By HDN Editorial Board
Several times in recent months, state Sen. Sam Kitzenberg has accused the state Department of Transportation of trying to scuttle his efforts to get U.S. Highway 2 widened to four lanes.
"They have done this by using scare tactics, misleading statements and a can't do that' attitude," the Republican from Glasgow wrote in one of his missives to the public.
Scare tactics? Such hyperbole or reckless use of language weakens Kitzenberg's case.
Each time Kitzenberg makes a claim, the facts don't appear to support him. He accuses Gov. Judy Martz and MDT of taking MDT's written interpretation of his Senate Bill 3, the law intended to get funding for the four-lane project, to an interim legislative committee for adoption without telling Kitzenberg or the people of the Hi-Line. Not so, according to the interim committee chairman. The committee decided on its own to discuss the interpretation.
Kitzenberg says the interpretation that MDT wrote is designed to keep money from going to a four-lane. Yet the interpretation seems to mirror Kitzenberg's bill.
It's difficult to imagine an interpretation that could actually weaken SB 3, a law that pretty well guarantees that Highway 2 won't be a four-lane in the foreseeable future. SB3 prohibits the state from moving forward on widening Highway 2 to four lanes unless Congress specifically gives it money to do so. Especially in these times, no one can expect that to be a congressional priority.
Sen. Kitzenberg, what are you trying to accomplish?
This project is bigger than you, the governor and the head of MDT. It's going to take a long time. You need to work with these people and the congressional delegation to make this project possible.