Does Montana have a new RINO King? If his recent votes are an indication, Putnam’s Democrat crossover vote may soon rule them all
Llew Jones and Geraldine Custer might want to move over. There appears to be a new RINO King in the Montana legislature, who makes the liberalism of typical Solutions Caucus members pale by comparison. The Kalispell representative turned heads today, voting for two measures that signal the official might have been more honest had he run in the Democratic Primary.
Rep. Brian Putnam (“R”-HD9), won his general election with 100% of the vote (he was unopposed) after defeating solid conservative candidate, David Dunn, in the Republican primary. Putname promised voters he was a conservative (the Montana Daily Gazette saw through this rouse, and endorsed Dunn). Unfortunately, Dunn was one of the few conservative incumbents beat by Solutions Caucus RINOs in the state’s historic Red Wave. It now appears as though the Solutions Caucus has another Democrat hiding out in the GOP caucus.
Currently, Rep. Putnam is ranked dead last in the impartial party loyalty score agregator, Legistats. Amazingly, Putnam has voted against Republican majorities 21 votes out of 42, meaning he is at least as much Democrat as he is Republican.
Were Kalispell voters aware of this when they elected him? It’s doubtful, and it seems Rep. Putnam’s ideological dishonesty is on full display.
Today, Putnam sided with Democrats on two key votes. The first was his vote against HB229, sponsored by Rep. Jane Gillette (R-Bozeman). This bill will prohibit health insurance plans offered through the state exchange from paying for baby murder.
If you notice the vote tally from the House Floor (photo below), Putnam voted against it along with fellow “Republican,” Sharon Greef (“R”-HD88). Greef also defeated conservative Republican challengers in the primary to run unopposed in the general election.
In addition, Rep. Putnam also voted for HB200. The bill, sponosored by Kenneth Holmund (R-HD38), prevents municipalities in Montana from declaring themselves Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants.
Putnam, as you can see below, voted against the bill.
Why is a Republican candidate voting to the contrary of the Republican Party platform? Both of these issues are addressed in the party’s principles, here.
We all want (or should want) honesty in Montana politics. But so long as Democrats continue to run as Republicans in conservative districts, that isnever going to happen.