Skinner: Daines “Drove a Lame Bargain” on Wilderness

Aaron Flint posted on December 31, 2014 11:50 :: 915 Views

He may have voted for Steve Daines, but he didn’t vote for “Congress as usual.”  That’s what Dave Skinner has to say in his latest Flathead Beacon column where he adds that Sen.-elect Steve Daines (R-MT) drove a “lame bargain” when he supported the deal to lock off new land as wilderness in Montana.  

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Overall, the defense riders seem a porky wash of stupid and smart stuff, but in Montana, Republican Congressman Steve Daines drove a frankly lame bargain. After all, the Democrats just got their butts whomped, not just in Montana but nationwide. Daines ran on a more jobs/less government platform, wins big, and before he’s sworn in, gives the guy he’s replacing a parting gift?

As far as I can see, there was way more Montana “give” than “get” – while the spin is “only” 67,000 acres of new big-W wilderness on the Rocky Mountain Front, the 203,000 acres of “conservation management area” are in fact wilderness that allows existing (and atrocious) roads.

In the “get” was a puny 30,000 acres of old wilderness study areas in Eastern Montana that failed wilderness review way back in the 1980s and should have been released to multiple use long ago. Why couldn’t we have a release of the wilderness study areas in the North Fork? Or at least a quarter million acres of failed, not-recommended WSA’s statewide – lands that have been held hostage for 30 years plus?

Speaking of Montana’s US Senate seat…The Daily Beast typically goes after Republicans, but they even included a Montana Democrat in this piece:  2014 Was a Delectably Good Year for Sleaze

Sen. John Walsh’s Doctored Master’s Thesis.

Walsh, the former Army general and lieutenant governor of Montana, was appointed by Democrats in February to succeed outgoing Democratic Sen. Max Baucus. The deal would let Walsh run as an incumbent against Rep. Steve Daines for Baucus’s seat. But a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation when The New York Times reported that Walsh had plagiarized significant portions of a 14-page paper required for his master’s degree at the Army War College. Walsh initially said he’d done nothing wrong, but later told the AP that he had been suffering from PTSD when he wrote the paper. Walsh eventually withdrew from the Senate race, leaving Democrats just days to find a candidate to run against Daines, the congressman who flipped the Senate seat for Republicans in November and will be sworn into the Senate in January.



Andy Johnson

Sunday, January 04, 2015 10:04 PM

Good points by Skinner. And he’s right. That “conservation area” is nothing more than wilderness with a travel permit. As for the North Fork, now that mining and geothermal leasing (do they even have hot springs there?) are banned, think anything else will be allowed? So, sum total, Daines locked us out of over 700,000 acres for nothing but scrub brush. I think Tester and Walsh blackmailed him after they took him down to the nearest pub and ended up with some compromising pictures. Daines is NOT off to a good start, in my view.

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