Saturday, April 23, 2005

Legislature: Who won?

Here's my quick read on winners and losers in the legislative session. In true blogging fashion, I have based these judgments on virtually no research, so your corrections and improvements are welcome.

Winners
Brian Schweitzer: I'm not persuaded that the governor did as well as he thinks he did, but considering that he was breaking in his first elective office with a slim legislative majority, anything this side of total disaster has to be a positive. Give him a B.

Jon Tester: The Senate president promised to be fair and bipartisan, and, by and large, he seemed to keep that promise. Now there's talk he'll run for Congress.

The ACLU: Strange, but true. Not only did public defender legislation pass in an effort to ward off an ACLU suit, the Legislature also lined up behind a resolution against the Patriot Act.

Losers
Education: It probably was too much to expect a solution to school funding problems to come out of this session, but Sen. Corey Stapleton, R-Billings, was right: Legislators should have debated education until the bitter end. Heck, I haven't had a day off since January; why shouldn't the Legislature burn 90 days of midnight oil? Back to Helena, folks.

Republicans: As I have noted before, I hold Republican leader Roy Brown in considerable esteem. I think he's smart and honest and fights for what he genuinely thinks is right. But I thought Republicans were much too quick to adopt the minority party role. They ought to have played from a position of strength: We're still the majority party in this state, and don't think a little gerrymandering changes that. Either show some bipartisan cooperation, or eat our dust in the next election. But conservative Republicans can't seem to shed the minority mentality: Sean Hannity has 12 million radio listeners, and his party controls the presidency and both houses of Congress, yet he still sounds every day like a besieged minority. Time to grow up.

Too close to call
Democrats: Interesting session for Democrats. On one hand, they had a fat surplus to spend -- every politician's wet dream. On the other, they had genuine needs to meet from court cases and a dozen years of tight budgets. It's one thing to freeze state workers' pay when the state's struggling to stay in the black, quite another when the Legislature has a couple of hundred million to play around with.

So Democrats had to spend, but they also had to avoid as much as possible the big spender label. Tough trick to pull off, and Republicans weren't eager to make it easier. The spoiler is still school funding. If the Legislature can come out of a special session with a reasonable solution and no big new tax bite, the Dems should be OK. If they don't, well, welcome to 2007.

That's enough for now. I'll add more as needed.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My take.

Schweitzer. HE'S INEXPERIENCED! Well, at least that's what the Repugs all say. So, here's the deal. What does that say about the Repugs? It says that they're gettin' their BUTTS WHIPPED baaaad by a guy who's a newby! Just think if Schweitzer were "experienced"! Not a reassuring thought for the future of the Repugness party in Montana! I give Brian an A ! Hell, he ain't the Teflon governor. He's the Ninja governor! By the time the Repugs attack him, he's GONE! But they sure look silly in their attempts!

Tester.

If I had enough hair left, I get myself a crewcut too! For you see
I think that John will be settin' the trends for a looong time to come! He's THAT good! And that's a good thing! We NEED someone in D.C. to refurbish our image after sen. cornhole burns gets whomped! Sure, it's gonna be tough, but I think that John's the man for the job!


Education.

Montanans are DAMN tired of wathcing the education system in this state take a beating! They know that a decent education is the ONLY thing that will help a working man get his kids ahead in this world. And, unfortunately, we have the Repug party that has declared WAR on education and its teachers. Why do you think that they laud homeschools? If they can get EVERYONE to homeschool their kids like sen. bobo keenan does, they can give even MORE of YOUR tax dollars to the outta state corporations! It's simple. It comes down to priorities. Which would YOU prefer to fund? Outta state corporations or education for your kids?!



Repugs.

Roger koopman, mikey lange, sen. bobo keenan, et al. Well, what can you say? These guys will NEVER be accused of being the best and the brightest!




Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Just when you thought that the western hero (or zero) was a thing of the past, along comes rep. mikey "john wayne" lange! Little mikey said last week that he would debate Schweitzer "any time any place"! Yowza! Little mikey means business! But the only leetle problem with such a challenge is that first of all, little mikey AIN'T the Repug nominee for guv! So why SHOULD Schweitzer take the time to debate every little pissant that comes along?! Mikey needs to get on his pony and pony up! In other words, he needs to get himself nominated for guv, just like Brian did! Then he would have the right to take on Schweitzer in a debate at high noon in the middle of the street! What mikey doesn't understand is that if you want to debate with the big boys, ya gotta pay your dues. If ya mouth off without payin' your dues, you won't be known as a gunslinger, but rather as a bullslinger! And also, I worry for mikey's saftey. The last time mikey tried to outdraw Brian, the Missoulian editorialized that he and his party were nuthin' but "girlie men"! That's just GOTTA be hard on a potential gunslinger's ego! So, carefull there, mikey. Sometimes caution is the better part of stupidity!


Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

Anonymous said...

P.S. to my B.S.

If mikey really wants to debate, what's he waiting for?! Hell, there's plenty of places out there to debate. How bout this blog for starters?! Or any number of the rightwing blogs. Gee, mikey, if ya really want to "kick your arguments into someone's teeth", HERE WE ARE! And there's tons similar blogs out there where people debate their ideas daily in the market place of ideas. And these forums will show whether or not mikey has the where-with-all (charisma, intelligence, determination, articulateness, correct message, etc.) to be the Repug nonimee for guv! We'll see if mikey is attractive enough to the Dems out there that he deserted for the blandishments of the Repug party to win some of their votes.


LK

Anonymous said...

Maybe lange could debate The Governor at the next meeting of Local 30...bwaahahahahahahahaha

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