Idaho Senate Democrats ask for ethics investigation of Pearce over oil and gas conflict

Idaho Senate Democrats asked Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill Thursday to investigate whether Republican Sen. Monty Pearce of New Plymouth violated ethics rules.

Democrats listed 16 times new oil and gas rules and bills came before the Senate Resources and Environment Committee Pearce chairs, or that he voted for them on the floor. But he only disclosed that he has leased oil and gas drilling rights to a company on his final vote on the floor of a regulatory bill Wednesday.

“Through all of these committee hearings, Senate debates and actions, and numerous votes, Senator Pearce never revealed his conflict of interest,” wrote Sens. Edgar Malepeai, Les Bock and Michelle Stennett, the Senate minority leader, assistant minority leader and caucus chair.

Democrats asked Hill to remove Pearce’s Resources Committee chairmanship and require him to recuse himself from voting on oil and gas issues.

Pearce acknowledged Thursday he had simply not thought about the potential conflict until the final vote. The leases have been held since the 1980s, he said.

“I vote on an animal cruelty bill and I have animals,” he said. “I vote on water rights and I’ve got water rights.”

Hill and other Republican leaders met with Democratic leaders early in the afternoon.

"We don't want to cover anything up," Hill said. "We're working with the Democratic Party on determining the best way forward."

Alma Hasse, executive director of Idaho Concerned Area Residents for the Environment, filed a similar request to Hill Wednesday.

The rule says: "If a Senator has a conflict of interest under applicable law, such conflict must be disclosed to the presiding officer in writing or to the body. Upon disclosure of any conflict the Senator may vote upon any question or issue to which the conflict relates, unless the Senator requests to be excused.”

Lieutenant Gov. Brad Little, recused himself last year when standing in for Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission when it approved new rules for the industry. Little said he was in negotiations with an oil and gas company for rights to drill on his property.

But Little, who presides over the Senate, broke a 17-17 tie Friday, on the same oil and gas regulatory bill that was finally passed Wednesday. But Little’s vote was on a procedural motion.

And his vote actually went against his apparent interest since he last leased thousands of acres of his land to Snake River Oil and Gas.

“Had I been asked to explain my vote I would have disclosed,” Little said. “We should always default to doing that.”

Hill said since Little is a part of the executive branch, The Senate has no jurisdiction over Little on ethics issues.

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Come on, Sen. Pearce. It's not that hard.

Just be aware of what's going on and the transparency issues.

I vote on a gas bill and I've got gas...

Ethics by afterthought isn't ethics at all

Ethics Legislation. It's time.

Ethics Legislation. It's time.

Same old Monte

Seriously is anyone surprised.


Pearce is one of the best we have. Your great great grankids won't have Garvee hanging over them because of his efforts. He says it didn't occur to him, I believe him.

Then he's the dumbest

For goodness sakes as Chairman of the Committee it's HIS JOB to know the rules. If he's not a crook then he has got to be the dumbest guy there.

Don't agree

Anyone else I'd probably raise an eyebrow and look at them pretty hard, might even agree with you. Him, I believe. Right now.


There's a sucker born every minute.


Came out this morning that he signed his most recent lease on Nov. 4th, 2011.

Still Believing?

If you're not part of the solution, you become part of the problem.

Here we go again...

what a nasty bunch of crooks and creeps we have in our legislature. How can we expect ethics rules or legislation when these people don't understand the meaning of that word?

Term limits, folks - I just can't say that often enough.

But all They Need...

is maybe some "training" remember?

I sure hope there are no parents in the Legislature.....

They may have to step aside when a vote regarding education or a child related issue comes up. Horrors!

Only if they will financially benefit ...

from the legislation.

Nice try

Its pretty obvious now that he lied about his lease dates that there is/was some personal financial gain possible here. It would have taken him one sentence and about 30 seconds to disclose this or better yet recuse himself.

and the list continues to grow

Get these guys out of here. Vote for Democrats

18th time is a charm

Pearce said it takes him about 18 times to finally remember to do something; like tell the truth. Really what a sleeze bag.

Ethics, Smethics

Pay your bribes like the good ol' boys.

It doesn't matter if you believe him.

Like many of his fellow republicans, Pearce does not understand simply right and wrong. Has he been in the senate for all those years, a chairman, and he doesn't know or heed the few rules that apply to him? If it takes 22 votes for him to realize the rules are rules then he's not intelligent enough to write law, and there is no advantage to Idahoans in having some joker get paid to rubber stamp bills written by lobbyists to the benefit of the corporations and the disadvantage of his constituents. Culture of corruption indeed.


They don't write the laws they vote on. They don't even read the bills. They just vote the way they are told to vote.

Why don't we the citizens get smart and forget the Red Dunce Hats and the Blue Dunce Hats and realize that our government has been bought out and we need to throw them ALL out.

There is no cure for this kind of corruption except to flush and start over.

Throw them all out?

Not a week goes by that I don't read that sentiment. It makes no sense.

First of all it is not ever going to happen that they are ALL voted out. And what guarantees are there that their replacements are any better. You won't know until they are in office for a while.

Secondly, there are good, honest pols who really care about right and wrong, and how to best help their constituents. They should stay so they can fight the good fight. I think Werk is a good man for instance.

Can we please do away with that vapid concept?

Only if their parents had

Hopefully their are no parents in the Legislature. Their gene pool is awful shallow.

Democrats are sissies

Democrats remind me of the runt in fourth grade who always went whining to the teacher. No wonder they can't get anywhere with Idaho voters.

Step up Cleatus and prove it

Step up Cleatus and prove it , Punk ! With a name like Poolboy all
I can think is you must work for Larry Craig. Not to question
it means you don't mind taking it up the chute.


Truth is hard to come by

If you get to say that...

can I say that's retarded then?

Lesser of two Hammonds?



I'd like to thank Kevin Richert for persuading all the legislators to quit.


It is funny that the party that runs on Higher morals are the worst crooks in the State.
The Farther right the legislation gets the more unethical they get. Any one that can't
see that is blind as bats or so polarized it has stopped their brains from functioning.
You watch though they will makes excuses and try to bring up the Dem's who in the past have
got in trouble. Yeah well that is spread far and wide, all you have to do is look back 12 months in
just this State and they are putting Illinois to shame. Just don't preach morality and
ethics anymore.

This is

the same legislators that have been "hired" to make laws that all people in Idaho are required to abide by. They do not know or abide by the laws that they have all ready put into place nor do they feel that they apply to them.
Once again, this legislature session cannot end soon enough, if only to keep these un-ethical dips**ts from doing any more harm.
How many more Idaho elected officials have on-going dealings with the gas/oil, mining, etc; industries? Little has admitted that he is in negotiations to lease lands, who else, that the citizens of Idaho should know about?

Pearce acknowledged Thursday

Pearce acknowledged Thursday he had simply not thought about the potential conflict until the final vote. The leases have been held since the 1980s, he said.“I vote on an animal cruelty bill and I have animals,” he said. “I vote on water rights and I’ve got water rights.”

Ok if you are so big hearted take any profits you make from this and give it to the State.

Never thought about it?

Let me see... oil and gas leases in Idaho. And Monty never thought about it.

Either he thinks we are all dumber than a box of rocks... or he is.

Let's wait for the ethics hearing

From what I hear, there is more to this than some leases from the 1980's. There may be something more recent that is a direct conflict.
Before we decide he is right or wrong, we may want to let the committee actually hear the evidence.

Like Bridge Resources Inc

contributing to Monty's election campaign?

Very Interesting

He didn't think about his leases when he accepted their money? Really?

Or maybe at the committee meeting

When, after all the testimony was given, he called the gas lobbyist by her first name and asked her if she would "sum it up?"

Looking Bad for Monte

Just came out he signed his most recent lease Nov. 4th 2011 not back in the 1980's. What a lying dirtbag.


Just saw that. Not looking real good if you seem to forget a minor detail like that. Just sitting here shaking my head in disgust. There's a lotta difference between 1980 and Nov of 2011.

Wait There's More !

Ooops look like he signed his most recent lease on Nov. 4th 2011.

they're ALL kinda pokey, gutless and lost...

Why all the self-pleasured typing?


I'd like to thank Kevin Richert for persuading all the legislators to quit.

Pearce assured us...

Pearce became quite upset when testimony asserted that this was a lobbyist written bill, and assured us that legislators had contributed. So tell me, senator, which of you included the following language...."'injection well' does not mean or include any well drilled for oil, gas or geothermal production activities, other than one into which diesel fuels are injected pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations."