I am compelled to write a response to the letter from state Sen. Cary Smith. The senator implies in his letter that Greg Gianforte “ … will also bring the conservative leadership that no other candidates in this race can.” While Smith is certainly permitted to voice his opinion on Gianforte, I wonder where he collected his information regarding Gianforte’s conservative leadership.
The American Conservative Union (ACU) rated Gianforte’s conservatism in 2018 at 68 percent, 2017 at 61 percent and a lifetime score of 64.50 percent. The Club for Growth rates him in 2018 at 74 percent, 2017 at 40 percent with a lifetime score of Lifetime 54 percent. Heritage Action gives Greg a combined rating of 47 percent for 2017-2018. Finally, the Conservative Review gives Greg an F rating of 57 percent for his voting record on conservative issues while serving as Montana’s sole representative in D.C.
The information collected from these conservative watchdogs show Gianforte receiving failing grades on his voting record. How Smith can quantify Gianforte as superior to the other candidates in the Republican primary is unclear to me. Perhaps the senator grades on a curve?
In contrast to Gianforte’s lifetime rating of 64.5 percent from the ACU, Dr. Al Olszewski received a rating of 88 percent. It’s my observation that from this rating alone, Olszewski is by far a better conservative candidate.
It is notable that in the 2018 election season, Gianforte contributed the maximum amount allowed to Smith’s campaign. Could this possibly have influenced Smith’s endorsement?