Take Back Montana’s Ruby River from the Billionaire Boy’s Club


There are more problems on Montana’s Ruby River then James Cox Kennedy and the Cox Media empire that he runs.

Remember, Kennedy is the real rich guy from Atlanta, Georgia who told the University of Montana back in early May that there will be no Cox Foundation money given in the state until we straighten out our stream access laws. In other words, Kennedy and his rich chums will look upon us more favorably if we allow our public rivers to be privatized for the exclusive enjoyment of Kennedy and his chums.

“As you may know, many Montana residents are making it known that they are not happy with nonresident landowners in their state. In addition, stream and river access issues are also being raised. Until these issues are resolved and our presence in the state is more appreciated, we have decided not to make any further contributions in Montana.”

Now that’s what Kennedy said.

But there is also the other rich guy from Atlanta, upstream from Kennedy, who has put down nearly two hundred miles of electric fences decorated with no trespassing signs around his five Montana plantations, all of which are tax friendly conservation easements like Kennedys.

This is the “Ted’s Montana Grill” guy, and if you aren’t familiar with it, the reason might be that the closest one to Montana is in Denver

As for myself it took awhile to get a defining statement from Ted Turner on fencing and the Ruby River but since he isn’t returning my phone calls, I had to go back a ways to find a clue.

All the way back to February 12, 2002, when Turner spoke at Brown University, Rhode Island, Ivy League, and all that. At Brown, Turner was not just a student, but also vice president of the Debating Union and Commodore of the Brown Yacht Club.

“Turner urges students to save world,” was the headline in the Providence Journal the next day.

But that isn’t what he told all the students, in particular the one from Montana.

In the question and answer period following the speech, a brash student from Montana questioned Turner on his Montana fencing, asking if Turner didn’t feel “morally” obligated to share his 1.3 million acre holdings in the state with the Montana public.

Visibly upset – I mean what’s this smart-assed kid doing asking “The Ted” questions about morality? So Turner wigged out. I mean this is the same Turner who told the New Yorker in April, 2001 ” “I want to be Jiminy Cricket for America,” while also calling himself “a do-gooder.”

And now he wigs out over a question that should have been asked a long time ago by both the Montana and national press.

Instantly, the environmentalist and world peace crusader was transformed into a Bill O”Reilly wannabe, interviewing for a job at Fox News.

Besides the O’Reilly act, Turner went at the youngster as if Turner, no longer Jiminy Cricket, but was now a lawyer from the Mountain States Legal Foundation and the poor Montana kid was on the witness stand. And we all know how the right-wing Mountain States Legal Foundation feels about stream and public access in Montana, and in particular on the Ruby River, don’t we?

It turns out the Denver legal foundation and Turner are running on the same track.

“You buy it, and you can share it,” the sainted billionaire bellowed at the Montana kid.

“Can I live in your home with you? We believe in private property in this country, ” Turner patriotically and triumphantly shouted at the student.

Well Jiminy Cricket!

The Ted Turner revolution comes to a screeching stop at the locked gates and miles and miles of electric fences and no trespassing signs of Turner Enterprises in Montana.

And Jiminy Cricket or not, Ted is still acting as if he were still the Commodore of the Brown Yacht Club.

JACKIE CORR lives in Butte, Montana. He can be reached at: jcorr@bigskyhsd.com



Float the part of the Ruby that James Cox Kennedy claims is his.

SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2005

For further information or to comment:
Contact Tony Schoonen at (406) – 782- 1560.
Or e-mail JACKIE CORR at jcorr@bigskyhsd.com