Opinion

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Letter

Local Republicans Fail to Support Most Important Bills

If you favor reasonable school funding and the disclosure of political contributions, and the willingness to work across party aisle, consider a Democratic candidate for the Legislature

In the 2013 legislative session two significant Republican bills failed to gain support by Flathead County’s Republican elected legislators. By a margin of 10-1, (Sen. Bruce Tutvedt in support), SB 375, Tevising Campaign Laws, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jim Peterson, failed to garner our Republican legislators’ support. This was known as a “Dark Money Bill” with intentions of providing full disclosure to the source of campaign contributors who do not contribute directly to the candidate. When a candidate is associated erroneously with a Washington D.C. politician or falsely characterized, there’s a reasonable chance that dark money is at work.

SB 175, the school funding bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Llew Jones, was opposed by a seven of 11 of our Republican legislators, (Rep. Steve Lavin and Sens. Bruce Tutvedt, Jon Sonju and Verdell Jackson supported the bill). This significant bill provided state funding for our public schools, including new energy revenue sharing derived from eastern Montana.

Simply put, Montana Democrats supported these important bills. They recognized the negative influences of unchecked, anonymous money flowing into Montana politics and recognized the importance of our state constitution’s mandate to adequately and equally fund our schools.

If you favor reasonable school funding and the disclosure of political contributions, and the willingness to work across party aisle, consider a Democratic candidate for the Legislature.

David Fern
Whitefish