From the October 2001 Idaho Observer:

Three-term former legislator sheds light on political process at Constitution Party dinner

SPOKANE, Wash. -- More than 60 Constitution Party members attended an annual dinner at the Longhorn Barbecue here Sept. 22 to discuss the growing political party's future and the political implications of current events.

Attendees also had the opportunity to listen to three-term state legislator from Ronan, Montana, Rick Jore as he provided valuable insight into the legislative process.

Jore, a man more concerned with principle than political compromise, became totally frustrated with his membership in the Republican Party. Jore claims his party would not support him in the passage of pro-constitution bills and that his party would cast votes in support of bills that were obviously in violation of their oaths of office and campaign promises.

As a consequence, Jore was often abandoned by his party to battle against bad laws by himself. During his third term he left the Republican Party to join the Constitution Party which has a platform consistent with his political and spiritual beliefs. As a Constitution Party candidate for a fourth term, Jore was defeated by what appears to have been a joint effort by both Republicans and Democrats to replace his voice in the Montana legislature with one that is not so pro-Constitution.

The stories Jore told about his experiences in the legislature are invaluable as they describe exactly why our form of government has devolved into a morass of money generating laws and unaccountable bureaucracy.

“The basic assumption of government [officials]” according to Jore, “is to redistribute the wealth. They truly believe that the role of government is to get as much plunder from the public treasury as they can for their constituency. They truly believe that,” Jore said.

Jore's first test came before he physically assumed the office of state rep. Elected in November, 1994, Jore had agreed to sponsor a “right to work” bill that would help to diminish the power of labor unions over peoples' ability to seek and obtain gainful employment. By December he was already at odds with the Republican Governor Marc Racicot who announced that he would veto any right to work bill that came across his desk. Jore described the process he used to rationalize his sponsorship of the bill. “It is improper to use the force of law to require membership in a private organization.”

Jore's stand in support of peoples' right to work before he actually assumed the authority of his office set the tone for his entire six-year career as a legislator. Jore was the black sheep of the legislature because he felt that government decisions should reflect the principles outlined in the founding documents. “We are not headed into socialism. We are already there,” Jore said.

He then explained several instances of his attempts to bring fiscal responsibility and constitutional accountability to the legislative process. His efforts proved futile in most cases and he found himself standing alone on issues that he feels should have at least been supported by those whom he knew had an understanding of the Constitution. “Any serious effort to restore the country will not be conducted through the Republican Party or the Democratic Party,” Jore observed.

The insight into the legislative process that is provided through Jore's astute observations is invaluable. Tapes of Jore's talk, which was all at once maddening, depressing, humorous and hopeful, is available for $5 from the Constitution Party. Those who are interested are encouraged to contact The Idaho Observer at: (208) 255-2307. We will arrange for copies of the tape to be sent to you. All proceeds will go to the Constitution Party.

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