First-term state Rep. Amanda Curtis, 34, is a high school math teacher in Butte who won the endorsements of Montana's teachers union for her opposition to charter schools as well as the Montana Sportsmen Alliance before Saturday's party convention in Helena. Democrats are hoping her outspoken support for labor unions and women's rights will energize the campaign against U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.
Curtis sponsored several bills that didn't make it through Montana's Republican-controlled statehouse. Among them was legislation to increase the mandatory percentage of Montana workers hired for state public works projects. Contractors, especially in the energy industry, opposed the measure.
Edmunds: Strongly Agree
Debo P. Adegbile's office, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, represented Mumia Abu-Jamal, a black Philadelphia journalist accused of murdering a police officer. They proved that Abu-Jamal's death sentence violated the United States Constitution. They saved his life as his sentence was reduced to life without possibility of parole.
For his work, which was in the tradition of John Adams, the U.S. Senate denied Adegbile's appointment to be head of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. He lost by three votes. Sen. John Walsh cast one of those votes.
If courage is to be the centerpiece of Walsh's campaign, then he should demonstrate it on the floor of the Senate.
"The good news," according to Curtis, is that that the bill--designed to repeal a law that targets gay individuals--will move forward in the state House after a 60-38 vote. "The bad news is that there are 38 people in the House who think that's how their district wants them to vote, or they are not listening to their district and believe so strongly that gays should be felons that they have a moral obligation to keep it that way."
Curtis said it was hard for her to hold herself back from walking "across the floor" during debate on the bill in order to "punch" her colleague, state Rep. Krayton Kerns, who "insinuated that if you are gay you do not have a moral character." In 1997, the state Supreme Court ruled that the 40-year-old ban on sodomy was unconstitutional, but the state legislature has yet to repeal the statute.
Q: Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Montana's anti-discrimination laws?
Q: Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?
Q: Should the federal government continue affirmative action programs?
Q: Do you support affirmative action in public college admissions?
Q: Should Montana continue affirmative action programs?
Q: Should Montana provide state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples?
Zinke adds, "I do not support same sex marriages or the adoption of children by same-sex couples. I am undecided on the issue of same-sex civil union."
TESTER: It deals with the freedoms that so many people have fought and died for. If we want to get serious about the War on Terror, we need to make the investments to fight the war on terror. We ought not be taking rights away from honest citizens.
JONES: eíve lost our Fourth Amendment rights; now thereís no protection to our privacy. Senator, youíre telling me Iím guilty of being a terrorist first. All you have to do is accuse me, and the Patriot Act applies to me, and Iím guilty and have to prove Iím innocent. Youíve turned our legal system upside down. We have to turn this off.
BURNS: The Patriot Act is a tool that is in place now for drug kingpins and organized crime. Why donít you want that extended to terrorists? If you repeal it, there goes the Meth Control Act, and the ability to monitor international phone calls from known numbers of people who want to kill us.
In the meantime, please send to my desk immediately HB 165, which will ensure the return of human remains to our Indian nations. There is nothing more sacred than burial, no matter what color you are.
Q: Public employment?
Q: State contracting?
Q: Should Montana recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Q: Should Montana restrict marriage to a relationship only between a man and a woman?
Q: Do you believe that the Montana government should recognize same-sex marriages?
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