Helena—Today, Congressman Gianforte continued his year-long refusal to meet face-to-face with Montanans during his top-down hearing on wildfires in Ravalli County. No public comment was allowed during the meeting.
Considering Montana is coming off of its worst fire season on record and that Gianforte pulled the Forest Service’s National Director of Fire and Aviation Management away from the catastrophic wildfires devastating the western United States, one might think it would make sense to hear directly from Montanans about the impacts of fires here in Big Sky Country.
Unfortunately for Montanans, transparency and collaboration with constituents have never been Gianforte’s forte.
Since taking office more than a year ago, Gianforte has repeatedly attempted to hide himself and his policy positions from Montanans:
- For his first six months in office, he refused to explain to Montanans his most basic positions on healthcare (he was eventually caught endorsing the dangerous Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill).
- He has not held a single in-person town hall meeting during his time in office andhas no plans to do so.
- And he has not held a single public meeting on his top-down legislation to remove protections from almost 700,000 acres of Montana’s Wilderness Study Areas (WSA).
Perhaps that’s because he knows his actions are divisive and highly unpopular. The Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill would raise costs on Montana families and jeopardize protections for Montanans with pre-existing conditions. 57% of Montanans oppose his legislation to remove protections for Montana’s WSA, which is the largest attack on Montana’s public lands protections in recent history. And his vote to allow bikes in Wilderness Areas caused such outrage that he was forced to reverse his position.
And Gianforte isn’t the only one who knows his policies are bad for Montana; Montanans have noticed too. A recent poll had Gianforte six points behind his opponent, former three-term state legislator Kathleen Williams.
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