|Helena—Today, in response to months of grassroots pressure from Montanans across the state, multimillionaire Congressman Greg Gianforte finally held a meeting to discuss his deeply unpopular proposal to remove protections from nearly 700,000 acres of Montana’s public lands. He told Lee newspapers: “Everybody’s voice needs to be heard on this issue.”
There was only one problem: everybody’s voices were not heard at the meeting because every day Montanans weren’t allowed to participate. Only preselected “stakeholders” were permitted to share their views.
So, after months of waiting to speak with their elected representative in Congress, Montanans were once again denied an opportunity to explain their views to Gianforte.
Unfortunately, this is just more of what Montanans have come to expect from Greg Gianforte. For more than a year, he has refused to meet with Montanans face-to-face in an open forum on any topic.
Gianforte’s refusal to meet with Montanans has resulted in a legislative record that makes clear how out of touch he is:
Montanans know that Gianforte’s meeting—announced just a week after Kathleen Williams publicized her forum, which allowed every day Montanans to make their voices heard—is a political sham. That’s because Gianforte’s top-down legislation has already been voted on in his subcommittee.
What Gianforte obviously doesn’t understand is that the time to hold a meeting is before the legislation is written, not when it is politically convenient. And Montanans must be involved in that process or they will call it like they see it: a top-down attempt by Washington DC to eliminate protections for Montana’s precious public lands.
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