“We aren’t doing any press.” That’s what a staffer to the appointed Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) had to say in an e-mail to the Department of Interior that has now been uncovered by E&E News.
E&E News reports that Walsh sent a letter to the Department of Interior expressing his concern with potential national monument designations, but he stopped short of preventing the move. This contrasts with his 2014 US Senate race opponent, Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT), who has helped advance legislation through the US House.
From the report:
Walsh and Daines likely see eye to eye on the Antiquities Act, though it’s unclear whether Walsh would have voted as Daines did in March for a bill by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) to require Obama perform a National Environmental Policy Act review before designating monuments and to limit the White House to one monument per state per term.
The bill passed the House, 222-201 (E&E Daily, March 27).
Walsh spokeswoman Andrea Helling said only that the senator is “strongly opposed to any Antiquities Act decisions by any president that don’t have local support.”
Click here for the full letter.
By the way, that letter was sent via e-mail to the Secretary’s office on March 14th, 2014. Where was the Secretary that day? She was actually back here in Montana, and I can tell you- it sure seemed like they didn’t want to face any questions that morning. Click here for my blog post re-capping the event. (Long story short, all the media showed up at the rally point and the dignitaries were already long gone.)
The bottom line on the story above? This is one of those “CYA” letters. It was all about having the ability to tell folks in Eastern Montana that the Senator sent a letter “expressing concern,” all the while failing to publicize the letter in hopes that the Senator won’t be called out for failing to take real action and pass Antiquities Act reform legislation.