Greg Gianforte Does His High Tech Business Out of State

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Although Greg Gianforte doesn’t like to talk about his qualifications for governor or share any actual plans for what he’d do as the leader of our state, he does like talking about technology jobs and the high pay that comes from them. He stands in front of office building that are being constructed by other companies and takes credit for vast numbers of jobs, mines alumni lists for prospective Montana employees to return home for some telecommuting, and generally presents himself as a champion of Montana business who will encourage the development of high tech jobs.

In the past few weeks, over half of the tweets from his campaign Twitter feed have been about his belief that he can promote high tech jobs in the state, including this from New Year’s Eve:

That’s some impressive rhetoric, but a look at the initial expenditures from the campaign tells a different story, one of a candidate who has not used any Montana firms for Internet and technology services.

  • When Gianforte needed a logo designed for his campaign, he went to Arena Communications in Salt Lake City, paying them $750.00 on November 3.
  • When he wanted to develop a web site, pay for its hosting, and produce web advertising, he went to Connect Strategies Communications in Dallas, TX, paying the firm $22,531 between October 17 and December 7.
  • When he wanted to do a video and digital shoot, he paid Red Print Strategy of Herndon, Virginia $28,500 on November 3.
  • When he wanted a media monitoring service, he paid Tveyes in Fairfield, Connecticut $1,5000 on November 3.

It’s a fascinating decision for any candidate to choose to spend his money of state, but it’s an especially egregious error for the candidate who not only claims he supports the idea of then Information Economy in Montana, but who claims he’s largely responsible for its development, not to use local firms for jobs that Montanans are surely qualified to do.

It seems quite reasonable to ask non-candidate Gianforte why he either doesn’t have faith in local web and developers or doesn’t care enough to hire them.

It may not matter a great deal to someone with Gianforte’s wealth, but there are local web developers (24 in Bozeman alone, according to Yelp) who certainly could have provided the services he chose to outsource, either because he lacks confidence in Montana tech workers or he just doesn’t give a damn about them, but investing over $50,000 into local technology and video production surely would have made a difference for some workers in Bozeman.

And I’m damn sure none of them would have had the gall to charge him $750 for that amateurish logo.

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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.

10 Comments

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  • I’m curious. Does Gianforte have anything to say about the sad state of internet access in Montana, i.e., the slow and expensive pipes that his telecommuters are supposed to use to conduct their business? Does he have anything to say about how public money was not spent by the telecom monopolies in the state to upgrade this infrastructure, money that they spent on something else? Montana ranks just about last among the states for speed and cost of internet access.

    • Excellent questions–and ones he’s unlikely to answer. Until the infrastructure is improved, tech seems like a difficult avenue, except in a few cities. At best.

  • Half of Montana still in the ‘slow lane’ and we’re behind – DAMN – South Korea on telecommunication speeds! Maybe we need another Jesus-Dinosaur museum in our small
    towns to economic development!

  • Greg has other businesses. One of them, “Solution Reach”, a medical patient cloud based “blah blah blah”is why he went to Utah and other states. Like him and his friends, other tech companies, or realty agencies, and communications firms, use each others services. I am guessing for tax purposes.

    Something I find odd, common states where these rich philathropists like to do business. California, Texas, Florida, Utah, Nevada and other places of interest Montana. Going to start my research on these states representatives. Because I find it apalling that Daines was a high paid executive for Gianforte’s RightNow Technologies.

    Some complaints from Solution Reach employees, family members tend to rise up thru the ranks faster than others. other corporations FICO.

    SOMETHING isn’t right about Gianforte, he and his buddies claim they are bringing technology jobs to Montana. He claims to be from Montana. But i have read some articles that identify other states of residence, or the fact he is the CEO of a company in other states while claiming to be from Montana. He has also benefitted I am sure by the SB1 immigrant worker visas. As he has bought Montana State University, so much so, his Right Now employees are placed as IT professors in his department. Hell he got his name on a building during his capaign. Anyone putting on that much makeup is definitely hiding something. Something worse than his ignorance about other peoples private lives, like the LGBT community, Native American Tribes and reservations.

    Do your own research, but believe that there has been somesort of coup planned and even though I am not republican, the republican citizens have a right to know everything. Considering citizens of every party have a right to know what public servants intentions are. Democrat, republican. There has to be a balance.

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