Koch Brothers Shamed for Profiting from Government Subsidies

This week, Montana’s former governor Brian Schweitzer penned an op-ed in the state’s major dailies pointing out that the Koch brothers– who are bankrolling an effort to block health care for Montana’s poorest citizens–rake in millions in government subsidies for their Beaverhead Ranch in Dillon and make a big profit from it.  If you haven’t yet read it, you can do so here. 

Then a funny thing happened.  A person identifying herself as a worker from the ranch began blogging in the comments of Schweitzer’s piece.  The screenshots are below.

She says two things that raise a flag.  First, she says that the ranch doesn’t pay taxes on its cows.  That’s against the law and I’m surprised she’d make such an admission.  In fact, one actually does need to pay taxes on the cows one owns. Each cow is property and the more you own the more you are supposed to pay.

The second is that she says that the ranch has been subletting the land it leases from government.

This would be illegal too, if in fact it is what she is describing.  The LA Times has reported how such arrangements work:  a big money rancher gets exclusive government permits to graze those lands.  He pays the Bureau of Land Management $1.86 a month for each cow allowed to graze the vast expanse of BLM-managed public land. Then he charges others $8 to $12 per month per cow, pocketing the difference.

Anyway, read the whole exchange yourself and see what you make of it:

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82 Comments on "Koch Brothers Shamed for Profiting from Government Subsidies"

  1. Unless this individual is an authorized spokesperson for the ranch, she may be looking for a new job.

  2. I believe the largest holder of federal AUM’s is Democrat Ted Turner. Funny, no mention of this in the post. Now, with the feds doing such a poor job of pricing lease rates and managing the process, it would seem states like Montana would be far better stewards of the land if ownership of such federal property were transferred to state control.

    • The Flying D may be in the top ten but I seriously doubt the largest. I can think of two bigger operations off the top of my head, one the surrounds the East Little Snowy’s that was the consolidation of three operations by a guy out of Texas, the name escapes me at the moment. There is a larger operation north of Jordan. I’m sure someone can identify bigger ones. Point being Ted and the Flying D isnt a good base for your argument.

    • Craig……. Great deflection tactic! Bring Ted in on this……. (Sarcasm)

  3. The ecological cost far exceeds the dollars lost to below-cost pricing. How do you put a price on riparian destruction, fisheries loss and water pollution — all public trust “assets.” Here’s a science paper with photos of before and after livestock for the unitiated. http://www.cof.orst.edu/leopold/papers/Batchelor2015_EM.pdf

    • Steve, Thanks for highlighting that scientific paper.

      Here’s another link to that same scientific study on public lands grazing, which includes more dramatic before and after pictures. http://www.cof.orst.edu/hart/index.html

      Keep in mind that to my knowledge none of the “Sportsmen’s” groups in Montana (most all with strong ties to the Democratic Party, or even some Dark Money operations) and none of the #KeepItPublic rally crowd have spoken out against the ecologically destructive federal public lands grazing program that’s cost U.S. taxpayers $1 billion dollars in the past decade. http://bit.ly/17lRZNs

      What does the silence of Montana Wilderness Association, National Wildlife Federation, Montana Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers or Montana Hunters & Anglers Action really say? How can these groups rally to #KeepItPublic and then turn a total blind eye to what’s taking place across 100 million acres plus of America’s public lands?

      Let’s also remember that these same groups were totally silent on the terrible grazing provisions in Daines’ and Tester’s public lands rider package. Well, I can’t really say they were silent, because they led the cheerleading efforts and then dumped what was likely $10,000 + on a series of “thank you Senator Tester and Daines” newspaper ads around the state.

      Meanwhile the so-called “Grazing Improvement Act” rider – touted by Daines and Tester as a great ‘victory’ – now means the automatic renewal of expiring livestock grazing permits on public lands, even if these permits are causing the decline of greater sage grouse, desert tortoise or other sensitive wildlife species, or even if public lands grazing is ruining riparian areas and watersheds (which as any true “sportsmen” knows, there are plenty of examples of both in Montana and throughout the West).

      These public lands grazing permits also must be automatically renewed even before the completion of any NEPA environmental analysis or public input process. So the Cliven Bundy’s (and Koch Brothers) of the world – and other welfare-ranchers who pay pennies on the dollar to graze their private livestock on our public lands – won big with this part of the public lands rider package.

      This “Grazing Improvement Act” rider alone impacts tens of millions of acres public lands in Montana, and close to 1/4 BILLION acres of public lands throughout the western U.S.

      But, hey, #KeepItPublic, right?

      • You have some good points, Matthew, but your continual and incessant insistence upon attacking all of our representatives on forest policies negates any positive message you deliver.

        I’d love to see these rich ranchers pay their fair share, and maybe that will happen. But I doubt it’ll happen because of anything you say. And maybe it won’t happen. Then the question is why. And if your charges of corruption – corruption which carries over into the forestry/public/private lands battle – is indeed valid, then you need to start building a multi-pronged attack with substantive charges.

        You’re the land guy, so anything in that department you could hit out of the park. And if charges of graft in grazing continue I really see no reason why not to build a substantive case of all the abuses perpetrated by our politicians against Montana. Something like that is dangerous, especially when given to the Republicans. But that’s the carrot and stick approach our Washington Congressmen have made clear they need in order to be kept in line. Remember, they get paid $175,000 a year, and that adds onto that $18 trillion national debt.

        Oregon shows us that things can happen quickly, and Montana has a long history of things happening very quickly. Who will be in succession positions when those changes come about, either through incompetence, ignorance, or accident?

        So Matthew, I’d suggest if you want to be taken a little more seriously, you get your forestry grievances into an airtight compartment of an overall strategic take-down plan that topples the dark money crowd and replaces it with something that works for Montana.

        • Thanks Greg. I didn’t intend to deliver a positive message above…just the facts, which aren’t always rosy. I did chuckle that in one sentence you managed to have advice for me to be “taken a little more seriously” and that included giving me a pretty huge task, which was develop an “overall strategic take-down plan that topples the dark money crowd” (which essentially includes the most powerful people in the world).

          I’m just one person with one voice Greg, and I won’t stop exposing the lies and speaking the truth.

          As I keep pointing out, America’s public lands legacy is under siege, and it’s coming from both the Republicans and the Democrats working together with resource extraction industries. And it’s being aided and abetted by multi-million dollar groups who cheerlead over crumbs, or insignificant ‘victories,’ while remaining 100% silent over the tremendous public lands giveaways and threats quietly (or sometimes quite obviously) taking place right before our very eyes. Thanks.

          • Complaining about the Koch bros. corrupting influence, while ignoring Soros, law firms and Wall Street banks who fund the other neoliberal/neocon party isn’t ever going to move the needle. Everyone knows the price for coloring outside the lines.

            • Agreed. The Koch Brothers are a dart board set up for Democrats to keep them occupied while the real and broad corruption of their own party goes unnoticed.

              Otherwise, how often is it that we are even allowed to know the name of the money people he behind politicians? How many Democrats even know the expression “Timber Lobby” or “PhRMA” and know to use it in the same sentence with “Tester”?

              But Koch Brothers? Man, they are all over that like syrup on waffles.

              • No takers, the (Dem. vs. Rep.) “frame” is superglued in place. Ignore, deny, look away if you happen to see or hear anything stirring outside the frame. All senses have been dulled. The process is complete. Repeat the process.

              • I wonder when CG will write a post, “Warren Buffet Shamed for Profiting from Government Subsidies.” Being a Dem pal of Obama has its benefits. http://www.ibtimes.com/buffetts-keen-keep-going-green-1597270 In May Buffett told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska, that, “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” Those credits are in the billions and continue through some IRS slight of hand. http://nlpc.org/stories/2014/05/21/how-warren-buffet-fleeces-consumers-taxpayers-through-wind-energy

                So it makes sense to attack the Kochs while giving a free pass to Dems like Buffet to rape the populace.

                • See, that kinda depends on the goal, Craig. If my goal is to save your sorry ass tax money, then of course, I should be attacking Warren Buffet on your behalf. If, however, my goal is to shift away from carbon pollution as quickly as possible, then your caterwaul doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?

                  For some of us, that’s the very point that you really can’t see. Some, I would say many, of us taxpayers don’t really care about ‘the money’ if our tax dollars actually accomplish things we find ‘good’, even if Warren Buffett gets richer. That isn’t giving him a pass, it’s saying “Go buddy, go!”

              • Craig, it’s just the larger issue is staring you in the face, that there ar no substantive differences or behaviors between the two parties. They are essentially the same outfit with two names. They do talk different, but if you turn off the sound, they are the same.

                So your comparisons are dead on, but you’re missing the larger point.

            • You can’t watch FOX “news” or listen to Rush without hearing the name Soros, but most who regurgitate FOX talking points don’t know the true difference between the Koch’s and Soros. Soros has a very long history of supporting and fighting for Democracy. Both Soros and the Koch’s are billionaires but one spends their money to increase our Democracy the other spends their money to defeat our Democracy for personal gain. The fact is that Soros has been working to expand Democracy for over 30 years without anything to gain personally or politically. The only people who think Soros is a boogieman of some sort are those who have been brainwashed by the far right-wing propaganda machine.

              • Yes. And these guys who keep saying “both sides are doing it” are aligning themselves with TV lightweights like Chuck Todd.

              • I don’t think the French and the Brits are far right. He was convicted by a French court for insider trading. He made his bones on currency arbitrage between the Brit Pound and the German Mark causing the Pound to crash. Durring 1997, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad branded Soros an economic war criminal for wrecking his nation’s currency.

              • You cannot be serious. Soros is up to his ass in neo-fascists in Ukraine who helped foment anothe regime change for the IMF/NATO/US/UK cause.

                “Billionaire speculator Soros is no stranger to Ukraine. In a personal interview with US TV propaganda channel CNN. Soros declared, “I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now.” That interview was made after the US State Department February 21, 2014 coup d’Etat.” http://www.4thmedia.org/2015/01/soros-as-kievs-central-banker-and-ridiculous-us-laws/

              • It’s just like Tester/Daines – D or R alters their perceptions. We must study this phenomenon.

              • Kevin, do you bother reading the news before you belch stale talking points? Did you see where the Koch and Soros have teamed up? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/koch-brothers-conservative-liberal-groups-unite-on-criminal-justice-reform/

                Representatives from both Koch Industries and CAP acknowledged their past and ongoing disagreements — and there are many — but they suggested there’s no reason those differences should prevent them from acting in tandem when they have a common cause.

                “The Coalition for Public Safety is an opportunity for all of us to set aside ideological and political differences and unite on an issue that matters to so many Americans,” said Mark Holden, the general counsel of Koch Industries. “Koch is pleased to be a supporter of this diverse Coalition.”

                Neera Tanden, the president of CAP, added, “This Coalition demonstrates the growing bipartisan moment around criminal justice reform, and the urgency of this issue makes it important to see past any divisions in the fight to make progress.”

        • Mathew, Greg’s protestations, if I may be bold here, may be translated as follows:

          You may criticize Republicans, but not Democrats.

          This is what he meant by “your continual and incessant insistence on attacking all our representatives…”.

          I speak Democrat fluently, so feel free to contact me if you need further translation assistance. I am at your service.

          • Really?

            About six years ago, Conrad Burns had a stroke. one of the rational conservative websites in Montana (sadly now defunct)) posted with sympathies towards to the ex-Senator. In comments, I dispassionately explained that I could not share those sympathies. While a Senator, Conrad Burns deliberately called for his own name to be the deciding vote in killing a bill that would have offered legal protections to thousands of children doomed to labor and sexual slavery in America’s Asian territories. He did that, even stamping his own name on it, for a donation of $5000. I had and have no sympathy for that man. Of course there were mortified voices telling me that I shouldn’t have written anything at all. In polite society, maybe I shouldn’t have.
            But the voice I remember clearest was Mr. Mark T. who waxed knowledgeable about Conrad’s good nature and humor, and was outraged, outraged I tell you, that I attacked such a good man in his time of need. Notice, the one who knows all and sees all, was willing to give a pass to the guy who legally favored child rape when he had the opportunity to do something about it, to someone he foolishly reduce to a D v R thinker. So, every time Toke brings up the notion that he understands anything, or has a sense of moral justice, I laugh at his hypocrisy.

            No Mark, you don’t speak fluent Democrat. You speak fluent hypocrite.

      • That good ‘ol “Grazing Improvement Act.” http://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=3694

        Grazing Improvement Act — Provides Montana ranchers greater certainty by extending the life of grazing permits on federal lands from 10 to 20 years and allowing grazing permits to be renewed while National Environmental Policy Act review is underway.

        • Craig: Thanks for posting the link from Senator Tester’s site and very own press release. Tester is spreading wrong information when he says the rider “extends the life of grazing permits on federal lands from 10 to 20 years .”

          That 10 to 20 yrs language was part of previous versions of that bill, but it 100% wasn’t part of the rider that passed in the NDAA. We pointed that out to Tester’s office, and Daines office (because he also sent out the false information), but they never corrected it. For the most part, the Montana media outlets didn’t correct the misinformation either, but just went with the information they were given by Tester and Daines, even though everyone knew it was not true, or didn’t feel like checking I guess.

          Reminds me of something Senator Tester said this week about public lands that was also completely and entirely false. http://mtpr.org/post/sen-tester-lawsuit-claim-error

  4. Just wondering: if all federal lands were turned over to Montana somehow, would the State of Montana grazing rate ($6.50 or so/AUM) apply instead of the federal rate of $1.35/AUM? Excluding the Kochs and Wilkes of the world as they could surely afford it, how many of those landowners in favor of the transfer would also be in favor of quintupling their grazing rates?

    • FWIW, the lease rate formula comes from the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978. http://www.fs.fed.us/rangelands/whoweare/lawsregs.shtml During the 95 Congress, Democrat Jimmy Carter was President while both the Senate and House were controlled by democrats.

      • Following the link led to the federal grazing formula (see below) but no Congress since has updated the formula. Since 1985, when the original formula “expired” Congress has been controlled by both the D’s and R’s at one time or another. And we’ve had both D and R Presidents. So, good info but it still doesn’t answer either of my questions.

        “For the grazing years 1979 through 1985, the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior shall charge the fee for domestic livestock grazing on the public rangelands which Congress finds represents the economic value of the use of the land to the user, and under which Congress finds fair market value for public grazing equals the $1.23 base established by the 1966 Western Livestock Grazing Survey multiplied by the result of the Forage Value Index (computed annually from data supplied by the Economic Research Service) added to the Combined Index (Beef Cattle Price Index minus the Price Paid Index) and divided by 100: Provided, That the annual increase or decrease in such fee for any given year shall be limited to not more than plus or minus 25 per centum of the previous year’s fee.” – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/43/37/1905#sthash.kQsGdOUj.dpuf

        • As to your first question, I believe the Montana rate would apply. As to the second, the answer probably depends on profit margins. With the fall in oil demand there is less corn going to make alcohol. The price of corn has fallen thereby making it more economical for mid west feel lots to use. Those feed lots are calling for more beef to finish thereby increasing demand for beef cows throughout the West.

  5. Just end the subsidies to everyone. Here’s another idea: http://perc.org/articles/grazing-buy-out

    “In Utah, the Grand Canyon Trust has been buying federal grazing permits since 1996 in the canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. The trust identifies lands it views as most threatened by livestock grazing, then offers ranchers a price based on the value of the land for conservation. If the offer is accepted, the trust pays the seller for the permits and takes over stewardship. The trade satisfies both rancher and trust or it does not take place. One problem remains. Under current law, federal rangeland can be left cattle free for only for three consecutive years. Then it must be re-opened for grazing bids.” -See more at: http://perc.org/articles/grazing-buy-out#sthash.EJHJzmnB.dpuf

    • See http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/43/1901

      43 U.S. Code § 1901 – Congressional findings and declaration of policy
      (a) The Congress finds and declares that—
      (5) to prevent economic disruption and harm to the western livestock industry, it is in the public interest to charge a fee for livestock grazing permits and leases on the public lands which is based on a formula reflecting annual changes in the costs of production

      and http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/43/1905

      For the grazing years 1979 through 1985, the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior shall charge the fee for domestic livestock grazing on the public rangelands which Congress finds represents the economic value of the use of the land to the user, and under which Congress finds fair market value for public grazing equals the $1.23 base established by the 1966 Western Livestock Grazing Survey multiplied by the result of the Forage Value Index (computed annually from data supplied by the Economic Research Service) added to the Combined Index (Beef Cattle Price Index minus the Price Paid Index) and divided by 100: Provided, That the annual increase or decrease in such fee for any given year shall be limited to not more than plus or minus 25 per centum of the previous year’s fee.

      That formulae remains in effect today.

  6. Why not direct DRUG TESTING for these ‘Cliven Bundy’ deadbeats??? If we can do if for needy famlies down on their luck, why not the Koch and other hypocrites?

  7. Have you seen the Koch brother’s propaganda video that’s has been aired lately on tv? They start by saying Koch Industries started in the “heartlands”. Since when is Stalinist Russia considered the “heartlands”?

  8. Excellent post, Cowgirl.

    While AFP’s coddling of earth haters like Daines is hardly surprising Montana’s treatment of bison as livestock while protecting wild horses is just plain ignorant. Ted Turner’s contributions to Democrats are drops in the deluge that the Kochtopus floods into the GOP.

    Matt Koehler is an advocate of Sue and Settle lining his pockets simply by being in the right places at the right times. Anyone who believes he selects anybody but Democrats in the privacy of a voting booth is delusional.

    • Why can Jon Tester and Mr, Daines behave in the same manner, and yet somehow your perceptions of them differ? Why does the label “R” make Mr. Daines an “earth hater” while all of Tester’s identical behaviors are hidden behind a “D”? What clouds your perceptions so?

      Lawsuits are used when government agencies like Forest Service refuse to do their job and obey existing laws. They are a last resort. No one gets rich. Lawbreakers are forced to obey the law. why does that upset you?

      You have publicly maligned the character of Mr. Koehler. A gentlemen would offer a public apology.

    • Hello Larry Kurtz: Cool story. Here’s the truth: In 20 years of being active on public lands management issues I’ve processed one EAJA check, and as is required by law, all the EAJA fees went to lawyers. I’ve never used a penny of EAJA fees to ‘line my pockets.’ You are encouraged to view our official IRS 990 forms at http://www.guidestar.org.

      As for the voting both, I’ve voted Dems, GOP, Green, Libertarian and independent during 20 years of Montana voting. I also very regularly ‘write in’ people I respect or ‘leave it blank.’ You are delusional if you think I only vote for Democrats.

      It’s too bad you avoided the substantive comments about public lands management I made above and instead just made up lies about me, but oh well.

      • Matt, that you have railed far more vigorously against the GOP than the Democratic Party warms the cockles of my heart; yet, it is evident in your comments at NCFP and other fora you tend to preach to whichever choir you’re visiting at the time.

        • Huh, “warms the cockles of your heart?”

          “it is evident in your comments at NCFP and other fora you tend to preach to whichever choir you’re visiting at the time.” Again, huh?

          Here’s a listing of all the articles I’ve posted at the New Century in Forest Planning blog, where I’ve been a contributor for 4 years or so. http://forestpolicypub.com/author/cleangreensustainable/

          I assume all my comments on that site are also searchable.

          I think you have me confused with someone else Larry Kurtz. Thanks.

          • Mr. Koehler: journalists who make themselves players in their own stories open themselves to criticism from policy makers and politicians all the time. Your choices, however, seem to indicate an obsession with denigrating decision makers whose views don’t conform to your particular solutions. Ergo, litigation follows where diplomacy fails.

            Montana ain’t Oregon, Matt.

            • Again Larry Kurtz, huh?

              • Mr. Koehler: your twitter feed is a continual barrage of invective and gotcha interspersed with attacks and demands on and from people who have better things to do and more constituencies to satisfy than the environmental community.

                Pick a champion and back her or him instead of rolling loose on the deck trying to point the cannon.

                • Funny, Larry Kurtz but you regularly RT my personal tweets. So what’s up with that?

                  It’s interesting to go back and trace these comments from you in this thread. At first you spread lies about me about money, then you move onto other personal attacks, and now you wish I’d tweet differently. Ok, but you never have addressed any of the substance in my original post.

                  I will pick and champion and back them when I find one. Until then, if you think I’m “rolling loose on the deck trying to point the cannon” I could give a sh*t.

                  I have a laser focus when it comes to public lands management and preserving America’s public lands legacy. I full support science-based, legal management that is open, inclusive and transparent…and I oppose and expose any efforts from anyone or anywhere that don’t uphold those basic principles. Thanks.

                  • Nothing like a stopped clock to remind us that every junkie’s like a setting sun, Mr. Koehler. Maybe some day you will learn that honey attracts more flies than even lawyers do.

                  • ~sigh~

                    Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Matthew, few people probably understand Larry’s frustration with you as well as I do. Allow me, yet again, to attempt a rational explanation for how your ‘laser focused’ cannon is being counter-productive.

                    As Greg above points out, there are many people who agree with you, but not enough and not strong enough to ‘fight’ with your enviro-kung-fu style with the laser cannon. If you had the weaponry you think you do (THE TRUTH!) then you’d be winning. You aren’t and you won’t. You spend as much time berating those who agree with you and those who don’t as you do actually telling the Truth. And when you do that, you mix truth with lie, big lie. You tell people that they are less because they don’t agree with you enough, and they know that to be a lie. Jon Tester told a lie about lawsuits. It’s an appealing lie, it really is. There are choices to be made about the lies we are confronted with. Do we side with the appealing lie or the guy who demeans us for not agreeing enough, another lie we know intimately?

                    You can blame PR, you can blame money, you can join the Illuminati conspiracy resistance, you can divide people into partisans and collaborators. But here’s the punch line I tried, at least initially, to get across to you before and you wouldn’t listen to (nor are you listening to this day.) You lose. And you’ll keep losing. No one will join a loser, period. You think that the law establishes what is TRUE and good? I tried to tell you that the law is malleable. It is a rubber band, and if public opinion is not seduced by money, or patriotism or fact or pain to stretch in your favored direction, then you lose.

                    Toke would have it that money buys law. Yes, sometimes it does. Patriotism buys law. Pain buys law. Disdain buys law, usually contra to what the public feels revulsion for. You? You go out of your way to promote lawsuit and pain and revulsion, and people’s opinions follow suit. As you lay your head down at night satisfied of a job FOR TRUTH well done, the people favor a change in law that defeats what you want. You wake up in the morning to find the law changed and scream at the stupidity of this politician or that, and the general public of course. Then those politicians get re-elected, and you harsh on people even harder. Your laser focused cannon is shooting blanks, isn’t it?

                    You’re not winning and you’re not going to win as long as you push people into the ‘other’ camp. Larry Kurtz could be a big ally, so could I. But we’re just not willing to give our thoughts and minds over to your control. You don’t give a shit, if I read you comment correctly. You’ll go it alone and …

                    You lose.

    • Mr. Kurtz: Mr. Koehler in the last public document available on his salary, his organizations 2012 990, collected a grand total of $10,400 in 2012. This information is public, and can be Found at Guidestar for no fee. I trust you’ll aim before you shoot next time.

      Indeed you owe the man an apology, as you are not merely making ugly unfounded accusations, but are libeling him. But I would guess you are on of those judgement-proof types.

      On the other hand, the “collaborators,” that is, those groups like Montana Wilderness Association, Trout Unlimited, and Montana Wildlife Federation, those who Jon Tester deems worthy of inviting into his selective processes, have taken from various foundations hundreds and hundred of thousands of dollars in moneys that are called payments to “contractors.” MWA alone got $348,000 a few years back from Pew Charitable Trusts, the legacy of the Sun Oil Company.

      So one man, $10,400 versus three Tester-collaborative groups receiving millions in financing from an oil-related trust, and you’re attacking the guy who made $10,400? You make no sense.

      • Maybe Mr. Koehler run for public office and withstand public scrutiny in whatever state he chooses to alight, toke: he and President Obama could play golf together on fungicide-laden courses throughout the US.

        • I find your comments to be vapid and silly. I do not take you seriously.

          • I find yours to be vituperative drivel and contrary to preserving Montana’s future.

            • “…preserving Montana’s future” is empty words, no content. This is typical, you searched the depths of your vocabulary for three words that seemingly have some content and slapped them on the page. You don’t know what they mean. No one does.

  9. Matthew,

    ISO links as to entities that would buy logs,cants and dimensional lumber processed from TOTAL NEW RELEASES In Montana. Domestic home building may go negative in 2nd half of this year. Commodity deflation trends continue. Stong dollar discourages importers of USA lumber.


    IMO, global commerce has morphed from past Most Favored Nation,
    to most favored Global Corporations.

    Thankyou for Posting valuable, verify-able information!

    Bob Williams

  10. All of the demonization of the Kochs is just too “inside baseball” for voters who face real issues. Like most of the over-heated finger pointing, it is for fund raising purposes and distraction for party failings. When that gets confused with bread and butter issues, it just turns people off.

    Now as to grazing fees see this professional analysis that includes both the state and federal components. http://dnrc.mt.gov/Trust/AGM/GrazingRateStudy/Documents/GrazingReviewByBioeconomics.pdf

  11. The Koch brothers historical legacy will include their $400 million failure to defeat President Obama.

  12. All this back and forth about which group, Corp. or individual is attempting to buy our Government.

    Wake the F up.

    In the end, it is all about money that grants access and in turn, power/influence.

    And all that produces more money to the original investor be it Soros, Koch, Steyer infinitum.

    CU was bad for this country and unfettered donations are worse.

    The campaigns are all far too long, too expensive and a dog and pony show designed to be the Super Bowl of politics. Entertainment pure and simple.

  13. Since “shaming” is what get’s the faithful to reflexively spasm in righteous indignation, might as well go after this person next. http://flatheadbeacon.com/2015/02/23/starting-scratch/

  14. Here’s for more awareness of benefits,
    Of public financed political campaigns.
    Benefits like more open, more inclusive, more transparent! ! !

    Dark money has Already degraded the R and D duopoly,
    With maybe an increasing rate/load/levy FORWARD!

    Look how far forward the fund raising for 2016 R and D Presidential Candidates has already advanced!

    Seems like opulent dark money has Already selected, trained and established some real doozies,
    here in Montana.

    Bob Williams

  15. Montana senator twice gets his facts wrong on timber sales and litigation
    By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Fact Checker

    “Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them.”

    – Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), interview with Montana Public Radio, Feb. 18, 2015

    “Nearly half of the awarded timber volume in Fiscal Year 2014 is currently under litigation.”

    – revised statement issued by Tester’s staff, Feb. 19, 2015

    Our inbox started flowing with e-mails from outraged residents of Montana shortly after Montana Public Radio ran an interview in which Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) asserted that “every logging sale” in the state was “under litigation.” The complaints also reached the radio station, as within a day, Tester’s staff offered a revised statement that focused on “volume” rather than sales. Marnee Banks, his spokeswoman, apologized for the original statement, but Tester himself made no comment.

    But when we asked Tester’s staff for evidence to back up the revised statement, they simply directed us to the U.S. Forest Service, rather than explain the data themselves. It’s taken a few days to unravel the numbers, but this is a case of apples and oranges, with a few limes thrown in.

    What’s the actual effect of litigation on logging in Montana?

    Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/02/25/montana-senator-twice-gets-his-facts-wrong-on-timber-sales-and-litigation/

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