63rd Montana Legislature

By Beacon Staff
By John Fuller

As the 63rd Montana Legislature wound down, the difference between Democrats and Republicans remained stark. Gov. Steve Bullock and Democrats wanted to continue to extort money from hard-working Montanans so they could give it to their allies in the form of free health care and higher pay for government employees (which have dramatically increased in number over the last eight years).

Republicans tried to maintain fiscal sanity and improve the environment for business and job creation and tried valiantly to lighten the burden on taxpayers and get a reduction in property taxes and business equipment taxes. That difference illustrates the difference between hosts and parasites.

In biology, a host is an organism that provides the life-giving sustenance to another organism to its own detriment.

The parasite receives its sustenance by draining life from the host. Such is the relationship of Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans desire to provide an environment for hard-working Montanans (the hosts) to prosper economically and live free.

Democrats wish to continue to drain the life from the economy by onerous taxes, wasteful spending and oppressive regulations to feed their parasites. What Democrats continue to ignore is that if they kill the host, they will starve themselves.

By Joe Carbonari

It appears that some of the more acutely “conservative” actors in our state’s 2013 Legislature have done both themselves, and the state, a disservice. By refusing to play nicely with those of their own party with whom they disagreed, and often not so much on principle as on pragmatism, they set us up for an ugly 2014 primary season.

Pledges have been made for party “purification,” attempts to “purge” those “moderates” who worked across the aisle in an attempt to reach the reasoned, rational compromises necessary to move legislation forward.

Few, if any, got everything that they wanted, but most got enough to make moving the legislation worthwhile.

When Democrats tried to get cute on something they felt all but existential, voting rights, they misfired – party discipline not being their forte.

Now in 2014 we’ll see referendums on the issues of voting rights again, and Medicaid expansion. And we’ll see the “true conservatives” attempts to “cleanse” themselves in the primaries.

I fear it will be “dark money” in anonymous parade.

If it happens, this will not serve us well. Principled disagreement? Yes. Spirited debate? By all means. But ram-it-through or kill-the-bill politics, financed from the shadows?

No way. Thanks to those responsible legislators of 2013 that reached across the aisle. Here’s to hoping for their survival in 2014.

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