Some are saying Schweitzer is actually a Republican
All snark intended, shouldn't these individuals get out a bit more and travel beyond the borders of the People's Republic of Santa Monica or Berkeley?
My response to these ill-informed souls:
Brian Schweitzer refused to take PAC money in the race for the governor's spot.
He has reached out, courted and won the respect AND votes of Montana's Native Amercians.
Environmentalists in Montana agree that they finally have someone who will listen to them after decades of being completely shut out.
Schweitzer blew off President Bush's social security reform plans likening it to selling a bum steer at a cattle auction.
Schweitzer is providing greater funding for education in Montana.
Such sure sounds like parts of the GOP master plan.
Such undercover rightwing bloggers as DailyKos and David Sirota are Schweitzer supporters --- guess we should finally expose these turncoats to the liberal community.
Still not convinced?
From the Billings Gazette on Schweitzer's first session:
By CHARLES S. JOHNSON
Gazette State Bureau
HELENA - Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Wednesday passed out the accolades to members of the Montana Legislature for their work and for approving nearly all of the items on his agenda.
"I think that this Legislature has done a wonderful job in this session," Schweitzer told reporters at a morning press conference. "As the chief executive I would ask for little more than they delivered. While all the ink is not dry yet, it appears as though we're going to do some pretty remarkable things in this legislative session.''
He congratulated the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and House and paid tribute to the freshman lawmakers who were empowered to stand up for their beliefs on the bills. At times, Schweitzer was able to persuade some freshman Republican representatives to support his proposals, even as the GOP House leaders opposed them.
Among the accomplishments he cited were bills to:
# Promote the production of ethanol in Montana by mandating its use in fuel.
# Require groceries to put up signs telling people the country of origin of most meat sold in stores, even as Congress had passed a similar requirement but postponed it and is considering making it voluntary.
# Reinvest money in state's colleges of technology, the two-year schools.
# Put $80 million into Montana's K-12 school funding over the next two years, which Schweitzer called one of the largest increases in state history.
# Set a balanced budget that will have a projected surplus or general fund balance of about $80 million as of mid-2007, without raising taxes and that honors the spirit of the budget spending cap.
# Eliminate the property tax on business equipment for some 13,000 businesses by raising the exemption from the tax to $20,000 in business equipment, up from the current $5,000.
# Crack down on methamphetamine use in Montana through a series of measures that Schweitzer said amount to the strongest package in the nation, apart from Oklahoma's.
# Help improve access for hunting and fishing by making permanent the Habitat Montana, block management and the fishing access enhancement programs.
# Reinstate the Made in Montana program, which the administration of Republican Gov. Judy Martz had discontinued, to promote items produced and grown in Montana.
Schweitzer listed two disappointments:
One was a failure of his ethics bill to prohibit legislators, state elected officials and their top staff from becoming lobbyists until two years after they leave office.
These people now can become lobbyists the minute they leave state government. Schweitzer said he isn't done with that issue and likely will launch an initiative on ethics issues.His second disappointment was the defeat of his proposal to create a Corps of Discovery, funded by $400,000 of state money, to create a bipartisan committee of business executives and lawmakers to ferret out an estimated $60 million in waste and unnecessary duplication in state government.