The state’s top prosecutor got a little defensive after being asked a simple question over his vote against developing the Otter Creek Coal Tracts. The Treasure State Politics blog got a hold of the video, and has more, as Attorney General Steve Bullock (D-MT) was visibly irritated while quizzed over Otter Creek.
As I mentioned earlier, this is one of Bullock’s key weak points as he appears determined to run for Governor in 2012. Bullock seems to understand this, and that’s why he not only gets visibly irritated by the question, but is attempting to claim that he supported developing the Otter Creek Coal Tracts before voting against it.
In the video below, he cites his support of an earlier minimum bid for developing the coal tracts, telling this to reporter Mike Dennison:
“I just don’t think that in these tough economic times that Montana should essentially be bailing out international coal and energy companies,” Bullock said.
Uh- actually Mr. Attorney General, it was during these tough economic times that the coal company bailed out the State of Montana’s budget. All thanks to an effort that you opposed.
So, is Bullock being straight forward when he attempts to say that he actually supported developing Otter Creek? Bullock claims that he just wanted a higher bid, but anyone following the story understands very clearly that calling for a higher bid was merely an effort to block the development altogether. To help explain this for you a little better, here’s what the current Democratic Governor, Brian Schweitzer, had to say:
Gov. Brian Schweitzer, one of three Land Board members voting to lower the bid, told a packed hearing room at the Capitol that the 25-cent minimum set by the board Dec. 21 was like the opening call at an auction, and that auctioneers usually lower the price when there are no takers.