When the legislature is in session it is common to see a legislator rise
before a vote and announce that he or she has a conflict of interest and
therefore recuse themselves and not vote on that bill. Though Sen. Bob
Lake has taken money from the NorthWestern Energy’s PAC, Mike Pichette a NEW lobbyist, John Alke a NorthWestern Energy lobbyist, and John Fitzpatric also a NWE lobbyist, it seems that if Sen. Lake exercised the ethical option he would have been standing and recusing, more than sitting and voting. Which would have been a good thing as Bob Lake is not known for voting against the “do pass” requests of the NWE lobbyists.
While perhaps the shareholders and CEOs, with their multi million dollar
salaries and bonuses, would have felt dismay with Bob Lake recusing himself, ratepayers would have appreciated the relief.
Bob Lake also voted for House Bill 198, which gives electric companies “eminent domain” over Montana citizen’s private property.
Please note that Jim Pearson is the only candidate in the race for PSC that
has pledged to not accept “donations” from the utilities he is to regulate.