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Show Ponies Must Own Their Votes!

by By ROGER HAGAN
| May 21, 2024 7:00 AM

There is an old adage in politics that goes, “When you’re explaining, you’re losing!” and Montana’s Republican show ponies have been doing an awful lot of explaining lately.

Show ponies are legislators who espouse conservative values to their respective central committees and local electorate but vote for their own self-interests while they are in Helena.

For the first time in many election cycles, these show ponies are being asked to own the terrible votes they made in Helena.

They had hoped the voters wouldn’t notice - but this cycle their deceit is being exposed.

Representatives Matt Reiger, Knudsen, Lola Sheldon-Galloway and Bergstrom voted like show ponies when they, in some combination, voted for a $180 million legislative palace, voted to increase their own salaries, and voted to increase their own per diem. 

While they were doing this, Reps Matt Regier, Knudsen, and Sheldon-Galloway voted to reduce property tax rebates for Montana's home owners. Does the phrase “a palace for me and a tent for thee” sound like a winning campaign slogan?

Senators Manzella, Beard and Representative Lola Sheldon-Galloway voted like show ponies when they voted no on federal term limits and a balanced federal budget. Who would have guessed that these legislators support the same career politicians who continue to ignore our $30 trillion national debt? Did they tell you this?

Representatives Matt Regier, Bergstrom, Gillette, Steve Galloway and Lola Sheldon-Galloway all voted to defund the Montana National Guard. 

Lest they try to tell you differently, I present this quote from the testimony of Major General Hronek, Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard, “If this bill passes it will have the practical impact of defunding the Montana National Guard.” 

Who are you going to believe, the work horse general or the duplicitous show ponies?

Not to be out done, Representative Jane Gillette somehow felt rapists were under-represented in family law court. In response, she sponsored a bill that would have allowed a rapist to seek custody of the child. How many voters would support a candidate who sponsored a rapist bill of rights?

And finally, the self-proclaimed freedom caucus, which serves as the show ponies’ luxurious stable, has displayed stunningly poor judgment by endorsing two abusive candidates whose backgrounds would sicken Montana’s law abiding electorate. 

Should voters value the messaging of an organization that endorses these types of individuals?

Montanans need work horses in Helena, not show ponies, to address the real work of property tax reform, income tax reduction, infrastructure construction and repair, and energy development. 

While the show ponies have been preparing excuses for their terrible votes, conservative Republican work horses have been keeping the lights on - ensuring a bright future for all Montanans. 

I ask that you pay particular attention to the mailers you are receiving, take note of how these show ponies voted and make your decisions accordingly.

Former Representative Roger Hagan, Great Falls