As was reported here last month (Legistats: Scorecard of Montana’s Extreme Right), Legistats is a weapon being wielded by extremists in the Montana GOP as they attempt to purge the party of those they alone they judge to be lacking in ideological purity.
One among many problems for those hawking Legistats—the disgraced former legislator, Ed Butcher, and his sidekick, Lonny Bergstrom—is that their “objective statistical evaluation” misses over 400 of the “partisan” votes they claim to score. (Maybe it’s just a coincidence that excluding these votes boosts the scores of their legislative allies.)
When confronted with this dilemma, Bergstrom concocted a convenient solution: Ignore their own definition of “partisan” as advertised right on their own website since its creation, and cook up an ever evolving new one that explains away those pesky 400 missing votes as non-partisan. Slick trick—if you believe the truth doesn’t matter.
This backpedaling has created another problem: Bergstrom’s new definition states that “Legistats doesn’t count as partisan those votes on which Republicans were united.” Unfortunately for Lonny, House Republicans voted unanimously on 100 of the 620 votes already scored by Legistats! So were they lying then or are they lying now? Either way it’s clear yet again Butcher and Bergstrom will be scrambling to reinvent the truth—by any means necessary.
The fact is that when compared to the most reputable legislative scorecards in Montana such as the Montana Chamber of Commerce, the Montana Contractors Association, or the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Legistats is the radical outlier. As the attached charts clearly show, where the engines of commerce and agriculture grant A’s, Legistats gerrymanders which votes they choose to score to ensure that those actually doing the work to improve the economic engine of Montana always receive F’s on the Legistats index.
Legistats is falling apart. How long must we wait before Butcher and Bergstrom quit tap dancing around the truth and admit that their prized scorecard is bogus? Or perhaps the better question is: How long before leaders of Montana’s Republican Party repudiate Legistats and the malcontents behind it?
Extremist Chronicles exists to shine a light on the extremism sabotaging Montana from both the right and the left by making public the radical views and behaviors of those in elected or leadership positions. If you are deeply committed to Montana and have a story of extremism to share, please send it to ExtremistChronicles@gmail.com so that citizens all over our state can make more informed choices about our leaders. Thank you for joining us. Together, we will build a better Montana!