Dear MSSA Friends,

Thanks to all of you who have helped with the Northwestern Energy fiasco.  As is said in politics, if you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.

Several of you have asked me for updates and further explanations about this situation.  Well, it’s fluid and evolving, but there are a couple of points worth noting.

Northwestern has published a statement on its Website, a really bogus statement about its opposition to HB 598.  Northwestern’s statement is a lame excuse in attempt to justify its opposition to HB 598 and its corporate misbehavior by claiming that the bill would have consequences it clearly will not.  Northwestern says it "feels" that HB 598 would prevent it from controlling firearms in its workplaces and among its employees.

This is a totally bogus excuse, easily demonstrated.  HB 598 says clearly, on Page 2, at Line 5, that the bill applies only to "the state or one of its political subdivisions" (local governments), not to private entities.

Northwestern makes the lame excuse in its posted statement that it opposes HB 598 to insure its property rights and employee control.

Even if that were correct, which it definitely is NOT, Northwestern’s lobbyist spoke in opposition to HB 598 for six minutes in just the first of five times he came to the committee microphone to oppose HB 598.  An examination of the transcript of that six-minute testimony discloses that the lobbyist’s presentation included 927 words.  Of those, two short sentences totalling 28 words, or 3% of his testimony, was about Northwestern’s alleged property rights problem.  The other 97% of the lobbyist’s presentation was a rant about seniors, schools, future elections, and a mish-mash of other hypothetical scare stories that have absolutely no relation whatsoever to Northwestern’s alleged concern about its property rights or to its company mission area.

Sorry Northwestern, your posted statement just doesn’t pass the smell test.  It reeks of attempted coverup of a deliberate anti-RKBA effort by Northwestern.  That statement is such a transparent attempt to excuse unjustifiable corporate behavior as to be laughable.  The people of Montana and the Legislature are not stupid enough fall for such a Clintonesque attempt at misdirection.  Heck, next Northwestern may even claim that its dog ate its homework, or that hostile alien thought waves from outer space caused it to misunderstand HB 598, not exactly the quality of corporate responsibility one normally expects from the leaders of a major corporation in Montana.

One final thought about Northwestern’s posted statement attempting to justify its anti-RKBA stance on HB 598.  Northwestern attempts to further excuse its misbehavior by saying it was joined in its opposition to HB 598 by lobbyists for other business interests in Montana.  It is my firm belief (admittedly without actual evidence) that Northwestern went out of its way to actually RECRUIT these other people as opponents to HB 598.  Saying its anti-RKBA position is excusable because/if it recruited others to do the same is a really sleazy position for Northwestern to take.

Stay tuned MSSA Friends and keep up the pressure.  Again, you may send your comments to:

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

By mssa