Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tussing vs. Molnar

Here is a piece of actual news that I ran out of time and space for in this week's Outpost:

Brad Molnar and Ron Tussing may debate as many as 13 times in their race for the Public Service Commission. Molnar forwarded copies to me of a recent e-mail exchange with Tussing in which the Billings mayor proposed at least 10 debates, one in each county, and Molnar replied with a suggestion for 13 debates, including three in Yellowstone County.

"I intend to bring a more balanced approach to our energy needs in Montana," Tussing wrote. "Whereas, I support diversifying our energy portfolio to develop
clean coal technologies, add to wind power generation and smaller energy generating projects throughout the state, you have proven to be reluctant when it comes to alternative, renewable energy sources."

Molnar seemed to regard that comment as a bit of snark, and he fired back some snark of his own: "You got me there. If the developers want the ratepayers to cover all costs and assume all risks. I always say "no". Sometimes 4-1. Sometimes 3-2."

Molnar added this response to the e-mail, which had come from Mary Jo Fox of the Tussing campaign:
"You (Mary Jo Fox) sent this to my government address. That is against the law. Your wife sent out her 360PPM on a government computer. That is against the law. Your son in law sent out an invitation to all lobbyists/attorneys that present before the Commission so you could sell your sevices to them. Properly handled its not against the law. But he sent it into a lot of government computers. Against the law. I only mention this because of your recent action against my conservation education effort and myself in search of a quick negagtive headline. I have not brought action against you or yours because I wish this election dialogue to get out of the gutter and into the real issues and offering real solutions instead of the usual pie in the sky stuff and extreme negativity to cloud the issues. Please get on board with this.

Some explanation: The "recent action" Molnar refers to a complaint Tussing filed against Molnar earlier this summer. "360 PPM" apparently refers to a proposal to limit carbon dioxide emissions to their current level of 360 parts per million. I neglected to press for details on what the son-in-law allegation is about.

When I talked to Tussing late Tuesday, he said he didn't remember a "360 PPM." While I was on the phone, he asked his wife, Darlene, and she said she didn't remember either.

He said he wasn't sure that any laws were broken. While government workers can't use government equipment for campaign purposes, they can't control what people send to them. But he agreed that contacting Molnar at his work e-mail wasn't a good idea, and he said his campaign would avoid it in the future.

He seemed to be open to a full 13 debates and to most of the minor changes Molnar suggested in sponsorship and format. However, he said he wasn't optimistic that it would be possible to find a workable date and location in every county.


Anonymous said...

Molnar is a lunatic.

Anonymous said...

Clarification: a personal letter from Ron Tussing was mailed to Brad Molnar's home address in Laurel. This letter invited Mr. Molnar to participate in at least one debate before Election Day in each county comprising PSC District 2. The same day, a courtesy copy of Tussing's letter was emailed to Mr. Molnar's listed contact email address as posted on the PSC website. The motive? to assure that whether Mr. Molnar was in Helena or at home in Laurel, that he would be sure to receive the letter or a copy of it in a timely manner. There is nothing against the law by this contact originating with a private citizen, using a personal computer, who also happens to be a constituent. For Mr. Molnar, however, as a government official, using government equipment and resources, it would be incumbent upon him to respond in the proper venue. Mr. Molnar should illuminate us all by citing the MCA statute that he claims has been violated. Or perhaps, Mr. Crisp could indulge in some investigative journalism to uncover any suggested malfeasance. Sincerely, MFox

Dave said...

Tussing and Molnar are sounding like a couple of 5-year-olds:
"Did not."
"Did, too!"
"You're another!"
ad infinitum.

Anonymous said...

Ron and his wife accused of not following campaign laws and using government resources for their personal projects. I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you! Or am I having a déjà vu back to the Billings Police Foundation fiasco that was reported on this blog a few years ago:

Anonymous said...

maryjofox of marky racicot fame?! Oh. My. God! What IS tussing thinking? Look, NO ONE disagrees with Brad Molnar more than I do. But if fox is working for tussing, then Brad is the guy to vote for! Sumtin' REAL wrong with a fella that brings fox on board. We all KNOW what racicot did for energy in Montana.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

Eric said...

I'd really enjoy seeing debates between Mayor Tussing and Brad Molnar. It'll be readily apparent who knows the issues, and it won't be Tussing.

Anonymous said...

Mary JoFox and Tussing now that is a sleazy pair. Tussing can not ever tell the Truth and Mary JoFox can't be taken serious. Wow Molnar won't have a problem in making Tussing look like the fool he is. Heck he made a mess of Billings, now he wants to make a mess out of the State of Montana? I don't think so.