Montana Ambassadors Panel Moderator: I Witnessed Greg Gianforte’s Dogged Statewide Sales Tax Support

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

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Montana Ambassadors Panel Moderator: I Witnessed Greg Gianforte’s Dogged Statewide Sales Tax Support
Evan Barrett: “Gianforte spent virtually all of his time strongly calling for a state sales tax… his strong, adamant sales tax advocacy on that panel was certainly not hypothetical.”
Helena, MT – Writing in the Missoulian, columnist Evan Barrett, who served in senior positions relating to Montana’s economic development, government, politics and education, offered his whole-hearted support for Lt. Gov. Cooney’s campaign, and condemned Gianforte’s candidacy issue-by-issue.

On public education, Barrett said“Mike Cooney believes that our limited state tax dollars for education should go to public education and not diverted to private schools, a stark contrast with Gianforte’s strong advocacy for public money going to private schools.

On public lands, “Cooney has been a consistent advocate for public lands and stream access,” while “Gianforte filed a lawsuit against the state to end an easement for public access to the East Gallatin River that crossed his property.

On a statewide sales tax, Barrett said, “I have had dozens of tax discussions with Mike Cooney over 40 years; in every discussion he’s adamantly opposed a sales tax. He continues, saying, “I moderated a Montana Ambassadors public policy panel discussion where Greg Gianforte was a panelist. On taxes, Gianforte spent virtually all of his time strongly calling for a state sales tax. He now says his support for the sales tax was only hypothetical. But his strong, adamant sales tax advocacy on that panel was certainly not hypothetical.”

On LGBTQ+ equality, Gianforte “was the most visible opponent” of a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in Bozeman, and he’s “provided over a million dollars to organizations that oppose NDOs, essentially supporting discrimination. Mike Cooney 100% supports non-discrimination, which is where Montana’s governor ought to be.

On campaign finance reform, “Cooney, like Governor Bullock, has been a strong proponent of that state policy opposing big money politics… Gianforte supports the big money politics of Citizens United.”

“In addition, between 2016 and this year, Gianforte is approaching $10 million of personal money he’s spending in pursuit of your governorship… Should he win, Gianforte will have spent more to get elected than any other candidate except for the nefarious Copper King W.A. Clark, who over a century ago bribed his way to the US Senate.”

After noting Greg Gianforte’s misdemeanor assault conviction, Barrett summed it up saying, I come down for casting a comfortable vote for Mike Cooney for governor.”

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