Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Great Falls Tribune: Kitzenberg "basking" in Helena

There not being much of interest in the Gazette today -- just an article saying that the Democrat controlled Senate will have more influence on the upcoming budget than will the Republican controlled House because they get the last crack at it. This sets the stage for articles about whining and obstructionist Republicans. Which, if the Republicans whine and are merely obstructionist, they will have no-one to blame but themselves. When it comes to rhetoric and proposals alike, the GOP will have to choose wisely.

The more interesting story of the day is a little human interest piece in the Tribune about how Sen. Sam Kitzenberg of Glasgow is basking in his digs now that he has switched to the Democrat party, swinging the Senate from the tie that the 2006 elections resulted in to a 26-24 Dem majority.

The article lists the ways in which he was mistreated by the Republican leadership. He was apparently given a tiny basement office in the "scary part" of the Capitol, a desk that collapsed every time he opened the file drawer, the farthest away parking spot, and no computer access.

Now he is "enthroned beneath a tall, sunny window in the comparatively palatial third-floor digs that he shares with incoming Senate Majority Leader Carol Williams of Missoula."

According to the article, the only reason that all of this happened was that his fellow Republicans "never forgave him for a freshman faux pas" committed more than a decade ago. One would hardly have imagined that even Republicans could descend to such depths of pettiness...

The fact that Kitzenberg has been voting with the Democrats for years probably couldn't have had anything to do with it. Try being a Democrat who consistently votes with Republicans and see if the Dems make you the "toast of the party" (as per the story headline.)

And of course since in the last session the Republicans were in the minority, one doubts that the party had lots of "palatial digs" to go around in 2005 in the first place.

The strong message to Republicans who are being courted to be peeled off to vote with the Democrats is clear.