©2015 Concerned Citizens of Western Montana
At a recent meeting in Kalispell, Ryan Zinke proudly proclaimed that the CSKT Compact “was now in his court” so “he wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions”.
Those comments were made in the room of about 50 people, including disgraced-state senator Bruce Tutvedt and former FJBC consultant and Tribal advocate Alan Mikkelsen, the latter Zinke’s 2014 campaign manager.
It was pointed out to the Congressman that in fact, it was not in his court yet, that it was currently held up in a district court in Lake County by a lawsuit and request for injunction questioning the validity of the vote on SB 262.
The CSKT Compact is in limbo, and one place it is not is “Zinke’s court”.
The fate of the Compact is still in local hands: a District Court is reviewing a complaint that is based on the facts of the compact language itself, the Montana Constitution, and the electronic record of votes in the Montana House and Senate.
As we have learned from the Compact Commission through the legislature and executive Montana agencies, however, they will attempt one way or another to get it to Congress where we presume it will be “fast-tacked” largely as-is. Just look at the Governor’s signature on the Compact, as if that would make it valid.
The 10,000 Claims Threat Now Proven a Hoax
In the meantime, the Tribes are filing their claims as required by the Water Court and legislature–they had to file them whether the compact passed or not by July 1, 2015.
What the media, state, governor, AG , Compact Commission and Compact proponents won’t tell you was that the Tribes are now filing their “10,000 claims” in eastern Montana anyway, whether they got the compact or not.
The Montana Land and Water Alliance exposed those 10,000 claims as having no legal foundation in the first place. Such claims could be dismissed all at one time with the information now known, if the state was interested in protecting its citizens.
But remember how all the compact proponents got up in the Senate SB 262 hearing and begged the legislature not to cause all this litigation? How the Tribes would file the 10,000 claims if the compact was not passed? The Farm Bureau and Stock growers endorsements?
The need for a compact to avoid this “threat of 10,000 claims” in light of the fact that the Tribes are filing those claims right now anyway despite the compact “passing” exposes the “threat” pushed by the compact proponents as a complete hoax and fraud.
Now Void as it Sits in Limbo
Indeed, if the SB 262/Compact vote is ruled void, there is no compact. But what Montanans will see is the true underbelly of the vastness of the Compact as shown through the Tribes’ claims despite their “promises” and statements that they have “given up so much”.
And what others will notice is to what lengths the state of Montana is willing to go against its own citizens to satisfy the federal government under the guise of an Indian water settlement.
If the compact vote is void, it won’t get to Congress legally. Have you written your letter yet to Zinke, Daines, and Tester letting them know the Compact has not yet been approved?