Bullock and Gianforte

Montana's race for governor

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

Montana will have another opportunity to elect its governor this November. Bullock is the incumbent, who is being challenged by businessman Greg Gianforte.

Steve Bullock is an attorney and former attorney general for Montana. Bullock has worked in government a significant period of his career. Bullock barely defeated GOP candidate Rick Hill in 2012 for governor, skimming only 1.5 percent more votes than Hill. By contrast, Gianforte proudly claims that he “is not a government insider” and prides himself as a job creator. This election is not unlike the presidential election: the “establishment v. non-establishment” choice.

Republics are notably a continuing experiment in human nature. What perpetuates the experiment is limited office terms and people’s ability to periodically choose different office holders. Meanwhile, the system remains relatively stable. This stability protects the people from would-be drastic change induced by revolutionary politicians.

Gianforte has not advocated revolutionary ideas in his campaign. His platform rests primarily on creating better jobs in Montana and other mainstream GOP platforms. His political inexperience suggests he will rely on people already familiar and experienced in government policy and practice.

What Gianforte would do on the myriad of issues no one really knows because there is no political history to consider. But like many of Trump’s supporters, people are willing to take a risk on an “unknown” candidate in hopes of improving our political and economic conditions. In short, they will continue the Republican experiment and hope for the best.

By Joe Carbonari

Greg Gianforte has some private sector skills that have served him well. Those skills can best be used to benefit the whole state by his staying where he is and doing what he knows best. He has brought Montana a ways down the technological path, and he could bring us further. He has much to offer in that field.

Government, however, calls for a different skill set … a special sensitivity to people being prime among them. Steve Bullock clearly has that sensitivity as well as the practical experience to recognize where government can help and where it needs to get out of the way. Both Gianforte and Bullock are problem solvers. Gianforte does better with technology; Bullock with people. Social inclusiveness is not a Gianforte strongpoint. It should be.

Gianforte would make it easier to do business in Montana. Coal, oil, gas, timber, and minerals would likely see increased investment and attention. This is good providing that it serves the advancement of the changes necessary for Montana to flourish in the future. Let’s use what we have, yes, but let’s error on the side of long-run, not short-run, profit.

Infrastructure spending will spur the economy and create local jobs. Where necessary, schools should be included. Mr. Gianforte proposes an infrastructure effort without including our public schools. He does, however, favor assisting private education with public assistance. Bullock does not.

If they both keep their jobs, it’s a win-win for Montana. Let’s keep them where they are.

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