Commissioner dismisses 3-year-old complaint over CSKT lobbying efforts on water compactNews Type: State, Federal Source: Missoulian
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A pair of complaints from 2015 alleging the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes failed to report and disclose money spent on lobbying to help pass a water compact were dismissed late last month by the state Commissioner of Political Practices.
The 2015 state Legislature ratified the CSKT Water Compact after a decades-long battle. The compact is a negotiated water rights settlement for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on and off the Flathead Reservation that protected existing water rights, established a process to authorize new water rights on the reservation and quantifies the tribes’ water rights for all time.
The issue centered around what qualified as grassroots lobbying, which does not have to be reported to the state Commissioner of Political Practices. The cost of direct lobbying, which is appeals to legislators, must be disclosed. In Montana, the names of lobbyists, what principals pay them and their activities and spending on legislators must be reported.