Injustice: Marc Racicot’s Montana Legacy: Part III


Was Judge Swandal a Casualty of Cronyism?

In March 2008, Judge Cybulski rejected Beach’s request for a hearing based on the testimony before the state parole board, including witnesses who said they heard two women talk about being involved in the killing. Judge Nels Swandal was assigned the case on April 2 after the Montana Supreme Court ordered Cybulski to appoint a new judge.

Although the Department of Justice refused to specify why,  the state asked that Swandal be removed from the case. As a result, District Judge E. Wayne Phillips of Lewistown will preside over the hearing scheduled in August of 2011.

It seems to be a somewhat logical conclusion that politics was at play here.  The conservative Nels Swandal was likely not the favored candidate of the Montana Department of Justice- a group of liberal lawyers.  Were they were afraid that the Beach case, which is sure to garner national attention, would provide publicity for Swandal and thus endanger their candidate, a Department of Justice/Helena insider?  Perhaps it simply suited Marc Racicot to have a friend on the Supreme Court?  I’d love to believe that Racicot’s endorsement was heartfelt and driven solely by belief that Baker is the best candidate for the job, but I’m not convinced.

For all of these years, Marc Racicot has maintained that Barry Beach was responsible for the death of Kim Nees.  I wonder how he is able to sleep at night although maybe, just MAYBE; he is convinced that his prosecution was fair, along with a host of other big decisions he made for our state that impact us to this day.  Had the internet been more prevalent during his tenure, I wonder if he would be remembered as Montana’s most popular governor or as a ruthless narcotics smuggler, Mr Deregulation, Enron lawyer/lobbyist, or the guy who stole Barry Beach’s entire life simply because he was overly ambitious and more concerned about his future than the truth.

From the Montanan online:

Racicot makes no apologies for deregulation or any other policy decision, although without giving specifics does admit “not everything I did was right.” He hopes his legacy is his approach, saying he will be remembered for “the character of my service and the civility of it.”

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3 thoughts on “Injustice: Marc Racicot’s Montana Legacy: Part III

  1. “President Bill Clinton will not finish his term as president. ” from your link about Racicot’s “drug dealing”.

    Hardly a credible source, or did I miss something back in the nineties?

    And no, I don’t think Judge Swandal was the victim of anything. There was bi-partisan support for Ms Baker, and strong democrat support for her. I think that swung the election.

    The slippage between his tally and Rehberg’s isn’t totally explained by down ballot omissions.

    • I agree that the source wasn’t very credible but the fact that it, as well as MANY others; has been around for ages seems odd to me. If there was no truth to any of it, it seems strange that none of those involved would have forced such sites to remove the lies. There were some other factors at play in the Swandal-Baker race but in the interest of brevity, I didn’t list them all. Perhaps if you viewed the particular Dateline episode before making a judgment, you may feel differently. While I realize it is a Dateline episode, nothing more, nothing less; it offers compelling evidence- including eyewitness reports and videos of the real murderers, that Mr Beach is innocent of this crime. I will not deny he was a wild kid and may have already been headed for prison regardless, but he wasn’t guilty of this crime. Racicot isn’t the man that many Montanans believe, that is the truth.

  2. I agree with your statement about Racicot is not the man many Montanans seem to think he is. He is a horrible man and is letting an innocent person rot in prison.

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