Here are some of the issues that caught my attention:
- School Elections
- State Rep. Zooey Zephyr
- The Sound of Freedom
In case you forgot, today is the school election in Great Falls. In Great Falls, there are three open positions on the school board and there are five candidates.
There are school elections all across Montana today. Is this a great country or what?
I turned in my family’s ballots yesterday morning. The only problem was that the ballot collection box had been moved to the elections office instead of being right inside the courthouse annex door.
According to a message on the Cascade County Elections website:
If you are a poll voter, ballots will be available beginning April 12th, 2023 at 8am. You may stop by the office anytime between 8am and 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday, to cast your vote.
We are located at 325 2nd Ave North in Room 100. We will move our office to Exhibition Hall at Montana Expo Park on election day on May 2nd, 2023. If you would like to receive your ballot during this time period, you will need to come over to the fairgrounds.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Elections Office at 406-454-6803.
This election will be a good test for the new Clerk and Recorder, Sandra Merchant. I am hoping all goes well.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ZOOEY ZEPHYR:
After reading some of the games being played against Representative Zooey Zephyr because she is transgender and spoke out about transgender issues, I must say that I am ashamed of my state.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Zephyr asked a court Monday to allow for her return to the House floor after she was silenced and barred for chiding her Republican colleagues over legislation to restrict gender-affirming health care and for encouraging protesters.
According to a press release from the ACLU of Montana:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana. the law partners of Beck, Amsden, and Stalpes, and Mike Black, Esq. filed a lawsuit in state court today challenging the censure of State Representative Zooey Zephyr (HD 100). The lawsuit alleges that recent actions undertaken by House leadership to silence Representative Zephyr are a violation of her own First Amendment rights and the rights of her 11,000 constituents to representation in their state government.
The Twitter “lawyers” were out in force after the lawsuit was filed with some saying it has merit and others saying it does not.
I think it has merit and I hope she wins. This whole situation went too far.
State House Speaker Matt Regier is being very petty. The AP reported that Zephyr spent the first day of her exile last week battling to use a bench in a statehouse hallway. Her key card to access Capitol entrances, bathrooms and party workspaces was deactivated, according to the lawsuit.
I’ve also seen reports on social media that four women, identified in some posts as Republicans, showed up early Monday to sit on the bench and prevent Zephyr from using the bench for work. (Source)
That’s cheap and juvenile. I hope that women are identified.
These are sad times for Montana. The Republicans have embarrassed the state beyond repair. We are now known as the state of bigots.
THE SOUND OF FREEDOM:
When I was out and about yesterday, I heard some jets screaming across the skies about Great Falls. I love that sound!
There are several reports, like THIS ONE, from The Electric that reported that fighter jets were flying over Great Falls for a training exercise. The jets are F/A-18 Hornets and F-5N Tiger II, according to the Montana Air National Guard.
The jets were based out of Texas and Arizona according to reports.
I remember back before the congressional delegation allowed the jets to be taken from the Montana Air National Guard in 2013, the sound of freedom was heard often above Montana. Now we hear some cargo planes lumbering over Great Falls which were basically placed here as a consolation prize after they took our jets. The cargo planes hardly cause one to stop and look up. It’s nothing like hearing fighter jets.
Thanks to the Marine Corps for bringing back some memories. Safe travel and thank you for your service.
Another day another black eye for Montana.
Thank you, my friends! If I were closer, I’d be there with you!
Thank you for posting Larry, if I were closer I , too, would be there. Who ever thought our state government could become so decisive, demeaning and down right nasty. The good people have a lot of work to do to restore freedom of speech and democracy in Montana.
Things were operating pretty smooth at the polling place this morning. The 5 to 6 voters in attendance at any given time were observed experiencing little to no wait.
For some reason every precinct had its own small ballot collection box today, instead of the one or two big ones everyone used to dump their ballots in. No one knew why. Can’t imagine having a whole bunch of boxes to keep track of instead of just one really makes chain of custody that much more secure.
Thanks for the update. -JmB
Seems strange the elections office would send the signature books off to some outside organization or people. Seems like something that should always be in control of the elections office.
This doesn’t pertain to any of your content, but I thought I’d point out there are a lot of the late-session shenanigans taking place. This is just one example: https://mooreonmontana.com/2023/05/01/same-ol-crap/