Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Update from Sen Fielder - Charity vs. Taxation and hope for the New Year

By Senator Jennifer Fielder, R - Montana State Senate District 7

What do you suppose would happen if each of us did more instead of expecting someone else to do all the good things that need to be done? What if we each did all we can do to help ourselves and help others? Charity would become contagious, popular, and ironically, maybe even less necessary.

To those of you who already give instead of take, encourage instead of criticize, or even smile instead of scowl, thank you! These are shining examples of the kinds of Faith, Hope, and Charity we need more of year round. Charity isn't just about money. It's a form of love through selfless giving of time, kindness, or resources.

As Montana’s legislature convenes for the 2015 session, an endless line of people will want public funds (i.e. your money) for a whole range of wonderful special interests. Some requests will be for essential services which I will support. Some requests will come from institutions that need to think about doing more to help themselves. And some requests will come from charities that, although I might support personally, I will not vote in favor of requiring you the taxpayer to fund by force of law. It's just fundamentally wrong to take one person's property and give it to someone else. When it comes to charity, who you give to, when, and why, should be up to you. Just remember, God is watching.

Like many folks, I have a big heart for charity too. There are exceptions of course, but in general charity works best when given willingly from the heart, and it usually fails when attempted by force (law/taxation). When administered by dedicated volunteers who work hard to raise scarce funds for legitimate purposes, resources tend to be more carefully directed to intended recipients. Think Mother Theresa. When administered by organizations who come by large amounts of other people's money easily, "charity" becomes more susceptible to waste, abuse, unnecessary
expenditures, and even corruption. The billions of dollars of fraud in the government funded health system care comes to mind.

Today I'd like to update you on some charitable giving I have been involved with. While campaigning for State Senate in 2012, I outlined many goals which you can find at www.jenniferfielder.us. I continue to work hard on those goals every day. But when it came to making promises, I was careful to make only two promises that I knew were entirely within my power to keep:

First, I promised to honor my oath of office (found in Article 3, section 3 of the Montana Constitution). That oath, required of all public officers in Montana, states that we will support, protect, and defend the U.S. and
Montana Constitutions and discharge the duties of our office with fidelity. It’s not just adhering to the Constitution that is important, although this is fundamental to civil order, freedom, and prosperity. The commitment to fidelity, or trustworthiness, of public officers is equally vital. I remain committed to honoring the whole oath.

Second, I promised to donate half of my legislative take-home pay to charitable causes. I made this pledge because I believe strongly in voluntary charity, and I also wanted you to know that I was entering politics to give, not to take. That is, to give of myself willingly, not to require you to give of yourself unwillingly.

In keeping my promise of charitable giving, so far I have donated $3,774.90 from my 2013-14 earnings. That amount exceeds half the net salary I received during my first two years of office. Recipients have included: Three local churches; Thompson River Animal Care Shelter (TRACS); Cancer Care Network of Sanders County; Tri-State Veterans Stand Down; Thompson Falls Senior Class –alcohol free graduation parties; Linda Lanier’s Patriotic Picnic and Veterans Tribute; Rex Theater Christmas on Main Street Music Show; Daughters of American Revolution College Scholarship Fund; Noxon Food Bank Community Garden; American Lands Council; DAV Disabled Veterans Transport Vehicle; plus a few miscellaneous donations to service clubs and individuals in Sanders and Mineral Counties.

The wonderful volunteers who do so many good works in our communities are the real key to charitable programs and countless other good deeds. They touch lives and make donated funds, however modest, stretch.

If you know of a donation or charitable organization I should consider for the upcoming year, please leave me a note at www.jenniferfielder.us <www.jenniferfieldder.us>. I hope you will give all you can to help them too so we can make voluntary charity popular!

As I enter the second half of my four-year term in the Montana State Senate, I am grateful to be able to continue to serve you, honor my oath, and keep my promise of contributing half my pay to good causes.May Freedom Ring and may your New Year be filled with the blessings of true Faith, Hope, and Charity all year long!

Senator Jennifer Fielder
Montana State Senate - District 7


1 degree outside this morning. Peppermint cocoa with melted marshmallows inside. Stay warm y'all!

I'm actually glad I have a pile of paperwork to keep me inside today.

Sent from my iPhone


Monday, December 22, 2014

Wilderness watchers wonder what's next for Montana wild country


"In addition to the Bob Marshall wilderness additions, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act gave 208,000 acres conservation management status, which allows existing travel and recreation uses but prevents other development [i.e. mutually beneficial levels of timber, grazing, and mineral uses are now prohibited, crushing land-based livlihoods and dashing all hope of restoring family-wage jobs to the nearby rural communities]."


Thursday, December 18, 2014

My charges for the evening... A refreshing change of pace

It's good to be home again. What a delight babysitting these little darlings for their parents who are celebrating their anniversary tonight. Happy anniversary Adam and Chelsea!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Passing thru Hellgate canyon on my way to Bozeman this morning.

I'll be speaking at Gallatin County Republican Women's Christmas Luncheon today - join me if you can - 11:45am at the Holiday Inn.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It sure felt funny driving this little rental car instead of my truck, but it got me to my destination on time!

Meeting with a bunch of good folks in Colorado to share ideas about how to improve access, health, and productivity on public lands in western states.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Fwd: SD 7 Column - Update from Sen Fielder

More"Horse Trading” In WA DC

By Sen Jennifer Fielder



Last week Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act – an important"must pass” spending bill that funds the United States Military. Knowing the bill had to pass, numerous politicians piled on completely
unrelated pet projects – commonly, and fittingly referred to as"pork”.

According to"Citizens for Balanced Use” (CBU), a pro-access recreation organization out of Bozeman, they were attempting to watch the bill closely because several pieces of"pork” being attached to the bill affected public lands and national parks. Here is what CBU had to say:

"Senator McCain was the first to attach his pet project to the Defense Spending Bill as a member of the Armed Services Committee. His bill opened a large copper mine in his state producing 6000 new jobs.

Then the environmental groups became enraged and wanted something in
return. Up jumped Senator Tester and added his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act to the bill and another 650,000 acres of new wilderness in Montana. CBU worked hard with our lone Representative Daines to have this legislation removed and no one worked harder than Congressman Daines and in the end his efforts got the FJRA removed. In return for removing the FJRA, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act was inserted and the tribute to Max Baucus was put in place.

As the bill continued to move forward during the last few months, it
changed in shape and form almost on a daily and hourly basis. Negotiations on bill language, what was in and what was out, remained a question and CBU continually tracked the movement of this bill. We did not know exactly what was in this bill until the press release on the day it was introduced into the House.”

Alaska Dipsatch News reported,"U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday announced agreement by members of the House and Senate to tack on a package of lands bills — including the transfer of land to Sealaska Corp. — to the defense bill.”

In actuality, there are so many unrelated parts and pieces in this year’s"Defense Spending Bill” I can’t list them in the space allowed. Plain and simply, the U.S. Congress made a bunch of deals, horse trading if you will, affecting hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands and many other aspects of government, under the guise of supporting our military. Yes, the military gets funding, and Arizona gets mines, an Alaska corporation gets half of the Tongass National Forest, and Montana gets new restrictions on another three quarters of a million acres of public lands in our state. Sadly, some major aspects of this legislation never received a hearing or fair chance for public review prior to passage. Thus is the way the United States Congress does its"public” business.

We have a much better system in Montana. In our state legislature, each piece of legislation (also known as a bill) is limited by law to a single subject and the content of each bill must be directly related to the title of the bill. Every bill is available to the public and receives a public hearing before it is voted on. State legislative committee meetings and hearings are open to the public and broadcast online and on television
right here in Montana for all to see. This straightforward approach allows greater transparency and affords the public a genuine opportunity to
actively participate whenever they choose.

If you would like to know more about how you can participate in the in
Montana legislative process please sign into my web site at

Thank you and God Bless,

Senator Jennifer Fielder
Montana State Senate - District 7

NOTICE: Legislators are publicly elected officials. Legislator emails sent or received involving legislative business, may be subject to the Right to Know provisions of Montana’s Constitution and may be considered a"public record” pursuant to Montana law. As such, email sent or received, its sender and receiver, and the email’s contents, may be subject to public disclosure, except as otherwise provided by Montana law.


On my way to Colorado today. Will be in Bozeman Weds, and back to beautiful Northwest Montana Thursday.

A busy couple weeks last week and this, but love the incredible scenery here in the Rockies.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A packed house at MTSFW to hear about transferpubliclands in Missoula tonight.

Thank you MT Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife for getting the facts before taking a position on this issue. Too bad Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation declined to do the same.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Getting my batch of bill draft requests in before today's deadline.

Working on a number of pieces of legislation to improve conditions for people, our environment, public lands, local government, and communities across Montana.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Economc report finds Utah capable of managing federal lands - Washington Times


"Those in favor of the state taking control of federal lands were buoyed by a report Monday that concluded the idea was financially feasible. Entitled"An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah,” the 784-page analysis found that Utah was capable of managing that property, now under the control of the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Congress’ Sneaky Tactic to Grab More Land for the Government


What does NDAA have to do with wilderness???

"Does Congress really need to add to the federal estate when the feds already own 640 million acres of land, approaching one-third the total area of the United States? Congress should be transferring more responsibility to the states and private owners, not taking more land away from them. "