Senator Daines credibility crisis

Big Fin

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
15,124
Location
Bozeman, MT
Well, looks like I missed the big fireworks of yesterday's Senate vote on public land transfers to the states, sidetracked by two days of getting my Mom moved back home to Minnesota. She is now in the good hands of my brother.

Some of you outside of Montana may not want to read this, as it pertains to a US Senator from Montana. Yet, given the legislation in question has a huge impact on Federal Lands, you might want to read it.

Yesterday's vote on the Murkowski Amendment, was very interesting. One Senator in particular, has some serious accountability and credibility issues brewing. That being freshman Senator Steve Daines from my hometown of Bozeman.

For a guy who ran on a platform of supporting public lands, he seems to be in full scale retreat. It is no secret he has strong relationships with Kerry White and the rest of the Montana ALC crowd. He made some good votes in his final days as a Congressman that gave reason to believe his self-proclaimed passion for public lands; specifically the North Fork of the Flathead and the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act.

Earlier this year, as a freshman Senator, he cast a vote against his fellow Republican, Senator Burr (NC), to reauthorize and fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). He got hammered for that vote, and rightfully so, given his vote could have changed a 51-49 vote to a 49-51 vote.

Yesterday he voted for the Murkowski Amendment that would open up Federal Lands to be transferred to states, exactly what we have fought so hard to squash at the state levels. It surely has the "Sell the public land" crowd reinvigorated after getting their teeth handed to them in the state legislatures of the west this winter. Just when those groups had tucked tail and headed back to Utah, the Senate hands them a gift such as that.

And once again, it is a 51-49 vote. And once again, Senator Daines finds himself on the wrong side of the issues by a large margin among Montanans. He knows the data shows Montanans are heavily in favor of public lands and strongly opposed to selling public lands. Had Senator Daines voted according to the strong sentiment Montanans convey whenever polled about public land issues, the Amendment would have failed 49-51.

All that raises the questions:

> Who is Senator Daines representing in his service in the Senate, Montanans, or the special interest groups pedaling (better stated as buying) influence?

> Is he and his staff getting played in the big games of DC politics to look like amateurs?

> Does Senator Daines and his staff not understand that volumes of data that shows the importance public lands holds to Montanans? See the screen shot of a survey from last summer, specific to this topic.
Public land sale.jpg


> Did Senator Daines fall to the typical political mindset of "Tell them what they want to hear" when in many private meetings he told people his support for public lands and that disposing of them was not an answer, rather managing them was a better answer?
I could list many more questions raised by the flip flop on these public land issues and the apparent lack of courage to stand up against the outside lobbyists that would screw us out of our public lands . Point being, Senator Daines is suffering from a huge credibility crisis at this time. It appears his allegiance to the ALC/ALEC donors takes precedent over Montana values when these votes come to the Senate floor.

I fully expect the Senator to get flamed in the Montana media in the coming days. As he should. He's already at a cross-roads in his young Senate career. A credibility crisis of large portions.

Is he going to continue to march to the orders of the Utah folks funding ALC and the Kansas billionaires funding ALEC; groups whose positions are summarily rejected by the majority of Montanans? Or, is he going to make good on his promises to protect and enhance the public land legacy Montanans are so attached to?

Guess we will find out in the coming months. Given what we have seen of his public land votes so far in his Senate career, I'm not holding my breath.
 

Ben Lamb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
14,026
Location
Cedar, MI
Once again, the senator is the deciding vote on an issue that he claims to be on the right side of.

Once again, we're all scratching our heads and rethinking his commitment to hunters and public land.
 

Nameless Range

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
3,853
Location
Western Montana
Good job highlighting what Senator Daines has done thus far in his Congressional career.

On this forum I have made it no secret though that for me, the questions you posit were answered long ago during his time as a Montana Legislator.

Like far too many politicians of either party, his chief skill is saying enough of the right things to get elected by the Independent contingent. His base will do as they are told regardless.

As you pointed out, in terms of favorability on this specific issue, what Senator Daines supported yesterday is viewed as unfavorable to both his base and the independents he so desperately needs-seemingly a lose-lose.

No worries for him though, a couple obfuscating excuses, some non-specific statements about the National Debt, and the future guarantee of millions of out-of-state dollars attacking his next political opponent await. So for him, a win.

“I will not support any proposals that would reduce Montanans' access to our public lands, nor will I support efforts that result in the sale of public lands that Montanans so greatly value.” -Steve Daines

http://billingsgazette.com/news/loc...e51-501e-9725-653d436ed8f8.html#ixzz3VbjkRXQk

When politicians lie to get elected we call it lip service - but it is still lying.
 

pointingdogsrule

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,668
Location
northeast Iowa
Well, I'll chime in on this topic (and I'll be ready to be "burned at the stake") :)

I think that for Randy and myself will agree that we must preserve our public lands (that's my assumption... I could be wrong). In the first paragraph: "public land transfers to the states". That is totally different from what is stated in two later paragraphs and the photo: "selling public lands". Selling of public lands is different then the transfer. If I am wrong then someone can enlighten me. There is an assumption that once land is transferred then the land will be sold.

Ben: "the deciding vote". If you can tell me that the Sen. from Montana was the last vote on the bill then he "was the deciding vote". If he was NOT the last vote then you can make the claim that anyone of the Sens. that vote for the transfer were the deciding vote.

Third and it's unfortunate in this day and time. POLITICIANS are often just that POLITICIANS. How many times do we see politicians vote one way (on a bill that has no chance of success) just to vote another way later on when it really matters. Called posturing and later they will tell us: "I voted for the bill before I voted against the bill"
. My question (BEN LAMB) what is this bill amended to and what chance does it have of being passed??

Finally, I AM ALL FOR PUBLIC LANDS (and them staying public). Maybe someone can show me where the "transfer" of these lands is intended for the "sale". I realize that here in Iowa we have no Federal lands, however, we do have "state lands" which are public and they are managed wisely.

Let the "match lighting begin"

Thanks for you time.
the dog
 
Last edited:

Ben Lamb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
14,026
Location
Cedar, MI
Here's the Murkowski Amendment:


AMENDMENT NO. 838

(Purpose: To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund relating to the disposal of certain Federal land)
At the appropriate place, insert the following:

SEC. __X. SPENDING-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO THE DISPOSAL OF CERTAIN FEDERAL LAND.

The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to initiatives to sell or transfer to, or exchange with, a State or local government any Federal land that is not within the boundaries of a National Park, National Preserve, or National Monument, by the amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided that such legislation would not raise new revenue and would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2016 through 2020 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2016 through 2025.

It is absolutely correct to state that this amendment is about the transfer and sale of public lands based on the language of the amendment.

The amendment passed 51-49. Daine's vote was a deciding vote. If he would have voted how he told people he would in February when he stood at the desk in the House of Representatives in Helena, the amendment would have failed. We can play semantics,but the reality of Daine's vote is that is inconsistent with his rhetoric and it was a deciding vote. 1 vote killed that amendment and Daines voted the wrong way. Therefore - he was the deciding vote.
 
Last edited:

Big Fin

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
15,124
Location
Bozeman, MT
Dog:

No "match lighting." I think many have the same questions you do.

I will try to answer some of it.

Transfer and sale are the same thing. Tons of evidence to show that, provided in other threads on this forum. I will try to sort out some examples.

The same groups who are promoting "transfer" at the state level are now in DC promoting outright sale. Those are ALC/ALEC/AFP. They call it whatever they think will have the most appeal to the delegation they are lobbying.

You are right, any of the 51 votes "For" could be considered "the" deciding vote. Daines' vote as a vote that could have swayed it to 50-50.

To your third point about posturing, that is correct also. Happens all the time. Yet, in Daines' case, he is posturing with an Amendment that focuses around an issue Montanans have been rejecting for years and most recently, fighting against.

For him to now "posture" on this issue only serves to give the disposal/transfer crowd a better place to sell their influence; DC. They got a complete butt whooping in the state legislatures. Now, they look to the Senate and see that they can influence folks back there against the wishes of their constituents back home.

To your point of sale versus transfer, I will find one of the other links/images that show how Montanans feel about transfer, also.

Thanks for stating it the way you have. If anyone flames you for asking the question, their post will get toasted.
 

Sytes

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
8,715
Location
Montana
Message sent to Daines.
Disappointed.
Don't tread on OUR lands!
 

jryoung

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
4,952
Location
Unable to determine due to velocity
I think that for Randy and myself will agree that we must preserve our public lands (that's my assumption... I could be wrong). In the first paragraph: "public land transfers to the states". That is totally different from what is stated in two later paragraphs and the photo: "selling public lands". Selling of public lands is different then the transfer. If I am wrong then someone can enlighten me. There is an assumption that once land is transferred then the land will be sold.

Transfer will result in sale, simple as that. State infrastructure and economics will dictate that. Fire costs alone will dictate that.

Ben: "the deciding vote". If you can tell me that the Sen. from Montana was the last vote on the bill then he "was the deciding vote". If he was NOT the last vote then you can make the claim that anyone of the Sens. that vote for the transfer were the deciding vote.

Context matters, yes he was not the "last" vote, but a "deciding" vote, especially in the context of being "pro-sportman"

Finally, I AM ALL FOR PUBLIC LANDS (and them staying public). Maybe someone can show me where the "transfer" of these lands is intended for the "sale". I realize that here in Iowa we have no Federal lands, however, we do have "state lands" which are public and they are managed wisely.

There are restrictions to hunting all over the west on state lands. Further, state lands in the west must be managed for profit, in a nutshell that pretty much means economic development which is bad for hunting.

There's been a lot of great, factual based with support discussions here over the last couple of years. You might want to browse back through the Sportsman Issues and Fireside threads.
 

Gerald Martin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
5,624
pontingdogsrule- no burning at the stake here and I'm not the most informed on this topic. However, from what I do understand it is a matter of progression from federal public lands >state lands> sale to private.
State laws require state lands to be managed for profit since proceeds are to benefit the school trust fund. Transfer of federal public lands to the states will end up putting the management budget into the red since existing user fees on state lands would not balance the budget with a huge influx of additional federal lands. Grazing and lease fees and/or state taxes would have to be hiked/multiplied. Throw in the cost of the state fighting forest fires and managing roads, weeds, timber, etc. and it isn't long until the added federal lands become an unbearable burden for the state. Ergo, as required to manage for profit by state law, some or many of those newly added state lands must be sold to keep/facilitate profit.

In 50 years with this new model the net effect is going to be much less public land available for our kid's recreation and multipurpose use.
 

jryoung

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
4,952
Location
Unable to determine due to velocity
pontingdogsrule- no burning at the stake here and I'm not the most informed on this topic. However, from what I do understand it is a matter of progression from federal public lands >state lands> sale to private.
State laws require state lands to be managed for profit since proceeds are to benefit the school trust fund. Transfer of federal public lands to the states will end up putting the management budget into the red since existing user fees on state lands would not balance the budget with a huge influx of additional federal lands. Grazing and lease fees and/or state taxes would have to be hiked/multiplied. Throw in the cost of the state fighting forest fires and managing roads, weeds, timber, etc. and it isn't long until the added federal lands become an unbearable burden for the state. Ergo, as required to manage for profit by state law, some or many of those newly added state lands must be sold to keep/facilitate profit.

In 50 years with this new model the net effect is going to be much less public land available for our kid's recreation and multipurpose use.

Layer in those factors with how much easier it'd be to convince a state legislator to sell the lands as opposed getting congress to sell the lands? The founders were smart folks when designing the system to move at a slow pace. Frustrating at times, but necessary for fickle voters.
 

Big Fin

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
15,124
Location
Bozeman, MT
Dog:

A slide that shows lack of support for "Sale/disposal" across all spectrums.
FM3.jpg


Here are some slides that talk about "Transfer." Slide 8 shows Senator Daines' constituents are in large part against it. Slide 9 shows that when voters self-identify among five groups, only one group supports the notion of Transfer.
FM32.jpg

FM33.jpg

FM34.jpg
 

Ben Lamb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
14,026
Location
Cedar, MI
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2015
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, [email protected]

Montana Sportsmen Stung by Daines' Reversal on Public Land Sales
Senator cast deciding vote to pass controversial amendment
allowing sale of public lands

MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana sportsmen are strongly questioning U.S. Sen. Steve Daines for supporting a controversial amendment that would enable the sale of America's public lands.

Daines cast the deciding vote late Thursday that resulted in the Senate's 51-49 approval of Amendment 838. The amendment allows the federal government "to sell or transfer to, or exchange with, a State or local government any Federal land that is not within the boundaries of a National Park, National Preserve, or National Monument." Both Republicans and Democrats opposed the amendment.

"Montana's hunters and anglers are deeply troubled by Senator Daines' support for selling our federal lands," said John Sullivan, co-chair of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers' Montana Chapter. "Just a few weeks ago, Senator Daines told Montanans he opposes selling our public lands, but now he supports this terrible idea from Washington, D.C. Actions speak louder than words, and the senator's action last night has sent shock waves throughout the state."

The transfer and sale of public lands has been a controversial topic - and one unpopular with sportsmen as well as the citizenry at large - in Montana's 2015 legislative session. It gained little to no traction after hundreds of Montanans rallied at the capitol and the Montana Wood Products Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Business for Montana Outdoors rejected attempts by several lawmakers to advance the issue.

On Feb. 18, Daines tweeted during his speech to the legislature, "We must stand firm against any efforts to sell our public lands."

"Unfortunately, Senator Daines ignored the sportsmen of Montana in his decision to sell off America's birthright, our public lands," said Brian Solan, president of the Montana Wild Sheep Foundation. "Senator Daines cast the deciding vote on this amendment to sell public lands and abandoned the overwhelming support of public lands by Montanans, as demonstrated in the recent Montana legislative session. This is a dangerous policy that Senator Daines could have stopped with his vote, but did not."

Earlier this week, 17 Montana sportsmen's organizations wrote to Daines, Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Ryan Zinke urging them to "avoid any schemes that would take our federal public lands away from their rightful owners: the American people."

"I hope we can find an opportunity soon to work with Senator Daines to pass legislation to honor his promise to keep our public lands public," said Nick Gevock, conservation director of the Montana Wildlife Federation. "The amendment would have failed if Senator Daines had followed through with his earlier statements. Senator Daines could have stopped a dangerous policy - but he chose not to do so."


The letter appears below:

Dear Montana Congressional Delegation,

As you know, hunting and fishing is an integral part of the Montana way of life. A greater portion of Montanans hunt and fish, compared to any other state. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks economic analysis has determined the state's wildlife contributes $1.25 billion annually to the state's economy. In addition, hunting and fishing license dollars fund most statewide conservation efforts.

Because hunting and fishing is so important to Montana - and because public lands are so important for hunting and fishing - we urge you to avoid any schemes that would take our federal public lands away from their rightful owners: The American people.

As reported in the venerable Field & Stream this week: "Make no mistake: [transfer of public lands] will lead to a loss of access to some of the country's best hunting and fishing grounds, mean fewer opportunities for millions of sportsmen, and decimate the contribution that hunting and fishing make to our national economy."

Montana families absolutely depend upon national forests and other public land for our outdoor experiences. While Montanans also enjoy privately owned farms and ranches and on state school trust lands, our national forests, Bureau of Land Management Lands and National Wildlife Refuges are critical for our freedom to hunt and fish. Montana's national forests also provide fresh, cold waters that support Montana's legendary trout rivers, far downstream from the national forest boundaries. Frankly, Montana's public lands are the envy of the world.

Nationwide, loss of access is the No. 1 reason Americans are forced to give up their hunting and fishing traditions. Across Montana and the Western States, nearly 70 percent of hunters and anglers depend on public land for at least part of that access.

Because Montana hunters and anglers depend so much on our public lands, we are elbow deep in the controversies surround them.

While land management is often controversial, our public lands are priceless assets for Montana outdoor families and for sportsmen all across America. Any scheme that leads to the privatization and "transfer" of these lands away from their rightful owners - the American people - is an attack on hunting and fishing.

As the Missoula-based Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation said: "The notion of transferring ownership of lands currently overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or any other federal land manager to states, or worse yet to private interests, is not a solution to federal land management issues and we are opposed to this idea."

Sportsmen and -women of Montana want to be part of the solution to improved management and conservation of our public lands, wildlife habitat and clean water. However, the transfer of public land is a dangerous distraction from the work that needs to be done and flies in the face of Montana's outdoor traditions. We urge you to steadfastly reject and oppose any such scheme.

Sincerely,

Montana Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Montana Wildlife Federation
Montana Wild Sheep Foundation
Hellgate Hunters & Anglers
Flathead Wildlife Inc
Central Montana Outdoors
Traditional Archers of Montana
Montana Bowhunters Association
Helena Hunters & Anglers Association
Anaconda Sportsmen's Association
Pheasants Forever
MT Chapter, Mule Deer Foundation
Ravalli County Fish & Wildlife Association
Park County Rod & Gun Club
Laurel Rod & Gun Club
Gallatin Wildlife Association
Conrad Sportsmen Alliance

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen's voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife

Learn more about BHA:
Visit our website.
Connect with us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
 

MT_elk

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
2,684
Location
MT
Thanks for this post. I admit I voted for Daines, but am really disappointed in his actions. I know him personally and have worked with him while he was employed in Bozeman. This is not what I expected. Very disappointed that he is not keeping his word.
 

BigHornRam

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
8,780
Location
"Land of Giant Rams"
For this to be a crisis for Daines, the Montana Democrats are going to have to find a better candidate than Amanda Curtis next go round, IMO.

This is only one issue. Where one stands on issue's like the ACA will also come into play.
 

Ben Lamb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
14,026
Location
Cedar, MI
It's a crisis of confidence. He's not up for re-election until 2020. He needs to answer to Montana, not DC.
 

mr_steve

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
388
Location
Omaha, NE
Is below a fair analogy of the situation? Trying to understand it as well and it's a slow day in the office so tried to have some fun with it.

A family with one college age son is struggling to keep a budget in the black due to a high interest rate on their mortgage and having to support their son who has an art history major and is struggling to find work (Could get a construction job but feels he is above that). They own a house with 10 acres. In order to help make the budget work they are looking at a few options; getting a second job, cutting costs like cable, or selling the other 9 acres. The son opposes selling the land due to enjoying the land for outdoor activities. They could possibly transfer/sell it to him (he would have to get a mortgage) but he couldn't afford the payment, upkeep and taxes and would have to sell it to someone else eventually. He possibly opposes cutting cable more though.

So the question is, what is the best way for the family to get the budget in the black? Force the son to move out and get a job (Gov't handouts)? Cut amenities like cable or cleaning service? Or lastly sell some of the land they own (transfer of public land)? Since they spend most of their time in the house (Washington DC or any major city) and not out in the other 9 acres they are less affected by selling of the land. Would the son (America/the states) be more against the parents (federal gov't)selling the land or the cutting of the amenities and handouts? The parents need the sons approval (votes) so they want to pick the one that least upsets hims.

The end.

I could be way off as I am 25 and have little gov't experience but tried to have a little fun with it. Looking forward to the continued discussion.
 

Nameless Range

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
3,853
Location
Western Montana
Would the son (America/the states) be more against the parents (federal gov't)selling the land or the cutting of the amenities and handouts? The parents need the sons approval (votes) so they want to pick the one that least upsets hims.


I know you didn't really expect your analogy to work, largely because it posits a false dilemma, and largely because the US Govt budget is more complex than a household budget, and even more so than a State budget (thousands of pages).

But to play along.

Is selling the land a good idea if the land brings in income every month?
Is selling the land a good idea if selling the land amounts to selling the roof off of the house you live in. Public lands are part of what makes our home our home.
Would it be a good idea to sell the land to someone who also wants to level your home and build a shopping mall?
Or more importantly, do we have any reason whatsoever to believe that selling the land will have any meaningful impact in terms of alleviating budget shortfalls?.....Bueller?

That, and dad could quit whining about being short on money while spending 20% of our household income on guns and ammo - more than the entire neighborhood combined.
 

Ben Lamb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
14,026
Location
Cedar, MI
Let's look at this terms of the actual U.S. Budget and what we spend our money on:

projected-mandatory-discretionary-interest.png



presidents-proposed-discretionary-spending.png


Now, nobody would say we should cut spending on our troops, battle readiness or actual defense. However, maybe it's time to start looking at trillion dollar deals to advance new military equipment the military doesn't want, 7 figure bonuses to def. tech contractors, etc.

When we take an honest look at what the country spends and where we spend it, it's clear that we're looking at the middle of our nose when we believe that selling one of the biggest economic engines of the country makes fiscal sense.
 
Last edited:
Top