Now here's a dramatic way to make a point -- Montana style:
"About 96 people think they know better than the 990,000 people in Montana," says Governor Schweitzer.
Governor Schweitzer had the veto brands hot. Covering the gamet of issues important to Montanans, Schweitzer vetoed bills having to do with air and water, jobs and healthcare.
"When I swore to uphold the constitution, I meant it. There's some in this building who say, we don't care about the constitution and we don't care about the will of the people."
Now I'm sure right-wingers will rush to their fainting couches and demand Schweitzer apologize for being so violent and uncivil with his branding imagery.
But they'll have to explain why Montana Republicans tried to keep up with Schweitzer by bringing their own brand to the gathering:
Republican Senator Jason Priest, who had three bills vetoed Wednesday, says he wasn’t impressed with the theatrics.
"Consistently throughout this session we see the Governor making light of the bills that are coming across his desk instead of taking these proposals seriously," says Priest. Priest brought a prop of his own. "That's why we got this brand today. We think Montanans are getting a bum steer and that's the BS on this brand."
And while it may have been a stunt, it was a stunt with an important point:
But Senate Democrat Cliff Larsen says the demonstration gave Schweitzer a platform to tell people about bills that could really hurt.
"The Governor used the opportunity to really make a statement about a lot of the bad bills that came through because there are a group of extremists in the Republican party that have pushed some of the agendas," says Larson.
Indeed, as we've reported, a group of far-right extremists took over the Montana Legislature this year under the banner of the Tea Party, and they've been running amok. Schweitzer torched a number of their bills today:
SB 114 – Hinkle – Federal law enforcement officers should communicate with sheriff
HB 318 – Warburton – Ensure county oversight in movement of publicly-owned wild buffalo or bison
SB 109 – Barrett – Revise definition of eligible renewable resources
HB 272 – Flynn – Eliminate ability for FWP to use hunting access fees to acquire fee title lands
SB 159 – Priest – Revise energy efficiency and code adoption requirements in building codes
HB 180 – Edmunds – Revise close of voter registration
SB 306 – Murphy – Revise mining laws regarding cyanide health and vat leach open-pit mining
HB 456 – Smith – Define scope/ boundaries of human sexuality/reproduct ed in K-12 public schools
HB 464 – Blasdel – Provide medical liability protection for hard-to-recruit subspecialists
SB 111 – Sonju – Limit noneconomic damages in motor vehicle accidents
SB 228 – Priest – Prohibit creation of health insurance exchange under PPACA
SB 324 – Balyeat – Revise consumer protection laws and settlement proceeds
SB 370 – Priest – Require cost-benefit analysis of mandated health insurance coverage of service
SB 254 – Hutton – Provide state eminent domain authority for federal lands
HB 161 – Milburn – Repeal medical marijuana law
SB 183 – Brown – Revise interim zoning laws
HB 542 – Esp – Revise subdivision and platting act
Good for Schweitzer. He's obviously figured out that giving these extremists even an inch will mean they'll take a mile.