One of Montana’s remaining investigative news stalwarts, the Bozeman Chronicle has broken the story today of an ethics investigation involving a handful of right-wing GOP muckety-mucks.
The Montana Attorney General is investigating an alleged ethics violation by Gallatin County Commissioner Steve White, a TEA Party Republican and hobby drone aficionado and brother to Rep. Kerry White (R-TEA, Bozeman). As the Chronicle reports, the ethics complaint alleges that Commissioner White got subdivisions approved for a developer named Loren Bough, in exchange for some lavish gifts – including a season of skiing at the exclusive Yellowstone Club, where one can rub elbows with people who call Montana their seventh home.
As for Steve, he said he didn’t see anything wrong with the accepting the ” great and generous (Yellowstone Club) ski season” (his words), because while the developments in question were in Gallatin County, the Yellowstone Club you see is in Madison County. White adds “…Gallatin County commissioners have no authority over anything going on in the Yellowstone Club so I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that.”
How could you not totally believe such a brilliant argument, dear readers. Let’s hope hasn’t thrown it all away for some ski resort hobnobbing.
Bough is the chair of a called “wise use” anti-conservation group called PERC, which has received thousands from the Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobile, and GOP Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte himself (see the screenshots below.) The property in question is in Rep. Kerry White’s (R-TEA) house seat.
To be sure, we don’t know that Rep. White had anything to do with it. We only know that he is a big fan of PERC, which has apparently done a study showing how great it would be if the public land takeover these Oregon standoff loons were fighting for came true. Rep. White has two of his own “wise use” groups Citizens for Balanced Use (which he founded) and Montanans for Multiple Use. As for Commissioner Steven White, he’s looking to get into the real estate “space” (as they say in Bozeman) himself: turning his love of drones into a real estate photography business.