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By Brad Molnar
Laurel, Mont. 

Co-conspirators Attempt to Reunite

 


Since Travis Kavulla joined forces with Gail Gutsche in 2010 the Public Service Commission has become a cauldron of political intrigue and manipulation that survives to this day; ratepayers be damned. After forming a cross party alliance Travis announced his intention to be Chairman his first day on the job. According to Travis the alliance fell apart when Sen. Tester and Gov. Schweitzer nixed the deal. Three days of standoff in early January ensued resulting in Bill Gallagher becoming Chairman and I reluctantly accepting the Vice-chair position. (PSC video archives Jan.3-4-5/2011 and Butt...



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Reader Comments
(2)

gjergeson writes:

It has been brought to my attention that the Pathfinder published a letter from former PSC Commissioner Brad Molnar inserting himself into the contest for PSC District 4 between current Commissioner Bob Lake and former Commissioner Gail Gutsche. I was appalled, though not surprised, at the ugly vitriol and revisionist history contained in his letter. I say “not surprised” because during the six years I served as chairman of that body. Molnar's demeanor was marked by erratic, disrespectful and threatening behavior towards his colleagues, and the PSC staff alike. During my tenure, his dreadful approach culminated in his shaking down corporations subject to PSC jurisdiction to fund an “event” that clearly was intended to bolster his upcoming campaign for reelection. He magnified the error of this charade by collecting thousands of dollars from those companies, placing the money in his own personal checking account, and maintaining no records accounting for how the money was spent. After citizen complaints filed against him and a subsequent hearing, these activities earned him an ethics violation from the Commissioner of Political Practices for which he was assessed fines and court costs in excess of $20,000. That decision of the Commissioner of Political Practices was upheld upon Molnar’s appeal to State District Court, and by a unanimous decision of the Montana Supreme Court. If, as I have been told, Molnar has yet to pay those fines affirmed by the Montana Supreme Court, I believe he ought to be found in contempt of court. In any case, that sorry episode demonstrates Molnar has no credibility to opine on the fitness of any other person to hold public office in this state, and residents should discount anything he says. It is true that Commissioners Gail Gutsche (D), John Vincent (D), and current commissioner Travis Kavulla (R) formed a bi-partisan working majority when the three served together on the PSC from 2011-2013. Together they brought more energy conservation and renewable energy onto Northwestern Energy's system, at a cost less than legacy resources, which kept the lid on power bills. And, they worked to increase broadband build out to the furthest reaches of our state to ensure that rural Montanans can compete in the global economy. Nothing about their work during that period in any way reflects the conspiracy-laden screed penned by Molnar. I appreciate you may have printed Molnar’s letter because of your commitment to American’s first-amendment rights to free speech. Unfortunately, you did not afford the target of his barrage with an opportunity to respond before the court of public opinion is rendered in this election. I served with Gutsche in both the legislature and on the PSC. She is competent, well-studied, intelligent and diligent. Neither she nor, my friend Travis Kavulla, deserve to be pilloried the way they were. Former PSC Commissioner Greg Jergeson

straightarrow writes:

Oh Molnar: http://helenair.com/news/local/supreme-court-uphold-ethics-violation-fines-for-former-public-service/article_7975d184-be68-11e2-9f6f-0019bb2963f4.html

 
 
 

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