When it came time for the Montana delegation to declare its support for Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention on live TV, it was Theresa Manzella, the loony “Montexit” state legislator from the Bitterroot, who gave the speech.
But while she was speaking, her fellow delegates helped her out by holding up a map, from the American Lands Council website, showing all of the federal lands and Indian reservations that the Montana GOP would like to see sold off or reverted to state ownership.
This is the issue on which Ryan Zinke resigned as a delegate (but not as a speaker and enthusiastic attendee) to the convention last week, on which Bullock is beating Gianforte, over which the Oregon standoff was fought, and on which the Republicans are becoming an increasingly marginalized group of people in Montana. Manzella was joined by Dee Brown, Chairman Jeff Essman, Zinke fundraiser Will Selph, and scoff-law Art Wittich, who was convicted of corruption by a jury of his peers. Montana voters should know that the Montana Republican Party leadership, during it’s most public moment in the national spotlight which occurs only once every four years, chose to use the platform to declare its support for an idea that is crazy and bizarre–that Montana should acquire our national forests and parks from the federal government, and sell some of the lands to private buyers.