Archive for the ‘Dan McGee’ Category

by Pete Talbot

Ergot, a mold that attacks rye, is the building block for LSD. It has been discovered in huge quantities in the Laurel airshed.

How else can one explain the lunacy coming from legislators Dan McGee and Krayton Kerns (both Republicans and both out of Laurel) in this 2009 session?

Taken in small doses, ergot can lead to feelings of euphoria but in large enough quantities, it tends toward disassociation and psychosis.

Here’s the latest, this time from McGee (courtesy of Planned Parenthood of Montana):

Protect access to contraceptives for Montana’s low-income families!

On Thursday, the Senate may hear an amendment from Dan McGee (R-Laurel) to strip state funding for Montana’s family planning clinics from the state’s budget.

1. This represents a 20% cut to family planning clinics statewide
2. 70% of Montana’s family planning clients were at or below 150% of poverty.
3. Every $1 spent on family planning saves $4 down the road in public funding.

In other words, let’s make sure the poorest in Montana don’t have access to health care and contraception, so they can keep cranking out (sickly) babies who will end up being subsidized by government services (if they’re lucky). This guy McGee should run for pope. Here are more details from PP.

There has been a litany of bad legislation coming from these two yokels: Kerns’ wacky gun bill (HB 228) and his assault on the Healthy Kids Bill (HB 157). And here’s just a sampling of McGee’s: protect all zygotes (SB 406) but attack those who are different (SB 223) and don’t forget to bring partisan politics into our education system (SB 80 and 81).

Let’s hope Laurel gets that ergot problem cleaned up before the next election.

(Update 4-9-09: Good news. The Montana Senate chose not to vote on McGee’s amendments. More below the fold.)

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by Jay Stevens 

Sarpy Sam has pointed out two bills going before the Montana, SB 91 and SB 86.

Senate Bill 86 is:

AN ACT ELIMINATING THE TIME RESTRICTION FOR BECOMING A LOBBYIST FOR STATE LEGISLATORS, ELECTED STATE OFFICIALS, DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS, APPOINTED STATE OFFICIALS, AND MEMBERS OF CERTAIN PERSONAL STAFFS; REPEALING SECTION 5-7-310, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.

Got it? It’s intended to reverse the initiative that was pretty much overwhelmingly approved of by Montana voters in the recent election.

Senate Bill 91 is:

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSTITUENT SERVICES ACCOUNTS; PROVIDING FOR THE FUNDING AND USE OF MONEY IN A CONSTITUENT SERVICES ACCOUNT; PROVIDING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSTITUENT SERVICES ACCOUNTS; AND AMENDING SECTION 13-37-240, MCA.

Constituent services accounts are basically “slush funds” that candidates can use for just about everything. They’re shadowy, they’re easily abused, and they allow for politicians to get around campaign finance laws. In other words, they need exactly what this bill is requiring: transparency.

Often I’m criticized for favoring the Democratic over the Republican party. I’m partisan, untrustworthy, unreliable, biased, whatever, goes the crit. You know what? I think that’s bullsh*t. It assumes that both parties are equal in competency, ability, and ethics.

They’re not.

The first bill – an attempt to overturn an ethics reform bill approved of by a majority of Montanans – is sponsored by Republican Dan McGee. (You might remember him: he’s the lawmaker that proposed the “sour grapes” bill after Kitzenberg’s party switch. And he supported a bill that would allow the state to discriminate against gays.)

The second – an attempt to bring more transparency to government – is sponsored by Democrat Carol Williams, the state’s first female senate majority leader. (You might also remember that Williams is sponsoring the much-needed and popular initiative-reform bill.)

My point is, it’s pretty damn clear which lawmaker is working for Montana, and which is working in his own and his party’s interests.

by Jay Stevens 

The notorious Mark T pointed this out on the new Montana Netroots blog, but Republican state senator Dan McGee (Laurel) is planning on introducing new legislation that would force a public official to stand for reelection after switching political parties.

Mark thinks this has to do with Sam Kitzenberg’s switch to the Democratic party. So do I.

I’d add that it’s another example of the Montana Republicans’ inability to intellectually or strategically deal with the changing political landscape in the state.

This legislation is a bad idea. First, it’s confrontational, childish, and bitter. (Which, I admit, may be the new strategy of the Montana GOP.) Maybe it’s just me, but I think making politics more negative, divisive, and partisan after an election in which voters expressed violent disdain for negativity and divisive partisanship is self-defeating to say the least.

Would the bill also affect those legislators who caucus with another party? Like the Constitution Party’s Rick Jore who’s planning on voting with the GOP in the 2007 session? If not, the bill would seem hypocritical. After all, Jore’s constituents voted for him in large part because he isn’t a Republican. How would do they like it he’s become a CINO (pronounced chee-no; “Constitutionalist in name only”)?

Add to that the fact that this bill could very well come to haunt the Republican party in the future – what if a Democratic legislator wants to switch parties next session? – and this stunt is a very poor tactical maneuver.

The only possible reason I could see for this bill is to discourage more Republicans from jumping ship. Seriously, why else would you write something like this? And based on Sales’ recent bullying comments towards his own party member, Corey Stapleton, over education funding (“Sales dismissed the idea of putting more money in higher education, saying ‘I think Corey and I are going to have to have a conversation’”), that’s probably a genuine concern. How many moderate Republicans are going to chafe at their party’s new obstructionist tactics? Opposition to education funding and a property tax rebate?

While I admit I’m happy to see the Montana GOP self-destruct, it’s going to mean an ugly, ugly session in 2007. I’m not looking forward to that, even if it means that the Republican party is going to alienate the state’s voters and leave itself in the hands of a few bitter partisan extremists.

Update: I just saw this over at Matt’s but McGee has also drafted legislation that would overturn the recently passed ballot initiative increasing the waiting period that legislators must endure before becoming lobbyists.

What can I say? He wants to overturn the will of Montana voters and roll back lobbying reform? The snarks write themselves.




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