Voting records do not lie 

Eric Feaver speaks at our April 1 No Fooling With Our Future Rally, state capitol.

Our Point of View
By MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver


June-July 2011


Regardless of your political party affiliation or none at all, on OUR issues, it does matter who sits in legislative seats with votes . . . and it does matter what party they claim as their own.


Our 2011 legislative voting record speaks for itself. We have been compiling and publishing voting

records for years and years. Amazingly enough, believe it or not, our voting records consistently show who supports our issues and who doesn’t.
Voting records do not lie.


Democrats do infinitely better on our boiler plate issues. Tea Party Republicans are just not on our page.


If you are inclined to e-mail me your outrage at the Tea Party Republican legislature’s abject failure to pass HB 13 and thus ratify the state employee pay plan we bargained with the governor as directed by the legislature, but nonetheless will endorse the reelection of any one of the 58 Tea Party Republican members of the House who voted NO, then . . . why?


In retrospect HB 13 was a miserably cheap date, especially as it is today conceivable that sometime this biennium the state’s ending fund balance could blast right through $300 million!


Rounding off, HB 13 would have cost the state general fund $8 million for state employee pay, $7 million for the Montana University System, $15 million total. For the biennium!


Cheap and doable.


If you are the parent of a university student struggling to pay tuition and fees, but you voted for at least one Tea Party Republican legislator who voted NO on HB 13, where do you go from here? What would you have MEA-MFT do to fix this situation other than support the board of regents’ legislatively provoked 10 percent increase in tuition? Do you think $7 million in HB 13 might have positively restrained that tuition increase?


If you are seriously discouraged at the legislature’s failure to adequately AND equitably fund k-12 public education but you think the Tea Party Republican legislature got it right to leave millions of dollars of unexpended revenue on the table, then what do you think about all those program and staff cuts school districts across Montana are making as I write? Do kids matter less than a purposefully bloated ending fund balance?


And then, there is the bonding bill. If there were ever an opportune moment for state government to put folks to work, grow our economy (yes, create wealth), and build and repair vital public infrastructure at the lowest possible cost in interest payment and construction materials, it is right now.


The Tea Party Republican legislature’s failure to pass the bonding bill, combined with its failure to pass the pay plan, and its failure to sufficiently fund k-higher education is all the reason any of us need — on our issues — to work as hard as we can to find, support, and elect a different group of Montana citizens to sit in seats with votes.


I urge you to carefully read through our voting record. It’s all about our issues, us, and the Montana people and communities we serve . . . and it does not lie.