Republican damage in Helena
Posted by Leif Ronning (+65) 10 years ago
When the republicans took control of both houses during the last election and had feelings of dread wondering what bills could come out of this legislature. My worst fears have been met and even eclipsed. There are bills looming that cut off sportsman access for water recreation. The want to cut funding for planned parenthood and other social programs while trying to hit the tax payers for $1500 laptops. They even passed a bill out of committee to cut funding for school meals until they were reminded that saving that million dollars would lose 30 million in federal funds. The have pushed looney legislation like requiring weamon to have ultra sounds for certain medical proceedurs. They wasted valuble time and money adopting the "cowboy code". Now some wingnut legislator from cascade is persuming to tell me and rest of the 2/3 majority that voted for medical marijuana that we did not know what we were voting for it and that he and his republican majority do know better and are pushing for repeal of a ballot initative that had and still has wide support. I know what I voted for and would do so again. I would like Mr. Milburn, or what ever his name is to appologize to me for saying I did not know what I was doing when I voted. I would like the voters of Montana to remember what has been happening in the last few weeks in Helena and consider what the consequences will be when you pull the lever for one of these right wing nut cases during the next election. Leif
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1286) 10 years ago
Leif,

I will give you that it frosts my ass that an issue put to the voters and passed by a substantial majority can so easily be legislated out of existence. But the current Medical Marijuana practices are more than a few tweeks away from where I thought it would be when I voted for it.

Just about anyone with the price of admission to the quack show can get a card to purchase legal "medical marijuana". I have a 19 year old niece that got a card for ingrown toenails. A co-worker of mine takes regular breaks to "medicate" himself coming back to work more us less than when he left. Parents of Sky-view HS students have asked for cards for the children so when they get caught with the chronic they have an out. And Leif you know there are countless other examples of the law falling way short of what we the "2/3" thought we where getting. I would not be opposed to a second vote on the issue now that i know how it is to be implemented, I can't guarantee a positive vote this time around.

Or we could just do as stone suggests and legalize the whole product line, hell I have mornings where a rail or two might just be the ticket.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
I realize that the medical marijuana initative has some flaws. It could be fixed with some minor tweeking of the requirements to get a card but not by repealing it.


For every once of this pot that is grown and sold in the state we eventially save the lives of Mexicans that would be killed by competing with each other for who gets to sell it to the gringos. You are never going to stop people from smoking pot by making it illegal, all you do is make the users criminal.


No offense, Leif, but this reads like someone who's trying to have it both ways. You're defending "It's needed medication" statements with anti-prohibition arguments. Your full argument sounds more like someone who favors full legalization as opposed to "minor tweaking"

Which is it?

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (2/15/2011)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
Stone, did you really just pull a full C n'P from MontanaDemocrats.org and try to pass it off as an argument?

I'm sure their coverage of Republicanses efforts to 'Criminalize State Employees' is completely on the level.

Seriously though, I do wish leadership would stand up against most of these complete wastes of time, and shame legislators into focusing on more important stuff. But we only need to look back to 2009's War on Pitbulls to remember that this kind of junk comes out of Helena pretty reliably every two years (regardless of who's running the show)
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1672) 10 years ago
Hey, the war on Pitbulls was completely justifiable. Don't you know that drug dealers blow marijuana on them to make them aggressive, and that people have sex with them? I know this is FACT, because I heard a local woman explain that these reasons are why Pitbulls should be BANNED!!!!!!! And what you hear in Miles City is God's honest truth. We all know that.
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Posted by Leif Ronning (+65) 10 years ago
Ok, I admit when I voted for the Medical Marijuana Act I really would have wanted to be voting for legalization. The war on drugs has been just as big a failure as was proabition of alcohol. All it as done is sent many to jail for victimless crimes and made America the most incarcerating nation in the world and inflated corrections budgets and destroyed families. Every time I buy a beer I pay taxes and everytime the pot guy lights up he pays nothing. At least the Medical Marijuana Act created some jobs here in Montana and I still say saves lives in Mexico. This is not the 30's and the anti marijuana hysteria is still alive in well, at least in Helena with the Republican right wingsnuts.
Leif
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
In addition to deciding the voters are morons, the legislators know that women are incapable of making any kind of judgement; that people who are divorcing don't know what they are talking about and that cities have no business determining their own laws.

How about these jackasses up in Helena stop with the political nonsense and trying to stuff the government into my bedroom and even more intimate places and start dealing with actual issues.

Like destroying jobs in 'green' energy. And getting rid of jobs in historic downtowns. And other important stuff.

Grrrr.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 10 years ago
Like destroying jobs in 'green' energy.


"Green energy" doesn't really exist.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
You don't even believe in Unicorns, do you Richard
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
Leif, I can appreciate a libertarian argument as well as the next guy.

But let's not lecture so much on the 'will of the voter' while the stoned Trojans are still busy piling out of the horse.

If people knew then what they know now, there's no chance it would pass.

Fun stat of the day...

http://billingsgazette.co...002e0.html

More than twice as many paroled convicts have Medical Marijuana cards in Montana than do all Cancer, HIV, and Glaucoma patients combined. That's not what people were sold in 2004.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
Fine. No such thing as green energy.

But actively discouraging something that has created jobs seems rather counter-productive to what the Repubs claim they are all about. And sooner or later, we will have to stop burning fossilized fauna and move into the future so why not start now?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that the 'future' of energy won't be delivered by the Montana State Legislature.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 10 years ago
Someday will all be drinking free bubble-up and eating rainbow stew.
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Posted by Bill Freese (+481) 10 years ago
If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that the 'future' of energy won't be delivered by the Montana State Legislature.

If you stay with milescity.com long enough, eventually you get a chance to agree with everybody.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1286) 10 years ago
I'm still waiting.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17494) 10 years ago
You aren't trying hard enough, Chuck.

I've agreed with Rick on several occasions. Heck, I've even agreed with Aaron Bruce and Danny Allen once or twice....but since my wife calls me a xenophobe, I suppose that's nothing to write home about...
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Posted by Mike Wallick (+163) 10 years ago
What did Xena ever do to you or your wife?

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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
And we thought we had it bad.

http://nymag.com/daily/in...te_se.html

Wisconsin's Democratic State Senators Are Hiding in a Best Western

Awesome
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Posted by Bill Freese (+481) 10 years ago
It is a trick they learned from their brothers in Texas back in 2003.

http://articles.cnn.com/2...LLPOLITICS

The bad guys won in 2003, but there is some comfort in the fact that their leader has since been convicted.

I heard on the news this morning that Wisconsin's union busting Governor Walker has declared that his union busting bill has nothing to do with union busting.
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Posted by korky II (+610) 10 years ago
Running and hiding so they dont have to vote seems to me quite a cowardly way to do things, but of course the white house sending in OSA and taking sides in a STATE issue is not only cowardly but illegal. My opinion "bust all the damn unions". They are a part of our national problem anyway.
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Posted by Mike Wallick (+163) 10 years ago
This is a prime example of why contributing heavily to only one party is not a good idea.
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+476) 10 years ago
I hate kid shows where animals are friends with their predators. It reminds me of when poor people vote republican.
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Posted by Stone (+1598) 10 years ago
Korky, "My opinion "bust all the damn unions"." Enjoy your weekends and Holidays you procreate.
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 10 years ago
the countless attacks on unions can be traced directly to the lower wages in later years...Everyones wages usually climb behind a union strike or two that established a new wage IMO...They don't just give out fair wages without pressure...thus the later years of everything going up in price but not wages...every worker in this country has benefited in some way from unions whether or not they belonged to them IMO...which is why republicans dearly love to "union bust"...


http://www.americanprogre...heets.html

[This message has been edited by howdy (2/19/2011)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
Unions brought us eight hour days, paid vacation, paid sick days, health benefits, safety benefits, and living wages. Obviously, those are bad things. We need to put workers (and women!) back into the nineteenth century in order to let our rich white overlords enjoy even more ease and profit.

Get rid of minimum wage! Tell a man he is lucky to get $1.00 a day and if he is injured at work, send him home to die! Let's get children back in the factories! Get rid of those safety regulations that keep workers alive!

BACK TO THE NINETEENTH CENTURY seems to be the cry of the Republicans these days.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
People tend to view the concept of a union as either good or bad in and of itself.

In a broader sense, unions are just a force. Like any other force, they can be used for good or bad. It just depends on the situation. I don't disagree with the concept of Unions. There are situations where they bring a necessary balance. Then there are times when they go too far, and need to be reigned in.

But trying to attack or defend them based on what happened 80 years ago ignores what they really are... a group of people fighting for their collective interest. In many ways no different from a Corporation or our Government.

Saying 'you're welcome for Weekends' is just as ludicrous as a Republican saying 'you're welcome for the No Slavery thing.' A group claiming moral authority based on what their long-dead predecessors did has no place in a current debate.

Then again, saying Unions shouldn't exist is also illegitimate. I just happen to believe that we're at a point in history where many of them need their leash tugged a bit. Especially in the public sector.
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Posted by Martin K (+14) 10 years ago
Public Sector Unions are the problem. The Union reps are the ones (in some cases... not all) fronting the cash for some politicians to get elected. Then when its time for CBA's these politicians are at the mercy of the unions with the tax payers dollars as the "rope" in the tug-a-war. Its like the wolf guarding the hen den with the tax payers on the menu.

While Private Sector Unions are the ones that have the "rich white overloads" at their mercy. If there is still money to be made the owners and union have rather easy CBA's, but when times are little "tough" CBA's well...get a little tougher.

Private Sector Union workers have numbers and profits to aim for, and their wages reflect those numbers (sometimes). While Public Sector Union workers just have to show up and that's about it and always ask for more bennies. Wonder if there would be a way that unionized public sector jobs could implement private business practices...
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Posted by Stone (+1598) 10 years ago
Rick, I agree with your above statement there are examples of both sides of the coin. However, I would hate to see what would happen to public employees without a union.

Martin, The Hudson Fair Share Act took care of unions spending dues on politics years ago. Dues go to costs and not to politics. Money for political purposes is raised separately and voluntarily through political action.

The main problem is that most of that money went to one party thus alienating unions by the other party. Public unions have lead the way and are responsible by some for the election of Bill Clinton. Paybacks are a bitch. Let the political beatings begin.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
In another move into the nineteenth century, the Repubnicans in Helena are practicing "nullification."

I am getting really tired of my tax dollars being wasted by these anti-American, hypocritical Regressives.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
That's only half the story, Stone. You're only talking about direct political contributions, which aren't really where the action is.

Unions are still free to run 'issues' ads with involuntary dues, just like the US Chamber of Commerce ads you had a problem with recently.

Saying those dues don't pay for politics is like saying the US Chamber of Commerce doesn't involve itself in politics.
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Posted by Stone (+1598) 10 years ago
Rick, you should see the paper work that we have to fill out to make a political donation as an organization. It is hamstringing to say the least.
We do not have giant corporations giving us millions to use for political gains so there is no comparison. Political money that is given to a politician for campaign purposes is donated. Plus it is a drop in the bucket to the millions being illegally funneled by corporations through the Chamber of Corporate Greed.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
Sorry, Stone. Just doesn't pass the sniff test.

http://online.wsj.com/art...90288.html

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
We are halfway through the session and where are the bills on job creation? Where are the bills dealing with taxes? Where are the bills dealing with the budget? Did I miss something or was the last election all about lunatics and fanatics or was it something to do with the ECONOMY?
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Posted by Leif Ronning (+65) 10 years ago
This legislature can only be described as the most off track, goofy bunch we have ever sent to Helena. What an embarrising time this is to be a republican. Where are the tea party bunch when we need them to go up there and tell these nuts to stop legislating morality, interfering in peoples private lives, and get to work creating jobs and finishing the budget. Because of the time the republican majority has wasted we foolishness you can just bet we will need a special session to do the real work. I think the bill for the extra session should be sent to the republican party. Once again, any one who makes less than $200,000 a year and votes republican needs therapy. To call these republicans conservative is crazy. The last supposidly conservative republican president stuck us with a debt that we will never be able to pay by cutting taxes on the rich and getting us in two stupid wars he refused to fund. I hope are grandchildren will appreciate all the people Bush killed and gave them the bill. I would take a tax and spend democrat over a spend and borrow republican any day. Leif
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
Democratic congresses have increased spending 35% since the last Republican congress (for fy2007) Obama's own DEFICIT projection over the next decade shows EVERY year nearly doubling, some years quadrupling, the worst Bush-era deficit year on record (and that was under a Democratic Congress). It's likely we'll take on more debt during the first 3 years of Obama's Presidency than we did during all of Bush's 8 years.

There is no future down the road we're going.

As far as a special session of the legislature goes... It was pretty much preordained from the beginning. Overwhelmingly Republican Legislature vs Democratic Governor is going to mean alot of brinksmanship and holding-out until the very end.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (2/21/2011)]
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6167) 10 years ago
If you want to see crazies in the legislature come to Utah.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
Do you have guys legislating that global climate change is a good thing? Sending multiple "nullification" bills to the floor? Debating whether or not to force women of childbearing age to be tested for pregnancy monthly? I suppose if they are debating space aliens, that would be worse but right now, Helena is WAY ahead on the nutjob count in my book.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9224) 10 years ago
I heard a rumor that Utah was going to eliminate 12th grade.

The poor students may have been exposed to more science that year anyways, so it's probably a good idea.
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Posted by Bill Freese (+481) 10 years ago
True rumor.

http://www.cbsnews.com/83...03544.html

Let that be a lesson to you. Never try to out crazy Utah.
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Posted by Stone (+1598) 10 years ago
Rick, AFSCME is the cream of the crop when it comes to political activism. With 1.4 million members it does not take to many $10 bills to raise millions. So it is good to find out that they are outspending the CofC with donated money from individual members, instead of overseas corporations. It warms my heart to know that someone out there is looking out for the little guy because Lord knows neither the dems of the repubs give a poop about the working class. Like I said before there only mistake was not giving to both parties. Although, there is the odd exception.

"Contributions or gifts to AFSCME PEOPLE are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. All contributions to AFSCME PEOPLE are voluntary and will be used for political purposes. Contributions are not a condition of membership or employment and refusal to contribute is free of reprisal. In accordance with federal law, AFSCME PEOPLE accepts contributions only from AFSCME members, executive and administrative personnel, and their families. Contributions from other persons will be returned."
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 10 years ago
Rick, AFSCME is the cream of the crop when it comes to political activism. With 1.4 million members it does not take to many $10 bills to raise millions.


Yeah, they'd have 14 million bucks, or about 15% of what they spent on 'issue ads' in 2010. It's no secret. That money isn't only coming from free-will $10 political donations from members. It's coming straight from the mandatory dues collected.

I'm not saying AFSCME people don't donate to PACS or candidates. I'm saying this spending



Comes from AFSCME and other unions' mandatory dues.

http://reason.com/blog/20...kes-big-cr

Now, however, AFSCME can pay for ads using annual dues from members, which amount to about $390 per person. AFSCME said it will tap membership dues to pay for $17 million of ads backing Democrats this election."

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (2/22/2011)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
Um, what the heck does this have to do with the Looney Tunes in Helena? Or is nullification big with unions? Or spear hunting? Yeah, spear hunting and the Code of the West.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 10 years ago
"What an embarrising time this is to be a republican. Where are the tea party bunch when we need them to go up there and tell these nuts to stop legislating morality, interfering in peoples private lives, and get to work creating jobs and finishing the budget"

Leif. Who the procreate do you think is creating all of this cap?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
What I love most is Republicans "nullifying" federal law left and right (in disregard of the U.S. Constitution, which they so claim to love, except when it says something they don't like) because they don't want a bigger government telling them what to do, then turning around and telling cities they can't write their own ordinances and because the state is bigger, the state gets to overrule the cities.

Can you spell "hypocrisy?"

JOBS. BUDGET. ECONOMY. JOBS. BUDGET. ECONOMY.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 10 years ago
There is nothing wrong with the state legislature passing resolutions or taking positions on matters where the policies of the federal government impact the state. There are numerous issues like the endangered species act, some of the energy policy, etc. where, IMO, it is important for state government to speak up.

However, the whole nullification concept is way overboard and is counter-productive to the very ends these clowns actually seek. That battle was lost during the civil war. There are adult methods that must be used in negotiating with the federal government. Clearly, the clowns in Helena and Cheyenne don't have a clue and are using a very junior-high approach.

It is hypocritical to on one hand say we don't like federal mandates and we are going to declare them null and void, and then on the other hand require counseling prior to one being allowed divorce their spouse. Perhaps some "counseling" with the particular agency in question should be required before anything is nullified.

I am greatly disappointed in the way republicans have conducted themselves in both the MT and Wyoming legislature this year. I guess it is a case of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (2/23/2011)]
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Posted by Bill Freese (+481) 10 years ago
I am greatly disappointed in the way republicans have conducted themselves in both the MT and Wyoming legislature this year.

They have not disappointed me at all.
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Posted by Stone (+1598) 10 years ago
Rick, thanks. That is a fantastic graft I only hope that we can keep donating that much. Thanks for your support and including good works by the unions. Keep the faith Brother Kuchynka. With your help we might be able to defeat the corporate dominated political landscape that we are now living with.


"Contributions or gifts to AFSCME PEOPLE are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. All contributions to AFSCME PEOPLE are voluntary and will be used for political purposes. Contributions are not a condition of membership or employment and refusal to contribute is free of reprisal. In accordance with federal law, AFSCME PEOPLE accepts contributions only from AFSCME members, executive and administrative personnel, and their families. Contributions from other persons will be returned."
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Posted by Kelly (+2717) 10 years ago
another great political cartoon...

http://editorialcartoonis...cfm/96079/
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Posted by Bill Freese (+481) 10 years ago
That cartoon is by Jen Sorensen, a fine cartoonist, and a friend of Montana, even if it is the wrong end of the state.
http://slowpokecomics.com...ip-photos/
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 10 years ago
Great cartoon, Kelly!

I am greatly disappointed in the way republicans have conducted themselves in both the MT and Wyoming legislature this year. I guess it is a case of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.


I get the impression sheer stupid is the problem, at least in Helena. I mean, the Code of the West stuff can only be explained by stupid.
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