Republicans Remain Enemy No. 1 for Montana's Public Lands
MT GOP Platform Calls for the Transfer of Public Lands
MT GOP Candidates Have History of Suing to Block Montanans Out of Public Rivers
HELENA -- Montana Republican legislators today paid lip service to an issue that Democrats and the rest of the state have been fighting on behalf of forever. Their press conference today was only a reminder of their plan to transfer public lands out of public hands.
"No press conference will ever change the Republicans’ dangerous agenda to transfer, privatize, and sell off Montana's public lands," said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. "Republicans’ record on public lands speaks for itself. Montanans won't be fooled by this desperate attempt by Republicans to speak for an issue they've done nothing but fight against."
Yesterday -- yes, Tuesday -- Sen. Fred Thomas took to the editorial pages of the Missoulian to make the case for federal land transfers and sales.
Just last month, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to kill HB 295, a bill that would have strengthened the authority of county governments to remove illegal barriers on county roads that block access to public land for hunting, fishing, and other recreation.
Republican-sponsored HB 566 would make corner crossing punishable by a $500 fine and/or 6 months in jail.
The Republican Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen is currently in a court battle for blocking access to a public park.
The current platform of the Montana Republican Party, chaired by a sitting legislator in Montana's House, supports the sale or transfer of federal lands to the state.
Failed Gubernatorial candidate and current Congressional candidate, NJ multimillionaire Greg Gianforte actually sued the state of Montana to eliminate a public stream access point. He later lied about the lawsuit.
Current Republican Senator Jennifer Fielder introduced legislation that wouldcall for Congress to transfer some of its federal lands over to states. And now Republicans are willing to use $100,000 of taxpayer dollars to cover her personal legal fees.