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Newspaper headlines over the past several months have linked Montana State Rep. Art Wittich with the word “corruption” as a result of baseless allegations made by Commissioner of Political Practices Jon Motl. Now that the trial is finished, I find it hypocritical that Motl never offered any evidence, or even charged Mr. Wittich with “corruption” in the case. In fact, Motl has now admitted that a corruption claim was never part of his case against Mr. Wittich. HOWEVER, Mr. Motl threatens to charge Mr. Wittich with corruption if he seeks to pursue his constitutional defenses.

One has to wonder why Mr. Motl is so determined to proclaim “corruption,” yet did not present evidence or argue his case to the jury. Why was Rep. Wittich prevented from offering a defense against the “corruption” charge smear attack propagated by Mr. Motl in Montana’s newspapers? Why is the media so quick to recognize any legitimacy with Motl given his liberal bias, while tarnishing the character and reputation of an accomplished legislator with no evidence?

Art Wittich is the smartest strategist and tactician in the Montana Legislature bar none. Mr. Motl’s attack on Mr. Wittich’s character and reputation as well as his attempt to remove him from office has delivered a major blow to Repr. Wittich, his family and Montana’s conservative faction within the Republican Party. I am not sure if this was the Commissioner of Political Practices' intent when he started his own personal investigation against Mr. Wittich without a public complaint. I am certain there is now the perception that it is political hunting season on all conservatives running for public office.

Albert D. Olszewski, MD

Representative for House District 11

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