Monthly Archives: April 2010


Democrats are getting cranked up on their written comment efforts. The points they make are trying to ensure that gerrymandering can happen in 2010, especially the “fair and competitive” requirement, the 5% deviation and keeping the current districts as a starting point (something the Democrats made sure was not a criteria last time because they didn’t like the 1990 districts).

We support fair non-partisan legislative districts!

*One percent or less variation in the population size of districts: It’s not
fair if one representative has to represent 9400 people, and
the next one up the road only has 8600. The people in the
smaller district get easier access to their government.  The shape of the units should be a close to even sided as practical..
*No political data should be used to draw districts. Districts
should be drawn to represent people, not partisan politics
*Don’t keep the current districts: The current districts divide
communities in two, they have wildly varying population sizes
– in general they’re not unbiased.  No more pie shaped politically motivated districts, please….

Please mail, email or fax comments to:

Districting and Apportionment Commission

PO Box 201706

Helena, MT  59620-1706


Fax: 406-444-3036

All comments must be received the redistricting commission by May 14th.
Let’s force the democrats to be fair!


Tax Day 2010 Re-cap

A day late and dollar short, I must tell you about the grand April 15th Tax Day Tea Party that we sponsored in Billings, Montana…

Montana Shrugged organized and presented a great rally on that day to commiserate the day that all Americans must file their income tax returns or suffer the wrath of IRS..

We are Taxed Enough Already…..Get it Billings, Get it Yellowstone County, Get it Montana, Get it US of A…..NO more, nada, nyet,

What part of NO do you not understand?   It is apparent as the oft quoted phrase issued by President Bill Clinton “It depends on what the meaning of is is”?  Now that we understand each other, let’s get back to rally.

WE setup on the courthouse lawn beginning at 9:00 am after we picked up our morning Cafe Americanos from our favorite brew pub Rock Creek Coffee Roasters and our favorite barrister/owner Peggy..

WE setup a Patriotic tent awning as speaker gathering place and a fabulous sound system borrowed from Beartooth Harley.

The supreme Kodiak 4500 black pickup was flagged up with American and Patriotic flags… Political poster signs were unloaded and hauled to the speaker tent..

WE were pleasantly surprised to see KULR8, KTVQ2, and the Billings Gazette present and working the ever harmless but concerned citizenry that was gathering…All told it looked like we had near five hundred hungry patriots there…We assume hungry as they were meeting us over their observed lunch hours…hehe….

We were concerned about liberal plants in the crowd but observed none…Thank God….

We started the gathering by inviting all the gatherers to listen to a short summary presented by Eric Olsen, followed by a pledge of allegiance led by Joe Bailey, an invocation by Pastor Richard Miller and a great acapella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Sheri Olsen who is lead in the 912 Group.

Many great speeches followed through the course of the next hour and half by various State representatives and business leaders..

There were many cheers of support from the crowd regarding saving our freedoms, lowering taxes, limiting government, cutting budgets, preserving our critical amendments to the Constitution….

The sun broke out half way through the program and like a nod of acceptance from God, we felt honored by his presence throughout the activities..

Eric presented a short sermon on the costs of putting grand entitlement programs as well as excessive taxation programs brought about by Franklin Delano Roosevelt…These entitlements continue to this day and are now unfunded mandates to the tune of trillions of dollars…So as a show of force and concern, a new tradition was inspired to take all Roosevelt dimes from that day forward and contribute to a tea party near you…Montana Shrugged collected fifty dollars in Roosevelt dimes that day..Keep up the tradition Montana…

ONly had one drive by dissenter in a Cadillac Escalade ranting about 911 and truther stuff…he got tired of shouting after couple of passes…

We thank all our participants for the peaceful assembly…WE thank all our participants for being concerned citizens…WE thank the Billings Police for their behind the scenes support…

Billings Montana should be proud of these citizens whom sacrifice time in their day to come our and express their concerns over the dire situation in this country today…We invite them and their friends to take more notice and rally harder to make real change happen….

Moving on with our Montana Shrugged activities that weekend, we move into Friday where we assisted Jerry Prouse, candidate for Yellowstone County Commissioner, with securing press to meet with famous country western performer .. Aaron Tippin..  Aaron Tippin graciously accepted and invitation by Mr. Prouse to do a benefit concert at the Shine Auditorium that Friday evening.

Members of the Montana Shrugged gang as well as the Prouse family and a few select friends met Aaron Tippin at the LaQuinta hotel early afternoon.   KULR8, KTVQ2 and Voices of Montana were present to interview Mr. Tippin…  There was great comradeship in the crowd…Aaron Tippin is a great patriot and has lived the life and has written about it throughout his career…

Left to Right: Jennifer, Aaron Tippin, Jan, Eric (members of Shrugged)

Members of Montana Shrugged helped Prouse out with a pig roast in back of Shrine that evening as well as selling tickets and maintaining the doors while the crowd flowed in…

Approximately five hundred patriotic Montanans filed into the shrine for an Acoustic show put on by Aaron Tippin and his lead guitarist Bob… The same show he informed us that he usually does for the troops in Afghanistan…WE felt privileged to have him on stage….

Sheri Olsen again led the crowd in the Star Spangled Banner just prior to Jerry Prouse giving a heartfelt speech about America and its freedoms…of course, the wall size American flag gave it a great deal more meaning….the only thing missing was a white six shooter on his hip, a military helmet and a pit bull at his side….oh to digress..

Aaron Tippin played for an hour and then after adjournment, he graciously stood in lobby and greeted those that wished to stay with pictures and signatures…What a true patriot….What a great entertainer and what a great man….We honor you Aaron Tippin.

And to close out the weeked, Montana Shrugged and their friends from the John Birch Society shard a table at the three day gun show which was setup at the holiday Inn Convention Center…WE met some great new friends there and had great and positive reinforcement of our activities….

To quote Aaron Tippin song “You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything”..

Rally on folks…Rally on to your hearts desire for we will prevail…We the people will rule this great country once again… and there is hope for real change….

God Bless America…

Across Montana

Montana Shrugged with Eric Olsen in the lead, left Billings MT with his wife Diane late Friday afternoon on their trek to participate in the Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner in Kalispell, Mt.This GOP gathering is an annual event and critical to the success of the GOP in upcoming elections.

Diane and Eric stopped in Butte on Friday night to pick up Allan, a hard working Petroleum Engineering Student at Montana Tech..

After a short night of restless sleep the trio picked up a coffee at Starbucks and headed on to Missoula…

Short fuel stop and news interviews at KECI were executed at mid day.  The news reporter at KECI was interested in knowing how the tea party is growing and what plans we had for April 15th… Of course, Eric gave them the fifteen minute history of the tea party and explained why it continues to grow… It is we the people….and the government by, through and under the people….

Diane drove the vehicle through the myriad of open spaces and tree covered plains.

There were very majestic views as the Mountains rose up in front of the vehicle.  The contrasts of colors were amazing….The snowcapped mountains were picture perfect…

As we approached Flathead Lake the amazing beauty of the pristine lake with the towering mountains in the background was as good a view as any postcard….Which, with government Monumental Status hovering in DC for a good portion of the west, postcard pictures will be our only future to see the views of the west….

The weary trio arrived in Kalispell around 3:00pm and located the hotel for Rehberg private meeting.. After snacking in vehicle, we entered the room and setup Montana Shrugged banner…Met with Rehberg staff before meeting….

In a round table discussion led by Denny Rehberg, many issues were addressed although not in detail.  The various entities participating in discussions were concerned overall about their freedoms and excessive government spending…

Diane, Eric and Allan arrived early at the Expo Center where LRDD was scheduled to be held..  After greeting the staff who were collecting tickets and fees, we located a table near the front of room…. Diane spent time at table conversing with local citizenry while Eric and Allan worked the room meeting and greeting local political candidates…

The air of the dinner was exciting….The optimism in the room was high… The local candidates spoke for two minutes to describe their platforms…The general felling from all candidates was that we have had enough of the overspending and limiting of individual freedoms….The candidates were fired up to pursue their competition with facts and passion…

The night consisted of a Grand Prize drawing which Eric won unexpectedly..

There were active and quiet auctions in the room… Many homemade pies auctioned off at $100 per pie…Whew….

A local troupe performed for the crowd with the first skit being a new game called Obamaopoly….the innocent player had no chance as redistribution made it impossible to get ahead..Second skit was a takeoff on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood….tragically Mr. Roberts lost everything of value to the redistribution thugs…And final skit was situated in a restaurant….Waitress announced that you could have everything on menu and the table next to you would pay for it…only disappointment was that you had to wait until 2014 for it to take effect…

Is redistribution fact of fiction….you decide….

The trio blaze trail back to Billings taking the backside drive around Flathead lake…The groves of cherry trees was amazing….No buds visible yet..

Dropped Allan off at College after ingesting another wonderful Pork Chop John sandwich…A tradition for any of you that have lived in Butte….

The result of this entire two day sixteen hour drive was increased optimism….Optimism that we the people with the help and support of the now, more constitutional GOP candidates with in our great State will increase our States Rights and our subsequent power to counter the egregious federal government.

Montana and America, go, fight and win back your country….NOW…Not later…For later will be too late…

Democrat Politics in the Pub

This evening I attended “Politics in the Pub”, a non-partisan group seeking to remove the stigma from speaking about politics amongst “friends and neighbors”.

You can visit the website about the group at

I was really interested to see where the democrat candidates stood and where the differences between them were.

There was definitely a difference between the only two candidates who decided to make the effort and speak to the crowed of folks who showed up.

One candidate who I was very interested in questioning this evening decided to send Senator Baucus’ canned letter as a substitute for his appearance.  I suppose that they must have the same the speech writer!  Funny how that always happens between all democrats!

The candidate in question, Dennis McDonald, was seen promising to bring California and its politics right here into Montana.  The former mob attorney who represented “the weasel” in his murder trial thinks he is the kind of man to support Montanan’s in their pursuit of happiness.   I consider myself a “Montanan” and I’ve visited California.  Dennis McDonald can take his intentions back to the coast!

Meanwhile the candidates who had the courage to appear in front of a crowd of Billings residents espoused very conservatives ideals like ‘extraction of natural resources’ and ‘balanced budgets’.

DON’T GET TOO EXCITED! The talking points quickly gave way to a Q&A session.  Tyler Gernantz informed us all, much to our surprise, that oil and gas exploration was alive and well in eastern Montana!  Who’d a known!  And that the healthcare bill which was recently passed is the largest budget reduction bill that has ever passed.  WOW…..I’m certainly confused at this point…..and a bit nauseous!

Despite our differences I was delighted to hear that Tyler is a “fiscal conservative”…..I think.  He campaigns on ending the unitary budget…which really means he feels it’s necessary to stop the government from stealing from social security and medicare.  Hmmmmm.

I wonder with all this democratic support why we have not already accomplished this?  Perhaps Tyler is a NEW breed of politician?  Or perhaps he lies just as well as the others?

His honestly is still in question…of course….because he was telling me all about his pursuit of purchasing a ‘black and white’ TV.  I might note here that he is younger than I am!  I could never find a black and white TV to save my life 28 years ago…..unless of course it was from a local garage sale.

Of course he supports Cap and Trade, the uber green economy and of course, government mandated healthcare.  Booooo.

He also suggested he was interested in supporting an amendment to ‘balance the budget’ on a federal level but it’s not going to work out if it steps in the way of all of his entitlements which he feels are best for this country and sensibly  the need to protect our nation from foreign aggression.

In closing, Tyler is a LAYWER!  I think we have enough of those in Washington…..Don’t you!

On a more refreshing note (if that’s possible at an event with only democrats speaking) his running mate who also made an appearance was Sam Rankin.

Sam has considerable experience including that of questioning the former president Jimmy Carter’s decisions…..which of course were quite questionable!

Sam bills himself as a ‘moderate democrat’.  He espouses the need to extract natural resources and claims to agree that environmentalism is impeding that process.  WOW…..I’m getting a bit dizzy…..

I just hope that all this common sense is not driven by the hunger that he clearly has to garner votes from independents!

Sam’s platform is one of honestly and transparency.  He shuns contributions to his campaign from corporations and also political action groups.  He feels that his message should be enough to gather the votes necessary and is willing to accept defeat if that is not the case.

Sam was asked “How will you represent the people who gave you power, Congressman Rehberg has held over 50 listening sessions across Montana.  How would your approach be different and how will you represent the diverse opinion of all Montanans?”

Don’t you think that is exactly the question you have answers for a long time before you decide to file for office?  Sam’s response, although honest, was quite disappointing!  “That is a tough question, one that I cannot answer”.  (Probably paragraphing!….but pretty exact!)

Of course Sam agreed with cap and trade and healthcare.  His justification for the governments’ right to cap your productivity and trade your freedom was that it was necessary to protect the folks downstream from the widget factory!  Huh???

I thought that was what all those environmental regulations were for…I suppose they need to try to prevent productivity and tax any productivity which escapes their environmental gauntlet.

If that’s NOT moderate…..I don’t know what is!

So…..all in all it’s a disappointing night that I was looking forward too.  I wanted to hold McDonald’s feet to the fire.  I met him months ago at his “press release”.  While he waited for the media to discuss why he felt obligated to run for US Congress we rallied 50+ people to his 4.  All of which of course showed up in the same vehicle.  He said nothing until the media arrived.  I thought that was quite cowardly for a person running for US congress.  One who would represent the entire state of Montana.  If you remember correctly he quoted “you know how California is?  You just wait…..Montana will be the next California.”

I want somebody to answer this question…..How exactly is CA ever better than MT?

Members of Montana Shrugged Thank YOU!

Today we had a fantastic rally.  I always am optimistic in thinking that eventually hundreds of folks will join us during their lunch hour on the street corner to raise awareness about our cause…which of course is that of personal and fiscal responsibility, limited government, and of course the usual anti-socialist agenda which is being thrown at us from those liberal socialist in Washington.

Today, however, we did not get hundreds of patriots but approximately 35 +/- which is good enough for me.  At least we filled the corner on 24th Street West and King Ave.

That’s all I can really ask for I suppose.

This blog really is to thank the thousands who figure they can’t join us but do honk, wave, and scream good words through their window at us during the hour long rally that we hold weekly on the street corner.  We appreciate YOU!

We do not however appreciate the 1-2 middle fingers we get though I suppose it could be much worse!

We are not a group of “crazy” people as the left leaning media would like to portray.  We enjoy meeting weekly.  This is where we ‘conduct business meetings.  These rallies are fun.  I can’t even count the number of friends I have now made though organizing the TEA party here in Billings, MT.  Not only have I met the great patriots out on our local street corners but I’ve had the great chance to meet patriots from across the nation in doing so!  What a great way to keep the momentum moving ahead.

I might add that these people are just your regular ‘average’ Americans (if that term may be political incorrect).  We all have jobs, might own a small business, work for a corporation, or be currently unemployed due to the poor economic conditions but we all have one goal:  TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY FROM BECOME A SOCIALIST NATION.

I can guarantee you that the one thing we do not want is government in our lives each and every aspect of every day.  That is not how this country was created to be and we will not allow for it to become that way.

So each and every Wednesday (excluding next Wednesday, April 14 because we have our big Tax Day TEA party on the 15th) we rally on a different street corner to try and reach every person in the city limits of Billings, MT to make a difference for our future, our children’s future, as well as our children’s children’s future.

That said, thanks for joining us, thanks for honking for us as you drive by, and I suppose…..thanks for reading this!


Co-Founder, Montana Shrugged, TEA Party Patriots

Shrugged at TEA Party Express Tour, Denver

Like most people know…..Shrugged shows up everywhere!  We travel across the state of MT for other tea party group rallies and we also travel to Denver on occasion.  This time it was for the TEA Party Express Rally.

We had the pleasure of meeting the TEA Party Express patriots last year when they travelled through MT stopping in Helena and then Bozeman.

Members of Shrugged attended both of those rallies and one of our leaders, Eric, even got to speak at both of them.

This time, the stop was Denver.  March 31, 2010.  Members of Shrugged drove all the way to Denver so that Eric could once again speak about our great activies on the steps of the CO capital.

Here is a video of his short speech:

If you have never attended a rally organized the the TEAParty express you are missing out!  They have a great bunch of speakers who travel with the tour as well as entertainment for the whole family!

Eric speaks at TEA Party Express Rally to over 4000 patriots on the steps of the CO capital.

It was of course a peaceful rally though there were many police officers in attendance as well as a handful of protesters.  Odd how there are always way more patriots than protesters?

A few of the many police who were looking for a trouble maker in the crowd.

Even police flying overhead.

All signs were home-made. No mass production within the crowd's signs.

Was a successful trip for those members of Shrugged who made the long haul to be with fellow patriots in the Denver area.  We hope to see more of you at future rallies!

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