Has Montana’s Attorney General Privatized His Own Job?

It seems Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has really taken the conservative mantra that the private sector can do everything better to heart–applying it even to his own job.

Fox put out a press release today to tell us that he has submitted comments on an Environmental Impact Statement for a coal export port in Washington.  Members of the press are instructed that Fox’s comments can be downloaded by clicking a link at the end of the release.

But anyone who does so instead gets a letter not from Fox, who was elected to do the job of Montana Attorney General, but from a private law firm by the name of Orrick Law which states it is submitting the comments on Fox’s behalf.

Seems like if Fox thought “his” comments were important enough to merit a press release, the least he (or his hundreds of staff) could have done is write the comments himself.

Or maybe we the taxpayers of Montana could get the greatest bang for our buck by cutting out the middle man and just directly hiring the contract law firm ourselves.

UPDATE: Look like the guy Fox used your money to pay to write this legal opinion arguing against a broad impact analysis of proposed NW coal ports was former Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna, who took the opposite position when he was running for governor of Washington.  His opponent was democrat Jay Inslee, who was for an even more comprehensive analysis. Inslee won.

And attached here is a more comprehensive legal analysis filed as comments for the same project, which actually cites real cases and stuff–and undercuts the analysis Fox and Friends submitted.

Posted: November 20, 2013 at 11:13 pm

This post was written by Cowgirl

77 thoughts on “Has Montana’s Attorney General Privatized His Own Job?

  1. Publius II

    ‘Ol King Koal is pulling Tim’s chain I see………….after all, they want their
    ‘investment’ to pay off.

    1. hinkFirst

      So — instead of hiring lobbyists and ask Tim to work on your behalf, just tell him he and step back and “dial it in” and let your own law firm do it for him??

      Koch Brothers run an enormous energy company — any bets that they are behind this?

  2. Jan Thomas

    It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. The coal companies hired this law firm to write these for Republican politicians and Tim Fox just agreed to sell his name for the King Coal cause in return for a press release– (which is a pretty shallow and chest thumping piece of “jobs for Montana” GOP boilerplate.

  3. Jan Thomas

    Shorter Tim Fox “Why would I actually do work to represent Montanans’ interests when I can just agree over steaks and whiskey to let the coal companies do their own bidding on my behalf?”

  4. Jan Thomas

    Well its kind of weird that Fox is commenting on a washington building project….seems to me that’s something for people in that state to do.

  5. Gabby Johnson

    Fox is simply working for Communist China (which wants the coal) instead of the people of Montana.

    1. Norma Duffy

      Fox is owned also in part by a Saudi Prince, and The saudis do get along with the Chinese. Though in all actual truth we are one of their closer trade partners and have been for years with the Taiwan part of china, and Shanghai because the british owned it for so long also. What I don’t like and neither do most Americans is ruining our own backyard for some other country at Americans living near by, expense.

    2. Rob Kailey

      At what point do we on the left of American politics grow up enough to quit using the right-wing pejorative “Communist China”? I’m not being facetious. I really am curious about this.

      See, the overwhelming majority of Americans can’t go a week without buying something manufactured in “Communist China”. The overwhelming majority of Americans want the employment picture to improve. The overwhelming majority of Americans want this country to export more goods, even to “Communist China”. The overwhelming majority of Americans also want a clean environment. Referring to the Chinese as lesser people (icky communism) doesn’t help solve any of those concerns. If anything, it makes them harder to address.

      1. Sam

        Well said Rob…and I would say the referring to people as teabaggers or liberals accomplishes nothing but create conflict.

        1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          Um, no Sam the Sham and the Inbreds. The Teat Partiers really ARE inbreds!

          1. Norma Duffy

            I have to agree with Rob on this one, as I said we have been trading partners with them since Nixon, That being said the Chinese aren’t the problem their money is. and instead of fixing whats wrong, because that takes intelligence and capital. American Corporations sell it to overblown prices to the Chinese….. walk away with money in hand and really no longer care for the Community that actually built the business… the blue collar worker who worked 50 hour shifts.

            See Sam that’s where Larry’s right. The right see nothing wrong with it if they got a peace of the pie. When they leave infused with a Chinese sale, the corporations tell everyone a lie that it was regulation that made them close down, when in reality they didn’t want to update the business… just make money off of your backs and leave…. the Quick vulture capital buck!

            I cant blame the Chinese for seeing a good buy in a business with a long stream of customers…. you just don’t know your being sold out by American companies who aren’t willing to pay more to get the job done right.

            1. Sam

              So what you are saying is not one liberal or democrat has gotten rich off Chinese trade and job losses to foreign countries, is that correct? My point is that we can disagree on policy and action, but why the need to label and divide with terms such as liberal, teabaggers, or conservatives? Why can’t we just be two people with different viewpoints on a topic?

              1. Norma Duffy

                Ahhhh Sam you’re reading way past the facts. Do you actually think I know who made what in Money? I only know what surveys in the past have told us…. Surveys of people asking about wealth and party affiliations show that the Republican party notably outnumbers the Democratic party in that money demographic. For instance, for those reporting an annual income of $150,000 or more (which is a good estimate of $1 million or more net worth), Republicans outnumber Democrats by about 54% to 38% (the rest being Independents).

                Per Forbes from 2006 thru 2010, Billionaires contributed 15% more to Republicans and still lost the most races because Democrats outnumber republicans in Votes cast. http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/28/billionaires-favorite-politicians-interactive-graphic-rich-donors.html

      2. In2it

        Pretty good insight there, Rob, into the perceptions management techniques of the period 1990. These days we say “terrorist” instead of “communist,” but with the same intent – to color our attitudes and create stereotypes.

        I withdraw now.

  6. Richard Miller

    What did you expect when you elected this teabagger? Somebody to look out for the interests of Montanans?

      1. Norma Duffy

        Ah no he is not protecting Montanans, Monica Lindeen is doing that…. see Sam that’s where your wrong. Name me one thing Fox has done since he has been in office?

        Ill wait!

        1. Sam

          This spring Gov. Bullock signed into law SB 213 that was introduced at the request of Fox. The law closes loopholes in the sex offender registration process requiring DNA samples from offenders moving to Montana. I would consider that a good thing, I’ve got more, how many more do you want?

      2. Surelyyoujest11

        In this particular case that is correct. You can disagree with his stance on the coal issue but the facts are that he is well within his rights as the AG to do what he has done and there are jobs at stake.

  7. W.H.

    Tim Fox is a whoring incompetent who will sell his soul to any corporation he thinks will help his campaign for Governor.

  8. PatrickB

    So was Eric Stern Ted Dyk Montana Cowgirl critical when Bullock spent millions of dollars on outside counsel during his time as AG? I’m guessing not. So I’ll have a side of fries with that double standard.

    Once again, this website proves itself to be nothing more than a rag run by mindless political hacks who seldom understand the issues they write about. No wonder press doesn’t pay attention anymore.

    1. In2it

      I was reading this thread in an in-vain hope that anyone would be able to see through the thin veneer of partisan politics here – that both parties are engaged in the same nefarious deals and behind-the-scenes activities, often with the same players, but that party-shill sites like MCG are employed to point out this behavior only when the other party does it. These people might actually be able to exert influence on their own party, but instead spend all of their energy barking at the moon. It’s a feel-good operation, nothing more.

      Thanks, PatrickB, for adding some light to this otherwise dark place.

  9. Mike

    PatrickB appears to have confused outside counsel, used by all agencies for actual legal work, and Tim Fox allowing the coal industry to use his name like a dirty dish towel to help their bottom line. Bwahahahahahah!

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    He what???

    catholic-bishop-performs-exorcism-with-armed-officers-over-illinois-same-sex-marriage

  11. Gabby Johnson

    Better start rolling joints now for those long waits at grade crossings while those five-mile-long coal trains pass by …

  12. Sam

    Not really sure what the problem is here. It is common for government offices to hire law firms to draft legal papers when commenting on studies. The letter basically is protecting Montana interests by telling the people conducting the study to stay within the law and only consider those these they are legally allowed to consider under the scope of the study. What’s the big deal? Isn’t that what our Attorney General is supposed to do?

    1. Norma Duffy

      There seems to be a pattern that now follows Fox. Why dont these guys at least don the logos so we can see where their allegiances really are…. No that would be honest, just not legal!

  13. Aware and Not stupid

    The desperation tonight is unreal. You’ll all have to get up early in the morning to get the best of Tim Fox, I haven’t watched him for very long, but this guy is nobody’s fool. He gubernatorial material and I suspect the D’s would like to take some paint off of him early. Let us know how that works out for you, Fox has all the markings of an up ad comer politically and he’s not going to take the bait thrown out in this post.

  14. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    Wow! Just when you thought that the GF Spitoon had reached the bottom of the outhouse floor, they dig even DEEPER to find the nastiest Teatard turd to post once AGAIN that the deficit is bad and the corporate fascists need more tax breaks! I mean, my GOD, Spitoon! It does get a little old to hear the same Teat Party shit every day! HAVE YOU NO SHAME?

    I used to write and occasional guest editorial in the Tribune when Eric Newhouse was the editor. He told me at the time that the only people where given guest eds were those who were kind of experts in the field, and who had something original to say. Them days are LONG gone! Now, every shit teatard talking point is burnished and polished and presented as brand new shit! And that’s real pathetic!

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20131122/OPINION/311220002/Montana-opinion-Put-energy-into-solving-debt-problem

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      For crazy kris and her Teat Party, Fundiwackmentalist pals! Hop off the crazy train and smell the coffee! No more free rides for the corporations, who pay no taxes at all now! You see, crazy kris, it’s time to start taking care of the American people! SCREW the oil companies! They’re doin’ just fine without the help of you Teat Party wackjobs!

      http://thiscantbehappening.net/node/2050

  15. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    Hard to understand the disconnect. I work with a lot of people who LIVE off the government with SSI, Disability, Medicaid, etc., and yet they STILL cuss Obama and Obamacare! And they’re hardcore Teatards! How in the hell does that work? I don’t get it! How does a guy who’s led a damn good life on disability for the last twenty-two years after a back “injury” while working at McDonalds NOT understand his reliance on the hated gummint?
    I know people on DIAYLSIS who cuss the government, all the while being kept alive by the hated gummint! Is the propaganda really that powerful? Help me out here. How can people be so fricking stupid?

    http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18244-tea-partier-with-ten-children-on-medicaid-denounces-government-involvement-in-health-insurance

    Many good articles within this link.

  16. Turner

    Brian Schweitzer was on Steve Kornacky’s MSNBC show this morning. He was VERY impressive. For the first time, I can see him running for president. When asked if he’d run, he said he might be “visiting every county in Iowa” soon.

    I certainly prefer him to Hillary.

    1. In2it

      And what, pray tell, big-money would leave the Hillary Clinton train to back Schweitzer? She’s crusty as a sailor on leave and vindictive has hell, and would mete out punishment. Her nomination is in the bag, more a coronation. Schweitzer is s bit player, a good interview, crafty politician, but not suited for high-wire operations. He’s well on the way to gadflyhood.

      1. Norma Duffy

        sorry he a reliable popular alterternative to the Clinton and Kennedy dynasties of Democratic politics. and at this needs to give our younger democrats a distinct choice. what might kill him though is a reliance on oil,coal and gas. because it is not what is needed here.

        The biggest war facing our country in the next decade is climate change. and burning more fossil fuels will just break this country. any major oil spillage to the midwest will destroy our countries biggest aquifers.

        If any of our candidates, don’t address that seriously, we are looking a catastrophe, we cant recover from as a nation.

            1. Craig Moore

              Wow!!!! Norma, you seem to have a “war” on sanity goin’ for ya. Conspiracy theories???? Obviously, you haven’t a clue who Hans Van Storch is and his stature in the climate science community. Now, don’t let those bugs crawling out of the cracks in your imagination bite ya or you might get cyber herpes or rabies .

              1. Norma Duffy

                Thats right Dude I dont care about 1 Fucking guy when 1000’s of others….. Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree say otherwise.

                http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

                Enjoy the fact that you are part of the most ignorant bunch of people on the earth. Their all yours Craig.

                http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/04/conspiracy-theory-poll-results-.html

                I know you didn’t like seeing the high percentage of nuts you have on your side….. and thank god my party isn’t that wacko.

                I will stay with science, Judaism, feminists, Gays, envros, real conservation, real fiscal science, and health and job concerns for my communities. and last but not least I believe in my Black president, Barack Obama.

                I am proud of what he has done to help Americans.

                  1. Norma Duffy

                    “Infested with Idiots”……“Most people, even libertarians, are apathetic and kinda lazy,” Silvestri says. “And too few people are really professional when they’re not being paid.” Those who do participate “thrive on drama.”

                    LOL some of the smrter folk are finding out about people just like Craig-O for sure. Good find Larry!

                    “Sigh” Up all night beta testing…. Guess I’ll get some sleep. Keep them honest Larry, till I get back.

                    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                      Who ARE the Libertardians? Well, read and find out! They are the exact same useful idiots as the Teat Party!

                      true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda

        1. In2it

          I haven’t seen much action from the Kennedy dynasty. They keep dying. The Clinton’s are a HW team who seem to share the same qualities – high cynicism, manipulative skills, ruthless win-at-all-costs politics, and coziness with big money. They must have spotted each other from across campus. That’s love baby.

          1. Norma Duffy

            Obama was picked by the Kennedy’s as the next in line. what you weren’t paying attention? he is part and parcel of their Clan.

            Man I thought you knew both sides of politics? you always call yourself an expert on it( which you not).

            1. In2it

              I first took that comment as satirical, but then realized you’re not smart enough to be satirical, which could only mean that you really believe what is contained in those words.

              That’s all I can make of that odd comment. I’ll take any other input – hey guys, any of you here speak Norma?

    2. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      GO BRAIN! He’s our Tommy Douglas! He’s Brawlin’ Brian! Ready to take the fight to the bad guys and get us some REAL health care! Screw Max Fawkuscare! And he is uniquely qualified to do so, for the TRVTH be told, he’s a one man THINK tank! No matter HOW MUCH money the Big Kockhs pour in against him, they still can’t best Brawlin’ Brian Schweitzer! And that scares the shit outta the Big Koch brothers and their evil allies! Schweitzer has the verbal skills and intelligence to put things in terms that even the inbreds in the Teat party can figure out! And that’s just flat dangerous!

      Where can I get my bumpers stickers?

      “Drop the Kockhs ‘Cause Schweitzer Rocks!”

      Like it? Me too!
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/22/21-ways-the-canadian-health-care-system-is-better-than-obamacare/

  17. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    For every thirty inbred teatard opinions the GF Spitoon prints, they occasionally hit s good one! And this on is very good.

    National-opinion-CEO-spin-sounds-good-until-you-look-facts

    Now, every inbred Teat Party dude in the state will get a chance to respond!

  18. Aware and Not stupid

    You know, I kind of hope ol’ Gov. Scheister does run for President, he couldn’t do any worse than Ovomit and maybe we’d finally find out what went down at the Governor’s residence when he lived there on those occasions that the Helena police were called and when the press started to investigate it, the police reports had been redacted! Could be interesting campaign fodder for sure.

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Oh, you mean like the time one of YOUR asshole teatardians showed up at his residence with a baseball bat?

      bwhahahahahahahaahhaahahahahhahaaa!

      Oh, you are SUCH a dipshit, little fella. You see, the Highway Patrol covered the guv’s EVERY move! If there had been a problem, they would have been there INSTANTLY! They’re called bodyguards! Judy mars was the first guv to have them. Ratco went everywhere without a guard, but threats by your inbred crowd necessitated them!

      You rightwing morons are SO simple it’s pathetic. Now, care to back up them charges you just made?? Where is your evidence? Huh?? Huh?? Huh??? I didn’t think so!

  19. Norma Duffy

    Im telling you larry. our party needs to continue shutting down these liars, who won’t proffer evidence.

    Don’t these imbeciles realize that all governors have bodyguards now. If people in your RW party continue to keep threatening the Governors and his families they are gonna take measures to protect themselves???

    Dont you think “Aware and not stupid,” would realize his comments at this time aren’t very aware,,,,, And totally stupid??

    Figure it out Stupid( shortening his handle to his last name… seemed appropriate)! if everywhere you go there is a police escort, kinda defeats the purpose of your little lie. How in the hell are you gonna shut up twenty cops, if a governor misbehaves????

    Bribe them on a Montana Governors salary??????? Really????? Man you read to many conspiracy periodicals, Stupid . Time to put them down. and seek educational help!

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      And you know, Norma, the thing that upsets me MOST about the guv’s behavior is that IF he were indeed having riotous, loud, drunken parties necessitating a visit by the local constabulary, WHY THE HELL WASN’T I INVITED?! I mean, hell, I’ve been a loyal supporter all along! I DESERVE a good bender on the public dole! Maybe Stupid can provide an answer!!

  20. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    The GF Spitoon did a story on AG (Asshole General) tiny tim fux today, and the thing that really bothered me about the AG’s action is no so much that he used outta state corporate fascist help, for that is to be expected from corporate fascist assholes and toadies like tiny tim. But the thing that REALLY gets to me is that Asshole General tiny tim fux is that he has apparently ordained his sorry ass as High Priest and Arbiter of All Things Environmental! I mean, what kind of asshole has THIS much hubris? Only a little Kockhsucking pimp!, that’s who!

    What arrogance! What an ASSHOLE! The pipsqueak moron from Hardin is gonna hereby do ordain, for the ENTIRE FREAKIN’ STATE mind you, that we don’t NEED no stinkin’ environmental review of coal projects that affect the health and welfare of millions of people! Where did the Asshole General GET such an idea that he has such powers? And really, just WHOM is he representing here? Does he have the Scarlet K sewn on his Asshole General work shirt? Is he HAPPY to be a little pimp for, or pimple, on the Big Kockh? What’s WITH this guy?! Does he REALLY believe that the job of the Asshole General is to STICK his brown nose as FAR up industry ass as it will go in order to assure steady income stream for himself upon retirement?? Wow! Just wow!

    I DON’T think we’ve seen the end of tiny tim brown nose fux! Montana is OPEN for business, the PIMP business with tiny tim in office! And that’s just real sad!

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20131129/NEWS01/311290001/Hiring-outside-law-firm-coal-comments-sparks-questions

    And not a bad article from the Spitoon. ‘Bout time.

  21. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    WELCOME TO KOCHATOPIA!, where any old asshole can get rich as long as they’re willing to suck the Big Kockh brothers! Right, AG????? ’cause like tiny tim’s spokesman said, we’re doin’ it for the kiddies and their education!

    http://crooksandliars.com/breaking-news/massive-pipeline-explosion-missouri

    If we turn Montana into a giant shithole, it’s all for a good cause! I mean, who needs drinking water anyway? You see, the good folks down there by Hardin, tiny tim’s home town, we’re the first to put in a giant CAFO, a Confined Animal Feeding Operation, or in other words, a giant HOG FARM!

    Well, the ONLY leetle problem with CAFOs is that ALL that pig pee and poop has to go SOME where! And where it goes is into a big, big, BIG holding pond! Yep, thas right! No sewer system NEEDED for piggy poop and pee! Oh sure, it’s a really big problem, but the hell, we do it for the kiddies!

    Unfortunately, the shit pond by Hardin DID leak!, right into the Big Horn River! But what the heck. If’n you’re from Hardin, pig pee water is a SMALL price to pay for economic development, right tim?? Drink UP, for folks from Hardin LUV the smell of pig shit in the morning! Smells like money!

    Kockatopia is coming to a location near you soon, es PECIALLY with venal greedy little pimp boys in higher office like tiny tim!

    Bottom line? The question must be asked be FORE tiny tim proclaims himself king of pig shit and open pits for life! Is it REALLY worth turning our beautiful state into a giant shithole so that the Chinese can put even MORE carbon into the atmosphere? I say no. And I say that we are ALL stakeholders in this process. Hizoner, the Gran Poobah of Pig Shit, tiny tim, can NOT make those decisions for us! HIS idea of economic development is inserting his NOSE up the Kockh brothers ASS repeatedly! Who the hell does he think he is, Max Fawkus?

    We need politicos that represent ALL the stakeholders and competing interests. Tiny tim ain’t one of them! All he’s got is ambition, kockh talking points, and ZERO ethics! Not good enough!

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