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After Impeachment 2.0, I must express my deep disappointment in Sen. Daines’ not guilty vote for the charges of incitement of insurrection against the former president. Daines had reversed course in objecting to the Electoral College results on Jan. 6, which was the reasonable thing to do. However, his not guilty vote gives a green light to Donald Trump and others who denigrate our election system for their own power. How very un-American.

While this national political drama dominated our attention, our state political drama swells with numerous insidious bills marching towards law. Three stand out as direct hits on citizen rights. First is Senate Bill 89, prohibiting payroll deductions for union dues. The bill’s sponsor, Keith Regier, provides weak justification for SB 89: “To have union dues as withholding can give the impression that it’s also mandatory to belong to a union.” Addressing an impression is no reason to make law.

SB 89 doesn’t right a wrong, nor does it improve administrative functions. Rather, it’s government intrusion. Meanwhile, 300+ organizations, charities and bill payments would continue via payroll deductions while union members would have to sign up for bank account deductions for their union dues. Is this how Montana wants to thank many of its essential workers?

House Bill 176 seeks to eliminate same day voter registration. The current law passed overwhelmingly in 2005 (42 to 8 in the Senate, 89 to 8 in the House), and importantly, provides remedy for voters with registration problems due to clerical errors that they don’t discover until Election Day.

Senate Bill 140 directly attacks the separation of powers. It proposes that the governor appoint state district judges and supreme court judges. Currently, judges are chosen through a commission and then voted on by Montanans.

All three bills attack citizens’ rights and should be killed with all due speed.

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Missey Dore