Celebrating Montana Leadership
In order to inspire the leaders of tomorrow, I’m going to highlight some recent examples of exemplary leadership that could provide a blueprint for future success.
First up, senatorial candidate John Walsh. By continuing to run a non-existent campaign, headlines like Report prevented Walsh from promotion to Army general fill the empty space.
Bide your time, future leaders of America.
Next up, Carl Ibsen, aka The Mustache. The lesson here is when you have a mustache there are certain expectations you have to live up to, like enacting proactive retribution against your underlings political ambitions. It’s just how things go with stiff, manly facial hair.
Mother Jones has our next example of local Montana leadership with Fred Van Valkenburg’s mighty stand against the prying eye of the DoJ. This one is worth quoting:
“Missoula County Attorneys Office does not need to enter into an agreement with DOJ to protect victims of sexual assault, [we have] actively assisted victims for years,” Van Valkenburg wrote, arguing that the two federal statutes that the Justice Department cites—one of which deals with gender discrimination—do not legally justify imposing changes on his office. The prosecutor is correct that the Justice Department can’t force recommendations on the office, says Christopher Mallios, an attorney adviser for AEquitas, which receives funding from the Department of Justice to help local prosecutors better handle sexual-violence cases. But he adds, that if the Justice Department is able to prove civil rights violations in court, a judge could enforce them. Van Valkenburg says that his office is already meeting many of the Justice Department’s demands, and even if he had the funding, he wouldn’t add the three new staff members the feds want, because they’d represent “a duplication of services” provided by other city units. Van Valkenburg says if the Justice Department doesn’t back off in the next two weeks, he will take the issue to federal court.
“I’m not aware of another case where a prosecutor said we would rather litigate and go to trial than make some changes,” Mallios says. And other experts say the prosecutor’s response is unusual: “No prosecutor wants to admit that they have shortcomings, especially on such a sensitive issue,” says Sarah Deer, who worked for the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. “But there is a culture in some offices that sexual assault is sort of overstated or victims tend to lie. That might be what’s going on here—a culture of indifference.”
One leadership quality this story highlights, according to earlier reporting, is be prepared. In this case, that meant saving money for the potential cost of litigation. From the link:
Missoula County Commissioner Michele Landquist said she expects the meeting to serve as a status update on the dispute.
She said the county has tucked away funds over the past few budget cycles to help cover a lawsuit, if the DOJ filed one.
Our final example of Montana leadership (another aging white man, go figure) comes from the judiciary, the honorable former Chief U.S. District Judge, Richard Cebull. Here’s the gist:
A review of four years’ worth of emails from former Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull’s federal email account found “hundreds” of emails “related to race, politics, religion, gender, sexual orientation and politically sensitive issues that were inappropriate for Judge Cebull to have sent from his federal email account.”
The focus here will be on Judge Cebull, the sender of emails. What about those who received them? How does this pervasive, unethical conduct trickle down the ladder of power?
Leadership in Montana…?