Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reduce Property Tax Valuations

Congress recently passed the “bailout” of $700 billion for banks and financial institutions due to collapse of the mortgage market. The Congress and Secretary of Treasury have not specifically indicated where the money will be utilized, but one thing is clear, taxpayers, homeowners and infrastructure are not going to be the beneficiaries. Essentially, over-extending credit and over-valuing assets has led to a liquidity crisis, a valuation of assets question and valuation of debt to bondholders. The percentage of markdowns will be determined by auctions conducted by the Treasury. Markdowns have been estimated between fifteen and thirty percent for house sale valuations and up to fifty percent for sub-prime loan foreclosures. Whatever the percent, it is apparent that homes and property are no longer valued at the inflated prices realized during the recent market surge.
The State recently announced a revenue surplus of $400 million. The recent surplus is in addition to the billion dollar surplus for which taxpayers received a $400 rebate. From the property taxpayers point of view, the Department of Revenue has reappraised your property consistent with market inflated values. The reappraisals will result in higher property taxes being levied on the inflated value. The process of overtaxing Montanans' is being extended to property taxes. Income taxes need to be reduced and property tax valuations need to be revised downward to reflect decreased market values. At a time when the economy is so much in doubt, the legislature must reduce the overall tax burden and inflated property appraisals must be challenged.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Treasury Bailout Proposal

Create a National Crisis and Extend Dictatorial Power for OUR Security – Lies, Lies and Damnable lies
My comments in blue – Thanks to Mike Shedlock for posting Proposal and for his comments at the bottom. Emphasis added in red to Proposal and Mike's comments.
Dick Motta

Section 1. Short Title.This Act may be cited as ____________________.

Sec. 2. Purchases of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Authority to Purchase.--The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.

(b) Necessary Actions.--The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:

MONEY CZAR – Sounds very much like Homeland Security – Dictatorial power and imposition of maritial law. Assuming new president – Who will be Secretary after election?

(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;

(2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;

What is section 3109? Authority to do whatever he decides. Financial dictatorship of the Secretary.

(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;
Make financial institutions Government agencies and they have to follow his rules – What happened to Congress? Why were Truth-in-Lending Laws Violated? Why are usury laws being ignored?

(4) establishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to supervision by the Secretary, to purchase mortgage-related assets and issue obligations; and(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act.

Sec. 3. Considerations.

In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for--

(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and

(2) protecting the taxpayer.

Take what into consideration? Why didn't he protect taxpayers and borrowers before this happened? Where was the Federal Reserve, the Security and Exchange Commissioner, the Secretary, the Congress and the President?

Sec. 4. Reports to Congress.Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.

Authority is open ended. Congress has authority and supposedly authority to authorize fiscal expenditures and laws effecting the distribution of funds. Corruption is complete and allows Congress to evade responsibility for whatever actions Secretary initiates. Congress no longer represents the people and the corruption is effecting every aspect of our economy. The Constituion has been redefined and replaced with the Communitarian Rule of Law. One World Government.

Sec. 5. Rights; Management; Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Exercise of Rights.--The Secretary may, at any time, exercise any rights received in connection with mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act.

Government has no rights it has delegated duties to adhere to the Constitution and maintain the public trust. Power will be enforced. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Accountable to who?

(b) Management of Mortgage-Related Assets.--The Secretary shall have authority to manage mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act, including revenues and portfolio risks therefrom.

(c) Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.--The Secretary may, at any time, upon terms and conditions and at prices determined by the Secretary, sell, or enter into securities loans, repurchase transactions or other financial transactions in regard to, any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act.

(d) Application of Sunset to Mortgage-Related Assets.--The authority of the Secretary to hold any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act before the termination date in section 9, or to purchase or fund the purchase of a mortgage-related asset under a commitment entered into before the termination date in section 9, is not subject to the provisions of section 9.

Double negative – Effectively,the program is never going to terminate.

Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time

The total amount of bad loans is being understated. They have no idea how much the debt will be assumed. The increase in the debt limit is an admission by the Federal government that they are going broke at a record pace. They do not say where they are going to get the $700 million. In reality, the loans will be arranged through the Federal Reserve, the very same bankers who caused the mortgage crisis in the first place. The bankers are responsible for extending mortgage contracts to unqualified purchasers. The provisions of the contract were designed to assure that buyers would be unable to pay and result in massive foreclosures. The bankers knew these loans would fail and were responsible for changing the bankruptcy laws in 2004. The dismissed CEOs of these companies were rewarded with millions of dollars in severance pay for their criminal behavior and mismanagement. Now, they want to arrange a government bailout so that the very people the bankers defrauded will have to pay for their criminal activity. No matter how the government arranges the bailout, inflation will be the result and it will impose higher prices on the people who can least afford it.

Sec. 7. Funding.For the purpose of the authorities granted in this Act, and for the costs of administering those authorities, the Secretary may use the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, are extended to include actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses. Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure.

No budget, No accountability No fiscal restraint. These are the factors that caused the problem. Paulson was CEO for Goldman Sachs and was well aware of the practices of financial institutions, insurance companies and hedge funds. He did nothing to stop the issuance of sub-prime and uncollateralized loans. Per the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, the Congress may not delegate any of it's authority.

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act.

Unless Secretary decides not to terminate!! See above negation of termination.

Sec. 10. Increase in Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.

Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $11,315,000,000,000.

In 2001, debt was $5.6 trillion. In 2007, interest on debt was $481 billion on $9.3 trillion debt. Debt limitation was $9.4 trillion. Why increase limit by $2 trillion if they are talking $700 billion in mortgage related debt? Why is no consideration being given to cutting government spending? Why are taxpayers always supposed to make sacrifices to cover for their financial bungling and fical irresponsibility? The fact is that there is no fiscal responsibility on the part of the federal government, President or Congress. Cost to people in terms of inflationary taxes are hidden and imposed on those least able to afford the consequences of their corruption.

Sec. 11. Credit Reform.The costs of purchases of mortgage-related assets made under section 2(a) of this Act shall be determined as provided under the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as applicable.

They didn't follow law in the past. Why should we assume they will comply with new undetermined dictatorial powers?

Sec. 12. Definitions.For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) Mortgage-Related Assets.--The term “mortgage-related assets” means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.

(2) Secretary.--The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Treasury.(3) United States.--The term “United States” means the States, territories, and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia.

If people are going to allow the imposition of dictatorial power, which is contrary to a Constitutional Republic and the concept of limited government, why do we need a Congress? Partnerships with government and financial institutions negates the free market system to totalitarian control. We are no longer being represented. The corruption is complete. Obama and McCain don't have a clue about economics and they will undoubtedly extend controls and appoint a new Secretary that will impose his/her concept of market control. Communism or Facism? Vote against all incumbents.
Thanks to Mike Shedlock
Dick Motta

Weep For The Taxpayer

Notice that this bill raises the national debt. Notice that the bill is supposed to take into consideration "protecting the taxpayer".The reality is this bill does not and cannot protect the taxpayer. Rather this bill only promises to take the taxpayer into consideration. The Treasury will indeed take the taxpayer into consideration, then immediately discard any such ideas.Inquiring minds are also noting "The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time."The idea behind the above statement is to allow for a continual dumping ground such that there will always be $700 billion in toxic garbage held under this program. As soon as any asset can be unloaded by the Treasury at cost, another toxic loan is eligible to be assumed on the books of the Treasury. This process can last for as long as two years.Unconstitutional ProvisionsPay particular attention to section 8.Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.Essentially the law will state that whatever the Treasury does it is above the law. Such a provision is undoubtedly unconstitutional.Weep For The Free MarketIt's time to Weep For The Free Market (or rather what little free market the US had left).Weep For The Unites States of AmericaAt taxpayer expense, Bernanke and Paulson are willing to bail out their banking buddies at enormous expense to the average taxpayer of this country. Bernanke and Paulson both should be fired. Instead Congressional sheep will baa yes to this bailout and Bush will baa yes when he signs it. It is a sickeningly sad that day for America that Congress will go along with this proposal that makes the US Taxpayer A Giant Dumpster For Illiquid Assets.$700 billion will be wasted by this program and it is $700 billion the US does not have to waste. I ask that everyone vote against any congressman who votes for the passage of this bill.Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Weep For The Unites States of AmericaPosted by Michael Shedlock at 11:14 AM Print

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Freedom or Slavery

Unless the people start fighting for their rights and enforcement of the Constitution, we are accepting slavery and dictates of the government. The people are no longer sovereign and the government limited. We are no longer a Constitutional Republic. The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary have progressively and persistently redefined the Constitution to suit their whim and we have allowed ourselves to be enslaved by the Rule of Government. Public officials are not honoring their oath of office to uphold the Constitution. They violate the public trust and no longer represent the people. A Communitarian Rule of Law is being implemented and enforced at all levels and the people are allowing it to happen. Vote against all encumbents. Restore the Constitutional Republic or become enslaved. The article below highlights the degradation. I don't see where McCain or Obama will do anything but accelerate Communitarianism.
Dick Motta grayghost1969
Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:32 am (PDT)
PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEXT TO LAST PARAGRAPH! Liberty Moment09-17-2008 Howard Blitz928-726-8050 Website: The Freedom LibraryMore About: Constitution When the United States Constitution was signed on this date 221 years ago it marked a real change in the relationship between government officials and the citizenry. For most of history citizens were ruled by rulers. Now for the first time, the rulers were to be ruled. The prime minister of England, William E. Gladstone, later remarked about the United States Constitution that, “It is the greatest piece of work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”

The Constitution is certainly not a perfect document for it did allow slavery to exist, and it continues to allow for slavery through the application of the income tax. The United States Constitution, though, continues to have value if only it is allowed to be implemented. The United States Constitution is the idea of putting government power in its rightful place and recognizing that all power in life ultimately resides in the individual. The document prevents the president from arbitrarily deciding to put American military personnel in harms way. It prevents government officials from forcefully taking from individuals and giving to others both internationally, such as Georgia and all other foreign aid, and domestically, such as bailing out businesses like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and now probably Lehman Brothers. It prevents government officials from spending money on activities such as education, health care, job creation, and the myriad of other government programs that have racked up an enormous debt that strains the citizenry’s ability to pay. The United States Constitution prevents government officials from spying on individuals unless permission is granted from a court of law. It prevents government officials from eliminating habeas corpus, establishing secret tribunals and prisons as provided for in the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, and FISA legislation. It prevents the president of the United States from being an emperor because the president must get approval from congress for all actions taken. The commander–in-chief position the president holds only means that he is the highest ranking military officer, who is a civilian by intent. Likewise, congress, under the United States Constitution, is prevented from just giving its authority to declare war and financially support the troops to the president.

Sadly, today, the vast majority of individuals in congress, the two major candidates for president of the United States, and many of America’s past presidents and members of congress not only have given and give lip service to the Constitution, but they do not even discuss in their campaigns the ideas found in the Constitution. Whoever takes the oath of office January 20, 2009 as the country’s next president will have to make massive changes in the way American government conducts itself if taking that oath has any meaning at all. The president must stop making war without a declaration from congress and congress must stop allowing the president to act in such a way. The president must stop giving all foreign and domestic aid to individuals and congress must stop providing for such activity. Both the president and congress must abolish the Federal Reserve System and cut spending drastically to prevent additional debt from being incurred. The FISA legislation, Military Commissions Act, and the Patriot Act must also be abolished.

The United States Constitution cannot be construed as just a piece of paper if individual liberty is to survive. The Constitution is the idea that individuals have the right to govern themselves without any interference from anyone, especially government officials. To govern oneself takes a tremendous amount of moral fortitude and respect for others. It is the greatest challenge of mankind. It is much easier to be enslaved. We, the posterity the founders referred to in the Preamble of the Constitution, have the responsibility of making self governance and individual liberty work. The Constitution is really only as good as we the people pay honor to it in following its precepts. Otherwise, tyranny is the order of the day which the world has been exposed to the vast majority of time throughout history.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

RLC Endorsement

The Republican Liberty Caucus, a national political organization working to change the direction of the Republican Party in the direction of strengthening free markets, preserving individual rights, and limiting government has endorsed your candidacy in 2008. You can learn more about the RLC at You can view your endorsement at .

Monday, August 18, 2008

Federal Law Does NOT Trump State Law

EMail - Federal Law Does NOT Trump State Law

Dear Mr Motta,
My name is Brian Thompson. I am a resident of Deer Lodge, but not inside the district 43 lines.After reading your campaign pamphlet that you have been handing out all over senate district 43, I have found a factual mistake in it's body.On the back side of the pamphlet under the section labeled "Judicial" you have stated that "Federal law does NOT trump state law".I am writing this to inform you that this is grotesquely incorrect.

The following is from article VI of the U.S. constitution.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

As you can see, the constitution states that the supreme law of the land is the U.S. constitution, federal laws, treaties, and finally state laws; in that order.I just thought you should be aware of this in case one of your possible constituents questions you about this statement.

Thank you for your comments on "Federal law does NOT trump state law". Unfortunately, the Constitution is being redefined by the courts and administrative agencies to nationalize the interpretation of law. The redefinition totally obscures the line of jurisdiction which reserves to the states those powers not specifically delegated to the federal government. Initially, the interstate commerce clause was used as the basis for the courts' holding the "federal law trumps state law". That intrusion has been extended to practically every aspect of law and, consequently, the perception that the federal government is supreme. The revenue sharing act of 1986 assigned a dollar figure to compliance with federal law. Under the assumption that the federal government was a more effective tax collector, the states agreed to allow expansion of federal power with the expectations that the states would receive federal funding for programs they wished to initiate. What they failed to give significant weight to were the compliance rules, regulations and guidelines which were mandatory in order to receive revenue sharing funds. In effect, states rights have been destroyed by the greed of both levels of government. The supremacy of the federal government has been extended into all levels of state and local government through the issuance of grants and earmarks. There is hardly any level of government or nongovernment organizations seeking to fund a given program, that doesn't immediately ask the question, "Where can we get a grant?". The environment, drugs, ID's, guns and nearly every aspect of our lives is now presumed to be within federal jurisdiction. The secularization of morality, which was once the purview of churches, has been surrendered to a non-profit tax classification. The government now dictates which vices are crimes and the penalties for not complying with their version of morality.

The courts have no authority to revise or redefine the Constitution. The method of changing the Constitution is to amend it. By issuing their opinions and asserting that their political or social view is infallible and henceforth, the rule of the land, they violate their oath of office to uphold the Constitution. Montana's Constitution was amended by initiative to specify term limits for elected officials. In a case concerning an Arkansas amendment the Supreme Court held that additional qualifications for federal elected officials could not be expanded by the states. The federal Constitution specifies citizenship, residence and age as qualification for federal office and defines the limit of federal jurisdiction. States should only have to comply with those provisions and the state legislatures are authorized to add additional qualifications. If the states do not have the authority to add additional qualifications, then laws pertaining to parties, campaign contributions, filing fees and other election laws should also be declared unconstitutional consistent with the federal Supreme Court's interpretation.The Montana Secretary of State presumed that the decision applied to federally elected officials and has not enforced the Montana constitutional provision concerning term limits. He has chosen to selectively exclude federal representatives from the term limits provision without seeking repeal or amendment of the Montana Constitution. The SOS takes an oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions. Rather than complying with the will of the people of Montana, the SOS is selectively enforcing the opinion of five judges in Washington. This selective enforcement is in contravention of Montanan's public trust, a violation of his public duty and a breech of his oath of office. Extending their argument for federal control, you have to ask why we need state constitutions, statutes, legislators, administrators and/or courts.

If states continue to allow the imposition of federal control and the perception that "federal law trumps state law", we have destroyed the principles of the Federal Constitution which defines the limits of federal jurisdiction and specifically reserves to the states' those rights not delegated to the federal government. We are redefining and enforcing the Constitution to a communitarian rule of law which subjects individual rights to the majority rule of the community. The federal government and courts are persistently accumulating power by holding that the federal and states' Constitutions are unconstitutional. I believe that we have to defend the Constitution, limited government, states' and individual rights. Therefore, "Federal Law does NOT Trump State Law".
Thanks again.

Dick Motta

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Residency Complaint-Dennison

Residency complaint goes before top official - Motta: Laslovich not part of district

By MIKE DENNISON Missoulian State Bureau
HELENA - The state’s top political enforcer said Tuesday he’ll look into a complaint alleging state Sen. Jesse Laslovich, D-Anaconda, is not a legal resident of his own district.
But Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth said accepting the revised complaint doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll resolve the question of Laslovich’s residence.
And the man who filed the complaint - Republican candidate Dick Motta of Philipsburg - said he’s not confident that Unsworth will rule on the issue.
“I think he’s going to dance around this thing and basically just tell me to take it to court,” Motta said Tuesday. “I think he’s going to try to get out of it, just because it’s a political football and (state officials) don’t want to deal with it.”
As for Laslovich, he said he’ll cooperate with any investigation, which he believes would show that he’s a legal resident of Senate District 43 and entitled to run for re-election this year.
“(Motta) can say that he doesn’t think I’m a resident of the district all he wants,” Laslovich said. “The law says that I am, period. I just think (his complaint) is a desperate act, and will continue to be met with the results that he’s not happy with.”
Laslovich, 27, is running for re-election in heavily Democratic SD43, which includes Anaconda, Deer Lodge, Philipsburg and Drummond. When he filed to run for re-election, he listed his parents’ address in Anaconda, although he and his wife, Jill, currently live and work in Helena.
Laslovich has said his job as an assistant attorney general in Helena is temporary and that he has always intended to return to Anaconda, where he grew up and which he considers home. His wife is an attorney with a private law firm in Helena.
Laslovich is registered to vote in Anaconda. State law says someone doesn’t lose their residency if they “go into another district of this state for temporary purposes with the intention of returning.”
Motta filed a complaint with Unsworth in early July, asking the commissioner to rule that Laslovich is not a resident of SD43 and therefore required to withdraw.
Unsworth rejected the complaint July 18, saying it didn’t cite a law under his jurisdiction. Motta refiled a new complaint last week, and Unsworth said Tuesday it meets all requirements for a legitimate complaint.
Laslovich now has until Aug. 15 to respond. Unsworth said after reviewing that response, he could dismiss the complaint and decline further investigation.
Unsworth indicated that Motta may have a difficult time showing that Laslovich violated the applicable law, which says a violation is only when someone “knowingly” makes a false statement on candidate filing material.
“There is a heavy emphasis on intent,” Unsworth said.
And even if Unsworth rules that Laslovich falsely stated his residency, Unsworth said he doesn’t have the power to remove Laslovich from the November ballot. A judge would have to take that action, at the request of someone else.
Copyright © 2008 Missoulian

August Interim Report

The August issue of Montana legislative branch newsletter is available at The Interim. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter, contact Jeff Martin at or (406) 444-3595.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not My Job

The initial complaint had to be amended to satisfy the jurisdictional authority of the OPP. The OPP dismissed the initial complaint because it did not include a specific reference to a violation of the statutes between Title 35 and Title 37. Apparently, violations of Constitutional provisions aren't sufficient for the OPP to investigate. The SOS also expressed the limitation of their authority to be ministerial. You would think that something so basic as filing for legislative office would fall within their authority. When we vote, the registrar requires verification of your identity and address. According to the SOS's office they do not have authority to verify the name and address on the Nomination form. I asked if illegal aliens could file and they said "yes". Pay the fee and run for office. The Election Law handbook contains 252 pages of laws which apply to a candidate. The clerk advised me that if I didn't sign a form that she would remove me from the ballot. It's scary to realize that the clerk has more authority that the SOS or OPP. I don't comprehend the dual level of enforcement and authority, but that's "not my job" and they don't think it's theirs either.

Amended Complaint Addendum

Amended Complaint Addendum
Per the media articles contained as Exhibts D, Mr. Laslovich has publicly acknowledged that he is living in Helena and that he is temporarily working for the Attorney General's office in Helena. He has stated that the temporary appointment will terminate on December 31, 2008. Upon termination of the appointment, it is his announced intent to return to his parents residence at 112 Mountain View St., Anaconda, MT 59711.
As stated in the Complaint, Mr. Laslovich now resides in Helena. His physical residence is 1241 Otter Rd, Helena, MT 59602. Mr. Laslovich has changed residence from 112 Mountain View St, Anaconda, MT 59711. Whether this change is temporary or permanent is irrelevent. Mr. Laslovich has acknowledged that he does not in fact, presently reside at 112 Mountain View. He has removed himself from Senate District 43 and not notified or filed with the Secretary of State, a Declaration of Change of Address form pursuant to MCA 13-10-201.
It is required that candidates maintain residency within the district in which they intend to run. Maintaining residency is required for public officials who are not under a statutory obligation to reside elsewhere. Federal representatives must go to Washington, D.C., temporarily, in order to fulfill the requirements of office. Similiarly, the Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General and other State officials are statutorily required to reside in Helena for the term of their office. Military personnel temporarily reside in another location because of obligatory military commitments. Mr. Laslovich had no statutory obligation to temporarily relocate to Helena. To the contrary, once elected, the office-holder must remain a resident in the appropriate district or may be forced to withdraw.
The Montana Constitution requires that a candidate seeking nomination for legislative office be a resident of the district, “For six months next preceding the general election,”:
Article V -- THE LEGISLATURE Section 4. Qualifications.
“ A candidate for the legislature shall be a resident of the state for at least one year next preceding the general election. For six months next preceding the general election, he shall be a resident of the county if it contains one or more districts or of the district if it contains all or parts of more than one county.”
Mr. Laslovich has sworn on the Declaration for Nomination form that he possessed the qualifications to be a candidate for Senate District 43. Per the Declaration for Nomination form, the candidate is required to list his “residence (physical) address”. On the form, Mr. Laslovich swore that his physical address was 112 Mountain View, Anaconda, MT 59711. Mr. Laslovich physical address is 1241 Otter Rd., Helena, MT 59602. The form also states, “If the mailing address is different from the physical address, it must also be listed”. The mailing address listed is 112 Mountain View, Anaconda, MT 59711. I have been unable to confirm the mailing address, but it is totally impractical, that an individual living in Helena would have their mail directed to an address 96 miles away in Anaconda.
A candidate may have only one residence. If his stated intent is to return to Anaconda by December 31, 2008, then that is an acknowledgement that he is not physically residing in Anaconda. If he is no longer physically in Anaconda, then the Nomination Form is not a true representation of his qualification for nomination. If a candidate changes residence, a Declaration of Change of Address form is required to be filed with the Secretary of State within 15 days per 13-10-201 MCA (Exhibit H). The Declaration form has not been filed as required.
The Voter Registration Card form, (Exhibit I) 13-2-202 & 13-2-203 MCA, Voter Declaration requires that “I will have resided in this county for at least 30 days before the next election (unless exempt under 13-2-514(2) MCA”). Mrs. Jill Laslovich has filed for voter registration in Helena. Mr. Jesse Laslovich continues to declare that he resides in Anaconda.
Mr. Laslovich can have only one “residence”. He has sworn that his “(physical) residence” is 112 Mountain View, Anaconda, MT 59711. His physical address is 1241 Otter Rd., Helena, MT 59602. His physical address is different from his sworn address. He has not returned to the Anaconda address within the required time period for voter registration or legislative candidacy.
Using his parents address as his stated residence is a deceptive practice intended to deceive the voters into believing that he is a district resident qualified to be a candidate for Senate District 43.
Mr. Laslovich has not maintained a physical residence in Senate District 43 for the required six months preceeding the election, and therefore, does not possess the qualifications necessary to be a candidate for the district.
Mr. Laslovich has committed a deceptive election process as defined in Sections 13-35-207(4) and (10) by making “a false declaration of nomination and “a false oath or affidavit ... required by law.”

Residency Comments

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Dick Motta of Phillipsburg is tilting at windmills.
State Sen. Jesse Laslovich, D-Anaconda, is not a legal resident of his Senate district and therefore should be disqualified from running for re-election, his Republican opponent said in a formal complaint filed this week.Dick Motta, a retired businessman from Philipsburg, filed the complaint Tuesday with the state commissioner of political practices.Sweet Home HelenaMotta said Laslovich, who works as a state attorney in Helena and owns a house there with his wife, has not been a resident of Anaconda or any other part of Senate District 43 for the required six months before the general election.
Actually, Laslovich need only live in the same County. This is the relevant section in Article V of the Montana Constitution:
Section 4. Qualifications. A candidate for the legislature shall be a resident of the state for at least one year next preceding the general election. For six months next preceding the general election, he shall be a resident of the county if it contains one or more districts or of the district if it contains all or parts of more than one county.
But you can see where Motta's coming from: Laslovich is supposed to represent SD 43 but for all intents and purposes is now a resident of Helena. See, a young man fresh out of school gets in the state legislature, and before you know it he's gotten a nice state job in Helena to go with it.
Laslovich has worked as an assistant attorney general in Helena since July 2007. He and his wife, Jill, also an attorney, bought a home in Helena in 2006 after she was hired by a law firm in Helena.Laslovich, who is registered to vote in Anaconda, listed his parents’ address when he filed to run for re-election in January.
He's not the only one. Word has it that former Rep. Kevin Furey spent precious little time in House District 91 after the got married and landed his own state job, even prior to his active duty with the Army Reserve.It kind of peeves some of the folks back home, but how can you expect a guy serve the public, support himself with a good state job and actually reside in his district all at the same time? And it's a slippery matter of proof where someone really lives.Clearly, this Motta guy is just being unreasonable.
Posted by Carol Minjares at 6:52 AM
Labels: 2008 election, Legislature
James said...
July 10, 2008 12:27 PM
Anonymous said...
Hey, Max Baucus doesn't live in Montana. So?
July 10, 2008 2:00 PM
Binky Griptight said...
Why not let the voters decide, rather than some bureaucrat (like the AG) or some tired old judge?Or, is wasting the administration and courts time part of a campaign these days?
July 10, 2008 7:52 PM

Monday, July 14, 2008
Residency Is All in Your Mind
Aha! The Missoulian's editorial writer ponders legislative candidate Dick Motta's complaint against Sen. Jesse Laslovich.
So how do the people Laslovich wants to represent feel about supporting a candidate who doesn't technically live there? Probably same as we in Montana feel about being represented by someone who doesn't live here. That would be U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, whose only claim to a home in Montana is his mother's residence. And for 11 years before he and his wife purchased that half, he didn't have any residence in Montana at all.That's in contrast to fellow U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who rents a place in Washington, D.C., but returns to his farm near Big Sandy every weekend, and U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, who doesn't even rent an apartment in Washington. He sleeps on his office couch.
Heh! Good ol' Denny. strikes us as the height of silliness that one's residency should hinge on one's intent. It boils down to the fact that elected officials make poor representatives if they don't have regular contact with the people they are supposed to represent.That's not to suggest that you should have to own a home to qualify as a candidate - but at the very least, the homes of family members you no longer live with should not count.What should matter is where you actually live right now - and we should make it clear to our legislative representatives that the statutory loophole that asks us to read candidates' minds in order to figure out where they live needs to be closed.
Does it matter that Laslovich has "gone Helena"? For right now, it's up to the voters to decide. Don't look for the next Legislature to do anything about this loophole.
Posted by Carol Minjares at 6:53 AM
Labels: 2008 election, Denny Rehberg, Dick Motta, Jesse Laslovich, Legislature, Max Baucus
Jim Lang said...
I live in HD 100 - is it true that neither the incumbent Republican nor the Democratic challenger lives in the district?
July 14, 2008 8:39 AM
Montana Headlines said...
Again, you do not have to live in the district -- you only have to live in the same county as the district.This is a very important allowance to make for the more heavily populated counties like Yellowstone and Missoula, since candidate recruitment is hard enough as it is. Someone who lives in the district generally has an advantage, since they start out with neighbors who know them, etc. But the distinctions are often fine ones, with a candidate who lives "outside the district" often just a few blocks away from the arbitrarily drawn district lines.Unless Helena and Anaconda are in the same county, Laslovich is in clear violation of the spirit of the rules -- even if the Commissioner of Political Practices, appointed by the current governor, refuses to enforce it by citing a technicality of "intent."
July 14, 2008 8:57 AM

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Physical Residence-Intended Residence

Residency shouldn't require mind reading - Monday, July 14, 2008 Missoulian
Where do you live? And how do you know you really live there?
Most of us would probably give a simple answer to these questions. We might say we live wherever it is that we pay rent, mortgage or property taxes. “Home” is the place where we lay our heads each night, or where we collect our mail. It's the address we provide when filling out our voter registration cards.
But if you're a candidate for public office in Montana, you might answer that question differently. You could say, for instance, that “home” is wherever you “intend” to live at some point in the future.
While the Montana Constitution requires that a candidate for state office reside within the district he would like to represent for at least six months prior to an election, the Montana Code Annotated goes on to explain just how to determine a candidate's true residence, and that explanation contains definitions like this: “The place where an individual's family resides is presumed to be that individual's place of residence. However, an individual who takes up or continues a residence at a place other than where the individual's family resides with the intention of remaining is a resident of the place where the individual resides.”
These sort of sentences seem to give a lot of weight to a candidate's intentions, and indeed, legal precedence largely backs that up.
The problem is, it's difficult, if not impossible, for anyone other than the candidate himself to know just where he “intends” to live.
And that seems to be the crux of Dick Motta's complaint, filed with the state Office of Political Practices on Tuesday.
“The whole word ‘intent' in my mind, is totally subjective,” he told the Missoulian this week. “From a legal point of view, you would think they would throw that out as being overly vague.”
Motta is running against Jesse Laslovich to represent Senate District 43, which covers voters in Deer Lodge and Granite counties.
A little more than a month ago, Montana House Speaker Scott Sales asked Attorney General Mike McGrath for a formal opinion on the Laslovich's residency, an opinion that McGrath rightly declined to provide. After all, Laslovich is an employee in his office.
Jesse Laslovich has been representing the district since he was first elected to a seat in the House. At the time, he was a student at the University of Montana and listed his parents' address in Anaconda as his own. He then ran unopposed for a seat in the Senate. He is now seeking re-election.
However, Laslovich has graduated from law school. About a year ago, he was appointed by McGrath to work in the Office of Consumer Protection in the Montana Department of Justice, and he has been working in Helena all that time. He also got married, and his wife works in Helena, too. They even bought a home - in Helena.
Nevertheless, Laslovich filed as a Senate candidate still using his parents' address, stating that he intends to return to Anaconda after his appointment with the Justice Department ends. Of course, he and his wife don't intend to move in with his parents, but rather to sell their house in Helena and look for property in Anaconda.
So how do the people Laslovich wants to represent feel about supporting a candidate who doesn't technically live there? Probably same as we in Montana feel about being represented by someone who doesn't live here. That would be U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, whose only claim to a home in Montana is his mother's residence. And for 11 years before he and his wife purchased that half, he didn't have any residence in Montana at all.
That's in contrast to fellow U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who rents a place in Washington, D.C., but returns to his farm near Big Sandy every weekend, and U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, who doesn't even rent an apartment in Washington. He sleeps on his office couch.
The voters of Senate District 43 will decide for themselves whether Laslovich is an appropriate representative. Since Laslovich was previously elected to the House as a university student in Missoula, it stands to reason that at least some people in the district think he can do the job just fine.
“I've always been a person who leaves it to the will of the people,” Laslovich said. “I've had somebody say, Jesse, we'd vote for you if you lived on the moon.”
He told the Missoulian this while standing in his parents' kitchen, where he was in the middle of a tiling project. He also said he manages to visit his hometown regularly, and has always considered it “home.” He agreed that “the question of intent is a subjective one,” but pointed out that if that's how the law is read, he hasn't done anything wrong.
Motta, of course, disagrees. The state constitution, he contends, is pretty clear on this issue. If state statute contains contradictory provisions, that would merely mean the provisions are ... well, unconstitutional.
Most residency requirements tend to be more specific, he noted.
“You almost have to assume that this whole approach to ‘intent' is sort of an attempt to give legislators a way to reinterpret the statute,” Motta mused.
Indeed, it strikes us as the height of silliness that one's residency should hinge on one's intent. It boils down to the fact that elected officials make poor representatives if they don't have regular contact with the people they are supposed to represent.
That's not to suggest that you should have to own a home to qualify as a candidate - but at the very least, the homes of family members you no longer live with should not count.
What should matter is where you actually live right now - and we should make it clear to our legislative representatives that the statutory loophole that asks us to read candidates' minds in order to figure out where they live needs to be closed.
Copyright © 2008 Missoulian

Monday, July 7, 2008

Draft Complaint Laslovich Residence

On the Secretary of State Nomination form, Jessee Laslovich specified that his mailing and physical address is 112 Mountain View St, Anaconda, MT 59711. Public records and newspaper articles indicate that he has changed his physical residence to 1241 Otter Rd, Helena, MT 59602. The Anaconda address, his parents home, is within the boundaries of Senate District 43. The Helena address is not within the boundaries and he has not been a resident of the Anaconda area for the required six months preceding the general election. Mr. Laslovich may have intended to return to Anaconda, but he has not fulfilled that commitment. Mr. Laslovich is not a resident of Senate District 43 and, therefore, does not qualify as a legislative candidate for that district. Based on the following and MCA 13-12-201, I request that the Office of Political Practice investigate this complaint and that the Secretary of State notify Mr. Laslovich that he is required to withdraw as a Candidate for Senate District 43.
The Montana Constitution, Article V, Section 4, Qualifications specifies residency as a qualification for the Legislature. The operative word “shall” means that residency is required and that a legislative candidate must be a resident of the district for a period of six months prior to the general election.
Article V -- THE LEGISLATURE Section 4. Qualifications.
“ A candidate for the legislature shall be a resident of the state for at least one year next preceding the general election. For six months next preceding the general election, he shall be a resident of the county if it contains one or more districts or of the district if it contains all or parts of more than one county.”
The subjective terms, “intent” or “state of mind”, are not contained in the Qualification clause. Based on the wording of the Article, objective factors for determining residency over-ride any subjective factors such as “intent”.
Per MCA 1-1-215. Residence-rules for determining, an individual may only have one residence:
Every person has, in law, a residence. In determining the place of residence, the following rules are to be observed: (1) It is the place where a person remains when not called elsewhere for labor or other special or temporary purpose and to which the person returns in seasons of repose. (2) There may be only one residence. If a person claims a residence within Montana for any purpose, then that location is the person's residence for all purposes unless there is a specific statutory exception.
(3) A residence cannot be lost until another is gained.
The question is whether Mr. Laslovich's residence is at 1241 Otter Rd., Helena, MT 59602 (Exhibit A) where he resides with his wife, or whether he resides at his parents home at 112 Mountain View ST, Anaconda, MT 59711 (Exhibit B). It also raises the question of whether Mr. Laslovich is returning to Anaconda temporarily as a candidate for Senate District 43. Per MCA 1-1-215, there may only be “one residence”. Per Article V, Qualifications, the candidate “shall” be a resident of the district for six months. Per MCA 13-1-112. Rules for determining residence:
“For registration, voting, or seeking election to the legislature, the residence of an individual must be determined by the following rules as far as they are applicable:
(5) An individual may not gain a residence in a county if the individual comes in for temporary purposes without the intention of making that county the individual's home. (7) The place where an individual's family resides is presumed to be that individual's place of residence. However, an individual who takes up or continues a residence at a place other than where the individual's family resides with the intention of remaining is a resident of the place where the individual resides. (8) A change of residence may be made only by the act of removal joined with intent to remain in another place.”
Per MCA 13-1-101(4) Definitions - Voter registration information is subject to verification by the Secretary of State:
"Application for voter registration" means a voter registration form prescribed by the secretary of state that is completed and signed by an elector, submitted to the election administrator, and contains voter registration information subject to verification as provided by law.”
The Declaration for Nomination form requires that a candidate provide a residence (physical) address and a mailing address if different from the physical. The statute also provides a Declaration of Change of Address form prescribed by the Secretary of State. Per MCA 13-10-201 (5),
“(a) The declaration for nomination must be in the form and contain the information prescribed by the secretary of state.(b) A person seeking nomination to the legislature shall provide the secretary of state with a street address, legal description, or road designation to indicate the person's place of residence. If a candidate for the legislature changes residence, the candidate shall, within 15 days after the change, notify the secretary of state on a form prescribed by the secretary of state.”
On the excerpted Nomination Form, (Exhibit C) Mr. Laslovich specified that both his mailing and physical address was 112 Mountain View St., Anaconda, MT 59711. The Anaconda address is his parents residence and it is owned by Laslovich Construction. Per the Missoulian and Montana Standard articles, (Exhibit D) January 26, 2008, Mike Denison, Standard State Bureau, “Laslovich, 27, said Friday he has used that address for his entire career in the Legislature, including his first two terms in the state House, when he was a student at the University of Montana in Missoula”. The article further states that Laslovich graduated from the UM law school in 2006, was hired as an assistant attorney for the Justice Department in Helena and that he and his wife, Jill (maiden-name Peterson) bought a house in Helena. Jill Laslovich is an attorney for the law firm of Crowley, Haughey, Hanson, Toole and Dietrich.
Based on the preceeding factors, the Laslovichs' are no longer students, have graduated law school, have created a family entity, established residence in Helena, are employed in Helena and are pursuing careers in Helena, not Anaconda. Per the Helena Independent Record, the Laslovichs', Jesse Anthony Laslovich and Jill Opal Peterson, were married on 11/22/07. Attached (Exhibit E) is a letter, 05/27/08, from the Department of Administration, State Personnel Division, confirming that Jesse Laslovich is currently employed by the Department of Justice. Mr. Laslovich has acknowledged that he is employed by the Justice Department, but claims that the appointment is temporary until December 31, 2008. The underlying assumption is that he intends to return to Anaconda upon termination of the appointment. Whether that intent will be fulfilled is subject to conjecture. Even if the intent is fulfilled in January, 2009, it is not timely when determining residency and eligibility as a candidate for Senate District 43. In fact, Mr. Laslovich is currently employed and residing in Helena. Per the Crowley, Haughey profile, Jill Laslovich is in Helena practicing in the firm's Litigation Department:
“Jill Laslovich graduated with high honors from the University of Montana in 2003 with a degree in Political Science, and from the University of Montana School of Law in May of 2006. During law school, she competed on the National Moot Court Team, placing first in the region and advancing to the national finals. Mrs. Laslovich currently practices in the Helena office in the firm's Litigation Department.”
Per the Lewis and Clark County Tax Records, Exhibit F, Jessee Laslovich and Jill Peterson purchased the property on July 14, 2006 and are currently residing at 1241 Otter Rd, Helena, MT 59602. The mailing address for the tax data is 1241 Otter Rd, the property tax payments for the second half of 2007 have been paid and the data was last updated 06/24/08. In response to my request for voter registration information, the Lewis and Clark Voter Registrar, Marilyn Bracken, emailed:
“I would like to know if Jesse A. Laslovich - Jill 0. Laslovich - Jill O. Peterson, 1241 Otter Rd., Helena, MT 59602-7637 are registered voters for any Helena voting precincts.”
“From: "Marilyn Bracken"
“We have a Jill Laslovich registered at 1241 Otter Rd.”
Objective factors for determining residency are home ownership, employment, registration, precinct designation, district designation, taxpayer status and time in the district. For elections, one of the first questions asked at the polling booth is where do you reside. Based on your answer, you are directed to the precinct where your voter registration has been predetermined and verified. Based on the precinct and voter registration, the elector is eligible to vote for various public offices and initiatives. A county resident may not vote for city/town officials. In the case of a County Commissioner, each district is defined and unless you are a resident of that district you may not run for that office. Initiatives similarly apply to various districts and precincts and your eligibility to vote on the initiative is determined by your residence. District Judges must reside in the district over which they will preside. The redistricting process in 2003 determined district guidelines and redefined where an elector must reside in order to be eligible to vote and seek nomination for legislative office. In the case of Granite County, all electors were reassigned to a new senate district. The residents were never consulted on the redistricting and there certainly was no consideration given to their “intent” to reside in the new district. After redistricting, residence determined where the elector would vote and the specified boundaries determined eligibility for voting on various ballot issues and public offices.
The significance of residency as the basis for determining eligibility to legislative office was highlighted in the Montana Districting Plan. Per the Plan footnote, “Incumbent legislators may not be eligible to run in the new districts based on residency or term.” The underlying assumption was that in order to be elected to legislative office a candidate must reside in the new district.
As Submitted to the Secretary of State By the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission In Fulfillment of Article V, section 14, of the Montana Constitution and section 5-1-111, MCA February 5, 2003. Senate District 43 is comprised of House District 85 and 86. The Boundaries are:
“House District 85 includes the southwest corner of Powell County (5,283 persons), including the city of Deer Lodge and northern Deer Lodge County (3,311 persons). The boundary in Deer Lodge County 37 from the west uses the Denton Point road to Highway 1 to Linden Street in Anaconda where it switches to the railroad tracks through Anaconda using the northern track. On the east side of Anaconda, it continues following the railroad track east to the county line.
House District 86 includes all of Granite County (2,830 persons) and the southern two-thirds of Deer Lodge County (6,106 persons) south of Highway 1 and the railroad tracks. (In Anaconda, the northern track is the boundary).”
Included as Exhibit G, is a Google Earth Direction guide between the parents' residence, 112 Mountain View Rd, Anaconda, MT and 1241 Otter Rd., Helena, MT. The distance is 96 miles and the estimated drive time is 1 hour and 48 minutes. Mr. Laslovich has not indicated that he commutes to work in Helena from Anaconda. Mr. Laslovich lives in Helena with his wife and commutes to work in Helena. When considering all the objective factors, Mr. Laslovich resides in Helena, not Anaconda. Mr. Laslovich's future plans and intent are subject to conjecture. As a Helena resident, he is not eligible to be a candidate for Senate District 43.
Based on the preceding, I request that the residency of Mr. Laslovich be determined by the Office of Political Practice and that the Secretary of State notify the candidate to withdraw consistent with the provisions of MCA 13-12-201- Secretary of state to certify ballot:
(1) Seventy-five days or more before an election, except as provided in 13-10-208, the secretary of state shall certify to the election administrators the name and party or other designation of each candidate entitled to appear on the ballot and the ballot issues as shown in the official records of the secretary of state's office, which must include the notification specified in 13-37-126.
(2) The election administrator shall certify the name and party or other designation of each candidate entitled to appear on the ballot and the ballot issues as shown in the official records of the election administrator's office, which must include the notification specified in 13-37-126, and shall have the official ballots prepared. If a candidate for the legislature is no longer eligible under Article V, section 4, of the Montana constitution to seek the office for which the candidate has filed because the candidate has changed residence, the secretary of state shall notify the candidate that the candidate is required to withdraw as provided in 13-10-325.

Monday, June 16, 2008

AG - No Opinion Laslovich Residence

McGrath declines GOP request on senator's residency
Posted on June 13By MATT GOURAS of the Associated Press
HELENA - Attorney General Mike McGrath told the House speaker Friday that he won't be looking into the residency status of a state lawmaker who works in his office.
McGrath said Scott Sales' request does not conform with the requirements for a formal attorney general opinion.
Sales, a Republican, asked McGrath last week to look into the residency of Democratic Sen. Jesse Laslovich. Sales said he doesn't think Laslovich lives in Anaconda and shouldn't be able to represent the area.
But McGrath, in a letter to Sales, said attorney general opinions are reserved for questions of law, and are not meant for fact-finding.
Sales did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
McGrath also said state law allows the House speaker to ask for formal legal opinions only on issues related to the office. He said the residency of Laslovich does not relate to Sales' position.
The attorney general also referred to an analysis done by legislative attorney Greg Petesch, where Petesch says a candidate's intent is a big part of determining residency. Petesch also says state law allows for lawmakers to temporarily move with the intention of returning.
Past decisions on the issue have found that residency is largely a matter of intent.
But McGrath said he wasn't in a position to make a determination on Laslovich because "no mechanism exists in the opinion process for the gathering of evidence through investigation and hearing and determination of factual issues."
Laslovich, a lawyer, also works in McGrath's office and owns a Helena home. He used his parents' Anaconda address when he filed for re-election, and has said he doesn't consider Helena his permanent residence in part because his current job is a temporary one.
The Democrat has said that Sales' request is "a little bit of politics."
Copyright © 2008 Missoulian

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Laslovich Residency Response

June 7, 2008
Letter to Editor
Mike Denision's, Standard State Bureau, article, “Legislator's Residency in Question”, reported that House Speaker Scott Sales asked Attorney General, Mike McGrath, for a formal opinion on the residency of Senator Jesse Laslovich. I'm the Republican candidate for Senate District 43. Until the article was published, I was not aware that Mr. Sales had filed a formal complaint with the AG. I'm also in the process of questioning Mr. Laslovich's residency with the Secretary of State's office and the Office of Political Practice. At this point, I considered the residency question an administrative matter to be resolved by one of the agencies. Requesting a formal opinion from the AG converts what should be an administrative matter to a legal and ethical issue. Mike McGrath, AG, is the one who hired Mr. Laslovich. The AG appears to have a conflict of interest and should not issue an opinion concerning Laslovich's residency.
Mr. Laslovich's candidacy raises two Constitutional issues, separation of powers and district residency. As a legislator, Mr. Laslovich is Chairman of the Judicial and Ethics Committees. Although he's still a legislator, Mr. Laslovich is working for the Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection. The Separation of Powers clause states, “No person or persons charged with the exercise of power properly belonging to one branch shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others...”. Concerning residency, the Legislative Qualification clause states, “ For six months next preceding the general election, he shall be a resident of the county if it contains one or more districts”. From an objective point of view, Mr. Laslovich is working in Helena for the AG, his wife is working for a Helena law firm and their residence is in Helena. Mr. Laslovich stated that residency “boils down to the intent of the person...” and that he uses his parents address because he considers Anaconda his home. When he was attending law school, his parents' address was his residence. Now that he's graduated law school, married, employed and living in Helena, the response that he considers Anaconda his “intended” residence is no longer persuasive or appropriate.

Dick Motta
Candidate Senate District 43

Laslovich Residency Questioned

Legislator’s residency in question
By Mike Dennison, Standard State Bureau - 06/06/2008
HELENA — The Republican speaker of the Montana House is questioning whether state Sen. Jesse Laslovich, D-Anaconda, is a legal resident of the district where Laslovich is running for re-election.
On Thursday, House Speaker Scott Sales asked Attorney General Mike McGrath for a formal opinion on whether Laslovich, who lives and works in Helena, is a resident of Senate District 43, the Anaconda-Deer Lodge district he represents.
Laslovich works in Helena as an assistant attorney general, doing legal work for the Office of Consumer Protection in the state Justice Department. He was appointed to the position in July 2007 by McGrath, a Democrat.
“I don’t think that, geographically and according to the law, that (Laslovich) is the right guy to be running over there (in Senate District 43),” said Sales, a Bozeman Republican.
“The fact that he’s an employee of the Department of Justice makes it even more important that some sort of decision be rendered on it,” Sales added.
Lynn Solomon, spokeswoman for the attorney general, said the office hadn’t yet received Sales’ written request, and would respond once it did.
Laslovich said Thursday the state law on residency “boils down to the intent of the person, where he intends to be or intends to live,” and that he still considers Anaconda to be his home.
Laslovich said he and his wife, Jill, bought a home in Helena in 2006 after she got a job working as an attorney for a law firm in Helena. He worked for a Missoula law firm until July 2007, when he was appointed to his position in Helena.
Laslovich filed to run for re-election in January and listed his parents’ address in Anaconda as his residence. He said Thursday that his job in Helena expires at the end of this year, so he doesn’t consider Helena his permanent residence.
“I’m outside (of the Senate district) for temporary purposes; my job is clearly temporary,” he said. “I’m registered to vote in Anaconda. I’m in Anaconda more than I’m in Helena.
“If (Sales) had a question about my residency, he should have called me himself. I would have been happy to explain to him what is going on in my life.” Sales’ request for a formal attorney general’s opinion “is a little bit of politics,” Laslovich said.
In his letter to McGrath, Sales said since Laslovich and his wife own a home in Helena and have jobs there, “it stretches the imagination that it is the intent of Mr. Laslovich to return to his parents’ house in Anaconda any time soon, if ever.” Laslovich, 27, is opposed in the general election by Republican Dick Motta of Philipsburg. SD43 contains Deer Lodge and Granite counties and the southern portion of Powell County, including the city of Deer Lodge.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

SD 43 Primary 06/03/08

Montana Senate District 43
As of 6/4/08 12:56 PM
Jesse Laslovich(D) vs Dick Motta(R)

Senate District 43 Primary
Deer Lodge
Granite County
Powell County

Draft EMS Legislation

Subject: Draft EMS Legislation Now Online

Several bill drafts related to an ongoing legislative study of Montana's emergency medical system are now available online, representing everything from special license plates to tax incentives and an EMS grant program.
The bills were drafted as part of the Senate Joint Resolution 5 study approved by the 2007 Legislature. The Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee will take public comment on the bill drafts at a meeting next week. The committee will then decide -- based on public comment and committee preferences -- which bills to proceed with, whether to make any revisions to the existing drafts, and whether to request additional legislation.
The committee meets June 10 and June 11 in Helena, in room 137 of the State Capitol.
The agenda and other meeting materials, including briefing papers on each of the EMS bill drafts, are available on the Committee's Web site. The bills can be viewed online at the Senate Joint Resolution 5 study page for the Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee
Committee members will discuss the SJR 5 study and the proposed EMS bill drafts on June 11. Public comment is scheduled for approximately 1:45 p.m.
People who are unable to attend the meeting may also submit written comment to the committee by regular mail to:
Sue O'ConnellLegislative Services DivisionP.O. Box 201706Helena, MT 59620-1706
Comments also may be sent via e-mail, to

Sue O'Connell
Legislative Services Division
P.O. Box 201706
Helena, MT 59620-1706
Comments also may be sent via e-mail, to

Monday, June 2, 2008

Email Dick
Call 859.5016

Election Laws

Montana Constitution
Montana Codes Annotated Index

Article 3 -- General Government
Section 1. Separation of Powers. The power of the government of this state is divided into three distinct branches—legislative, executive, and judicial. No person or persons charged with the exercise of power properly belonging to one branch shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution expressly directed or permitted.”

Section 4. Eligibility for public office. Any qualified elector is eligible to any public office except as otherwise provided in this constitution. The legislature may provide additional qualifications but no person convicted of a felony shall be eligible to hold office until his final discharge from state supervision.

Section 4. Qualifications. A candidate for the legislature shall be a resident of the state for at least one year next preceding the general election. For six months next preceding the general election, he shall be a resident of the county if it contains one or more districts or of the district if it contains all or parts of more than one county.

2-2-111. Rules of conduct for legislators. Proof of commission of any act enumerated in this section is proof that the legislator committing the act has breached the legislator's public duty. A legislator may not: (1) accept a fee, contingent fee, or any other compensation, except the official compensation provided by statute, for promoting or opposing the passage of legislation; (2) seek other employment for the legislator or solicit a contract for the legislator's services by the use of the office; or (3) accept a fee or other compensation, except as provided for in 5-2-302, from a Montana state agency or a political subdivision of the state of Montana for speaking to the agency or political subdivision.

2-2-135. Ethics committees. (1) Each house of the legislature shall establish an ethics committee. Subject to 5-5-234, the committee must consist of two members of the majority party and two members of the minority party. The committees may meet jointly. Each committee shall educate members concerning the provisions of this part concerning legislators and may consider conflicts between public duty and private interest as provided in 2-2-112. The joint committee may consider matters affecting the entire legislature. (2) Pursuant to Article V, section 10, of the Montana constitution, the legislature is responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this part concerning legislators.

13-36-101. Grounds for contest of nomination or election to public office. An elector may contest the right of any person to any nomination or election to public office for which the elector has the right to vote, for any of the following causes: (1) on the ground of a deliberate, serious, and material violation of any provision of the law relating to nominations or elections; (2) whenever the person whose right is contested was not, at the time of the election, eligible to such office; (3) on account of illegal votes or an erroneous or fraudulent count or canvass of votes.

13-36-102. Time for commencing contest. (1) Five days or less after a candidate has been certified as nominated, a person wishing to contest the nomination to any public office shall give notice in writing to the candidate whose nomination he intends to contest, briefly stating the cause for the contest. The contestant shall make application to the district court in the county where the contest is to be had. The judge shall then set the time for the hearing. The contestant shall serve notice 3 days before the hearing is scheduled. The notice shall state the time and place of the hearing. (2) Any action to contest the right of a candidate to be declared elected to an office or to annul and set aside such election or to remove from or deprive any person of an office of which he is the incumbent for any offense mentioned in this title must, unless a different time is stated, be commenced within 1 year after the day of election at which such offense was committed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

MSSA Survey Response

From my perspective, the government violates our rights every time they impose a new regulation and I think the courts should declare the laws unconstitutional. Guns are a Constitutionally protected right. Per Article II, “...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. That right has been infringed by more than 22,000 laws and we don't need any more. It is unconstitutional to impose any rules and regulations which limit the possession of a weapon. If a person uses a weapon in the commission of a crime, prosecute him for the crime. If an individual chooses not to possess a weapon, that's their prerogative and they shouldn't buy one. Restrict personal evaluations to your own individual life style.

Per your survey, I support your positions and accept the reality that gun laws are not going to be overturned overnight. I would support your position, but I have several bills I want to sponsor so I may not be able to give your bills the attention they deserve. I do not agree with the grant request on the basis that government uses the funds as a tool to control rather than facilitate. The FWP action in granting permits or permissions is a primary example. Unfortunately, most government agencies have assumed a quasi-legislative, executive and judicial stance, whereby their policies, definitions and enforcement override the law and they are not being held accountable for their actions.

Note: I have not responded to the NRA questionaire. In my estimation, they have compromised on too many gun legislation bills and I have serious reservations about their objectives.
Thank you for your outstanding work on protecting gun rights.
Dick Motta

Legislative Interim Committee Proposed Bills

There are Legislative Interim Committes meetings, Legislative Interim Committee Proposed Bills , being held with the purpose of drafting bills to be presented to the next Legislative session. As of May 26, 2008, there are 122 bills being drafted by the legislative administrative staff. By the time the legislative session commences, there will probably be in excess of 200 bills. Some of the drafts are the result of the previous legislative session requesting studies, Interim Studies_2008, of a particular issue. Most of the bills are requested by government bureaucrats expanding their jurisdiction, authority, rules or the penalties they think are necessary to perform their jobs and to control the people more effectively. The legislative staff coordinates the agenda, schedules the meetings, notifies "interested persons" and assists in the conduct of the meeting.

The problem with this process is that executive and judicial officials are the primary sponsors of numerous bills and they are the ones who determine the subject matter for proposed legislation. Committees are scheduled to hear the proposals and "interested parties" are contacted to provide testimony. Generally the "interested parties" are public officials who proposed the bill and non-government groups who have a special interest in it's passage. At the hearing, the agenda is approximately nine hours in length. During the nine hours, officials monopolize the testimony and the public is accorded fifteen minutes. The public receives fifteen minutes because they are not aware the meeting is being conducted and, therefore, there are few people in attendance. Public officials are paid to testify and attend the interim committee meetings. Individuals may have to travel long distances and pay for gas, meals and lodging.

There is a need for more transparency in the interim committee meeting process. The committees should comply with public notice and participation provisions required by the Constitution and statutes. Representatives need to be reminded that they represent the people and that the people want a limited government. The people are intelligent and responsible enough to lead their own lives. We do not need or want government officials to evaluate, administer and enforce their views concerning how our lives should be conducted. The law is supposed to limit government and the government is supposed be our servant. The entire concept and principals defined in the Constituion are being reversed, corrupted and redefined. The people must demand that our representatives formulate statutes which limits administrative law and respects the rights and sovereignty of the people or we will no longer be a free nation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Human Rights, Science and Energy

Article - Scientists promoting energy-self sufficiency and decreased regulations
by Arthur RobinsonMay 19,
More than 31,000 U.S. scientists have signed a petition rejecting the claims that human release of greenhouse gases is damaging our climate. This petition states:
“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
Millions of Americans are being battered by an economic crisis caused largely by energy shortages and rapidly increasing prices for energy.
Yet, the United Nations and other vocal political interests say the U.S. must enact new laws that will sharply reduce domestic energy production and raise energy prices even higher. These special interests claim that continued use of hydrocarbon fuels will destroy the Earth’s climate and cause many environmental catastrophes. Hydrocarbon fuels account for 85% of current United States energy supplies.
What should the U.S government do in response to this situation? The answer is provided by science, economics, and the basic principles of human rights.
The inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness include the right of access to life-giving and life-enhancing technology. This is especially true of access to the most basic of all technologies: energy. These human rights have been extensively and wrongly abridged.
During the past two generations in the U.S., a system of high taxation, extensive regulation, and ubiquitous litigation has arisen that prevents the accumulation of sufficient capital and the exercise of sufficient freedom to build and preserve needed modern technology.
These unfavorable political trends have severely damaged our energy production, where lack of industrial progress has left our country dependent upon foreign sources for 30% of the energy required to maintain our current level of prosperity.
Moreover, the transfer of other U.S. industries abroad as a result of these same trends has left U.S. citizens with too few goods and services to trade for the energy that they do not produce. A huge and unsustainable trade deficit and rapidly rising energy prices have been the result.
These difficulties are entirely unnecessary. The hydrocarbon resources – coal, oil, natural gas, and other hydrocarbon reserves – and the nuclear energy resources of the United States can provide abundant fuel for low-cost energy in the U.S. for many future centuries. Moreover, the necessary hydrocarbon and nuclear energy production technologies have been available to U.S. engineers for many decades. We can develop these resources without harm to people or the environment. There is absolutely no technical, resource, or environmental reason for the U.S. to be a net importer of energy. The U.S. should, in fact, be a net exporter of energy.
Now, new laws are being proposed that will further infringe on our human rights by severely restricting access to hydrocarbon energy. These proposals are being justified by claims that release of carbon dioxide from continued hydrocarbon energy production will destroy the climate of the Earth and cause catastrophic disasters. These claims are based upon the publications of the United Nations, whose power, prestige, and revenues would be greatly increased by world taxation and regulation of hydrocarbon energy.
However, the scientific hypothesis known as “human-caused global warming” – which is the basis of these United Nations claims – has been discredited and invalidated by unequivocal experimental research data and sound scientific interpretations of that data. This is attested to by the more than 31,000 U.S. scientists in relevant scientific fields – over 9,000 of whom hold PhD degrees – who have signed this petition.
It is tragic for industries, workers, and families that this shortage of low cost energy has occurred. In order to correct this problem and to ensure that it does not recur, the current high level of taxation, regulation, and litigation of U.S. energy industries must be reduced, so that free enterprise – working with private capital and without tax funds or subsidies – can build new U.S. hydrocarbon and nuclear power capacity as quickly as possible.
It has been suggested that technologies other than hydrocarbon and nuclear are also abundant, reliable, and affordable sources of energy. This is best determined in the free market. Elimination of all tax subsidies and marked reduction of taxation, regulation, and litigation of all energy-production industries will allow economically healthy competition. This will ease the current energy crisis and provide abundant energy for future prosperity.
In order to alleviate the current energy emergency and prevent future emergencies, we need to remove the governmental restrictions that have caused this problem. Fundamental human rights require that U.S. citizens and their industries be free to produce and use the low cost, abundant energy that they need. As the 31,000 signatories of this petition emphasize, environmental science supports this freedom.
Arthur B. Robinson541-592-4142 or artr@oism.orgPetition Project -
© 2008 - Art Robinson - All Rights Reserve

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ponder the Maunder

Kristen did an excellent analysis of global warming and concluded that green-house warming is not man-made, but rather a result of solar activity. The analysis is extremely well documented and due to the frequency of people accessing the site, it is sometimes hard to access. The article debunks the false science presented by Al Gore's video, "An Inconvenient Truth" and questions his true motivation of profiting from energy credits .

Ponder the Maunder, now the official site of the Kristen Byrnes Science Foundation

Message from Kristen: 4-14-08

Anthony Watts has now written 56 articles on “how not to measure temperature.” Of the 1,221 United States Historic Climate Network stations that are used to measure global warming in the US, over 500 have been surveyed and photographed by Anthony and his volunteers. 85% of the stations thus far surveyed violate the rules for locating stations. Anthony’s series can be found here:
From the Web Master:

Due to the overwhelming response to the FANTASTIC news piece by NPR, all traffic to this site is being redirected to , which reproduces all of Kristen’s work.

"Solar activity is and has always been what drives the climate system."

"The results were quite surprising, and rather clear. There was no sign of greenhouse warming at all. Only the clear fingerprint of solar activity was left. For some reason, probably not known to greenhouse theorists and their scientists, greenhouse gases did not play a role in late 20th century warming. It was simply a matter of solar variation being clouded by El Ninos and La Ninas."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Term Limits

The question of enforcing Montana's Constitutional provision for term limits for federal legislative positions has never been resolved. At a recent meeting, Brad Johnson, Secretary of State, stated that “federal law trumps state law” and that he was not in a position to challenge the Supreme Court decision concerning term limits for federal legislative positions. Term limits are enforced for State elected positions, but not federal.
Montana's Constitutional term limits provision has not been repealed and the State Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue. The tenth amendment to the Federal Constitution reserves to the states those things which are not specifically delegated to the federal government. The Federal Constitution provides for age, citizenship and residence as the qualification for federal legislators. The Federal Constitution also provides that “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof...”. The Montana Constitution complies with the age, residence and citizenship qualifications and, assuming that any additional provisions are not discriminatory, the power to expand on those qualifications is reserved to the people of Montana. The Secretary of State and candidates to federal office take an oath to uphold the Montana Constitution and therefore, they should be governed by its' provisions. At the very least, the candidates should demonstrate that their ethical considerations and allegiance are to the people of Montana and voluntarily comply with term limits. The people of Montana voted for term limits, the candidates should respect that provision and the Secretary of State should enforce Montana's Constitutional mandate.