Montana RINOs Vote with Democrats to Help Preserve ‘Bullock Monarchy’


The caucus of fake Republicans started by Walt McNutt (R-Sidney) and Llew Jones (R-Conrad) during Governor Schweitzer’s term as governor to help him accomplish his checklist of progressive priorities has gone on to support Governor Steve Bullock in the same way. And now, the Llew Jones-led ‘Conservative Solutions Caucus’ (it is renamed every few years to keep Republican voters from catching on to them) is striking another blow to Republicans to help Governor Bullock hold onto his powerful grip over the state.

Republicans have sought to change the Joint Rules by which the House and Senate operate and met several times for the necessary protocol to make those changes to happen. The meetings were reportedly boycotted by Democrats, refusing to take part in the meetings. Republican leadership sought to empower members of the legislature to vote by remote poling, which would save time and taxpayer money and allow the legislature to be a check and balance on the other branches of government.

Rep. Derek Skees (R) wrote on Facebook about the proposed changes, “Your GOP leadership in the House and Senate will use this new rule to rescind the Emergency Order of our Governor and restore the COVID-19 response to local control, not the unilateral one size fits all response of our partisan governor.”

However, Skees warned, “Remember, that while the GOP is in the Majority, many in the Solutions Caucus are voting against this simple rule change, and this measure may die.”

And apparently, that’s exaclty what is happening. Solutions Caucus RINOs are opposing the rule change that would curtail the governor’s authority, including a number of Solutions Caucus members like Joel Krautter (R-Sidney) and Bruce Grubbs (R-Bozeman) who were tossed out of office during the Republican primary for voting with Democrats instead of Republicans. While they won’t return to Helena in the next session, they’re still technically in office until January.

Those RINOs who have so far sided with the Democrats on the measure include Fred Anderson (HD 20), Joel Krautter (HD 35), Ken Holmlund (HD 38), Bruce Grubbs (HD 68), Walt Sales (HD 69), Ray Shaw (HD 71), Tom Welch (HD 72), and Sharon Greef (HD 88).

Some more notable members of the Solutions Caucus, like Llew Jones, voted for the measure, leaving some scratching their heads. The reason, according to Derek Skees is simple. The Montana Daily Gazette reached out to Skees to explained that the Solutions Caucus “always votes together,” but more vulnerable members are still reeling from their smacking defeat in the primary thanks to conservatives who have more steadily exposed their liberal voting record through groups like Legistats. The Solutions Caucus knew it would only take (about) ten or so members to cross over with Democrats for the measure to be defeated, so Jones hand-selected their members who would side with their supposed opponents. The most logical members who would vote with Democrats would be those who have little lose, like Krautter and Grubbs who would not be returning to Helena anyway.

Skees explained, “The [Solutions Caucus] always vote together when they oppose the GOP, unless they can shave off just enough members to vote with Democrats to accomplish their goals and leave the rest to vote with the GOP to appear more orthodox to conservatives.”


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  1. The usual suspects…plus, Llew is on the ‘task force’ deciding who gets the CARES business relief funds.
    Wonder how many of Llew’s dozens of corporations received grants during this scam?


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