©2018 Concerned Citizens of Western Montana

Senator Tester's Official Portrait

What is that saying about “hoisting yourself on your own petard”?

Until this week Senator Jon “I’m Just a Farmer” Tester, vying for re-election in November, has been minding his P’s and Q’s in an attempt to be seen as the most conservative Democrat that ever existed.

Heck he almost seems like an everyday guy in the ads currently plastered all over the media.   While his voting record against all things related to a “Trump agenda” belies his newly found “inner conservative democrat” , he portrays himself as an advocate for farmers, veterans, and protector of our public lands.   In other words, if he thinks Montanan’s like it, Jon will embrace it.  At the same time,  Jon relies on the fact that the folks back home won’t pay attention to his votes against tax cuts, the repeal of Obama Care and Trump nominations to fill important positions in the administration.

We know how the game is played.  The goal is to fly under the radar and get re-elected to the Senate in November.  But unfortunately for Jon, Admiral Jackson, Donald Trump’s pick to run the Department of Veteran’s Affairs got in the way.  Jon felt it was his “duty” to weigh in on Admiral Jackson’s nomination in a most vicious and negative way.  After all Jon is a ranking member of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, and political ads tell us he’s the greatest veteran’s advocate since sliced bread.

Was it his hubris, or did the Democrat elite require him to step up and take one for the team?  Either way, his decision to destroy a man’s reputation for political gain has the potential to result in his ouster from the senate in November.

Ronny Jackson Allegations / Tester

While we cannot be sure what prompted Tester’s participation in the take down of Trump’s nominee to lead the Veteran’s Administration, we are pleased to see Tester being called out for his despicable actions.

Early this morning Donald Trump called for Tester’s resignation.

Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/Doctor Ron Jackson are proving false. The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign. The…..

….great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire, and now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester!


What might all of this mean in the context of the Flathead Water Compact?

In previous posts, we’ve discussed some of the big problems with the Jon Tester CSKT water compact bill S3013 introduced into committee in 2016.

After listening to a conference call with Tester’s Indian Affairs staffers and Lake County Commissioners earlier this week, it is abundantly clear that Tester did not write the bill, nor did he read it.  And neither did his staff.  Instead of answering important questions about the bill, they stepped all over themselves. They didn’t even attempt to respond when asked one very simple question:  Who wrote the bill?

While they hemmed and hawed, and never did answer the question, the fact that it was a rhetorical question never occurred to them.  We already knew the answer:  CSKT attorneys, lobbyists and consultants wrote the bill.

To Jon, there must have been no need to read a bill that he proudly sponsored and put his name on.  If it’s good enough for the CSKT, why should he care about it’s impacts to 360,000 other western Montanans, or the other western states where tribes are located?

So what happens if Jon Tester has now stepped into a pile of political manure that he cannot recover from, and is unable to carry the water compact ball forward for the benefit of the CSKT tribal corporation?

What will happen, “heaven forbid”, should a Republican prevail in his place?

Not to worry.  Rest assured that the bases are well covered.  The CSKT are far too smart to put all of their eggs in the Jon Tester basket alone.

In fact, experience shows it would be quite beneficial to tribal interests if a “republican” were willing to save the day.  After all, it worked quite well in the Montana legislature in 2015.

FARM:  Grassroots, Astroturf or Something Else?

Anatomy of the CSKT Water Compact

Bruce Tutvedt:  CSKT Lobbyist or Legislator?

Our best guess for a possible heir apparent?  Russell Fagg, a current GOP candidate for U.S. Senate could likely be the tribe’s first draft pick.  He openly supports the water compact, his genealogical chart is properly aligned, and some of our local bully compact proponents are already shouting their Fagg support from their Ronan rooftops.

But not to worry, other candidates are also eligible for the draft.  In fact, any other candidate or current republican congressional will do just as well, if they can be properly “convinced” as to the wonders of the Flathead Water Compact.

Stay tuned as we report on how this all plays out.