Where is the Governor?

Northern loop road. Photo: Yellowstone National Park.

Today in Montana we are witness to some of the most devastating floods we have seen in generations. For the communities of Gardiner these floods are occurring at the very time this community depends on tourism dollars. The destruction of roads into Yellowstone and lost bridges will take time to repair, so will it be for flooding that has impacted Cooke City and the vital tourist dollars they depend on. So where is the Governor? The story goes he has been in Tuscany, really? If that is true he could have been on a plane the next day, but he was not.

His staff is tight lipped, talk of his personal security, really? Does he need such security in Europe or Africa? Not likely. His team tries to covey that he is in contact, but the reality is he has left the people in these communities trying to grasp with a Governor who is a no-show to a disaster of nature’s making, that has some homeless, broke and scared.

If I were to guess I would say the Governor was somewhere that was not easy to come back from, say in Africa, out trying to kill another trophy animal. Something endangered or part of a life trophy list like an elephant of giraffe.

What remains’ clear is the priorities of this man from New Jersey is not based on compassion. It’s not Montana, but his zeal to kill wildlife and to consistently misinform the people of this state. This security talk is baseless.

As an elected official, going to the scenes of natural disasters is the equivalent of a layup in basketball, you show up, listen to people, show your concern and fight to make it better. While we hear of the declarations and his concern, his absence sends an unmistakable signal; he does not give a damn.

It will be interesting to hear what he has been up to these past days, and the press should demand answers. His personal plane flew up from Leadville, without him? Was it bringing trophies? So now he is back full of good wine from Tuscany, while people here pick up the pieces. No matter the outcome it was a portrait in cowardice.

The odds are we will not hear the truth; such is life in the world of our Governor. He was MIA, as communities in our state were and remain looking for answers. It’s time to see this man for who he is, a person lacking in the very basics of Montana values. He does not care about the people of this state and his recent actions make clearer than ever.

Stephen Capra is executive director of the Footloose Montana.