State Senator and Republican Majority Leader, Steve Fitzpatrick, wants the personal financial information of his political opponents in the legislature. In a statement given to Lee Papers on Monday, October 2, Fitzaptrick said he was filing an “information request” with the Department of Revenue requesting confidential information on Democratic legislators’ taxes.
Fitzpatrick’s request is apparently motivated by the fact that opponents of the Republicans’ big residential tax increase held a rally at the Capitol featuring Jane Weber, former Cascade County Commissioner and current legislative candidate and former Governor Brian Schweitzer. The rally was organized by Big Sky 55+ a group dedicated to economic security for older Montanans. The event attracted an estimated 200 people and garnered state-wide press coverage. https://helenair.com/news/state-regional/government-politics/rally-in-capitol-rotunda-calls-for-special-session-over-property-tax-hike/article_26fc829e-6165-11ee-aa98-63e547ef326e.html
On its merit’s Fitzpatrick has to know that there is virtually no way his request will be enforced by the courts in Montana. So put this one in the “political stunt” category. But maybe making tax information for legislators public isn’t such a bad idea. We’d sure like to be able to see Fitzpatrick’s tax returns and other personal documents. Maybe then we could have a clear picture of who his legal clients are and how much they pay him. And why stop at his personal records. It would be nice to see who the clients of his law firm are and if the client list overlaps the topic of legislation Fitzpatrick introduces.
Consider this reported by the Missoula Current last March. “Republican Senator Steve Fitzpatrick of Great Falls is the sponsor of three bills which would greatly increase the utility costs of NorthWestern Energy’s customers. The three bills are SB 265, SB 266 and SB 379. Fitzpatrick is also the son of the former NorthWestern Director of Government Affairs.” Hmmmm.