John Bohlinger’s Record Isn’t Great on Labor, Either


While some are trying to paint former Republican and current Democratic candidate for the Senate as the more liberal candidate, his record on issues important to progressives suggests that he is anything but liberal. Not only was Bohlinger a strong anti-choice vote in the Legislature, but his record is anti-labor as well.

In the 2003 Legislature, Bohlinger received  a 25% rating from MEA-MFT, a score that put him just a single vote ahead of Republican Congressional candidate Corey Stapleton.  He received a 60% rating from the Montana AFL-CIO, a score lower than many Republicans and once again only marginally better than that of Senator Stapleton. In particular, Bohlinger voted against a 45 cent per hour wage increase for state workers.

In 2001, Bohlinger received a 36% rating from the Montana AFL-CIO, including a vote that protected companies that act “with intentional malice” that “create a high probability of injury” and a vote against increasing public school funding.

No one can really deny either that Mr. Bohlinger was relatively liberal for a Montana Republican or that he’s a good guy who served the state well, but efforts to paint him as someone who’s been on the side of progressive interests for his political career simply don’t stand up to serious scrutiny.

If you appreciate our efforts to hold Montana Republicans accountable and the independent journalism here at The Montana Post, please consider supporting our work with a small pledge.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an 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.

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
Armyof1marionNorma DuffyJames ConnerPogie Recent comment authors
Notify of
The Polish Wolf

Honestly, none of it would bother me if he addressed it (or addresses it in the near future) completely honestly – either come out and say ‘look, I was more conservative in the past but I’ve changed my mind on some issues’ or ‘I may be more conservative than some of you primary voters, but in the long run that’s a good thing because I’ll represent Montanans more accurately’. Either explanation, honestly delivered, would make me think seriously about him as a candidate. I’m only turned off if he tries to pretend the past never happened.


I think that’s an excellent point. I nearly wrote that Bohlinger needs to do a lot more to explain how (if) his views changed.

James Conner

Bohlinger needs to start with a convincing explanation of why any rational voter would choose a 77-year-old man for a six-year term as a freshman senator.

Norma Duffy

These are also questions we are gonna have to ask Walsh as well. but with the election still a year away….we all have to wait to get these answers.

I noticed some of our left hand Emos-progs and the far right conservatives are already asking pollsters to poll here. To far out to even make a dent in how montanans think about the races at the end, in 2014.


My wish is that John had never really left the Republican Party. I realize that after he joined Brian Schweitzer’s administration the MTGOP made it very difficult for John to stick with the Party. I know he tried to attend some of their conventions and they wouldn’t let him go. I also know that when John McCain fumbled and asked Bohlinger to be his in state Campaign Chair, the MTGOP howled and asked it be revoked. What makes me sad is watching the Republicans change so drastically in the last 40 years. It used to be that being a Republican… Read more »


Walsh will run away with this. Not even close.


Army of 1 – I would hope that Walsh would walk away, I think he is the right man at the right time for the right job. But recent primaries (ex 2008, Hunt-Driscoll) just shows that one cannot take anything for granted. I am still mystified how that one happened. I sometimes wonder if that was a calculated crossover scenario (R’s voting for a weaker D). But then again, I can be prone to conspiracy theories. 🙂

Support Our Work!


What would be the most appropriate nickname for Matt Rosendale?

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe Via E-mail

0 /* ]]> */