Rehberg Advises Obama on Montana Marshal

By Beacon Staff

U.S. Rep. Rehberg sent out a copy of his letter to Barack Obama today urging the president-elect to keep Dwight MacKay installed at his post for another term as U.S. Marshal of Montana. Though a Republican appointee and former state director for U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, MacKay was praised in a recent Billings Gazette editorial as someone who has managed the post in an effective and nonpartisan way. Rehberg cited the editorial in his letter to Obama.

“Dwight MacKay’s original nomination in 2002 was supported by the entire Montana Congressional Delegation and he has faithfully and effectively served the people of Montana for nearly seven years,” Rehberg wrote.

To get the marshal or U.S. Attorney gig, interested parties must apply to U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester. Baucus has more say because he is the senior senator, then those recommendations are forwarded to the Obama administration. According to a report by Lee’s Helena bureau, three men are interested in the U.S. Marshal job: Billings Mayor Ron Tussing, Dennis McCave of Billings and Ed Tinsley of Helena. (Tinsley has just been appointed Sergeant at Arms of the state House of Representatives by Speaker Bob Bergren, D-Havre.)

From the Gazette:

“Tussing, who was sworn in as mayor of Billings in January 2006, was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the Public Service Commission from District 2, losing last week to Commissioner Brad Molnar, R-Laurel.

“Before being elected mayor of Billings, Tussing was a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team leader, detective and was twice elected sheriff as a Democrat in Lancaster County, Neb. Democratic Gov. Bob Kerrey appointed Tussing superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. Tussing later served as chief of police in Billings for more than six years.

“McCave has worked for the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office for 30 years. His current assignment is overseeing the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.

“Tinsley is a Lewis and Clark County commissioner who recently lost a bid for re-election. He is a graduate of the Montana Law Enforcement Academy and worked as chief of securities enforcement for the State Auditor’s Office. He is Montana’s Democratic national committeeman and was the state party’s first superdelegate to back Obama last winter.

“The marshal oversees the Marshals Service office in Montana, which is responsible for protecting the federal judiciary, transporting federal prisoners and apprehending fugitives.”