmann.

Match that up with the House Judiciary tabling Senator Tom Facey’s bill which would have taken Montana’s laws which make intercourse between two consenting people of the same sex illegal.

SB276 cleared the Republican-controlled Senate with a 49-1 vote.

That law is, btw, unconstitutional under the Montana Constitution….and it is also proudly part of the Montana Republican Party platform.

The Montana GOP is an embarrassment.

I wonder if the House Republicans have the guts to allow it to a floor blast vote.

If they don’t allow a floor blast vote, they’re cowards.

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by Pete Talbot

For the June 3, primary election, the fledgling Progressive Democrats of Montana have endorsed candidates in eight legislative races and one PSC contest. The endorsed candidates, all Democrats, will also receive the maximum contribution of $160.

“Some very difficult choices had to be made between excellent candidates,” said Paul Edwards, PDM Chairman. “The endorsed candidates have a proven progressive track record” and “they bothered to return the PDM questionnaire,” he added.

PDM is a statewide membership organization founded in January, 2007. It works for social, economic, political and environmental justice. PDM is not a third party and has filed as a Political Action Committee with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices.

From a PDM press release, here are the endorsed candidates:

1. SENATE DISTRICT 07: PAUL CLARK, TROUT CREEK

2. SENATE DISTRICT 47: RON ERICKSON, MISSOULA

3. SENATE DISTRICT 41: CHRISTINE KAUFMANN, HELENA

4. SENATE DISTRICT 21: NORMA BIXBY, LAME DEER

5. HOUSE DISTRICT 97: MICHELE REINHART, MISSOULA

6. HOUSE DISTRICT 82: MIKE MENAHAN, HELENA

7. HOUSE DISTRICT 73: LARRY CYR, BUTTE

8. HOUSE DISTRICT 49: KENDALL VAN DYK, BILLINGS

IN ADDITION, THE P.D.M. BOARD ENDORSED RON TUSSING OF BILLINGS FOR DISTRICT #2 OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

(Full disclosure: I’m a member of the Progressive Democrats of Montana and sit on its board. I was not, however, on the committee that pored over the questionnaires and narrowed the field to the above candidates. The committee did a good job and made some tough decisions. I imagine there are a few other races out there that could have used PDM endorsements. This is the organization’s first foray into the endorsement process and it will only get broader as the procedures are refined, and more candidates are willing to stick their necks out.)

Here is a post by 4&20’s own Jay Stevens which gives some background on PDM. Jay links to mainstream media stories and op-ed pieces. And in 4&20’s constant effort to remain objective, you’ll see some criticism of PDM in that post and in the comments. The last comment you’ll see is a superbly crafted response to the criticism, written by yours truly.

by jhwygirl

Lovely. Via The Hill, LiTW, Montana Netroots, the Helena Independent, KPAX, Great Falls Tribune, KXMC (North Dakota!), we all get a sense of Denny’s sense of humor:

When you’re from Montana, it’s hard to find things to do — so practical jokes come in handy.  Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) recently played a gag on Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) on their Middle East congressional delegation trip last month.

Rehberg left an “Idaho Travel Package” on Simpson’s airplane seat.

Contents included a stuffed sheep with gloves attached to it (draw your own conclusions), a Village People CD, books on cross-dressing and sign language and a T-shirt that reads, “My senator may not be gay, but my governor is Butch.”

Rehberg is proud of the gift bag. “I spent a bit of time putting the things together,” he boasted.

(name missing) was amused but not surprised that Rehberg was the bearer of such presents. “You can always find those materials in Montana,” he said, laughing.

Proud?

The Montana Human Rights Network(MHRN) is calling on Rehberg – who is up for re-election this November – to apologize. “We find this highly insulting, especially from a lawmaker with a consistent anti-gay voting record,” said Christine Kaufmann, director of the Montana Human Rights Network, and a state Senator.

The MHRN, which recently launched its Equality Project, and the Community Center of Missoula, have requested a meeting with Rep. Rehberg to discuss the prank and his voting record. “He uses us for jokes, while he votes to continue employment discrimination. He plays silly pranks while he votes against hate crimes protections,” said Kaufmann, “We’re not laughing.”

Like Shane said, this guy’s got to go. He’s an embarrassment for all of Montana.




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