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Montana Dems Sold Their Souls to Save Their Stevie

by Matthew Monforton Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Sometimes numbers paint stories more vivid and collar-grabbing than do words and pictures.  Like how, in response to Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement, state Democratic lawmakers (and a fair, though fewer, amount of GOP ones) around the nation – much to their credit – have pushed legislation targeting the predators that target so many women in so many industries.  Well, at least most Democratic lawmakers (more on that anon).

Some of the most insidious tools wielded by the world’s Weinsteins are non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).  Legal challenges are brought by brave employees as well as brave coworkers disgusted by hostile workplaces, but these folks usually don’t have the money to out-litigate their employers and are forced to accept settlements that include NDAs to gag them from exposing the predation they’ve witnessed.  And someone else almost always pays for NDAs  – whether, in the case of Weinstein, the hush money comes out of his studio’s pocket or, in the case of a governor, it comes out of yours.

So Democratic legislators this year passed, and Democratic governors signed, #MeToo bills restricting or abolishing NDAs in employee settlements in every state where the bills were introduced.

Ooops.…not quite every state, as shown by the image above.  Montana’s #MeToo bill thus passed on the votes of GOP legislators.

Weinstein’s stench moved every Democratic legislator to pass #MeToo bills in every state in which they were introduced. Except in Montana, where someone had the juice to push every Democratic legislator in the opposite direction.  Well, not quite everyone – Reps. Chris Pope (D-Bozeman) and Sharon Stewart-Peregoy (D-Crow Agency) didn’t get the memo.

So what, exactly, was in that memo?  And who had the power to cajole (almost) every Montana Democrat into betraying the #MeToo movement?

The answer to the latter question is obvious – only a Democratic governor could do that. And Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT) was the only Democratic governor in the nation to do so:

So why did Bullock do that? Some other numbers offer a clue:

Seems like the Bullock Administration has a particularly keen interest in enforcing NDAs in state-employee settlement agreements. Might this explain some of that attitude?

By now, you’re asking the obvious question: Aren’t recent developments in First Amendment jurisprudence at variance with attempts to enforce NDAs for purposes of gagging former government employees from criticizing government officials? 

Indeed they are.  And thank you for asking.  A brave former Montana government employee just filed suit today in federal court asking that same question (and here comes the obligatory full disclosure as to her attorney’s identity).

But perhaps the most interesting question– one for which numbers don’t provide an answer – is this: Why would Montana’s Democratic legislators sell their souls to save their Stevie?  My guess is that Bullock, like a certain former president, has earned his party’s loyalty because of his unwavering commitment to facilitating the murder of every unborn baby in every possible circumstance.

Actually, “loyalty” isn’t quite the right word – Democrats’ worship of abortion champions goes beyond that.  Time’s former White House correspondent once admitted that she would be “happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.”  That reporter is not the only grateful Democrat.  And, as shown by the kneepadded “no” votes on Montana’s HB 532, Bill Clinton is not the only Democratic recipient of such gratitude.  Which is why Bullock needn’t ever worry about Montana Democrats standing up to him on #MeToo or any other issue.   

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