Since our commander in chief campaigned for the third time in Montana this election cycle for Matt Rosendale and against Jon Tester, it is incumbent upon me to educate voters about Rosendale’s public service in Montana to understand the kind of candidate he has demonstrated.
As the state insurance commissioner, Matt Rosendale allowed the once-banned health-care ministry called Medi-Share back into the state disguising it as a legitimate option to a regulated insurance policy. The ministry was banned in Montana and several other states for fraudulent practices for not covering pre-existing conditions or paying for serious injuries to subterfuge the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, he has advocated for a reduction of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
As a state senator, Matt Rosendale voted against funding for the Southwest Montana Veterans Home; voted to privatize the Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls; voted against giving scholarships to Purple Heart recipients; against assisting Gold Star spouses to secure home loans; against streamlining the process for firefighters to get medical treatment for work-related illnesses; against requiring insurance companies to cover treatments for children with Down syndrome; and against modest increases in state employee base pay.
Also as a state legislator, his voting record indicated a serious dislike for public education. For example, he voted to create funded private charter schools; create income tax credits to support private schools; voted against constitutionally mandated k-12 school funding; against public school pre-k education, and terminate teacher retirement pension plans.
If the examples stated above are not enough to influence voters, consider this: long after other Republicans abandoned the Alabama judge Roy Moore in his Senate campaign, after he was accused by multiple women of lurid sexual advances while they were teenagers, after he was exposed as a tax cheat, a xenophobe, and a supporter of slavery, Rosendale continued to support him.
And last but not least there’s the issue that affects most Montanans: public land access. Rosendale promised an audience in Kalispell that he would be the “point man” on public lands transfer from the federal government to the state. His plan would turn this federal land over to oil leaseholders, multinational corporations, mining interests, and real estate developers. In spite of his attempts at retraction of this position, his words and actions make it clear that he does not plan to protect those lands for hunting, fishing, and recreation, denying Montanans access to our precious public lands.
By looking at his public service record, as Insurance Commissioner, and a member of our legislature; Matt Rosendale does not represent the values of Montanans. He is not worth the risk.
David R. James