by Ed Greef, former State Rep. HD-88, Florence
State Senator Theresa Manzella’s recent efforts to help a new candidate for a state House District has placed her in a position of review from the Office of Political Practices as well as with the Republican party.
She is supporting a new candidate that has filed to run in HD-88 here in Ravalli County and has made her commitment to endorse Alan Lackey. All candidates have to file their fundraising information on a scheduled basis. That date recently passed. She accessed the list of Mr. Lackey’s opponent, Mr. Wayne Rusk, who is also running for HD-88. After obtaining the names and addresses of all his reporting donors, she wrote those donors a personal letter, using her Montana State Senate stationary which is provided for normal functions of the Montana State Senate, rather than using her own personal stationary. Making a more “official” appearing presentation.
Think a minute about the ethics of this. These addresses are all people that donated money to Mr. Rusk! And she has the audacity to tell these folks that they are supporting the wrong guy… that Mr. Lackey’s, “political ideology aligns not only with my own, but also with the oath of office he will be taking…”! All this she did using the personal information obtained from the report filed by Mr. Wayne Rusk. Then has the arrogance to tell them that her man is the one to vote for, not Wayne to whom they just gave money.
Legislators are responsible to uphold a high standard of ethics. To be loyal to their party and the state. Trust — Honor — Character — Values are some words we all respect and look for in others. I’m suggesting that perhaps Senator Manzella and Mr. Lackey deserve the scrutiny that has come their way, and at a minimum Senator Manzella owes a public apology to Mr. Rusk and all the voters in Ravalli County.
Trust matters, character counts and values are important…