Republicans Burn Down 2023 Session

Republicans Burn Down 2023 Session

With mere days left in the 2023 session, Montana legislators have failed to perform even their most basic duties, like passing our state’s budget. Instead, they’ve moved full-bore into a culture war. House Speaker Matt Regier and the antithetically-named “Freedom Caucus” have cast an international shadow over Montana. Their spurious attacks against Representative Zooey Zephyr have been featured in outlets ranging from the New York Times to the BBC.

Regier has argued that Zephyr violated decorum and that Regier is simply following the rules and standards of the Legislative body. A quick examination of those arguments shows that Republicans have spent the session spewing their own indecorous rhetoric, far exceeding the mild metaphor used by Rep. Zephyr. We’ve seen the likes of Representative Braxton Mitchell claim that those testifying against his bill were unemployed folks who have nothing better to do with their time. We’ve watched the Freedom Caucus intentionally and consistently misgender Representative Zephyr. We’ve even seen Republicans explicitly state that neither students in schools nor members of the Montana Legislature owe one another respect. Listening to his own party’s dialogue through the session, Regier’s  sudden pearl-clutching and calls for decorum ring entirely hollow.

Let’s call it what it really is. Republicans can say anything they want – with no standards for basic human decency or even scientific accuracy. They can lie. They can insult their colleagues and the voters, and they will have no consequences. Whereas Democrats must listen quietly and daren’t say anything that would hold these evil-doers accountable for their discriminatory laws and words. 

Yesterday, every single Montana House Republican voted to censure Zephyr. That censure banned Zephyr from the floor for the rest of the session. However, Regier assured Zephyr could continue to participate on her assigned committees and vote remotely. 

That lie lasted less than 24 hours.

Today Zephyr sat on a bench in the Capitol and worked from her laptop. She may not be allowed on the floor, but she’s allowed elsewhere in the building. But shutting Zephyr out, literally, wasn’t enough for the GOP. Instead, they attempted to move Zephyr from that bench, despite her being in full compliance with the terms of her censure. It’s clear they don’t want Zephyr seen nor heard. This is some petty bullshit.

But wait, there’s more!

Multiple Representatives confirmed that their committees have been canceled. The remaining bills have been transferred to different (and many wholly inappropriate) committees. Those sudden cancellations only occurred in the committees on which Rep. Zephyr sits. This move not only silences Zephyr, but all of us whose Representatives are on those canceled committees. Now, not only is Zephyr’s district losing its representation, but so are thousands of other Montanans, including Great Falls.

Republicans are taking their fascism one step further, and it’s a huge fucking step.

They’re keeping the gallery closed, locking out both citizens and journalists, in what many online speculate is a clear violation of Montana’s open meeting laws. Journalists are not being allowed entry into meetings and some have even reported having their press passes revoked.

Silencing duly elected representatives, moving bills to the wrong committees, disenfranchising the voices of thousands of Montanans, and locking out the press. This is the Montana GOP, and they’re a fucking embarrassment.


“When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross”

“When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross”

“When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross”

This quote is often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, author of numerous classic American novels, including It Can’t Happen Here in 1935 about a fascist takeover in the United States. You may not have noticed on the lower right hand corner of the anti-library billboards around town there is a small photo. Most people probably don’t even see  it.  Even if they do, most people don’t know what it is supposed to mean. But for travelers in the “Christian Nationalist” movement, it is a powerful symbol of their belief in forcing the rest of us to follow their rules. Ironically the only other place you commonly see this symbol is on the lapel pins of far-right legislators in the Montana Legislature. 


Separation of Church and State? This anti-library group wants just the opposite.


These potentially libelous signs are up on two main streets in Great Falls.

Gunning for Tester?  Why Does National Dark Money Show Up in the Great Falls School Election.

Gunning for Tester? Why Does National Dark Money Show Up in the Great Falls School Election.

Usually you don’t see national dark money groups showing up in local school elections in Montana, but it has now happened here in the Great Falls School Election. Early this week voters in Great Falls received a text message from Free to Learn Action, a national right-wing organization.

The Freedom to Learn Action text is poorly researched and violates Montana campaign law.  Specifically, there is no disclaimer identifying who paid for the piece as required in Montana statutes. It also identifies the “party registration” of each of the candidates for school board.  The problem is that voters do not register by party in Montana, and the school board election is a non-partisan race.  Put simply, there is no way Freedom to Learn Action knows the party affiliation of the candidates.  Finally, the piece identifies candidate Tony Rosalles as a Democrat.  While Montana doesn’t register by party, Tony Rosalles is the head of the local Libertarian Party.  It is pretty unlikely that he considers himself a Democrat.

ProPublica reports that Freedom to Learn is a national right-wing group which says that its mission is to “advocate for classrooms independent of political influence”  ( The organization is headed up by Allison Liegh Marre, who has a long history of right-wing activism. She worked on Republican Scott Walker’s 2014 run for Governor in Wisconsin. She worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee and was the national press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  She also worked for the Air Force during the Trump Administration.  (

You might be wondering why a national right-wing group would be showing up in a Great Falls Montana school board election. Aside from the fact that the entire right-wing power structure hates public schools.  Well. . . probably because Montana’s US Senate race is going to be the biggest race in the US Senate in 2024. National groups want to establish a “Montana track record” to attract more money for their coffers. We note with interest that US Senator Steve Daines is now the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, where Marre used to be the National Press Secretary.  It’s going to be a long election season.

WTF406 Forces Anti-library Group to Change Its Name

WTF406 Forces Anti-library Group to Change Its Name

It’s a small thing but a “thing” nonetheless.  Some of the far-right crowd that hangs out in Great Falls formed a group to oppose the library mil levy with the usual attacks about drag shows, promoting pornography and generally that reading books is unAmerican.  They named their new group The Liberty and Values Project.  Upon hearing that news, WTF 406 looked to see if they registered the new name with the Secretary of State’s office.  Turned out they hadn’t, so we did and notified them to quit using our registered business name.  (See our letter).  On April 21 they filed an amended registration with the Commissioner of Political Practices changing their name to Liberty and Values.MT and filed the new name with the Secretary of State’s office.  

We believe that they have printed materials with the old name and are likely to use them anyway.  If you see printed or electronic materials that use the old name, “Liberty and Values Project” please take a photo and let us know so we can take appropriate action.  Thanks.


April 16, 2023

Re: Violation of Registered Business Name Law

Ms. Duncan,

This letter is to inform you that you are using a business name, “Liberty and Values Project,” which is registered to WTF406 with the Montana Secretary of State. You have no authority to use this registered business name.

The purpose of this letter is a formal request to cease and desist from the use of the business name, “Liberty and Values Project.” We are the owners of the registered business name, “Liberty and Values Project.”  We believe that using that name would put you in violation of the statutes enforced by the Montana Secretary of State.  

In addition, because you  have used that name in filing for an independent committee with the Office of the Commissioner of  Political Practices (CoPP), we also believe you may have violated statutes enforced by that office. You should immediately rescind, revoke, and cancel this registration with the CoPP.

Our registered business name, “Liberty and Values Project” may not be used on any materials such as flyers, stickers, buttons, pamphlets, brochures, yard signs or other printed materials.  This also includes accounts on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok, or in contracted paid advertising of any sort. You should immediately gather all distributed materials attributed to “Liberty and Values Project,” cease distribution of the same, and dispose of any such materials. 



WTF 406 “