7-2 in Wyoming

We were sure of only two going into the committee meeting, and I’m convinced Bill Fruth’s power point presentation on the need for the amendment convinced a couple of the members.  Sponsors Lindholm and Laursen think some of these were strategic votes, with an eye toward killing it on the floor in a voice vote to advance the bill.  Frankly, I’m skeptical of this theory, but we’ll find out Monday.

Former Speaker Bill McIlvain was and is enormously helpful.  He got Fruth and Speaker Kermit Brown together, and we found out that he had technical legal objections to the DLA which was causing him to also oppose our Reso.  We’re killing the DLA, and this seems to have brought him around.  McIlvain is old friends with Senate Majority Eli Bebout, and he is now aboard as well.  All in all we’re pretty confident about the Senate.  In the House we believe we have 20 votes, and are targeting close to 30 more.  We’ll only need eleven of these targets for a majority.  If something crazy happens in the House we have Senate sponsors who are ready to put in a bill on a moment’s notice.  They could shoot it through the Senate and over to the House for another go.

South Dakota is on track for a House floor vote next week.  Hal says presentations by Natelson and Fruth last Monday sealed the deal.  Over 30 years of dedication are about to pay off for Hal Wick.

Kasich’s trip to Montana was a bust because of the Senator from the John Birch Society Scott Sales.  He disrupted everything by going after Kasich over Ohio’s Medicaid expansion. Elsewhere the trip went quite well, as far as I know.  I saw him in Cheyenne and everything went smoothly.  It was big news in Wyoming; on TV and the front page of the statewide paper, the Casper Tribune.  I’m beginning to think we don’t win this thing unless the public, generally, understands it and gets behind it.  It’s too big a dal, there’s too much resistance.  Kasich as elped, and can continue to help, educate people.

Also in Montana, Mathew Monforton says he’s got two Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee who are no’s because of a fear of a runaway.  That’s just enough to kill the bill.  We’ll be up in committee on Feb. 3rd.  He was hoping that Natelson could turn them around on Tuesday, but Natelson caught a bug in Pierre and is laid up.  I’ve requested that he get well and join Fruth and I in Helena a week later, on Monday, Feb. 2nd.  The two of them could repeat the South Dakota performance that proved so effective.  Matthew is setting up some kind of wine and cheese reception after the session that day and swears he can get these guys to come and listen.

The robocall campaign produced mixed results, and we’re changing it.  In Montana calls will go into the districts of the two R’s on Judiciary asking if the respondent supports a balanced budget amendment.  If yes, my son Brendan, in Bozeman, will be given the number and call them personally to ask them to contact their Representative.  He knows the issue well enough to explain the significance of the BBA, the safety of Article V, and the importance of Montana.  He’s good on the phone, if a little windy.  Most importantly, he’s calling from Montana.  I don’t think this works nearly as well if the call is coming from out of state.  But if the list is too long for him we can get Typhoon Lou to have the calls made.  If this works we’ll use it elsewhere as well.

Since I’ve got to be in Montana on Monday the 2nd, I’ll go early and watch the Super Bowl with sons Brendan and Darren and some of their friends.  I’ve invited Bill Fruth to join us.

I’m trying to remember who’s playing.

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