I have known state Sen. Don Ryan, who is a candidate for the Public Service Commission, for a number of years now, and hold him in high regard, especially for his governmental service to the people of Montana. His opponent may be a nice, young man, but I don't think he is dry behind the ears yet, politically speaking. It appears to me that he is the recipient of some corporate funds to run his campaign.
Please be reminded that Don Ryan has been a Democrat in all the offices he has held, which in my view is especially important on the PSC. We saw that demonstrated when legislation to deregulate utilities passed the Montana Legislature and resulted in big increases in the cost of them to Montana citizens.
Fortunately, members like Don have secured control of the PSC and recovered a part of the increases put upon us. Only three Republicans voted against deregulation in 1997, while a majority of Democrat member of the Legislature voted against the deregulation bill. Even the sponsor of that bill, SB390, now admits the leadership of the Republicans were very wrong in what they did at the urging of then-Gov. Racicot.
I am confident Don Ryan would have had been among those who opposed SB390, as I was. I also believe that the young fellow running against Don would have voted with his Republican brethren had he been there, which was a vote for corporate energy interests and not for our citizens. Greg Jergeson has carried on the Democrat tradition of protecting Montana's citizens during his eight years on the PSC, and I am sure Don Ryan will do the same for all of us.
That is why I ask you to make a wise choice by voting for Don Ryan for the PSC.