Who is Greg Gianforte?

In sum, the sky is not falling; our state is doing well

By Carol and John Santa

This evening after watching Greg Gianforte casually toss his fly downstream for the thousandth’s time, we wanted to know more about this man who is flooding the airways in an effort to become our governor. What direction is he proposing for our state?

By now we all know he is a millionaire who moved to Montana from New Jersey. He claims to be a job creator with big bold ideas but he fails to give the slightest hint about how he would accomplish them except for talking about how successful he has been personally. But what does he really stand for and are his views good for Montana?

Gianforte opposed the Bozeman community non-discrimination bill. He doesn’t believe in evolution and has heavily funded advocates of creationism. He has given hundreds of thousand’s of dollars if not millions to oppose women’s reproductive rights. He advocates for the transfer of federal lands to local control. He is for school choice, which would undermine our excellent publically funded schools. He undoubtedly supports the Supreme Court decision in favor of Citizens United allowing unlimited political contributions by corporations which led in turn to undermine the Montana Corrupt Practices Act restricting wealthy companies (or in this case a wealthy individual) from buying elections. As of now, he has used more than $3.1 million of his vast wealth to bombard us with negative ads and glorified promises without providing any details about how he plans to fulfill such promises.

Both Bullock and Gianforte are clearly supportive of our Second Amendment rights to own firearms. However, Gianforte, in contrast to Bullock, takes an extreme position of supporting anyone who legally owns a gun to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, including college students on campus and in their dormitories.

In a series of misleading and distorted statements he claims Montana is in terrible economic shape. Data provide a different picture. It turns out our economy has done exceptionally well under Bullock’s tenure. Just before Bullock took office, unemployment in Montana was 7.4 percent. Currently it is 4.3 percent – pretty impressive compared with the national rate of just over 5 percent, and we have seen over 5.5 percent real wage growth this year alone. Montana’s median household income grew 6.8 percent between 2014 and 2015, the highest percentage increase of any other state with a gain of nearly $3,200.

In sum, the sky is not falling; our state is doing well, and Governor Bullock has proved himself to be a moderate who is willing to compromise and work to forge realistic solutions. Gianforte is a radical conservative who will further polarize us and make our government even more dysfunctional.

Carol and John Santa
Marion

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