Rep. (D-Missoula) introduced SB163 last week. It would “require legislators to disclose cost/payment information for meetings attended”. Within the current context of huge money buying our democracy piece by piece, legislator by legislator, SB 163 demands that a very large percentage of Republican legislators (NO Democrats so far) disclose to what degree they are A.L.E.C. pets (*). Please:
o contact Tom and thank him.
o contact the other senators on the State Administration Committee and ask them why such blatant 19th century corruption as ALEC is tolerated today (and also to vote for SB 163).
In other good news: the Abolition Coalition will be running a bus to Helena for a lobbying day Feb. 8th. Please go to their website http://mtabolitionco.org/ for more information on how to catch a ride. I'll be going, so you can contact me, too, at 363-1329.
Now the bad news:
A virulent “Oathkeepers” (**) letter has been circulating amongst and being signed by Republican sheriffs and lawmakers angry at probable gun-control legislation. The letter is lifted almost boilerplate from past Oathkeeper and Sheriffs First (***) declarations and publications. By signing the “oath” local sheriffs and lawmakers pledge to refuse to enforce federal laws they feel are “unconstitutional”, almost incidentally including any new gun laws. Several Montana sheriffs, including Ravalli County’s Chris Hoffman, have either signed the letter or vociferously approved its content. The committee chairmen of both legislative judicial committees—Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns and Republican Sen. Terry Murphy—have also signed the letter, which in effect elevates the craziest and therefore most-dangerous aspects of ‘90s-era “Patriot”/ “Freeman” “nullification” and “county-supremacy” schemes to nominal public policy. Lest we dismiss such treasonous nonsense out of hand, please remember that this has happened before with bad result. Tim McVeigh and Jerry Nichols, for example, mouthed the same paranoid, "constitutional" threats the last go-around we had with the “militia” movement. They would have been proud to have signed such a “Sheriff’s First” letter as the one our Ravalli County sheriff has just endorsed.
Please remember, and remember again, that the N.R.A. is joined at the hip with its life-partner, A.L.E.C., whose corporate members (including the N.R.A.) write “model gun bills” such the “stand-your-ground” laws that have been passed in several states, including Florada and Montana. HB 229, passed during the 2009 Montana legislative session, was carried by none other than the current House Judiciary Committee chair, A.L.E.C. pet, state representative and signer of the latest "Sheriffs-First" oath, Krayton Kerns.
If you’ll take a moment and look at the committee members lists below, you’ll see that Jennifer Fielder, John Trochmann’s protégé (****), is a member of the Senate committee as is Scott Boulanger. The House committee has a lot of ringers, but the one who rings the winning bell loudest today is Rep. Sarah Laszloffy (R-Laurel). Ms Laszloffy :
- Is the daughter of former Republican legislator and anti-choice activist and birther, Jeff Laszloffy.
- Is “strongly opposed” to defining global warming as a problem (*****).
- Is an alumnus of the Bethel Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry where, according to the school’s website, they “equip students to live a supernatural lifestyle.” Not only that, but “the academic instruction at BSSM is unique because it is taught by apostles, prophets and evangelists…not by professors...” (******).
- Is 20 years old.
In other words, while not expecting much more than a reasonable person can stand being disappointed by, please contact these members of the House and Senate judiciary committees anyways, and ask them, politely, what the Hell. (?)
|Dee Brown||Vice Chair|
|Kendall Van Dyk||Member|
|Scott Sales||Vice Chair|
House Judiciary Committee
|Gerald (Jerry) Bennett||Vice Chair|
|Margaret (Margie) MacDonald||Vice Chair|
|Ellie Boldman Hill||Member|
|Dennis R Lenz||Member|