Helena – If Montana voters are looking for someone with ethics in Matt Rosendale, we’ll have to look elsewhere, because the State Frauditor just hasn’t been honest with Montanans about what he’s done since he moved to Montana – and he is seemingly incapable of doing so.
Rosendale has misled Montanans on just about everything, from details as simple as his biography to his voting record on key issues to his role in pushing for harmful policies. And he has lacked transparency every step of the way.
Here are just a few of the things Rosendale has failed to be honest and transparent with Montanans about:
- His anti-veterans record. After being asked by a reporter about several of his anti-veterans votes, Rosendale “refused to discuss” any of them, leaving Montanans hanging about why he repeatedly voted against our veterans.
- His anti-public lands record. Rosendale has called for the transfer of public lands multiple times, which could make it easier to sell off our public lands, and said he doesn’t support any new wilderness or wild and scenic designations in Montana. He has also obstructed and voted against several easements on the state Land Board to increase public access to and protect prime hunting ground.
- His role in massive health care rate hikes. After rubber stamping rate hikes of up to 23 percent last year, Rosendale refused to hold public hearings on proposed rate hikes this year, even though Montanans are calling for them. Meanwhile, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana said it would’ve lowered its 2019 rates by more than 4 percent if not for the tax law Rosendale supports. And the expansion of shoddy short-term plans Rosendale is pushing will contribute to an average increase in premiums of nearly 20% for Montanans next year.
- Being a fake rancher. Since beginning his run for U.S. Senate, Rosendale has consistently called himself a rancher – and continues to do so even after reports broke showing that he has never owned any cattle and never ranched his own land. He has still refused to answer any questions about this falsehood.
- His “Pants on Fire!” lies. The East Coast developer has so far received two“Pants on Fire!” ratings from a nonpartisan fact-checker for lying about Sen. Jon Tester’s record.
- Bringing back a lobbyist-funded “slush fund.” Rosendale voted to allow lobbyists to contribute to his travel expenses while in the state legislature – by reviving a formerly unregulated slush fund called “ripe for abuse” by his campaign finance director – and gave himself the highest contribution limit out of all the state legislators.
- Avoiding public records requests. It was recently brought to light that Rosendale used his private email account to conduct state business in the legislature and requested that his government email be deleted, a complete lack of transparency with Montanans and deliberate attempt to get around public records law.
- Cooking the books. Reports show that Rosendale “cooks books” and skirts campaign finance law in a shady scheme that “looks a lot like a money-laundering scheme” to allow wealthy donors to exceed the legal individual contribution limit. Again, Rosendale refused to comment.
- Breaking Senate ethics rules. Rosendale filed his financial disclosure report so late that it was not available to the public on the eve of his primary, violating Senate ethics rules.
- Signing under penalty of perjury that he was a Maryland resident.Three years ago, while he was a state legislator here in Montana, Rosendale signed under penalty of perjury that he was a Maryland resident to get a tax break in Maryland. He has yet to take responsibility for this and instead blamed others for his actions.
- His consistent votes against transparency in politics. Rosendale voted against the Montana Disclose Act, which requires dark money groups to disclose their donors and campaign expenditures, and against the TRACE Act, which would’ve required anonymous dark money political groups to disclose their donors. Rosendale praised the Citizens United decision and is proudly endorsedby the group responsible for corporate money in politics.
Accountability, honesty, and transparency are Montana values, but unethical Matt Rosendale has proven to us time and again that he doesn’t share Montana values.
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