Does John Bohlinger Still Support A Sales Tax, Prayer in Schools, the Death Penalty, and Marriage Discrimination?


In the past, we’ve looked at former Republican John Bohlinger’s troubling record on reproductive rights (lifetime 17% rating from pro-choiceliberal-v.-conservative organizations), organized labor, and his commitment to the Republican Party, including candidates like John McCain. Although his campaign staff keeps suggesting that the Bohlinger campaign will be issue-based, other than a few state issues, it has almost entirely been about attacking the record of the John Walsh, the Democrat in the race.

Despite Bohlinger’s effort to position himself as the progressive in the Senate race, his campaign web site has listed “the issues” as “coming soon” since the opening of his campaign—and his previous record as a Legislator suggests that he was anything but a progressive.

After the 1998 session in the Montana Legislature, Bohlinger stopped answering questions for Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test, but his answers then are illuminating and suggest a candidate who held some troubling views. To be sure, Bohlinger was no reactionary member of the TEA Party, but he certainly wasn’t a progressive. I’d say it’s time for a candidate who wants to be issue-based to explain if his views on these policies has changed, and when, and why.

On taxation, does John Bohlinger still support the imposition of a regressive sales tax roundly and repeatedly opposed by Montana voters? Back then, he wrote:

When elected to the State Senate, I will introduce legislation that will constitutionally eliminate taxes on ones dwelling place, not commercial properties. I will eliminate taxes on business equipment, in another bill and replace the lost revenue to State Government with a 4% retail sales tax–the sales tax bill will omit from taxation food items purchased in grocery stores and drugs.

On abortion rights, does John Bohlinger still believe that:

  • abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
  • the government should prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as “partial-birth” abortion?
  • Montana government funding should not be provided to clinics and medical facilities that provides abortion services?

On crime, does John Bohlinger still believe the government should:

  • expand the use of the death penalty for additional circumstances relating to murder?
  • impose the death penalty?
  • strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes?

On education, does John Bohlinger still endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools?

On budget matters, does John Bohlinger still plan to support:

  • an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring an annual balanced federal budget?  (Progressives generally believe this would be disastrous for the safety net and Social Security)
  • “greatly decreasing” the capital gains tax rate?

On human rights, does John Bohlinger still oppose same-sex marriages?

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

5 Comment threads
11 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
Norma Duffylarry kurtzCraig MooreDon PogrebaMoorcat (K Kailey) Recent comment authors
Notify of
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Sorry to intrude, and erase this if you like, Don, but tokarski has written an excellent post worth consideration. And yes, it has a lot to do with our current situation.

Tim in MT
Tim in MT

Why don’t you just admit you’re all in with Walsh? Despite all the bad press surrounding him and misusing government time and resources, the only posts I’ve seen about Walsh have been reposting his campaign video (such a critical thinker, you!) and BS praising him. If you have no trouble getting behind the DC decided, bought and paid for candidate, by all means! But at least be honest about it. You’re supporting the guy with dark money ties, DC consulting group, DC campaign manager, DC finance director who got all the big endorsements before filing was even open a week!… Read more »

Moorcat (K Kailey)

I recognize why you would support Walsh at this point (Bohlinger continues to bury himself every time he opens his mouth) but there is some truth to what Tim is saying. Walsh is running a non-existent campaign – so much so that even solid Democrats like James Conner is talking about it. For those of us in the middle, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of choice and this race is looking over before it begins. Even if Walsh goes to Washington at this point, I am not convinced that he win against Daines unless he REALLY starts to… Read more »

Norma Duffy

I, like Don have been getting emails almost every third day from Walsh. And in them I find he has very fine staff already. Seems he has partnered already with Kirsten Gillibrand, to make sure sexual assault is handled in civilian courts. and he is praised by some of the most important democratic senators in our government. That’s where the whining comes in from Bolinger, giving Max’s seat to Walsh, isn’t what he is crying about. Its not the head start for Walsh, it’s because real liberals haven’t embraced Bolinger…… at all. Brian conversations with the press are for Walsh’s… Read more »

Norma Duffy

Oh another thing Walsh’s Emails don’t have the vitriol in his emails Bolinger’s have. Its all about helping… not harming.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

YIKES! Guess that HE won’t be gettin’ the BKCC, the Big Kochk Christmas Card this year! And neither will I, so what the hell! Ladies and gentlemen, Neil Young!

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Support Our Work!


What would be the most appropriate nickname for Matt Rosendale?

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe Via E-mail

0 /* ]]> */