New Document: Gianforte 'actively excluded the public' from East Gallatin River
Uncovered 2008 email blows hole in candidate's story
HELENA -- New Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte "actively excluded the public" from the East Gallatin River near his Bozeman mansion, going so far as to fence off the public access point, a newly uncovered email shows.
The 2008 email, sent by a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional warden to FWP attorney Bill Schenk, explosively contradicts Gianforte's claim that he never blocked access to the river. Under a popular Montana law championed by Governor Steve Bullock, the public has a right to access rivers that run through privately owned property.
Gianforte unsuccessfully sued the State of Montana in 2009 in an effort to eliminate a public access easement that crossed his property used by Montanans for decades to fish the East Gallatin River. Under fire for his lawsuit, Gianforte recently updated his campaign website to claim that Montanans "continued to access the river, as they did before, during and after this issue was resolved."
"Misleading voters when you're in trouble may be standard practice for politicians in New Jersey, but Montanans deserve better," said Jason Pitt, a spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. "New Jersey millionaire Greg Gianforte has once again been caught ignoring the facts. It's clear he's so eager to buy the Governor's office that the truth no longer matters to him, and it's time to hold him accountable for not sharing Montana values."
It has been previously reported FWP had asked Gianforte to remove an intimidating sign and gate. The newly uncovered email, secured through a public records request, proves Gianforte "actively excluded" law-abiding Montanans from their right to public access.
Gianforte is supported by State Senator Jennifer Fielder, the head of the controversial American Lands Council. The organization believes that management of federal lands should be transferred to states as a first step toward selling them to the highest bidder.
This isn't the first time Gianforte has been caught misleading Montanans.
- Earlier this year, Facebook disputed Gianforte's claims that they overlooked Montana to build an operations center because of the business equipment tax. In fact, Facebook executives said they never talked to Gianforte.
- Gianforte also falsely claimed that he was endorsed by the Montana Wood Products Association.
- Editorial boards across the state slammed Gianforte for misleading Montanans about our country's refugee program.
- Just recently ABCFOX fact checked Gianforte on his budget math, calling his plane cost estimate "misleading at best."