Yesterday’s Billings Gazette said the new transportation director is vowing to fix all the illegal hirings in the Department of Transportation. You may recall that Governor Schweitzer canned the former director Jim Lynch because Lynch allowed the hiring of his daughter at the Department of Transportation violating the state’s nepotism policy. Even though Lynch’s daughter had held her position for over four years and Lynch recused himself from the hiring process the governor only seemed to get interested in the “problem” after Lynch started yakking it up about running for governor. Was that just a coincidence?
Newly appointed director Tim Reardon told the Legislative Audit committee that he was disturbed that a recent audit showed the agency has hired some unqualified employees and he is going to get everything fixed post haste. Funny thing is that Jim Lynch specifically asked about the legalities of hiring his daughter within the department and was told it was acceptable as long as he wasn’t the person doing the hiring. Tim Reardon was the department’s chief legal counsel at the time so it is very strange that he is now incensed by the whole deal. I mean this guy says he knew nothing about any of this, but he was the Chief Legal Counsel? Give me a break.
I would have to wonder if this whole deal is one big scam to bring attention to the fact that Lynch has filed to run for Governor as a republican. Something just doesn't smell right in the way Schweitzer and his cronies are attacking ole Lynch. Interestingly Lynch has been a life-long democrat and every political cash donation attributed to his name has been made to only democrats. So why did he file for governor as a Republican? Some would have you believe that it was because he was “mad” at the governor but I have to wonder if Lynch filed on the republican ticket at the bequest of the democrats to muck up the whole republican primary and this whole lynching of Jim Lynch is nothing more than another one of the governor’s big tent sideshows.
In our area I would guess that any votes for Lynch in the republican primary would come at the expense of republican candidate Rick Hill who is the apparent front-runner in the republican herd of candidates for governor. Is this Lynch bashing attempting to simply make the republicans comfortable with voting for a former democrat in an attempt to swing the election to one of the less popular candidates they think Democrat Steve Bullock can beat?
I wouldn’t put anything past the devious Schweitzer organization