Montana State Senate President Pro Tempore Jason Ellsworth, a Republican, was charged with obstruction of a peace officer after he was stopped at a construction site at a speed of 85 mph, where the speed limit was 55.
State Senator Jason Ellsworth
The charges, filed in May, were only recently reported. After being stopped, Ellsworth reportedly showed his legislative ID to the state trooper and said he was on his way to a Legislative Council meeting scheduled for the next morning.
According to The Montana Free Press:
The loading document states that the officer returned to their vehicle to check Ellsworth’s vehicle, which had a license plate number issued by a dealership, and to print him an excessive speed warning. As described in the complaint, Ellsworth then got out of his vehicle and approached the officer’s car against the instructions of the officer and muttered “something that could not be understood”.
Ellsworth stated that he had called up the Montana Constitution on his phone and then informed the officer that he needed to be released.
The 67th legislative period postponed April 29th, about a month before Ellsworth was arrested.
The indictment claims that Ellsworth then claimed he would call Attorney General Austin Knudsen, who oversees the Montana Highway Patrol through the state’s Department of Justice.
“If you want me to call the Attorney General …” Ellsworth supposedly began.
“Go on and call him,” replied the soldier. “Now back to your car.”
“I would like to do that,” continued Ellsworth, according to the document. “I suggest you call your boss.”
For the record, Ellsworth seems to realize he screwed it up. A statement by the Republicans in the state Senate was reasonably conciliatory: “Senator Ellsworth respects and appreciates that the police officer and district attorney are officials who get their job done with this traffic quote. He looks forward to resolving the matter and continuing to serve his constituents. “
Meanwhile, Knudsen told the Free Press: “The senator’s behavior was inappropriate. The policeman’s handling of the situation is proof of the professionalism of the Montana Highway Patrol. “
Of course, Ellsworth isn’t the first well-connected idiot to break the law.
In May 2018, New Mexico State Representative Monica Youngblood, another Republican, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. The following exchange followed, as Jessica Sutherland reports from Daily Kos:
Youngblood: “I literally fight for you every time I get the chance.”
Montaño: “That doesn’t make it okay to drink and drive a car.”
Youngblood: “I fight for you every time I get the chance. Seriously. So many people tell me that you treat people like shit and I didn’t believe it. “
Montaño: “I don’t treat you badly at all.”
Youngblood “It’s funny because you treat people with paint [Youngblood is Hispanic] like shit and I always stand up for you … I always stand up for you … I say ‘you know what? You wouldn’t be treated like shit if there was no reason. ‘”
Then there is the curious case of Marsha Blackburn, the distinguished U.S. Republican Senator from Tennessee’s official national COVID-19 and measles sanctuary. According to a March CNN story, Blackburn’s car was stopped by the Capitol Police earlier this year when they were locking the Capitol building to give them a head start over the weekend:
Leo Kowalski, an adviser to Blackburn, told his friends that after the Senator was stopped, she “got out, flashed her needle, and hopped back in the car.” [and] said ‘drive!’ “
“The officer didn’t say a word, just shook his head,” the advisor said in a text message that was verified by CNN.
A source familiar with the account told CNN that Blackburn had identified herself as a senator and was allowed to leave. The source added it was unclear whether the officer who answered the call made that call or was directed by a supervisor to let her go.
Hm, must be nice.
Oh, and no doubt you’ve heard of this guy. Matt Gaetz sure has like shit:
Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg asked a Lake Mary police officer for “professional courtesy” for being an elected officer when he tried to talk his way out of a ticket after being stopped for speeding Tuesday.
“I’m amazed that professional courtesy is not being extended to at least issue a warning in something like this,” Greenberg heard on a police video telling a Lake Mary officer after being in for driving at 39 mph a 25 km / h zone. “If there is any way – I’m just trying to avoid the front page of the damn newspaper: ‘The tax collector gets the ticket.’ That’s the kind of political crap I have to deal with. “
And as we all know by now, Greenberg impeccably kept his name off the front page of the bloody newspaper.
This doesn’t look good to anyone, and unfortunately Democrats are not immune to this type of behavior. But it’s amusing. And at a time when Republicans are working flat out day in and day out on ruthlessness, this cannot help their cause.
Sure, Montana is redder than Donald Trump’s eternally chafed, reality-denying ass, but that kind of thing still looks bad – both in Montana and in the more sensible entrenchments of our venerable republic.
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