In the Senate Jim served as Chairman of three influential senate committees, Taxation, Water Policy, and the Committee on Committees, which assigned senators to committees. Jim’s philosophy of “agree happily and disagree respectfully," enabled him to work effectively with both Democrats and Republicans and gave him the ability to be a fair and effective voice for Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, and Sanders Counties and for the people of the State of Montana.
Honored twice by the Montana Library Association for his fight against governmental agencies' spying on law-abiding citizens (2001 Legislator Award, 2006 Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award), Jim is also a Fellow of the Eleanor Roosevelt Global Leadership Institute and the Arthur Fleming Leadership Institute.
2001-2009: Montana State Senator for Lincoln, Sanders, Mineral and ................. .Missoula counties
1989-97: Montana State Representative for Sanders and Lincoln ..................counties
1987-89: Sanders County Solid Waste Board
1986-89: Sanders County Agricultural Advisory Committee
1984-89: Supervisor, Green Mountain Conservation District
1983-87: Chairman, Sanders County Dump Board
2005-2009: Senate Taxation Committee, Chairman
2007-2009: Committee on Committees (Appointments), Chairman
2007-2009: Water Policy Interim Committee, Chairman
2005-2007: Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee,
2001-2005: Legislative Audit, Chairman
.......2003-2005, Vice Chairman
.......2007-2009, Vice Chairman