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Compact litigation shouldn’t be funded by FJBC

Editor,

Jerry Laskody asserted that “once again my interpretation of the facts” regarding the Montana Supreme Court ruling in Flathead Joint Board of Control vs. Montana was “incorrect” (Valley Journal, Nov. 29). He argued that “The FJBC suit did not address the unconstitutionality of the contents of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes compact.”

But once again I drew my interpretation from an official source: the first paragraph of the Supreme Court’s synopsis of its decision: “The Montana Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Water Compact, holding that the Compact does not violate provisions of the Montana Constitution.”

Since its reformation in 2014, anti-compact commissioners on the FJBC have spent almost $2 million of irrigator money fighting legal battles with no successes and many appeals. Before he was defeated for reelection last year, Mr. Laskody was among the most vocal commissioners pushing FJBC litigation, including the one cited above. Thus I am not surprised with his statement that “the compact can still be attacked for its unconstitutional provisions and this most certainly will occur.”

Mr. Laskody is free to continue his litigation strategy, but it should be at his own expense and not out of the pockets of local irrigators through the FJBC.

Dick Erb
Moiese

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