Hello Friday – you beautiful thing!
Here are the topics that caught my eye this week:
- State Rep. Zooey Zephyr
- Great Falls Public Schools
- Great Falls School Board Election
- Great Falls Municipal Election
- One More Thing
STATE REP. ZOOEY ZEPHYR:
The Republicans in Montana are looking like a bunch of backward fools regarding their attacks on State Rep. Zooey Zephyr. Zephyr is the first transgender woman to hold a position in the Montana legislature.
She spoke passionately about trans issues during the debate of a bill that would ban gender-affirming medical care. Too passionately for the MAGA-controlled state legislature. MAGAs are pretty sensitive these days.
The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Montana’s House speaker (Matt Regier) on Thursday refused to allow Rep. Zooey Zephyr to speak about bills on the House floor until she apologizes for saying lawmakers would have “blood on their hands” if they supported a bill to ban gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth, the lawmaker said.
This proves that Regier does not have the intelligence to be a Speaker of a mock eighth-grade legislature, let alone the Montana House.
The AP is reporting that she made a similar remark when the bill was first debated. I did not hear of any issues with her comments at that time, which proves the Republicans are being hypocrites in this case.
All across the country, headlines are making Montana look bigoted and transphobic:
New York Times: Republicans Call for Censure of Transgender Lawmaker Who Condemned Care Ban
CBS National News: Montana transgender Rep. Zooey Zephyr silenced by state House’s Republican speaker
Washington Post: Montana Republicans misgender trans lawmaker in letter calling for civility
Advocate: Montana Republicans Attempt to Censure Trans Lawmaker for ‘Blood on Your Hands’ Remark
The fascist style of leadership being promoted by the Montana Freedom Caucus and State House Speaker Regier may silence her on the House floor, but there are other ways for Zephyr’s voice to be heard, like on Twitter:
“The Montana GOP is refusing to let me speak for the rest of the legislative session. I was elected to represent my 11,000 constituents. No silencing tactics will deter me from advocating for my community, my district, and all Montanans.”
“The Republican Party of Montana is refusing to allow me—a transgender Representative—to speak on any bill. This is fundamentally undemocratic.”
I think the actions by the Republicans in the legislature to silence Zephyr is an embarrassment to our state. Be better.
Read the complete AP report HERE.
GREAT FALLS PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
In case you missed it, Great Falls Public Schools held a press conference to talk about the issues surrounding the new regime at the Cascade County Clerk and Recorder’s office, which oversees elections.
One thing that was brought out was that Clerk and Recorder Sandra Merchant said, “Due to a medical event, we will have to cancel the Election Judge Training and will try to reschedule it for later this year.”
So only one person can train election judges?
You can read the coverage of the press conference from KRTV HERE.
A faithful reader pointed out that Great Falls City Commissioner Rick Tryon posted on Facebook that he and his wife received their school election ballots with “no problems.”
Several other of his followers said the same in the comments, so I guess there’s no problem with ballots according to the pro-Sandra Merchant (MAGA) crowd.
GREAT FALLS SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION:
I think the three members of the Great Falls School Board who are running for reelection have done a good job and deserve another term. Those three are:
- Bill Bronson
- Kim Skornogoski
- Amie Thompson
The “Montana Organized for Education PAC” sent out a “Voters Guide” endorsing the three.
You can view it HERE and HERE.
Don’t forget to vote by May 2, no matter how hard the MAGAs make it.
GREAT FALLS MUNICIPAL ELECTION:
The Electric reported this week that filing for the Great Falls municipal election opened April 20 (Thursday) and the election is scheduled for Nov. 7. The Electric added, “and the city typically conducts a mail ballot election.” Filing is open from April 20 through June 19.
It was also reported that the following seats are up for election this year:
- Two city commissioners
- Two municipal court judges
- 45 neighborhood council representatives
I hope we get a good slate of candidates. We can’t afford to elect people who vote for tax and fee increases. We can’t afford to elect or reelect MAGA folks.
Read more about the Great Falls municipal election HERE.
ONE MORE THING:
Republicans: “I get my news from the channel that has to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for lying.” – @MiddleAgeRiot
Is the the MAGA blueprint for Ms. Merchant?
I found a good visual metaphor for Regier taking out his frustrations for doing something remarkably stupid in public. I guess when the entire country is laughing at you and you go down in Montana history as the first speaker to ever get one upped by a trans, that’s gotta hurt. But he is living up to the Regier name!
Cry not for Regier or any of the rest of them. They feel no discomfort or shame or anything negative from the disapproving attention the larger regular human American nation is giving them over this. They probably consider it just the opposite – a badge of honor.
Before this they were kind of flying under the national radar below outfits like Missouri and Florida. Now they’ve cemented their extremist right creds as one of the absolute wingnuttiest legislatures in the country.
Same way Rosendale takes pride in being the nuttiest of the nutty in Congress.
Terry, quite true. But this was different. This was art. This was courtroom drama. This was Inherit the Wind level history in the making. There was Regier, pompous ass authoritarian type figure doing his level best Clint Eastwood impersonation. He doesn’t abide no nonsense in his domain. He basically said go ahead, make our day!
And then, a diminutive transgender, articulate, intelligent, cool as cool hand Luke and totally unafraid, without missing a best, accepted the challenge and made their day for’em! And ate their lunch when she was through! This in a state that considers itself macho as hell! What’s Regier gonna tell the boys in the bar back home when he has to face them? That with all his bluster he ended up like Custer?
Nope. I think Zooey made real Montana history that day. She is a true LBGT hero who has paved the way for other LGBT folks in the state. Let’s see how quick on the draw Regier is the future to call out LBGT folks. The saga of Zooey Zepher won’t soon be forgotten. If this were Mexico, they would already be writing a corrido about her. That kind of bravery is what a corrido is all about.
Unless Zooey got her right to speak back without having to totally back down and kiss Barney Regier’s a**, I don’t really see that she won this battle.
They denied her speaking rights again today.
IMO the Republican legislators who are acting so butt-hurt about Zephyr saying they would have blood on their hands are doing so because that hit too close to home. They want the entire LGBTQ community in Montana to just go away and quit upsetting their straight white Christian worldview with anything that smacks of “different”. They would be perfectly happy if all those kids simply did away with themselves, or at least moved to some other state.
I’ll also wager that 99% of these newly minted converts to legislative decorum were cackling with glee when they read about Marge Greene calling the DHS secretary a liar, and upset as hell that a fellow R silenced her in committee.
What’s the definition of “transparency?” Seems to me she uses that word for political cover without really understanding what it means. Sort of like certain other politicians who think just saying (or thinking) something makes it real!
So far I am not sure she understands what transparency is.
So I just called the Elections Office to inquire about judge training. I was told there would be training sessions held this summer. When I asked about the upcoming elections, I was told they are “flooded” with judges for them, but that the training in the summer was for new judges. I guess there is an assumption that judges don’t need to be refreshed on changes in the election law, as I suppose that never changes?!?!?!
My concern about elections in Cascade County is escalating toward panic! Not offering training for election judges to oversee the polls that Ms. Merchant and her crew are insisting upon?? Insane.
The lack of communication from Merchant does not help her cause. With all the crap happening in the world, making sure our vote counts should not be on the radar. Thanks, JmB
I wonder how long she can continue to blame the Secretary of State. Are we the only county having these problems?
I’ve not heard of any others having problems
If Merchant’s office actually wanted to train new election judges, and this medical issue excuse isn’t a fabrication, they could bring in someone else to do the training, like maybe from another county or even the State. But it is patently obvious they do not want any new election judges watching what they are doing, similar to the “wall of filing cabinets” they reportedly set up in the elections office so monitors could not see what they were doing with the absentee ballots.
The burgeoning list of excuses for why she can’t carry out the basic functions of the office is embarrassing. That’s embarrassing to the county YOU oversee, commissioners.