Helena woke up Sunday morning to a fresh, clean blanket of snow on the ground and a steaming pile of schtuff on the editorial page of the Helena Independent Record. Senators Scott Sales and Fred Thomas have some idea that they are both in a positon to mind the budget and the state bank account. A quick trip to the past is in order.
In 2012 Sales’ wife, Sandra, was prosecuted for embezzlement from, in case you’ve been living in a cave, her elderly mother. Sales claims to not have noticed the additional $20,000 to $45,000 flowing through his household income. An honest oversight no doubt. And then there was his more recent admission of guilt in a case filed against him for his involvement with dark money group Western Tradition Partnership. Don’t think too harshly of him, he did say he regretted being involved…after he was caught.
In 1997 Thomas, aka Dr. Deregulation, carried SB 390, which by most accounts, has cost Montanans more than it has saved them and cost them in more ways than one. If you’ve been paying a power bill in Montana since ’97 you could ask yourself if you’re better off some 20 years later. If you held stock in the Montana Power Company you can ask what the value of those certificates are today- as a piece of history on Ebay. If you’re the widowed pensioner of a retired Montana Power Company employee you could ask how Thomas and deregulation led you to the world of public assistance. But we shouldn’t blame Thomas entirely. Lots of folks jumped on the band wagon: energy profiteers, Republican legislators, a hand full of Democratic legislators and the Montana AFL-CIO led by then Executive Secretary Don Judge.
We should feel comfortable and trust these two to lead ‘the ship’ out of the ‘storm’. If that’s the case, then you also believe a Helena snowplow will be along any minute now.
‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’