Criticism of candidate lacks transparency

Dear Editor,

Arlene Mari failed to mention she’s the wife of a retired BLM employee when she criticized my husband, Jonathan Moor. Either she isn’t up to speed on the latest BLM Regulations regarding political activity or she’s deliberately trying to deceive readers about Jonathan’s character. Here’s the email from Jonathan to News-Argus Editor Deb Hill after he was clearly identified as a BLM employee in early City Commission Election coverage:

“Thanks for your understanding, Deb. Yes, there are internal issues. From a candidate's perspective, I think my current occupation would make a very strong credentials talking point. However, this is the condensed version from the BLM HR Officer in Billings, ‘Our Ethics Guide contains the following (applicable to using your official title) - No Use of Title Rule; You may not allow your title or your affiliation with DOI to be used in conjunction with any political activity, whether the activity is partisan or non-partisan.’ That's why in my capacity as a City Commission candidate I have not publicly stated that I am a BLM employee.

I know you are aware of my ardent support for your Constitutionally enshrined rights to Free Speech and a Free Press, which allow you to print any factual information you see fit. However, internal BLM and Hatch Act prohibitions compel me to distance my work affiliation from my political activities. I anticipate there will be more interviews with candidates, articles, public forums, etc., as the election season progresses. Therefore, I'm trying to adhere to policy and at the same time prevent the need for any awkward dancing around the subject of my current employment, which would disrupt the flow of future interviews or discussions. That's why I was asking for the basic ‘retired U.S. Marine’ when it comes to listing my occupation.”

Intelligent News-Argus readers repeatedly see Jonathan’s name in BLM articles. Anyone paying attention to BLM video and photo footage of the Lodgepole and July fires knows Jonathan is the photographer.

My husband is involved in permissible ways with both non-partisan and partisan activities. He makes every effort to abide by all regulations. Jonathan would have put “BLM employee” at the top of his credentials list if he were allowed to. He has loyally served the citizens of Lewistown as a U.S. Marine. He continues to serve us now and he will serve all of Lewistown as City Commissioner At Large.


Jiri Moor





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