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Posts tagged: timber theft

Hart Defends Public Timber Taking

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, sent the following to the Lewiston Tribune, which accused him of being a timber thief for taking public timber without paying for it: “In 1995 I contracted with a private landowner to purchase a quantity of logs to build a house. When it came time to deliver, he could not fill the entire order. Due to springtime load limits, several other landowners were prevented from providing such logs, as they were unable to access their property with heavy equipment. After calling nearly everyone within 50 miles, I finally talked to a landowner who had the logs I needed. But he literally talked himself out of a sale by informing me, “I would feel guilty if I didn't tell you that since you're using the logs personally, you can take them off of state land. My dad and I did it when we built his house. He had studied the law and ran it by our legislator who verified this was lawful.” I then studied the law and came to the same conclusion. More here.

Thoughts?

Hart’s Insincere Or Ego Drive — Sis

Re: Rep. Phil Hart makes a ‘donation’ to school endowment fund

Sisyphus: I expect Hart is concerned that if he makes payment on a judgment which hasn’t been renewed, he might provide legal grounds for the entire judgment to be revived. And he wants to pay only the amounts he thinks are fair instead of the total amount the court and the law imposed. Same as what he’s doing with the IRS. That tells me a couple things. 1) He’s insincere about this payment and doing it to stave off political consequences which, ironically, is a tacit admission of wrongdoing in any event. 2) its another example of how his titanic ego vastly overshadows any inclination towards selflessness. I can see why he and Larry are buds.

Question: Which bothers you most re: Rep. Phil Hart’s troubles — his debt of almost $500,000 to the IRS/Idaho Tax Commission or his theft of timber from endowment land?

Hart Makes ‘Donation’ To Timber Fund

Item: Hart makes timber fund ‘donation’: Officials uncertain how to treat lawmaker’s check/Betsy Z. Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, sent a check as promised to the state’s school endowment for $2,450, but he called it a “voluntary donation” to the permanent fund, not a payment on a judgment over a 1996 timber theft. That left the state endowment’s managers scratching their heads as to how the check should be handled. Revenue from timber sales on state endowment lands goes into a fund that makes direct payments to schools every year. Donations to the permanent endowment are held in perpetuity; only their investment earnings are distributed.

Question: Anyone have any idea what Hart’s trying to do here?

Phil Hart Tells His Side Of The Story

On his Twitter account moments ago, Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, provided a link to 5 YouTube videos that “tells his side of the story and clarifies misleading articles in the press.” The video below is the first of that series. You can see the rest of the series here.

Reaction?

Ex-Timber Thief: Why Isn’t Hart In Jail?

John McHone has a beef with Phil Hart. McHone thinks anyone who steals timber from public lands – as Hart did to build a log home in Athol – ought to pay the penalty. “I think the (good Mr. Hart) ought to get some kind of time out of it,” McHone said – though his original comment was much saltier. “They got a lot of federal joints around here. They put me in a federal penitentiary.” Like Hart, McHone stole timber from public lands. Unlike Hart, he served a sentence for the crime: a year in the federal pen. He and a team of others were busted cutting firewood in the Nez Perce National Forest back in 2003/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree with McHone that Hart deserves jail time for stealing timber from state endowment land (where revenue goes to support schools)?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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