Dillon Tribune (Dillon, Mont.) 1989-current, December 30, 2015, Image 4

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Page 4 Diu..ohi Tiusi PO Wednesday, December 30 2015 IEWPOINT Montanans need to consider fixing the Lt. Gov. duties By Bob Brown If it's broke, let's fix it. That's what Montanans need to do with our dysfunctional office of Lt. Governor. The dysfunction dates back for at least a half -century. After serving as Governor in the nineteen fifty's, Republican Hugo Aronson once commented in my presence that he rarely left the state because of his deep distrust for his Lt. Governor, Democrat Paul Cannon. In the 1960's the relationship was probably even worse between fellow Republicans Governor Tim Babcock and Lt. Governor Ted James. Babcock was out of state when a car crash killed Public Service Commissioner Jack Holmes. Without waiting for Babcock's return, James quickly appointed his political ally and Great Falls hometown friend, Ernie Steele, to the vacancy on the PSC created by Holmes' death. Babcock was furious, and the animosity that grew between them resulted in James and Babcock locking horns in a bitter Republican primary contest for Governor in 1968. Attempting to create a more functional relationship between Governors and Lt. Governors, the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention changed the State Constitution to require candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor run as a team, as national candidates GUEST OPINION for President and Vice President do. (That hasn't always been an ideal arrangement either. Lyndon Johnson described his role as Vice President in the Camelot time of the Kennedy administration as \the banjo part in the halleluiah chorus.\) In 1976 when Montana's partnership provision was first imple- mented, Governor Tom Judge chose former legislator and state Lands Commissioner Ted Schwinden as his running mate. Judge gave Schwinden some real responsibility, but no trust relationship resulted. Judge and Schwin- den ended up squaring off against each other the first chance they got, in the primary election of 1980. Lt. Governor George 'airman, resigned before the end of Schwinden's administration, as did Lt. Gover- nor Allen Kolstad in the succeeding administration of Governor Stan Stephens. Lt. Governor Denny Rehberg left in the middle of the Racicot administration to run for U.S. Senator. Lt. Governor Karl Ohs made no secret of his disdain for his boring and unfulfilling job and confided to me his intention not to be a candidate for the office again. Now, Lt. Governor Angela McLean has resigned, reportedly be- cause a personality conflict with Gov. Steve Bullock resulted in the Governor giving the capable and energetic McLean nothing to do. People with ambition and ability hate being benched. People who become Lt. Governor, like McLean, are usually ambitious and capable people. Why waste their productive potential because a Governor may either not recognize it, or be uncomfortable with it for some reason? Montanans know that Lt. Governors running independently of the Governor have been problematic for our state, at least since the era of Aronson, and the attempt to force them to be loyal team- mates hasn't worked either. Lt. Governors should serve in a real job. Many do, including neighboring Lt. Governors of Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Alaska, and Arizona. Whether called Secretary of State or Lt. Governor, those states elect one person to perform the defined duties of Secretary of State. We should do the same thing. Montana taxpayers will be served by eliminating a useless and troublesome office and benefitted by giving a capable person a real job to do. This reform can be accomplished only by amending our state constitution. That can happen by a citizen's initiative in the 2016 general election or by a referendum to the people from the 2017 legislature, voted on in the election of 2018. Let's recognize it's broke, and let's fix it. Bob Brown is a former MT Secretary of State and State Senate President. Clarification on the Kerr Dam Intervention By Verdell Jackson Many misconceptions about the interventions in the sale of Kerr Dam during the last year have been in the media. My inter- ventions were not on the sale of Kerr Dam. I intervened in the license transfer proceedings to require the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe (CSKT) through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to meet the same obligations to the public as required of previous dam owners. CSKT claims they are a sovereign government which means that they will be immune from Montana state law, taxes, or the public oversight and regulation by the Montana Public Service Commis- sion. The turnover of a facility that serves hundreds of thousands of people to a tribe that is not accountable to the laws of the state of Montana places the citizens at great risk for economic harm. If all or most of this is true, then statements in the FERC license are the only means to assure that the public duty will be protected. The major obligations are fair electric rates, low cost block of electricity for Flathead irrigation project (130,000 acres), historic water deliveries for irrigation, state management of water rights, integrated power -agriculture operations, lake shore management, lake level management, non-discrimination in employment and public availability of water and financial records. These obligations are somewhat typical of monopolies and are put in place to protect the public. They are found in federal and state laws and regulations, Public Service Commission regulations and policies of past Kerr Dam owners. CSKT has verbally stated that the dam will be op- erated in the same manner as it has been operated in the past, but at the same time they are also saying that they are a sovereign nation and they are not regulated by Montana; however, the CSKT attorneys in Washington DC have contested every single obligation in the interventions and FERC lawyers have refused to consider putting any of the obligations in the license. The FERC decision to allow the transfer of the license to CSKT without any oversight by the Montana Public Service Commission, SAIDT6OtviA14 AWAII To KfiRE, `%••- To TkE KID MO VT NEA MY TIME WAs QuiTt-TouGg i SIT IT \r\1A;qT RoWA ) FksTA YEARYok ABOV lb ACQUIRE( IN THE MAIL THE VIEW OF OuR READERS Good grief lb the editor. Good grief and Yumpin' Yimminy. Catching up on back reading I noted Bengeyfield's latest contribution to peace and good will just before Christmas Eve. His latest lump of coal (anger management issues?) regarding the 'Idiots\ in the latest Republican debate is not surprising nor enlightening. I offer after years of watch- ing presidential candidate debates that \idiocy\ is completely non partisan; not the exclusive purview of Republicans. Democrats, conserva- tives, libertarians, liberals progressives, etc .. go figure While this debate season has produced some real eye openers, the rhetoric from both party debate circuses has yet to translate to any real votes. Primaries are upon us. Let's stri tuned shall we? The tenor and eloquence of the latest Beng eyfield fossilized vegetable matter did give me pause, however. Recognizing my personal deficiencies in the face of Pete's shining expertise in political affairs, sliding scale savagery (\Terrorists may killa few people, but that's about it\) and international ter- rorism (NRA is a bigger threat than ISIS -HUH)) I contacted the mavens at the Department of Insight - Muppets International I explained at reception that I am basically seeking understanding of Bengeyfield's latest Well little fella, you better step lively You've got an important year with the U.S. presidential election. Plus. Hillary and Trump are the front runners. Try not to screw it up. screed in order to enhance my personal growth. After reviewing my submission of the coal sample. I was granted an audience with Under Secretary for Anger Management - the esteemed percus- sionist animal himself. Channeling Bengeyfield, his guttural yet eloquent response: \Has anyone seen my jacket) It's white with long sleeves that make you hug yourself and a cute belt\ Animal then graciously ushered me into the GUEST OPINION without conditioning the circumstances under which the license was transferred, or further public hearings did not serve the public interest as was required of Northwestern and other dam operators throughout the State of Montana. Due to the lack of accountability of federal agen- cies and no help from the state of Montana, the only avenue left is for individuals to take action. Two major obligations that were requested to be continued in my interventions are now being contested and may end up in court: low-cost block of electricity for the Flathead Irrigation Project and yearly payment to Lake County for the Kerr Dam facilities (in lieu of taxes). Loss of these obligations would have a huge financial impact (millions) on taxpayers, irrigators, schools, road maintenance and social services in Lake County. Verde!! Jackson is a former state senator representing Flathead County. l .11720 , ‹ t 1512TOra-- ) •Clion • o • • director's office.. .The Swedish chef himself.. The Chef reviewed the entire Bengeyfield narrative with particular attention on the linking of the NRA to ISIS. After extended deliberation the chef exclaimed \F:hmagerd. Vert Der F'irk. Bork Ease up on the eggnog sir. Art Rohrbacher Dillon EXPRESS YOURSELF IN THE DILLON TRIBUNE Let other people know how you feel and what you think with a letter to the editor. Letters are subject to editing for libel and good taste, and should be limited to 400 words or less. Letters expressing appreciation for a specific, out -of -the -ordinary action are welcome, but let- ters with lists of names of contributors, donors or volunteers, or letters that solicit funds, will not be printed. All letters must be signed, include a physical address of the submitter, and a telephone number where the writer can be reached during the day (the address and number will not be printed). Unsigned letters, or those using false names, will be discarded. Letters from Beaverhead and Madison counties will be given first preference, while those from outside the area will be consid- ered if, in the view of the editor, they are of local interest. Bring or mail your letter to: 22 S. Montana Street • PO. Box 911 • Dillon, MT 59725 or e-mail editortPdillontribune.com DILLON TRIBUNE MAKING HEADLINES SINCE 1881 Dick Crockford, Publisher J.P. Plutt, Editor Brian Anderson, Advertising M.P. Regan, Reporter Jesse Alberi, Sports Reporter Jennifer Engstrom, Office Debbie Melle, Distribution A YELLOWSTONE NEWSPAPER All contents are copyrighted 2015 by the Dillon Tribune-Examiner, dba Dillon Tribune. No portion of this newspaper may he reproduced without the written consent of the Dillon Tribune. The Dillon Tribune (USPS 1570-6000) is published weekly at 22 S. Montana Street, (PO. Box 911), Dillon, Montana 59725. Telephone (406) 683-2331. Periodical Postage paid at Dillon, Montana. Postmaster: Send address changes to Dillon Tribune, PO Box 911, Dillon, Montana 59725. 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Dillon Tribune (Dillon, Mont.), 30 Dec. 2015, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/2015269516/2015-12-30/ed-1/seq-4/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.