Call to Action – A Legally Viable Tool to Oppose Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s S. 3013
(Please share this information with those who oppose the CSKT Water Compact and Senator Jon Tester’s S. 3013.)
Action Proposed to confront Senator Jon Tester’s S. 3013:
SALISH & KOOTENAI WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENT ACT OF 2016
This Memorandum is a Call to Immediate Action for developing urgently needed legal analysis and a White Paper deconstructing the abuse of power noted in Jon Tester’s S. 3013.
I have consulted with Attorney Lawrence Kogan, and he has consented to analyze and prepare a thorough and formal analysis, set forth in a formal White Paper opposing S. 3013 on every legal level. No State, county, municipal or non-profit organization is likely to develop substantial written opposition to S. 3013. It will be up to us individual citizens as a group to share the costs and defend ourselves with a powerful tool developed to stop S. 3013. Mr. Kogan’s White Paper will thereafter be distributed to Senators, Congressmen, State Legislators, State Executive Branch officials and the general public. We absolutely MUST put an end to S. 3013.
As a one-time, one-piece task. Mr. Kogan asks for $5,000 to be expended at an hourly rate of $250/Hr. Contributors will not be clients of Mr. Kogan by making a contribution. This is a one-time only service that Mr. Kogan is offering. Please read the discussion below, and contribute what you can, as quickly as you can, with checks payable as follows:
Kogan Law Group
100 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
* NOTE: Mark “S. 3013” in the legend of your check.
Senator Tester’s S. 3013 is a greatly expanded CSKT Water Compact that proposes to:
- Far exceed and override decisions made by Montana State Legislature, approving the proposed Compact on April 11, 2015. This begs a serious separation-of-powers question: Can a federal senator disregard, preempt, expand or override decisions made by a State Legislature? If so, what is the purpose of having a State Legislature?
- Circumvent the currently established process for Ratification of Tribal Water Settlements in Congress. When a Compact is approved by all parties it thereafter gets: 1) reviewed and signed off by the Department of Interior (DOI); 2) reviewed and approved and signed off by the Department of Justice (DOJ); 3) reviewed, approved and signed off by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)…BEFORE being thereafter submitted to the Indian Affairs Sub-committee of the House Natural Resource Committed. Tribal Water Compacts, and especially those requiring federal funding, begin in the HOUSE, not the Senate.
With the May 26, 2016 introduction of S. 3013 submitted to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Tester is identifying this bill as: 1) the expanded CSKT Water Compact; 2) passage of the bill constitutes “Ratification” of the Compact.
There is comfort in the comments of Congressmen Zinke on Voices of Montana Talk Show this past Monday, June 20th. Mr. Zinke asserts that S. 3013 is “not going to happen;” that consideration of the Blackfeet Water Compact is Congress next priority, and that the CSKT Water Compact will not move through Congress during the current session that ends December 31st.
Comforting words, except that the federal government, federal agencies, tribal governments promoted by Senator Tester, and Senator Tester himself…have ceased following the law or rules of regulations. There’s no better example of how rogue conditions have escalated than S. 3013.
S. 3013 has a specific “Purpose of the Act” for the “fair, just and equitable settlement of all water rights claims for:
- The Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes (CSKT)
- The United States;
- No Item “C” – In its “Purpose of the Act” Statement there is NO protection or consideration of the water rights of the State of Montana, nor the water rights of private property landowners.
The bottom line: S. 3013 dramatically:
- Increases tribal jurisdiction over all lands within the reservation,
- Tribal control of all in-stream flows and banks north and south of the reservation;
- Complete confiscation (theft) of all state and private water rights;
- Doubles the federal funding to $2.3 BILLION dollars, with additional $100,000,000 EACH to the CSKT and BIA annually thereafter;
- Authorizes CSKT to receive ALL water and electric power revenue generated from former Kerr Dam from now on;
- Promises NO federal oversight auditing or monitoring of any Compact Implementation projects or use of funds;
- Holds the United States harmless from all liability regarding use of funds or damage to persons or properties,
- REMOVES any waiver of tribal sovereign immunity regarding Compact activities.
- Establishes a new “Law of Administration” and a Unitary Management Organization as the Administrative, Regulatory and Adjudicative Body for Compact. (This is an unelected, appointed body heavily loaded with tribal seats on the Boa
- “Ratifies” the CSKT Water Compact upon passage of S. 3013
S. 3013 is written as if the United States Constitution and Montana State Constitutions neither exist nor matter. S. 3013 is Senator Tester’s attempt to Bullet Train the Compact politically, but in these dangerous political times, he could get away with it, if we don’t fight back hard and immediately.
The State of Montana receives ZERO benefit from S. 3013, loses all control of its State authority and waters, sacrifices the water rights of private landowners, and is still required to contribute $55,000,000 state taxpayer dollars in addition to loss of all control of State waters in 11 counties.
Let’s DO this… Right NOW!! Please contribute whatever you can, as soon as you can. If you need more information or have any questions, please email or call me.
Elaine Willman, MPA, is author of Going to Pieces – The Dismantling of the United States of America, and Slumbering Thunder: A Primer for Confronting the Spread of Federal Indian Policy and Tribalism Overwhelming America.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org