© 2014 Concerned Citizens of Western Montana
- Is it possible that a state senator from the Flathead is representing a foreign, sovereign government entity over the best interests of his constituents and the state of Montana?
- What role does Dan Salomon play in all of this?
- Where should people draw the line when their elected representatives get in bed with an organization that claims all the land and water owned by private citizens within reservation boundaries as evidenced by their February 2014 lawsuit, or is attempting to take control of significant amounts of off reservation water in western Montana through the proposed water compact?
- At what point does a legislator cross the line and actually become a “lobbyist” for an entity as opposed to representing the best interests of their constituents?
Here are some short excerpts transcribed from recent copies of the CSKT Tribal Council Minutes printed and distributed by the Char-Koosta News:
TRIBAL COUNCIL MINUTES FOR MAY 22, 2014:
“Vern Clairmont, Financial Management, has three contributions from businesses. Funds would need to be appropriated for the PAC payment in the amount of $22,000. The Legal Department can provide $10,000; S&K Electronics contributed $2,000 as a dividend payment; S&K Technologies and S&K Gaming each contributed $5,000 as a dividend payment. It is to help get republican support on the ballot for the water compact. The money will be used for mail outs for the primary election. Information would be published to educate the membership on why the Tribes are doing this.
MOTION by Leonard Gray to authorize the payment of $22,000 into the PAC to help get republican support on the ballot for the water compact. Seconded by Carole Lankford. Carried, 5 for (Leonard Gray, Carole Lankford, Terry Pitts, Shelly Fyant, and Ron Trahan); 4 opposed (Patty Stevens, Vernon Finley, Leonard Two-Teeth and Lloyd Irvine); 1 abstention (Bing Matt).
Leonard TwoTeeth, for the record, “I strongly oppose.”
Patty Stevens, for the record, “Since there was a motion made and it carried and it is a decision of the council I want something to explain to the membership what we just did.”
Carole Lankford, for the record, ” I appreciate the strength of the people that were able to step up and take on a challenged and battle that could cost us up to a billion dollars over the years. If we can do something now, why not?”
Sandy Welch and Bruce Tutvedt, Republican Senator from Senate District 3; discussed the PAC – Republicans for Responsible Government. They thanked the tribal council for providing funding to cover some of the costs of the upcoming campaign. Senator Tutvedt stated for the record, I’ve written in the newspaper that I’m for the water compact. I am solidly one of the largest irrigators in Flathead County so I have skin in the game just like you do. If you’ve read the newspaper state-wide, I’ve been in the Western Montana Stock Growers, with people complaining about me supporting the compact so I’ve been throughout the state. I’m an AGR. We have a core commitment of people. I worked with Senator Llew Jones when we were working and worked on a compromise to try to get some money to show our good faith. I know Llew was instrumental in getting the Blackfoot compact. I have a core team that’s ready to go and Dan Salomon is working with some core members too. There is a true group of people that want to do the right thing because it’s the right reasons. This is a good agreement. I think you’ve negotiated robustly but fairly. And if my guys win we’re going to bring the compact in early in the session and just put it through. We have a plan in place how to fix that 60 vote problem in the house. Dan has that plan figured out. So there is a plan going on. This is an issue that will even affect how the key leadership in the house will play out. So yes we are committed and yes, it’s going to happen. So thank you.”
TRIBAL COUNCIL MINUTES FOR JUNE 24, 2014:
“PAC Republicans for Responsible Government, gave an update on the election. They raised $81,000 for this election campaign. Vernon Finley asked about Sandy and Bruce working with Carole and Ranald for quite some time and Carole contacting the tribal corporations for a donation towards this effort. They have strategies in place to get the water compact through the legislature. They are also working on Medicare and Medicaid issues.”
MONTANANS FOR RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP
The organization referenced in these minutes is registered as a Political Action Committee in the state of Montana under the name of Montanans for Responsible Leadership. Emily Tutvedt, who we believe to be Bruce Tutvedt’s daughter is the deputy treasurer of the organization. Ken Mesaros is listed as the Committee Treasurer. Here is a copy of their June 24th, Finance report.
In would seem that Mr. Tutvedt, along with other seated republican representatives and senators have a very interesting scam going. Their latest Financial Report shows their largest donors as:
$30,000 MT Base (Montana Business Advocates for Sensible Elections)
$10,000 SEIU Healthcare
$22,000 Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
There also is a good size donation from a well known local compact supporter on their May Finance Report that can be found at the following link.
In addition to the CSKT, MT BASE is a very large contributor. Also out of Great Falls Montana, this group gets donations from seated senators and representatives that we assume want to advance causes such as Mr. Tutvedt’s. Their reports can also be found on the Montana Commission of Political Practices website. To give you an idea of who is orchestrating all of this behind the scenes, here is a complaint filed with the Commission of Political Practice concerning MT BASE and other organizations that supposedly fight against “dark money”. In reality, this group funnels its donations into developing it pieces, such as the one used in Dan Salomon’s district timed perfectly to harm his more conservative challenger in the primary. This information can be found on their finance report filed with the commission on political practices.
SO EXACTLY WHO IS TUTVEDT REPRESENTING?
The tribal council minutes indicate that Mr. Tutvedt has visited with them at least twice, perhaps even more. It would seem that from the minutes he has been working with Ms. Lankford and Mr. McDonald for a very long time. We have to ask the question, who is this man representing when he goes to Helena? The CSKT Inc., or the constituents in the Flathead who elected him to office?
We have to assume it must be the former, because this seated senator for the state of Montana blindly supports the compact, a forever document that has had no studies done on it so that its implications to the state of Montana or his constituents might be understood.
Tutvedt’s disgusting and blatant fawning over the tribe in the council minutes show not only his ignorance, but his desire to work with the tribe to further advance his and apparently Dan Salomon’s agenda in the Montana state legislature. Perhaps he is trying to court their money to continue to advance his progressive establishment republican cause far into the future.
Efforts of groups such as this serve to subvert the will of the people by doing hit pieces on more conservative candidates, allowing the RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) to work with democrats and the governor to advance agendas that are against the will of the people and the best interests of the state of Montana.
What a sorry excuse for a representative of the people.