|June 5, 2014
From the Council
On May 22, Council took action on a sensitive issue related to the CSKT Water Compact. Council had been asked to offer some financial support to Montanans for Responsible Leadership, a Republican Political Action Committee to identify moderate Republican candidates for the June 3 Primary Election. This is where many candidates from each party are thinned down to one person for the up-coming General Election. A straight-forward analysis revealed that within the Republican Party, some candidates supported the Water Compact, and others, like Tea Party members, were strongly against the Compact.
Council was asked to get behind pro-compact candidates, a strategy to gather as much support as possible to get the Water Compact through the Montana State Legislature in 2015. While CSKT is ready to take several thousand water claims to court, the best option remains a Compact agreement that keeps all parties out of court. If CSKT can stay out of court, Council can save millions each year in potential legal costs that will stretch out for more than 20 years.
Council voted, and a majority supported the contribution of $22,000 to Republicans who support the Compact. In 2013, when the compact was defeated in the legislature, very few Republicans voted in support. In preparation for the 2015 legislature, Council has been pursuing broader support for the Compact.