Montana is making news faster than I can have opinions about it. No sooner do I write a fun Indy column praising Judge Charles Lovell for striking down our campaign finance laws than he strikes them up again. It was satirical while it lasted. Probably, mooting one column is worth it to restore some limit on what political parties can give to candidates’ campaigns, as Lovell did today. With a heavy heart, I suspend my campaign for comptroller or whatever. I will still accept unlimited donations from political parties, but they’ll have to be in cash.
The finance department of Ravalli County announced today that it will bypass the treasurer’s office to issue emergency operating funds to schools, libraries and fire departments. Meanwhile, treasurer Valerie Stamey told the county commission that she would present October financial reports by Friday. “If not then, by next Friday,” she added. Stamey’s statement was of a piece with what’s been coming out of her office since she was appointed in September—namely, everything but financial reports. After three resignations and numerous accusations of incompetence, she is starting to look like the perfect triumph of politics over government in Ravalli County.