Leadership is always important, especially when it comes to politics. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Like it or hate it the leaders we choose help shape Montana. They will decide the likes of tax rates, zoning, child protection, foster care and how we define who is a criminal, to name a few. That is why I cannot support Attorney General Tim Fox for governor. As a legislator I have worked with Tim and his department. He has a likable personality. However, it is not his personality that goes into the law books. It is his vision of government that I oppose.
Fox has had eight years of growing his state department, suing the Trump administration, raising our taxes, and supporting the original Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact. All of these were bad choices.
I was chair of the Appropriations Committee that oversaw Fox’s budget, so I witnessed first hand his lack of respect for those paying taxes. Our current Democratic governor held the same office before Fox and had a total budget of $86.1 million when he left office. Tim Fox has grown his department to $117.6 million, a whopping $31.5 million increase. As for tax increases, under Fox, his department pushed and passed an increase in motor vehicle fees (HB 650, 2017 session) resulting in $19.4 million more collected from Montana’s pockets. Fox supported and passed a bill to double our vehicle license fee taking an additional $9.8 million over the biennium (SB 57, 2017).
He also joined a number of Democratic attorneys general in a lawsuit against the Trump administration to keep Obamacare. That’s right, fighting to keep the healthcare bill that even the party that brought us Obamacare realizes needs changing. A July 2019 Bloomberg article reads: “In a reversal of the usual partisan roles, Democrats rather than Republicans led the charge to kill a key part of Obamacare.” Tim Fox was also a supporter of the original Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact (2015 session). It is a compact that was disastrous for our private property and water rights and is still hotly debated at the federal level. It is a bill that Sen. Steve Daines has tried to fix, and veteran legislators have referred to it as the worst legislation ever.
There are good choices for the next governor of Montana, but unfortunately Tim Fox is not one of them.
Rep. Matt Regier
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