Over the past two days the Montana Board of Regents met in Havre to discuss their usual lofty business. Of note on their agenda was an action item to approve the acceptance of a ‘donation’ from gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte in the amount of $8 million dollars. The brief discussion surrounding the ‘generous gift’ was well scripted and precisely choreographed to include carefully planted questions that allowed both President Cruzado and Commissioner Christian a wide berth of the prehistoric beast in the room: donor Gianforte is a candidate for governor of the State of Montana. Cruzado and John Paxton pounced on the opportunity to regale all of the Gianforte’s many contributions to MSU over the course of the last 20 years. While well-rehearsed and prepared, the discussion lacked any level of energy, enthusiasm and spirit. A tightly controlled plan and atmosphere will do that.
One of the most overused words on the script was ‘timing’. Cruzado and Christian obviously paid attention to the noise surrounding this proposal and did some whitewashing to convince Montana that the ‘timing’ is now and acting in the here and now means the future for all students. Forget the notion that accepting this $8 million dollars leaves the Regents in a position of diminished credibility. As fully expected, the Regents have accepted Gianforte’s ‘generous gift’. In ignoring the question of political ethics they have fed the beast that is devouring any legitimacy of an authentic electoral process. As referenced in a past post, money is green to the Regents and the Commissioner, therefore, no one will be turned away. Real time ethical or moral issues be damned.
So let’s all just call this what it really is, a blatant move on the part of Candidate Gianforte to earn free press and promote his ‘technology’ jobs idea for Montana. Let’s also not pretend he didn’t have a lot of help. Perhaps for another $8 million Gianforte could sign off on a confidential agreement to have all ethics and philosophy courses removed. After all, we really don’t want leaders, like the Board of Regents, thinking in terms of a larger ethical picture or approaching proposals like this ‘donation’ at this particular ‘time’ by using a critical thought process.
‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’ body’s a part of.’