Olsens take on the capital

First stop in helena – live radio broadcast with Voices of Montana host – Aaron flint.

Aaron did a great job – as usual.

Opening my introducing my dad and I as the ones who got appearance on rachael maddow show last year at our open carry rally.

Can listen to his show here

Then up to the capital to make our politicians nervous. All sorts of lobbyists were stalking the halls. Saw all sorts of people I knew.

Headed to 4th floor for house state admin committee hearing and walked in right as they were trying to argue Office of Political Practices needed more $$$? WTH? What do you not get about cutting the budget?

Perhaps the need for extra $ is due to federal lawsuit brought by Montana Shrugged concerned free speech? Looks like it could possibly cost the state a million buckaroos before it’s over.

Side note- as we were climbing the stairs of the capital we got stuck in the middle of a gay rights press conference where they were complaining about not having enough time to testify on a specific bill. I do not remember the bill number but I must point out that not everybody gets to testify. Sometimes people only get 2 minutes. Our legislature only meets for 90 days every other year and has to look at over 2000 bills (WAY TOO MANY) so I would suggest that if you do not feel you have enough time to testify then you should lobby your representatives to change the way we do business in helena. What if the legislature meets every year?

Next we got to enjoy a lunch thanks to the GOP women. Got to sit and talk with some of our legislators – Tom Burnett (R-Bozeman), Ed Walker (R – Laurel), and James Knox (R-Billings) and his family.

Montana Shrugged Founder, Eric, talks politics with his Senator, Ed Walker

House session began at 12:30 pm where James Knox was kind enough to not only introduce us but also made an announcement on behalf of our group inviting all Republicans and Democrats to our legislative town hall that will be this Friday, February 25 at Petro Hall on the MSU-B campus.

We needed to be back at the convention hall before 2 so we listened to a bit of discussion on house floor and headed into the senate chambers.

Got to make the democrats nervous – especially my own senator – Kendall Van Dyk. No introduction needed there- they knew we were present.

Deg and I listening to debate on House Floor

Eric gave a presentation on Montana’s Natural Resources – path to prosperity. About 100 patriots sat in for his presentation.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the presentation given by Carl Graham of MPI but I would have liked to.

The rest of the afternoon left us listening to a live broadcast by Roger Hedgecock.

Lots of candidates called in and were present to talk about issues and why they are seeking office.  Congressman Denny Rehberg called in from Washington DC, Gubernatorial candidate Ken Miller called in from Kalispell  and by the way he had got the best reception from the crowd.

Other gubernatorial candidates Rick Hill and Corey Stapleton also got a chance to be on the show. US house candidate Steve Daines also got a few minutes among many others.

Was a great show – Hedgecock is sure a funny guy. Glad somebody can make a few jokes in these bad times that we are in.

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit…..wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad” Hedgecock

To finish off the night many of our legislators joined us as a panel of speakers to tell us about effectiveness in contacting them. Because I had to use my cell phone to record this session I did not get away with any worthwhile recordings.  Here are a picture:

We appreciate their willingness to work with us.  As you can see all of the legislators who sat on the panel are republican. That is not to say we didn’t invite democrats- they just tend to not reply back and show up. That’s their loss. Remember – we are Americans working on American problems. We are not republicans, democrats, or independents – we are Americans!

On to day 2 of the convention.

Grassroots activist training was the first discussion of the morning.  It opened day two of the convention at 8 am.  Panelists were Mark Meckler (TEA Party Patriots), Scott Sales (new AFP director for Montana), and Carl Graham (MPI).

TEA Party Patriots (a national “spokesperson” for the tea party movement, often seen on Fox News) has over 3300 tea party groups affilieated with them with over 21 million members across the nation.

Scott Sales says that he believes that liberals have a heart and a soul and passion for their cause…..he said that they are NOT trying to destroy America and either is Obama.  He sure got a lot of ‘boos’ from the crowd with that comment.

Carl Graham gave great tips on where to find all the information you need to educate yourself including multiple informative websites.  He did give me a hat tip on behalf of Montana Shrugged for all of the great work we do with media.  I believe he said I am now engraved into his phone because of all the posting I do to facebook and video I post to youtube.  Guess we should keep it up?

Next up was a “TEA party Panel”- it was made up of four members to discuss various activities.  I chose to take a trip to the capital so I have nothing more to report on this one.  Eric stuck around to keep his presence known.

A couple of patriots and I took a trip to the capital.  We watched both the house and senate discuss bills on the floor.  Took some great pictures as you can see –

Jan and I peer over railing onto Senate Floor

Back to the convention after lunch the first presentation was “Indian Nations” with Representative Sterling Small from the Cheyenne Tribe near Busby, MT.  His presentation was limited to his campaign and limited stories of his early life.  Nothing notable on Native States.  He was completely without Knowledge about Crow Water Compact…He stated that he would side with tribal management as they know what is best for tribe…That certainly worries us.  We all know that if President Barack Obama signs it – it is NOT necessarily good for the people.

Representative Sterling Small

Following “Indian Nations” was a presentation by PSC Chairman Bill Gallagher.  He let us in on the facts that there are 18 additional taxes included on your power bill each month.  He talked about what the PSC really is and what it does.  He was quite informative as most people tend to not even know that the PSC exists.

To finish out the convention we had a wonderful dinner with keynote Roger Hedgecock-been doing radio show since 1990.  He is concerned about the future of our country.  Just about given up on CA. But he did make the point that there are a lot of rumors about California….most of which are TRUE!

Mark Meckler also spoke during the dinner of the TEA Party Patriot’s “40 year plan”.  Ultimately the message is – in order to fix our country it will take 40 years.  In order to do so we need to fix our Finances – budget problem, Education system, Politics and stop the voter fraud!

So…..convention came to an end and that is when we found out about all of the vandalism that happened to our vehicles while in the parking lot.  Everybody was ready for their trip home only to find flat tires and stickers on their side doors, windshields and bumpers that read “tea” with a circle and a line through it.  Luckily for most of us they used mailing labels.  The weather so bad most vehicles were dirty enough that the stickers didn’t stick very well.  Guess even the left are having troubles raising money in these bad economic times?

Surely didn’t get much better for us on our attempt to drive home…..don’t even get me started…..bottom line- took us 12 hours to finally get to billings. Kodiak “parade truck” broke down (and while we were sitting broke down outside the town pump gas station in Livingston a couple of high school kids asked my dad to buy them beer…..we figured maybe we should take their money and tell them to call us when they turn 21? Ha, they would have probably been upset with us.

AAA and Livingston Tow Company jerked me around and I’m really happy to be back home now!  Thank God for people who will drive hours on their Sunday to come pick you up!  That is the wonderful thing about all the networking we have done within the TEA party in Montana.

God Bless America!



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