FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
MTN News: “Stark Contrasts Between Cooney, Gianforte”
Mike Cooney Has a Record of Results Protecting Public Lands Access, Quality Public Education, and Affordable Health Care
Helena, MT – According to MTN News, “[i]n Montana’s 2020 race for governor, voters won’t have much trouble finding stark contrasts, between… Greg Gianforte and Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney.” We couldn’t agree more.
STARK CONTRAST: Public Lands
Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney is endorsed by Montana Conservation Voters. As Governor, Cooney has pledged to oppose transferring federal land management and attempts to weaken Montana’s stream and public land access laws.
On the other hand, Greg Gianforte infamously sued the state of Montana to block stream access nearby one of his properties. He supports transferring management of federal land and in Congress, and he wrote legislation to strip protections from nearly 700,000 acres of public lands — without public input — a move described by conservation advocates as potentially “the single biggest rollback of protected public lands in Montana history.”
STARK CONTRAST: Public Education
A product of Montana public schools, Lt. Gov. Cooney is committed to investing in public education. He fought alongside Governor Bullock for access to quality preschool, college tuition freezes, and the 6-mill levy. Rep. Casey Schreiner – Mike’s running mate – is a former public school teacher himself.
Alternatively, Greg Gianforte believes in diverting taxpayer money away from public schools, which he’s called a “monopoly,” and donated over $12 million to Petra Academy, a private, religious school in Bozeman that discriminated against children with special needs. Greg Gianforte is so openly hostile to Montana’s public school students and teachers, that the Montana Federation of Public Employees – Montana’s largest labor union – voted to unanimously condemn his candidacy after he refused to meet with them, a first for the union.
STARK CONTRAST: Health Care
As Executive Director of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, Mike Cooney helped secure critical access to care for Montana kids across the state. As a state legislator and President of the Senate, Cooney fought for a budget that funded essential services across the state and opposed any attempt to insert government into a woman’s private medical decisions. And as Lt. Governor, Mike Cooney fought to pass, defend, and strengthen Medicaid expansion, which now provides healthcare to more than 80,000 Montanans.
Meanwhile, Greg Gianforte voted against directing the House of Representatives’ counsel to oppose the Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA, which would eliminate Montana’s Medicaid expansion and throw 112,000 Montanans off of their health coverage. When asked about the lawsuit, Gianforte refused to condemn it and reiterated his support for repealing the landmark health care bill. Gianforte has also called Montana’s Medicaid expansion “a disaster,” and pledged to dismantle the ACA “piece by piece.”
STARK CONTRAST: Montana Values
Mike Cooney is a lifelong Montanan who has spent his career fighting for hard-working middle-class Montana families.
Greg Gianforte is a multimillionaire from New Jersey who has spent nearly $11 million of his own personal wealth trying to buy power/public office in Montana.
“The stakes in this election couldn’t be clearer,” said MDP Deputy Communications Director Matt Fidel. “Mike Cooney has fought to protect public lands access, Gianforte has sued to restrict it. Mike Cooney has invested in public education, Gianforte wants to privatize it. Mike Cooney has expanded access to quality health care, Gianforte wants to strip it away. The stark contrasts speak for themselves.”
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