A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

4 December 2017 — 1327 mdt

Political briefs

Will Rob Quist be the seventh candidate for the Democratic nomination for Congress? Logicosity reports that Quist, who lost the 25 May 2017 special election to Greg Gianforte, but did better than any Democrat since Nancy Keenan in 2000, is sounding out Democrats to determine how much support he might have for another run. If he chooses not to run again, Quist, who’s well liked, can still help Democrats by raising money and issues.

DNRC chief John Tubbs wants to be governor

That’s the word on the environmental street, where he has his defenders and detractors. Tubbs has become controversial, some would say radioactive, for his sudden, inexplicable, hostility to the Flathead Basin Commission, the funding for which he unilaterally, and possibly illegally, gutted. If he runs, at this point he can only count on support from environmental and hook and bullet groups that receive grants from the DNRC.

Is Gov. Bullock slow-walking appointments to the FBC?

Again, that’s the word on the street. Not finalizing appointments of citizen members of the commission, and ordering agency representatives not to attend meetings, is a way to deprive the commission of a quorum, and thus paralyze its ability to take any action.

Bullock’s complicity in wrecking the FBC is puzzling. He has national political ambitions — the U.S. Senate in 2020, possibly Vice President in 2020, possibly a cabinet in a Democratic administration — yet he’s jammed a boot on the neck of a commission that makes Montana a national leader in addressing trans-jurisdictional water basin issues. One would think he would find that leadership a political asset.

FBC needs citizen members independent of the governor

I propose adding three elected, non-partisan, citizen representatives to the commission, allocating the positions by population based on legislative districts within the Flathead River basin (essentially Flathead and Lake Counties). That would provide citizen input that’s independent of the governor. I recommend that a bipartisan group of legislators now request that a bill to accomplish this be drafted for introduction in the 2019 legislature.