The Wednesday Read

Quote for the Day…

I like long walks away from everyone. – Unknown

In today’s column, I look at these people/issues:

  • Respect for Marriage Act
  • Montana AG Austin Knudsen
  • Judge Elizabeth Best


The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House last week by a vote of 267 to 157, with 47 Republicans joining all the chamber’s Democrats in voting in favor. Montana’s Rep. Matt Rosendale, a Republican, voted against the measure. (KTVH)

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate. U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) issued a press release saying:

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I’m opposed to this bill and believe it’s another attempt by Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats to distract the American people from the inflation crisis, energy crisis and the southern border crisis they’ve created.”

On Twitter, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) had this to say:

“Politicians and activist judges shouldn’t dictate who Montanans can love and marry—that’s not the government’s business.
I’ll proudly vote for marriage equality, because all families should have the same protections and rights to happiness that my wife Sharla and I enjoy.”

The bill will need 10 Republicans to side with the 50 Democrats to bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate.


Stop me if you have heard this one before…

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and 21 other state attorneys general filed a lawsuit today against the Biden administration’s new guidance that threatens to withhold federal nutritional assistance for schools and programs that receive federal nutritional assistance.

According to a press release from the Montana Department of Justice, in May, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services issued unlawful guidance that “discrimination on the basis of sex” in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act includes sexual orientation and gender identity. If schools or programs don’t comply, the guidance threatens their funding used to provide meals for students.

You can read the complete press release from the Montana Department of Justice HERE.


I don’t have a lot of respect for the four judges who make up the Cascade County District Court in Great Falls. They seem to be soft on crime. There are petitions posted on the internet to have at least one of them removed.

Although I feel that way, I must applaud Judge Elizabeth Best. She did something right on Tuesday.

According to several reports, including one from the Great Falls Tribune:

[Best] handed down the maximum sentences for the three people involved in the beating death of 5-year-old Antonio “Tony” Renova in November 2019.
Stephanie Grace Byington, 34, and Emilio Emmanuel Renova Sr., 33, were the child’s parents. Racso James Birdtail, 25, was a friend who was staying with the couple at the time of the murder.
Best gave Renova 100 years in prison without the possibility of parole for deliberate homicide.
She gave Byington 100 years for accountability to deliberate homicide with no parole for 30 years. On the count of criminal child endangerment, Byington received 10 years to run consecutively to her time in the other crime.
Best gave Birdtail five years for accountability to assault on a minor and 10 years for evidence tampering. Those two sentences will run consecutively.

During the sentencing, Best said the following about the parents:

She said instead of nurturing him, they tortured, battered, degraded and starved him as part of a pattern of abuse leading up to his death.

There is a lot of child abuse in Montana. I hope those who abuse children take notice of this sentence.

## THE END ##

7 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read

  1. All the kids should be allowed to eat whether LBGT or a minority. And if they’re facing discrimination, yes that should be investigated. Why is Austie upset about that? Seems only fair to comply with existing law. In the meantime, if you continue to force birth, you better feed them!

    • Knudsen continues to punch down any chance he gets. If there’s any group out there struggling for their rights, by God that’s where you’ll find Knudey kicking them while they’re down. Most decent men would be embarrassed and ashamed to engage in battle with such overwhelming odds in your favor. Not Knudey. He’s that kinda guy. Not exactly a bar fighter. But let a fight break out in a pre school, and Ranger Knudey will quell that riot. One riot one ranger. Pre school that is.

  2. Have to agree with Austie that threatening to withhold food assistance from poor school kids is wrong. For whatever reason. Threaten other school funding but not that.

    Disagree vehemently with Austie that the Biden admin is the party with a “radical gender identity” agenda. Austie is the radical when he’s defending discrimination against anyone for any reason, particularly school kids..

      • That Internet petition claims, “In the atrocious torture and murder of a 5yo boy Antonio (Tony) Renova, she has once again failed the victim by accepting a plea dropping charges down to where one of the three offenders will once again walk free with a slap on the wrist.”

        Petition could not have been talking about the two 100 year sentences, so it must have been Birdtail that’s the subject. The Trib story as quoted above said of the Renova case, “Best gave Birdtail five years for accountability to assault on a minor and 10 years for evidence tampering. Those two sentences will run consecutively.”

        A 10 year sentence is equivalent to, “Once again walk free with a slap on the wrist”?

        Sensationalist misinformation much?

        I will join the call for tougher sentencing in Cascade County just as soon these voters approve the money for more jail space and guards, both at the County and State level. Otherwise just another case of, “Everyone wants to lock them up but nobody wants to pay for it.”

      • Terry – Thank you.
        I have written my thoughts about the judges in Cascade county for years. I am not overly impressed. I am probably the only blogger called into a judge’s chamber to discuss my commentary about a sentence.
        As for the petition, they don’t mean that much to me.
        As for sentencing, I don’t think the judge should ever take into consideration of how much room in there is in the jail.
        A county attorney should never be a judge in the same county.
        Finally, politics has ruined the judicial system.
        Thanks again, JmB

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