Democratic Party Leader Criticizes Knudsen and Arntzen on KGVO
Chair of the Montana Democratic Party Robyn Driscoll wasted no time on Tuesday’s KGVO Talk Back Program in ripping into two Republican office holders.
Driscoll started with the ‘no confidence’ letter signed by all of the state’s AA school superintendents to OPI Superintendent Elsie Arntzen.
“These were educators and administrators who were denouncing the failure of her leadership,” said Driscoll. “It really is not about politics. I read the letters that the superintendents wrote and publicized and I did not see one item in there that was political. It’s all about delivering for Montana's students and their families, and I just I think Montanans of every political persuasion can agree on that.”
Driscoll brought up several issues in the letter to Arntzen, but singled out one particular subject, teacher licensing.
“The OPI now is shutting down licensing software for six months,” she said. “And if teachers are not approved for licensure, then they don't get paid. Shutting down that software is just going to make it more difficult for people if there had not been a 90 percent turnover rate that I would think maybe a little bit differently.”
Another Republican leader Driscoll criticized was Attorney General Austin Knudsen. She brought up one instance in which she said Knudsen interfered in the prosecution of a case in Helena.
“There was a gentleman running a restaurant in Helena and was attacked by somebody that came in that did not want to wear a mask, and when asked to put on a mask, he attacked this gentleman and he was charged with assault by the county attorney's office,” she said. “Instead, the AG’s office saw fit to take the case from the county attorney and there was a sweetheart deal cut where the plaintiff received a $100 fine and then $75 in court fees.”
Driscoll compared Knudsen with the previous two-term attorney general Tim Fox.
“He worked very well with both Democrats and Republicans,” she said “He had his staff work with Democrats and Republicans. When he had a bill that he wanted brought forward, he shared those between both parties. It was not a political thing for him. It was just things that he wanted to get done. In fact, I carried one of his bills for him, a really good bill and was successful with it. He was much less of a partisan than Austin Knudsen.”
Both Driscoll and her Republican counterpart Don Kaltschmidt took calls from KGVO listeners.