Usually when you’re trying to plaster your political opponents with labels you don’t want those same labels to apply to you.
“They’ll sell off public lands!” the Democrats cry to the heavens for all to hear, telling us what Republicans will do should they get hold of the state.
Alas, Montana Democrats are already selling off our public lands…have been for months.
I noticed a report today, one that gives us the minutes of the regular meeting of the Board of Land Commissioners in Helena on February 16, 2016 (PDF).
The report lists numerous land sales that the four Democrats and one Republican on our Land Board signed off on.
Those Democrats would be Steve Bullock, Monica Lindeen, Linda McCulloch, and Denise Juneau.
Yeah, Democrats selling off public lands…who’d a thought?
I mean, currently we see Montana Democrats endlessly chastising Republicans for selling off public lands, as you can see numerous times on their website:
Notice that last one…”could sell Montana public lands.”
Gosh, Democrats spend so much time making us think we need to worry about the other guy when it’s actually they we should be concerned about.
Yeah, Montana Democrats are major hypocrites, saying we shouldn’t be selling off public lands but then they turn around and do just that.
Here, take a look at some of the stuff they sold off in their February 16 meeting this year:
Pretty nice, huh?
The lots that Montana Democrats voted to sell off include:
- Lot 766, one acre of school trust lands on the banks of the Clearwater River, $95,000 to $145,000
- Lot 767, 11 miles south of Seeley Lake and on the banks of the Clearwater River, $50,000 to $103,000
- Lot 786, 2 acres of beautiful lakeshore property on Beaver Lake outside Whitefish, $260,000
- Lot 792, one acre of lakeshore property on Lake Rogers near Kila, $230,000 to $530,000
- Lot 798, 1.4 acres of lakeshore property on Echo Lake near Bigfork, $333,000 to $555,000
- Lot 799, 1.2 acres of lakeshore property on Echo Lake near Bigfork, $350,00 to $770,000
- Lot 804, 1 acre of lakeshore property on Echo Lake near Bigfork, $280,000 to $585,000
There are quite a few more, but you get the idea.
Most of those properties sold on the minimum bid, which was typically the only bid.
For instance, on that last one there – Lot 804 – it was valued up to $585,000 but they sold it for the minimum amount, $280,000.
So not only are Montanans getting a bad deal with lands being sold off, we’re getting a bad deal because the people selling them…what?
Are terrible at business...are rubbing their friends’ back...just can’t advertise for shit?
We lost $305,000 on the sale of Lot 804 because no one at DNRC decided to advertise this better to get what it was worth!
I dunno…maybe that was the idea. After all, the only Republican that voted for this was Tim Fox, hell, it was even a Democrat that brought forth the bill allowing the sales in the first place!
So we continually get this public lands talk from Democrats but then 4 months ago they were selling off millions of dollars in public lands.
Wow, talk about a mixed message.
At this point I expect Democrats to ignore this story, hoping it goes away.
When the story is only on this site, that’s a strong possibility. If the local newspapers or TV stations get ahold of it however, oh boy…watch out.
At that point Democrats might have to come up with some kind of explanation, some kind of story, some kind of excuse as to why these lands are being sold.
I suspect it’ll be focused on the expense of the properties, the fact that they’re on lakes, maybe that state employees have to spend time managing and renting them out.
So we sell them.
Montana Democrats sell public lands.
Wow, what a fuck-up.
I’m sure we’ll get numerous excuses as to why those lands needed to be sold off.
Perhaps we’ll even be given a rationale as to why Tom Facey, a Montana Senator from District 50, brought forth SB 34 last year to “facilitate cabin and home-site sales.”
So what’s going on…why are Democrats doing that?
That was the question I had in mind around 8:30 this morning when I called up Denise Juneau’s office. I left a message with Emilie Saunders, her press secretary.
As you know, Saunders blocked me on Twitter so I doubt I’ll receive a call back.
Next I called up Monica Lindeen’s press secretary in the Auditor’s office, Sanjay Talwani. I got him but he said he wasn’t aware of this story and would have to get back to me.
I told him I’d be surprised if he did.
Perhaps I’ll hear back, but I’m not counting on it.
And really – what are they going to say?
We had to sell those lands off? The lands were a burden to us? No one was using them? Why not?
I guess the ‘why not’ is because it’s an election year and one of your main talking points after the monumental turnout shellacking on June 7 is public lands.
As a matter of fact, that seems to be the issue that Montana Democrats are doubling down on.
Might want to find another issue. This one will not work for you.
Despite that, I feel Democrats will continue to charge forward blindly.
As soon as the Republican PACs get this info and make ads and assault TV viewers, however, it won’t matter.
You’re hypocrites, and my God, Montanans hate that.
So why'd you do it, why'd you introduce legislation to sell off public lands?
Why'd you carry through with those sales in an election year?
It's because you thought you wouldn't be caught, right?
Terrible trend of that in the Capitol right now, just terrible.
Or was there some other reason that Montana Democrats voted for and then carried through on selling off public lands?
I'm all ears, as is the rest of the state.
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