Sunday, October 26, 2008
2008 MONTANA VOTER GUIDE PREVIEWS OF STATE AND LOCAL RACES
2 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
CONTENTS Governor race Roy Brown....................................................2 Stan Jones ..................................................4 Brian Schwietzer ..........................................5
U.S. Senate race Max Baucus ................................................7 Stan Kelleher................................................9
U.S. House race John Driscoll ..............................................10 Denny Rehberg..........................................11 Mike Fellows ..............................................12
Attorney general race Steve Bullock ............................................13 Tim Fox ......................................................13
Public Service Commission Doug Mood................................................14 Gail Gutsche ..............................................14
Secretary of state race Brad Johnson ............................................15 Linda McCulloch........................................15 Sieglinde Sharbono ..................................15
Office of Public Instruction Donald Eisenmenger ................................17 Elaine Sollie Herman ................................17 Denise Juneau ..........................................17
Auditor Duane Grimes............................................19 Monica Lindeen ........................................19
County commissioners Missoula ....................................................20 Flathead ....................................................21 Sanders ....................................................23 Mineral ......................................................24 Lake ..........................................................25 Ravalli ........................................................26
Flathead open space........................22 Initiative 155 (CHIP) ........................29 Amendment 44 (Investments) ....29 Referendum 118 (6-mill levy) ......30 Missoula Emergency Center ......47
House Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 13, 14, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100 ............30-44
Senate Districts 3, 7, 50 ................................................45-46
Brown focuses on taxes, spending GOP gubernatorial candidate finds support on money issues By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau
KALISPELL – On a gorgeous fall afternoon, Roy Brown is going door to door in an older neighborhood here as part of the Montana Republican Party’s Super Saturday. Brown, the Republican candidate for governor, is his party’s door-to-door guru. He teaches “Doorbelling 101” to GOP candidates. In his first race for the state Legislature from Billings in 1998, Brown went door to door to each home four times, knocking on a total of 15,000 doors. It helped him narrowly win in a Democratic-leaning House district. But on this cloudless September day, with the temperatures in the mid-80s, Brown and volunteer Lynda Collins are having trouble finding anyone home. At last, Brown spots a man in a tree, trimming branches in his front yard. “Hi there, guy up in the tree,” Brown says, with a laugh. “I’m Roy Brown, and I’m running for governor.” This huge state is too far-flung for statewide candidates to spend much time on the doors, and Brown doesn’t. Instead, they rely on fundraising, statewide organization, advertising and news coverage to get their message out. Yet on all of these other fronts, Brown trails Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who’s no slouch at campaigning either. Virtually anything a sitting governor says makes news, putting a challenger at a disadvantage. By early last month, Brown had put 55,000 miles on his brown Chevy Silverado pickup since last November driving around Montana. Or as he puts it, “I figured I’ve been around the world twice, and never left Montana.” His wife, Kim, does much of the driving so he can make fundraising calls. Earlier that day in Kalispell, Brown finds plenty of support working the breakfast tables at Sykes Grocery & Market, where a cup of coffee still costs a dime. A few already know Brown and back him enthusiastically. “He’s got a lot of very strong support up here,” says Linda Tutvedt, whose husband, Bruce, is a Republican running for the Legislature. “He’s a very real person, and that’s very important to us. You get into politics, and you see plastic.” Others at Sykes don’t know Brown. But he’ll get their votes for one reason – they don’t like Schweitzer, who previously lived in the Flathead Valley, one of Montana’s largest Republican bastions.
Roy Brown listens as Gov. Brian Schweitzer answers a question during the first gubernatorial debate.
“I think it’s time for a change,” says Doug Wise, Sykes’ owner. “I knew the other guy pretty good. I thought he was kind of a lyin’ bastard.” Over at the Kalispell Farmers Market, Bernie Onsager, who sells birdhouses, also is no Schweitzer fan. “It’s about time we get rid of Schweitzer,” Onsager says. “He’s had his fun spending all of our money.” That evening, there’s a fundraiser for
Brown on the top of a mountain in a gated community overlooking Whitefish Lake where the property owners have built what appears to be a Forest Service lookout. This one, however, is tricked out with a flat-panel TV, stereo and Internet links. Host Bick Smith asks Brown about Schweitzer’s frequent claims that he’s developing energy projects in Montana. Brown says nearly all of the energy See BROWN, Page 3
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 3
FROM PAGE 2
projects that Schweitzer takes credit for were in the works before the Democrat took office in 2005. Although Schweitzer talks a good game about developing energy, he’s appointed people to the Board of Environmental Review who have erected roadblocks to stop any projects, Brown says. In a brief speech, Brown reels off what he would do as governor. Brown says he would push to eliminate the current 3 percent property tax on business equipment to spur the economy, as he believes previous tax cuts have. He wants ongoing property tax reductions, not one-time refunds like Schweitzer’s $400per-household rebates. He wants to stop big state budget spending increases. He says he would remove barriers and encourage the development of Montana’s natural resources, as Wyoming has done, and pump some of the revenue into schools for higher teacher pay and better facilities. “I’m not for raping and pillaging the state,” Brown says. “I feel like I’m an environmentalist, too.” Brown has pushed for the same agenda to cut taxes and spur energy development in the Legislature. Business and agricultural lobbying organizations give him high grades, while environmental and union groups rate him poorly. Brown, 57, was born in Wyoming, the eldest of four children. The family moved to Billings when he was 4. His father owned an energy-testing laboratory now run by Roy Brown’s brother and employing 150 people. Brown graduated from Billings Central High School in 1969. The previous fall, Brown caught a 60-yard touchdown pass to help lead the Rams to a state football championship against Havre. It was at Billings Central where Brown began dating his future wife, Kim. They married in 1976 and have three children: Katie, 28, who’s on a post-doctoral fellowship at Notre Dame; Gillian, 21, a Montana State University-Billings student; and Roy Jr., 20, a Gonzaga University student. The elder Brown, a petroleum engineering graduate of Montana Tech, put himself through college with summer jobs in the oilfields and sometimes three jobs during the school year. After graduating in 1974, Brown went to work as a petroleum engineer for eight years for Marathon Oil Co. He started in Cody, Wyo., and was transferred to Findlay, Ohio; Cork, Ireland; London; and Cairo, Egypt. With a 1-year-old daughter in Egypt, the Browns decided to return to the United States. He left Marathon and took
Roy Brown Office sought: Governor Office salary: $100,120 a year. Political Party: Republican. Age: 57. Birthdate and place: Feb. 16, 1951 in Casper, Wyo. Moved to Billings in 1955. Home: Billings. Occupation: Owns company that has rental property and serves as state senator. Family: Wife, Kim; and three children, Katie, 28, Gillian, 21, and Roy Jr., 20. Education: Graduated from Billings Central High School, 1969; received bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Montana Tech, 1974. Past employment: 1974-82, reservoir and operations engineer, Marathon Oil Co. in Cody, Wyo.; Findlay, Ohio; Cork, Ireland; London and Cairo, Egypt; 1983-84: energy loan analyst, Norwest Bank in Denver; 1984-86, Montana Pacific Oil and Gas Co., a small independent oil producer in Oilmont, Mont.; 1986: started own business, RLB Oil Co., specializing in oil and gas production as well as rental real estate in Billings; 1994-96: sold oil assets in RLB Oil Co. in 1994, stayed with new company, FX Drilling Co., as a consultant until 1996; 1996-present: RLB Oil Co., still owns the rental real estate. Military: None Political experience: Elected to Montana House of Representatives, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. Elected House majority whip in 2001 and House majority leader from 2002 to 2004. Elected House Republican leader in 2005-06 when the House was split with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. Elected to Montana Senate in 2006. Campaign Web site: www.roybrownformontana.com Key endorsements: Montana Chamber of Commerce, Montana Shooting Sports Association, Montana Contractors Association and Montana Association of Realtors.
a job with a Denver bank evaluating loans to energy companies. One company he evaluated was in the Shelby area and needed someone to run the business. Brown worked for the owner for a couple of years until it went broke when oil prices plunged. In the mid-1980s, Brown, with his petroleum engineering background, partnered with another man who had oil rigs and employees on the Hi-Line. Major oil companies were leaving Montana because of high state taxes, so Brown and his partner began buying up properties and working for banks on foreclosed oil properties. They eventually had 40 employees and produced oil in three states.
Tired of nearly a decade of spending 260 days a year away from his family in Billings, Brown sold his share of the oil business in 1994 and returned home. He continued investing in rental properties, and today the Browns own 54 apartments in 10 buildings in Billings. Democrats and Schweitzer’s campaign regularly refer to Brown as “Big Oil Roy.” “If I was Big Oil, I missed out on all the perks,” Brown says. “This was about as small oil as you could get when I was there. It was some hard-working guys trying to make a living. “I am proud of the fact that I worked in the oil business. I worked very hard in the oil business and earned a living when times were extremely difficult. I paid my taxes and I paid my employees.”
opposite Brown when the chamber was tied in 2005, says Brown was good to work with, even though neither backed away from the principles and views of his respective caucus. “The tone was one of cooperation,” Wanzenried says. “We were friendly, more collegial than we would have been, had there been a one-vote shift either way. But I think the tone of the session was a lot better than the ’03 session and certainly more than ’07 session. I think Roy deserves some credit for it.” Brown has faced tough races before. In the state’s most-watched legislative race in 2006, Brown eked out a slim win in a Billings Senate district over Democrat Margie MacDonald, Schweitzer’s former community services director. He won by 138 votes out of more than 7,200 cast. “I felt like my race was more against After selling his oil company Brian Schweitzer than Margie interests, Brown decided he wanted to give MacDonald,” Brown says, because something back to Montana and ran for Schweitzer and Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger the Legislature in 1998. That’s where campaigned for her. Brown learned the value of campaigning MacDonald outspent Brown $57,309 to door to door, hitting each house four $38,829. Brown believes the Democratic times. Party and environmental groups spent “The first time, people were more than $40,000 in independent suspicious,” Brown recalls. “The second expenditures against him, although that’s time, I got a little bit of recognition. The difficult to quantify, while MacDonald said third time I went around and I had done groups including Realtors spent money on some mailings, people said, ‘Oh yeah, I Brown’s behalf. remember you.’ The fourth time, they said, “He’s a very hard campaigner, a good ‘Yes, I remember you, Roy. I’m going to campaigner, a hard worker,” MacDonald vote for you. You don’t need to come back says. again.’ ” However, MacDonald says, Brown He won three more House elections “took umbrage at any kind of critical and rose to leadership as a House scrutiny.” She says she told voters that Republican whip in 2001, House majority Brown represented himself one way on the leader in 2002-04 and House Republican doorsteps on issues, such as support for leader in 2005, when the House was split public education, mental health programs with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. and increased access to health care, but Doug Mood, a Republican who was voted differently in Helena. House speaker in 2003 and now serves on Some political observers have the Public Service Commission, praises speculated that Brown is running in 2008 Brown’s leadership skills. to get his name known statewide in “He does very well analytically looking preparation for a 2012 race for governor at issues,” Mood says. “It may be slightly once Schweitzer can’t run because of term below the surface, but he’s got a lot of limits. Brown insists that isn’t the case. He passion.” doesn’t believe Montana can afford four State Sen. Dave Wanzenried of more years of Schweitzer. Missoula, the House Democratic leader
WORKING FOR POSITIVE CHANGE IN MONTANA • Development of renewable energy and the creation of new jobs • Fair and reasonable land-use laws • Accessible, affordable health care • Strong support for our schools • Civil discourse and responsive government in the state legislature Deep Montana Roots • www.yvonnegritzner.com
4 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
Jones: A Libertarian against ‘Republicrats’ and ‘Democrans’ By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau
HELENA – Libertarian Stan Jones isn’t likely to be Montana’s next governor, but he’s certainly offered the most farreaching proposals in the three-way race. While Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Republican state Sen. Roy Brown have proposed fairly conventional ideas, Jones’ platform likely will raise some eyebrows. As governor, Jones said he would issue pardons to release all drug offenders incarcerated in the Montana prison system. He wants to scrap all of Montana’s taxes on income, property and business – and replace them with a sales tax on all goods and services. This will be Jones’ fifth attempt for statewide office since 2000 on the Libertarian ticket and his third run for governor. He’s also run twice for the U.S. Senate. He usually draws 7,500 to 10,500 votes in general elections, good for 2 percent to 3 percent of the total, after raising little or no money. “I’ve spent about $4,000 of my own money (this year) and raised $850 through yesterday,” he said Monday. Still, Jones said he believes it’s important to offer the Libertarian Party alternative to the two major parties. “I think people better get used to the fact that we’re losing our constitutional republic,” Jones said. “The Democrats and the Republicans have abandoned the Constitution and violated our laws. We are becoming a socialist democracy. Democracies have always evolved into anarchy and chaos.” At debates, Jones has said there’s “not a dime’s worth of difference” between Democrats and Republicans and Schweitzer and Brown. He sometimes refers to the two parties as “Republicrats and Democans.” Retired after a career in business and consulting Jones, 69, lives in Bozeman. If elected, Jones said he would: n Pardon drug offenders. Jones said it’s time to end the war on drugs and release prisoners incarcerated for drug-related offenses. “I think America has become a police state,” he said. “One of 99 of our people is in prison. That’s the highest incarceration rate in the world. One of the reasons is the war on drugs.” Jones called it “ridiculous” that people caught possessing illegal drugs get longer sentences than sex offenders. Nearly 23 percent of Montana prison inmates are there for drug-related offenses, Jones said. “I would review all of the nonviolent,
shall not be infringed upon, he said. Stan Jones As governor, Jones Office sought: Governor said he would issue an Office salary: $100,120 executive order saying Political party: Libertarian none of Montana’s gun Age: 69 laws is enforceable. He Birthdate and place: Jan. 13, 1939, in also would notify the Bozeman federal Bureau of Home: Bozeman Alcohol, Tobacco and Occupation: Retired Firearms that its agents Family: Divorced. No children. would not be welcome Education: Graduate of Gallatin County here. High School, 1956; bachelor’s degree n Reject any subsidies in general science from what was then to alternative energy Montana State College, 1961; master’s projects. He believes degree in business from Arizona State agricultural land should University, 1970. stay in food production Past employment: Worked in Iran as and not be used for wind contract manager and general or solar power farms or to manager for Telemedia Inc., a Chicago company, teaching English as a produce biofuels. second language to members of Iran’s “One acre of land military, 1974-76; worked in contracts produces a net of 50 department of Telemedia in Chicago, gallons a year of 1977; started and ran business biofuels,” Jones said. management consulting business in “That’s ridiculous. That’s Seattle, 1977-81; worked as director of not sustainable. We project management for Tacoma Boat would have to clear a Building Co., 1981-83; worked for bunch of forests or give Bellevue, Wash., consulting firm, 1983up a bunch of food85, bought out by Price Waterhouse, producing land.” 1985-87; opened his own consulting Montana can already business in Seattle area in 1987 and provide clean coalran it until moving back to Bozeman in produced energy because 1998. the technology exists to LINDA THOMPSON/Missoulian Military: Served as active duty in the “The Democrats and the Republicans have abandoned the remove the sulfur dioxide U.S. Air Force, 1961-74, retiring as a Constitution and violated our laws,” says Libertarian candidate and other harmful gases, major. After retiring from active duty, Stan Jones. “We are becoming a socialist democracy.” he said. Jones picked up a reserve He also favors building commission and served in the Air victimless crimes, and I would pardon nuclear power plants in Montana and Force Reserves until 1989, retiring as a those that I possibly could pardon,” he elsewhere, calling them “the most lieutenant colonel. said. “That would reduce the spending in efficient, cleanest and least costly energy.” Political experience: Lost races as a the Montana budget considerably.” Jones called the idea that global Libertarian candidate for governor in The state Corrections Department warming is human-caused “one of the 2000 and 2004 and for U.S. Senate in estimates it costs $29,200 to house a biggest misconceptions ever perpetrated 2002 and 2006. female inmate annually and $27,740 for a on the American people and the people of Campaign Web site: male convict at their respective state www.stanjonesforgovernor.com the world.” prisons. Key endorsements: Libertarian Party There is global warming, but it’s Jones made it clear he doesn’t endorse naturally occurring, Jones said. using illegal drugs, which he called “a horrible thing” to do. He said he doesn’t use either illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages. n Replace all Montana taxes with a sales tax. Jones believes Montana’s tax system is far too complicated, with too many state taxes that punish business. He would ask the Legislature to throw out Montana’s entire income, property and business tax system and replace it with a state, county and city combined sales tax DEMOCRAT, SD 50 on all goods and services. He estimates it would be in the 12 percent to 15 percent Accomplished. Knowledgeable. Clear thinking. range. n End enforcement of all gun laws in Please contact me w/ Montana. your thoughts or ideas at These laws violate the U.S. Paid for by Larsen for Senate District 50 (406)544-6263 Kim Browne, Treasurer • PO Box 1901 Constitution, which says in the Second firstname.lastname@example.org Missoula, MT 59806 Amendment that the right to carry a gun
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 5
Schweitzer: Montana’s salesman Governor pitches accomplishments and plans for future while seeking second term By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau
SOUTH OF ROUNDUP – Four hundred feet underground and three miles horizontally into Signal Peak Energy’s coal mine, a top executive summons miners to meet Gov. Brian Schweitzer. The miners gather around, clad in hardhats, jumpsuits and boots. “If it wasn’t for Governor Schweitzer, we wouldn’t be where we are,” says John Demichiei, the company’s chief executive officer. “He’s been an advocate for coal mining. He’s taken political risk supporting us. We need to show him our support.” With workers’ headlamps shining on him in the pitch-dark mine, Schweitzer tells them he’s spent the past 3 1/2 years traveling the country trying to interest a company in developing what’s been the struggling Bull Mountain underground coal mine. It’s had a long history of fits and starts, plagued with financial and environmental problems. Many of the nation’s major coal companies knew “this mine has the potential to become the most productive longwall mine in the country,” Schweitzer says. Yet they all passed on it because of the dispute over who owns what was formerly called the Bull Mountain Coal Mine. Fortunately, Schweitzer says he was able to interest Wayne Boich Sr. and Wayne Boich Jr., who run Boich Cos., a coal marketing and production businesses in Columbus, Ohio. They were able to figure it out. Boich Cos. and FirstEnergy, an Ohio utility, have said they will invest $450 million in this project, including construction of a 35-mile rail spur to link the coal mine with the BNSF Railway. Signal Peak Energy mine eventually will produce 13 million tons a year. Schweitzer praises the Boich father and son and tells the miners, “So if you’re a person who says a prayer, say a prayer for the Boich family.” Earlier in the day, both Boichs meet up with Schweitzer. On the drive to the mine, Wayne Boich Jr. lauds the governor. He tells how Schweitzer first met with his father and him in Los Angeles, then at his father’s house in Columbus. They talked about environmental and regulatory issues in Montana, and Schweitzer addressed them. “With the governor’s help, it turned into a good deal,” Boich Jr. says. Schweitzer’s opponent, Republican state Sen. Roy Brown, has accused the Democratic governor of talking a good
Gov. Brian Schweitzer arrives by helicopter to tour the Milltown Dam area during his first term in office.
game about energy development, while his anti-growth appointees to environmental boards and agencies devise ways to stop projects. “I think that’s absolutely untrue,” Boich Jr. says. He says Boich Cos. wouldn’t have invested in the coal mine here without the Schweitzer administration’s assistance. “They’ve been good to work with,” Boich Jr. says. “Everybody’s very responsive. They’re open, upfront and honest, and that’s all you can ask for.” As for Schweitzer, Boich Jr. says, “He’s got a great personal touch. You really feel like you’re welcome with open arms.” Above all, Schweitzer is Montana’s premier salesman. Never a desk jockey who enjoys refereeing bureaucratic turf wars, Schweitzer instead crisscrosses the country to lure energy and other businesses here. “It’s a little like when I’ve been in the bull business,” he tells a press conference in September releasing a Labor Day report on the economy. “You show a bull to somebody and you go through the
record. You tell them, ‘Imagine the calves that you’ll get from this bull.’ “That’s the way you sell things. You’ve got to go out and make personal relationships with people. And sometimes you call them once, twice, three times, and you can’t even get in the front door to see them. After you call them four and five times, you get in the front door to see
them. After some more prodding, you get them to come out and take a look at your product. In our case, the product is Montana.” To his critics, Schweitzer often grabs credit for others’ accomplishments. They say he inherited an economy ready to boom because of tax cuts passed by See SCHWEITZER, Page 6
ROGER DeHAAN Democrat For District 3 Ravalli County Commissioner
Civil Engineer – Business & Property Owner – Civic Volunteer
“For a Bitterroot our children will want to call home.” Learn more at: www.rogerforcommissioner.org Paid for by: DeHaan for Commissioner P.O. Box 456,Corvallis, Mt. 59828
6 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 5
Republicans. “He likes to take credit for everything that happens,” Brown says. “The sun comes up this morning, and he takes credit.” But Schweitzer points to a number of accomplishments, including a strong economy, with high growth rates for jobs and average wages, higher spending on education at all levels and $400-perhousehold property tax rebates. “Montana’s on the move,” Schweitzer often says, repeating his campaign slogan. Running for his second and final term as governor, Schweitzer is vague about specific plans for the next four years if he’s re-elected. “More of the same,” he says. He holds a big lead over Brown in fundraising. A recent Rasmussen Reports poll showed Schweitzer ahead of Brown, 56 percent to 41 percent. The race has narrowed since a July 29 Rasmussen poll that showed Schweitzer leading Brown 56 percent to 32 percent. Brown may have picked up some support since news reports surfaced about Schweitzer’s much-criticized July speech at a national trial lawyers’ convention in Philadelphia, where he boasted that he had tampered with the November 2006 election in Montana. Schweitzer has since said he was “just joking around” and did not influence the election outcome. Still, by any standards, Schweitzer is a formidable candidate. As a political unknown from Whitefish in 2000, Schweitzer lost by only 14,000 votes to then-Republican U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns in a three-way race. Schweitzer drew national attention by taking busloads of senior citizens to Canada, where they could buy prescription drugs for much cheaper than in Montana. Four years later, Schweitzer teamed up with a Republican businessman, state Sen. John Bohlinger, and ran for governor and lieutenant governor. Schweitzer defeated Secretary of State Bob Brown, also of Whitefish, by 20,000 votes, or by 50 percent to 46 percent, with two minor-party candidates dividing the other votes. The two candidates debated seven or eight times, recalls Bob Brown, a Republican now stationed at the University of Montana’s Center for the Rocky Mountain West. “I was impressed with his intelligence,” he says. “He had a flair for showmanship. I joked with people several times that debating Brian Schweitzer was like debating Buffalo Bill Cody, because he was big and kind of grand.” A day traveling with Schweitzer, the
Brian Schweitzer Office Sought: Governor Office Salary: $100,120 a year Political Party: Democrat Age: 53 Birthdate and birthplace: Sept. 4, 1955, in Havre. Home: Georgetown Lake Occupation: Governor Family: Wife, Nancy; and children, Ben, 22, Khai, 20, and Katrina, 18. Education: Graduated from Holy Cross Abbey, Benedictine Monastery, Canon City., Colo., 1973; received bachelor’s degree in international economy, Colorado State University, 1978, and master’s degree in soil science from Montana State University, 1980. Past employment: Built irrigation systems and dairy farms in the Middle East, 1980-86; farmer-rancher, Montana, 1986-2005; elected Montana governor, 2004. Military: None Political experience: Lost U.S. Senate race in 2000; won governor’s race in 2004. Campaign Web site: www.brianschweitzer.com Key endorsements: National Rifle Association, Montana State Firemans Association, Montana AFL-CIO, MEAMFT and United Transportation Union.
candidate, is not much different than a day accompanying Schweitzer, the governor. On this Friday in September, a pilot from Bozeman flies Schweitzer around in his private plane. Schweitzer speaks to no big crowds. He shakes few hands. It amounts to another day on the road for the governor. As Schweitzer has put it, he is governor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The first stop is Lewistown, where some supporters drive him to the Central Agricultural Research Center in Moccasin. Schweitzer looks out at farms along the way. Montana agriculture is experiencing a once-a-generation combination of outstanding crop yields and high prices in the same year. “Well, it was a good crop this year,” he says. “Good crop. Good prices. It ought to be reflected on Main Street. “Farmers don’t pay (income) taxes, but they feed Main Street.” Farmers can average their income over three years on their income taxes. “If they have too many good years, they buy tractors and grain bins,” he says. “Any farmer who’s paying too many taxes should fire their accountant. The point is, they are an (economic) engine.” Schweitzer, who has owned and run farms and ranches in four counties, knows agriculture.
He has a bachelor’s degree in international agronomy from Colorado State and a master’s in soil science from Montana State University. He built irrigation systems and dairy farms in the Middle East for six years before he and his wife, Nancy, moved back to Montana to start a family in 1986. The Schweitzers have three children: Ben, 22, Khai, 20, and Katrina, 18. At the Ag Research Center, David Wichman, the superintendent and agronomist, is one of Schweitzer’s MSU graduate school classmates. Wichman drives the visitors around to inspect the crops. Schweitzer grills him about crops, moisture and pesticides. Then he asks Wichman about the status of oil-seed crops like canola and camelina, which Wichman says were hailed out. As he leaves, Schweitzer tells Wichman, “Don’t give up on those oil-seed plants.” Back in Lewistown, Schweitzer stops at Garfield Elementary School to read a book about his border collie, Jag, to a kindergarten class. He asks the children to raise their hands if they have dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets at home. Many hands go up. Soon he has them woofing and howling with him as he reads the book. Then it’s off to Roundup and the coal mine. The tour takes longer than anticipated, so Schweitzer has to postpone
a lecture to a Montana State University political science class rather than show up a half-hour late. The last stop is Whitehall for a gun show. Schweitzer gets a good response as he goes from table to table checking out the guns and knives for sale. “I think you’re the first Democrat I’ve ever seen at a gun show,” says one seller, Herb Dawson of Emigrant. Impressed by the knives with intricate trim made by a man who goes by “Big Joe,” Schweitzer asks him to send one to be displayed in the governor’s office to spur sales. “I just appreciate the job you’re doing,” the knifemaker says. Buyers and sellers at gun show seem glad to see the governor and visit with him When a campaign aide asks how it went, Schweitzer says, “Almost everywhere I went, people said, ‘You’re doing a good job. Keep it up.’ ” At one table, Schweitzer spots a Remington 12-gauge shotgun selling for $175. He offers the seller $150. After some prolonged, friendly dickering, Schweitzer buys it for $155. A man from another table, impressed with Schweitzer’s negotiating skills, tells him, “Now, I know why you’re governor.” “No,” replies Schweitzer. “Now you know why we have $200 million left in the bank – because I’m too damn tight.”
Re-Elect Betsy HANDS for House House District 99 Democrat
Representing You to: R Support K-12 Education. R Protect Open Spaces and Access to Public Lands. R Promote Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. R Improve Access to Quality Health Care. I want to hear your thoughts and concerns. Please email me at email@example.com. Paid for by Betsy Hands for House, Treasurer Gail Gutsche, 1530 Cooper, Missoula, MT 59802
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 7
Ranch roots to D.C. career Democrat Baucus running for 6th term in U.S. Senate By JENNIFER McKEE Missoulian State Bureau
NORTH OF HELENA – At a barbecue and campaign fundraiser, U.S. Sen. Max Baucus is standing on a stage beneath towering cottonwoods that his great-grandfather planted on the ranch his family has tended for five generations. Baucus is addressing Montana’s Democratic Party faithful, trying to put into words why he loves the ranch so much. His family has worked livestock on this same ground since the late 1800s. His father’s ashes are scattered here. His nephew Philip, who died as a soldier in Iraq, is buried here. “This is where I began and this is where I’m going to end up,” Baucus said. Baucus was born and groomed to run the Sieben Ranch. Until he was in college, he assumed he would grow up to be a rancher, that his life would be framed by the Big Belt Mountains to the north, his pressures measured in sheep, cattle and goats. He remembers exactly where he was when he decided against that life: the Belgian Congo in west Africa in the 1960s, as he and some friends were hitchhiking around the world. “It just hit me,” Baucus said, in a recent interview sitting at his kitchen table in Helena. “The world is getting smaller. Natural resources are diminishing and somehow we’ve got to live together.” Baucus’ younger brother, John, and John’s wife, Nina, later took over the ranch. The life Baucus chose instead is now common knowledge to almost any Montanan who’s lived here the last 34 years, when Baucus was elected to his first federal office as one of Montana’s two congressmen. He became a politician.
U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., speaks at the Aerial Fire Depot in Missoula during a January 2008 meeting with state, local and federal officials about fire-season funding.
Kelleher, known primarily for his quixotic quest to convert the United States to a parliamentary system of government, won a surprise victory in a six-way GOP primary this spring, and hasn’t mounted much of a campaign. As a politician, Baucus is a survivor. He is not and has never professed to be a liberal Democrat. He has strayed from his Since 1978, Baucus has served in the party on some fairly big issues, including U.S. Senate and is now Montana’s longestPresident Bush’s 2001 tax cuts and the serving U.S. senator. His name is so wellMedicare expansion that created privately known his political yard signs say only run, publicly funded prescription drug “MAX” in huge block letters. After 30 coverage that prohibits the federal years, he is one of the top-ranked government from negotiating with drug lawmakers in the Senate, chairs one of its makers for cheaper prices. most powerful committees and is In November 2003, the Lewis and Clark considered a shoo-in to win his sixth County Democratic Central Committee consecutive six-year term in the Senate. adopted a resolution denouncing Baucus’ The Rasmussen Reports polling firm support for the Medicare bill as an gave Baucus a 99.9 percent chance of reattempt to destroy Medicare through election again this year, as he faces privatization. However, there were only Republican challenger Bob Kelleher, an eight or nine central committee members 85-year-old Butte attorney and perennial present. candidate who’s essentially been disavowed by his own party. Baucus calls himself a “problem
solver,” who doesn’t fall for “knee-jerk” ideological reactions. If re-elected, Baucus said he intends to push hard for universal health care for all Americans, a greater degree of energy independence, and new attention and money for America’s languishing infrastructure: bridges, highways and ports. Baucus’ political career is so long that he has spent just four years of his adult life living full time in Montana. Yet his life, as he tells it, is rooted in the state and the family ranching business. It’s a life his mother, Jean, fought to give him after his biological father, Stephen Enke, a California man Baucus hardly knew and never called “Daddy,” went to court to compel young Max and younger sister Karen to spend summers with him. The biological father lost. Baucus was born in Helena in 1941. His mother was married to Enke, an associate professor at Stanford University
in California. Baucus spent his early life in California, a place he doesn’t remember. When Baucus was about 2 and his younger sister a baby, Jean left the marriage and brought her children back to her hometown in Montana. They lived with her parents in a house on Helena’s West Side built by Henry Sieben, her grandfather and founder of the expansive Sieben Ranch. Baucus remembers when his mother began dating a young airman from Great Falls. He had a great uniform. His name was John Baucus. Today, the senator calls John Baucus, his adopted father, one of the most influential people in his life. He taught Baucus how to fish, how to move sheep, buck bales of hay and work hard. “I don’t think anybody ever said a negative word about my dad,” Baucus said. “People just trusted him and liked him so much. What he said was the truth. There was never an ulterior motive, ever.” See BAUCUS, Page 8
8 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 7
The young family moved to Missoula for John Baucus’ job. The future senator remembers sitting at dinner one night when he was about 5. “I said, ‘Well, if you’re going to be my dad, I might as well call you Dad,’ ” Baucus said. “Dad about fell out of his chair.” When Baucus was in early grade school, they moved back to Helena, and John Baucus took over the Sieben Ranch. Back then, said Jean Baucus, many ranching families lived in town during the school year, commuting out to the ranch on weekends and for the summer. The Baucuses bought a house down the street from the one Henry Sieben built in the early 1900s and took up that style of ranching life. Every weekend, the family would head out to the ranch, staying in a small wooden house at the headquarters that initially had no electricity. Jean Baucus cooked their meals on a woodburning stove. The ranch then raised mainly sheep, and Jean Baucus has black-and-white photos of Max on a motorcycle driving sheep. As Baucus got older, his father gave him greater chores. In high school, Baucus played football and he and his friends would buck hay bales all day for $5. “They thought it was good for their muscles,” Jean Baucus said. Eventually, John Baucus adopted Max and his sister, and the two kids formally changed their last names. That took time, Baucus said, because his biological father opposed the change, although he was mostly absent from their lives. The family rarely took vacations, Jean Baucus said, but there were plenty of pretty places in the mountains above the ranch to camp and fish and they often went there. Baucus remembers summers spent working in the days, horsing around in the “gorgeous summer evenings,” and lots of camping and fishing. After graduating from Helena High School, Baucus went to college and law school at Stanford University, his mother’s alma mater. His first job out of college was with the now-defunct Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, D.C., as a staff attorney. He later took a job with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “I loved the job,” Baucus said, but he still wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. He called up Montana’s two senators, Democrats Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf, and the state’s two congressmen. The elder statesmen agreed to meet with the young Montanan. “I asked all four,” Baucus said: Should I go into public service? “(Mansfield) strongly encouraged me,” he said.
Max Baucus Office sought: U.S. senator Political party: Democrat Office salary: $169,300 Age: 66 Birthdate and place: Dec. 11, 1941, in Helena Home: Helena Occupation: U.S. senator and attorney Family: Wife, Wanda, one son from previous marriage Education: Helena High School graduate, 1959; bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University, 1964; law degree, Stanford University, 1967 Employment prior to political career: 1971-1974, attorney in private practice, Missoula; 1971, legal assistant at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C.; 1967-1969, staff attorney, U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board, Washington, D.C. Military: None Political experience: 1979-present, U.S. senator representing Montana; 1975-1978, U.S. representative for old western Montana district; 1973-1974, state representative from Missoula; committee coordinator and executive director of the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention Campaign Web site: www.maxbaucus2008.com
He decided to go for it, although he had one minor detail to iron out first: What party did he belong to? The Baucuses were not a particularly political family, Jean Baucus said. She was a Democrat; John Baucus was a Republican, along with their entire extended family. But politics was not something Baucus remembers the family ever sitting around debating. “I thought about that for about one second and decided I was a Democrat,” Baucus said. “They’re the party of inclusion, of the future.” Baucus returned to Montana in 1971 and took a job at the 1972 Constitutional Convention, where Montanans rewrote the territorial constitution with what has been praised as one of the most progressive state constitutions in the country. He later was promoted to executive director. (Ironically, Baucus there indirectly worked for Kelleher, his Republican challenger in this election. Kelleher was one of the 100 delegates, although most of his efforts, which were aimed creating a parliament, failed.) Baucus also had a job with a Missoula law firm. In 1973, he served in the Montana Legislature, commuting from Missoula. In 1974, Baucus won a seat in the U.S.
House, representing western Montana. (Montana then had two congressmen.) On a shoestring budget, he employed an unusual tactic to get his name out: He walked 600 miles across western Montana, from Gardiner to Yaak. Four years later, he ran for U.S. Senate and defeated Republican Larry Williams by a 56-44 margin. Since then, he has rarely faced a difficult challenge, usually winning re-election by wide margins. Baucus seems to work easily with some Republicans, particularly Iowa’s Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Grassley and Baucus have traded leadership of the committee several times in recent history, as their respective parties lost or gained control of the Senate. The two often issue joint press releases and launch coordinated projects. Raised as he was in a family of Republicans, particularly a father he idolized, Baucus’ ease with Republicans might be understandable. But the senator said his relationship with the other side comes more from his own disinclination toward partisan politics. He also defends Democratic principles. In 2005, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada made Baucus the point man to lead the Senate campaign against President Bush’s failed attempt to
privatize Social Security. Baucus may shy away from such bitter politics, but the enormous amounts of money he is able to raise – and share with local Montana Democrats – has been a boon to the party. This election is expected to be no different. Baucus thrives on strenuous physical exercise, a leftover from growing up on the ranch, he said. Physical work feels good, he said. There’s a beginning and an end. “In the Senate, there’s so much process,” he said. He gets up every morning at 5 a.m. to run. He ran in the Montana Marathon in Billings a week ago and is training for both a 50- and 100-mile run. Baucus is especially close to his only son, Zeno, a lawyer who lives in D.C. with his wife, Stephanie. “We have lunch every Thursday. It takes precedence over everything else,” he said. “We both so look forward to those lunches.” He said he looks forward to the next six years in the Senate as “a huge opportunity.” “Professionally, it’s the most exciting time in my life,” he said. “So much in our country has been neglected. Health care, energy. I would very much like to be part of major health care reform for our country.”
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 9
Kelleher: Still pushing for parliament after all these years Baucus opponent supports British-style government By JENNIFER McKEE Missoulian State Bureau
BUTTE – That Bob Kelleher will lose Montana’s U.S. Senate race is an almost universally acknowledged eventuality. The polling firm Rasmussen Reports recently gave the 85-year-old Butte lawyer a 1-in-1,000 chance of beating five-term incumbent Sen. Max Baucus, who has raised $11 million to the roughly $20,000 of personal savings Kelleher has already spent on the race. Yet Kelleher talks a tough game: He believes he can beat Baucus. He believes America is ready for the cause to which he had dedicated his four decades of mostly unsuccessful political involvement: a parliamentary government. In his quixotic way, Kelleher is running a real campaign. He has an office: a bare, three-room building in Butte that formerly housed a chiropractic clinic and still bears a large overhead sign to prove it. He has staff – just two, compared to Baucus’ 50 – but like all devoted political types, they profess to love Kelleher and this time you’re tempted to believe them. He spent his summer marching in parades, speaking to groups, printing handbills and buying radio spots. Kelleher’s parliament idea is widely unpopular. Yet there is something appealing about his passion and the fact that 37 years after his first and only political victory, Kelleher has at long last snagged another – winning the Republican Senate primary in June. Bob Kelleher is uncomfortable talking about himself. Instead, seated in a narrow room at his campaign headquarters, empty save a folding table, a handful of stacking chairs, an electric typewriter and an enlarged black-andwhite photo of his five oldest children, smiling on the front porch of his old house in Billings, he sticks to familiar subjects. Since 1972, when he was serving as a delegate to the Montana Constitutional Convention, Kelleher has pushed to replace the nation’s 221-year-old democracy with a parliament based roughly on England’s example, where citizens vote for parties, not people, and there is neither presidency nor executive branch. Agency heads would be elected
GEORGE LANE/ Independent Record Bob Kelleher of Butte, when he filed as a Republican candidate for the Senate in Feburary 2008, was given little chance of securing the GOP’s nomination.
members of parliament, he said, and the two-party system, which often fails to capture the nuance of the population, would be scrapped in favor of many parties that must often form coalitions to govern. Kelleher believes a parliament would largely solve our national ills and might have prevented some of our past mistakes, like the Vietnam War. He says he wishes he hadn’t signed
Montana’s 1972 Constitution because, well, it didn’t call for a parliament. “I almost didn’t sign it,” he said, “and looking back, I shouldn’t have. Everything I proposed went down.” Although he’s running as a Republican against Baucus, Kelleher has long run as a Democrat – even as a Green Party member – and favors large expansions in government no major party has embraced. He supports
“looking for commies in the federal government during the McCarthy era. Office sought: U.S. senator We never found any.”; assistant to the Salary: $169,300 regional counsel for the U.S. Bureau of Political party: Republican Land Management office in Billings, Age: 85 1952-53; received Ford Foundation Birthdate, place: March 30, 1923, in Oak grant to study conservation at Harvard Park, Ill. Moved to Montana in 1952 in its government school, 1953-54; Home: Butte practiced law in Montana since 1954, Occupation: Attorney first in Billings and more recently in Family: Single. Had six children with his Butte and maintains law offices in late wife and one child with his former both cities. wife; seven grandchildren Military service: U.S. Army, 1953-1970, Education: Graduated from Mount including active duty and reserves, Carmel High School, Niagara Falls, retired as colonel in Army Reserves. Ontario, 1941; bachelor’s degree in Political experience: Elected to philosophy from Mount Carmel College, Montana Constitutional Convention, 1945; law degree from Catholic 1971; eastern district U.S. House University in Washington, D.C., 1950; candidate, 1964, 1968; state Senate master’s degree in history from Catholic candidate, 1966, 2000; candidate for University, 1956 president, 1976; candidate for governor, Past employment: Worked for Robert F. 1980, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2004; state Kennedy in the criminal division of the House candidate, 1994; U.S. Senate U.S. Justice Department in 1951-52 candidate, 1988, 2002, 2006
government-paid, government-run health care for all Americans and nationalizing major industries like oil, gas and railroads. Yet his support of states’ rights is also strong. Kelleher said he would like to see the state of Montana buy its own railroads, shipping boats and port land in the foreign countries that import the most Montana grain. Then, he said, the state could write its own international trade agreements independent of the federal government. A devout Roman Catholic, Kelleher advocates many of the teachings of his church in his political beliefs. He believes most abortions should be banned. He takes seriously his moral duty to alleviate the indignity of poverty and is generally opposed to war. He believes men and women should be paid the same wage for the same work; he supports price controls for food and gasoline. Kelleher said he is not a socialist, but a “Teddy Roosevelt Republican” and quotes the former president when asked about his stance on the rise of corporations. “I don’t care how big corporations get,” Kelleher said, “as long as the strong hand of government is on their back.” Born in Oak Park, Ill., in 1923, Kelleher attended a Carmelite monastery high school in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He continued studying there as a young man, intent on becoming a priest. At 23, already a friar, he left the order just 18 months away from ordination. Later, he earned a law degree from Catholic University in 1950 and a master’s in history from the same religious school in 1956. Kelleher moved to Billings in 1952 to become the regional lawyer for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. At that time, he said, the federal government would fire employees for being gay or lesbian. One talented BLM employee was gay, Kelleher said, but he and others refused to dismiss him. Kelleher began practicing law privately in Billings in 1954 and spent most of his legal and family life there, raising six children. Kelleher later had another child by his ex-wife. He has seven grandchildren and now practices law in Butte.
10 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
Driscoll the anti-candidate in U.S. House race By MIKE DENNISON Missoulian State Bureau
HELENA – When Tom Schneider heard that his former colleague, John Driscoll, was trying to run a campaign for the U.S. House without money, Schneider called and said he was going to send him “a great big contribution.” “He said, ‘I won’t take it,’ ” recalls Schneider, who served with Driscoll on the state Public Service Commission in the 1980s. “He has a different way of looking at things.” Six weeks before the election, Driscoll has yet to accept a penny in campaign funds – and says he’s been equally diligent about not spending any money in his quixotic quest to win a seat in Congress. “I didn’t feel that a person could really be effective in Congress if it took money to get there,” he says. “That’s why I decided not to take any money at all.” Driscoll, 62, is the Democrat challenging Montana’s only congressman, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who’s up for election to a fifth consecutive term. Libertarian Mike Fellows of Missoula also is in the race. Driscoll hasn’t run any advertising, has a Web site he got for free, and appears at campaign-related events only if he doesn’t have to travel or it coincides with a family trip he’s already taking. A former state representative and public service commissioner from Hamilton, Driscoll now lives in Helena, where he lives on his state and military pensions and runs a book-selling business out of his garage. He shocked the Montana political world in June by winning the Democratic primary, defeating a well-funded opponent while spending no money of his own. Could he pull off another stunner this November, against the well-funded and well-known Rehberg? “I think it’s 50-50,” Driscoll says of his chances. “It will take a lot of votes. People vote by party; there will be a big turnout, and that bodes well for a guy like me. If I get elected, it will have very little to do with me; it will have more to do with political numbers.” Friends and acquaintances chuckle about Driscoll’s unusual approach, with the clear implication that they doubt it will work. “In some respects, I admire it,” says Helena attorney Mike Meloy, who served in the state Legislature with Driscoll during the 1970s. “But it’s left me scratching my head as to why you would put that much effort into a campaign that probably has not much of a prospect of winning.” Yet they also say it’s vintage Driscoll,
ELIZA WILEY/Independent Record
John Driscoll chats candidly about the upcoming election at his home in Helena recently.
taking an idealistic stance that challenges conventional wisdom against long odds. “He’s very much an individual; I’ve never met anyone like him,” says Schneider, who lives now in Salt Lake City. “Nothing he does surprises me. There aren’t too many people like that in the world. The status quo never meant anything to John.” While Driscoll may be unknown to many voters, he has a political resume that stretches back four decades in Montana Democratic politics. He was the initial campaign manager for Democrat Max Baucus’ first run for Congress in 1974; he ran against Baucus in the 1978 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate; he was speaker and majority leader of the Montana House during the mid-1970s, when Democrats commanded large majorities and pushed through landmark environmental legislation. Driscoll then won three consecutive terms on the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities. He stepped down in 1992 after 12 years on the commission, and has dabbled in politics since, running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and 2002. Driscoll, a 28-year veteran of the National Guard, rose to the rank of full colonel in the Army National Guard and was in the Pentagon during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. He spent nearly four years in Washington, D.C., from 1999-2002 as a full-time adviser to the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, working on training to coordinate Guard and active duty military personnel. He also has master’s degrees in public affairs, business administration and international affairs. When it comes to political positions, Driscoll doesn’t mince words. He wants to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq immediately, saying the U.S. presence in the Middle East has stretched the military to the breaking point and is without a clear strategy. Any real, long-term military strategy can’t be developed unless the country revamps its energy policy, he says, and that means moving away from oil consumption and toward other, homegrown forms of energy. Driscoll advocates moving to a renewable-energy future, with electric cars and trains powered by solar, wind, nuclear and other non-oil sources. He also practices what he preaches, as his modest home in south Helena uses electricity only from his own solarpowered system. He supports basic health coverage for all citizens, guaranteed by the government, probably in the form of a public health system that is available first to those who commit to some type of public service. Driscoll’s political views and positions can be found on his Web site, as well as several other sites to which he provides Internet links, such as Project Vote
Political party: Democrat Office sought: U.S. House Office salary: $169,300 Age: 62 Birthdate and place: July 17, 1946; Los Angeles Home: Helena Occupation: Semi-retired; operates book-selling business. Family: Wife, Kathy; two daughters; one stepson; and one stepdaughter. Education: Graduate of Hamilton High School, 1964; bachelor’s degree in political science, Gonzaga University, 1968; master’s degree in international affairs, Columbia University, 1970; master’s degree in public administration, Harvard University, 1979; master’s degree in business administration, University of Montana, 1983. Past employment: 2002-present, semiretired, operates book-selling business from home; 1999-2002, joint education planner for Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.; 1992-1999, worked on research and writing projects based in Butte; 1981-1992, public service commissioner representing southwest Montana; 1981-1993, held various jobs in the Bitterroot Valley, including forest firefighter, smokejumper, manufactured home salesman and contract representative for plastics manufacturer. Political experience: Montana public service commissioner, 1981-1993; ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 1978, 1990, 2000 and 2002; state legislator from Hamilton, 1973-1979; briefly managed Democrat Max Baucus’ 1974 campaign for Congress in western Montana district. Military: Spent 28 years in the Army National Guard, retiring as full colonel in 2002; active duty in reserve officers corps for the Army, 1970-1972, working in strategic intelligence for the West Indies and Africa. Campaign Web site: web.mac.com/johndriscoll37/Montana _First/Priorities.html
Smart. “It’s fine to work within the constraint of no money,” he says. “But it’s not fine not to tell people what you think, so I’ve tried to tell people exactly what I think. There’s not a person in Montana who won’t be mad at me if they go to that Web site. But there’s going to be a lot of things that they agree with me on. “I’m just not the type of guy who’s going to go around patting ourselves on the back and saying we’re OK, because See DRISCOLL, Page 12
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 11
Rep. Rehberg takes pride in assisting businesses By MIKE DENNISON Missoulian State Bureau
BOZEMAN – Over lunch at a Bozeman restaurant with U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, high-tech business adviser John O’Donnell has a confession to make, as he talks of helping Rehberg get re-elected this year. “You know, I consider myself to be a pretty informed guy,” he says to Rehberg, “but when I talked earlier to (your staff), I had to ask: ‘Who’s he running against?’ ” O’Donnell and most Montana voters can be forgiven if they can’t instantly name Rehberg’s 2008 opponents, for neither is mounting much of a visible campaign. Democrat John Driscoll, a former state public service commissioner and retired National Guard colonel, isn’t raising or spending any money for his campaign. Libertarian Mike Fellows, a perennial candidate, is running his usual low-budget, low-key campaign. Barring a huge upset, it’s likely that Rehberg, a Republican, will be returning to Washington, D.C., for his fifth consecutive term as Montana’s only representative in the U.S. House. He’s already transferred $100,000 of his $600,000-plus campaign fund to the state Republican Party to help elect other GOP candidates in Montana, and his own campaign isn’t exactly on overdrive. Yet that doesn’t mean Rehberg, whose political career crosses four decades, is taking it easy. In Bozeman last weekend, he put in a typical 14-hour day, combining campaign work with congressional duties as he met with small business owners, went door-todoor with a legislative candidate, and checked up on projects for which he secured federal “earmark” funding. Rehberg, 52, says a favorite part of the job is hearing new, creative ideas from business people and helping them if he can. While he espouses a conservative, pro-business philosophy – “Government should just get out of the way,” he often says – Rehberg says it can be a tool to help economic development, such as by funding promising ideas and research or keeping taxes and regulations minimal. One of the projects for which Rehberg has secured funding is the TechRanch, a business-development center in Bozeman directed by O’Donnell. It received $1 million in federal funds the past two years to help its mission of assisting small, technology-related businesses find and develop commercial markets for research coming primarily out of Montana State University. Rehberg says it was one of the first earmark projects he helped obtain after he became a congressman in 2001. “I get $845 million in earmark requests
U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., speaks at a fundraiser for then-U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns in Whitefish in August 2006.
a year,” says Rehberg. “I have to prioritize. I have limited opportunity to travel around Montana and see what’s proposed, if it fits into my vision for the state. “I said to John, ‘Prove to me what you do is (worthwhile).’ He met that test.” He’s requested another $100,000 for the TechRanch this year, for a focus on clean energy ventures – one of many energy items emphasized by Rehberg this campaign. Rehberg and fellow Republicans have been pushing hard to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore areas to oil drilling, saying it’s part of their “all of the above” energy policy, which also includes renewable energy, nuclear power and conservation incentives. Two of his stops Saturday are with a company that installs solar-power systems for homes and businesses and another one preparing computer-assisted aids for consumers to measure their energy consumption and find new, energy-saving appliances.
lending credibility to Montana businesses trying to develop international markets. “He goes to as many meetings as the companies want him to attend, to show that the U.S. government and the Montana congressman want these companies to work,” Sherman says. “That means a lot in the international community. “On trade missions, (Rehberg) does not have an ego. He gets on the bus with everyone else, eats with everyone else; he never says no, because he thinks his job is to get business done.” Sherman, whose center also has benefited from federal earmarks secured by Rehberg, says the rancher-turnedcongressman sees himself primarily as a business person and clearly wants to help other business people get off the ground and succeed. Rehberg has helped run his family’s cattle and goat ranch for much of his political career, which extends back to the late 1970s. He and his wife, Janice, also have subdivided part of the property into a residential development just north of the As he meets with business owners, Billings rimrocks. Rehberg sometimes tells them about The subdivision, known as Rehberg upcoming international trade missions that Ranch, has helped make Rehberg one of can introduce them to overseas markets. the wealthiest members of Congress. His These are missions that Rehberg helps 2007 financial disclosure form listed assets lead, usually under the auspices of the with a net worth ranging from $11 million World Trade Center at the University of to $55 million. Montana. He’s traveled on Trade Center missions to South America, South Korea, Rehberg began his political career as China and Europe. an aide to former U.S. Rep. Ron Marlenee Arnie Sherman, director of the center, in 1979 and ran for the Legislature when says Rehberg’s presence is very effective in he was 28 years old, defeating a well-
Political party: Republican Office sought: U.S. House Office salary: $169,300 Age: 52 Birthdate and place: Oct. 5, 1955, Billings Home: Billings Occupation: U.S. congressman Family: Wife Janice, two daughters and one son. Education: Graduate of Billings West High School, 1973, bachelor’s degree in public administration from Washington State University, 1977. Past employment: 2001-present, congressman representing Montana; 1997-2000, operated family cattle/goat ranch near Billings; 1991-1997, lieutenant governor of Montana; 19891991, state director for Republican U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns; 1982-1988, operated family ranch; 1979-1982, aide to U.S. Rep. Ron Marlenee, RMont.; 1977-1979, Realtor in Billings and lobbyist for Montana Realtors Association. Political experience: 2001-present, congressman representing Montana’s at-large district; 1996, ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate; 19911997, Montana lieutenant governor; 1988, ran Republican Conrad Burns’ successful U.S. Senate race; 19851991, state representative from Billings. Military: None Campaign Web site: www.dennyrehberg.com.
known Republican legislator in the primary election. Rehberg’s political stock rose dramatically in 1988 when he stepped in to manage the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Conrad Burns, helping Burns to an upset victory over Democratic incumbent John Melcher. He later worked as Burns’ state director and then became lieutenant governor under Govs. Stan Stephens and Marc Racicot. He left that job to run for the U.S. Senate in 1996, losing to Sen. Max Baucus, but returned in 2000 to win the congressional seat, defeating Democrat Nancy Keenan. Jack Ramirez, a longtime family friend and Montana House Republican leader when Rehberg was in the Legislature, says Rehberg always had “some real, strong feelings about participating in government and making a difference,” and loved the competition of politics. While Rehberg had the reputation of being a budget hawk and partisan warrior See REHBERG, Page 12
12 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
Libertarian Fellows in fifth bid for House seat profile, he is not without a campaign. He’s done some door-to-door campaigning, attended forums, parades and other events, HELENA – For Libertarian candidate and plans to have some broadcast Mike Fellows, “try and try again” has advertising. become a way of life in Montana politics – He says he’s raised “a couple of and he’s giving it another go this year in the thousand dollars” for the campaign and has race for Montana’s only U.S. House seat. a Web site at www.votefellows.org. Fellows, 50, who chairs the Libertarian He also occasionally sends out press Party in Montana, has run for the state’s atreleased commenting on the issues of the large U.S. House seat in four of the last five day, such as one last week blasting the elections. His best showing was the nearly federal government’s bailout of failing 12,500 votes he garnered in 2004, or about insurance, mortgage and investment 2.8 percent. companies. Yet Fellows says it’s still worth the effort, “The taxpayers didn’t cause this mess if for no other reason than to “keep the nor did they give corporate CEO’s millions incumbent honest,” by pointing out to in compensation for making poor voters that while Republican U.S. Rep. judgments,” he said in his release. Denny Rehberg may say he’s a fiscal “Congress will once again spend money we conservative, he still votes for big federal don’t have and get our grandchildren spending, on everything from agricultural further into debt.” subsidies to oil-industry tax breaks. Libertarians also have their presidential “It’s really tough to defeat the candidate, former Republican U.S. Rep. incumbent,” says Fellows, a nursing home Bob Barr of Georgia, on the Montana orderly in Missoula. “He’s so entrenched. ballot this year. He’s almost like (Sen.) Max Baucus. He’s Fellows says he hopes Barr might visit LINDA THOMPSON/Missoulian brought home all this pork, saying, ‘Elect Libertarian Mike Fellows is running for U.S. House against incumbent Rep. Denny Rehberg. Montana sometime before the November me, I’ll bring you more money.’ ” election, and that Barr, who’s relatively Rehberg is running for his fifth well-known, may do better than other Education and give that funding to the each election, preaching their gospel of consecutive two-year term in the U.S. Libertarian presidential candidates have states, and change congressional minimal government and individual House and is considered a heavy favorite to procedures so members can’t lard up must- fared in Montana. freedom. win re-election. His opponents are Fellows “It’s hard to judge, since Ron Paul is on pass bills with all kinds of unrelated “The government’s main purpose is to and Democrat John Driscoll of Helena, the ballot (too),” he says, referring to the spending and special projects. protect its citizens and protect our who’s taken the unusual step of refusing to “Those projects should have to stand on Republican Texas congressman who is borders,” says Fellows, and it shouldn’t be raise or spend any money on his campaign. popular among Libertarian-leaning voters. their own,” he says. doing much else. Fellows has run for the U.S. House seat Paul is on the Montana presidential ballot Fellows also stands strongly for gunin 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2006. He also ran under the Constitution Party banner. Fellows would like to deep-six the ownership rights and against the U.S. for secretary of state in 2000. “(Libertarians) may vote for Ron Paul federal income tax code and perhaps Patriot Act, saying it improperly infringes While Libertarians have never won a instead of Bob Barr, although I do think replace it with a flat tax or a consumption on civil liberties and citizens’ privacy. state office of any kind in Montana, they tax, get rid of the U.S. Department of While Fellows doesn’t have a high public that’s going to be a wasted vote.” continue to file a handful of candidates By MIKE DENNISON Missoulian State Bureau
FROM PAGE 11
during his legislative days, Ramirez says Rehberg saw the benefits of working with those who might disagree with his politics. “He certainly has conservative beliefs on the size and scope of government, and he’s a man of principle, so he tried to live that,” Ramirez says. “But I always felt that he got along well with people on the other side of the aisle and reached out to find common ground.” Rehberg has a conservative voting record in Congress, although recently he’s sometimes distanced
himself from President Bush. He has voted several times to override Bush vetoes, including supporting Democrats on a proposal to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Yet at the Gallatin County Republican Roundup, an annual political dinner with hundreds of GOP faithful in a horse barn south of Bozeman, Rehberg serves up his share of political red meat, castigating Democratic congressional leaders for refusing to allow a vote on offshore oil drilling. “Why have the polls changed in our favor?” he asks the crowd. “Because we have continued to debate the No. 1 issue: energy. That
FROM PAGE 10 kind of attitude (by Democrats) is gong to cost them the majority in the Congress. That kind of attitude is going to cost them the presidency.” The overtly political talk this day, however, is a rarity. As Rehberg and TechRanch director O’Donnell exchange stories over beers and ribs at Famous Dave’s, they’re discussing the prospects for earmark funding in the current and next Congress, and how the outcome of the presidential election might change things. Rehberg’s campaign hardly comes up, and as the two men head for their vehicles in the parking lot, O’Donnell offers tongue-in-cheek well wishes: “Hey, good luck beating whatever-his-name-is.”
we’re not OK. I like America, but our situation is not OK.” Yet, in the end, Driscoll says the crux of his campaign is about money in politics – and sending a message that it’s possible to win without it. Too much of modern politics is raising enough money to scare off potential opponents, he says, taking away the time that representatives should spend working on the country’s and their constituents’ concerns. “We have this mindless (political) system that is victimizing everybody, including the country,” Driscoll says. “The first step to make a change is to get there a different way.”
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 13
Hunting access, gun rights steer race for Montana attorney general By JENNIFER McKEE Missoulian State Bureau
HELENA – Democrat Steve Bullock and Republican Tim Fox are finalists in a uniquely public job interview: Both want to be Montana’s next top lawyer, the attorney general. Voters will make the final selection on Election Day. The Missoulian State Bureau looked at each candidate’s legal resume, interviewed people who worked with him, and asked each man to explain how his career set him apart. Fox, of Helena, has been licensed to practice law for 21 years, although he hasn’t worked as an attorney for all that time. He has spent his entire career in Montana, representing mostly corporations like insurance companies, banks and mining companies, although he also worked for a year representing poor Billings residents accused of misdemeanor crimes in City Court. As a lawyer with the state Department of Environmental Quality, Fox led Montana’s first criminal prosecution against a citizen accused of breaking state environmental laws. Fox’s career has included some setbacks: He was once asked to leave a job and was laid off from another. Bullock, also of Helena, has been licensed to practice law for 14 years and worked as an attorney ever since. His career twice brought him to large, East Coat firms where he represented national and international corporations. He also has worked extensively in Montana, and as a state Department of Justice attorney successfully defended Montana’s stream-access law before the state’s highest court. As a private attorney, Bullock represented a group of Montana cities seeking to buy NorthWestern Energy earlier this decade, and represents unions, companies and trade groups. Bullock twice left jobs at high-powered law firms, returning to Montana to care for his sick father in the 1990s and then returning home for good to open his own law firm. Tim Fox, 51, graduated from the University of Montana Law School in 1987 and started his legal career as a one-year clerk for Justice L.C. Gulbrandson on the Montana Supreme Court. Then he moved to Billings and took a job as an associate with Moulton Bellingham, a large firm with a wide variety of mostly corporate clients. He defended insurance companies, represented oil and gas companies and
banks, including some bill-collection work, and helped banks understand industry regulations. After two years, the firm lost some business, Fox said, and he was let go. “I can certainly empathize with those who have had setbacks in their careers,” he said. Gerald Murphy, a senior partner at the firm today, worked with Fox when he was at Moulton Bellingham in the late 1980s. He remembers Fox as “a very good attorney.” In September 1988, Fox became environmental coordinator for the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, a state agency headquartered in Billings. Fox was hired to rewrite the board’s rules on oil and gas permitting, said Tom Richmond, the board’s administrator and Fox’s boss at the time. “He did a pretty solid job,” Richmond said. “Those rules have been in place for 15 years.” But Fox and Richmond eventually butted heads, and Richmond asked him to resign. Fox wanted to publish the results of a draft study examining oil and gas wastes;
Steve Bullock Office sought: Attorney General Political party: Democrat Age: 42 Birthdate and place: April 11, 1966; Missoula
Richmond wanted to wait, believing the draft results were inaccurate, which they later turned out to be. After leaving the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation in 1993, Fox hung out his shingle in Billings, opening a one-man law practice. He obtained a public-defender contract with the city of Billings and represented more than 465 poor people in City Court who were accused of committing misdemeanor crimes, like drunken driving. “It was quite an amazing learning curve,” Fox said, adding that he was often the only visitor his clients had in jail. Fox also did some criminal defense work in District Court, and represented small businesses. In March 1996, then-Gov. Marc Racicot, a Republican, appointed Fox to be a special deputy attorney general assigned to the Department of Environmental Quality. There, Fox focused mainly on mining law, including the large bankruptcy of a gold mining company, said Mark Simonich, the agency’s former director and Fox’s boss then. “Tim did a very good job for me,”
Home: Helena Occupation: Attorney, Bullock Law Firm Family: Married to Lisa (Downs); Children are Caroline (6), Alexandria (3) and Cameron (2). Parents are Jack and Penny Copps, Billings, and Mike Bullock (deceased) Education: Helena High School, 1984; Claremont McKenna College, 1988; Columbia University School of Law, 1994. Past employment: Associate attorney, Shaw Pittman law firm, Washington, D.C., 1994-1995; Associate attorney, Dew Ballantine law firm, New York, N.Y., 19951996; Chief legal counsel, Montana Secretary of State, Helena, 1996-1997; executive assistant, Montana attorney general, Montana Department of Justice, 1997-2001; Adjunct instructor, George Washington University School of Law, Washington, D.C., 2002-2004; Associate attorney, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, D.C., 2001-2004; attorney, Bullock Law Firm, Helena, 2004-present. Military: None Political experience: Montana delegate to Democratic National Convention, 1992; executive director of the Raise Montana ballot initiative campaign to increase Montana minimum wage, 2006.
Simonich said. Fox also led the state’s investigation into David Allen Phillips, the first person to be criminally charged for breaking environmental law. Phillips was convicted of a state misdemeanor and a federal felony. For six months in 1998, Fox also was acting head of the Planning, Prevention and Assistance Division at DEQ, the branch that oversees many non-regulatory duties of the department. Fox said he applied for the permanent position, but “it went to a more qualified civil servant.” In 1999, Fox left state government to become head lawyer for Mountain West Bank, a Helena-based bank with branches in central and western Montana. He handled most of the bank’s legal needs, from giving advice about employment law, to handling foreclosures and collections and helping the bank managers interpret banking laws. Mountain West officials declined to talk about Fox’s time at the bank, saying the bank does not engage in political activity. After four years, Fox left the bank and took a job at the established Helena law firm where he currently works, Gough, Shanahan, Johnson and Waterman. There, Fox has a mix of clients. He said he works mostly with banks, real estate developers and corporations, and also handles corporate bankruptcies, foreclosures, collections, mining and environmental law. Fox said some of his most rewarding work is the work he does for free, representing kids with unfit parents and others who can’t afford a lawyer. Fox said his career has uniquely prepared him for the job of attorney general. He said he is the only man in the race with criminal justice experience, that he has more years in the legal profession than his opponent, and understands the realities of starting and running a business in Montana. Fox has taken three cases to the Montana Supreme Court and has argued cases before federal bankruptcy court, U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Steve Bullock graduated in 1994 with honors from Columbia Law School in New York City, ranked as one of the best law schools in the country. Out of college, he went to work at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Towbridge in Washington, D.C., where he’d previously See ATTORNEY GENERAL, Page 14
14 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Ghosts of deregulation rise again Incumbent Mood challenged by Democrat Gutsche in PSC race deregulated back in 1997,” she says, noting that Mood, as a state legislator, voted for the 1997 bill that launched electric utility HELENA – In the race for the Public deregulation. “I think it’s hugely important in Service Commission seat representing terms of how we got where we are today.” western Montana, Democratic challenger Mood, running for re-election to the Gail Gutsche is making utility deregulation an commission that regulates utilities, says his issue – and she’s trying to turn it against vote 11 years ago is irrelevant, and that incumbent Republican Doug Mood. people should judge him by his work on the “We wouldn’t be having the kind of energy PSC the last four years. choices we have in Montana if we hadn’t “The campaign isn’t really about the past; By MIKE DENNISON State Bureau
it’s about what the future is going to look like,” he says. “I’d put my record on the PSC in front of anyone and defend it with pride.” Mood, a former partner in a Seeley Lake sawmill, says he’s been an even-handed commissioner who has decided cases in the best interest of consumers and the state, and will continue in that mode if re-elected. Yet even without the deregulation issue, See PSC Page 15
FROM PAGE 13
represented a privately owned bridge in Detroit in negotiations with Detroit-born rap star Eminem, who wanted to shoot a Continued music video on the bridge. Roger Warin, who worked over Bullock interned. An enormous firm with 350 at the firm, said he was an “exceptional attorneys, Shaw, Pittman mostly handled “commercial litigation,” or large lawyer.” companies suing each other, he said. As an “We were sad to see him go,” he said. associate just out of school, Bullock “We tried to talk him out of it.” handled smaller pieces of these large, Bullock then moved home a final time, complex cases. opening his own one-man firm in 2005. David Fiske, a partner at the firm who The Bullock Law firm has a wide list of supervised Bullock, said he was a “very, clients, including Washington Corp., owner very bright, good young lawyer.” of Montana Rail Link and Montana “I’ve seen a lot of young lawyers,” he Resources in Butte, labor unions and the said. “I frankly thought he had a very good Helena Building Industry Association. career ahead of him. I thoroughly enjoyed He’s representing the association in a case working with him.” pending before the Montana Supreme After a year-and-a-half, Bullock took a Court, about county subdivision job with another large firm, Dewey requirements. Ballantine in New York City. The firm also “He’s good,” said Elaine Marcille, handled a lot of large, national companies executive director of the Helena trade suing each other and Bullock handled group. “He’s very attentive, good followpieces of these cases. Tim Fox through and he’s smart.” In late 1996, Bullock came back home to care for his dying father. He took an Bullock has had four cases before the Age: 51 appointed position as the only lawyer in Montana Supreme Court. He has argued Birthdate and place: Aug. 22, 1957, the secretary of state’s office under in district courts throughout the state, as Billings. Democrat Mike Cooney. As the sole well as several bankruptcy courts, federal Home: Helena. attorney in the office, Bullock handled appeals courts and the National Labor Occupation: Attorney in the Helena law everything, Cooney said, from helping Relations Board. firm of Gough, Shanahan, Johnson & Montana businesses register with the state He said his experience gives him the to handling all citizen ballot initiatives and edge. As second-in-command at proposed constitutional amendments. Department of Justice under Mazurek, “He was extraordinarily smart and A conservative Colorado think tank the lawmaking process. Bullock said he knows well how the agency hard-working,” Cooney said. had sued over the law, saying it violated After four years at the Justice works and has already shown he’s up to The next year, Attorney General Joe private property rights. Bullock took the Department, Bullock and his wife had the job, successfully defending one of Mazurek, a Democrat, appointed Bullock state’s response, Mazurek said, “and made started a family and he left to take a job his chief deputy, the second-in-command it a better document, made sure it with a large Washington, D.C., firm to pay Montana’s most cherished laws, stream at the Department of Justice. access. off his student debt. He worked two jobs Mazurek, who is treasurer for Bullock’s worked.” His experience at large, out-of-state Then Bullock successfully argued the there, as an attorney for Steptoe and campaign, said Bullock played a central firms is also valuable, he added. When big case before the Montana Supreme Court. Johnson, handling large corporate clients, role in defending the state’s 1985 streambusinesses sue Montana, Bullock said, they The law has never again been challenged. and as an assistant law professor at access law, which allows the public access Bullock also worked closely with the George Washington Law School, ranked in often retain a local lawyer, but the real to almost all rivers and streams up to the legal work is done by lawyers at out-ofstate Legislature, helping shepherd bills the top 25 law schools nationally. high water mark, regardless of who owns state firms like the kind has worked at, he the Justice Department supported, such as At Steptoe, Bullock handled a wide the land abutting the water. the state’s numerical speed limit, through variety of cases, including one in which he said. He said he knows how they tick. Waterman since 2003, and partner since 2005. Family: Wife, Karen, and children Anna Emmert, Michael McMahon, Laura McMahon and Caroline Fox Education: Graduated from Hardin High School, 1976; bachelor’s degree in geology, 1981, University of Montana; law degree, UM, 1987. Past employment: Vice president and general counsel, Mountain West Bank, Helena, 1999-2003; acting division administrator, state Department of Environmental Quality, 1998; attorney, Department of Environmental Quality, 1998-99; solo private practice, Billings and Helena, 1993-96; environmental coordinator, state Board of Oil and Gas Conservation in Billings, 1990-93; associate attorney, Moulton, Bellingham, Longo & Mather law firm in Billings, 198890; law clerk to Montana Supreme Court Justice L.C. Gulbrandson, 1987-88. Military: None. Political experience: Has not run for public office previously, but has been active in Republican politics and helped GOP candidates.
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 15
FROM PAGE 14
Three vie for state’s highest elections post Linda McCulloch, Sieglinde Sharbono challenge incumbent Brad Johnson By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau
HELENA – The low-key race for Montana’s top elections officer pits three distinct candidates against each other in a race that, typically, has failed to attract much money or attention. Republican incumbent Brad Johnson, of Bozeman, says he’s earned another four-year term and points to what he calls “a heck of a record of accomplishment,” including modernizing business registrations and putting federal elections law into effect. Democratic challenger Linda McCulloch, the current two-term superintendent of public instruction and a former grade school librarian in Bonner, says Johnson didn’t handle the 2006 election particularly well and misses more Land Board meetings than any of the state’s other top elected officials. Staking out her own unique territory,
Sieglinde Sharbono, a Constitution Party member from Stevensville, said she would refuse to certify the elections of any incumbents who voted for laws she deems unconstitutional, like the USA Patriot Act. The secretary of state is one of Montana’s five statewide elected officials and is state government’s equivalent of the county clerk and recorder, an administrative post that oversees elections and various filings important to businesses. The secretary is Montana’s chief election official and the office receives many thousands of filings by businesses yearly such as articles of incorporation and annual reports. This officeholder also is one of five elected officials on the state Land Board, which oversees leasing and management of the state’s 5.2 million acres of state school lands, whether it’s leasing them for livestock grazing or oil, gas and coal production. Revenue from state lands helps finance Montana’s public schools.
cleanest, fairest elections in the nation,” he said on his campaign Web site. “In large part, that’s because of the dedicated, talented county election administrators who do the hard work of making them happen.” He cited a post-HAVA legislative audit BRAD JOHNSON after the 2006 elections that Johnson said Johnson is proud of the accomplishments of the secretary of state’s found “absolutely no evidence of voter fraud.” office over the past nearly four years and The 2006 general election was the first said, “We’ve put together an exceptional in Montana where people could register staff in this office.” His office has successfully implemented and vote right up until the polls closed on Election Day. all aspects of the federal Help America Johnson drew some criticism for what Vote Act of 2002, he said, and it was one occurred, but he said, “nobody knew what of the first states to have everything to expect.” Even so, the problems completed. It got the statewide voter occurred in only two jurisdictions in registration database up and running to Missoula and Gallatin counties out of the help prevent fraud and replaced hundreds in Montana, he said. Elections in uncertified voting equipment. Johnson the rest of the state ran “very smoothly,” said his office also has put into place “a very aggressive” training program for local he said. election officials. See SECRETARY, Page 16 “Montana elections are among the As usual, the campaign for the office is a low-key affair, with relatively small campaign finance budgets. Here, in alphabetical order, is a look at the candidates:
FROM PAGE 14
the electoral battle in this sevencounty district that runs from Libby to Hamilton to Deer Lodge is a corker, with two candidates presenting two very different philosophies on energy policy. Mood calls Gutsche “an ideologue pushing an agenda,” which he says is favoritism toward alternative and renewable energy, regardless of what it will cost consumers. “I don’t have preconceived notions,” he said. “I make decisions based on evidence presented to the commission. If they can make the case to me that a wind farm is economic and will be a good project for the ratepayers, I’ll vote for it. If they can’t, I won’t.” Mood, 64, who spent eight years as a state House member before winning election to the PSC in 2004, notes that he voted to approve Montana’s largest wind farm at Judith Gap as a project providing power to NorthWestern Energy customers.
Gutsche, 54, a writer and consultant from Missoula who was a state legislator from 19992006, says she’s no ideologue. But she’s more than willing to say that, as a commissioner, she would pursue programs and vote to encourage energy conservation, energy efficiency for homes and businesses and renewable, home-grown power, such as small wind, solar and geothermal projects. “(Mood) talks about the supply side, to dig and drill (for power),” she says. “I talk about conservation and energy efficiency. We can either stay the course or the status quo, which isn’t working, or look at new technology and start moving us in a new direction for our energy future. Conservation and energy efficiency “are the least expensive things we can do,” she adds. “We can encourage more programs for people and businesses so they can keep the lid on utility rates.” Gutsche also raps Mood for his vote against permitting Green Taxi, a new Missoula business that has hybrid vehicles operating
as taxi cabs. Green Taxi, which won PSC approval on a 3-2 vote with Mood voting against it, has provided a new alternative for Missoula and hasn’t hurt the existing Yellow Cab taxi company, she says. The PSC has regulatory
authority over some transportation businesses. Mood says his vote against Green Taxi simply followed legal precedent that said if research showed the existing carrier – Yellow Cab – would be “harmed” by a new competitor, the new carrier’s request should be denied. The three Democratic commissioners overruled precedent “because they liked the word ‘green,“’ Mood says. “I don’t care about the word ‘green’ one way or the other. If (Green Taxi) met the conditions, I would have voted for it.” Mood says that approach – deciding regulatory cases before the PSC based on the facts, rather than emotion or politics – is why voters should re-elect him. That approach led him to vote against an Australian firm’s buyout bid for NorthWestern in 2007 and push for new guidelines for the company to buy natural gas, he says. Both decisions have turned out to benefit consumers and the company, he adds. As for NorthWestern, the state’s dominant electric-and-gas
utility, Mood says his votes on the PSC will help rebuild the company into a utility that owns its power-production again and will provide dependable, affordable power well into the future. “I’d like to see them be a very boring company that is not in the headlines all the time, because they are so dependable and steady,” he says. Gutsche says she, too, wants to work with NorthWestern and other commissioners to develop more regulated power sources that the company controls, “to bring the cost of power in line as best we can.” But she also says voters should consider that it was the 1997 deregulation bill that led to the break-up of NorthWestern’s predecessor, Montana Power Co., and selling of its power plants, which had provided regulated, affordable power. “The vast majority of people do recall deregulation and are perfectly clear what that’s done to their electric bill,” she says. “That’s why I think deregulation is important in this race.”
16 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 15
In contrast, the 2008 primary election “ran incredibly smoothly” without problems, and Johnson anticipates no problems in the November general election. Johnson originally backed same-day voting registration, which was instrumental in the Legislature approving it in 2005. He now believes that voter registration should end at 5 p.m. the Friday before the election. Montana previously cut off voter registration 30 days before the election, as do most states. Five other states cut off voter registration 30 days before the election, but allow voters to register on Election Day. “We’re the only state in the country that has continuous registration,” he said. Johnson said his proposed change would make it much easier for local election administrators to set up elections. On other issues, Johnson said he was proud of how his office has moved 80 percent of the required business filings online, which speeds things up considerably. In mid-April 2005, it took 30 days for his office to process a business filing, said, while it had dropped to two days by mid-April 2008. “Businesses love it, and it saves us about $100,000 a year,” he said. His office is in the process of taking bids to replace its business computer server, a step Johnson said will allow the office to offer every service it provides online, starting in 2010 or 2011. On the Land Board, Johnson has been pushing for speeding up the development of the state-owned Otter Creek coal tracts. Earlier this year, the board unanimously passed a motion to direct the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to begin a coal inventory study to determine minimum bids for the coal leases. “I am not sure if I hadn’t been persistent that we would have had that motion before us,” Johnson said. “It’s very positive that we’re taking concrete steps to move ahead with development.” If re-elected, Johnson said he hopes he can be involved in legislation that would offer incentives for additional natural resource development in Montana. He wants to eliminate the state’s 3 percent business equipment tax and take other steps to help Montana catch up with North and South Dakota in oil and gas development. LINDA McCULLOCH Barred by term limits from seeking a third term as state school superintendent, McCulloch wants to unseat Johnson as secretary of state. She has criticized how Johnson’s office supervised the November
Brad Johnson Office sought: Secretary of state Political party: Republican Age: 57 Birthdate and place: March 6, 1951, in Lake Forest, Ill.; moved to Montana in 1952. Home: Bozeman Occupation: Secretary of state Family: Wife, Lisa Education: Graduated from Cary-Grove High School, Cary, Ill., 1969; received bachelor’s degree in 1974 and master’s degree in 1976, both in animal science from the University of Illinois. Past employment: American Quarter Horse Association, 1978-80; American Simmental Association, 1980-81; district representative, U.S. Rep. Ron Marlenee, 1983-84; Ag Extension Agent, 1991-1998; account manager, RightNow Technologies, 2000-2001; auto parts store owner, 2002-2004. Military: None Political experience: Lost race for Montana’s western district congressional seat, 1990; elected secretary of state, 2005. Campaign Web site: www.bradjohnson08.com Key endorsements: Montana Chamber of Commerce, Montana Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Montana Association and Montana Association of Realtors.
2006 elections, calling it chaotic. “Voting is the very basis of our democracy,” said McCulloch, a Democrat. “It needs to be done well. We need to restore the confidence in voting in the secretary of state’s office.” She pointed to a July 2007 legislative audit with 14 recommendations for improving how Johnson’s office implemented the HAVA and oversaw the 2006 elections. “Overall, the audit pointed out the lack of leadership in the secretary of state’s office,” McCulloch said. The audit said Johnson’s office bought vote-counting machines for counties but didn’t provide sufficient training on how to use them. “Those are things I excel at at OPI,” McCulloch said. “I come with a teaching background.” If elected, McCulloch said she would meet with legislative auditors to ensure all 14 audit findings are fully addressed before the 2010 election. Under her leadership, McCulloch said OPI received perfect or nearly perfect legislative audits. “The secretary of state’s office has one federal program – HAVA,” McCulloch
Linda McCulloch Office sought: Secretary of state Political party: Democratic Party. Age: 53 Birthdate and place: Dec. 21, 1954, in Springfield, Ohio. Moved to Montana in 1978. Home: Helena Occupation: Superintendent of public instruction, 2001 to present. Family: Married to Bill McCulloch for 30 years. Education: Graduated from Southeastern High School, South Charleston, Ohio, 1973. Bachelor’s degree in elementary education, University of Montana, 1982; master’s degree in elementary education, with an emphasis in supervision of library media programs, University of Montana, 1990. Past employment: Teacher’s aide, St. Labre School, 1978-79; student assistant, University of Montana Mike and Maureen Mansfield Library, 19801982; substitute teacher, Missoula elementary school district, 1982-1984; teacher/school librarian, Missoula elementary school district, 1984-1985; teacher/school librarian, Bonner school district, 1985-2000. Military: None Past political experience: Elected to Montana House of Representatives and served from 1995-2001. Elected state superintendent of public instruction, 2000 and 2004. Key endorsements: Montana Public Employees Association, AFL-CIO, MEA-MFT, Montana Conservation Voters, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Billings Education Association, EMILY’s List; Democracy for America. Campaign Web site: www.mccullochformontana.com
said. “I manage 70 federal programs at OPI and have the proven skills to come in and do the job. I have a proven record. If need be, I would stand up to the federal government as I have with No Child Left Behind.” Johnson replied that the audit found no evidence of voter fraud. His office already was working on some areas addressed by the audit before it came out, he said. At OPI, McCulloch said her office has been in the forefront of using information technology to simplify filings and wants to put everything at the secretary of state’s office into electronic formatting. Unlike Johnson, McCulloch said she would fight to keep Montana’s system to allow people to register and vote right up till polls close on Election Day. McCulloch said she would seek passage of a bill to allow high school students to be
Sieglinde Sharbono Office Sought: Secretary of state Political Party: Constitution Party of Montana. Age: 49 Birth date and place: Oct. 29, 1958, in Sidney. Home: Stevensville Occupation: Working for a return to constitutional government. Family: Husband, Dan; son, Trevor; and daughter, Arryelle. Education: Graduated from Park City High School, 1977; received associate degree in public communications in 1990 and bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1990, both from the University of Alaska, Anchorage; received fundraising school certification in 1989 from Mills College, Oakland, Calif. Past employment and volunteer work: Municipality of Anchorage, 1981-1989; Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1985-88; Teamsters Union representative and consultant; Volunteers of America/RSVP, 1988-89; volunteer fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 1988; facilitator and presenter of volunteer training, 198789; assistant producer for monthly donated CBS television program; facilitator and presenter of volunteer training, 1987-89; authored volunteer handbook for ACTION, the federal volunteer agency, 1988; volunteer aerobics instructor for YMCA, 1988-89; public television assistant development director, 1992; full-time mother, homemaker and activist, 1993present; traveled United States spreading the message of return to constitutional government, 2002-05; homemaker and constitutional activist in Montana, 2005-present. Political experience: None Military: None Campaign Web site: www.montanaforsharbono.com Key endorsements: None
election judges, a move that would teach them about the process and she hopes inspire them to vote when they turn 18. Now a Land Board member as state school superintendent, McCulloch emphasized the importance of this board that generates hundreds of millions of dollars for Montana schools. Seven years ago, McCulloch said she brought various public, private and Northern Cheyenne Tribe parties together to come up with an agreement that ultimately led to the state taking possession of the Otter Creek coal tracts. She criticized Johnson for missing six See SECRETARY, Page 17
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 17
OFFICE OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Three run for state schools superintendent post Libertarian, Democrat and Republican running for OPI chief By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau
become better than they are,” Eisenmenger said. “As I am not a licensed teacher and not enmeshed in the system, I HELENA – Three Helena candidates can provide a fresh perspective and with diverse views are running this year for evaluation. I also have a history of state superintendent of public instruction. effective managerial experience.” Libertarian Donald Eisenmenger, The retired psychologist and Republican Elaine Sollie Herman and businessman said he is the only candidate Democrat Denise Juneau are seeking to not recommending dramatic increases in be the chief advocate for public schools funding for “government-operated from kindergarten through high school in education in Montana.” Montana. The winner will succeed “The Big Sky is not falling,” Democrat Linda McCulloch, who was Eisenmenger said. prevented from seeking re-election by Montana student performance on term limits and is running instead for national tests is “exceptionally good” and secretary of state. often ranks among the top states, he said. Here is a look at the three candidates Some school districts and others have and their views on some of the key issues. filed lawsuits and asked courts to order the Legislature to spend more money on K-12 DONALD EISENMENGER schools in Montana. Eisenmenger said he The Libertarian candidate from Helena believes “there is a lot of smoke and said he’s running primarily to offer a mirrors about the funding.” choice to voters unhappy with the Residents of this state are not wealthy, operation of Montana’s public education Eisenmenger said. He cited Census system. He believes special interests, such Bureau statistics that show Montana as people appointed by the government, ranked low, 45th in the country, with a have seized control of the school system median annual income of $38,629 annually for their own benefit. in 2006. Yet the state ranks in the middle “I care and would like to have things nationally in average money spent per
student, at $8,600 apiece. “Montana taxpayers are providing a disproportionate amount of their income to fund government-run schools,” he said. “In summary, Montana receives excellent results at average costs,” Eisenmenger added. “Is it reasonable to expect the taxpayers to provide more?” Although Montana teachers aren’t paid as much as they and administrators would like – and it isn’t high enough to provide a comfortable living, he said the pay of other professionals in Montana is actually lower comparatively in their professions. He advocates offering school choice so parents of students who attend private schools or are home-schooled can get tax credits for their expenses, such as tuition, books and materials. “Government-run schools” serve 92 percent of Montana students, he said, while 5.4 percent of students attend private schools and 2.6 percent are home-schooled. “Those who do not choose to attend government-operated schools are being served poorly by the state of Montana,” Eisenmenger said. “Taxes are collected for the education of these students, and they receive nothing.”
Eisenmenger advocates giving local school boards the power to make decisions affecting their schools, insisting that any state funding be divorced from the current state controls and regulations. As an example of a “one-size-fits-all” bureaucracy, he cited the federal No Child Left Behind Law and multiple state licensing and accreditation requirements. “NCLB has not been demonstrated to be effective at achieving its intended goals,” Eisenmenger said. “It has negative unintended consequences, is incompatible with policies that do work and is at the mercy of a political system which will make it worse. It is funded on premises that are fundamentally flawed.” ELAINE SOLLIE HERMAN Herman, a Republican from Helena, comes from a long line of educators and said she has had “a passion for education all of my life.” Now retired, Herman said she believes her unique background makes her the most qualified candidate to head the state’s education department. She has See OPI, Page 18
FROM PAGE 16
monthly Land Board meetings – more than any other member – in the past 3 1/2 years, while she’s had perfect attendance. Members who listen in by long-distance phone are counted as attending the meetings. “It’s a priority for me to make sure I attend these meetings, McCulloch said. “You have to be present to be effective as an elected official. Also, Montanans expect that of their elected officials.” In response, Johnson said, “We’re talking about 3 1/2 years and six absences. The fact of the matter is you have to make some difficult decisions in this job. The majority (of the absences) had to do with me attending conferences and meetings regarding elections in Montana. I take my responsibilities on the Land Board very seriously.” Johnson added, “Two of the absences were because I was bedridden with pneumonia, I don’t know what she would like me to do about that.”
McCulloch pledged to be an “engaged and active secretary of state who provides leadership to the office” and continue to show up for work every day.
Sharbono quoted the late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who said, “It’s not the people who cast the votes that are important. It’s the people who count them.” SIEGLINDE SHARBONO She and a team of people have studied Sharbono, a community activist from the Montana Constitution and believe Stevensville, filed for the office an hour they’ve found a way to deal with before the deadline last spring to preserve incumbents who’ve won elections but the ballot status of the Constitution Party violated their oaths of office by voting for of Montana. Otherwise, the party would what she considers unconstitutional have had to gather signatures the next legislation. election to put candidates on the ballot. “We consider a vote for the Patriot Act “I have believed for many, many years a violation of the oath of office,” Sharbono that all legitimate political parties should said. “We’re not wading into muddy waters be allowed equal representation on the here. We want to deal with the most ballot,” Sharbono said. “So I wanted to blatant violations. We do feel that a return support it. I was given the opportunity to to constitutional government is absolutely walk my talk.” critical.” A top priority for Sharbono would be to As secretary of state, she said she eliminate electronic counting of ballots in wouldn’t certify the election of incumbents Montana to prevent computer hackers who have voted for the Patriot Act from tampering with the results. Even if because it is a vote against people. electronic vote tampering hasn’t occurred Asked if that means not certifying the in Montana, the potential exists, Sharbono likely re-election of U.S. Sen. Max Baucus said, and “we should be proactive, not and Rep. Denny Rehberg, who voted for reactive.” It happened in other states in the Patriot Act, Sharbono said that is correct. She said she opposes negative 2000, 2002 and 2004, she said.
campaigning and asked that State Bureau make it clear it was the reporter who first raised Baucus’ and Rehberg’s names. “I’m not assuming that authority on my own,” she said. “I am working in conjunction with a citizens’ advisory council. It’s not just me. It’s we the people.” Sharbono, who hasn’t raised or spent any campaign funds, said she’s traveling around the state with two women in what they call the Ron Paul tour. Paul, the Texas congressman who ran as a Republican candidate for president, will be on the Montana ballot in November on the Constitution Party of Montana’s presidential candidate. “It is his message that inspires me,” Sharbono said. “I have never had any desire to hold a statewide office. I’m just your average gal here. Right now, I’m a homemaker and constitutional advocate.” Sharbono was a single mother who raised two children by herself, while attending school and doing a lot of volunteer work. She took time off the campaign trail recently to get married again.
18 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 17
been a student, a teacher, a parent, a taxpayer and an investment adviser – so she understands both teaching and how to be a good steward of the public’s money. “My priority is to have more local involvement and control,” Herman said in an interview. “I feel like the local school boards have become a rubber stamp for the state.” Members of the now-appointed state Board of Public Education answer to no one and come from within the school system, she said. Instead, Herman wants to see board members elected by Montanans from geographic districts around the state, like public service commissioners are chosen. Herman is critical of the operation of the Office of Public Instruction under Democratic superintendents the past 16 years. Their only solution has been to demand more money from the Legislature for schools. “If 16 years of increased annual funding didn’t fix the problems, why do they continue to use the same solution – more money,” Herman said on her Web site. “There is something wrong with this picture. The teachers didn’t receive competitive pay raises. The overall school report cards didn’t improve. It is a deplorable C-minus, according to Education Magazine.” Her main focus will be the children, Herman said. She doesn’t believe public schools in Montana are focusing enough on basic education. Public schools are diluting this basic education by inserting ideology and social issues into the classroom to the detriment of students, she said. As for the federal No Child Left Behind law, Herman said teachers tell her they don’t like it because it forces them to teach to the tests, because that’s how their classrooms are measured. The law also is ensnarled in red tape. “I think we have to take what’s good from NCLB,” Herman said. “Certainly, we all believe in accountability and we all want our children to succeed. Let’s see what part of the program works and get rid of the negative parts.” Herman wants the state to offer more charter public schools, which offer specific programs such as fine arts, music, dance, math and science, “so parents can choose a direction for their children.” Although teachers are happy in Montana, which pleases her, Herman said their pay is not competitive. She vowed to find more money for higher teacher pay without seeking greater school funding. She said she would cut the OPI budget if necessary. The superintendent is one of five
Donald J. Eisenmenger
Elaine Sollie Herman
Office sought: Superintendent of public instruction Office salary: $99,274 annually. Political party: Libertarian.
Office sought: State superintendent of public instruction. Office salary: $99,274 annually. Political party: Republican.
Age: 58. Birthdate and place: 1950 in a small farming community in western Minnesota. He declined to list his birthdate or where he was born because of concerns with identity theft. Home: Helena. Occupation: Retired. Family: Wife, Donna. Education: Graduated from C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls, 1968; bachelor’s degree from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, 1971; master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago, 1976. Past employment: Clinical associate, Chicago Institute for Rational Living; staff psychologist and acting director of psychology, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital; plant manager, National Cycle; purchasing manager Tripp-Lite; retired 2005. Military: None. Political experience: None. Key endorsements: None. Campaign Web site: He plans to have one, but it’s not up yet.
elected officials who sit on the Land Board to manage state school trust lands, with the earnings going to the school trust fund. “My philosophy is to be as aggressive as possible without putting our environment at risk,” Herman said. DENISE JUNEAU A Democrat from Helena, Juneau said she is the best qualified candidate for state superintendent because of her experience as a teacher and administrator. She heads OPI’s Indian Education Division. “I have the commitment to the public education system,” Juneau said. “I’ve been a classroom teacher. I’ve seen public schools throughout the state through my job at the OPI. I talk with public school teachers daily. I know the system. I know what the office does. I know the people that work there and the work they do.” One top priority is to push for flexibility in the federal No Child Left Behind law, passed to impose accountability on schools through testing, but which critics say doesn’t work in rural states. Juneau, wants to work with educators, parents and others to devise “a Montana version of accountability.” Testing isn’t going away, Juneau said, but the problem with NCLB is that it focuses solely on tests.
Age: 62. Birthdate and place: March 27, 1946. Home: Helena. Occupation: Retired in 2006. Former teacher and investment adviser. Family: Divorced. Daughter, Lisa Herman. Education: Graduated from Billings West High School, 1964. Received bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Montana State University in Bozeman, 1968. Studied for a master’s degree at the University of Guam in 1971-72, and the University of Richmond, 1983. Also studied at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Montana. Past employment: Taught elementary school in Summer, Wash., 1968-70, Point Loma, Calif., 1970-71, and Agana, Guam, 1971-72. Taught Home Start under Head Start in Helena, 1974-75, before the program was discontinued. Sales representative for a children’s clothing manufacturer, 1986; sales representative for women’s clothing manufacturer, 198994; sole caregiver for her father, who had Alzheimer’s disease, 1985-95; became a licensed financial adviser, holding a “series seven certificate;” became a partner in an investment company, Wealth Management, Helena, 1998. Military: Her former husband was in the Navy. Political experience: Lost general election race for superintendent of public instruction, 2000. Key endorsements: Right to Work, National Rifle Association, Montana Shooting Sports Association. Campaign Web site: www.electelainesollieherman.com.
“We must understand that one test score does not paint the entire picture,” she said on her Web site. “We must find additional ways to determine quality and to promote the good things that are happening in our schools every day.” Montana must push for flexibility for rural states, she said. Another priority is to advocate for increased funding for schools, Juneau said. She pledged to undertake “the demanding advocacy work” with the governor and Legislature “to ensure that every school in our state receives adequate funding for a quality education.” Juneau wants to look at teacher salaries
Denise Juneau Office sought: Superintendent of Public Instruction. Office salary:$99,274 annually. Political party: Democrat. Age: 41. Birthdate and place: Born in Oakland, Calif., April 5, 1967. Moved to Montana in 1969. Home: Originally from Browning. Now resides in Helena. Occupation: Division administrator at the Office of Public Instruction. Family: Parents, Stan and Carol Juneau. One brother, Ron, and his wife, Evelyn. Two nieces, Sara and Kylee. One nephew, Lakota. One great-nephew, Alexander. Education: Graduated from Browning High School, 1985. Bachelor’s degree in English from Montana State University, 1993. Master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1994. Coursework toward doctorate at the University of New Mexico, 1997-98. Law degree from the University of Montana, 2004. Past employment: Educational support staff, Browning Schools, 1986-88. High school teacher in New Town, N.D., 1994-95, and Browning, 1995-97. Instructional specialist at the Office of Public Instruction under Superintendent Nancy Keenan, 19982001. Law clerk at the Montana Supreme Court for Justices Jim Regnier and Brian Morris, 2004-05. Associate attorney for Monteau and Peebles, 2005-06. Division administrator at the Office of Public Instruction under Superintendent Linda McCulloch, 2006 to present. Military: None Political experience: Won fourcandidate Democratic primary for superintendent of public instruction, June 2008. Key endorsements: MEA-MFT, AFLCIO, Montana Public Employees Association and Montana Conservation Voters. Campaign Web site: www.juneauforkids.com.
and work to reduce pay disparities across the state. A starting teacher makes $17,000 a year in Lavina, compared with $32,000 in Helena, she said. She also is concerned about the physical condition of many older schools in the state. Another priority is to reach out as the state’s top school leader, Juneau said. “I look at education as a small piece of the pie,” she said, citing economic and See OPI, Page 19
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 19
Money moves voters in most cases Importance of state auditor job realized when voters know what it is By MIKE DENNISON Missoulian State Bureau
HELENA – Montana voters probably don’t get too excited about who’s running for state auditor, or even know what the office does. (Hint: The auditor is also the insurance commissioner.) But this election year, they get a race offering a stark choice between two very different people and philosophies: Republican Duane Grimes, who says he wants to help the free market work more efficiently and provide more choices to insurance consumers, and Democrat Monica Lindeen, who’s pitching herself as a consumer advocate who believes current regulation is working well. “I don’t believe government is the answer,” Grimes says in a typical comment. “We need to use private markets and make sure they work effectively to drive down costs.” Lindeen says she doesn’t believe insurance is over-regulated in Montana, and that many of the controls and mandates in place are there for good reason. “The question on everybody’s mind should be, ‘Who will be the strongest advocate for the consumer in Montana?’ ” she asks. “I like to tell people that’s what I’ve been doing my entire life: advocating for other people.” This election year, state auditor is an open seat. Two-term incumbent Democrat John Morrison cannot run because of term limits. Grimes, 51, and Lindeen, 46, are the only candidates in the race. Both are former legislators. Grimes, from Clancy, served as a state representative and senator from 1993-2006; and Lindeen, from Huntley, was in the state House from 1999-2006. Grimes recently sold his taxi service and warehouse business in Helena; before that, he was a personnel officer at the state Revenue Department. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the
Duane Grimes. Political party: Republican. Office sought: State auditor/insurance commissioner. Office salary: $79,137. Age: 51. Birthdate and place: Sept. 17, 1957, in Spokane, Wash. Home: Clancy. Occupation: Former business owner (recently sold taxi and warehousedistribution business). Family: Wife Connie, two sons and one daughter. Education: Harrison (Mont.) High School graduate, 1976; aircraft mechanic degree from Colorado Aero Tech, 1978; bachelor’s degree in theology, Bob Jones University, Greenville, S.C., 1983; master’s degree in public administration, University of Montana, 2000. Past employment: 1999-2007, owned Capital Taxi and UPS-SES Warehouse; 1994-1999, personnel officer for Montana Department of Revenue; 1991-1993, personnel analyst for Montana Department of Administration; 1988-1991, manager for Corporate Air in Helena/Billings; 1983-1988, worked as aircraft mechanic for companies in South Carolina and Idaho. Military: None. Political experience: State representative from Clancy, 19931998; state senator from Clancy 19992006; ran unsuccessfully for state auditor in 2004.
Monica Lindeen. Political party: Democrat. Office sought: State auditor/insurance commissioner. Office salary: $79,137. Age: 46. Birthdate and place: May 16, 1962, Ogden, Utah. Home: Huntley. Occupation: Retired business owner. Family: Husband David, one daughter and two stepsons. Education: Graduate of Shepherd High School, 1980; bachelor’s degree in education, Montana State UniversityBillings, 1992. Past employment: 2000-present, semiretired former business owner; 19952000, co-owner and general manager, Montana Communications Network, an Internet service provider; 1993-1994, part-time English instructor at MSUBillings; 1980-1985, bartender. Military: None. Political experience: Served as state representative from Huntley, 19992006; ran unsuccessfully for U.S. House in 2006.
which her family sold in late 1999. She has an education degree from Montana State University-Billings. Both also ran for statewide office before and lost. Grimes ran for state auditor in 2004, losing to Morrison, while Lindeen in 2006 challenged U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont. With the seat open and neither candidate well-known by Montana voters, the race is seen as a toss-up – and possibly a close battle.
University of Montana and a degree in theology from Bob Jones University, a private college in Greenville, S.C. The state auditor, in reality, is the Lindeen has worked as an English state insurance and securities teacher, but is best-known for helping start commissioner, since the auditor’s primary Montana’s first major Internet provider, job is to regulate these two industries. The state auditor also is one of five Montana Communications Network,
statewide officeholders to serve on the state Land Board, which oversees the management of 5.2 million acres of state land. Grimes is making the Land Board an issue, saying he’ll be a “guaranteed vote” to develop state-owned coal in the Otter Creek Valley in southeastern Montana and generally promote natural resource development. “We’re losing a great deal of money for schools because we are not facilitating energy development on the school tracts that we have,” he says. “The Land Board holds the keys. All they have to do is turn the switch, and everybody else gets involved.” Lindeen says this issue is a “red herring,” because market forces and geography play a much greater role in deciding whether coal, timber and other resources are developed on state lands. “To say that the Otter Creek tracts will somehow be magically developed tomorrow because Republicans control the Land Board is a complete and total misnomer,” she says, noting that the Land Board often votes unanimously on many issues, regardless of the party affiliation of its members. The board, currently controlled 4-1 by Democrats, voted this summer to appraise the Otter Creek coal tracts. Once the appraisal comes back later this year, the board in 2009 will look at the potential price and public comments, and decide whether to solicit bids to lease the coal for possible development. The development can’t happen without the cooperation of Great Northern Properties, which co-owns the coal field with the state. A new railroad also may be needed. Yet the campaigns appear to be focusing more on the office’s regulation of insurance – particularly health insurance, and its high cost. Lindeen says her No. 1 priority as See AUDITOR, Page 21
FROM PAGE 18
workforce training as some of the other pieces. “Education should feed a community and help a community become
vibrant. It’s a partnership of all parties. We need to find a way to carry out that vision.” Juneau called public education “the great equalizer.” “What brought me into running for this office is my belief in the power of public education and what it can do for
individuals, communities and our state because I know what education did for me. It provided me with opportunities I would have never had.” Serving on the state Land Board, which manages school trust lands, will be an important part of the job, Juneau said. “Lots of people want to drill (oil and
gas) and cut (timber) on the state lands,” she said. “Certainly a lot of that needs to happen. We need to do responsible development.” The board must find a way to balance its duty to maximize revenue from state lands, while also maintaining Montana’s tradition of conservation, Juneau said.
20 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
MISSOULA COUNTY COMMISSIONER
Issues involving everyone in Missoula at stake By CHELSI MOY of the Missoulian
It’s not easy campaigning in a district that encompasses 2,600 square miles and more than 100,000 people, but that’s the reality of running for Missoula County commissioner. “You can’t go door-to-door,” said Commissioner Larry Anderson. “The county is too big.” Democratic candidate Michele Landquist is actually surprised by how little folks know about the Missoula Board of County Commissioners, a threemember elected board with staggered sixyear terms. Yet, the county commissioners deal with issues that resonate deeply with residents, like subdivisions, gravel pits, zoning and streamside protection. Anderson, a Republican, and Landquist, a Democrat, are facing off against each other to represent the people of Missoula County and shape policy that affects how the area grows. The forethought that’s gone into this race began more than a year ago when former veteran Republican county commissioner Barbara Evans retired from the commission after serving 28 years. Evans left with more than a year remaining in her term to allow a Republican – chosen by local GOP leaders – the advantage of coming into November’s general election as an incumbent. Anderson was appointed to replace Evans at the end of August 2007 and is now campaigning to stay. “His being there a year gives people a chance to know how he stands on issues,” said Evans, who recorded several TV and radio ads in support of Anderson. “My name is well known. People who supported me for five elections, I would
Lawrence (Larry) Anderson Political party: Republican Office: Missoula County commissioner Annual salary: $60,445 Age: 65 Birthdate and place: May 14, 1943, Omaha, Neb. Home: Missoula Occupation: Missoula County commissioner Family: Wife, Linda, married 39 years; two children, Jessi and Josh; two grandchildren, Maddy and Duncan Education: BS forestry University of Montana, 1967; MBA Oregon State, 1975 Past employment: Field representative, Congressman Denny Rehberg, 2007; field representative, U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, 2003-06; business owner, Eastgate Rental and Party Center, 1991-2002; city administrator, Missoula, 1986-90 Political experience: Missoula city administrator, 1986-90; Missoula City Council, 1996-99; unsuccessful candidate for Legislature, 2002 Military: U.S. Army 1967-70, first lieutenant Vietnam, 1969-70 Campaign Web site: LarryAnderson4MissoulaCounty.com
encourage those people to support him.” As Evans has always said, not everyone in Missoula County is a Democrat, so there should be a Republican representative on the commission. “As long as it’s a partisan election, then
Political party: Democrat Office: Missoula County commissioner Annual salary: $59,862 Age: 53 Birthdate and place: April 13, 1955, Bremerhaven, Germany Home: Lolo Occupation: Sheep farmer and property management Family: Married 33 years, two daughters, three granddaughters Education: Graduated from the University of Montana in 1999 with a BA biology-natural history emphasis; minor in communication (two classes shy from completing a minor in wildlife biology) Past employment: Lolo Watershed Group, executive director Political experience: Elected to two terms on the Lolo Community Council Military: None Campaign Web site: electlandquist.com
it needs balance,” said Anderson, who thinks he can bring that balance. “Even at the national level, when one party is in power and not raising the important questions, it isn’t making the good public policy.” Landquist disagrees. She argues balance is achieved through a blend of personalities, not political parties. “I don’t think the commissioner race should be partisan,” she said. “It’s about doing the right thing, making unemotional, intelligent decisions.”
Both Landquist and Anderson support planning for future growth – partly by identifying and mapping things like gravel reserves, higher-density housing and important agricultural land. Both want to create sustainable jobs and maintain the quality ones that already exist, especially in the timber industry. Both consider that industry vital to western Montana’s economy. Yet, there’s plenty that distinguishes the two candidates. Anderson, who lives in Missoula, has an extensive political history at both the local and federal levels, having served as a member of the Missoula City Council, as the city’s chief administrative officer and as a field representative for both Congressman Denny Rehberg and former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns. Anderson, 65, is a strong advocate of private property rights and thinks one of the county’s main functions is to provide infrastructure. That could mean paving a road – or paving the way to better access to health care and sustainable jobs. If nothing else, Anderson promises to listen carefully to people’s concerns. He printed up fliers that say “an effective leader spends 99 percent of the time listening.” Also, Anderson’s attitude toward local builders and developers sets him apart from his colleagues on the commission, he said. “Sometimes (builders and developers) are viewed as though they are wearing black hats,” he said. “Sure, there are those builders and developers out there, but the majority of the people we see are longtime residents with kids in our schools.” See MISSOULA, Page 21
FROM PAGE 19
auditor would be making health insurance and health care more affordable and accessible to Montanans. She says she wants to promote wellness programs, health-information technology and the popular Insure Montana program, which provides tax credits and subsidies to small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees. Yet, oddly enough, Lindeen says she’d move management of Insure Montana out of the auditor’s office to another state
agency, to avoid any conflict of interest, since the auditor regulates insurers. Lindeen also would ask the 2009 Legislature to study and review the 3-yearold, $11 million-a-year program, and suggest changes by 2011. She supports Morrison’s call to increase state funding for the program. “I think it’s really important to look at all of the options available, what’s working, and listen to everybody’s point of view,” she says. Grimes’ ideas on Insure Montana are more specific. He says its insurancepremium subsidies, currently paid to about 750 businesses, shouldn’t be restricted to only a few insurance products.
Currently, most of the subsidies help pay for insurance provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, which has a state contract to offer it to small businesses getting the subsidy. Grimes says the program should be opened up to more products, to give businesses more choice. He also believes some people joined the program after ditching their old insurance, to take advantage of the subsidies. That wasn’t the intent of the law, and changes should be made to ensure that people getting the subsidies are truly uninsured, Grimes says. Grimes said he’d like to wait before putting more money into the program: “I hate to throw more cash at it, unless we
can make it work for the greatest number of people possible, and right now, it’s not.” His approach fits what he says will be his main goal in office: Apply smart, sparing regulation to free the insurance industry to offer more products and choices to the consumer. Lindeen, however, will be trying to turn Grimes’ argument against him, saying he’s on the side of the companies rather than the consumers. “He feels that we are over-regulating insurance companies in this state, that we have a hostile environment,” she says. “That shows a philosophical difference, and a clear choice on who’s advocating for the people of Montana.”
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 21
FLATHEAD COUNTY COMMISSIONER
David vs. Goliath in Flathead commissioner race By MICHAEL JAMISON of the Missoulian
KALISPELL – In a GOP stronghold, a bastion of property rights and Second Amendment support, you would think that a popular Republican sheriff should easily overwhelm a Democrat stay-at-home dad in the race for county commissioner. But here’s the thing: The Democrat is also vice-chair of a local planning board, and this is not just GOP country. It’s also home to the three fastest-growing cities in Montana, and everyone’s backyard has been affected by the changes. “It’s entirely possible for someone to be a good sheriff, but at the same time to not understand the complexities of urban growth and planning and preparing for a community’s future.” So said Steve Qunell, that stay-at-home dad who’s also worked as a builder, a cabinet maker, a teacher and a youth advocate. Today, he is most known as a political unknown, the David against Flathead County’s biggest Goliath. Because for 16 years – during a time when not a single Democrat was elected here, at any level of government – Jim Dupont served as a wildly popular and effective sheriff, keeping the peace during a turmoil of rapid residential growth and economic change. “It certainly was a challenge,” Dupont said of those changing times. “There’s always a lag time between the growth and the money, and so the money’s never there when you need it.” As sheriff, he said, he learned to “make do with what you got.” The race, if history is any indicator, should be a landslide, with the Republican
Jim Dupont Political party: Republican Office sought: Flathead County Commissioner Office salary: $61,000 Age: 61 Birthdate and place: 1946, Springfield, Mass. Home: West Glacier Occupation: Retired sheriff, COO of security company Family: wife, one son, one daughter Education: Associates degree in criminal justice, San Diego City College Past employment: 28 years Flathead County Sheriff's Office, 16 as sheriff Military: U.S. Navy, 1963-1969 Political experience: 16 years Flathead County Sheriff; former president Montana Sheriffs Association; former president Western States Sheriffs Association; former vice president National Police Chiefs Association; former member Montana Attorney General's Law Enforcement Committee
winning by 60 percent or more. But this race isn’t about history. It’s about the future, and the planner thinks he has a foothold there. Indeed, local blogs indicate a fair number of GOP stalwarts are thinking of breaking party ranks, with growth and planning issues at the top of their political priority list. That’s exactly what happened four years ago, when moderate Republicans banded together to help elect Democrat
Steve Qunell Political party: Democrat Office sought: Flathead County Commissioner Office salary: $61,000 Age: 37 Birthdate and place: 1971, Chicago Heights, Ill. Home: Whitefish Occupation: Writer, teacher, parent Family: wife, two daughters Education: BA in history, University of South Carolina; MA in education policy and management, Harvard Graduate School of Education Past employment: home builder, cabinet maker, teacher, child welfare advocate Military: none Political experience: vice-chair, Whitefish City-County Planning Board; founding member, Glacier Center for Families
agree. “This race,” the former sheriff said, “is about the future of Flathead County.”
Dupont paints his challenger as a liberal too enamored of planning and zoning rules, an advocate of the so-called “smart growth” doctrine. Qunell sits on the city-county planning board for Whitefish, a town Dupont says often overreaches with land-use controls. But how then, Qunell wonders, is Whitefish also the fastest-growing city in the state? “If we were truly anti-growth,” he said, “then you’d hope we’d be doing a better job than first in the state for growth.” The reality, Qunell said, is that his board is progressive, but not aggressive, in a county where land-use controls are often reactive rather than proactive. “In the last decade,” Qunell said, “growth here has been haphazard, poorly planned and in some ways ill-conceived. And the result is we’re seeing a degraded quality of life.” Congested roadways. Cluttered views. Tainted water quality. Neighborhood squabbles. Joe Brenneman to the commission. “The rules we’ve worked under were Brenneman’s opponent was no fan of fine when Flathead County’s population land-use planning, and not a few was 30,000,” Qunell said. “They don’t Republicans actually campaigned for Brenneman, crossing party lines to buy ads work fine any more.” Dupont, however, sees no need for and go door-to-door. substantive change to the way land-use But there’s no such organized revolt decisions are made. Some rules might this time, which leaves the question – need bolstered, he said, but others might without a concerted and ordered effort, need to be weakened. Certainly, he said, are there enough moderate Republicans concerned about land use to turn the tide? not all of the growth that’s occurred recently was well planned, “but we have “I hope so,” Qunell said. “The whole future of our lifestyle here is at stake.” And on that, Dupont and his opponent See FLATHEAD, Page 22
FROM PAGE 20
Landquist, of Lolo, is a sheep farmer and property manager who served two terms on the Lolo Community Council and is the former executive director of the Lolo Watershed Group. Fairness is one of the biggest assets she can bring to the county commission, she said. Landquist considers herself “frugal and extremely cautious when it comes to the budget.” The county commission needs an outside perspective, said Landquist, who’s a longtime Lolo resident. It needs a commissioner who lives outside the city limits of Missoula, she said.
(The commissioners all live in Missoula, but Commissioner Jean Curtiss grew up in the Swan Valley and has family who still live there and Anderson owns a cabin in Seeley Lake.) Landquist applauds the city and county planning efforts in downtown Missoula, the fairgrounds, future transportation projects and growth. If elected, Landquist would like to implement a countywide recycling program and figure out ways to recycle more material. She thinks that could reduce illegal dumping in recreational areas. Also, Landquist would like to see more affordable day care, senior housing and home care in Missoula County’s rural towns. Often seniors are forced to move into Missoula to receive these services at
more affordable prices. “I don’t want to move into Missoula when I’m that age,” Landquist said. “They want to stay with their friends.” Anderson has far surpassed Landquist in fundraising, which is evident by the number of his green-and-white campaign signs stretching to every corner of the county. Just after the primary, Anderson, who ran unopposed, had $6,000 in the bank to Landquist’s $200. In the primary, Landquist squeaked by Democratic challenger Dennis Daneke, who had the support of Mayor John Engen and raised far more money. Landquist won by 42 votes. The county commissioner race is “getting lost in the backdrop of other major races,” Anderson said. The
popularity of the presidential race along with the economic slump has made fundraising for local races difficult. Landquist hopes that a grass-roots swell will win her votes. She understands that money is tight right now and there are so many more worthy organizations, such as nonprofits, that depend on donations to exist, she said. She’s convinced that if people agree with her stances on the issues, then they’ll forward her Web site to friends, she said. “That, in the end, is what wins campaigns,” Landquist said. “It shouldn’t be about the money.” Reporter Chelsi Moy can be reached at 523-5260 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
22 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FLATHEAD OPEN SPACE
Voters asked for $10 million open space bond By MICHAEL JAMISON of the Missoulian
KALISPELL – Flathead County, home to the three fastest-growing cities in Montana, is losing agricultural and forest open space at a tremendous rate, as developers build subdivisions across rural lands. “It’s been a steady loss,” said Marilyn Wood. “We can’t afford to allow that to continue.” Whether locals can afford to stop it is another matter entirely. On Nov. 4, when voters go to the polls here, they’ll be asked to back a $10 million open space bond, money that will buy rural land – or at least conservation easements on land. The idea is to secure recreational access, especially at waterfront sites, to protect wildlife, to preserve sweeping views, to ensure water quality and to allow the Flathead’s rural way of life to persist into coming decades. “Ten million sounds like a lot,”
admitted Wood, who runs the Flathead Land Trust, “but it’s really a very reasonable amount for a program that’s going to have such a big impact.” And residents appear to agree. A survey of Flathead Valley residents showed two-thirds of those polled supported the 20-year bond, which will cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $19 a year. That poll, Wood said, was “instrumental in changing the minds of our county commissioners,” who just five years ago refused to allow a similar measure onto the ballot. “The survey definitely helped to put the voter information in front of them.” Since 1985, the Flathead Land Trust has been buying up acres and easements, with a focus on waterways, hunting and fishing access and wildlife corridors. It is a marriage of conservation and economics, Wood said, because a large part of the area’s economy is anchored in open space attractions and amenities. Wood and other supporters of the bond
measure say the time is right for such an investment, because open space is diminishing quickly and land prices are climbing. Opponents argue taxpayer investment is unnecessary in a rural county where the vast majority of land already is in public ownership. If approved, the bond measure calls for a steering committee to oversee the fund, with regular public audits and county commission oversight. Similar open space bonds have passed in Missoula, Ravalli and Gallatin counties, Wood said, and money generated in those places has been matched through partnerships with federal, state and nonprofit funding sources. Supporters include the Flathead County Parks Board, the local offices of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the Land-Use Committee of the county’s longrange planning task force. “The people surveyed said the No. 1 issue for them was overdevelopment and unplanned growth,” Wood said, adding
that pollsters also revealed growing concerns about water quality and recreational access. That poll, however, was conducted prior to recent downturns in the national economy, and Wood admits taxpayer focus may well be shifting to other priorities. “The economy is definitely a concern for everybody,” she said, “but we still need to put this out there. It’s really a very small investment with the promise of a tremendous future return.” Complicating the measure, however, is a growing reluctance among investors to buy municipal bonds, regardless of voter sentiment. “That could be a factor,” Wood said, “and the county commission will certainly have to take that into account when deciding when to actually offer the bonds. The good news is that, if this passes, they don’t have to sell the bonds right away. They can wait for the best time, whenever that may be.”
FROM PAGE 21
fundamental, Dupont said. As for growth, it will take care of itself as the real estate boom goes bust. As for roads, the county Continued needs a prioritized plan to pave the most heavily trafficked. And as for public safety, been progressive,” he said. rules need to be in place to ensure that A self-proclaimed champion of property rights, Dupont wants a full review new neighborhoods have adequate infrastructure, like sewage treatment and of existing land-use rules, so he can sort emergency access. out what’s working and what’s not. In the But the way Qunell sees it, growth isn’t end, he hopes to craft a system with clarity, in which everyone is treated the same and just going to take care of itself, and it makes no sense to prioritize roads while at property rights remain central. the same time approving subdivisions on “I pretty much like it the way we have other roads. Just when the wish list is it,” Dupont said of zoning laws. “You have complete, he said, it’s upended by another to address these things on a case-by-case development on another dirt road. basis.” “You have to start controlling where Which is exactly what Qunell says has growth goes,” he said, “or you never catch hindered long-term planning all along. By up. Everything starts with good planning.” focusing only on one small subdivision at a Both men agree the way to pay for time, he said, or one neighborhood at a pavement is not through more property time, the Flathead is dying a “death by a taxes, but they differ on how to get it done. thousand cuts.” Qunell would squeeze efficiencies from “The commissioners have the final say the existing system. Dupont would too, but about where we grow, and how we grow,” he also is considering added fees, perhaps Qunell said, “and we need leaders who on vehicle registrations. have the vision to see the big picture.” “You have to pay for it somehow,” Dupont said. “We need to be creative.” Dupont’s big picture is actually Maybe require local homeowners to three pictures overlapping: property rights, pay for upgrades, he said, or require county roads and public safety. developers to pay into a road reserve fund. They intertwine, he said, because property rights dictate growth, growth Dupont’s three priorities are impacts roads and both influence public matched by three of Qunell’s own: safety. planning, a clean environment and jobs. “We need to focus on the things that As for property rights, they’re
are driving this economy,” Qunell said, “so we can sustain a strong business climate into the future.” For too long, he said, the county has operated with a short-term view, eyeing the valley as a treasure trove to be plundered by developers. “I don’t know about you,” he said, “but I wouldn’t want to invest in a business that didn’t identify its assets and plan for the future.” He supports a ballot measure for a $10 million open-space bond. Dupont opposes it. “It’s not a good use of taxpayer dollars,” Dupont said. “We’ve never needed anything like that to keep lands open.” “We need new tools for new times,” Qunell countered. “You can’t use old solutions in a new economy.” The way Qunell sees it, land-use controls actually protect property rights, keep gravel pits out of residential areas and eliminate many neighborhood disputes. “About 80 percent of the people in Flathead County live on five acres or less, and they’re not looking to subdivide,” he said. “Then there’s the other 20 percent, who have a valid concern that they might not be allowed to subdivide. What they need are options, so they can afford to stay on their farms.” But in these tight times, Dupont said, government needs to look closely at its
core role – which he believes does not include buying development rights from farmers. “That’s just not a wise use of public money at this time,” he said. “We’re going to need to make some tough choices about what we can afford.” Which, he said, is exactly what he did for 16 years as sheriff. That tenure has provided him tremendous name recognition, not to mention respect, and he certainly belongs to the right party here in northwest Montana. But this is a big year for Democrats, what with Barack Obama running a strong presidential campaign. The real question, Qunell said, is whether land-use issues will prove enough to swing this election. Already, he said, his campaign coffers include money from a few longtime Republican regulars who want better planning. “I certainly haven’t heard from any disaffected Republicans,” Dupont said. “People know me, and they know I’m not a radical one way or the other. I don’t have extreme positions.” What he does have, he said, is experience. Which Qunell still believes is the wrong kind. “I’m definitely the underdog,” the Democrat said. “But I have the experience where it counts.”
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 23
SANDERS COUNTY COMMISSIONER
Issues, not personalities, driving campaigns By VINCE DEVLIN of the Missoulian
THOMPSON FALLS – They agree on many things – that when it comes to local issues, jobs and the economy are at the top of the heap; that roads and their maintenance are always a big concern to local residents. The two candidates to replace retiring Sanders County Commissioner Hank Laws even agreed at the start of their race to put negative campaigning in a closet and lock the door. Democrat Cindy Iversen and Republican Tony Cox focus on the issues, rather than each other, and what they can bring to the job. The latter may be where voters will have to turn to differentiate between the two. For Cox, a Montana Highway patrolman, it’s his ties to and knowledge of Sanders County and its residents. He grew up here, graduated from high school here, and has spent most of his life here, where his grandfather was once sheriff of the county and his family roots go back to 1905. While he personally saw both pros and cons to the recent issue of whether the county should establish a planning board, “I told everyone during the primary I would support the will of the people, and since it was defeated, I respect their wishes,” Cox says. Cox also touts his nearly two decades in law enforcement. “I feel my years of service in the Highway Patrol are a great advantage,” he says. “It has helped me develop skills for gathering facts, deciding on a best resolution, and acting with fairness, integrity and impartiality.” For Iversen, a small business owner who moved to Noxon in 2003, it’s her willingness to step up to the plate and get things done. As a private citizen who witnessed “too many near-misses” at the junctions of Highways 200 and 56, where her business sits, Iversen says she successfully worked to lower the speed limit in the vicinity
Tony Cox Political party: Republican Office sought: Sanders County commissioner Office salary: $41,944 Age: 44 Birthdate and place: Oct. 5, 1964, in Missoula Home: Thompson Falls Occupation: Montana Highway patrolman Family: Wife, Nanette; children, Andrew (16), Kaylie (13), Kaden (2) and Kinzie (2) Education: Thompson Falls High School graduate, 1983; bachelor’s degree in business administration, University of Montana, 1988; Montana Law Enforcement Academy, 1990 Past employment: Worked in road construction operating heavy equipment during high school and college; worked in a hardware store for one year after college; joined the Montana Highway Patrol in 1989 Military: None Political experience: First try at political office
of the junction from 75 mph to 55. She also joined forces with two other families in Washington state, where Iversen grew up, to help lobby for and enact legislation in the late 1990s that provides oversight for gardium-at-litems, people appointed by courts to represent the interests of others deemed incapable of doing so themselves – most often, she says, children or the elderly. Iversen became involved in the issue following a custody battle over her son, and says the main concern of the attorney appointed for her son was “who could pay the most money.” “It’s what got me into politics,” says Iversen, and says her involvement in the issue indicates a willingness to both “stand up for
Cindy Iversen Political party: Democrat Office sought: Sanders County commissioner Office salary: $41,944 Age: 48 Place of birth: Normal, Ill. Home: Noxon Occupation: Small business owner (The Birdhouse Crossing) Family: Son, Nathan (18) Education: South Kitsap (Wash.) High School graduate, 1978; associate’s degree in technical illustration, Clover Park Vocational Technical Institute (Lakewood, Wash.), 1981 Past employment: Started own business remodeling houses at age 21 while working contract jobs in the naval architect and marine engineering field; worked for Arco in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and as a senior draftsman for the planning and construction department at the University of Alaska-Anchorage; moved to Montana in 2003 and opened The Bird House Crossing and sells birdhouses and other specialty items she handcrafts in 2005 Military: None Political experience: First try at political office; lobbied for, and worked for passage of, a law to provide oversight of gardium-at-litems/ in Washington state in 1997
the little guy,” and “when handed lemons, make lemonade.” The souring world economy is affecting Sanders County, where unemployment is on the rise, and both candidates say it would be good if the timber industry enjoyed a comeback here. “It would be nice to bring back some kind of timber industry, if possible,” Cox says. “Obviously,
the whole country is struggling with the economy right now, and it will be important to have jobs locally, so that people don’t have to move away.” “It’d be nice to have an anchor industry,” Iversen says, “that brings in small businesses. We have all the natural resources we need right here to produce wood products.” While the entire county votes on the commissioner race, the two candidates are running to represent District 3, the far west end of Sanders County. It runs from the Idaho border to the edge of Thompson Falls. Unlike the other two districts, which encompass the largest two towns in the county (Thompson Falls and Plains), District 3’s largest community doesn’t even have a bank. Noxon, Iversen says, has a post office, bar, store, senior center, park and school. “There’s not even a gas station,” she adds. “You have to cross the river and go out on the highway to buy gas.” The rural nature of the district provides yet another issue where the Republican and Democrat agree: Making sure senior citizens have the services they need. Both would also eventually like to see a vocational-technical college in the county to provide training for jobs. If elected, Cox says he will retire from the Highway Patrol and work full time as commissioner. “I see this as a way to help people in a different way than I currently do,” he says. Iversen says if she’s elected, her business, the Bird House Crossing – where she handcrafts and sells bird houses and other specialty items – will go on a back burner. “The business will become a hobby at that point,” she says, “but I don’t plan on hiding behind a desk. I plan on being a full-time commissioner, but I’m right here on the highway, and I’ll use the building so people can come in and talk.”
24 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
MINERAL COUNTY COMMISSIONER
Longtime St. Regis residents see opportunity for jobs By KIM BRIGGEMAN of the Missoulian
Curtis Cochran is a building contractor in St. Regis, and he had to chuckle the other day when friends passed his place of business while he was talking on a cell phone. “Get to work,” they needled. The irony was rich. Cochran was on the phone discussing his race for Mineral County commissioner, a position forced to deal year in and year out with one of the higher unemployment rates in Montana. The recent layoffs of 40 workers at Tricon Timber in St. Regis still reverberates in a county of barely 4,000 people. “The county is really hurting for jobs and always has been, as long as I’ve lived here,” said Duane Simons, Cochran’s Democratic rival in the commissioner’s race. “It’s always been a tough place to make a living. I think the big thing right now is to maintain the jobs we have.” Both men sound up for the challenge. Friends, former classmates and former longtime loggers in the St. Regis area, they’re vying on Nov. 4 for the West District seat on the commission vacated when 18-year veteran Judy Stang, a Democrat, stepped down. The winner will join B.J. McComb from the East District (Alberton) and Clark Conrow of the Central District (Superior) on the commission for a six-year term. It’s a part-time job – Mineral County commissioners meet each Wednesday except for the first week of the month, when they meet on Monday and Tuesday. They also work on the last working day of the month. “I guess I’m optimistic about our county,” Cochran said. “We’ve got a lot of good things going for us.” A countywide growth policy was recently completed and he said there’s a good planning board to work with. The Montana Legacy project is buying most of the Plum Creek land in the county, some 32,000 acres in the Cyr and
Curtis Cochran Political party: Republican Office sought: Mineral County commissioner Office salary: $19,288 Age: 52 Birthdate and place: Aug. 23, 1956; Thompson Falls Home: St. Regis Occupation: Building contractor Family: Wife, Kathryn; daughters, Jessica, 35, Corrynn, 26 Education: Attended schools in St. Regis; Helena High School graduate, 1974; attended UM 1975-76 and Green River College, Wash., for one year. Past employment: Logger for 25 years; managed family-owned campground Military: None Political Experience: Board member of St. Regis Community Council
Fish Creek areas. “I see a lot of opportunity there. It’s a big deal,” Cochran said. “What we don’t want is to see it go to the Forest Service, because the Forest Service has already got so many acres it can’t afford to manage now. We’d like to see a big part of it go to the state, to the (Department of Natural Resources and Conservation).” With the timber industry taking a beating, Simons said, attention needs to be directed at maintaining and nurturing tourism jobs. “Tourism is our fallback and probably one of these days it’ll be the main industry in Mineral County,” he said. “I’m not a big handout guy,” Simons said. “I’m not a big fan of asking the federal government for anything. But Mineral County is almost 90 percent federally owned and we can’t do anything with it as far as the timber industry. If they aren’t going to let us do anything in that respect, they can certainly help
Duane Simons Political party: Democrat Office sought: Mineral County commissioner Office salary: $19,288 Age: 53 Birthdate and place: Sept. 17, 1955; Whitefish Home: St. Regis Occupation: Former logger (injured) Family: Wife, Donna; daughter, Corrie, 31; son, Travis, 29 Education: St. Regis High School graduate, 1974 Past employment: Logging sawyer since 1972 Military: None Political experience: St. Regis school board nine years; president of St. Regis sewer district; St. Regis Community Club
us with our services. But I don’t know whether that will happen or not.” Neither man has held a countywide public office, but Simons said his nine years on the St. Regis school board gives him an edge over Cochran in political experience. “I’ll tell you what, that was a real eye-opener for me,” he said. “You learned a lot of things. Sometimes you didn’t want to learn them, but as far as running a governing body … until you sit on that side of the table, I don’t think you can say you have the experience of someone who had.” Simons, who never went to college, worked as a sawyer in the woods from the time he was in high school until two years ago, when he broke an ankle in a logging accident. The injury required two surgeries, and he took advantage of a job retraining program to study to become a heavy equipment operator. He has four months remaining in the program. Cochran attended the University
of Montana for two years after high school and a junior college in Washington for a year after that. He also logged for more than 25 years, works in construction, and he and his wife managed a family-owned campground. “Duane has some experience with the school board and stuff like that, but I think I have a little bit more education and a little bit more of a diverse background that would help me do a good job as county commissioner,” Cochran said. Both men are close to Stang and her family. “She kind of put the bug in both our ears to run,” Cochran said. “At first I turned her down. Then I said, ‘Well, if I do I’m not going to run as a Democrat.’ ” Instead he ran unopposed on the Republican ticket in the June primary. Simons garnered 445 votes to Glen Fearen’s 205 on the Democratic side. In terms of political leanings, Cochran and Simons nearly bump heads. “I’ve always been an independent voter,” said Cochran, whose father John was a Democratic county commissioner in the 1970s and whose mother is a lifelong Republican. “I vote for Max (Baucus) and I vote for Denny (Rehberg). I voted for (Gov. Brian) Schweitzer because he’s got a Republican partner.” As for Simons: “I can’t say I’m a true-blue Democrat. All my life I voted for who I thought was best for the office. It used to be I always thought Republicans helped the timber industry, but I tell you what, the last eight years I haven’t seen anything from George Bush that’s helped the working man at all, and especially the last four years.” Not that political affiliations matter much when it comes to county affairs. “There’s not much room for partisan politics in the courthouse,” said Cochran. “It hardly ever comes up. There are a lot of counties similar size to us that are nonpartisan for that position. I don’t think it would be a bad idea.”
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 25
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONER
Hotly contested race causing waves By VINCE DEVLIN of the Missoulian
POLSON – They’ve been involved, separately, in some of the most fascinating and hard-fought political campaigns in Lake County. Now they’re squaring off against each other for Lake County commissioner and – perhaps to no one’s surprise – it is arguably the most interesting of the local races. Republican William “Bill” Barron wants to offer people sentenced to jail for lesser crimes the option of serving their time by working on road crews or doing other jobs for the county. It could reduce a backlog of hundreds of warrants that have not been served due to a lack of space in the jail, he says, and potentially save taxpayers more than $600,000. Democrat Jeanne Windham calls them “chain gangs,” says they are against the law and that liability costs would be prohibitive anyway. Barron says that’s not true. Windham says Barron, a former Lake County sheriff, once improperly terminated an employee, resulting in a settlement that cost taxpayers $100,000. Barron says he did everything properly, and that the problem came only after county commissioners failed to file the necessary paperwork on time. “The big difference between Bill and I is that I have a business background,” Windham says. “I’m educated, I do have government experience, and I know how to handle money. My expertise is in labor and employment.” “He’s very well-intentioned,” she says of her opponent, “but there’s a difference in knowing what you can do, and what you can’t promise.” Barron says he “built, operated and managed” multimillion-dollar budgets during 16 years spent as a sheriff or undersheriff, “and I’m the only one between the two of us that does have that.” “I do think personality is an important part of being commissioner,” he goes on. “You have to sit down, visit and talk with
Jeanne Windham Political party: Democrat Office sought: Lake County commissioner Office salary: $45,000 Age: 53 Birthdate and place: Jan. 10, 1955, Long Beach, Calif. Home: Polson Occupation: Small-business owner, human resource consultant and mediator Family: Husband, Will; one son; one grandson Education: Reseda (Calif.) High School graduate, 1973; bachelor’s degree in psychology with pre-professional emphasis, University of Montana, 1993; master’s degree in forensic psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno, 1999 Past employment: Paralegal, human resources director, owner of paralegal services firm, owner of Life Strategies Counseling, Consulting and Mediation; owner of retail pet food business Military: None Political experience: State representative, 2004-06; ran for Lake County commissioner, 2002; ran for re-election to the state House of Representatives, 2006
William “Bill” Barron Political party: Republican Office sought: Lake County commissioner Office salary: $45,000 Age: 55 Birthdate and place: Dec. 30, 1952, Valier Home: Polson Occupation: Polson police officer Family: Two daughters, four grandchildren Education: Valier High School graduate, 1970; Montana Law Enforcement Academy (obtained basic certification in 1981, now holds all six certifications); FBI Academy, 1991 Past employment: Home construction, U.S. Customs and Immigration inspector, Valier city marshal, Glacier County sheriff’s deputy, Glacier County undersheriff, Lake County sheriff’s deputy, Lake County sheriff Military: None Political experience: Lake County sheriff, two terms; ran for reelection for sheriff, 2006
her opponents, Constitution Party candidate Rick Jore. The recount was eventually decided by the Montana Supreme Court, a decision that took a 50-49 majority from Republicans and split the House at 50-50. Jore defeated Windham in her reelection bid in 2006. Windham’s first try at political people, and have a thick skin. I’ll talk office was for the same job she seeks to you, not down to you, and I’ll treat this year. She lost another close race – by 38 votes out of more than 9,000 you with respect. I might be cast – to incumbent Mike Hutchin, commissioner, but you’re my boss.” who did not seek re-election this Barron was twice elected sheriff year. of Lake County, but in 2006 one of his deputies – current Sheriff Lucky The candidates do agree that Larson – beat him in the Republican the No. 1 issue they’ll face if elected primary. is continuing to provide public Barron is now a Polson police services in the midst of increasingly officer. challenging economic times. Windham won election to the “There are several major issues, Montana House of Representatives but they all come back to finances,” in 2004 in an extremely close race that was originally awarded to one of Barron says.
That’s why he suggested the work program for some prisoners. “It’s just one way to think outside the box,” Barron says. “Then you’re not housing them, you’re not feeding them. With a potential savings of $600,000, that’s huge.” Barron says it’s not only legal, but that other counties employ similar programs. It would be voluntary, not mandatory, and those who agreed would sign a contract with the county and be covered by workers’ compensation. “We’ve got to be creative and come up with new ideas,” Barron says. “I don’t have a magic wand I can wave to pay for everything.” Working with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is also important, Barron says. “If you can listen to and work with the tribes, things are better in general,” he says, adding that cooperation with tribal law enforcement during his years as sheriff led to faster response times and better service to all residents who live inside both Lake County and the Flathead Indian Reservation. Windham wants to be creative, too. “My solution is alternative sources of funding,” she says, “and grantwriting is a start. We’ve got to be more efficient and effective at providing local services.” Windham says if elected, she’ll also focus on better communications with residents regarding county business, and planning with the idea of anticipating what the county will need not just next year, but further into the future. “The commissioners need to be accountable and open,” she says. “And there’s no rainy day fund, or, if you will, any money set aside for emergencies or new equipment.” The newest piece of equipment that the Road and Bridge Department has “is, I think, from 1982,” Windham says. “We’re one of the fastest growing counties in Montana,” she adds. “We shouldn’t be planning paycheck to paycheck. We should be planning for 20 to 30 years down the road.”
26 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
RAVALLI COUNTY COMMISSIONER
Four vie for two district seats Democrat Roger DeHaan faces Republican J.R. Iman in the Nov. 4 election for the District 3 seat on the Ravalli County Commission. The seat is currently held by Alan Thompson, who is not running for reelection.
Roger DeHaan Office sought: District 3, Ravalli County Commissioner Political party: Democratic Age: 57 Home: Victor Birthplace: Ogden, Utah Occupation: Civil/sanitary engineer Family: Wife, Nancy Spagnoli
1. What is your position on streamside setbacks? I support reasonable streamside setbacks to control the construction of new houses too close to streams and to preserve natural stream vegetation. Setbacks will protect water quality, prevent artificial reinforcing and channelization of streambanks, preserve natural flood zones and protect a significant percentage of our prime fish and wildlife habitat. These valuable setback zones are private property, which must be respected, allowing continuation of any pre-existing uses in perpetuity, and preventing unwelcome trespass. Waterfront property is generally 38 percent more valuable than similar property located away from water. People will lose that added value if neighbors are allowed to degrade and channelize the streams. 2. What is your position on the county’s growth policy? Should it be repealed? I support the growth policy. It is a non-regulatory vision statement that allows for local protection of our property values, air and water quality, and quality of life. It allows us to have local control of land-use issues, allowing local customs and flexibility in the solutions. If we repeal the growth policy, we will default to state and federal regulations, which tend to be rigid and inflexible. In the same way that we have federal and state constitutions, the county growth policy is a document that both guides and limits what local government can do. I personally will vote against repeal. 3. What is your position on zoning? I support zoning that is limited to a clearly defined set of goals: See DEHAAN, Page 27
J. R. Iman Office sought: Ravalli County commissioner, District 3 (Corvallis, Victor) Political party: Republican Home: Corvallis school district, Hamilton address Birthplace: Marcus Daly Hospital, Hamilton, now the Ravalli County Administration Center Occupation: Fourth-generation ranch and commercial business owner in the Bitterroot Valley Family: Wife of 37 years, Sue Anne, and two adult children with families in Missoula. Employment: Self-employed owneroperator of family ranch at Woodside, and other business and real estate investment interests in western Montana.
1. What is your position on streamside setbacks? Before septic system regulations existed and the floodplain was mapped and defined, there were no setback regulations on any streams. Currently the setback on the Bitterroot River is the 100-year floodplain, but there are no setbacks on creeks. Under Montana law, all new and replacement septic systems must meet state Department of Environmental Quality regulations. I currently serve as a supervisor for the Bitterroot Conservation District. This board is responsible for permitting any activity on streambanks under the 310 law. I believe that any setback regulation should be for new construction of improved structures, defined as those with a permanent foundation and/or a septic system. The 100-year floodplain should be used as a guideline on the river and reasonable setbacks enacted on creeks for homes with state DEQ-approved septic systems. All existing structures should be exempted by a grandfather clause and existing agriculture practices should be allowed to continue. A variance procedure should be set up to address special situations. For land outside the building envelope, we should establish voluntary programs to encourage riparian stewardship through See IMAN, Page 27
John Meakin is the Democratic candidate for Ravalli County commissioner from District 2. He is running against incumbent Republican Greg Chilcott.
Greg Chilcott Office sought: Ravalli County commissioner, District 2 Political party: Republican Age: 49 Home: Stevensville Birthplace: Hamilton (about 20 feet from my current office!) Occupation: Ravalli County commissioner Family: Wife Vickie, seven children and seven grandchildren Past employment: Business management and public administration positions (20-plus years) Political experience: Stevensville School Board of Trustees
1. What is your position on streamside setbacks? Streamside setbacks should scientifically address clear threats to public health and safety. Government should always attempt to solve problems with education before implementing regulation. The regulation should be created locally and be as minimal as possible to address identified threat(s). 2. What is your position on the county’s growth policy? Should it be repealed? I have long advocated for the growth policy and it is unfortunate that we may have to sacrifice a document that we, as a community, and I, as a commissioner, have worked so hard to achieve. This issue is NOT about the growth policy, it is about a Board of County Commissioners that has arrogantly ignored the citizens’ cries for the opportunity to vote on the final product of the zoning process. It is about proposed regulations that have gone too far. It is an appropriate time to take a break, let emotions subside, assimilate information and work education and incentive programs. I will support the SHORT-term repeal of the growth policy. 3. What is your position on the countywide zoning process now under way? What is your position on zoning? See CHILCOTT, Page 27
John Meakin Office sought: Ravalli County Commissioner, District 2 Political party: Democrat Age: 67 Home: Stevensville Birthplace: Yeadon, Pa., the first of 13 different states I have lived in; my family roots are in New Hampshire. Education: B.S. in government (Miami University, 1963) and a master’s of public administration (University of Rhode Island, 1973). Occupation: Retired in 1997 after 34 years of combined service in the U.S. Navy and the National Labor Relations Board. Family: Wife, Patricia, married for 26 years; two grown children and a grandson. Political experience: Elected city council member and served as mayor and as a planning commissioner in San Ramon, Calif. Also served as a regional planning commissioner for Contra Costa County, Calif. (A total of 12 years between 1977 and 1994).
1. What is your position on streamside setbacks? I believe streamside setbacks should be required for new residential construction. This is necessary in order to preserve the integrity of streamside vegetation and to protect the health and vitality of the Bitterroot River and our streams. Streamside setbacks should be reasonable; any regulation should provide for a variance procedure. Preexisting structures located in setback areas, including homes, should be allowed to remain (“grandfathered”), and I will support that grandfathering arrangement as long as I am in office. Agricultural uses should be allowed in setback areas. I support the work of the Ravalli County Streamside Setback Committee. As a commissioner, I would support a fair and equitable streamside setback ordinance. 2. What is your position on the county’s growth policy? Should it be repealed? I strongly support the county growth policy. It was developed by many See MEAKIN Page 28
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 27
FROM PAGE 26
n Make large developments locate next to established towns and infrastructure. n Protect people from incompatible land uses in their neighborhood, thus protecting property values. n Help farmers, ranchers and other local businesses stay in business and prosper. n Make new development pay for itself, rather than be subsidized by taxpayers. I am not in favor of previous draft language that limited traditional Bitterroot uses like raising a 4-H animal in your backyard or
having a small business in your garage. If done correctly, zoning or other land use regulation must be acceptable to the average person and clearly protect and enhance property values.
services. Then, we must rework the state revenue formula that allows the state to keep such a high percentage of our property taxes, and work to eliminate the many “unfunded” mandates from the state. Additionally, commissioners must 4. What are your ideas to help help set clear priorities within the county address declining revenues at a departments and help find all possible time when demands on county efficiencies and funding sources. This may services continue to grow? We must simultaneously stop approving include a public safety levy. development that doesn’t pay for itself, 5. Many county residents have and create an infusion of new funding. We faced layoffs and other challenges must require new development to fully with employment. What can the fund its own roads, water, sewer and fire county commission do to attract protection system, and to contribute a fair sustainable jobs to Ravalli County? portion to existing schools and emergency We can attract clean industry and new
time when demands on county services continue to grow? We must work with our senators and Continued congressmen to support the permanent payment for our services to the education and cooperation with the government with PILT funds. landowners similar to the forest 3. What is your position on interface programs currently in place. The county must work with our state zoning? Legislature to reduce unfunded Land use planning is a long-term goal mandates imposed by the state. Why 2. What is your position on the to protect our resources, the land, the county’s growth policy? Should it does the state have over $1 billion in water and provide the public services. be repealed? surplus while the county struggles to Drafts A and B were a disaster. Now I believe in responsible land-use provide services on the state’s behalf? Draft C is up for consideration. We need planning. The growth policy is a vision We must ensure that development in document setting general guidelines for to take the time to do a good job and the county pays its fair share of the costs provide guidance for the future. We our valley in the future. The policy for additional services. Costs for schools, promises protection of private property must reestablish trust in our county fire protection and law enforcement government to listen and respond. rights These are good goals now and in must be based on demonstrated need Montana law must be followed in the future. and distances to services and not on flat considering new development. Had the Many attachments to this policy are fees. current commission followed state law adopted by resolution of the Ravalli County needs to properly concerning variance requests, we would commissioners, but not included in the fund the effort to provide the valley with not be in the lawsuits we have now. main document. These need to be adequate law enforcement personnel to Given our current national and local discussed. protect our citizens. I think this is our economy, we don’t need new However, when over 5,000 valley most pressing need. subdivisions 500 lots at a time. residents and entire school districts Finally, the county must review each petition the county to stop zoning, the department and set priorities to ensure county commissioners must consider the 4. What are your ideas to help will of the people. Until the Ravalli fiscal responsibility. address declining revenues at a
The process, while well-intended, was an abject failure. We must use what we, as a community and local government, have learned about zoning and public process and use it to do a better job next time. Very basic, MCA-compliant zoning can be a good thing and should be
County commissioners guarantee a public vote on any zoning before it is enacted, I will vote for the repeal of the growth policy to limit their power to zone our valley.
considered in the future. We must always give strong consideration to impacts to private property rights. Zoning must protect the citizens of our county. 4. The county is facing some difficult financial times. What are your ideas to help address declining revenues at a time when demands on county services continue to grow?
Economic development is the obvious and best answer, followed by federal and state unfunded (or underfunded) mandates. We must be granted the authority to develop tools to enhance existing businesses and attract new ones. We should enhance funding to our Economic Development Authority and assist their success. Finally, fair and reasonable impact fees should be considered to assure new growth is not
business by creating a climate of predictability in our infrastructure, land use, and social and educational environment. Such things as a community college and healthy neighborhoods with designated business and commercial zones will be attractive to clean manufacturing and research type businesses. Dialogue with the Forest Service and conservationists will help us develop new sustainable business with our forest resources. Professional businesses seek a professionally run community in which to operate. If potential businesses view Ravalli County as being unstable and chaotic, they will not locate here. New business will not move into chaos. We must avoid that trend.
5. Many county residents have faced layoffs and other challenges with employment. What can the county commission do to attract sustainable jobs to Ravalli County? Resource-based businesses that were the backbone of our local economy are mostly gone. Our log home industry is facing layoffs. Now we rely on expanded medical service for our aging population, tourism, government agencies, service industries and support services for our people. Responsible development and ranching also contribute to our economy. Federal research and biomedical businesses have expanded. New businesses nearly always start small and expand, and we need to encourage them by providing a great place to live and better communication and Internet availability Almost onethird of our population will be retirement age within the next five years. Expansion of local educational opportunities may provide for growth in our economy.
subsidized by existing taxpayers. 5. Many county residents have faced layoffs and other challenges with employment. What can the county commission do to attract sustainable jobs to Ravalli County? Again, support the efforts of our Economic Development Authority. When times are tough, we must make economic development a higher priority.
28 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
Hours extended for early voting at courthouse By CHELSI MOY of the Missoulian
Early voting in Montana began on Oct. 6. To accommodate the high volume of traffic at the Missoula County Courthouse, the elections office here has extended its hours. Voters who wish to cast their ballots before Nov. 4 can do so at the courthouse on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday, Oct. 31. Because of the expected high voter turnout, elections administrator Vickie Zeier would like to stress the importance of filling out ballots appropriately. Ballots are expensive to print and the number of extra copies is limited, Zeier said. That being the case, Zeier would like to remind voters of several things: n Do not use marker or felt tip pent to mark ballots.
n Anyone who received an absentee ballot must use it. Only voters who received an absentee ballot and either destroyed or lost it will be issued another. n Postage is 59 cents to mail ballots back to the elections office. n Ballots must be returned to the elections office by 8 p.m. on Nov. 4. Postmarking it on that day does not apply. n To know where you are registered to vote and the location of your polling place, look online at http://app.mt.gov/voterinfo/. So far, lunch time has been the busiest time for absentee voting, Zeier said. She encourages people to come earlier in the day. Late registration and absentee voting closes on Nov. 3 at noon. Late registration opens back up on Nov. 4 at
7 a.m. It goes until 8 p.m. that evening. For more information, please contact the elections office at 258-4751. Additionally, the Montana Secretary of State’s office advises the following to make things easier come Election Day: n Bring an ID when you vote. A driver’s license, tribal ID, state-issued ID card, government check, utility bill, or many other forms of ID are sufficient. The important thing is to bring identification. n If you forget your identification, ask an election judge about alternatives. The polling place elector ID form can be used to confirm your identity, you can vote a provisional ballot, or you can return later with the identification.
n If you make a mistake, if you mark more than the allowed number of choices in any race or issue, if you damage your ballot, or change your mind, ask an election judge for a replacement ballot and one will be provided. n If you wish to vote for a write-in candidate, you must write in the name and mark the designated voting area. n Individuals with disabilities have the right to vote privately and independently. Every polling place is equipped with an Automark ballotmarking that can assist voters who are blind or mobility impaired. For more information about voting rights, call the Secretary of State’s Voting Hotline at 1-888-884-8683 or e-mail email@example.com. More information about voting can be found at www.montanavotes.net.
FROM PAGE 26
I support the citizen-based zoning effort that has been under way for over a year. I will support a land use plan that is Continued in the best interests of our county, that protects our air and water quality, and Bitterroot Valley citizens who invested focuses on the basic elements of good land thousands of hours of volunteer time to create a document that has given guidance use planning: appropriate land use, density, height and setbacks. and direction to citizens and county It is important that such a plan includes government on land-use planning issues. It methods to promote and encourage was voted on in a countywide election in farming and ranching, including ways to 2004 and overwhelmingly approved. It is non-regulatory and establishes community extract value from agricultural land for the benefit of the rancher or farmer without goals and values specific to our valley. Some examples: protection of public open having to subdivide or take out an expensive mortgage. The Right to Farm space and private open land, recognition and Ranch Board has several good of agriculture as a valued land resource proposals on this subject. that should be encouraged, and protection Good land use planning should include of air and water quality. requirements for new development to pay If we want to have local control over its own way. The past practice of loading any land use planning decisions that could the cost of new infrastructure and services impact any of our goals and values, we needed by new residents on the shoulders must preserve our growth policy. If the of existing taxpayers is unacceptable. repeal effort is successful, not only will the Landowners, and property values, will growth policy be shelved for two years, but be well served with a locally controlled all current planning efforts will be shelved land use plan that makes surrounding land as well. We must not allow that to happen uses predictable, by knowing where and because subdivision applications will not under what conditions land uses that stop during that two-year period. They significantly lower neighboring property cannot be shelved, and by state law the values (such as gravel pits and junkyards) commissioners must make a decision even can be permitted. though there would be no local regulation to guide them. On Nov. 4, I will vote 4. What are your ideas to help against the repeal of the growth policy and address declining revenues at a I urge every voter to do the same. time when demands on county services continue to grow? 3. What is your position on It is no secret that county population is growing, the demand for and cost of zoning?
county services are increasing, and county revenue is declining. There are several measures that commissioners should take to help alleviate the problem: n Making clear to our state legislators that we expect them to sponsor or support legislation that will change the state formula for determining how much of our tax dollars are returned to us for county services. Additional legislation to require the state to pay for local administration of state laws by county employees is also necessary. Currently, the costs of providing these services for the state are paid from the county budget. n Within county government, commissioners must take additional measures to ensure that departments operate as efficiently as possible, that department managers use best management practices and that, where indicated, audits of department budgets are conducted regularly. n Developers must start to pay their fair share of the costs of county services incurred by new residents. At a minimum, these should include contributions for roads, schools and emergency services. Mandatory impact fees and hard bargaining for realistic mitigation fees should be the norm, but they are not. Requiring current taxpayers to pay for new services is the norm, but it should not be. 5. Many county residents have faced layoffs and other challenges with employment. What can the
county commission do to attract sustainable jobs to Ravalli County? Attracting sustainable jobs to Ravalli County. With anticipated legislative funding, the Bitterroot Valley Community College could start offering classes in Ravalli County next year, creating a pool of trained employees in a variety of fields, a pool that prospective businesses will need when they locate here. We already have a successful start with two large sustainable biomedical businesses located in Hamilton. To attract other clean and sustainable businesses to key locations in Ravalli County (for example, ones that utilize or sell solar energy, forest byproducts, recycled products, alternative energy or telecommuting) will take a concerted outreach effort, traveling to selected corporate offices with a full marketing presentation on the advantages of locating in the Bitterroot. If we are successful in our outreach effort, and business representatives arrive to scout us out, we must be ready to show them, among other things, a land use plan that includes parcels suitable and approved for their type of business. We aren’t able to offer that certainty now, and if the growth policy is repealed, we won’t be able to for at least two more years, and probably longer. Without that, those business scouts will look elsewhere, taking more opportunities for new, sustainable jobs with them. As if we need another reason to vote against the repeal of the growth policy.
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 29
Extension of CHIP expected to pass By MIKE DENNISON Missoulian State Bureau
HELENA – In deciding Initiative 155 on Nov. 4, Montana voters will choose whether they want to extend government-funded health coverage to as many as 30,000 uninsured kids in low- and moderate-income families. I-155, backed by a broad coalition that includes health insurers, children’s advocates, health care providers and regular citizens, would expand coverage by the Children’s Health Insurance Plan and Medicaid. Both are state-federal programs that provide health insurance for lower-income families. Yet while I-155 has no formal opposition and is expected to pass, the 2009 Montana Legislature still would have to approve funding for the program. State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner John Morrison, who wrote I155 and has led the campaign for the measure, says he’s confident lawmakers will follow through “and respect the will of the voters.” Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, also has said he’s reserving money in his
proposed budget to pay for I-155. The initiative is estimated to cost the state about $20 million a year and bring in as much as $70 million in matching federal funds. Morrison says extending governmentfunded coverage to thousands of children is good for Montana on many levels, by offering health care for uninsured kids, bringing more federal dollars into the state and slowing the shift of health care costs onto people who already have insurance. “Frankly, it’s something we can’t afford not to do,” he says. “The Healthy Montana Kids plan is important not only for kids’ health, but for health care financing in Montana.” While I-155 has no formal opposition, some Republican state legislators have spoken out against it. Rep. John Sinrud, R-Bozeman, says the state can’t afford to pay for health insurance for another 30,000 children, and the program is “another step toward socialized medicine.” “You’ll have individuals who are on private insurance move off that insurance for their kids, because they can have the state pay for it,” he says. Morrison says I-155 has a three-month waiting period for people added to the programs, and that parents would have to
uninsure their kids for three months if they wanted to abandon private insurance and get on CHIP or Medicaid. CHIP currently insures about 17,000 kids in Montana, in families whose income is no more than 175 percent of the federal poverty level, or $30,800 for a family of three. I-155 would increase the income ceiling to 250 percent of the poverty level, or $44,000 for a family of three. The measure also increases the income ceiling for families that qualify for having their kids covered by Medicaid, and greatly expand efforts to sign up children who are eligible. It also may pay for private insurance for children who are added to their parents’ policy – if the family is within the income guidelines and already had private insurance, but wasn’t insuring the children. If I-155 passes and funding is approved, the expanded programs would start taking effect next Oct. 1. Morrison estimates that “thousands and thousands” of uninsured kid would be added to the programs within a year. The full 30,000 children might be added within two to three years, he says, depending on the effectiveness of new enrollment programs drawn up by the state.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 44
Success unlikely for measure on stocks By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau
be invested in fixed-income investments or bonds. A 2007 fiscal note accompanying the HELENA – Bad timing probably will bill said the ballot measure would affect doom a proposed constitutional seven trust funds totaling $1.3 billion. The amendment that would allow up to largest among them are the permanent 25 percent of certain state trust funds to coal tax trust fund, valued at $531.7 be invested in stocks, a key supporter said. million at the time; the school trust fund, “Look, from an intellectual standpoint, with $432.4 million; and the Treasure State it makes sense,” said state Sen. Dave Endowment, valued at $144.9 million. Lewis, R-Helena. “But let’s be real here. These funds currently are part of the With the market in chaos, people aren’t trust funds bond pool, which operates like going to vote for it. I’d be utterly amazed if a mutual fund. They are invested in it passes.” corporate and government bonds and earn Lewis formerly was executive director about 5.5 percent annually. of the Montana Board of Investments, Two state-run funds already are allowed which would invest the money. He also to be invested in stocks – state and local was state budget director under governors pension funds and workers’ compensation from both political parties. funds. At issue is Constitutional Amendment Backers of CA-44 have said that 44, which will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot. historically, over time, stocks yield a If approved, it would amend the higher return than bonds. Montana Constitution to allow up to 25 “Bonds have lower returns and are percent of all public trust funds to be considered safer,” Lewis said. “But if invested in stocks. These funds now must interest rates go up, the value of bonds
goes down.” Lewis also said allowing up to a quarter of these funds to be invested in stocks would better diversify the investments that are now 100 percent invested in bonds. However, Sen. Jerry O’Neil, RColumbia Falls, said there are two good reasons for Montanans to vote against CA-44. “First, state purchase of stock would be a risky endeavor, as is apparent right now with the market,” O’Neil said. “Second, if the state does buy stock in some company and the company starts going broke, the state would be set up to bail out the company. And that wouldn’t be fair to the competitors of the company.” O’Neil was asked about CA-44 supporters’ claims that over time, stocks yield higher returns than bonds. “If you’re smart enough to buy your stocks low and sell high, it makes sense,” O’Neil said. “But government is not that smart, especially when the lobbyists from
the big companies are the ones that are going to approach the government to get them to buy their stock. Do you trust a lobbyist to buy their stock?” That’s not how state investments work, said Carroll South, executive director of the Montana Board of Investments, which oversees investments in pension funds. Lobbyists are not involved in the state’s investment decisions. South said the board has about 25 external money managers who invest state funds in different economic sectors. “Our external managers buy stock based on what they think is in the best interest of making a return,” South said. “Each one of our external managers has a benchmark, exclusive of fees. They just make strategic decisions day by day.” Montana voters have twice rejected constitutional amendments similar to CA-44 – in 1988 and 2002, although they did vote in 2000 to allow workers’ compensation funds to be invested in stocks.
30 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
Montana university system 6-mill levy becomes contentious By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau
information pamphlet, were highly critical of university system operation. Groups against the levy included the HELENA – Montana voters will decide Montana Family Coalition, Montana Nov. 4 whether to continue the once-aValues Coalition, Montanans for Tax decade, 6-mill statewide property tax levy Reform, Constitution Party of Montana to help finance the state’s university and Montana Shooting Sports Association. system. House Speaker Scott Sales and Sen. If approved again, Referendum 118 Joe Balyeat, both Bozeman Republicans, would raise $13.4 million a year out of the raised a number of arguments against the system’s $200 million, student-supported levy. annual budget. Its all-funds budget, Sales said they include the large salary including dormitory fees and research hike the regents gave to Higher Education grants, is about $1.2 billion a year. Backers say the 6-mill levy amounts to a Commissioner Sheila Stearns, which he called “obscene,” and the “island resort” $12 tax on a $100,000 home annually. owned by the University of Montana on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, First Interstate BancSystem Inc. Salmon Lake in western Montana. “I just don’t think the schools have and Washington Corps. are among the done a good job of controlling costs,” businesses supporting the levy. A wide Sales said. “They have an inflation rate range of groups backs it, including the twice the rate of inflation as far back as Montana Chamber of Commerce, you can see.” Montana AFL-CIO, Montana Farm Sales said professors have told him the Bureau Federation, Montana Farmers universities “are more focused on bringing Union, Montana Medical Association, Montana Tavern Association and Montana home the grant dollars and research than educating students.” Taxpayers Association. “I think they’re lost their footing and It had been a low-key campaign until recently when a dozen groups surfaced to focus,” he said. He questioned the need for all the new oppose it, and two Bozeman Republican legislators, writing in the state’s voter buildings on campuses when the number
of Montana high school graduates has peaked. Sales also criticized the new student fitness center at MSU as excessive. It’s time for the university system to tighten its belt, Sales said. “We know we have an economic tsunami coming in the United States,” Sales said. “It’s already here. It will come to Montana.” In response, another Bozeman legislator, Democratic Sen. Bob Hawks, defended the university system. “You’ve got to look at the facts,” said Hawks, who helped write the pro-levy arguments. “The facts are rather impressive.” Montana ranks 47th nationally in state support for students and 46th nationally in total funding for students through tuition and state support, Hawks said. “If you look at our number of bachelor’s degrees per 100 students, we’re No. 1,” he said. UM and MSU have the lowest tuition in the country among all the doctorategranting and research universities nationally, he said. “I don’t know how you can look at these statistics and think there is a whole lot wrong in the way we’re managing the
system,” Hawks said. “I think you really have to ask yourself what’s the probability of university mismanagement and the lack of fiscal responsibility. It just doesn’t stack up.” Hawks called it phenomenal that the university system is attracting so much outside funding and research grants. He said the state picked up only 37 percent of university funding until four years ago, with students paying the rest. Now the state pays 40 percent, and the 2007 Legislature and Gov. Brian Schweitzer froze tuition for Montana students for two years. “So affordability is the major issue before us,” Hawks said. “If you take the 6-mill levy away, some of it’s going to have to be replaced with tuition costs. We’re already freezing people out of the market. With the economy heading down, it’s even more important to invest in education.” As for Sales’ concerns, Hawks said the commissioner and presidents’ salaries are based on a formula looking at what similar states pay their higher education officials. He said MSU students voted to raise their fees to pay for the fitness center and the UM resort on Salmon Lake was a gift to the university.
To read the Missoulian’s entire coverage of Election 2008 – national, state and local – go to Missoulian.com and click on the Election 2008 button.
2009 MONTANA LEGISLATURE
Get answers Candidates share views on issues affecting western Montanans Editor’s note: As a prelude to the Nov. 4 general election, the Missoulian sent questionnaires to every state legislative candidate in western Montana. Some responses have been edited for length. Some candidates chose not to answer the questions. Here are the questions asked of each candidate:
How would you deal with the issue of gravel pits being located next to subdivisions? Do you think environmental studies and public input should be required of all gravel pits? Should the state have the authority to put limits on gravel operations based on those things?
The University of Montana plans to seek more money from the state for extensive building programs, even as projections
show that student enrollment will decline. Do you support or oppose that funding, and why? Recently, the Missoulian printed a series of articles detailing a sharp increase in the abuse of prescription drugs. Do you support or oppose a prescription drug registry, and why? What about allocating state money for treatment programs?
Montanans could be facing record-high energy prices this fall and winter. Is there anything the state can or should do to mitigate those prices or help people who may have difficulty heating their homes?
What is the single most important piece of legislation you would introduce, and why?
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 31
HOUSE DISTRICT 1 Democrat Eileen Carney and Freeman Johnson of the Constitution Party of Montana are running for House District 1 in Lincoln County. Gerald Bennett, the Republican candidate, did not respond to the Missoulian’s questionnaire. University building program
Eileen Carney Office sought:
House District 1 Political party:
Democrat Age: 65 Birthdate, place:
Nov. 22, 1942, Billings Home: Libby Occupation:
Retired educator Family: Widow Education: Master’s degree in
Spanish Past employment: Spanish
teacher, Carroll College, 1973-74; teacher, Moses Lake High School, 1974-75; teacher, Libby Public Schools, 1975-2000; teacher, Lincoln County Campus of Flathead Valley Community College, 1990-2008. Political experience: State representative for Libby, 2001 and 2003, Taxation and Tax Reform Study Committee, Local Government Committee; currently chair of State Board of Respiratory Care Practitioners.
Old buildings need to be updated and safety factors play a part. I would favor a go-slow approach and replace old buildings only when necessary. Prescription drug abuse
Many hospitals in the area are establishing an online program where a doctor can check previous treatment for a patient. Any prescription drugs need to be listed there to avoid abuse. I would support some treatment options since it is always better to work with someone to make him/her more productive if possible. High energy costs
Americans waste five times as much energy as the average person in the rest of the world. The state should help low-income citizens upgrade their homes to avoid waste and help them learn to use energy more productively. We should not help pay for heating costs until all has been done to reduce the waste. Important legislation
Gravel pits are a necessary nuisance. But they can destroy property value and quality of life for people forced to live near them because of noise and dust. The public needs to have a say about where they are sited and an environmental study needs to establish the risks to the public. The state needs to make sure there are no health problems caused to those living nearby and protect those most vulnerable, especially the children.
In the two terms that I served, I always introduced legislation that was suggested by my constituents. One has suggested increasing the fine for non-use of seat belts to encourage more people to buckle up. I will research this and consider introducing a bill.
Freeman Johnson Office sought: House District 1 Political party: Constitution
Party of Montana Age: 77 Birthplace: Duluth, Minn. Home: Troy Occupation: Retired Family: One daughter, four grandchildren Education: Approximately one year of junior college and at two universities Past employment: Merchant Marine, surveyor, carpenter, contractor Military service: Korean War, 1950-1952, USS Taluga AO-62 Political experience: Elected trust officer (Health Trust & Vacation Trust chairman); recording secretary, Carpenters Local No. 1780, Las Vegas.; candidate for school board, Clark County, Nev., and Nevada State Assembly from Clark County; candidate District 2 Lincoln County Gravel pits
No. It’s a local matter for the county or city. University building program
Yes! Our colleges and universities are too money directed. Fewer sports and fluff courses will make a positive curricula.
Prescription drug abuse
No on any state monies. The problem is the federal FDA and it’s not coming down hard on all drugs. It’s our senators’ and representatives’ and governor’s responsibility to get onto the FDA hard. Energy costs
Cut wood, burn it in our fireplaces, as we do. Pump more oil and build a refinery fast. Important legislation
Here is what our Lincoln County Branch of the Constitution Party of Montana proposes. Why? Because it has been stated that all of the western counties are dependent on their logging, milling and mining industries to provide the jobs, businesses and a tax base to keep the roads plowed in the winter and schools open. Gambling and tourists are not a plus, but a negative to accomplish that. As to the miscalled “Federal Forest,” they are not owned by the federal government, but by the states and the citizens from the state’s creation. Article 1, Sec. 8, Sec. 17 states this plainly. Our two Republican governors and present Democrat governor have and have had this clear opportunity to use the “precedent” of the 9-0 vote by the Supreme Court in its 1993 vote for New York state when the federal Forest Service tried to take an area forested in that state illegally.
HOUSE DISTRICT 2 Timothy Linehan, a Democrat, is running for House District 2 in Lincoln County. Republican incumbent Chas Vincent also is a candidate, but did not respond to the Missoulian’s questionnaire.
Timothy Linehan Office sought: House
District 2 Political party:
Democrat Age: 46 Birthplace: Weymouth,
Mass. Home: Yaak Occupation:
Outfitter/guide Family: Spouse, Joanne; bird dogs, Lily and Gracie Education: B.A., University of New Hampshire Past employment: Outfitter/guide for 20 years Gravel pits
I believe some measure of oversight is a
good idea regarding gravel pits, but also believe the state should be careful about one-size-fitsall legislation and that each location should be reviewed on a case-bycase basis. For instance, I believe public input and an environmental study would be warranted if a pit was proposed next to a river or school, but not necessarily if a pit was proposed away from the river, homes, schools, etc. University building program
I enthusiastically support funding education, which often includes necessary
infrastructure improvements. But holding the fiscal line will also be one of my priorities. At this point, I think my support or opposition would be based on the request and the budget situation. Prescription drug abuse
Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in our communities. I’m not certain a prescription drug registry would actually help solve the problem. I would consider allocating state money for treatment programs since in many instances
funding treatment has proven to be less expensive for taxpayers compared to the alternative judicial, incarceration etc. Energy costs
Under very stringent criteria I would support helping families, seniors and individuals of low income with energy needs. Important legislation
The single most important piece of legislation I would introduce would be legislation to continue increased funding for public education without raising property taxes. I believe public education is the backbone of a vibrant economy and strong democracy, and we are failing to that end in this country and this state. We have a responsibility to our children and young people to provide the best educational opportunities they deserve.
32 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
HOUSE DISTRICT 3 Republican Dee L. Brown, incumbent, and Michael “Mick” Holm, Democrat, are running in House District 3 in the Flathead Valley.
Dee L. Brown
building programs of the past. Office sought:
Michael “Mick” Holm Office sought: House
Prescription drug abuse
House District 3 Political party:
Republican Age: 59 Birthdate, place:
Oct. 22, Rugby, N.D. Home: Outside Coram Occupation:
The language of this bill would have to be written before I could support or oppose it. What would be the purpose? Whose personal rights would be infringed? Lots of questions to a bill like this one, so without the specific language this is a “what if” question. High energy costs
Campground owner Family: Husband, Steve; two grown children; and one grandson Education: B.A. in elementary education, M.A. in guidance and counseling Past employment: School District 6 teacher Political experience: Served in 2001, 2003, 2005 as representative in HD3 Gravel pits
Around the rest of the country, they try to place the gravel pits as close to the subdivisions being built as possible. This eliminates traffic, noise and costs to other parts of the community while building them. The close proximity also allows the area to be reclaimed and used for the subdivision’s open space. This seems like a good idea. Public input and environmental review are part of statute now and should be continued. Limiting hours of operation, dust and noise should all be part of the environmental review process. University building program
The state is indebted for millions in the building programs across the state. I don’t think it’s prudent to the taxpayers to continue piling up debt until some is paid off. There should be a private/public partnership as we’ve seen in the university
The electric cooperatives and NorthWestern Energy have been on an educational plan to their users for a long time. We should target ways to conserve and reward the conservation. Energy prices will go up this winter, according to the Public Service Commission, so we must be proactive while it’s nice outside and get our homes ready for the cold winter coming. There is already a program using taxes within our electric and gas bills to pay for those who are having difficulty heating their homes. People in need can apply for the help at their local level where the information is readily available. Important legislation
I am not one to propose a lot of legislation. I think there are enough laws on the books right now and feel we should have restraint in proposing legislation that costs over $1,000 for each bill to be written. The 2007 session had 2,537 bill drafts. As far as I am concerned, this is way too many drafts and too much money being spent. We must work more cooperatively and bring forth legislation where the majority of taxpayers get the benefits.
District 3 Political party: Democrat Age: 59 Birthdate, place: June
15, 1949, Fosston, Minn. Home: Columbia Falls Occupation: Retired Family: Patti, wife 37 years; sons Nathan and Eric Education: B.S., University of Montana, 1973 Past employment: 33 years National Park Service/superintendent of Glacier National Park Military Service: None Political experience: None Gravel pits
The permitting process for gravel pits should require environmental studies that allow for public input and include mitigation and reclamation components. The final decision should reside at the local level with county commissioners. Permitting and regulation need to strike a balance between a landowner’s rights to responsibly utilize his/her land resources, while protecting the rights of adjacent land and homeowners. Developers and homebuyers should know the location of currently approved gravel pits, and mapping of gravel deposits that have the potential to become pits. Most gravel pit operators desire to be good land stewards and neighbors. However, landowners adjacent to gravel pits need the assurance of strict enforcement of current gravel pit operation regulations. University building program
The university system
needs to be dynamic and grow in order to provide educational opportunities that meet global challenges. Core curriculums will always be our universities’ foundation, but advances in sciences and technology demand that we make investments to keep our graduates competitive in a global market. As a member of the President’s Advisory Council, I keep current on the challenges the University of Montana is facing and evaluate proposed strategies to meet those challenges. An investment in education is an investment in our future. Prescription drug abuse
I would have to look at what 35 other states have done in implementing their prescription drug registry and weigh the requirements against the infringement upon a citizen’s personal life. Consideration should be given to what is currently in place, and why it isn’t working. Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem that requires attention. High energy costs
It is important that consumers be aware of the potential high energy cost increase this fall and winter and become educated on personal conservation measures they can take now. It would be prudent for utility companies and cooperatives to begin that educational program immediately. The state needs to position itself to adequately fund assistance programs, especially for our low-income and elderly residents living on fixed incomes. Important legislation
I am listening to my constituents and would carry forward legislation that would best serve them. I am not favoring any single piece of legislation at this time, but take interest in the areas of education funding, health care for Montana families, maintaining access to our public lands, providing a clean and healthful environment, and a strategic energy plan.
HOUSE DISTRICT 4 Democratic incumbent Mike Jopek and Republican challenger John Fuller seek to represent Flathead County’s House District 4. Fuller chose not to answer the issues questions.
John Fuller Office sought: House District 4 Age: 62 Home: Whitefish Occupation: High school teacher for 37 years Family: Wife, one son, daughter-in-law and four
grandchildren Education: Master’s in education, bachelor’s in
history Employment: Currently teaching at Flathead High School, Kalispell Military service: Staff sergeant, U.S. Army, 1967-1971; Vietnam veteran (19681969). Political experience: Served on Montana State Board of Public Education (2001-2008)
Issues facing Montana. Past chairman of the Whitefish Planning Board, past chairman of the Whitefish Housing Authority, chairman of the Whitefish Area Land Trust.
House District 4 Party: Democrat Age: 44 Home: Whitefish Occupation: Farmer Family: Partner, Pam’ foster son, Jason Education:
University of New Hampshire, mechanical, civil and solar engineering. Political experience: 2005 Montana House of Representatives; special session in 2005; 2005 member of the Local
Government and Education Interim Committee; 2007 Montana House; special sessions in 2007; 2007 member of Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee, member of the 2007 Property Tax Reappraisal Committee, member of the 2007 Interim Committee to Study Aging
In the 2005 Montana House, I sponsored HB 591, which became Montana law and gave back the freedom for local county commissioners to regulate gravel extraction operations in residential areas. Some counties use this tool quite well, while others are sitting back idly watching.
See JOPEK, Page 33
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 33
FROM PAGE 32 bill did not pass.)
University building program
Continued In 2007, I sponsored a couple more bills relating to gravel pits and homes. HB 583 cleared up a lot of fuzzy language on pit expansion and allowed bonding to be returned back to operations more efficiently while protecting neighbors. It became law, but it was my bill, HB 201, which would have hired more staff at the agency and avoided our current situation in the state. (The
I will continue to support higher education as we have done since 2005. Education is clearly good for local businesses, Montana, our kids and our future. In 2007, we capped higher education tuition for Montana university students. As we continue to work with the university system and community college infrastructure needs, it’s reasonable to cap student tuitions to be affordable for Montanans. This is in the best interest
of our community colleges, local businesses and Montana students.
High energy costs
Montana should properly fund the low-income and elderly home-heating Prescription drug abuse and weatherization programs. Too There is little doubt that often, our elderly are faced with the prescription drugs in the wrong hands impossible choice of buying food, are a problem. Teenagers often use medicine or heat. It’s high time that bad judgment and need adults to set Montana honors our elderly folks by appropriate guidelines. I will continue funding programs which keep elderly to seek solutions in 2009, which keep folks warm at night. Montana our kids safe and assure that older effectively led the nation in increased folks seeking affordable medicine are production of oil, gas, biofuels, not overburdened by bureaucracy. synthetic fuels, solar and wind energy Treatment offers reasonable and cost- production by creating incentives for businesses in 2005 and 2007. effective solutions.
Lower property taxes and lower fuel costs for Montanans, senior citizens and local business owners. Our outdoor heritage is important – I will continue to lead in keeping our public land in public hands and our waterways accessible to all Montanans. Spencer Mountain, Haskill Basin, Beaver Lake, Swift Creek, Whitefish Lake and Happy Valley are all driving forces behind our way of life and ensure that our local economy remains vibrant.
HOUSE DISTRICT 11 Republican incumbent Janna Taylor is running against M. Patrick Estenson, Democrat, for Flathead County’s House District 11
Janna Taylor Office sought: House
District 11 Political party:
that he was concerned about the one-timeonly building spending because of the ongoing maintenance and operation costs. I support a wise building program and careful bonding.
Republican Birthplace: Minnesota Home: Purchased
small ranch in the Proctor Valley in 1981; currently lives in Rollins Occupation: Agribusiness Family: Spouse, Michael; two sons, Chris, a Florida attorney, and Zak, a Montana rancher; three grandchildren Education: Bachelor of science in education Past employment: Rancher, bale picker, night lamber, retail, stewardess, waiter, store manager Political experience: First elected to the Montana House in 2004. Vice chair of House Appropriations during the last session and chair of the Local Government and Transportation Subcommittee. Interim Audit between the 2005 and 2007 sessions, and currently serving on Interim Finance. Gravel pits
The Montana Legislature many years ago decided that land use and planning should be done at the local level. This was a wise decision because the residents of Two Dot might not want what the residents of Missoula want. Still, guidelines exist and public comment is necessary. The state of Montana does have gravel pit rules and oversight. The last legislative audit indicated that there are several current problems with the permitting process. There are already 330 bill drafts submitted and some of these concern open-pit mining.
Prescription drug abuse
Hopefully a prescription drug registry can be done efficiently and economically. Currently, Montana has alcohol and drug treatment programs as part of our Department of Corrections. These are actually more expensive than incarceration, but better at treating abuse problems. Energy costs
Montana has a Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) and a Weatherization Program to help low-income homeowners. These programs as well as Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF) combine state taxpayer money with federal money. Are they enough? Each session we increase our funding levels. I would still like to see Montana develop our energy to assist our population. Parallel drilling in the Bakken field and new wind and coal development should help Montana residents.
M. Patrick Estenson Office sought: House District 11 Political party: Democrat Birthdate, place: Jan. 17, 1940, Minneapolis; lifelong Montanan Home: Rollins Occupation: Independent Contractor in Nursing Care Facilities Family: Wife, JoEllen; son, Erik Military service: U.S Navy Education: B.A. philosophy Carroll College, MRE St.Thomas Seminary, graduate work in counseling and master of public administration at Montana State University Past employment: Administrator, Montana Veterans Home; chief, Classification and Pay Bureau; Employee Benefits Bureau; contracted services as nursing home administrator in Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico Military service: Montana Air National Guard Political experience: Two terms as member of Columbia Falls School Board
I have been working on ways to make our budget more efficient. In many ways, our budgeting process is arbitrarily complex. Vacancy saving, statutory appropriations, general fund transfers and present law adjustments are complex budgeting systems that need to be streamlined. My Interim Finance Committee has been addressing these issues. Interim committees are nonpartisan for the most part, and both Republicans and Democrats have been working to make our budget more transparent. University building program Also, I believe that any One of my concerns has been the surplus tax money needs decrease in the number of students in to be returned to the Montana. The Polson superintendent has told taxpayers. Many people me that they have the largest kindergarten are worried about class ever, but statewide we are losing 1,000 mortgage payments and students in K-12 every year. Until we have energy costs. How can the jobs that pay well for our young families, we state justify over-taxing, or will continue to see this decline. University of putting that money in a Montana President George Dennison said savings account?
There is an ongoing need for sand, gravel and aggregate to support the construction needs in western Montana. But just as importantly, we must ensure that the rights of adjacent property and homeowners in these areas are protected from dust, overcrowded roads and related health concerns, and the threat of diminished property values. Because this problem is so localized, we must make certain county commissioners have the authority to balance the many conflicting issues involved and and weigh public input at the local level. University building program
We must continue to strive for excellence in our University system. That includes making reasonable and measured investments in facilities. Some of the
buildings being replaced and renovated at the university do not meet building codes and do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). From a cost standpoint, at a time of escalating energy costs, many of these buildings are not energy efficient. The Law School renovation was necessitated when it was faced with the loss of accreditation. In recent years, nearly 85 percent of the building and capital improvement costs on campus have been paid for with nonstate money. Prescription drug abuse
The abuse of pain-reliever prescription drugs is a major problem in Montana. The federal governments Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that Montana ranks third per capita in teen abuse of prescription pain relievers. There is a problem; we should implement a prescription drug registry. This will help eliminate doctor shopping to eliminate nonmedical use of prescription drugs. However, any initiative in this area must be balanced with the need to protect the medical records and histories of all Montanans. Energy costs
Montanans could be facing record-high energy prices this fall and winter. To address this, we must do the following: encourage energy conservation wherever possible; support energy efficiencies, possibly with tax credit if appropriate; develop all of our energy resources, including coal, in an environmentally compatible way; and ensure the energy needs of Montanans are addressed first. Important legislation
From having gone door-to-door throughout the district, I have identified the following priorities: expand the economy through the creation of good paying jobs with benefits; develop a long-term energy policy and ensure reliable and affordable supplies of energy; improve access to quality medical care and health insurance for Montanans; and adequately fund education at all levels to ensure our students will be able to compete and contribute when they graduate. I will support these and other legislative measures that advance these priorities of House District 11.
34 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
HOUSE DISTRICT 12 John Fleming, Democrat, is running for House District 12 in Lake County. His opponent, Republican Ronald Marquardt, did not respond to the Missoulian’s questionnaire.
John Fleming Office sought: House
District 12 Political party:
Democrat Age: 61 Birthdate, place: Nov. 12, 1946; Polson Home: St. Ignatius Occupation: Educator Family: Wife of 35 years, Lydia; and three sons, Louis, 27, Will, 25, and Ian, 21 Education: B.A., Carroll College; M.Ed, University of Montana Past employment: St. Ignatius School District, 34 years Military service: Vietnam veteran Political experience: None Gravel pits
Until now, Lake County has not been confronted with the issue of gravel pit permitting and siting. From having served on the Lake County Planning Board for more than 20 years, I know we must be prepared for growth and the requirements it creates. County
commissioners must have the tools to address how the unique nature of each pit affects private property values, public health and safety and our precious groundwater and to deal with instances where there are incompatible adjacent land uses. Maintaining land values and Montana’s quality of life are essential. Developers and the public deserve open proceedings in all matters that affect our communities. University building program
The Legislature must carefully review the need of each proposed building. Buildings represent an investment in our future. In some cases, they replace older structures that no longer meet building codes – in more cases, the operating and maintenance costs are dramatically reduced because of energy conservation measures. I strongly support adequate funding of education at all levels, including the University System, and squeezing every dollar of efficiency out of
operations and putting it to work in the classroom. The many challenges now facing our state and nation will present opportunities only if our children have access to and take advantage of the highest quality education. Prescription drug abuse
We have a tendency to view prescription drugs differently than we do marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine. Recent studies documenting the abuse of prescription drugs points toward more safeguards. Before supporting a drug monitoring program similar to 35 other states, I would need to be assured that individual privacy and medical records are protected. I will work with all parties to ensure the successful strategies of the methamphetamine campaign are incorporated into efforts to control prescription drug abuse. Energy costs
Home heating energy prices present a long-term challenge. I support adequately
funding and expanding Montana’s current energy assistance and winterization programs. We need to strengthen successful initiatives like the Salish and Kootenai Housing Program and stress energy conservation. Montana should be a leader in creating American energy produced in Montana by Montana workers. Montana’s huge energy potential, both traditional and renewable, should be developed in a responsible manner with a goal being to serve Montana consumers and needs first. Important legislation
The needs of hard-working Montanans can only be addressed if we work together and listen to one another. I am spending a great deal of time listening to the voters of House District 12. Their primary concerns center on the economy and the creation of good-paying jobs with benefits, adequately funding education at all levels, ensuring access to affordable health care and the availability of affordable and reliable energy. I will support proposals in these areas and work together with others to find the common ground needed to enact them.
HOUSE DISTRICT 13 Jim Elliott, a Democrat who has served in the state Senate since 2001, and earlier as a state representative, and Pat Ingraham, Republican incumbent, are seeking to represent House District 13 in Sanders County. Renn Bodeker, Constitution Party of Montana, elected not to participate in the Missoulian’s survey.
Jim Elliott Office sought: House
District 13 Party: Democrat Age: 65 Birthplace:
Pennsylvania Home: Trout Creek Occupation: 1975present; timber producer, ranch owner Family: A daughter, Elizabeth Education: San Francisco State College, B.A. in behavioral physiology Political experience: Montana House of Representatives, 1989-1996; Montana Senate, 2001-2008; chairman, Senate Taxation, 20052008 Gravel pits
So far, gravel pits next to subdivisions are not a pressing issue in Sanders County, but they are elsewhere. I am less concerned about environmental assessments than I am about the negative effect a gravel pit might have on neighboring homeowners’ property values. It is, in a very real sense, a “taking” of homeowner equity, and if I were to address the issue, I would be looking at ways to keep the home equity intact. University building program
The university system has submitted a request for $89 million in building and renovation projects. Of that, $38 million will be paid for by donations, not taxpayer dollars. Of the remaining $51 million, there is a $32 million request for a new building at the
Missoula College of Technology. I do approve of that because I think more emphasis should be placed on providing job training for Montanans. But the most pressing need today in higher education is not more buildings; it is lowering the cost of tuition for Montana students at every level: college, junior college and vocational colleges. The average student debt on graduation from the university system is around $20,000; that’s far too much. Prescription drug abuse
I do not support a prescription drug registry as an aid in the prevention of prescription drug abuse. While the purpose is good, the gathering of personal information and invasion of privacy outweigh that good. I have consistently fought for privacy rights; from banning the sale of personal tax information by nationwide tax preparers to the federal government’s massive invasion of privacy through the “Patriot Act.” We do not preserve freedom by destroying it. State seed money to start treatment programs is acceptable, but participants should be required to pay for services or perform community service of a value equal to their treatment costs. Energy costs
High prices for heating fuels and electricity have many folks in Sanders County worried about being able to stay warm this winter. With an expected $200 million windfall in
See ELLIOTT, Page 35
Pat Ingraham Office sought: House
District 13 Political party:
Republican Age: 58 Birthdate, place: April 29, 1950; Derry, N.H. Occupation: State Representative HD 13 Family: Husband, Gerald Ingraham, 41 years; four children; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and some very special nieces and nephews Education: High school and professional education courses in auditing and accounting; certified clerk and recorder Employment: Serving first two-year term as state representative for House District 13; four years as administrative assistant to the Sanders County Board of Commissioners; five years as a deputy clerk and recorder; eight years as the elected Sanders County clerk and recorder, and served as the election administrator during this time as well. Also, retail sales and management. Political experience:
Sanders County clerk and recorder, 1998-2006; elected to the Thompson Falls Study Commission in 2004; elected to the Montana House in 2006. Committees – general session, State Administration and
Veterans Affairs (SAVA); Local Government and Public Health and Human Services. Interim committees – State Administration and Veterans Affairs. Appointed to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Redistricting and Elections Committee for the 2007-2008 biennium. Electronic Records & Information Management (eRIM) Steering Committee 2007-2008. Gravel pits
Location of a gravel pit or a subdivision begins with recognizing each is about personal property rights that must be protected, but the public does have a right to a clean and healthful environment. Gravel, a nonmetallic mineral, does undergo a permitting process in accordance with those laws and rules already established. Rather than implementing a new regulatory process, I would first revisit the existing rules and laws and see what changes can be made to help mitigate concerns, while still protecting property rights. University building program
Understanding the purpose and associated costs for an extensive building program, in light of a declining enrollment and funding availability must first be determined in order to make an informed decision before support or opposition can be voiced. Prescription drug abuse
Presently, I would not support a drug registry. With prescription drugs being purchased online, at your local pharmacy, overseas, etc., this registry would require
See INGRAHAM, Page 35
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 35
FROM PAGE 34 inflation, which has not been done since 1997.
Montana tax receipts, we have the ability to help those in need heat and weatherproof their homes. I will introduce a bill to use some of this windfall to help these folks pay for high energy costs and provide for home weatherization projects. Currently, Montana offers a tax rebate program only for people over 62 years old. I will introduce legislation to expand the program to all Montanans regardless of age and adjust the dollar amounts for
Other important issues are excluding $50,000 or more of the value of business equipment from taxation to help small businesses and creating more fairness in taxation by making sure major out-of-state corporations pay income tax due. It is absurd that a person working a fulltime minimum wage job owes four times more in income tax ($199) than a certain, nameless, out-of-state corporation with Montana sales of over $800,000,000 ($50).
much oversight, regulation and expense. I am concerned that such a registry would place an undue burden on those dispensing prescription drugs, which would ultimately place reasonable priced prescriptions further from our grasp. Prior to allocating additional monies for a new program, to address prescription drug addiction, we should first look at those programs that are available at the state and local level to see if they could encompass this need. Energy costs
If adequate funding is available, shoring up some of the state’s programs to aid in mitigating the high
energy prices of heating one’s home, however funding will be the determining factor. While there might be sufficient resources this session, we must look to the long term and start developing our natural resources in a responsible manner in order to create jobs, product and ultimately increase financial resources to meet and fund those programs needed to help others in a time of crisis. Important legislation
Each piece of legislation on behalf of my constituents is important; however, as a past clerk and recorder-election administrator, I would like to introduce legislation on behalf of those clerk and recorders – election administrators that not only administrate, but also are accountable for conducting the elections, giving them the tools they need to ensure the integrity of the election process.
HOUSE DISTRICT 14 Republican incumbent Gordon R. Hendrick is running for House District 14, which covers Mineral, Missoula and Sanders counties. Cindy Grimm, the Democratic candidate, did not respond to the Missoulian’s survey request.
Gordon R. Hendrick
Prescription drug abuse
I oppose a drug registry since I believe it violates our most private right to confidentiality in medical care. Allocating more money for treatment programs doesn’t solve the problem of getting the person who is abusing drugs to commit to a treatment program in the first place. I believe if money were to be allocated, it would be better spent on prevention and education programs such as the very successful anti-meth commercials.
Office sought: House District 14 Political party: Republican Age: 59 Birthdate, place: Feb. 16, 1949; Toronto,
Ontario Home: Superior Occupation: Current HD 14
representative; retired, Montana Rail Link Family: Wife, Vicky; children, Scott and Jennifer; grandchildren, Mason and Sydney Education: Graduated Alhambra High School, Alhambra, Calif.; some college, University of Montana and Montana State University Past employment: Montana Rail Link, Evans Products Political experience: HD14 representative four years; mayor, town of Superior, 11 years; Superior Town Council representative, three years
within local zoning ordinances. However, I don’t think as a developer it would make for a good return on my investment to plan a subdivision next to an existing gravel pit.
We need to be looking at utilizing Montana resources and development of alternative energy sources for the long haul. Even the development of alternative energy is not going to solve the affordability issue since these methods can be even more expensive to produce and transport in Montana. Change may be coming, but it will take more than our state Legislature to solve this issue. One of the local programs we started in Superior involves stockpiling donations of propane, pellets and firewood to have on hand for emergency needs.
University building program
No. This is an issue between developers and local planning boards working within local zoning ordinances. As long as there are roads to be built, there is always going to be a need for gravel pits. But with more and more development, there’s always the “not in my neighborhood” feeling. I think a person should be able to do whatever they want with their property
At this point in time, I think we need to be focusing on how we’re going to meet our adequate yearly progress benchmarks for No Child Left Behind and provide funding for “a quality education” for all Montana schools. We’re still grappling with that, as well as providing “qualified instructors” in order to keep accreditation.
I focus on what my constituents bring to me to introduce. Currently, I’m working with our public health department in conjunction with other county departments to introduce legislation that would help the Rural Frontier Communities Home Health Programs.
HOUSE DISTRICT 87 Democrat Peter Rosten and Republican incumbent Ron Stoker are vying to represent Ravalli County’s House District 87. Rosten supplied his bio information, but declined to answer the questions provided.
Peter Rosten Office sought: House District 87 Political party: Democrat Age: 59 Birthdate, place: Feb. 18, 1949; Brooklyn, N.Y. Home: Darby Occupation: President/CEO, Florence Prever Rosten Foundation Family: Wife, Susan (a fourth-generation Montanan); daughters,
Charity, Amity, Medellee; son, Justus. Education: Some college Past employment: President/teacher, Media Arts in the Public Schools
Ron Stoker Office sought: House District 87 Political party: Republican Age: 72 Birthdate, place: 1936, Colorado Home: Darby area Occupation: Real estate broker Family: Wife, Jean; four children, five grandchildren Education: B.S. animal husbandry, M.S. ruminant
nutrition, Rutgers University Past employment: 30 years veterinary sales and marketing Military service: Eight years Naval Reserve
See STOKER, Page 36
36 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 35 including highways. The material is heavy so that distance at today’s fuel prices must be considered.
Stoker Continued Political experience
Three terms Montana Legislature, 2003, 2005, 2007 Gravel pits
Gravel pits are a highly state regulated mining operation. The license and permits can be set for noise, hours of operation, particulate matter in the air, and other conditions that bring negative attention to their operations. We must have the material from these pits for construction of residences, businesses, and infrastructure,
UM funding for buildings
The modern University must have facilities that lead to the best education of our young people. The priorities for the kind of construction and the ultimate goal of student achievement to prepare them for the 21st century requires the buildings to be remodeled or new construction. The state currently funds with a 6-mill levy plus private donations and commercial investment. The Board of Higher Education and the Regents set the priorities for the university system. The Legislature sets the funding priorities for the state of Montana.
Prescription drug abuse
The druggists that I have questioned about a statewide prescription drug recording program are in favor of it and are willing to participate. Currently, the state has several drug treatment programs in operation.
producers are not compelled to deliver a constant load to the grid system. The result is high-cost energy must be purchased on the spot market or contracted for at a much higher cost than the wind production alone. Important legislation
The Law and Justice Interim Committee has prepared a very complex bill (LC The Low Income Energy Assistance 307A,B,C) for the court system to divert Program (LIEAP) and the energy companies’ sentences for treatment outside and inside private programs are designed to help those of the correction system. This bill has been in need. All forms of alternative energy need assigned to me by the chairman of the to be developed in Montana. These new committee, Senator Dan McGee. I will carry forms of alternative energy must be low cost a bill to identify who is the payer of last and competitive when they are delivered to resort when law enforcement and a citizen the consumer. The debate on wind energy is interaction results in a medical or mental skewed by the fact that wind energy health crisis. Energy costs
HOUSE DISTRICT 88 Republican incumbent Bob Lake and Democratic challenger Patrick Boylan seek to represent Ravalli County’s House District 88.
Bob Lake Office sought:
House District 88 Political party:
Republican Age: 70 Birthday, place:
March 18, 1938; Ronan Home: Hamilton Occupation: Semiretired, 38 years in agri-business, currently real estate Family: Married 50 years to Faithe; two children; two granddaughters Education: High school Past employment: 16 years with Peavey Co.; 22 years owner of Lake Milling Inc. Military: Two years U.S. Army active, four years reserve Political experience: Six years in Montana House of Representatives; chairman of Taxation Committee, chairman of Ethics Committee, member of Education Committee and Rules Committee Gravel pits
The role of the Montana Legislature is to establish law that allows for equal and fair regulation of all mining operations. We must provide for the protection of private property rights and at the same time allow for the constitutional right of any Montana citizen to a clean and healthful environment. On the issue of gravel, it is a product that is in constant demand for the building of roads and other construction. The location and operation of any gravel pit must stay within the control of the local jurisdiction.
be ignored. The building programs will have to prove themselves as they compete with state dollars requested by other agencies and departments. As always, the greater need will get the nod for investment.
Patrick Boylan Office sought:
House District 88 Political party:
Democrat Age: 31 Home: Corvallis Family: Wife, Julie; and 5-year-old son, Riley
Prescription drug abuse
I see a need for a central database that compares a “critical drug” prescription with an individual to prevent multi-doctor abuse. The greater problem, however, is the availability of these drugs on the streets after the addiction occurs. I am in favor of toughening up our “illegal distribution of drugs” laws and putting more officers on the streets to catch offenders. The victim should be required to complete an extended rehab program. Energy costs
Our current high energy costs are the result of the nationwide situation that took many years to develop and will take several years to resolve. Montana offers assistance in weatherizing homes and financial assistance for those who qualify. I believe that we should look at our environmental regulations to be sure they do not unnecessarily inhibit energy development. Montana has the resources to become a major player in finding the solution to the nation’s energy needs. Important legislation
I plan to introduce legislation to reduce the business equipment tax. We cannot continue to place a tax on equipment used for production. In agriculture, it has placed an undue burden on our farmers and I feel is one of the factors University growth that continue to drive our The long-term growth of the University farmers out of business of Montana and its ever-changing needs and force the sale of their as it moves further into research cannot land to developers.
Prescription drug abuse
Process development engineer at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals in Hamilton. I currently serve on the Montana Board of Medical Examiners and the Montana Forensic Science Advisory Council Education: Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University Gravel pits
I believe in local control when it comes to development issues, including things such as gravel pit locations. Assessing the impact of these and other industrial uses prior to opening them is wise, but ultimately the decision should be made following local ordinances and by local officials. University building program
I believe that funding for education should be viewed as an investment and if done properly will result in a return many times greater than the money we spend. Careful scrutiny of proposed new building projects is necessary, but when current buildings do not meet codes or lack the flexibility necessary to properly prepare our students, new construction is warranted. Whenever possible, private funding for these projects should be sought.
I support a prescription drug registry as a way to combat the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. A majority of states have implemented similar programs to help stop prescription forgery, “doctor shopping,” and other abuses. We need to work with doctors, pharmacists, and law enforcement to develop effective solutions to this growing problem. High energy costs
The Department of Health and Human Services offers two programs to help Montanans deal with high energy costs: Weatherization assists people with increasing their home’s energy efficiency and LIEAP assists eligible Montanans with paying their heating bills. Given the rise in the cost of living we have all experienced, many people are already struggling to afford to stay here, and paying the heating bill this winter will only add to that problem. With a budget surplus being projected for the next session, it would be appropriate to expand LIEAP eligibility and benefits to help Montanans heat their homes. Important legislation
I would like to introduce legislation that provided additional incentives for alternative energy research, development and utilization, something larger and more comprehensive than the “clean and green” bill passed in the 2007 special session. I believe that Montana can become a leader in this field, and that not only would this be good for Montanans by lowering energy prices, it could also lead to job creation and economic development in areas of our state that need it most.
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 37
HOUSE DISTRICT 90 Democrat Yvonne Gastineau Gritzner and incumbent Ray Hawk, Republican, are running in Ravalli County’s House District 90.
Yvonne Gastineau Gritzner Office sought: House District 90 Political party: Democrat Age: 67 Birthdate, place: May 13, 1941;
educational services to Montana’s tribal people. However, because of projected lower enrollments at UM and many urgent needs facing Montana, including health care, strengthening schools, and solving the state’s energy needs, other UM building projects would not be a priority for me.
Ray Hawk Office sought: House
Home: 378 One Horse Creek Road, Florence, MT 59833 Occupation: Retired, volunteer on Board of Friends of Montana PBS and program committee of Montana Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Family: Married 39 years to Jeffrey Gritzner, professor of geography; three children, Jason, Ingeborg and Justus; three grandchildren, Maya, Iris and Taj. Education: B.A., Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.; M.A., Middlebury College in Vermont Past employment: Program officer, Montana Committee for the Humanities, 16 years. Former teacher, bilingual administrator and interpreter. (Non)military service: Peace Corps volunteer, English teacher and youth camp director, Cameroon 1963-1965. Peace Corps volunteer trainer, 1965, 1967-68. Political experience: President of student council and student body vice president in high school. In adult life, citizen advocate helping to pass important legislation in Helena and in Washington, D.C. Gravel pits
Gravel operations are a vital industry in our state. Much development depends on them, including the creation of subdivisions. Montana needs laws and standards that allow for appropriate use of land with respect to impact on existing and future populations, on the natural resources, and the health and beauty of our state. Fair and reasonable land-use laws avoid the need for an environmental study and public hearings for every gravel pit. In cases where the proposed location for a gravel pit is not clearly appropriate or inappropriate, the decision must take into consideration the interest and rights of the property owner, the science on the environment, and the desires and needs of the community. UM funding for buildings
The University of Montana has undergone a series of major building, as well as repair and renovation, projects over the last 15 years. I would be open to hearing the university’s case for the proposed future construction and would give it due consideration, particularly if it focused on requesting some state funding to combine with the private funding for building the Native American Center. This center will provide a significant facility for
Republican Age: 67
Prescription drug abuse
This is a major problem in Montana that needs to be dealt with. Every 2 1/2 days, a person dies in this state from prescription drug abuse. Ours is the highest rate in the country. This issue deserves the urgent attention of the Montana Legislature. First there needs to be proper application of existing laws overseeing prescription drugs. I would want to inform myself by hearing from professionals on all sides on this issue before taking a position regarding a prescription drug registry. There is a compelling argument to oppose a registry as an intrusion into people’s legitimate right to privacy. Energy costs
I would think government, whether state or federal, should be prepared to give some assistance to people who will find it difficult to heat their homes this winter. Likewise, the energy companies themselves should make available energy at a lower price, as with the EnergyShare program, for households whose need would qualify them for consideration. Service organizations may want to get involved also. We as individuals should reach out to neighbors who could use some help with winterizing their homes and supplying firewood where burning is allowed. Without delay, our state should resolve to pursue production of renewable American energy, produced in Montana by Montana workers.
Prescription drug abuse
Birthdate, place: March
12, 1941; Detroit Home:
Florence Occupation: Retired Family: Wife, Arlene; two children, Lynn and Joe; three grandchildren Education: Two years college Past employment: Selfemployed auctioneer; 10 years banking Political experience: Three terms in Montana House of Representatives Gravel pits
I don’t think the state should be involved in gravel pits. This is something that should be addressed at the local level and local governments are authorized to do so by statute. I don’t think environmental studies and public input should be required of all gravel pits. University building program
In March 2007, I was one of nearly 300 Montanans who participated in the Governor’s Food and Agriculture Summit: Food Production – Hunger Reduction. Today, only 10 percent of the food grown and processed in Montana is consumed in Montana – the rest is exported, compared to 70 percent in the 1950s. Many organizations are writing legislation to reduce food insecurity in Montana, increase income for local farmers and ranchers, create food processing jobs in state, develop markets through Farm to School and local farmers markets, and help save energy consumed by long-distance transportation. My goal will be to introduce legislation to promote this effort.
before deciding on how to prioritize what money will be available for the Legislature to spend.
Over $300 million went to the Montana University System last biennium for buildings, $22 million of which went to UM. If indeed enrollment is declining, I don’t see the need for more buildings. However, I’m sure the university will have good reasons for wanting an increase in funds for more buildings. I will wait to hear the debate on this
I understand there is legislation pending that would establish a drug registry in Montana. I would support such legislation depending on the cost and mechanics of the program. Although a drug registry would identify a fair amount of abusers, it would not identify people dealing in the black market. We already have a number of drug treatment programs, most notably two new facilities in Lewistown and Boulder for the treatment of meth addicts. I toured the facility in Lewistown and was impressed by their program. However, I would like to wait and see how successful these programs are before putting any more money toward more treatment. High energy costs
We already have LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program), which we increased by $1 million in one-time-only money in the last session. I would imagine we will do the same thing again in the next session, depending on the price of heating oil this winter. Here again, it depends on what your spending priorities are. I would rather put money into LIEAP than more buildings for the university. Important legislation
To me, the most important piece of legislation would be a permanent reduction in property taxes. To make this work, you would need an equal reduction in state spending, which would probably mean elimination of some state programs. Given the current makeup of the Legislature and governor’s office, I doubt that there is the political will to accomplish this. If on the other hand, the political pendulum swings the other way, I would sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.
HOUSE DISTRICT 91 Tim Furey was appointed to replace his son, Kevin, as the Democratic representative for this district representing Bonner, Clinton, East Missoula, Potomac and Lolo, after Kevin was recalled to Iraq in 2007. He’ll face Republican Walt Hill.
Tim Furey Office sought: House
District 91 Political party:
Democrat Age: 54 Birth date, place: June 29, 1954; Cloquet, Minn. Home: Bonner/Piltzville Occupation: Nonprofit administrator serving adults
with disabilities Family: Wife, Sue, teacher MCPS; sons: Kevin, officer, U.S. Army, Brian, recent Montana State graduate, cell and neurosciences, and Thomas, University of Oregon, international business and Chinese Education: Bachelor’s in forestry, University of Montana; associate’s in marketing, McHenry College, Ill.; master’s in public administration, Northern Illinois
See FUREY, Page 38
Family: wife Annette, seven married Office sought: House
District 91 Political party:
Republican Age: 71 Birthdate, place: 25 July 1937; Bottineau, N.D. Home: Seeley Lake Occupation: research professor, biochemistry
children Education: B.S., M.S., Ph.D., J.D. Past employment: Professor of
biochemistry, University of Montana, 1969present Political experience: Missoula City Council; Missoula City and County Planning Boards; Seeley Lake Community Council; Seeley Lake Water Board
See HILL, Page 38
38 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 37 enrollment growth, acquisition and retention of nationally acclaimed faculty, regional economic growth, and a highly trained work force.
Furey Continued University Past employment: Opportunity Resources,
Loyola Foundation, UM Foundation, Stimson Lumber, Camp Mak-A-Dream, Easter Seals Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1972-74 Political experience: Montana House of Representatives 2007-present; Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee; DPHHS Rates Commission, chair Gravel pits
Gravel is essential to a growing community. We need to seek ways to conduct gravel operations and maintain the safety and quality of life in local neighborhoods. Counties should have more control over zoning, including gravel pit permits and operations. The State Department of Environmental Quality needs to remain a player in determining gravel pit impact. Environmental studies and public input should be dependent on the size, length of operation, and impact.
Hill Continued Gravel pits
Prescription drug abuse
While a prescription drug registry may assist in reducing abuse, it also compromises private personal information. I do believe in allocating state money for treatment programs, counseling and family support. I also strongly believe in funding prevention programs, especially for youth and young adults. We need to continue programs like the Montana Meth Prevention Project, which has had a dramatic affect on reducing meth use in Montana. High energy costs
The state should continue to play a major role in energy assistance. Montana needs to encourage conservation methods, provide energy tax credits for equipment and projects installed by private individuals and businesses, and expand programs that provide assistance for low-income individuals.
University building program
The issue is really a zoning issue. Missoula County should have a plan that would designate, based on environment and availability, the places where gravel pits should be allowed. Such impacts should be addressed in the planning stage. Subdivisions could then be created with foreknowledge of the potential gravel mining operation. The state and county should limit the placement and size of such operations so as to mitigate environmental and social impacts. University building program
I strongly support such funding. The major building needs are for scientific research laboratories and facilities, to allow creative and competitive research to be carried out in our universities. Such research creates jobs, creates new business and will attract high-tech companies. The universities become the economic engine for the state. Prescription drug abuse
There are numerous safeguards already in place, but more may be needed. This complex issue cannot merely be solved by a registry, any more than felonies can be solved by registering guns. However, more exact prescription tracking and physician involvement will help. I’m not in favor of further programs for treatment at this time. High energy costs
I support funding for the University of Montana building program. First-class facilities are an important component to a quality school. Modern facilities and infrastructure enhance student enrollment, faculty retention and boost the likelihood for research dollars. University officials recently stated that research funding in 2008 provided 700 jobs in the Missoula area. The U of M has a history of building excellent facilities which have benefited the Missoula community and western Montana in many areas, including
House District 91, the Missoula community and all of western Montana are experiencing tremendous change: Stimson mill shutdown, the removal of the Milltown Dam, population growth; residential expansion; and increasing fire danger. I would seek to find environmentally sound ways to reduce the risk of fire through utilizing timber harvest which would also promote jobs for hundreds of displaced workers from the Stimson mill.
There are already programs in place to ensure that people will not be left without heat. Our problem is that the median income in Montana is so very low that many of us have no flexibility to absorb higher energy prices. The solution must be to increase our income level by stimulating the economy in the state. We must bring in and create industries that will pay living wages. Important legislation
Clearly, my first focus is to stimulate Montana’s economy by attracting stable, high-tech industry that pays living wages. To do so will demand an investment in our research enterprise and a major adjustment in our business climate for small businesses. I propose to create legislation to do these things.
For the full questions asked legislative candidates, see Page 30.
HOUSE DISTRICT 92 Democratic incumbent Robin Hamilton is running against Republican Dan Stusek for Missoula County’s House District 92. Stusek did not respond to the Missoulian’s questionnaire.
information, we can grant permits to gravel pits that Office sought: House are appropriately located, District 92 and avoid residential Political party: development near them. Democrat The state of Montana Birthdate, place: June already has significant 12, 1947, Missoula responsibility to grant Home: Missoula permits, inspect, require Occupation: Retired bonds and to oversee English teacher, part-time reclamation. (See Montana administrator at Cramer Code Annotated 82-4-401) Creek School In the ’05 and ’07 sessions Family: Spouse, Peggy we entertained bills to Patrick; son, Ian Hamilton amend the Open Cut Education: University of Montana, B.A., Mining Act, but agreement M.Ed., MFA has been difficult to Past employment: Hellgate High School, achieve. We will see another bill in the 24 years, department co-chair; Whitefish Junior upcoming session. High, five years; Daly Elementary School, one year; UM, Upward Bound; Cayuse Prairie University building program School; Kalispell Head Start While Montana will have fewer high school Political experience: two terms, Montana graduates in the next 10 years, it does not House of Representatives automatically mean that fewer students will enroll in post-secondary institutions. I believe Gravel pits that Montanans deserve and expect a worldNo one should have to live near a working class educational system and to have that we gravel pit. If we have county and statewide need to build state-of-the-art facilities and planning combined with access to maps and replace or remodel inadequate ones. For
instance, we are in the process of remodeling the UM law school building to meet legal access requirements and to provide needed space. While significant money for building projects comes from private sources, some state funds will be necessary, but we will also have to watch the budget and stay within our means. Prescription drug abuse
The abuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem and needs our attention. A drug registry has potential to help, but who uses the data and how also presents dangers. For instance, individuals need to be assured that no one else will have access to their prescriptions records. Treatment programs, fully or partially funded by the state, help individuals and are cheaper for society in the long run. Energy costs
The disaster of deregulation continues to
haunt us. We already pay record-high energy bills and will probably continue to do so. The people at greatest risk are those with low and fixed incomes. At the state level, we may have to look at existing universal system benefits programs, such as local energy conservation, low-income energy bill discounts, low-income weatherization and emergency low-income energy bill assistance. The state should offer incentives to promote alternative energy, particularly solar energy. Important legislation
An important bill I hope to introduce would create a statewide health insurance savings pool for public education employees. We have failed to pass bills to do this in the past, partly because we had no model. Oregon, however, established this plan last year and the PEPB interim committee is studying it. It would help school districts save money on health insurance by pooling resources and purchasing healthcare service in bulk. Experts project that the plan would save taxpayers more than $50 million a year. Montana would save less because of our smaller population, but initial estimates suggest that it would be significant.
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 39
HOUSE DISTRICT 93 Democrat Dick Barrett is running for Missoula County’s House District 93 against Republican Steve Dogiakos. Dogiakos did not respond to the Missoulian’s questionnaire.
to appropriately manage pain. But it’s important that physicians and their patients can freely, jointly and in confidence decide what treatments are needed and appropriate. This means that access to a registry should be restricted, and that it should not be used for law enforcement purposes, or for external oversight of physicians’ prescribing practices. Along with the registry, the state should adequately fund programs to which physicians can refer patients requiring treatment for addiction.
Office sought: House District 93 Political party: Democrat Age: 66 Birthdate, place July 23, 1942,
Upland, Calif. Home: Missoula Occupation: Retired Family: Wife, Sharon Barrett; daughter, Myra Barrett Frisbie Education: B.A., economics, Swarthmore College; M.A., Ph.D., economics, University of Wisconsin,
Madison Past employment: Professor of economics, University of Montana, 1970-2007. Peace Corps volunteer, 1964-1966. Political experience: Unsuccessful candidate for the Montana House, 1984; past co-chair, Montana Conservation Voters; past president, University Faculty Association; past treasurer, Montana Federation of Teachers.
infrastructure that supports Montana’s economy. Providing technical, college and university education as broadly as possible is the single most effective way we have to raise Montanans’ incomes and stop the growth of income inequality. The university needs new and modernized facilities to facilitate this higher enrollment and to enhance instructional quality, as well as to support its research mission and the expansion of graduate programs. The university has done very well at raising private and federal funds to leverage public investments in these programs, and the state should take advantage of that fact.
Proposals to establish gravel pits should be subject to public comment and state environmental review and comply with state environmental standards. For that to happen, the permitting law needs to be amended and the staff and resources required to complete the review in a timely way need to be in place. But the issues that arise when gravel pits and subdivisions are located side by side are often questions of land use that are beyond the scope of state environmental review. These issues need to be resolved at the city and county level, through careful and collaborative planning and zoning that integrates prospective gravel pit development into growth management policies.
Prescription drug abuse
Abuse of opiates causes a lot of suffering, but so does dealing with chronic pain. A prescription drug registry should be available to prescribing physicians so that they can know when a patient is abusing medications rather than using them
University building program
University facilities are a vital component of the public
Montana energy prices are largely determined in national and international markets over which we exercise little control. So there’s little the state can do, particularly this fall and winter, to lower energy prices. Long term, the best way we can deal with high prices is to conserve energy and use it more efficiently. There are many ways the state and local governments can help families to conserve – Missoula’s Green Blocks and the state’s Weatherization Programs are just two examples – and government itself can reduce costs by improving the energy efficiency of public buildings and schools. The state helps hard-hit families through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, and it’s important to continue to fund that program adequately. Important legislation
Absent an effective federal policy to address climate change, Montana should establish a cap-and-trade system to directly limit and over time reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. A cap-and-trade system gives businesses and families the incentive to find and use the most inventive and least costly strategies for curbing emissions. In particular, Montana can be an important energy producer, but only if we invest in energy production that is consistent with the imperative transition to a low-carbon economy. Capping emissions would create the environment in which Montana can move forward to develop a sustainable and robust energy system.
HOUSE DISTRICT 94 Democratic incumbent Dave McAlpin is being challenged by Republican Linda Frey in Missoula County’s House District 94.
Dave McAlpin Office sought: House
District 94 Political party:
Democrat Age: 43 Birthdate, place: May
18, 1965; Polson Home: Missoula Occupation: Executive director, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a nonprofit that advocates for the best interest of abused and neglected children in Missoula County courts. Family: Spouse, Beth O’Halloran; two children. Education: B.A. political science, University of Montana; 1983 Polson High School graduate. Past employment: Montanans for Land Water and Wildlife, campaign manager; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, project director; Barrett Productions, ESPN coordinating producer; Montana Supreme Court, chief deputy clerk; U.S. Congress, field director; Talachulitna River, Alaska, fishing guide.
Political experience: Seeking third term in the Montana House; presently serving as House Minority Whip; Democratic precinct man; Open Space bond campaign manager; Engen for Mayor campaign manager.
Linda Frey Office sought: House
District 94 Political party:
Republican Age: 61
The debate over locating gravel pits (mines) in our residential neighborhoods shows the need for planning and zoning. Until we can improve zoning to better allow neighbors to choose how their neighborhood will look, I will continue to fight for a more open process that informs neighbors from the beginning when gravel mines are proposed near them. In 2007, I supported legislation to require environmental studies and public input, and I will do so in 2009 if elected again. Rather than limit operations that pass muster, I would better fund the DEQ so that they can process requests and conduct impact assessments in a timely manner. University building program
I support funding for more building on the UM campus, and also for the Missoula College of Technology (part of the UM
See MCALPIN, Page 40
Birthdate, place: Feb. 21, 1947, Toledo, Ohio Home: Missoula Occupation: Professor of history Family: Twin and two sisters Education: B.A. summa cum laude; B.S. summa cum laude; M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University Past employment: Professor of history, University of Montana 1971 to the present except for visiting professorship at The Ohio State University, 1 1/2 years as a visiting professor at U.S. Military Academy, and one year as the McDermott Chair, U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Political experience: Helped lead fight against Hillview Way SID, on local study commission, fought an overly complicated zoning rewrite that was defeated. Active in faculty government, several times on the
Faculty Senate and the Executive Committee of the Senate, elected faculty chair. Served on the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Commission, reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education and for Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education, reviewer for the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, participant National Security Seminar. Gravel pits
The interests of all stakeholders (i.e., the owner of the property, the adjacent landowners, local governments that need gravel) should be fairly assessed. There should always be public hearings on a decision that affects adjacent property owners. Gravel pits, classified as open-pit mines, are given permits by the Department of Environmental Quality, which places various restrictions on them. The pond at Frenchtown provides a good example of a pit that ultimately enhanced the area. We could avoid clashes by making an overlay of gravel deposits, which would either preclude residential development or advise buyers that a gravel pit could be located there.
See FREY, Page 40
40 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 39
system), which has patiently waited its turn for funds to keep its campus up to date. High demand for two-year degrees like those offered at UMCOT is predicted in the next decade, so we need to keep up with that demand to ensure a vibrant economy in Montana. Bonding this infrastructure creates good-paying construction jobs now and is a wise investment as we compete to fill future jobs with Montana graduates. Prescription drug abuse
I would support a prescription drug registry to curtail abuse of prescription medications. In my day job, I see increasing abuse of prescriptions so I am committed to addressing the problem in the Legislature, as long as policy passed is reasonable and thrifty. As a member of the Health Committee in the House for the past two sessions, I am proud of the work we have done to provide access to health care for small business persons/employees and take on the problem of funding mental health services. I supported funding for better treatment options for meth addicts, and would do the same
for persons abusing prescription drugs. Energy costs
On the House Tax committee, I have worked hard to close corporate tax loopholes that could fund programs like low-income energy assistance and weatherization. If we could have closed those tax loopholes, we could have collected millions of unpaid taxes to offset many deserving programs. I will continue to fight for tax fairness in Montana as a state representative. Important legislation
I would like to carry the legislation to implement the CHIP Initiative if it passes in November because one of the best investments we can make is to provide children with preventative health care they could otherwise not afford. This policy will save us millions later in their lives when their long-term health needs must be addressed.
University building program
Any expenditure of public funds should be rigorously scrutinized. The university is seeking $3.25 million for the COT, where enrollment is increasing and which plays a critical role in the Montana economy. Although the university is not currently requesting buildings for the main campus, the shortage of adequate space limits the potential to attract students and high-powered researchers. In-state students are projected to decline, but the university is drawing more out-of-staters and graduate students. The university is moving toward more emphasis on research that can draw high-tech and high-paying firms. Last year the university brought $62 million of research into Montana.
and impede access to painkillers for those who are in excruciating pain. A database could slow “doctor shopping,” but it would not limit access to other sources such as the Internet. I could support a drug registry only if it were limited to individuals identified as addicts and restricted to certain powerful narcotics. Energy costs
There are programs in existence to help Montanans who face record high energy prices. Energy Share helps those in straitened circumstances and LIEAP those with low incomes, although given the crisis, they are probably underfunded. High energy prices are impacting all of us, especially senior citizens and those on fixed incomes. The state should lower the income tax rates so that Montanans have more money to deal with the crisis, particularly given the recent surpluses in the state budget. In addition, the state should aggressively look for longer-range solutions to help offset rising costs. Important legislation
I would introduce a bill to limit the imposition of waivers, which force individuals to give up their right to protest future tax increases. These waivers remain on the property in perpetuity. This is form of blackmail and is a clear violation of the constitution. No Prescription drug abuse American should be forced to waive the fundamental We need to balance the privacy of a million right to protest tax increases. The struggle for Montanans against those few who abuse drugs. Fifty- American independence was sparked in part by what eight (excluding methadone users) tragically the colonists perceived to be unjust taxes. These overdosed in 2007. Montanans opposed a national ID. waivers also violate the intent of the Legislature, which Probably, most would not want their medical records stipulated that a certain percentage of property available online. Once created, such a database could owners, by protesting, can stop certain tax increases. violate patient/doctor confidentiality, raise drug prices, The loss of one American’s rights affects us all.
HOUSE DISTRICT 95 In Missoula’s House District 95, Republican Kevin Blackler is challenging incumbent Democrat Diane Sands. Blackler did not respond to the Missoulian’s questions.
Committee; Hillary Clinton’s Montana state Office sought: reelection advisory committee; staff to House District 95 for Senate Majority Political Party: Leader Jon Ellingson, 2005; chief lobbyist of Democrat Montana Women’s Age: 61 Birthdate, place: March Lobby; campaign manager for Linda 23, 1947, St. Ignatius McCulloch, 2000; Home: Missoula campaign manager for Occupation: ballot measures in Idaho development director, and Oregon; delegate to Historical Museum at Fort 2008 Democratic Missoula Convention; Missoula Family: partner, Ann Mary Dussault County Election Advisory Education: bachelor’s in anthropology, Council. University of Montana; graduate work at George Washington University in women’s Gravel pits studies/history County government should have the ability Past employment: executive director of through the zoning process to make the Partnership Health Center, program officer at determination about the location and scope of Montana Community Foundation, gravel pit operations to address the competing Federal/State Relations at Montana Office of interests of property owners and adjacent Public Instruction, campaign manager on landowners. I supported efforts in the 2007 candidate races and ballot measures, Legislature to require public input and executive director of Montana Women’s Lobby, environmental impact studies by the consultant for social policy organizations, Department of Environmental Quality to historical researcher and educator. address public health and safety issues and Military service: none will support these proposals in the 2009 Political experience session. Montana House of Representatives, 19961998, and 2007-present; serves on Health and University building programs Human Services Committee and Local I support funding for university facilities, Government Committee, and Interim Child, including much-needed College of Technology Family, Health and Human Services facilities. Providing quality facilities is a
reflection of Montana’s commitment to higher education as a core economic driver, as well as an investment in the future of our children. As a UM graduate, I am impressed with the ability of the university to raise private funding for many buildings, including the new education and journalism buildings, to match public funding. Prescription drug abuse
As the former executive director of Partnership Health Center, I am acutely aware of the reality of prescription drug abuse, especially pain medications. The problem isn’t just potential criminal abuse, but also their role in Montana’s very high suicide rate. I have served two terms on the House Health and Human Services Committee and supported bills to create a suicide prevention program, address mental health service shortages, and provide funding for treatment programs. Prescription drug abuse is primarily a health care and treatment problem, rather than a corrections problem. I will support a drug registry, depending on the details, if it is aimed at reducing addiction and abuse. Energy costs
Montana homeowners have seen their
power bills increase, 20 percent higher than neighboring states, partially because of the disastrous 1997 energy deregulation bill, which I voted against. Low- and fixed-income citizens are faced with choosing between warm homes, food, health care and other critical expenses. It is a good investment of public funds that support the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) and it should be expanded. I think the state should provide a program through grants or tax credits for businesses and homeowners to become as energy efficient as technology provides. Important legislation
I will continue to work on issues of expanding access to health care, including mental health services and grants to Emergency Medical Services for training and equipment. This legislation comes from the Legislature’s interim health committee, on which I serve. I will work for the expansion of insurance coverage for children through SCHIP and for small businesses through Insure Montana. In the last session, I carried ethics legislation to regulate “constituency accounts” for the first time which will require additional refinement in the 2009 session to guarantee the public right to know how elected officials raise and spend campaign money. As in past sessions, I intend to carry election reform legislation to expand “ vote by mail” and protect “same day voter registration and voting.”
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 41
HOUSE DISTRICT 96 Republican Steven Eschenbacher challenges Democratic incumbent Teresa K. Henry in Missoula’s House District 96.
Teresa K. Henry Office sought: House
District 96 Political party:
Democrat Age: 56 Birthdate, place: Aug. 14, 1952; Port Huron, Mich. Home: Missoula for 16 years, previously Great Falls for three years Occupation: registered nurse, assistant professor, MSU CON Missoula campus Family: husband Stephen Egli Education: BSN Mercy College of Detroit, M.S. University of California, San Francisco Past employment: registered nurse, nurse practitioner Political experience: Montana House of Representatives 2005, 2007 Gravel pits
I would deal with the issue of gravel pit location through planning and regulation based on both sound science on the effects of dust, particulates and noise, as well as on public input. The effects of occupational and environmental levels of all of these potential toxins have been studied and documented. Public hearings allow presentation and discussion of information with subsequent balance of interests of all parties. The state, through the DEQ, should have the authority to enforce limits on toxin exposure for Montana. UM building program
My understanding is that UM total enrollment has increased over the past four years and the COT in Missoula is the largest in Montana. That being the case, building to accommodate students makes sense and funding necessary. In my role as an MSU nursing faculty on the UM campus, I know the nursing program continues to need more room for students, faculty, and laboratory space and simulation equipment. Responding to new technology is expected and required by our students and their future employers. That takes new equipment and computerization, which take space. Prescription drug abuse
I will support a prescription drug registry
that meets the goal of ensuring that prescription pain medications are available to patients who need them, while keeping those medications away from those who intend to misuse them. I will support a registry that is used for patient safety and problem identification, accurate record keeping, referral and consultation for both pain management and treatment for drug abuse. My concern is that registries for pain prescription medications alone have a “chilling” effect on appropriate prescribing of strong pain medications. Funding for “drug courts” that direct offenders to treatment rather than prison have proven effective. Energy costs:
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a program that has been useful in past winters to pay energy costs. The qualifying income levels will need to be adjusted to provide assistance to more families whose income is stagnant but whose costs continue to rise. Funding for increasing the reach of the weatherization programs to more homes across the state would also help Montanans. Important legislation
I will carry legislation to incorporate or coordinate a prescription monitoring program to track all prescriptions with the “Continuity of Care Record” (CCR) proposal that will be considered in 2009. Its goal will be patient safety and problem identification. This program would protect patients’ privacy and confidentiality, will ensure health care professionals have timely access to prescription monitoring data so they can track their patients’ use of pain medication, and use a multidisciplinary medical review group to ensure legitimate prescribing and dispensing of pain medications. I will also re-introduce a bill for comprehensive sex education to continue the discussion of effective ways to decrease unintended adolescent pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Steven Eschenbacher Office sought: House
Disrict 96 Political party:
Republican Age: 52 Birthdate, place: Oct. 13, 1955; Fort Eustis, Va. (Although born in Virginia, both my parents were native Montanans, and I was born while my father was on active duty with the U.S. Army.) Home: Missoula Occupation: Staff attorney, Office of the Public Defender, working in Hamilton Family: Wife, Susan Rudisill; daughters, Annelise Eschenbacher, Emily Brandon, and son Christian Eschenbacher. Education: B.A. anthropology, Eastern Washington University, 1979; Master of Public Administration, University of Montana, 1991; J.D. University of Montana School of Law, 1998. Past employment: Private practice, 19982006, U.S. Army, 1979-1995. Military service: Montana Army National Guard, 1973-1975; USAF survival instructor, 1975-1977; U.S. Army Air Defense, 1979-1995. Political experience: Ran for the Republican nomination for HD 96 in 2006.
University building program
I oppose the expansion at this time. With every new building will come the recurring costs of maintenance and upkeep. To spend money that is going to be tight in the future for a declining student population does not make sense. I would prefer to see money spent for upgrades to existing structures to make them more cost efficient. Prescription drug abuse
We need to change the way we look at all addiction issues under the law. At a cost of $40,000 per year to keep someone in prison, we need to offer treatment alternatives which more effectively address the problems at a cheaper cost. Prison needs to be kept to protect society from those who would do it harm. Addicts are more of a threat to themselves than society in general, and effective treatment will do more to prevent that harm than imprisonment and at a far more reasonable cost. A drug registry would help, although I am not sure if it can be done under the federal provisions of HIPPA. Energy costs
Energy costs are going to continue to rise until we increase the supply, and decrease the demand for it. This will not solve the immediate problem for next year, so we need to make sure that programs such as LIEAP are fully Gravel pits This is a classic conflict between the right to funded and made available to those who need do with your personal property what you want, it. But the long-term solution still calls for the development of our natural resources, such as and not adversely impacting your neighbors when you do it. From a Libertarian perspective, the Bakken formation in eastern Montana, I think a gravel pit developer/owner can only be where we will eventually be able to reduce the held to the issue of nuisance costs of energy while we make improvements in alternative energy sources to make them and, if such exists, then the more cost effective. affected property owners would have a claim for either Important legislation strict abatement of that There are many issues that I want to nuisance or monetary address as a representative, such as damages. eliminating prison for nonviolent drug offenses Neighbors of a gravel pit and finding a way to keep the poor off the have the right to the quiet perpetual treadmill of the justice system. A lot enjoyment of their property. If of those issues are addressed at my Web site suitable arrangements www.steve4hd96.com. But if I could only work through either mitigation or on one issue, it would have to be the compensation can be made relationship of mental health and the law. We to the satisfaction of all, then need to increase the amount of secure beds the owner should be allowed and access to mental health professionals that to develop the land under the can be used to treat short-term problems of the present laws. mentally ill.
HOUSE DISTRICT 97 Republican Carol Minjares and Democrat Michele Reinhart, the incumbent, are running in Missoula’s House District 97.
Education: B.A., J.D., University of Montana Past employment: Worked for the post
Office sought: House District 97 representative Political party:
Republican Age: 59 Birthplace: Los Angeles Home: Missoula Occupation: Lawyer and
proposal writer Family: Husband, Gus
office, in a factory, and in the music business Military: None Political experience: Ran for HD 96 in 2006; currently a precinct committeewoman. Gravel pits
Gravel pits are unsightly and the dump trucks make a mess on the roads nearby. But
See MINJARES, Page 42
Occupation: Land use planner, Missoula Office of Planning and Grants Office sought: House Family: Single; parents and brother in District 97 Livingston; extended family in Billings and Bozeman Party: Democrat Education: Bachelor’s degree in Age: 28 environmental studies, Carroll College, Birthdate, place: March 19, 1980, Tacoma, Helena; master’s degree in environmental studies, University of Montana, Missoula Wash.; spent K-12 years in Livingston Home: Missoula See REINHART, Page 42
42 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 41
gravel pits are also a necessity for development and for building highways and road maintenance. They have to be located close enough to be practical, especially with the price of fuel. That said, there should probably be a minimum distance required between new gravel pits and existing homes.
University building program
I support a moratorium on new buildings at UM. There has already been too many as it is, and current economic conditions are going to cause tight budgets. The amount of the state’s budget surplus has already shrunk by over half, and I think we may enter deficit territory in the next biennium. Therefore, I do not support more building at this time. UM’s emphasis should be on academics and not the creation of more physical plant.
Organizer/conservation lobbyist, Northern Plains Resource Council; outdoor recreation planner, visitor use assistant and Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps crew leader, Yellowstone National Park; program associate, legislative intern, Montana Environmental Information Center Political experience: House District 97 representative, 2007 to present; regular legislative session committees, Business and Labor, Health and Human Services, Rules; interim legislative committee, Economic Affairs; community organizer/citizen advocate/legislative lobbyist for conservation, family agriculture and renewable energy, 2001, 2003 and 2005 legislatures. Also, board member, Forward Montana, nonpartisan nonprofit that engages young people to participate in democracy; training to be volunteer mediator with Community Dispute Resolution Center
do agree that the state and the universities must stretch dollars as far as they can and prepare for lean times ahead. At the same time, it is wise to invest in higher education and competitive facilities that prepare students of all ages for the tough challenges facing the state and the world. As a Montanan who graduated from Montana colleges and chose to stick around, even with student loans to pay, I understand how college tuition has ceased to be affordable for students. That is why I voted to cap college tuition last session. Prescription drug abuse
Most of us know friends or family members who have struggled with addiction and few of us think of them as criminals, even if their illness has made them turn to crime. I support measures to effectively curtail addiction and I am willing to support the proposed registry if it will lessen the number of people burdened by addiction, but I need to learn more about how it will operate. I support treatment programs because they work to help our friends, family and neighbors get their lives back on track. When folks get the treatment they need, they can stay out of the corrections system.
Prescription drug abuse
I don’t approve of lawmaking based on sensational media coverage, which is often driven by agencies hungry for new funding. A drug registry may be a good idea, but I would need to know more about the true extent of the problem and the technical feasibility of such a registry before I agree to support it. The Department of Health and Human Services is already growing at an alarming and unsustainable rate. High energy costs
It is not certain that we will have “record-high energy prices” this fall. And I think there are already some cost breaks in place for people on fixed incomes. Again, we shouldn’t be basing legislation on hysteria, and politicians should not promise expensive relief from every sort of problem in order to get themselves reelected.
Locating heavy industrial uses like gravel pits next to homes does not make sense. Little kids on tricycles shouldn’t have to contend with dump trucks bigger than a toy. The Department of Environmental Quality should require environmental assessments of potentially intrusive gravel mining and protect public health and safety by keeping gravel truck traffic to a minimum when children and school buses are on the road. In Missoula County, citizens should have easier recourse to zoning for gravel pits, because right now local communities have little say about where gravel pits go without zoning. University building program
I question the premise of declining university enrollments. I
High energy costs
Montanans pay 20 percent higher electricity rates than the rest of the region. Alleviating this strain means looking for longterm solutions like grants and loans for people to install better insulation, doors, windows, furnaces, thermostats, solar panels or other energy efficiency measures in homes and businesses. I’d like to expand the renewable energy standard, and I’d also like Montanans to consider public power. We have seen costs skyrocket ever since the Republican deregulation of our public utilities. Though we at the Legislature have been working to dampen the effects of this price gouging (through programs like the Universal Systems Benefits Fund), our only real avenue for Montanans to reap the benefits of living in this energy-rich state is public power. Important legislation
I’d like to work in a collaborative way with conservationists, property owners, local governments and developers to create workable laws that encourage a balance of private property rights and sustainability. At my day job, I implement Montana’s frustrating array of archaic and cobbled-together subdivision, planning and zoning laws. They need to be overhauled if we aim to keep our rural places healthy, our urban places vital and our natural places intact. The people who live in or near these places know best, and the state should have land-use laws that give them local control.
I want to carry a bill to increase government transparency, beginning with making all state budget documents available in searchable format online, then adding all state procurement contracts, school budgets and so forth. In order to reform and reduce government spending, we need an accurate picture of where we are now.
HOUSE DISTRICT 98 Democrat Sue Malek and Republican Will Deschamps are running in Missoula’s House District 98 for the seat being vacated by Democrat Holly Raser.
Sue Malek Office sought: House
District 98 Political party:
Democrat Age: 56 Birthdate, place: Oct.
29, 1951; Minot, N.D. Home: Missoula Occupation:
Academic adviser, University of Montana School of Business Administration Family: Bill and I have been married for 23 years. He is a carpenter at the University of Montana. Our son, Cory, graduated from college in May and is currently living and working in Kenai, Alaska. Education: elementary through middle school in Baker; high school in Conrad;
Bachelor of Science in psychology from Montana State University and Master of Arts in communication studies from UM Past employment: Sheltered workshop instructor, small-business owner (bookkeeping and editing), public relations officer and planner at the Missoula Office of Community Development, social service manager for Montana Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, social worker in Anaconda Political experience: Chair of the 2004 Missoula City Local Government Study Commission Gravel pits
My understanding is that in the 1970s, when current permitting requirements were developed, gravel pits did not include the concrete and asphalt plants which are often
See MALEK, Page 43
Will Deschamps Office sought: House
District 98 Political party:
Republican Age: 62 Birthdate, place: Oct. 27, 1945; St. Paul, Minn. Home: Missoula Occupation: property management Family: Married, three children, five grandchildren Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Montana Past employment: Business owner, various 35 years in Missoula Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam service Political experience: third run for HD 98; Missoula County Commission, 1990; current
Missoula County Republican Central Committee chair Gravel pits
I would rely on zoning to protect my neighborhood. If un-zoned, I would work to get the property zoned. I believe environmental impact studies should be done when required by law and if required by law. The local governing agency should have final authority. University building program
If the enrollment trend continues, it may be time to set aside money for research and development grants. Those grants should be used to provide infrastructure for those R&D scientists who will provide jobs for graduate assistants as well as the possibility of spinoff companies and/or products. These funds
See DESCHAMPS, Page 43
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 43
FROM PAGE 42 also will support tax incentives for businesses that work on development of alternative energy.
education more affordable.
Prescription drug abuse
Continued co-located with gravel pits today. These additional uses create more traffic, dust and emissions than the 1970s statutes were intended to cover. Hearings are being held around the state on this issue and legislators are beginning to investigate solutions. I do believe that environmental considerations and the concerns of neighbors should be considered when gravel pits are proposed. Ultimately, state government should have the authority to limit gravel operations based on environmental and residential concerns. University building program
Buildings are proposed for the UM main campus and for the College of Technology. These buildings are important investments in Montana’s future. State-of-the-art facilities have the computers, networking capacities, and labs that are essential ingredients to a quality education. New efficiencies in these buildings help us conserve energy. The university provides the bulk of financing for new buildings through private donations. We will encourage the university system to continue its efforts to raise private funds. We will encourage more Montana students to attend higher education through dual enrollment and online classes which will allow high school students to earn some college credits while completing high school and by making higher
I do support a prescription drug registry to track patient use of highly addictive drugs and will be listening carefully to the cry for statefunded treatment programs. No doubt, more state money will be requested for worthy programs than will be available during the 2009 session. I will be giving careful consideration to all requests and will try to make the best decisions for our state and its citizens. High energy costs
Montana must provide tax incentives for weatherization and installation of solar panels and use of wind power. We need to expand energy assistance programs for people who will be unable to afford increased energy costs this winter. We are talking about a 50-percent increase in energy costs. We must not allow elderly people, others on fixed incomes and people whose wages are low to lose their housing. I will support conservation programs, use of renewables, and helping those who will lose their housing or be unable to pay for medications or other necessary needs without assistance. I
People in my district are worried about access to health care and about having the infrastructure they need, traffic lights, walking and biking paths to make our neighborhoods safe and accessible. There are many things we would like to do. A thriving economy will provide the tax dollars which will allow us to do them. I will be supporting initiatives to help small businesses grow and to increase their access to health insurance. Small businesses create 80 percent of the innovation in this country. We need them to move Montana’s economy forward. Initiatives to encourage businesses that provide good-paying jobs with benefits will be high on my agenda.
would not only attract the scientists but students as well. Prescription drug abuse
I support a prescription drug abuse registry. A blanket prescription registry would, in my opinion, breech the privacy of the users that have no record of abuse of drugs. Energy costs
We can begin to utilize our natural resources being mindful of our environment. We have not permitted a single wind, solar, coal or gas plant in the last 36 months. If those energy sources were permitted, they would provide good-paying jobs with benefits, rather that sending our money overseas for foreign oil. Important legislation
I would introduce a bill to provide a constant stream of funds for education. I would attempt to codify the bill so as no future legislature or administration could peel off the funds for other departments, ever.
HOUSE DISTRICT 99 Republican Jedediah Cox seeks to unseat Democratic incumbent Betsy Hands in Missoula County’s House District 99.
neighbors, efficiency in permitting and healthy communities. Office sought: House
District 99 Political party:
Democrat Age: 38 Occupation: Executive director, homeWORD Family: Mother and father, two older brothers Education: University of Michigan, B.S.; University of
Montana, M.S. Past employment: University of Montana Political experience: One term in the
Montana Legislature Gravel pits
I think we need to help counties plan ahead for gravel pits and include zoning in all counties, so that people know what areas can be developed for gravel pits. It is important to include public input and environmental review when it comes to a clean, healthful environment, as described in our Montana Constitution. Zoning and environmental review will help ensure the safety and wellbeing of people living in our community. And, we have to understand that gravel helps keep our roads safe and provides materials needed for community development. We need to work together to find a way to have predictability for
Jedediah Cox Office sought: House
University building program
I do not think the facilities acquisition and building program is necessarily driven by enrollment (but by) instructional quality, research and simple replacement of outdated facilities. Some of the building programs are being done to meet accessibility standards, such as the University of Montana Law School. Monies are also being raised from grants and capital campaigns outside of the legislative process. This is critical in building a state-of-the-art research and development university, which will help long-term economic development for the state of Montana. These new extensions to the university provide quality education facilities and encourage excellent research, and continue to attract more grants and support from individual donors, research grants and private foundations. Prescription drug abuse
The Missoulian articles detailing the abuse of prescription drugs revealed a grave issue that is occurring around the country and requires a
See HANDS, Page 44
District 99 Political party:
Republican Age: 23 Birthdate, place: Oct. 22, 1984, Billings Home: Missoula Occupation: Marketing director Family: Single Education: B.S. business administration Past employment: Student Political experience: Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education General Education Committee, three years; Associated Students of the University of Montana, three years; Five Valleys Pachyderm, two years; intern for U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg. Gravel pits
In regards to gravel pits located near subdivisions, I feel that we must establish which was there first, and how the area has been zoned. If a subdivision was built after the gravel pit has
been established the residents can’t expect the business to move out. I do not feel that environmental studies are always needed for gravel pits, nor should public opinion be required to start a business. The state should only be able to limit gravel operations in the cases of public endangerment. University building program
I do not support the construction of new building at the University of Montana. The University of Montana needs funds to update and renovate its current buildings. By renovating the older buildings, they will become more efficient. Prescription drug abuse
I do not support a prescription drug registry because it invades an individual’s privacy rights. I also do not support allocating state money for treatment programs. I believe individuals need to take responsibility for their actions, and we as a community need to help with charity. Energy costs
I believe for the long term, the state of Montana should help develop the state’s natural resources, and assist with the building of refineries. In the short term, if taxes were reduced upon energy providers, those saving could be passed onto all Montanans.
See COX, Page 44
44 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 43
Continued pragmatic response. When considering a prescription drug registry, I will consider a balanced approach that factors in public and patient safety without reducing the ability for patients to access appropriate medications for their health needs. Along with a registry, we need to protect patient privacy and also provide money for patient treatment programs. I will look at how other states have used registries to ensure this balanced approach.
Fortunately, we already have programs to help weatherize homes and assist those in need with paying their energy bills, which could be expanded through involvement with utility companies and the Universal System Benefits. The USB program promotes conservation and helps some low-income families pay their utilities. Last session, there were a number of great bills that were looking ahead at this issue that were lost in the heated partisan debates. I propose that we revisit these visionary bills, such as providing tax credit for homeowners that invest in weatherizing their homes or installing renewable energy on their homes.
Lack of affordable housing is widespread across the state and presents significant barriers to economic growth for our communities. I introduced a bill in the last session that asked the legislature to invest in affordable housing through funding the Housing Montana Fund, as more than 40 other states have done. The Housing Montana Fund provides loans for the development of affordable homeownership and rental housing that serves both low and moderate incomehouseholds living in Montana. I will continue to work with a broad spectrum of groups who believe in affordable housing to support a bill that funds the Housing Montana Fund.
Cox Continued Important legislation
The single most important piece of legislation I would introduce would be a bill to reduce the number of mandates that are placed upon insurance companies. Reducing the number of mandates upon insurance companies would reduce insurance prices making health care more affordable. This also encourages more insurance companies to come to Montana.
HOUSE DISTRICT 100 Incumbent Republican Bill Nooney faces Democratic challenger Willis Curdy in the race for Missoula’s House District 100 seat in the Legislature.
Willis Curdy Office sought: House District
100 Political party: Democratic Age: 59 Birthdate, place: Nov. 17,
1948; Hamilton Home: Big Flat area west of Missoula. Occupation: Farmer with my family in the Bitterroot; flight instructor Family: Wife, Gloria; two sons, Butch and Nick; and five grandchildren Education: Bachelor’s degree in history, University of Montana; Master of Education, UM Past employment: Intermountain Lumber Co., Darby; teacher, Missoula County High Schools/Missoula County Public Schools, 19712000; Bitterroot Hotshot crew, 1968-1970; Missoula smokejumper, 1971-2000; U.S. Forest Service pilot, 2000-2006. Political experience: Big Flat Irrigation District commissioner, 1983-1988; Missoula Rural Fire District board of trustees, 1990-1993, served one year as board chairman. Gravel pits
The notification process for proposed gravel pits must be strengthened. Counties, with state financial assistance, should inventory potential gravel pit sites and zone the surrounding area to reduce conflict. This approach could save the state, local governments, residents and gravel pit owners significant anxiety, stress and money. Environmental reviews are necessary for pug mill, asphalt plant, rock crushing/blasting operations. Reviews should be required if aquifers are affected. Neighborhood residents must have the ability to give testimony on gravel pit proposals. The state is responsible for the review process, but county commissioners should make final decisions on gravel pit operations/limitations.
facilities. I support the request. The COT is critical in providing a work force that meets the needs of current and future Missoula and western Montana employers. I support efforts to freeze or reduce tuition increases for our four-year and two-year students. We must make higher education more affordable. Prescription drug abuse
The abuse of prescription drugs is a major legal and economic problem. Montana must put a prescription monitoring program in place. I will work with insurers, the medical community and law enforcement to develop a program that promotes public awareness of the problem, the need for deserving patients to receive appropriate medicine, protect individual medical privacy, establish consistency in dispensing medicines and ensure that health care professionals have timely access to prescription monitoring data so that drug use can be tracked. The state is responsible for treatment for those under Department of Corrections supervision. Others should use current private treatment programs. Energy costs
The Legislature will need to expand the energy assistance program for low-income and elderly Montanans. I will support home weatherization programs to conserve energy. I believe the state must encourage development of alternative energy sources, as well as traditional energy sources to bring more competition into the energy market and push prices down. Energy is the primary concern for HD100 residents. Many residents will have to make hard choices between food, medicine or heat. Helping those who need immediate assistance and developing a program to hold down energy costs will be the biggest challenge of the 2009 Legislature. Important legislation
My priorities are lower energy costs, goodpaying jobs with benefits, affordable health care for all Montanans, quality education at all levels and protecting access to Montana’s public lands and rivers. That said, I answer to the residents University building program of House District 100. They are the The UM College of Technology campus has seen boss. If a resident has an interest significant increases in student enrollment. in a new law, rewrite or change in a Enrollment growth is expected to continue. COT current law, I will ask that a bill be campus buildings are deficient in terms of drafted and entered into the maintenance and face significant infrastructure legislative process. We will work upgrades. The principal funding request proposes together to make those changes to build a facility that replaces those antiquated happen.
Bill Nooney Office sought: House District 100 Political party: Republican Age: 55 Birthplace: Missoula Home: Missoula, fourth-generation Montanan Occupation: Small-business owner Family: Wife, Anna; and five daughters, ages 3 through 17 Education: Bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration, University of Montana Past employment: Hi-noon Petroleum and related companies; Investment Enterprises Political experience: Incumbent, House District 100 Gravel pits Gravel operations are an important industry and an essential element in our growing society. We cannot improve our roads and highways or build schools, houses and infrastructure without them. They need to be permitted after proper review and where impact is minimized. At the same time, we must ensure the health and safety of residents bordering the sites of proposed gravel operations. I strongly support improved public notice and the right of the public to offer comments and have input in the permitting process. University building plan The University of Montana is an important part of Montana and must be able to maintain and enhance its existing complex and compete with other out-of-state institutions for the best students and faculty members. At the same time, we have a responsibility to wisely spend Montanans’ tax dollars and should strongly consider projected university enrollments as we discuss future building expansion. Prescription drug abuse:I would support a program that requires identification at the point of sale. That action alone would deter a lot of the problem. A drug registry may be a good idea, but I would be concerned about confidentiality and the unintended consequences of this type of program, Energy costs One of the best ways to help homeowners meet rising energy bills is to reduce their tax burden and return excess taxes. Last session, I was involved in attempting to get long-term property tax relief so homeowners could use these funds to help offset rising energy costs. Unfortunately, taxpayers only received a small one-time check. I will continue to work for permanent longterm property tax relief for Montana’s property owners to give them additional funds they can use to face increased expenses. Important issues Long-term property tax relief is a must. Montana ran a substantial budget surplus in the past fiscal session and there are strong indications we will have a substantial budget surplus in the coming session. With rapidly rising property values pushing up property taxes, property owners, especially those who are on fixed incomes, need greater tax relief.
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 45
SENATE DISTRICT 3 Republican Bruce Tutvedt is running for Flathead County’s Senate District 3. His opponent, Democrat Mark Holston, did not respond to the Missoulian’s questionnaire.
addressed by county planning offices.
Gravel pits Office sought: Senate
District 3 Political party:
Republican Age: 52 Birthdate, place: Nov. 2,
1955, Kalispell Home: Kalispell Occupation:
Farmer/rancher Family: Wife, Linda; daughters, Valerie, Emily, Andora Education: B.S. ag business MSU 1978 Political experience: Presidential appointee, Montana Farm Service Agency 2001-present (current chairman)
Montana communities need to have gravel readily available for new roads and homes. The critical questions are where to site gravel pits and how to address the concerns of neighbors next to gravel operations while still allowing for development of the resource. Gravel pits in areas of high density should be more heavily conditioned or denied. On gravel operations in areas of lower population density, we need a predictable process that involves public input. Environmental impacts and operations inside pit boundaries should be addressed by Montana DEQ; other local concerns like traffic and roads should be
support a drug registry for controlled schedule (narcotic) drugs. We need to find the most costeffective way of treating people with drug problems while ensuring the safety of the general public.
University building program
I am a product of the Montana University System and a basic supporter of higher education in Montana. I will be supportive of new buildings for the University System on the merits of each project and building. We must not lose sight of the goal of improving the learning experience of our students. Prescription drug abuse
We need to be proactive in dealing with the prescription and illegal drug problems. Yes, I
We need to develop our energy resources here in Montana so that we are not held hostage to out-of-control energy prices. The state should work with our energy providers on a cost-share basis to make our homes and businesses more energy efficient. Important legislation
My legislative goal will be real, long-term property tax relief and the abolishment of the personal property tax. We need to promote policy that will strengthen our economy in a way that will create high-paying jobs to allow our children to stay in Montana.
SENATE DISTRICT 7 In Senate District 7, which encompasses Sanders and Mineral counties and part of Missoula County, Republican Greg Hinkle is running against former Democratic lawmaker Paul Clark.
Greg Hinkle Office sought:
need any more increases which reduces spendable income for them. People need to keep their own money for essentials.
Office sought: Senate District 7 Political party: Democrat Age: 57 Birthplace: Morristown, N.J. Home: Trout Creek Occupation: Teacher, Outdoor
Senate District 7 Political party:
Republican Age: 61 Birthdate, place:
Nov. 12, 1946; Bellingham, Wash. Home: Thompson Falls Occupation:
Furniture maker, home inspector Family: Married to my bride for almost 34 years; three children and six grandchildren. Education: College, four-year apprenticeship journeyman machinist, varying courses in continuing education over a span of 30 years. Past employment: Machinist, logging, postmaster, alternative energy consultant, building contractor, furniture maker, home inspector Military service: Army National Guard, six years Political experience: Served on various county boards, third time running for this office. Gravel pits
Gravel pits should meet air quality, water quality, safety standards and address the issue of noise. I do not believe public input is necessary on private property. If there is damage to neighboring properties, the court system is the place to address those issues. Gravel pits on public land are a different matter and all pertinent issues should be addressed in a public forum.
Prescription drug abuse
I did not read the articles. My wife is a health-care professional and I am aware of this problem. A prescription drug registry would help. However, I am concerned about adding another bureaucracy into the health care system which drives up the cost of health care for everyone. It is possible to have a data base via pharmacies but because of HEPA laws, that likely will not work. There is a need to enforce or tighten existing laws covering the prescriber, the dispenser and the consumer. I do not support allocating tax dollars for treatment programs. Energy costs
In the short term, I believe the best way to help people with energy costs is to let them keep more of their own money. In the long term, we must make it easier for enviromentally sound natural resource development. Those resources – mining, drilling, timbering, alternative energy – have higher-paying jobs. Opening up our natural resources would provide more opportunities for our children to remain in Montana and obtain a better education and jobs. It is not the role of constitutional government to supply daily living needs. Important legislation
I believe we are overlegislated, over-regulated and over-taxed. There is far too much government University building program expansion and intrusion I would oppose funding for extensive into everyday life. My university building programs. Increased focus will not be to make funding means increased taxes. The more laws but reduce economy appears to be heading into a severe downturn, and the taxpayers do not them.
on increased enrollment and the expansion of state-of-the art educational programs.
Program director Family: Sons Stryker Clark, UM School of Forestry, and Gunnar Clark, Philadelphia School of the Arts Education: Graduate of Rutgers University, B.S., 1979 Past employment: Landscape technician; teacher, science and math, Eureka High School; Outward Bound Schools Course director Military service: U.S. Navy, 1973-1976 Political experience: Montana House of Representatives 1999-2005 Gravel pits
I would like to see county governments, rather than the state, involved in this process. Certain gravel pits should require public input and environmental review if they are of great concern to local residents. I think this could be determined at the county level at a preliminary meeting hosted by county commissioners. University building program
I believe Montana’s primary goal needs to be an affordable college education for all Montana students who desire to continue their studies after high school, with the best instruction possible. This includes reasonable tuition and residential costs, scholarships and student loan programs that do not leave students with extensive debt after they graduate. Teaching salaries should be competitive. Building programs should match the need for new facilities based
Prescription drug abuse
I do believe that we need more accountability in the issuance and procurement of prescription drugs. I support a registry program for certain prescription drugs, especially those that are addictive in nature. We certainly don’t need a registry for all prescription drugs and privacy concerns are of the utmost importance. In certain cases, treatment programs work better and are less expensive than incarceration, especially for minor drug offenses. I am in favor of community corrections programs and treatment for such offenses, but believe that meth and narcotics distributors need to be incarcerated and kept away from our kids. Energy costs
Montana is poised to be a national leader in energy development, conservation and renewable resources. This includes cleaning up traditional sources of energy such as coal and petroleum, and developing renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. In the meantime, we need to capitalize on energy efficiency and help folks on fixed incomes deal with the rising cost of fuels. I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask corporations that are making record-breaking profits to establish programs to reduce costs for senior citizens or to use increased income from petroleum and coal taxes to help insulate homes. Important legislation
I would introduce a bill to mandate a review of all costs to small businesses in the state with the goal of implementing changes, such as streamlining regulations, to facilitate small business growth in Montana. The reason for this bill is that, as a small business owner, I understand the fact that the cost of regulation, energy, workers comp and unemployment insurance all add up to make it difficult for small businesses to survive, especially in rural Montana. Small business growth would mean increased employment opportunity for Montana residents and this is critical for our economy.
46 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
SENATE DISTRICT 50 Democrat Cliff Larsen and Kandi Matthew-Jenkins of the Constitution Party of Montana seek to represent Missoula’s Senate District 50, in a seat now held by Democrat Greg Lind.
University building program Office sought:
Senate District 50 Political party:
Democrat Age: 65 Birthdate, place: July 23, 1943, Neosho, Mo. Home: Missoula since May 1984 Occupation:
Farmer/rancher, retired businessman Family: Wife, Trish; one son Education: Bachelor of science, Boise State University; Master of Social Work, Portland State University Past employment: For the past 31 years, I have been engaged in private business. The focus of my business interest had been employee benefits, including addiction issues, mental health management issues, and general health management concerns. In addition, I have taught in the social work program at Boise State University for two years and have worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon in the School of Community Service and Public Affairs. I have also lectured at the University of Montana. I am currently engaged in a ranching/farming operation on Lavalle Creek north of the Missoula airport, raising cattle, horses and hay crops. Military service: Army National Guard 1961; United States Army 1961-1964, 25th Infantry Division. Service in Southeast Asia with Commendation; Trustee, Hellgate Post 27, American Legion. Political experience: Missoula County Airport Authority Board commissioner for eight years; first chairman of the board of directors of Insure Montana; served on the board of directors of Montana Conservation Voters until filing for Senate District 50. I have also served on a number of other boards and commissions over the past 35 years, including boards related to education, senior services and displaced homemakers. Gravel pits
Montana has a procedure for siting and licensing gravel pits, otherwise known as open-cut mining. Title 82-Chapter 4-Part 4 MCA regulates open-cut mining in Montana. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has the duty and responsibility to accept applications for licensing gravel pits. I would support a professional geological mapping and siting of gravel resources in Montana with a priority of identifying those resources near communities and developed areas. At this time, there is no such resource. I strongly believe that public notice and input should be required for siting all gravel pits, taking into account all environmental and health issues but also bearing in mind that there is a continuing need for gravel and will be for the foreseeable future.
The College of Technology in Missoula is the largest of the COTs in the state. There are 1,300 students and enrollment has increased 60 percent over the past 10 years. In order to increase class sizes and prepare technically qualified candidates for work in our communities in western Montana, it is critical that this long-deferred request for building construction for the Missoula College of Technology be approved. I support this request. The U of M COT outpaced all other institutions in the system in terms of percentage of growth in enrollment at 16 percent. Prescription drug abuse
I support a prescription drug registry because it’s one clear-cut way that abusers can be tracked and abuses terminated or radically limited. Steve Bullock, Democratic candidate for attorney general in Montana, and Fred Van Valkenburg, Missoula County attorney, strongly support aggressive action with respect to controlling the abuse of prescription drugs. I support that approach, having worked as a professional drug abuse and alcohol counselor in my professional career. Interdicting abuse causes abusers to face realities when supplies of drugs are no longer available. In 2007, eight Montanans died from overdosing on meth, while 141 people died from abuse of four classes of painkillers. Energy costs
The state does, can and should continue to support low-income families through LIEAP, an energy assistance program that is well established, commingling state funds with contributions from energy producers and suppliers. Montana also operates the “Weatherization Program” to assist eligible applicants with weatherizing homes. Given the record high cost of heating fuels and other heating sources, it’s critical that our Legislature examine this problem in depth to ensure that no Montanans suffer from a lack of heat and electricity. Important legislation
I was the first chairman of the board of directors of the Insure Montana program. After four years of operation, the program now covers more than 7,500 individuals with highquality health insurance; folks who had never been insured for health purposes. The uninsured population of Montana (about16-19 percent of our population) should have the opportunity to participate in a health insurance program. Health debt is one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy in our state. Insure Montana has proven itself and therefore, I will introduce legislation that would redirect additional tobacco tax revenue to Insure Montana for purposes of enrolling a much larger population of currently uninsured Montanans.
Kandi Matthew-Jenkins Office sought:
Senate District 50 Political party: Constitution Party of Montana Age: 58 Birthdate, place: Dec. 9,
1949; Chicago Home: Missoula is home since May 21, 1971, (stints in Kalispell, California and Madras, South India) Occupation: Mom and smallbusiness owner, Montana Craft Connection, 19 years; decorative artist and barn wood furniture builder with husband; Grassroots Organizer, “cpsxposed” Advocacy Network, family advocate and lobbyist for families unjustly/falsely accused of abuse and/or neglect. Family: Husband, John Jenkins; six children; three grandchildren Education: High school graduate, Cary-Grove High School, Cary-Grove, Ill.; one year college equivalency (sociology), trained medical receptionist (Missoula Vo-tech), trained nurse aide/home health care attendant Past employment: Director/crisis pregnancy counselor, Birthright of Missoula (volunteer, early ’80s, now known as 1st Way Pregnancy Center), nurse aide, home health care, motel desk clerk, day care provider (early ’80s) Political experience: Candidate, Missoula City Council, Ward 2, 1999; vice chair, Montanans for Better Government, 2000-2001; candidate, HD 66, 2000; candidate, mayor of Missoula, 2001; candidate, HD 95, 2004; candidate, HD 97, 2006; candidate, City Government Study, 2006; lobbyist and grassroots organizer for family rights (March 2002 to present), lobbied for the state public defender system for equal legal due process representation of indigent parents with cases involving Child Protection Services 2005 Gravel pits
I owned a home in Westview Park when the gravel pit was built 20 years ago. As residents, we fought it because of the close proximity to the first street of homes, noise and health risks due to dust. Zoning and planning are effective tools when the slate is clean; we are faced with situations that predate our population growth
and housing needs. The question is one of ethics: Is it right to adversely affect the living conditions in established housing? Is it right to deprive an established business owner of their income because someone decides to buy next to a gravel pit? We don’t need more laws telling us how to get along. The first rule should be, “do no harm.” University building fund
I would oppose new funding for more buildings. The emphasis should be more concerned with funding for academics than aesthetics. Prescription drug abuse
I would oppose a prescription drug registry. A person’s right to privacy takes precedence over any social issue that has emerged because of abuse of legal medications. I have more concern about the forced and involuntary psychotropic drugging of children and young adults at the hands of Child Protective Services and other welfare/Medicaid oriented programs for mental health. These drugs create mental health problems, increase suicidal tendencies among young people, and have been traced back to the ’60s as underlying causes for school and other mass shootings. Energy costs
Developing our own natural resources for energy is paramount in the fight against high energy costs and increasing our economic base. I would like to see a Montana-first policy, if it comes out of Montana land, it goes to Montanans first at the lowest cost. Any and all ideas on producing energy efficiently should be explored. A good rainy use could be made of the Coal Tax Fund in the development of energy resources for the long term and help in the short term to offset energy costs for everyone. Important legislation
I would push for legislative investigations into the Department of Family Services and our judicial system. Advocating for families involved with Child Protection Services and lobbying for the Statewide Public Defender System opened my eyes to some of the most abusive uses of taxpayer dollars I can think of. People need to know their tax dollars are funding the heinous destruction of the most fundamental unit of our American society, the family! The revolving door of intrusion into the privacy of the family has a ripple effect on the taxpayer; it involves our education system, corrections, nonprofits, program redundancy, pandering and lifelong victims of an unconstitutional corrupt governmental system.
Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 47
MISSOULA COUNTY EMERGENCY CENTER
Bill Flanery joins Bob Reid, director of Missoula County Emergency Services, in a conference room used as the emergency operations center before embarking on a public tour of the services located in the Missoula County Courthouse. Voters will decide in November whether to approve a $16 million bond to construct a new emergency operations center.
Voters to decide fate of new emergency operations center funding By KIM BRIGGEMAN of the Missoulian
Missoula County is in a jam. The historic courthouse and annex are crammed and slammed. The county’s emergency nerve center is far from centralized, and it’s ergonomically challenged enough to fray the nerves. To walk through the sheriff’s office shoehorned into the third floor of the annex is a genuine 1970s experience. Workers emerge from shifts in the high-stress 9-1-1 dispatch center in the bowels of the courthouse like coal miners surfacing into the sunshine. That’s not to mention the voracious growth upstairs, where burgeoning county attorney and district court offices gobble up space like DC-9s in a rainforest. “That’s kind of what’s driving this whole process,” Commissioner Larry Anderson said. County voters on Nov. 4 will be asked to say yea or nay to funding most of the
construction of an emergency operations and regional training center next to the county’s 9-year-old regional detention facility on Mullan Road. Cost of the project is an estimated $23.5 million, $16 million of which voters will decide whether to pay over the next 20 years. Maybe such a request could come at a worse time. Probably not. The bond issue is the culmination of a dozen years of planning and saving for a new facility, Anderson said. At first, the thought was it could be paid for in total from county coffers and grant money, but the rising construction costs made that impossible. Even though the original “dream” was cut back nearly in half, taxpayers will be asked to pay nearly two-thirds of the bill. “We can’t afford to hold off any more,” Anderson said. The current clouds of financial chaos gathered months after Anderson and
fellow commissioners Jean Curtiss and Bill Carey decided to take it to voters. “It’s a changing dynamic and it’s very unfortunate,” Anderson said. “But as a county official I would be irresponsible if I didn’t try to take all the work we’ve done in recognizing the problem, realizing it’s the county’s responsibility to provide secure, adequate facilities for these folks and try everything we could to keep the cost down as much as possible if we didn’t ask the voters to approve it. “It’s one of those things that we have to do it now or the cost is just going to increase that much more.” “They’re not guilty of doing anything other than just having unfortunately very bad timing,” said Harold Blattie, executive director of the Montana Association of Counties. “I would hope that voters would look at the need that is there, but I think it’s naïve to think the voters aren’t going to consider their particular situation.”
While promoters of the bond stress the need for more space, they are compelled to assure the public the job still gets done in the county’s current digs. “Missoula County already has some of the finest emergency services in the state,” reads a county-funded flier distributed in newspapers and at gatherings around the county. “This will help ensure the level of service we are accustomed to continues.” Voters are asked to help improve conditions in areas they rarely see. “People tend to not have a lot of interaction with the county,” pointed out Blattie, a former Stillwater County commissioner. “They’ll go to the treasurer to pay property taxes or get license plates. When it comes to the jail and public safety things, they’re generally not favorable interactions.” It’s truly a see-it-to-believe-it issue, Bob Reid said. See CENTER, Page 48
48 – Missoulian, Sunday, October 26, 2008
FROM PAGE 47
The county’s director of emergency services and a few other officials have been doubling as tour guides. Twice a week – at noon on Tuesdays and 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays – they meet anyone who wants to show up at the courthouse information desk. Reid takes visitors downstairs to what passes for the current emergency operations center, a room 22 feet long and less than 15 feet wide. It seats perhaps 20 people. In the schematics for the new EOC on Mullan Road, there’ll be room for 200, Reid said. It can be divided into four classrooms. When not employed as an operational center during disasters, it will be used for training by a number of local emergency agencies, including city police and rural and city fire. The next stop is the 9-1-1 dispatch center down the hall, which has six dispatch positions in a windowless room with an eerie atmosphere. The center took 160,000 phone calls in 2007, or 438 each day. The numbers rise 10 percent every year. “We’re just at the limit of our capacity right now to handle all that,” Reid said. When the center was first moved to the basement corner, it dispatched calls to four agencies. “That’s grown over the years to 28 agencies, so the demand has increased dramatically,” said Anderson. Sheriff Mike McMeekin and undersheriff Jerry Crego share the tourguide duties for their department, which is scattered all over the place. Fully half of the county’s law enforcement force works at the jail facilities on Mullan Road. There’s little personal interaction between them and the 50 deputies and sergeants based downtown, Crego said. Crego’s office sits at the east end of the central office on the third floor of the courthouse annex. McMeekin’s is two stories down, on the courthouse’s west side. “We don’t even have room for the boss up here,” Crego said. Privacy is all but nonexistent upstairs, where four detectives share a single room in which to interview witnesses and victims. A tiny room around the corner is stocked with file cabinets that block the outside window and a small round table used to interrogate suspects. “It’s just inadequate for what they’re trying to do,” said Larry Farnes, the county’s facilities director. “They don’t have room there to interview people, or to deal with handling evidence. The kitchenslash-evidence-slash-interview room
Until about a month ago, 9-1-1 call center manager Debbie Ogden shared her 10-by-12-foot office with up to three co-workers at a time.
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office has a lab where forensics What was once a closet was carpeted and used as a polygraph evidence such as fingerprints, DNA and fibers are processed. room before its present use as an office in the sheriff’s department at Undersheriff Jerry Crego says while they send forensics to the state crime the Missoula County Courthouse. lab in more complicated cases, many times they can process the evidence in-house.
doesn’t serve anybody correctly.” Bill Flanery, a retired minister from Missoula, didn’t know what to expect when he took the courthouse tour Tuesday. He said he got an eyeful. “They obviously are reaching the limit of their present facility, and probably in some cases exceeding it,” Flanery said. “In the two years it’ll take to get a new facility
built, they’ll certainly outgrow what they’ve got now.” Bonds issued for the EOC would result in an estimated increase of $27.82 for a home assessed at $200,000. That’s based on an interest rate of 4.85 percent. “I’m actually hoping to do better than that,” said chief administrative officer Dale Bickell, who added that taxpayers
aren’t likely to see the increase until November 2010. If the bond fails, construction inflation of the five-year average of 10 percent will drive the cost of a new EOC up another $3.4 million in two years, the next time Bickell figures the county would go back to the voters.
For up-to-the-minute returns on Election Night, Nov. 4, go to Missoulian.com.