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Thursday, October 27, 2005

MT-Sen: So Much for Seniority

Posted by DavidNYC

One argument often made on behalf of incumbents is that their "seniority" is somehow important - that presumably, it allows them greater leverage to get legislation important to their constituents passed. (This is considered so important that federal courts even permit it as a justification in re-districting to protect incumbents.) I happen to think it's bullcrap as often as not - there are a lot of factors that go into whether certain legislation gets passed, and pure seniority is just one of them.

So why am I bringing this up? One issue of important to many Americans - and to a lot of Montanans in particular - is "coutry-of-origin labelling," aka "COOL." It's a simple (and inexpensive) idea which says that all farm products should carry information identifying where they are from. And this law was actually passed at the federal level in 2002. But its implementation has been delayed, thanks to Congressional Republicans.

And guess who's been whining about it loudest lately? Why, our dear friend Connie Burns - a Congressional Republican! Burnsie is in his third term - he oughta be way senior by now, right? Well, then, why the hell hasn't he convinced his colleagues to finally authorize COOL? How pathetic is that? But wait - it gets better (or worse, depending upon your perspective).

While Connie Burns has been proving his utter ineffectiveness on Capitol Hill, Jon Tester, as President of the MT State Senate and working with Gov. Brian Schweitzer, got a state-level COOL bill passed earlier this year - and was heartily thanked by Montana's cattlemen. I guess the farmer and the cow-man can be friends, after all!

Burnsie, you have a year to get this legislation fully enacted. All of Montana - and your friends throughout the country - are watching. Your failure thus far is proof that your claims to seniority are worthless. If you can't get this done by election day, it'll just be one more nail in your electoral coffin.

(Hat tip to a Tester campaign e-mail.)

Posted at 09:11 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana | Technorati

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