James Haughey was my father. He was an attorney specializing in mineral law in the firm that was Crowley, Haughey, Toole and Dietrich (now Crowley Fleck). He was also a well-known artist and a Republican politician. He lobbied for Montana Power and other energy concerns in the '50s and '60s and was Senate Minority Leader in the '67 session during which I was a page. I learned a lot about the legislative process that year. Republicans and Democrats were on opposite sides of many issues (at that time, sales tax and coal severance monies were big ones). I saw those lawmakers debate and make their points on the floor with respect for the opposing arguments.
They considered compromise as the functioning principle in negotiations. Come evening, you’d find them at the Montana Club having a rollicking time in each other’s company with congeniality and without rancor. What we see now is a Republican party that is so drunk with its own power that there is no effort to listen to and consider other’s approach to issues. They push their agenda without concern for environment, people’s health, and economic well-being. I, for one, am disgusted and seriously considering moving to another state. My dad, James Haughey, is probably turning over in his urn. He would be so sad to see things come to this.