Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pray for Gridlock; Legislative Update for Jan. 30

“Gridlock”, as defined by Fox News, is when enough legislators to the left of Attila band together and successfully dig their heels in to stop tax-funded, corporate-serving shenanigans that can be nothing but bad for anyone to the left of the aforementioned corporate interests or esteemed gentleman.

Thus defined, I now nominate the latest Right-of-Attila legislators for this week’s “Pray-For-Gridlock-Round-of-Applause” (*):

Dave Lewis (R- Helena)

·       For introducing SB 82 (LC0018)which would force teachers to fork over their retirement funds in the form of 401ks to the stock-market banksters who have proven themselves so reliable in the recent past (**).
·       For introducing SB 81 which would allow huge tax credits for entities who “donate” to fundamentalist charter schools (***).
·      For introducing SJR 2 during the 2011 legislative session demanding that the U.S. withdraw from the United Nations.
·      And for so much more, lest we forget.

Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick (R- Great Falls)
·       For introducing  HB 213 which would give tuition tax credits for those sending their kids to fundamentalist charter schools (***).
·      For introducing HB 265  which calls for MORE money in our new Montana Lottery formerly known as our elections (the Missoulian mistakenly labeled it HB 223)(****).
·      For introducing HB 200 a boilerplate voter-suppression bill.

Rep. Scott Reichner (R- Big Fork)
·      For being an A.L.E.C. pet (*****).
·      For introducing HB 229 which also calls for MORE money in our new Montana Lottery formerly known as our elections.

·      Rep. Ted Washburn (R-Bozeman)
·      For being an A.L.E.C. pet (*****).
·      For sensitively introducing HB 27 which would make silencers legal (in 2011 Washburn introduced a bill to require fully-armed “militias” in every Montana town).
·      For introducing HB 267, which would allow electronically-enhanced arrows for hunting.
·      For carrying voter-suppression bills HB 30 (LC0539 passed in committee) and HB 108 (LC0239 tabled in committee).
·      For carrying wolf-hysteria bills HB 31(LC0278) and HB 33 (LC0326 tabled in committee).

Rep.  Sarah Lazloffy (R- Laurel)
·      For attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (******) and, as a voting member of the House Education Committee, being the stand-alone example of where your tax money could go if charter schools are legitimized.
o   As a disclaimer to the above, I need to say that I have a lot of empathy and sympathy for rash and sometimes-idiotic 20-year-olds. I was one myself. But during my tenure in that demographic, I wasn’t a voting member of a duly-elected democratic body deciding whether or not to codify Leviticus into tax-funded school policy. As grown-ups, we do need to put our feet down, don’t we?   

(*) I love amphibians, and so, to be fair to myself, I’d like to make the following disclaimer: that while I’d actually like to see the Legislature get positive things done, I’d also choose to be the frog in the well who takes three leaps up for every two slides down rather than the frog who takes only one leap for every two down. It’s hard work being a progressive in Montana. Given the fact that amphibians are the ones taking the biggest hits from environmental degradation, it's hard work for frogs, too. Can you relate?

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