Former state representative, Joel Krautter (“R”-Sidney) was one of the casualties of Montana’s Red Wave during the primary of 2020. The former Democrat leader, who changed party affiliations when he moved to the rural town of Sidney to run for office, was closely associated with the Democrat-crossover caucus known as the Solutions Caucus. After a hard battle against genuine conservatives, Richland County voters sent the purple-ish (at best) politician packing, but that hasn’t stopped the progressive from issuing blithering statements against conservative leadership in Helena.
From voting for abortion funding in Medicaid expansion to refusing to state where he stands on magazine capacity limits, the left-of-center politician in a conservative voting district faced – and lost to – Brandon Ler, a lifelong native of House District 35. But rumor has it, the carpet-bagging attorney still has his eyes on public office. Perhaps that’s the reason his public comments on Facebook have become more active in recent days as the sting from his epic loss as an incumbent becomes less raw.
As conservative leadership took over in the Montana legislature and the Solutions Caucus margins narrowed considerably, Rep. Derek Skees and other Republican leaders saw fit to allow legislators attend the session virtually if their caucus leaders so allowed. Republicans, of course, will meet in person. Meanwhile, those governing the People’s House rejected the mask mandate put into place unconstitutionally by Governor Steve Bullock (D) who will soon be replaced by Governor-Elect Greg Gianforte. In other words, if legislators wear masks, that’s their own personal decision.
But Krautter, ever the perennial liberal, took the Democrat position yet again and complained via social media that the Republican leadership would meet without the fear assigned to them by COVID-19 hysterics.
Krautter said on his Facebook page, “I think we do need to have more health and safety precautions in place for legislators if the session is not delayed or done virtually. To proceed like everything is normal is asking for trouble and is not treating the coronavirus with the seriousness it demands.”
Currently, COVID-19 has proven itself comparable in death rates to the seasonal flu and significantly less deadly than Montana Planned Parenthood. But to Krautter, it’s sufficient enough a reason to stay home from the work that legislators were elected to do.
Richland County voters should be proud to have made the right decision in the June primary, for if they had elected Krautter, it looks like they would have elected him to stay home and side with Democrats from a computer screen.