Just last week, Montana’s Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer was hailed by conservatives, sportsmen, and ranchers and equally vilified by environmentalists and wolf advocates. All this, after the Governor fired off a letter to federal officials stating that he would not enforce federal laws protecting wolves under the Endangered Species Act.
That statement from the Governor elicited this response from one prominent liberal blogger in Montana:
So Governor Brian Schweitzer is a fan of nullification.
How is a progressive blogger like me supposed to criticize unconstitutional GOP-proposed legislation when the highest elected official – a Democrat at that – is out there espousing to national media that he’ll ignore federal law and shoot wolves?
The liberal news website New West even compared Gov. Schweitzer to George Wallace.
Indeed, Schweitzer’s action would then move toward and even beyond the political neighborhood of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who stood in the doorway of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to block two black students from enrolling. Now after giving a short speech, Wallace stepped away and the students enrolled, so this incident was a bit of political theater. It was a case of limited political defiance – limited because the last time there was unlimited defiance of federal authority, that was a matter rather firmly resolved at Gettysburg and Appomattox.
New West then praised Wyoming’s Republican Governor Matt Mead, who said, “I think you have to be cautious about telling people to go break federal law.”
But now, the Governor who appeared to last week endorse the concept of nullification for wolves says nullification efforts in the Montana State Legislature are “un-American.”
KXLH-TV’s Marnee Banks has this:
Governor Brian Schweitzer told the House Democratic Caucus that the Republican’s nullification bills are anti-American, stating, “We can’t pick and choose which federal laws we will enforce. That is not the American way.”
Schweitzer added, “But unfortunately, these are the kinds of things that are going to make it to my desk.”
Just when the GOP thought they had a new member of their nullification wolfpack- it looks like they will remain a wolfpack of one in Helena.
The first confirmed wolf pack in central Montana’s Little Snowy Mountains was verified in 2010, but the pack — if it’s still around — doesn’t have a breeding pair.
Nathan Lance, a wolf management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, said Monday that FWP’s 2010 wolf report, which is due out in March, will document the Snowy Pack, which has at least three members.
The Snowy Pack probably is the first confirmed, established pack to turn up in Fergus County east of Great Falls since the early 1900s, when wolves were wiped out in Montana, Lance said.