Monday, January 31, 2011

Montana Republicans thwarted in marginalizing Native vote

An emotional appeal by Billings legislator, Carolyn Pease-Lopez, during testimony against an amendment to HB130, may have at long last turned Montana's public opinion against Republican lawmakers. 

From the Billings Gazette:

Pease-Lopez was upset over Republicans' support Thursday for an amendment to House Bill 130, which would have allowed all-mail voting in Montana. The amendment struck language from the bill that called for special outreach to Indian voters and college students. Rep. Derek Skees, R-Whitefish, one of the vocal opponents of HB130 and a supporter of the amendment, told reporters later that his opposition "had absolutely nothing to do with race. I have absolutely nothing to do with hate," he said, adding that he's a Christian and follows Christian principles. "We're all humans in God's eyes. ... It pains me that she looks at me and sees hate. Nothing could be further from the truth." Skees was among the several Republicans addressed by Pease-Lopez in the Democratic caucus meeting.

This legislature has pulled out all the stops as it crowds the schedule with extremist, even capricious proposals hoping that whatever compromises are reached their agenda will be advanced.  They will stop at nothing to ensure that the tribes are marginalized in discussions that interfere with Republican control of energy.  Profound pessimism has gripped the GOP having realized that their talent pool suffers greatly. 

From the Missoulian:

Local election officials have been clamoring for the change, arguing it will be more efficient, reduce fraud and save money. Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, a Democrat who had worked with a Republican lawmaker to advance the bill, said it is time to let voters answer the question with an initiative.  She blamed unfounded fear over voter fraud for the failure.
Sound familiar, South Dakota?   "Fear over voter fraud" is Republican code for whom the bait shop and gun show crowd call "prairie niggers" in a state without a Democratic governor to halt hatred against non-whites as a matter of course.

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