It appears a house minority staffer is sending Montana Cowgirl tips in her spare time; and when we say spare time we mean during paid time while working for the House Minority office. It’s one thing to independently investigate an issue that’s pertinent to Montana politics, it’s another thing to be taking pictures from a privileged position for the sole purpose of ridiculing another party. We hope the Democratic party has a talk with their staffer. Employees on both sides of the aisle should focus on creating a smooth political process rather than stirring up the political pot.

Next time you see her, ask her politely to remember why she’s able to sit in that seat.


Copper Commando received a tip yesterday on some heavy logrolling happening in the Montana Capitol.

Recently appointed Republican Representative Tom Richmond (Yellowstone) struck a private deal with Governor Bullock to pass his bill, HB 411, which provides for increased tax cuts for certain stripper wells producing oil.

The bargaining chip? Richmond’s vote for SB 289–Senator Ankney’s “dark money” bill. The crew trying to advance this legislation were desperate for another vote after Rep. Fitzpatrick withdrew his support after reportedly realizing the bill is wholly unworkable.

With this 11th hour private agreement to push through Richmond’s oil bill, Bullock was able to secure Richmond’s vote.

Your average republican is likely to support lower taxes and natural resource production, but I doubt they would smile on cutting backroom deals with the Governor to get it done. Your average Democrat probably supports SB 289, but I doubt they would appreciate Bullock handing out oil tax breaks to get it through.

However, Bullock did successfully just buy a primary for another Republican with oil money and took the ability to fight the general election out from under them.

SB 289 would affect both sides of the aisle equally right? Wrong. Unions can still donate in the same fashion they always have. If SB 289 passes third reading today, Bullock secures a primary for a Republican and keeps Democrats propped up. This is all thanks to the fact that Tom Richmond’s vote was for sale, as he was the deciding vote. SB 289 passed second reading 51-49.

Here’s to hoping Tom Richmond develops some principles and a sense of election strategy before third reading today. If he doesn’t, he will have successfully handed Democrats a big strategic victory heading into a very important presidential election year.