Montana Politics

Why is Gloomy Roy So Down on Montana?

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This morning, Republican candidate for governor Roy Brown sent me an e-mail reminding me that he is not ready to be the governor of our state. In a desperate pitch for money, Gloomy Roy felt the need to tear down Montana’s economy again:

Job growth is on the decline.  More Montanans are unemployed now than we’ve seen in years.  The unemployment rate is significantly higher than when Schweitzer first took office in 2005 – it’s risen from 3.1% to 4.1% in just the last several months.  The housing market is stagnant.

In the flawless timing that has marked the Brown campaign, he chose to send this desperate fundraising e-mail the day before Mike Dennison reported on the true state of the Montana economy. As you might have guessed, things are much better in Montana than Roy Brown is willing to admit:

While the nation’s unemployment rate hit its highest point in five years Friday, the jobless picture in Montana remains much better, largely because of our natural-resource economy, a state economist said. . .

Montana’s economic growth rate this year is about 5.3 percent, the third best in the nation, trailing only the oil-and-gas titans Alaska and Wyoming.

I honestly can’t understand Roy Brown’s strategy in this campaign. Despite overwhelming evidence that Montana’s economy is outperforming the nation’s economy as a whole, Brown and Steve Daines persist in their absurd claims that Governor Schweitzer has not done enough to promote economic development. Facts just don’t support their claims—it’s hard to argue with the third highest rate of growth in the nation, lower unemployment, and a large surplus in a time when many states are running deficits.

I’d rather have a Governor who is optimistic about Montana and promoting its business community than one willing to run it down in a cynical ploy for votes.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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