“Wise Use” Leader, TEA Party Official Target of Ethics Investigation

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.


Stay tuned.

PERC Gianforte
ethics allegations PERC Board Chair Loren Bough

8 Comments on "“Wise Use” Leader, TEA Party Official Target of Ethics Investigation"

  1. Right….Defenders of Wildlife lawyer Brian Gallik, bro of Dave Gallik who himself was up on ethics charges a couple of years ago. Political revenge? And Troy Carter is the perfect foil for this….
    Might be an expensive six days of skiing.

  2. This story is developing. Let us see where it goes before we get the torches and pitchforks.

    • Good counsel; these allegations appear to be generated by attorneys for a developer unhappy with plans to build affordable housing in Big Sky. The approved project for which the bribery claims are being levied is for a not-for-profit development which makes these bribery claims spurious and tainted by ulterior motives. Thus, disparaging White and Bough with allegations they are somehow connected (with no real evidence) to the Tea Party could be viewed as irresponsible and contributing to the interests of for-profit property developers fighting much needed affordable housing projects.

  3. Now I’m wondering if these guys are Trump supporters? 20 Years in Russia? Why are we finding Russia under every “conservative” rock we turn over these days? Maybe we should see these clowns tax returns as well as Trump’s? Funny how every mention of “Hillary, email” gets hours of breathless press coverage but when it comes to Trump’s encouraging “Eastern European” models to commit felonies while coming to work, his abuse of HB2 visas to import peons from around the world to build and staff his properties all we hear is a deafening silence. Fascism is on the march-and the Oligarchs see it as a threat-this explains the Stop Trump movement in the GOP.

  4. Hey, anyone else remember when the “Lone Mountain Fellow” of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) – that “wise use” anti-conservation group, which has received thousands from the Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobile, and GOP Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte himself – had nice things to say about Senator Jon Tester’s mandated public lands logging bill, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act? And that supporters of Senator Tester’s bill were touting the essay of PERC’s “Lone Mountain Fellow?”

    I do. Sort of surprised that Cowgirl doesn’t appear to remember though, since it was on this very blog a few year’s ago.


  5. In reference to the picture of the four people on the chairlift:

    Are they really the people in this story? Looks to me like four models posing for a clothing manufacturer’s magazine advertisement.

    Do Yellowstone Club skiers really dress like those in the picture? I’m wondering whether those four can ski as pretty as they look.

    • Nah, Ken, looking at the hardware and clothing, that’s about 1990, a year or two on either side of the mad Day Glo fetish of the time. And the fact is, the prettier they are on the chair, the worse they can turn. Period. Compensation mechanism, ya know.

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