HELENA — If Montanans — and the political opposition — want to know what newly minted Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis really thinks about things, they need look no further than her own, very public video record.
In videos posted on the Internet, Curtis has said many things, including that she’s “an anarchist at heart,” that she felt like punching a Republican lawmaker last year, and that Republicans are like Frankenstein with an “abnormal brain” for opposing Medicaid expansion.
Curtis, a high school math teacher and state representative from Butte, was chosen Saturday as the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate that will replace Sen. John Walsh on the Nov. 4 ballot.
A party nominating convention chose Curtis over Wilsall rancher Dirk Adams. She enters the race a decided underdog against Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines. Libertarian Roger Roots also is running.
Curtis, 34, elected to the Legislature in 2012, made her mark during her first legislative session in 2013 by posting a daily video on the Internet, in which she reviewed each day’s legislative action.
The videos, easily found on the video-posting site YouTube, are filled with Curtis’ own personal commentary and musings.
On the day the state House voted in April 2013 whether to bring to the floor a bill that repealed Montana’s law making gay sex a felony, Curtis, who supported the bill, said she had a hard time listening to Rep. Krayton Kerns, R-Laurel, say the Bible dictates that gay people are immoral.
“It was so hard to sit through that and not walk across the floor and punch him,” she said into her video camera. “That is so offensive. … I’ve had so many people ask how I sit through this testimony without just standing up and screaming. And it was really, really hard today.”
The bill came to the floor and passed.
After House Republicans successfully blocked a bill last year to extend government-financed health coverage to 70,000 poor people in Montana, Curtis, in her video, displayed her Frankenstein earrings and recalled how “(Young) Frankenstein ended up with an abnormal brain, and that’s what you have to have to vote against Medicaid expansion.”
In January 2013, on a day when House Republicans objected to a banking bill because it might add some federal standards to state banking law, Curtis said in her daily video that she didn’t totally disagree with their sentiments.
“You know, as an anarchist at heart, I kind of agree with those Republican anarchist ideals,” she said, and then added: “Don’t tell anyone I said that.”
Saturday, after she was chosen as the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, Curtis said she’s not concerned about the videos being used against her.
“I’m not worried about anything being taken out of context in those videos, because they’re the public record,” she said. “They’re available for anyone to go back and see exactly what I said and in what context I said it. …
“I know that Montanans, Republicans, Democrats and independents, are hungering for a person who will stand up and just say where they stand on the issues,” she added.