Thursday, June 14, 2007

Montana Main Street Blog on the Montana legislative session

For those who haven't read them, the last couple of Montana Main Street Blog posts have been valuable codas to the recent legislative session.

A lot of work went into the Montana Chamber Voting Review that MMSB links to -- and whether one agrees with the scoring system used or not (we basically do,) the raw data is there to summarize the voting records on a variety of business-related bills.

The review of the veto-override process (or rather absence of one) was especially revealing -- one would think that this sort of fact-based questioning would be simple meat-and-potato stuff for the Montana media, but if it's out there, we haven't run across it.

There were a lot of questions that weren't asked during the session -- a lot was going on and there are only so many reporters, but one would think that in-depth stories on particular important pieces of legislation would be appearing little by little after the session.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for drawing attention to this issue. It does raise some obvious questions -- questions that sort of occurred to me when I saw the story in the paper but questions that solidified for me when I read these pieces:

Why did so many legislators support some of these bills but then fail to back them when faced with the governor's vetoes? Were they intimidated by the governor in some way? Did the governor hold in front of them some sort of carrot in order to get them to switch positions and support his vetoes?

Why is the press ignoring such obvious questions? It is not as though they have more pressing things to cover in these slow days of summmer.

Montana Headlines said...

Of course the governor did what he could to persuade legislators to vote to uphold his vetoes. One would hardly expect him to do otherwise.

If legislators allowed themselves to be intimidated, it is their fault. If they took a carrot rather than voting their conscience and according to the interests of their constituents, that is their fault.

One would think, though, that the press would want to ask those questions, though. There are so many who changed their votes that just through a simple series of interviews, patterns would probably emerge.

It would make for interesting articles that would inform readers and sell papers. Which does indeed bring up the question of why the questions aren't being asked.