Afraid to Face Tough Questions On His Record, No Show Greg Gianforte Skips Out on Rural Montana

Chris Saeger2020, Gianforte, News, Republicans

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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Afraid to Face Tough Questions On His Record, No Show Greg Gianforte Skips Out on Rural Montana

Helena, MT – On Saturday, a number of rural organizations hosted a gubernatorial debate focusing on issues concerning rural Montana. Every candidate for Governor participated in the forum to lay out their visions for rural Montana, except for one – Congressman Greg Gianforte.   

Gianforte drew fire from his fellow Republicans for being too cowardly to show up for the debate. Attorney General Tim Fox criticized Gianforte, asking, “Where’s Greg Gianforte? He’s done absolutely nothing for Montana producers…I think our leaders need to be present.”

During the debate, candidates were asked to share their plans to provide healthcare for rural Montanans and protect Montana’s agricultural heritage. Gianforte couldn’t be bothered to show up, abandoning farmers seeking a reinstatement of country of origin labeling laws, and dismissing the producers now suffering from alleged price fixing by major meat processors. Since Gianforte was too scared to defend his record of failed leadership on rural issues, we can fill in the blanks.

On public lands – Ever since Greg Gianforte moved to Montana from New Jersey, he has worked to restrict access to public lands. Gianforte has supported opening up some of our most precious public lands for drilling and mining, and he even went so far as to sue the state of Montana to block access to a local fishing hole near one of his several properties. In Congress, Greg Gianforte led a bill to strip Montana of Wilderness Study Area designations from hundreds of thousands of acres, a move opposed by an overwhelming majority of 75% of Montanans.

On health care – Greg Gianforte supports “dismantling the Affordable Care Act, piece by piece” and killing expanded Medicaid in Montana. If Gianforte is successful, Montana’s rural hospitals would be 6 times more likely to close. Montana’s Medicaid expansion has also expanded access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, helping to address the opioid and methamphetamine crises ravaging Montana’s rural communities.

On rural broadband – Gianforte has consistently voted against funding for rural broadband, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to claim credit for it. After a $3.3 million broadband project was approved in rural Beaverhead County – with grant funding that he voted against – Gianforte showed up for the photo op. When asked by constituents about his poor record on rural broadband, he shrugged off the question, telling them, if I needed high-speed broadband for my business, I should move to town.

“Gianforte’s Washington D.C. consultants may have told him to skip Saturday’s debate, but Montanans don’t take too kindly to being stood up,” said MDP Executive Director Sandi Luckey. “If Greg Gianforte expects Montanans to give him their vote, the least he can do is show up to ask for it.” 


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