Rules For Thee, Not For Me: The Political Career Of Missoula Democrat Ellie Hill

by William Skink

One of the things that gets politicians into trouble is a seeming reluctance to follow the dictates they want to impose on the rest of us. For example, if you are a pro-lockdown Democrat who wants Thanksgiving cancelled, then you probably shouldn’t try doing a big dinner for new members of Congress.

There is a handy phrase that encapsulates this political hypocrisy, and it’s this: RULES FOR THEE, NOT FOR ME.

One Democratic politician in Missoula who reflects this lack of ethos is Ellie Hill. Today I would like to take a trip down memory lane to inform readers how this individual landed in Missoula and started her political career.

I had a front row seat to the launching of Hill’s political career because I was lead staff at the Poverello Center while she was the Executive Director. My co-workers and I at the time were distraught that the difficult work we were doing was being put on the back-burner while our director was running for political office.

Now, I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know much about the law as it pertains to how one should conduct a political campaign, but I’m pretty sure it’s not ok to use a cell phone paid for by the homeless shelter that employs you to coordinate your campaign.

Ellie Hill came to Missoula from Boise, Idaho, where she was working at the District Attorney’s office. There were rumors at the time that Hill made a power grab that blew up in her face, so she moved to a town where she could start fresh.

It didn’t take long for Hill to grab the spotlight. Before she even spent ONE DAY in office, the Missoulian was gushing about this rising political star:

Ellie Boldman Hill’s first day in public office won’t come for another three months, but the representative-elect from Missoula is in Washington, D.C., this week – where she’ll be feted as one of the most notable rising stars among America’s young politicos.

Hill, the recently elected state legislator for House District 94 who spends her days running Missoula’s Poverello Center, has been named to Time magazine’s list of “40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars.” Hill will receive recognition at a banquet Thursday night on Capitol Hill, and will be profiled in a forthcoming issue of the magazine.

In the ten years since Ellie Hill was first elected, Democrats in Montana have done progressively WORSE and WORSE each election cycle, which makes it a little ironic that Ellie Hill seems to be leading the charge in Montana against the consequences of unfettered Republican control over government. Here is Hill trying to raise the alarm about what Democrat minority status could mean this session:

“We’re serving in an unprecedented minority,” Hill said on Monday. “I served under two governor’s and they were both Democrats, and that was really our stop gap. Our understanding is that the majority party has had their legislative staff pull every veto from Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock over the last 16 years, and have prepared bill drafts for all of those vetoes.”

Montana Democrats are going to be using their FEAR THE REPUBLICANS schtick because that will keep the focus on BAD BAD CONSERVATIVES instead of engaging in any self-reflection about WHY Democrats in Montana are in an “unprecedented minority”.

I voted for Cooney this cycle because I do agree, in principle, that Montanans benefit from a balanced government, and having the veto check of a Democrat in the Governor’s office HAS kept the nutty fringe of Republican politics in check.

But Democrats blew it, like they’ve been blowing it for years in Montana. Instead of acting like petulant children, blaming everyone but themselves, I just wish they would grow the fuck up and take a little accountability for their failures.

If Democrats had done that at a national level four years ago, maybe they wouldn’t have needed to engage in shady tactics to “win” the 2020 presidential election.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Rules For Thee, Not For Me: The Political Career Of Missoula Democrat Ellie Hill

  1. Greg Strandberg says:

    Hill’s been in the legislature for 10 years. What has she done during that time? I can’t think of much that’s impacted me. How about you?

    • she tried to exploit the German exchange student getting shot in a garage to push her interpretation of the left’s anti-gun agenda, from the BBC

      Montana’s so-called “castle doctrine” law was amended in 2009 to allow deadly force if a homeowner “reasonably believes” an intruder is trying to harm him or her.

      Before that, residents could only use such force if the intruder acted in a violent way. The legislation was backed by the US’ largest gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA).

      State Representative Ellie Hill told the Missoulian newspaper she has proposed legislation to repeal the 2009 amendments to the law.

      “What the castle doctrine has done in this country is it has created a culture of gun violence and vigilante justice,” Ms Hill, a Democrat who represents Missoula, said.
      “And it’s created a culture that it’s okay to shoot first and ask questions later.”

      while that effort went nowhere, she did manage to get a clip of her baby AND her firearm on CNN.

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