Wednesday, October 25

Walt Schweitzer Brouhaha

I read with interest a Missoula Independent story about the role that Walt Schweitzer, the Governor's brother, plays in our State Government. This story did give a valuable perspective on how our Governor thinks and acts. However, the relevations in that story did not make me think less of our Governor.

Powerful people need people they can trust. The Governor obviously trusts his brother. I do not see a problem with the Governor relying upon his brother.

I wonder how many people that object to Schweitzer's arrangement with his brother would have objected to RFK's appointment as Attorney General. Now, I know that this is a debatable point, but I submit that having RFK in a powerful position of trust make JFK a better President.

Now, I agree that it would be nice if there were some way to make Walter Schweitzer more accountable for his actions in his position of authority, as RFK was answerable to the Senate. However, if this is the worst charge that can be leveled against Schweitzer then he is doing very well, indeed.


Anonymous said...


Sarpy Sam said...

Your analogy between RFK and Walt appears to be faulty to my pea brain.

RFK was nominated for the position, confirmed by the Senate, and accountable to the public and Congress for his actions.

Walt has been nominated for nothing, confirmed by only his Brother and is not accountable to the people of Montana for his actions. He gets to hide in the dark and do whatever he wants. Quite a difference in situations if you ask me.

Treasure State Jew said...


Of course you are right, and I think I alluded to that in my original post.

However, haven't we left ourselves open to exactly this kind of behavior by outlawing the hiring of family members through our nepotism laws?

The truth is that people are more likely to trust their family than others. That was the whole point of my RFK analogy. RFK wasn't any great shakes as a lawyer, and he had more authority in more areas than any other Attorney General. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he was our de-facto Secretary of State!

The point is that Jack Kennedy trusted his brother. Therefore, Bobby had more authority in Kennedy's administration than any Attorney General had a right to have. I doubt that when the Senate confirmed RFK, they were counting on him to be the diplomat keeping Russian missiles from Cuba.

However, because of that trust relationship, that is exactly what RFK did. And it appears that the Governor's brother is playing a similar role in Helena.

I agree with you that it would be much better if he could be given a title and accountability to the people of this State. However, I submit that we have left ourselves open to this situation.