Yet if that’s Montgomery’s intent, or even if he doesn’t do that but wants to appear more conservative to voters in that, perhaps in the entire state, most conservative district, he is picking a questionable strategy in regards to his committee votes. In the last seven months, on pieces of legislation both symbolic and substantive, he has cast votes that either will anger conservatives, or has avoided them altogether that allowed legislation objectionable to conservatives to go forward. Some examples:
HB 428 would have amended to constitution to provide term-limits to all state executive elected officials. Montgomery sided with opponents 5-5 to stop it.
Even when Montgomery got it right he managed to fudge. On HB 562 this session, which would give the people a veto power of legislators’ salary increases, he moved in committee for its adoption, but expressed reservations about whether it would be better as a statute rather than in its proposed form of a constitutional amendment (and he voted for it obviously, even as it failed). However, that would gut the entire purpose of the bill; legislators already increase their salaries by majorities, so it would be no trouble for them at all first to repeal the law and then vote the increase which could still bypass the people.
In most of these instances he joined a majority of, if not achieving unanimous support of, all Democrats in his vote (which is reflected in his being tied for second-most liberal/populist member of the House in 2005 according to the Louisiana Legislature Log). That partisanship also will not endear conservative voters in that district, and would make it seem any party conversion more one of convenience that a genuine expression of his issue preferences and political philosophy.