I got to catch up with a number of great Montana lawmakers this week as I travelled from Billings, to Great Falls, to Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Kalispell. In Great Falls alone we caught up with lawmakers from HD 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26- maybe more.

Before we kicked off our panel discussion with the Montana Equipment Dealers in Whitefish, I got to catch up with State Sen. Russ Tempel (R) out of Chester, Montana.

Here's how he describes his senate district which runs from Whitlash, Montana all the way down to Great Falls. He figures it is about 6,400 square miles just for his district alone.

Sen. Tempel: It's the best district in this state. We have the Milk River, the Marias River, the Teton, and the Missouri. Sweet Grass hills, the Bear Paws, and the Highwoods-they're all my district. So you talk about hunting and fishing- and I can name all the lakes in my district with big ones, obviously, are Tiber and Fresno. But a bunch of little lakes for fishing. It's a great district, and I just really love representing the people there.

Think about campaigning in a district of that size. 6,400 square miles. You're not going door to door- you're going farm to farm, ranch to ranch- sometimes travelling for miles just to meet with a few of your constituents. Then when you get to the Legislature in Helena, you attend meeting after meeting, hearing after hearing, vote after vote etc to do the job your constituents elected you to do. And after all that work some little guy in a black robe abuses his power to overturn all of your hard work.

I was thinking about that during my drive to the Flathead. This is one more reason to vote for James Brown on the Montana Supreme Court. Someone who respects our Constitution. Someone who respects the legislative process and won't abuse his power on the bench. These lawmakers, be they Democrat or Republican, are putting in the miles and paying the gas prices. Why do we elect lawmakers if one little guy in a black robe can abuse his power to overturn whatever he wants without any real justification?

Full audio of our chat with Sen. Tempel:


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