In a recent proclamation, Flathead County state Sen. Bruce Tutvedt boasts that: “If you look at the heavy lifts from last session (2013), they were all done by responsible Republicans.”
Republican Art Wittich, 2013 Senate Majority Leader, has a different view: “Bruce is correct that anything that passed required Republican support. What he (Tutvedt) fails to mention is that what he ‘led’ was 25 percent of the caucus who blew up the budget three times faster than the private sector growth, and bailed out the governor and his union cronies’ programs. Hardly all Republican ‘ideals.’ ”
As for the term “responsible Republicans,” the Majority Leader went on: “Unfortunately, the 2013 Montana legislative leaders and the majority of the caucus could not lead ‘mutineers and cry babies’ like Bruce who mistakenly believed they were entitled to leadership posts, and bigger government.”
For whatever reason, Tutvedt seems determined to fuel the divide between the small liberal “Democrat lite” faction in the Republican Party and the advocates of the more traditional Republican values of “life, liberty and property,” its conservative majority.
Those who seem to be a particular focus of Tutvedt’s wrath here in Flathead County are former Speaker of the House Mark Blasdel, now running for Senate District 4; Ronalee Skees, candidate for House District 7; and Mike Hebert, HD 11. The election of these three, according to Tutvedt, will lead to “chaos, extremism, gridlock and anarchy.” A victory by their opponents, however, will allow the government to “function” under “responsible Republican” leadership, presumably his.