Tester’s wolf rider is bad policy

Op ed. Tester’s ban on judicial review violates our First Amendment rights-

No doubt Senator Jon Tester faces stiff competition from one of most loathsome politicians of The West — a poser who claims to be a cattle and goat rancher but somehow became the 14th most wealthy member of Congress, Dennis Rehberg.

Keeping Tester in the Senate seems to trump all other concerns for Senate Democrats. Tester was the only senator who got a rider attached to the defeated Senate Democrat’s continuing resolution. His anti-wolf rider is now in temporary limbo, but will probably be back.

The author of the op-ed below argues that in addition to delisting wolves without so much as a hearing, by preventing any court from reviewing its legally, he is violating the First Amendment right that “Congress shall make no law” that restricts the right of American citizens “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

My view, if Rehberg gets elected, he will sell himself to the international corporations full time. We expect today’s Republicans to do that; but is Tester standing up? Is he speaking up for the teachers, fire fighters, unionized workers, the unemployed – people who Rehberg loves like he loves wolves?  What has Tester done besides crumble when a noisy band of right wingers tell us the elk are eaten and we will all soon have dog tapeworms?  In my view Montana, needs Democrats who will fight like they are in Wisconsin. I gave money to Tester in his last election, but now I send 5 or 10 dollars to the Wisconsin Democrats every day or so. It makes me feel much better.

Tester’s wolf rider is bad policy. By Michael Garrity. Helena Independent Record.






  1. Phil Avatar

    This is an excellent point brought about against Tester. I had not thought of it in that way. From what I am getting is that with this wolf delisting bill he (Tester) is basically saying that he does not care about what americans want with regards to wolves, he only cares what is best for himself.

    Someone clarify this for me, but, maybe I missed something, but I thought Rehberg was against wolves to?

    The situation here in Michigan seems like it is heading down the path as it has been in Wisconsin. Hopefully that is not the case, and the Rep side will not follow in the footsteps as they have in Wisconsin. That is a horrible situation they are having there.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Rehberg is portraying himself as the biggest wolf hater, a defender of Montana’s rights against the onslaught of the horde, and also himself as an aggrieved rancher who lost some goats to wolves. He is the 14th richest member of Congress.

    So Tester and a number of Democratic US Senators and apparently the Obama Administration have decided he has to be hard on wolves too and a protector of the “besieged” state, though not so much as to remove wolves everywhere, worldwide from the endangered species list, forever (Rehberg’s position).

    So this explains my negative view of Rehberg.

  3. Herndon Elliott Avatar
    Herndon Elliott

    Ralph, I used to follow you back in the early days of the wolf intro program, back when you sent emails about it. I guess when you shifted to blogging, I didnt follow the shift. Based on some of the statements I see in this blog, such as “but now I send 5 or 10 dollars to the Wisconsin Democrats every day or so. It makes me feel much better.” you have turned into a wrong-headed socialist who supports destruction of our future. These unions have created an environment where education cannot succeed, just as the unions have destroyed America’s ability to compete in nearly every other industry. What’s happening in wisconsin is sad – people fighting for themselves, and for the union, not fighting for education or the children or for the necessary and painful cutbacks that must be made in entitlement programs. Educators, more so than just about anyone else, should be held to competitive standards, and the ones who are poorly educating our children should be told to seek employment elsewhere, not guaranteed an income for life simply because they have showed up in the classroom longer than than their better performing peers.

    If your wolves behaved this way, think of how the packs (Unions) would look, with old, decrepit, infirm members who no longer can feed themselves, and must feed off the kills of the young and strong. The wolf pack is the most basic example of pay-for-performance that I can imagine. Its very surprising to me that you dont see this.

    I wish you well, Ralph, but it sure looks to me like you have gone off the rails and have become an enemy of freedom, and and are trying to eliminate the incumbent competition for survival that should be everyone’s common burden. America’s basis for creation includes the “pursuit” of happiness, not guaranteed happiness. Just like you desire the wolf’s competitive place in the food chain where the species survives or fails based on its own abilities rather than outside meddling from man, so should teachers be required to compete with one another for who best prepares our children for competition in a world market. The unions oppose this, and must go, either into history or into the real and good work of making their membership better at educating children. If you oppose this competition, which you seem to state that you do, then you should go also into history as a failed socialist.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Herndon — “Doc” Elliott,

      Thanks for looking me up after all this time.

      I don’t think I have changed much in my political views. Of course, don’t most people say that. 😉 ? Then, I was a mostly a Democrat. Now I am an independent who sees Democrats as the lesser of two evils, especially since the much changed Republican office-holders and party activists have fallen off of their self created flat Earth. I’m not so much a union supporter as a person who is looking for some political organization somewhere that is becoming effective in opposing what I see as GOP plans to destroy our wildlife, savage the planet, and reduce 90% of the population to the level of the Third World.

      I hope you are doing well.

      1. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        Poor Ralph- you have come off the rails and now are an enemy of freedom- I bet you want people to have access to health insurance too!

      2. jon Avatar

        The gop are already savaging our wildlife and the planet. Consider them anti-wildlife, anti-environment, and anti-planet.

      3. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        And they hate puppies-

  4. Phil Avatar

    Elliot: You spoke of “freedom”, correct? In your opinion, is there more or less freedom to workers who are attached to some form of union? I am currently a teacher in Michigan. The state has decreased the union’s limits with regards to teachers, but we still have a great deal of “freedom” with what is left of our union rights. Would we still have a great benefit package without a union? Would we still be in “senior status” without a union? I can only speak of the union my district is attached to and not what is occuring in Wisconsin. But, it does seem like you fully understand and have intelligence on the political topic at hand, and I would rely on sources that come from people like yourself.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      Synder’s agenda is ‘freedom” to people that watch Fox News channel

      1. jon Avatar

        They were talking about you yesterday on there William. They seem obsessed about us over here.

      2. jon Avatar

        Sorry, posted this in the wrong place. I meant to put this where the bbb blog was talked about.

      3. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        They need help- unfortunately there isn’t enough medication on the planet to help them

      4. jon Avatar

        Medication is only a short term solution for them William. Sooner or later, those meds will lose their effectiveness.

  5. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    I haven’t been able to figure out that logic yet- I’m working on stuff the GOP said three months ago


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan