Republican Commissioner Wants Public Records Kept Secret

Republican County Commissioner Susan Good Geise

Republican County Commissioner Susan Good Geise

A Lewis and Clark County Commissioner is fighting to keep Helena residents from learning which businesses have submitted public comments in opposition to making Helena more walkable and bikeable, and which businesses support the transportation upgrade.

In a meeting in Helena this week on local transportation improvements, Lewis and Clark County Commissioner Susan Good Geise demanded that comments from businesses who are fighting against the walking and biking options be withheld from the public. These businesses have filed public comments to protest a special assessment district to fund transportation improvements.

Helena City Commissioner Katherine Haque-Hausrath says the public has a right to know how these businesses are seeking to influence public policies. Montana has very clear, strict public records rules enshrined in the Montana constitution. Nearly every government document is public in the state. It’s never a good sign when those seeking to carve out special protections for themselves seem to believe that their positions couldn’t possibly survive public scrutiny.

Ms. Good-Geise expresses support on her own webpage for finding out what businesses stand for and brag about using her shopping dollars to support businesses who agree with her.  So it is hypocritical of her to attempt to refuse others the same option because their positions might differ from her own.

Susan Good-Geise was not elected by local voters, but rather was appointed to the Lewis and Clark County Commission by the local Republican Party after GOPer Derek Brown quit partway through his term.   She must now face the popular Dennis Small who is the democratic candidate for Lewis and Clark County Commissioner in the November elections. 

So what do you think readers?  Do we have a right to know which businesses support safe walking and biking for children, the elderly, people with disabilities, the working poor without cars, and everyone else, and which do not?  

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24 Comments on "Republican Commissioner Wants Public Records Kept Secret"

  1. What an idiot!

  2. SUE THE CRAP OUT OF HER, this is a CLEAR violation of Montana’s OPEN GOVERNMENT LAW! And by the way, citizens/plaintiffs get paid back if they prevail, same crap happened in ‘Gullible Falls’ for six years when city refused to release documents about their failed fifteen miilion dollar fiasco and citizens and groups
    prevailed to get the documents!

  3. good article about steve daines in huffington post

  4. RE: Public Records Kept Secret (or Pay Us!)


    Governor Bullock and DNRC Director John Tubbs have been touting the Forests in Focus initiative that has a provision for the state managing federal lands. Wanting to know more I went to DNRC’s website. Some components of the Forests in Focus were highlighted including the Montana/Forest Service Master Stewardship Agreement, discussions with Montana counties about crafting an agreement for development and implementation of federal projects, a state liaison position at the Forest Service Regional headquarters and federal projects under review. (

    Since more information about those items was not available on the website I asked DNRC to provide them to me. Their response was that I would have to pay $530.64 to obtain public records that should be readily available. This is an outrage and affront to the open and transparent government that the Montana constitution provides and that Governor Bullock promised.

    All citizens deserve to know what deals are being made with five million acres of our federal lands. Instead public information is being held for ransom. The DNRC website says “Let’s work together to create the brightest future for Montana’s forests.” Apparently for DNRC this means keeping the citizens in the dark while backroom deals are being made.

    Arlene Montgomery
    Bigfork, MT

  5. Good news – Amanda Curtis narrows gap – only 55% for Daines and 35% for Curtis:

    • Meaningless poll. Curtis has been running for a few days now, so to compare her with someone who’s been running for years makes no sense. Also, Rassmussen is a crap polling service. They always have a strong Republican bias.

      By your name, I assume you’re a Randian. Does that mean that you worship wealthy people and hate the rest of us? You must be a pretty sick puppy.

  6. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | August 22, 2014 12:39 PM at 12:39 PM |

    The LITTLEST Kockh brother, lil’ Pee Wee Daines! He’s adopted of course. The Big Kockhs adopted lil’ Pee Wee to do their bidding!

    • The Koch Brothers have a payroll of over 100,000 who like to work for them. How many Americans have you hired or are you in the government “worker” parasite class?

      • Well I created mine.

        And by doing that and being a good citizen I am entitled to 1 vote, Just like Charles and David Koch.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | August 24, 2014 7:43 PM at 7:43 PM |

          Hey, Weenie man, and I suppose that you have your own ALEC too, right? Too funny. I’ll be nice now. One man one vote. How quaint. You’re just like the Big Kockhs, only better!

          • Larry, lay off the 6:00 a.m. bong hits. Your brain is working like an over ripe Banana.

            I find the Koch bros to be on par with Lyme Disease and tooth decay.

            • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | August 25, 2014 4:33 PM at 4:33 PM |

              Sorry. I see that you were just tooting your own horn again, but I mistook it for farting! My bad.

              • No that tooting was your brain farting you dimwit.

                From your posts I figure you see yourself as a modern day Samuel Clemens.

                Well, darling, Mark Twain was actually funny and made good points.

                You are not and do not so how about this.

                I will ignore your sophmoronic posts and you can do me the courtesy of not bothering me.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | August 23, 2014 7:25 PM at 7:25 PM |

        You need to get outta your mom’s basement more, cupcake, and outta your PJ’s! There’s a big world out there called education. I’m guessin’ that you’ve got one of them coiled snakes on your ’82 Datsun car that says don’t tread on me! MAN! You’ve got pathetic written LARGE all over you, kitten. Ever had a date that wasn’t with your sister??? Jus’ wonderin’. Don’t mean no offense, or as Cgirl tells me, don’t insult the retards if you want’a post here. It’s just damn HARD not to though!

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | August 23, 2014 7:28 PM at 7:28 PM |

          p.s. Cupcake? The Big Kockh brothers have been OUTED, dude! And they HATE that! We got their number. And I STILL want to get those dirty bastards on a LIE detector before they hop the twig and ask them just WHAT they knew about the JFK assassination be FORE it happened! For you see, twinkie, their daddy was right IN their with the fascists bastards who STOLE our country from us! What say you, lil’ wanker????

  7. This not about biking and walking but about assessing property owners another tax. There probably are other ways to pay for these issues. It’s all about the power to tax and everything else comes in second.

  8. Bicycles are a serious hazard for drivers, in addition to pedestrians and other vehicles. Bicycles should not be on Helena’s or any other city street. Instead, sidewalks, where possible, should be widened to accommodate both bicycles and pedestrians with striped lanes for each. I walked on such a sidewalk a few years ago in Berlin, Germany.

    I’ll bet more bicyclists use the sidewalks than the streets, anyway. I think they instinctively avoid the route of greatest danger. In short, bicycles and traffic do not mix. Missoula has some very dangerous routes for bicyclists, bike lanes or not.

    I’m tired of people trying to make Missoula, Helena, etc., into Denmark or French towns and villages, with this “bicycle friendly” talk. Fact is, we are too far along with present traffic layouts to start restricting auto use in favor of bicycles. In Missoula, I see bike lanes rarely used.

    No, let’s begin widening sidewalks to accommodate both bicycles and pedestrians, and keep bicycles off the streets where most bicyclists don’t want to go, anyway.

    • IN Germany they build for Pedestrians and Cyclists first. Not last like we do here. We have been building wrong from the beginning. while Europe and Asian countries understand their are lots of modes of traffic. We have been building for Businesses first, which is kind of incredibly stupid when you think about it. we should have been building for people all along.

      • Sidewalks here in Montana are built 4 feet wide in big cities they are often ten feet wide to accommodate biking. skateboards hordes of pedestrians . Its not gonna hurt Helena’s dignity to fix it for all modes of traffic… it will enhance it and give people the oppurtunity to make there way to there favorite restaurant by Bike. Whats wrong with that. I have always perferred taking a bus, train or cab into a bigger city. Its by far healthier. Its our state capital for goodness sake they should lead in architectural design for the states sake.

        • Missoula used to be bicycle friendly. I remember 1977 with Sam Braxton and family bicycling across town to have enchiladas at Alices. Later on Bridges were made more bike friendly. But closed discussion designed most neighborhoods to be car friendly, RADICALLY ALTERING THE PAST.
          Bike lanes help conserve whats good about the past, wide non-vehicle lanes platform skaters and boarders and runners and walkers of different age groups.
          Check out the broad range of users on the wide path way in the Bitterroot.

          But right purpuse does NOT mean that wrongful property appropriation for that multi-purpose wide path way, should be repeated.

          Conserve whats good about the past. Progress toward open discussion.
          Isn’t it usually the power cravers who oppose public discussion?
          The adversity to public discussion of political powers gave us Pearl Harbor and who all in planning and executing Assasinating Dr. King, and our President?? War to our West, then two wars far to our East.

          And how might the Candidates stack up,
          on a question of how much they have supported public discussion.

          Then, who has the appropriate Experience to Reprsent Montana in both The Senate also the House??

          Maybe rank on a 7 0r 10 point scale. Get to know the Candidates according to the Experience that you think is now critical for the future, and working for,
          to help avoid the “other candidate.”

  9. The parties don’t want you to know. League of Women Voters had it right in 1988. Apparently, nobody was listening.

    No debates has become the norm.

    • If the two parties each have the same financiers, then it makes sense that they would not support an genuine exchange of ideas in an open debate. But it is they way they are able to pull it off, maintaining that closed forums are an expression of free speech, that is oppressive.

      If you want to understand what really drives Democrat leadership, how they really feel about free and open expression, just go back to 2000 when Nader had a ticket to attend the Bush/Gore “debate” and merely intended to sit in the audience: the bastards had him arrested in the parking lot.

      That speaks volumes, says everything we need to know about Democrats. Thugs.

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | August 24, 2014 7:46 PM at 7:46 PM |

    A**holes! So much for corporate patriotism! I say SCREW these a**holes and their big kockh brothers too! Time to reign in fascism!

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