Doomsday Rumor Mill: Can Llew Jones Become Speaker?

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Amidst Republican infighting over rules, one curious rumor has developed. Can Llew Jones become Speaker of the House if Republican infighting backfires?

Llew Jones is not a popular figure among conservatives, but that’s easily enough explained. Llew Jones is not a conservative; he’s only a Republican in name only and for fifteen years has been running the state legislature like the governor in a Banana Republic while Bullock (D) and Schweitzer (D) ruled from the emperor’s box. And now that there’s a Republican governor, Jones is not happy to have his power taken away.

Some say he’s fighting back. Some say this is just a scare tactic.

This saga is ongoing and it’s complicated, but here is the synopsis…

The Background

Llew Jones made a devil’s bargain with Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) in 2007, promising him to whip the moderate RINO vote to caucus with Democrats on important bills to kill those Schweitzer didn’t like and promote those he favored. The bargain continued after Governor Bullock (D) was elected and Llew Jones and his merry band of rogue “Republicans” have run rough-shod over the conservative Republican majority by coalescing with the Democrat Caucus

The Red Wave Changed the Dynamics of Jones’ Control. Or did it?

Conservatives went after Jones’ ‘Solutions Caucus’ RINO “liutinenants” with a vengeance in the primary, defeating more than a half dozen of his compatriots with conservataive alternatives. Jones, on the other hand, sailed through unopposed. But with so many of his colleagues gone, can he still control things?

Two Republicans ran for Speaker of the House as the first order of business last month. Of the two candidates, Matt Regier and Wylie Galt, both were stalwart conservatives. But within days of the vote, rumors began to circulate that Galt had made a bargain of some kind with Jones for his support for his speaker candidacy. Galt won by one vote, and among his first acts was to place Jones as chair for the powerful appropriations committee. Conservatives felt greatly betrayed, while others reasoned that Jones has to be appointed to something somewhere and they believed his time preoccupied as chair of appropriations would be be better than making backroom deals behind everyone’s backs.

Meanwhile, new rule changes designed to keep Democrats from flooding the chamber with lots of nonsense bills designed to clog up the cogs on the wheels of conservative process. However, the rule changes will also allow committee chairs to kill votes, which would serve to further empower Jones in committee.

Worst-case scenario, the rules changes allow Jones more power in committee. The best-case scenario, the rules changes limit Jones’ power on the House Floor. It’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t type situation for Wylie Galt who is admittedly between a rock and a hard place.

HOW CAN THIS BACKFIRE?

If there aren’t 51 votes to recall the Speaker to make room for Matt Regier or to pass the rule change, then that means (hypothetically) there are indeed 51 votes Llew commands between Democrats and the RINOs who could nominate Jones for Speaker. If Democrats crossed over with the 17 RINOs that Jones thinks he commands, it’s possible that Jones could ascend to the Speakership.

WHAT WILL THIS LOOK LIKE?

If Llew Jones is indeed heading to the Speakership, one can consider the majority Republican caucus to be rendered effectively moot and impotent in realizing and actualizing their legislative agenda. It is, for all itents and purposes, a Doomsday Scenario for Legislator conservatives.

The lines are being chosen now, and Freshmen legislators are being currently whined and dined by Jones as though he’s their best friend and mentor, trying seductively to drag them over to his team of robbers and ne’er’do’wells. Conservative Caucus members need to fight for every last vote and convince them that Llew Jones Democrat-led leadership in the GOP is indeed over.




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