Montana Politics

Republicans Criticize Lindeen on Ethics

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Another sensible idea from the ever-consistent Montana GOP. It seems they are concerned about the ethics of Monica Lindeen because she had the audacity to vote on a bill related to Internet service providers while serving in the Montana legislature. Lindeen, you see, the Republicans argue, should have put her investments in a blind trust.

I think that makes a ton of sense for part time, citizen legislators like Montana has. Real sensible. I also assume that all the Republican members of the Montana Legislature who are farmers or ranchers refuse to vote on ag issues, and those who are business owners refuse to vote on taxes, regulatory matters, and wage increases. I’m also sure that Jack Wells excuses himself from votes about union issues.

It’s a cute attempt to equate the serious ethical lapses of the Republicans in our state with Lindeen, and a pathetic one at that.

And the Howard Stern ethics argument? Someone needs a soundbite analogy course, stat!

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

7 Comments

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  • You’ve got it wrong. This wouldn’t be an issue if Lindeen was consistent in her voting record. She’s consistently voted against prohibiting government competition with business except in the one instance where she had a financial interest.

    Also, good point on the analogy problem. That’s not my fault, Chuck Johnson misquoted the press release. See below.

    (Helena) – Congressional candidate Monica Lindeen’s voting record reveals that as a legislator she made votes from which she may have financially profited. In addition, Lindeen has accepted campaign contributions from companies in which she owns stock. Together, these two facts put into serious question the ethical standards which Lindeen claims to have.

    During the 2001 legislative session, Lindeen co-sponsored SB 327, which prohibited government agencies and political subdivisions within the state from competing against private internet service providers. According to documents filed with the Commissioner of Political Practices in 2002, at the time of that vote, Lindeen held over $97,000 in stock in Earthlink, the company that purchased the internet service provider she helped start, Montana Communications Network. Additionally, Lindeen’s financial report from 2001 indicates that at the time of the vote, she was drawing a salary and benefits from another internet service provider, Onemain.com.

    Lindeen voted against another bill during the 2001 Legislative Session that proposed a similar concept. SB 151 prohibited the Montana University System from competing against local for-profit fitness centers. Though the two bills were nearly identical in concept and both had widespread support, Lindeen voted against prohibiting government competition only in the example where she had no personal, financial benefit.

    “Monica Lindeen has been trying to brand herself as the ethics czar, but I find that laughable,” said Chuck Denowh, the executive director of the Montana Republican Party. “Her contradictory votes are proof positive that her rhetoric doesn’t matcher her record.”

    In an opinion this week, Lindeen wrote that if elected to Congress, she will “arrive in Washington with no strings attached to big-money puppet masters.” However, Lindeen has already accepted campaign contributions from numerous lobbyists, including several from companies in which she owns stock.

    “The fact that Lindeen is taking money from lobbyists that work for corporations that’s she’s invested in is a super-sized red flag,” Denowh said. “And we’re not talking your average Montanan’s 401K here, she’s literally owns hundreds of thousands in stock. For her to preach to us on ethics is like having Howard Stern lecture on temperance.” Denowh explained that most members of Congress place their invested money in so-called “blind trusts” in order to avoid similar conflicts of interest.

    “The bottom line is this,” Denowh continued, “The only ethically-challenged person in this race is Monica Lindeen. She’s used her elected position for her own financial benefit, and she’s accepted some very questionable campaign contributions from corporate lobbyists. Montanans need to questions her integrity and honesty, and whether she’s even fit to serve in this office.”

  • Thanks for the response, Chuck, but I do have a couple of questions.

    What makes it a pattern? Even if the claim has merit, one instance is hardly proof of a pattern.

    Additionally, did you mean that the blind trust argument should have applied while she was in the Legislature? The PR sure implies it–and you know that doesn’t make any sense. Montana’s legislature just can’t work that way.

    And are you willing to agree that all GOP legislators who own businesses will excuse themselves from votes on the minimum wage, insurance standards, and other issues that impact their incomes? I suspect not.

  • ahahahahahahaha…hahahahahahahah…

    Sorry, Pog. I just had to bend over and roll on the floor for a minute. Pattern? You don’t know Lindeen on a personal “inside” level.

    hahahahahahahahahah…hahahahahahahah

    hey Chuck Denowh – your on the right track.

    -i

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