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Flathead Republicans File Complaint Over Water Compact Lobbying

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation.

The controversy over the water compact for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribescontinued this week when the head of the Flathead County Republicans alleged that groups supporting the compact failed to fully disclose their lobbying activities.

Jayson Peters’ complaint was accepted on Tuesday by the State Commissioner of Political Practices. Peters says the pro-compact groups sources of funding need to be revealed.

“The reality is that money is in politics. And the way to fix it in my opinion is to make it transparent," Peters said.

Shelby DeMars was named in the complaint. She’s with a group supporting the compact, Farmers and Ranchers for Montana. DeMars says the complaint does nothing but distract from the real substance of the water compact bill.

"Considering their tone and tenure of their misinformation campaign thus far. This complaint is not surprising," said DeMars.

Both sides accuse the other of misleading the public in order to further their support or opposition of the compact.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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