A group of TEA party elected officials in the Flathead have been caught colluding to commission a secret report they hoped would help them defeat a water rights compact for the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe–and stick the public with the bill.
“We did it the way we did it, because we felt it was imperative for us to keep this under wraps until we could get the report and distribute it,” said Jerry Laskody, chair of the Flathead Joint Board of Control “We didn’t want anybody to know what we were doing.”
The Valley Journal reported this week that the TEA Partiers planned in advance how to avoid having to comply with public record laws. Laskody claimed that the board’s attorneys had recommend that plans for the secret report be made by “a non-quorum of the board working together” to avoid public meeting laws. Laskody said the secrecy was needed because someone might leak information he considered “privileged.”
The Valley Journal also reported that the TEA Partiers first put up their own money for the secret report – saying they would ask the board permission to use public money to pay for it later. However, later, the bill for $6,625 for the secret anti-compact study suddenly appeared on the board’s monthly bill list without the board’s approval.
This is not the first time the Flathead Joint Board of control has been caught in a scandal. These same officials were recorded discussing-–in front of their own organization’s running audio recorder-–if the room was bugged after they had a conversation about how American Indians were “not Americans” and other racist statements.
Boone Cole and Jerry Laskody were recently elected to Montana’s Flathead Joint Board of Control by TEA Party dark money groups specifically to obstruct a water rights agreement with Montana tribes.
UPDATE: If anyone has a copy of this report, please post the link in the comments or email a link or copy of it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it.Tweet