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12/28/2004

Bastion of Hope for Democrats in Montana?

That's right. The same Montana that is home of Marc Racicot who chaired the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign. The same Montana that has not had a Democrat governor and Democrat control of the state legislature since 1977. The same Montana that voted for Bush overwhelmingly in both 2000 and 2004. The same Montana where until November Democrats held no major positions of power in the state save one United States Senate seat. The Montana Supreme Court today made a ruling that gave the Democrats a 50-50 tie in the state House of Representatives. The state constitution says that the House speaker must come from party of the Governor, who is also a Democrat, the newly elected Brian Schweitzer.

Now outgoing Republican Governor Judy Martz didn't allow the Democrats to take control of the House without trying to cheat. Seems the race was a three way battle between Jeanne Windham, a Democrat; Jack Cross, a Republican; and Rick Jore, of the Constitution Party. After the first count of the ballots Ms. Windam was one vote behind Mr. Jore. The problem was that seven of the ballots that where counted for Jore actually where marked for both Jore and Cross. Martz reasoning for counting the votes for Jore was that if they threw the ballots out then Windham would win and it was clear that none of those votes where for Windham. I know your probably thinking you didn't read that right, so go ahead and read it again, I'll wait for you. Thank goodness the Montana Supreme Court rejected that half-baked argument and award the seat to Ms. Windham.

Montana should serve as model for all Democrats who live in "Red States", don't give up, get involved, you can make a difference. For all Democrats who are ready to right off the West and the South as unwinnable, don't give up, it can be done. Just look at Montana.

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