The Art of Giving and the CSKT Water Compact

GOP Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen (TEA-Culbertson)

As the Montana House decides the fate of the CSKT Tribe water rights agreement for the only tribe in Montana that has been denied a water compact by the Montana legislature, some troubling information has come to light involving speaker of the House Austin Knudsen and a high-profile opponent of the agreement.

On Austin Knudsen’s Facebook page there is a December 24 picture (pasted below) of a gun and holster.  The wording is somewhat ambiguous, but appears as if the gun and a holster were a gift from EJ Redding.  It’s emblazoned with his name and the name of his lobbying and “consulting firm” M&B Strategies, Helena MT, E.J. Redding.

Knudsen Redding Gun gift

As you can see from the screenshot above, Speaker Knudsen writes in his Christmas eve post that it is from Redding: “Another set of art in leather from Edward J Redding”

It certainly appears that the value would exceed $50, the maximum value of gift Montana officials may accept from lobbyists as outlined in 2-2-102(2)(a) and 2-2-204, if this is what’s happened.  And, of course, the date suggests a Christmas gift.

Redding of course is a right wing operative at 47 North Communications.  He is reputed to have raised the bulk of funds for the candidacy of TEA Party fundamentalist Lawrence Van Dyke for the Supreme Court. He is also an outspoken opponent of the CSKT Water Compact, and his paramour, Margaret Morgan, is a registered lobbyist for the anti-compact Flathead Joint Board of Control, as you can see from one of Redding’s anti-compact letters.   It’s also interesting that neither Neither E.J.Redding nor Jon Metropoulos have registered any activities regarding the CSKT Compact with the Office of Political Practices, as of the time of this post.

GOP Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen (TEA-Culbertson)

GOP Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen (TEA-Culbertson)

It’s also worth noting that Knudsen, as has been reported, recently opened his own law firm.  Redding represents the Bainville schools (which are in Knudsen’s area) and undoubtedly has some influence over the selection of counsel for various businesses and developers in the once booming oilfields.

We can only presume that the brand on the cartridge holder is registered to the Knudsen family.  Some have wondered if this is even legal. It certainly doesn’t look good.

In response to this post, Rep. Knudsen said he bought the pistol himself and that his wife bought the holster for him. In the Facebook post, he does not credit his wife with giving him a holster emblazoned with a lobbying firm logo – he only says it was “from E.J. Redding.” I’ll let the reader decide what they feel is the truth.


14 Comments on "The Art of Giving and the CSKT Water Compact"

  1. He bought it you turd muffin.

  2. His Wife??? HAHAHAH!!!! Right. His wife bought him a leather holster for his birthday, emblazened with the logo of a Lobbying Firm. That may be the single stupidest story a Montana politician has ever invented.


  3. Grandma Jeannie | April 11, 2015 8:16 PM at 8:16 PM |

    Come on…who says – “I’d like a custom holster for my husband for a christmas gift – can you go ahead and add the logo of your lobbying firm to it? Thanks, that’d be great.”

    Does not pass the smell test.

  4. No one believes you, Austin.

    “Don’t worry about it” isn’t going to work this time.

  5. Another arrogant politician!

  6. One of the quickest ways to know that you can safely stop listening to someone is when they espouse an opinion that you know they didn’t so much think up as regurgitate from the echo chamber. It shows that they are a drone, a worthless dolt, a disciple of the Limbaugh and the Hannity, and all you can do with them is hopefully minimize the damage they can do if they’re in power.

    So it is with Austin Knudsen, who blather’s on about “too much government” while blithely celebrating and /or promoting the passage of laws that insert the government into people’s personal lives (if they are women or gay)–an accepting hundreds of thousands dollars in farm subsidies for himself.

    Funny thing with Knudsen – he isn’t in power. He’s a puppet of the TEA Party wing of his caucus and has shown no ability to control them as they drive the GOP bus gleefully off the cliff.

    • Indeed, the Speaker (son of Canute) caught in the middle being handled by the ‘Essman and Wittich’ Tag Team………..Knudsen’s a bright guy, and in his first term tried to stand up for his constituents and their
      property rights, but was crushed by Big Oil when they had Knudsen’s law firm dismiss him. Now ironically he’s back doing ‘their’ bidding………..

  7. Again thanks for the laugh . Cowgirl, you are the top notch expert when it comes to MT political satire! What’s even more funny is that most of your followers don’t know they’re part of your joke.

    • The real THEATER OF THE ABSURD was last Wednesday, when Rep. Mandeville and his fellow ‘teabaggers’ had a temper tantrum and decided to TERMINATE the session, and their votes ARE recorded to show voters/constituents that they QUIT, without a budget and resolving CRITICAL issues, and STILL collect
      healthcare – paid by the PUBLIC – while they would have fled Helena with ‘hurt’ feelings. Mandeville and
      all, MAN UP!

      • Oops, I forget to note that even SPEAKER KNUDSEN VOTED TO ADJOURN THE ENTIRE SESSION, without a budget, a CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT@!!!! I guess Speaker Knudsen and Rep. Pinocci (‘underpaid, overworked’ and saddled with free healthcare paid for by you and I) didn’t get a ‘time out’ before such a reckless and feckless vote to adjourn while cracking under pressure. MAN UP!

  8. Speaker Knudsen’ HB596 Public Charter School bill ‘gasping’ again before Senate Education committee and deeply flawed, as it’s AGAIN un-constitutional AND does not require teacher accreditation which is absurd! Standards matter, or does the Speaker also want doctors, nurses and other professionals to not have
    any standards? Home school is one thing, but this wants to make one big ‘home school’ with standards.

    • Oops, no standards for charter. I think home schooling would get more credibility – and some kind
      of resourcing – if there were some kind of standard for parents, or adults but those who home school
      make that choice for their children, and the responsibility I guess rests on them, good or ill.

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