Lange’s Rise, and Fall

A little more than decade ago, Michael Lange was a rising political star in Montana. He was the outspoken Republican House majority leader during a state Legislature marked by two parties bickering over how best to divvy out a state budget surplus to its constituents.

It was a good problem to have, especially when compared to our current budget crunch. Still, our politicians took some grief for their inability to agree on a spending plan, which eventually resulted in a special session.

It was at the Helena capitol, in April 2007, that Lange became even more of a household name, and not in the way he had planned. About 90 minutes after meeting with then Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Lange lost it. In a profanity-laced tirade caught on camera and which has since been viewed on YouTube 45,000 times, the majority leader accused the governor of bribing him, called him the “SOB on the second floor” and summed up Schweitzer’s offer this way: “Stick it up your a–.” He also referred to Democratic legislators as “radical socialists” like those in “Red China.”