As promised, Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Wednesday fired up his infamous "veto" branding irons on the front steps of the Capitol and put the brand to seven GOP-backed bills. (video below)
In one of the most spectacular pieces of political theater in the Democrat's six years in office, Gov. Brian Schweitzer applied red-hot branding irons to wooden plaques representing bills ranging from elimination of same day voter registration to a bill that would allow new open pit gold and silver mining using cyanide leach process.
"These bills are either frivolous, unconstitutional or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana," Schweitzer said to a cheering crowd and a throng of reporters and television cameras.
As of Wednesday morning Schweitzer vetoed three bills and issued 10 amendatory vetoes. After the ceremonial "branding," Schweitzer vowed to go back into the Capitol and use his veto pen to officially veto 17 more bills.
"When I swore to uphold the Constitution I meant it," Schweitzer said.
I’ll have more on this later, including reaction from the GOP.