Tester Calls for Public Disclosure of Executive Branch Ethics Pledge Waivers

Senator to Trump: Let’s Work Together to Truly “Drain the Swamp”

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today called on President Trump to disclose the names and positions of any executive branch officials who have been granted a waiver to the White House’s ethics pledge. 

Tester pushed President Trump to maintain the previous requirement that the Office of Government Ethics publicly disclose which executive branch officials signed the White House ethics pledge, whether their ethics pledges were waived, and whether those waivers were granted appropriately.  These disclosures have long been available to the public. 

Tester’s letter comes after reports found that three former lobbyists have been hired to work in the White House on the same issues they use to lobby for.

“This is an area where we can work closely together,” Tester wrote to Trump. Transparency and public accountability are vital to the success of our government. We have a unique opportunity to work together on ethics reform to ensure the rules we put in place regarding lobbying activity are properly followed.”

President Trump issued an executive order on January 28th that establishes standards for incoming and outgoing Executive Branch officials regarding lobbying activity.  The Executive Order also removed the requirement that ethics pledge waivers be publicly disclosed and made electronically available.  So far, the White House has not publicly disclosed whether any executive branch officials have been granted ethics pledge waivers.

Tester highlighted that without a public disclosure requirement, President Trump’s efforts to institute a lobbying ban for executive branch officials may not be fully honored by White House officials.

“This information is vital to the success of a transparent government, and I believe this common sense step would go a long way to show the public that all rules regarding lobbying activity are being followed,” Tester added.

President Trump’s executive order also contains a provision similar to Tester’s bill, the Cleaning Up Washington’s Act, which bans certain executive branch officials from lobbying five years after leaving civil service. 

Tester’s bill goes further than President Trump’s executive order and also bans former members of Congress from lobbying for up to five years after leaving the House of Representatives or Senate.  Tester’s bill guarantees that the lobbying ban remains in place after President Trump leaves office.

 Tester’s letter to President Trump is available HERE.

Yellowstone County Democrats Call for Volunteers for Quist Campaign

The Yellowstone Country Democrats will be meeting on Saturday, March 11, 2017 to organize volunteers for Rob Quist’s Campaign for the US House seat vacated by Secretary Ryan Zinke.  Quist was nominated for the open seat by a state-wide caucaus in Helena on Sunday.

The meeting for volunteers will start at 11am and will be held at Teamsters Union Hall, 437 Kuhlman Dr, Billings, MT.

Quist grew up on a farm and ranch outside of Cut Bank and he and his wife Bonni presently call their ranch in the Flathead Valley home. He is also known for being part of the Mission Mountain Wood Band.

“Rob’s experiences, along with his deep-rooted passion for the people of Montana, make him uniquely qualified to be our next Congressman,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party.

Governor Steve Bullock also congratulates Quist on his selection as the Democratic candidate.

“With only one representative in congress, it’s critical we have a voice for all Montanans. Rob Quist can be that voice, and I have no doubt he will run to win and will put our state’s interests above his own,” Bullock said. “I congratulate Rob on the nomination.”

Keenan thanks all of the Democratic candidates who entered the race in this special nominating convention: Kelly McCarthy, Amanda Curtis, Link Neimark, Dan West, John Meyer, Gary Stein, and Thomas Weida.

“Putting your name forward as a statewide candidate takes courage and we were fortunate to have an exceptional slate of candidates,” Keenan said. “Together, we are committed to returning this seat to Montana’s Democrats.”

Democrats to Nominate their candidate for the US House Special Election on March 5, 2017

Secretary Zinke, leaving Montana in his dust, rides into the sunrise on a National Park Service horse named Tonto (according to the NY Times).
Secretary Zinke, leaving Montana in his dust, rides into the sunrise on a National Park Service horse named Tonto (according to the NY Times – http://nyti.ms/2mmyyjq).

Secretary Ryan Zinke has resigned from his position at the sole representative for Montana in the US House.  His replacement will be elected on May 25 in a special election.

The Montana State Democratic Party will select their nominee on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at a special convention in Helena.  If you have a preference for the nominee, contact your county party officials or the state party.

The following Democrats have announced their intention to run for the office. We have a brief description from each candidate.

Amanda Curtis, Butte

Kelly McCarthy, Billings

Lee “Link” Neimark, Whitefish

Rob Quist, Flathead Valley

John Meyer, Bozeman

Mark Phillip, Great Falls

Gary Stein, Missoula

Dan West, Missoula

The MSU Billings College Democrats hosted a live Facebook Town Hall for these candidate. The video is available from Facebook.


Give ’em Hell, Harry!

Give ’em Hell, Harry! is a staged theater monologue starting James Whitmore that was filmed in 1975.  The producer Bill Sargent, was a huge fan of Truman and the writer of the play Samuel Gallu. Sargent raised the money to film the play during a live production on Broadway.  He then took the film on a “whistle stop” tour around the United States during the 1976 election.  One of the stops was a theater in Los Angeles, making the film eligible for the Oscars.  Whitmore was nominated for best actor leading to the Jeopardy question, “What movie’s entire cast was nominated for best actor?”

Gallu’s story about Truman is a great introduction to the man we also know as POTUS 33.

Watch for more information about the 2017 Truman Dinner.

More about Harry S Truman.


Truman Dinner 2017 – SOLD OUT

UPDATE My 13, 2017

We have sold all the available tickets to the 2017 Truman Dinner.  But we do have a wait list.  Complete the form on this page.  Be sure to send us your contact information and how many tickets you would like to have.  As seats become available, you will be contacted.  Thanks for your support!

Our annual fundraising dinner, named in honor of Harry S Truman will be held on May 20, 2017.  It will be at the Double Tree by Hilton (recently known as the Crowne Plaza) on the corner of Montana Ave and 27th St North.

Additional details will be added here as they become available.

Tickets are no longer available online.  Use the form above to be put on a wait list.

Ticket Pricing and Availability

Gold Sponsorship $600 table for eight
Silver Sponsorship $300 4 tickets
Platinum Sponsorship $150 2 tickets
Individual Ticket $55 1 ticket

For more information about sponsorship or individual tickets, contact John Rossiter at jrossitr@msn.com.

If you would prefer to pay through cash or check, contact Kevin Dowling, YCDCC Treasurer at kpdowling@yahoo.com.

Checks can be mailed to:

Yellowstone County Democratic Central Committee
PO Box 21131
Billings, MT  59101

Representative Karjala’s fashion statement on the concealed weapons in the capital bill (HB 280)


Representative Jessica Karjala (D-Billings) is rocking the modern fashion look for the safety conscious legislator. She is wearing a baby blue grey bullet proof vest on the floor of the Montana State House. This is what all legislator will be wearing after passage of HB 280 sponsored by Randy Brodehl (R-Kalispell).  The bill passed it second reading on 14 February 2017 by 53-47.  It is schedule for it’s third reading on Wednesday Feb 15th.

Details about the bill are at laws.leg.mt.gov.

Here is how they voted.

Here is how to contact your legislator.