Standing up for principles is not always easy, but it is what I do. I believe that it is the job of every legislator to make our state government work better for the people of Montana. As your state senator I hold our state government accountable for how they treat all Montanans. I strive to ensure we have a small, efficient yet effective government. I always put conscience first, constituents second and party third, which drives the ideologues nuts.
The extremists in the Flathead Valley have come to personal attacks because they don’t win on the issues. They believe that the U.S. government is bad and trying to depopulate Northwest Montana using Agenda 21 or some other conspiracy theories. They believe in the need for public militias to prepare for the overthrow of the government. It is true that the extremists and I are on opposite sides of most issues – the CSKT water compact, support of public education, and the need to support and reform our healthcare system.
As a public official I am expected to take personal attacks. The attacks are becoming more brazen and more personal. The attacks of taking bribes and using my position to obtain personal gain are examples of official misconduct and are illegal. I categorically deny any official misconduct. I do not participate in backroom deals but work in the light of the public eye. My detractors need to file charges with the county attorney so I can defend myself from these baseless accusations.
The water compact is not a government grab. The State of Montana now owns all of our water and will continue ownership under the compact. The CSKT compact protects those holding water rights and their beneficial use of water. The water compact settles the quantification of the CSKT water rights through negotiation and ensures that all citizens will have water to develop Northwest Montana, now and in the future.
I support our children and our public schools. I believe that our promises to seniors and state employees should be upheld. I support economic policies that promote a prosperous economy for all Montanans. I have always learned the issues, in detail, no matter how complicated or long the document, and make my decision based on what is best for my constituents. These personal attacks will not stop me from pursuing these ideals as I continue to fight for the folks.
Bruce Tutvedt is a Republican senator representing Kalispell
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