No amount of belief makes something a fact. ― James Randi
Today’s quick hits deal with these important subjects:
- Austin Knudsen
- Montana Family Foundation
- Trump Loses Lawsuit
In what was kind of a surprise to me, former Montana House speaker Austin Knudsen (R) announced that he was running for Montana Attorney General (AG).
According to the Associated Press (AP), Knudsen was elected to four sessions in the state House, and was speaker for the 2015 and 2017 sessions. He is now Roosevelt County attorney.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion (R) previously announced that he was running for AG. I mentioned earlier that I like Bennion. In my past dealings with him, he has always come across as professional and had a good understanding of the issues.
The Montana Democrats quickly issued a statement about Knudsen saying:
“Austin Knudsen has already shown he’s completely out of touch with Montana values,” said Monica Lindeen, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “As a legislator, Knudsen voted repeatedly against better care for veterans, voted against health insurance for tens of thousands of Montanans and opposed efforts to get dark money out of Montana politics. As speaker of the House, Knudsen voted against a bill to protect public access – legislation that would have affected his own family’s efforts to close off public access to public lands. Montana does not need another attorney general with a questionable record on protecting our public lands.”
The AP also reported that two Democrats (so far) also are running for the seat. Kim Dudik is a state representative from Missoula and Raph (RAFE) Graybill is Gov. Steve Bullock’s chief legal counsel.
The primaries will be interesting.
Montana Family Foundation:
Several years ago I thought the Montana Family Foundation was a great organization. I don’t think that these days.
The mission statement of the organization:
The Montana Family Foundation is a non-profit, research and education organization dedicated to supporting, protecting and strengthening Montana families.
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
As the Billings Gazette recently reported, the Montana Family Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and most ardent opponents to abortion; same-sex marriage equality; and non-discrimination laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
I’ve found in my life that respecting people and talking to them and not at them is better than being against them because of their beliefs or who they love. I don’t think that people are bad because of their religious beliefs, either.
So why am I writing about the Montana Family Foundation today?
The Gazette reported that Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan abandoned a complaint against Montana Family Foundation, saying he lacks the time and resources to pursue in court. In a campaign case dating back to 2014, legislative candidates registered complaints against Laurel-based Montana Family Foundation, accusing it of failing to disclose political activities in seven 2012 political races.
I’m not happy with Mangan’s decision. It was pretty wimpy. Mangan should find the time and resources to combat any and all groups that break our Montana campaign rules.
The rules are there for everyone – especially for the non-profit, research and education organizations.
Trump Loses Lawsuit:
In what may be the first of many, Reuters reported that a U.S. District Court judge on Monday ruled in favor of a U.S. House of Representatives committee seeking President Donald Trump’s financial records from his accounting firm.
It was also reported that the Judge, Amit Mehta, denied a request by Trump to stay his decision pending an appeal. They have seven days to comply.
Because everything is political and for those keeping score at home, Judge Mehta was nominated by President Barack Obama back in 2014.
You can be sure this will be appealed. We’ll see how it plays out.