Mr. Gianforte’s Troubling Silence (And Two Different Answers) On Right to Work

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As he continues his sparsely attended and substantively empty tour across the state of Montana, GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte has made one thing clear: he won’t tell Montana workers where he stands on the right to organize in the private and public sector. That silence should be a clear warning to workers that he will not only continue, but lead the Republican agenda to destroy unions in Montana if he is elected governor. The evidence of that intent–and his willingness to deceive–can be heard in the candidate’s own words, embedded below.

Back in January, Gianforte told Face the State that Right to Work legislation wouldn’t be a priority for him. Those comments almost exactly echo those of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who led a Republican effort to destroy public sector unions in his state.

In stops in Butte and Ekalaka, Gianforte repeated his refusal to offer a substantive comment on Right to Work, no doubt because he simply doesn’t want to tell the truth: that he will certainly sign any Right to Work legislation authored by a Republican Legislature. The audio from Butte  is incredibly dishonest. Asked repeatedly if he would sign Right to Work legislation, Mr. Gianforte kept retreating into a political non-answer about “not making it a priority” before wandering off to a talking point about his high school football days. Seriously.

 

In Ekalaka, after an incredibly long pause, Gianforte avoided answering the question, noting that he was being recorded by a Democratic tracker. It’s an astonishing admission that he won’t tell the truth to Montana workers, and a far cry from his claim that he is taking a consistent position as he travels across the state.

 

Right to Work, of course, is the Orwellian term for the Republican-led plan to give employers the right to exploit their workers and roll back the protections unions offer their members, from humane sick leave to safe working conditions. It’s little more than an opening from which Republicans and the corporations they represent hope to undermine the entire labor movement, depressing wages and increasing corporate profits.

The right wing Montana Watchdog made it clear Right to Work is such a priority for Montana Republicans that will explore every avenue to implement it, and the mounting evidence that Right to Work organizations went so far as to brazenly violate Montana campaign laws to pass their agenda shows that a Republican Legislature will certainly make moving against unions a top priority.

And Greg Gianforte will certainly sign that legislation. He’ll first go after public sector unions and then turn his attention to the private sector.

It’s got to be tempting for those who work in the state to be intrigued by Mr. Gianforte’s message: his claims that he will improve the economy have to resonate with some workers who are seeing their wages stagnate as the national economy continues to reward those at the top more than those who do the actual work of building this country. Even though Mr. Gianforte is not telling the truth about Montana’s economy, which has rebounded better than many states from the Great Recession, it’s undeniable that workers feel nervous about their economic economic stability. But to vote for Greg Gianforte would be to ignore two truths: that his promises of more job opportunities are based in fantasies about telecommuting workers, not actual policy, and that electing him will undermine the best protection workers have to ensure high wages and decent working conditions: the unions that have served those workers for decades.

In politics, we pay a lot of attention to the often rhetorically heavy but substantively light comments candidates offer—and Montana workers are likely to hear a great deal about Mr. Gianforte’s plan to bring business and jobs to Montana. What should concern workers—from those in the rail yard to those in the classroom—is not what Mr. Gianforte promises, but what he refuses to say. Under his administration, workers will lose, wages will be depressed, and the future will look a little less bright for the next generation of Montana workers.

It’s time for the Montana press to demand that Mr. Gianforte come clean and to explain why he refuses to explain how he’ll vote on this critical issue for Montana’s future.

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.

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Montanans Getting Real F***king Tired of this Gianforte CharacterPogo PossumBig SwedeMontana MamaDon Pogreba Recent comment authors
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LK
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LK

For the life of me I can’t understand what motivates this guy. I mean, he’s rich! What the hell is he doing running for governor? Most normal people would simply enjoy their wealth, but not jeeyanfartey! He says he love Montana, but the first thing he wants to do is mine and log the sh*t outta the state. Why? Is THAT really loving Montana? I wonder what his true motives really are. I think that christofascism is a mental disorder worthy of investigation. And seriously, the guy moves here and the first thing he wants to do is destroy the… Read more »

Kevin D Curtis
Guest
Kevin D Curtis

Gianforte twice refused to answer “yes” or “no” when he was asked in Butte if he would sign “Right to Work” into law as Governor. When pressed he would only say “It’s not a priority”. Yes, GG is using the same Koch/AFP playbook Scott Walker used and is parroting exactly what Walker said up until the day he gleefully signed Wisconsin’s “Right to Work” race to the bottom. In Butte we had 40 people outside protesting Gianforte’s anti-worker, anti-public education, right-wing, rule of the rich, ant-civil and LGBT rights policies while two representative members of the group went inside and… Read more »

Greg Strandberg
Guest

As someone that’s not in a union and will never be in a union, why should I be concerned about this issue? I was told yesterday that many people living in rural areas aren’t concerned about Right to Work. Many don’t have jobs now. They certainly don’t have union jobs. So to me, and I think to many others, this isn’t really a big issue. Finding a job is. If it happens to be union, great. But for the most part, people just want a job. I personally believe that Right to Work is not an issue that’s going to… Read more »

Publius II
Guest
Publius II

The Unions better Wake the F… up….Gianforte is a WALKER clone but with more money!

Martylivs
Guest
Martylivs

Anyone unaware of the consequence of right to work, on all working class (union and non-union) people to earn a living wage, are completely ignorant of the economic realities. I provide legal contracting services to a MT high tech corporation. The legal field is one most people would think could not be outsourced. Yet, my employer is actively pursuing standardized and automated contractual processes, labeling it “contract assembly” to avoid having to hire JD’s. Corporations actively seek, across the board cuts and standardizations, to depress wages. If they can depress wages enough, all of us will just be glad to… Read more »

LK
Guest
LK

“Remember the moment, you said this issue wasn’t that important, when you are 65 years old, have no retirement, and are still working for $10/hr.”

BINGO! That’d be ME! Sixty-five in August, and NO retirement, and STILL working for $10 an hour! (and SS) I survive on my wits! And even that’s gettin’ harder all the time. “A mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong”! Knees, not so much though.

Greg Strandberg
Guest

We know in the 2030s the Social Security benefits will drop to 75% of what was promised when workers began contributing to the system.

I’ll be about 50 or so by then. When I’m 65 in the 2040s I bet benefits will be 50%.

Most of us millennials know that there will be no retirement for us. It’s one of the reasons we’re so angry – we’ve been betrayed and lied to.

LK
Guest
LK

Get some history, dude, bee FORE you spout. Are you still in Butte? Find some old miners down at union hall before you take a dump on the blogs. Better yet, seek out the garbage woman, judy mars, and even SHE will tell you that you’re full of shlit! You’ve led a charmed life up ’til now apparently. Seriously, dud, part of knowing stuff is knowing WHEN you don’t know shit!

LK
Guest
LK

Marty, please do stick around, for you have much to say. But your name. Is your REAL name Joey Marty Lives, as in Jose Marti vive? Jus’ wonderin’. You have the skills, dude, to help the cause, amigo. Viva Jose Marti!…………y Viva Che! Y VIVA LA REVOLUCION! y Chinga Gigi! Gigi bein’ mr. gregggy Geejanfartey! GG! Hence, Gigi! It fits that little outta state gusano, no?!

Greg Strandberg
Guest

A $10 job would be a luxury to many. Lots are working for the nickel insult of $8.05.

LK
Guest
LK

Greg, trust me on this one. DROP IT before you get your young ass DROP kicked! You don’t know your ass on this one, and it shows. No, seriously, dude, on some issues you’re great, and on others, you SUCK! This is one of those. And btw, you CAN’T be from Butte, right? Where the hell you REALL from? ………….or GF. You write like a outta stater on this one.

Greg Strandberg
Guest

The unions are dying. If you don’t want to talk about that and would rather pretend that everything is hunky-dory, then that’s fine. I’m not concerned about old miners – I’m concerned about young people that are leaving the state because they can’t find jobs. What mining jobs? How many does Butte have? I haven’t had a Butte miner in the family since ’95 and an accident at the Pit. So I don’t know much about current mining trends. I do know that mining is a very small sector of our economy. Service jobs outnumber it by a lot. Hardly… Read more »

Martylivs
Guest
Martylivs

It seems you hold contradictory views. On the one hand saying right to work is irrelevant and on the other saying you stand w/millennials making $8/hr. I know many millennials which are intelligent and wise enough to understand right to work is a scam.

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Calling our minimum wage the nickel insulte is standing with it? I’m not sure about that. Unions anger me because they don’t do the job they set out to do. I’m sorry, but if we looked at their percentages, they’d get an F-. Montana has just 21% of it’s 25 to 44 year olds in a union. 13% of healthcare workers are union, 5% of food workers, 3% of hospitality workers. Heck, back in the day Butte had a union for its 2 streetsweepers. My, we’ve fallen far. I just don’t understand why unions aren’t trying to increase their rolls.… Read more »

Bob Williams
Guest
Bob Williams

A $10/hour job is/would be a necessity for most people! Unions have been sweethearted, co-opted, legislated out. In Montana, it’s the right to wreck unions forever. AFL-CIO and MEAFT support Fox for AG. That’s where we’re at in the fight for worker rights, against campaign$ of alien autocrat plutocrats. I’m real comfortable with not reading another stranded word from Strandberg until 2017. imo ONLY, he doesn’t much care, and is running out of try. The $10/hour as luxury for some was the end of reading his comments. His blog behavior lacks shame and plays a poor game. It would be… Read more »

Greg Strandberg
Guest

It’ll really help Montana’s unions increase their numbers and their effectiveness when I shut up for a year, won’t it?

Don Pogreba
Guest

We’ve had this conversation before. You know that MT Democrats (and Governor Bullock) want to increase the minimum wage, right? And that Republicans not only block it, but want to forbid local governments from imposing a higher minimum wage in their areas.

You know that, right?

So perhaps, as is so often the case, your ire is misdirected.

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Can you hear that nickel getting flipped off the rich man’s thumb?

$8.05 an hour.

We know it takes close to $14 an hour to have a living wage in this state.

Democrats really care about workers, don’t they?

They do as much as they have to do to keep their urban strongholds. Soon that will be gone to them as well.

LK
Guest
LK

“There’s a bubble in Helena, and that bubble needs to be popped,” he said. Damn RIGHT, Gigi! Kinda like a dog’s ANAL glands when they get all swoll up! You, sir, are a frickin’ outta state LITE weight! Take that ol’ bald head and beer gut and your crazy azzzed religeeous bullsh*t BACK to wherever it is you CAME from, because we got your number now, dufus! You built a “creation” museum in Glendive. Well, better luck with your Noah’s ARK back in New frickin’ JERSEY, dickweed! Geez, Gigi can’t seem to get no respect round these parts, which means… Read more »

Kevin D Curtis
Guest
Kevin D Curtis

Greg Strandberg , I will let MLK tell you why you should be concerned about “Right to Work” laws and what they do……..“We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do… Read more »

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Still lovin’ Bullock’s closed door policy in the last days of the session, Pete.

God, Democrats have to get rid of that man. How he ever made it this far is beyond me. He’s our Martz.

Pete Talbot
Admin

Great deflection from your idiotic comment on the Madison St. Bridge “debacle,” Strandberg. I have my issues with Bullock but he’s certainly no Martz. And I’ll gladly take him over your choice for governor, Gianforte, a bigoted, anti-union, anti-public education, creationist.

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Wow, the image in the paper of Bullock standing on that bridge looking like an idiot. I’d encourage the GOP to use that in ads to show how clueless he is. Thought it’d be a good photo-op, turned into a debacle. It just shows how stupid he is. I guess he’ll have to go out of state to D.C. and other rich places to make up for it, raising enough money to bombard us on the airwaves so he forgets. Hopefully a real leader steps up and challenges that nincompoop in the primary. Four more years of his sorry hide… Read more »

Greg Strandberg
Guest

It’s important to remember that Gianforte came into Missoula that day to meet regular people, anyone, really.

Bullock came in for a “hastily called press conference” that no one attended because he didn’t want to see the regular, general public.

After that his Helena Bubble skirted him off to a well-to-do person he’d appointed to the Fisheries Review Board in 2014. Should be none of those pesky, regular Joe-public types there right?

Nope, just vetted party faithful that ponied up their $50.

Bullock is so out of touch it’s not even funny anymore. It’s hurting the state. We have to get rid of him.

Don Pogreba
Guest

At least we’re back to your strength, analyzing photographs. Please enlighten us as to what debacle Bullock created, you master of public perception and policy.

Maybe you should run. Clearly, you’d know how to get the job done.

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Couldn’t do any worse than you did against Schweitzer in 2008.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montana_gubernatorial_election,_2008

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Really, Don – what were you thinking?

Don Pogreba
Guest

I was a self-deluded blogger, pride swollen by delusions of grandeur.

Sound familiar?

Greg Strandberg
Guest

And since then, Don, you’ve cowered behind your blog. 8 years now it’s been, 8 years that you’ve not found the courage to even run for the legislature.

What a failure you are. At least you can snipe at others that have the courage to run, you can always do that. That’s easy.

Don Pogreba
Guest

One thing to keep in mind, Strandberg, is that I actually have a job. It would be more challenging for me to run. And I don’t have any actual interest in running for the Legislature, as I have been fortunate enough to have excellent representatives in my district.

You, on the other hand, think everyone else is an idiot and rail against them all the time. Surely you should run against one of the idiots who lack your political insight.

What’s your excuse not to file this time? Working on another bestseller?

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Filing ends March 14.

Montana Mama
Guest
Montana Mama

Don seems to be doing OK. He’s managed to keep a job – you know, that thing some people go to even when they don’t want to or have to deal with unpleasant people at times. He seems to be making it on his own without asking for handouts for medical care for his kid or to pay his power bill. He doesn’t seem to blame the governor or the mayor or the university president or the media or other bloggers or politicians for his lot in life. His blog generates interest and discussion, with interaction from a lot of… Read more »

Greg Strandberg
Guest

I love anonymous commenters. I will always take as much money from the government as I can. Rich people do it, why can’t I? Bullock has been such a failure it’s not even funny. How about that loser Walsh he gave us? My God, how short our memories have become. I love getting Montana Healthy Kids. Are you suggesting I not get that? I find that odd, myself, but I can’t really expect rationality from anonymous comments…but that’s just me. If the program is so bad…why do Dems support it? Nice argument you have on that one. Engstrom and Engen… Read more »

LK
Guest
LK

Geez, Capt. Fairy White of The Montana First Inbred Irregulars ONLY had about FORTY-ONE days to make it down to Burns to reinforce the Dildo Mlisha at Camp Bag-o-Dicks! What was he WAITING for, a revelation from Jaysus? (or maybe more gummy dicks!) http://mtcowgirl.com/2016/02/22/montana-tea-party-legislator-called-for-oregon-sheriff-to-make-the-fbi-stand-down/ The spirit is willing but the NUTS are weak!………..or simply lacking! Capt. Fairy, the key board rebel! Maybe he could explain for us just WHAT was to be accomplished by taking over a refuge with guns! How would Capt. Fairy like it if an inbred mlisha stole HIS land?! What a bug nutz! Dude had his… Read more »

LK
Guest
LK

UH oh! Here’s a NOTHER little place that GeeyanFARTey donates lots of money. (from cowturd’s article) It’s called Masters College. Here’s their video. And for you folks who have still not read it, get Jeff Sharlet’s book The Family. AND READ IT!, so that you have a little more understanding of who these chrisotfascist goofballs like jeeyanfartey really are! Scary, scary nut jobs!

O6SDB0eCky8qeDpB7SXoY0yIRlJvRcCuVycNmt7ZhNHj-LS0X4Qfc8d9gcPYwlUg

LK
Guest
LK

Here, start your Greggy Geeyanfartey journey here! Lots of good videos off this one. But if you REALLY want to understand Gigi, you need to understand his wacko beliefs! They are NOTHING to do with Jesus and everything to do with fascism! Hell, I used to know some of these guys a long, loooong time ago when they first started in Montana. I even went to some of their Bible study bullshit with Dave what’s his name’s dad, the doctor!

LK
Guest
LK

Ooops. Try this one for Masters College, for we are a nation of undergods!

LK
Guest
LK

Wow! THIS is interesting. The college that Gigi gives to is even TOO weird for the OTHER fundiwackmentalist colleges and universities! The CCCU. Strange, very strange. Gigi is truly a freakin’ FREAK! Better pay attention to this nutjob, Montana. He’s even stranger than he appears!

When will the press ask him about his donations to the undergods out there? Are we REALLY a nation of undergods like Gigi? NO ME! Pagan, and proud OF it!

https://iloveyoubutyouregoingtohell.org/2015/12/15/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do/#comments

Publius II
Guest
Publius II

It’s ‘Doctor’ Gianforte LK, remember he got an honorary degree from MSU was it?

LK
Guest
LK

Poor, poor widdle Capt. Fairy White! He’s gonna have to do a whole lotta killin’ to do before he gets OUR public lands! But I think that Capt. Snow White is UP to it! I mean, really, he really, REally, REALLY wanted to join up with the Talibundies at Malhuer, but he just couldn’t find no clean UNDER wear to take! His momma alays tol’ him, son, you don’t wanna finicumbed for your country in dirty undies! And Capt. Snow White, bein’ a good little undergod fella, always listened to his mama! He’s like that, as are ALL little undergod… Read more »

Big Swede
Guest
Big Swede

North Dakota has RTW so does South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah. CO just approved it in the senate but will probably die in the house.

Seems to me that our neighboring state’s economies are doing just fine without forced union participation.

Bob Williams
Guest
Bob Williams

Add unregulated, subsidized fossil fuel mega corporations. Add the FED. Add jerrymandered Districts and hacked Vote machines. Mix in cherry picked themes from the Bible. Blend in a lot of materialism with plenty of entertainment time.

And then add the right to wreck unions!

Then vote in Agendas of TPP and facism forever
transferring resources to produce warfare upon global neighbors!

http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/02/18/corporate-front-groups-supreme-court-obama-clean-power-plan

Big Swede
Guest
Big Swede

We’re in agreement on TPP Bob. Use links while you still can.

“In a nutshell the TPP will allegedly extend “copyright protection” for things like online content by allowing the government to bring charges against anyone suspected of copyright infringement even if the “copying” (like a simple link to a news story) does no harm to the copyright owner and, indeed, may even be encouraged by the copyright owner.”-CandS.

LK
Guest
LK

Not really, sWeed. Economic development has to make economic sense! Get it?! It makes NO economic sense to build another Walmart here in GF. Why? Easy answer. Look, GF already has tons of problems. There is a tremendous lack of affordable housing, and what’s here is extremely expensive thanks to the predatory slum lords. Hence, it makes absolutely NO sense to bring in more jobs that do NOT provide any sort of livable wage! With good union jobs, the workers can support themselves! All these low wage jobs with NO benefits simply create a huge problem or the rest of… Read more »

Big Swede
Guest
Big Swede

What’s a bigger detriment to the overall economy Scary? The freedom not belonging to a union or 12 million illegals working under the table or not at all?

You can’t have it both ways.

Bob Williams
Guest
Bob Williams

The 1% have it both ways, while America suffers from the twin horrors of union busting, and corporations coveting migrant labor subsidy and protection! Big Swede, how about you composing something like a Guest Column, on a topic of current common inerest, and submitting it to ID! I’d like to see you move beyond the limits of adversarial, oppositional, sometimes distractional, comments. What a chance for a market test. Let other comments get Posted, Larry, before yours! Tomorrow comes the rest of the Ravalli story on the televised political demonstration against Syrian refugees, summarily arranged to take place in the… Read more »

Big Swede
Guest
Big Swede

I’ll post a distractional Utube below. As for evil corporations better not vote for Hillary. “Clinton has called out specific companies such as Pfizer and Johnson Controls for conducting “corporate inversions” — a merger with a foreign counterpart for tax benefits. “On the tax code, they call that an inversion; I call it a perversion,” she said Wednesday. “And I’m going to go right after that!” At the same time, however, Clinton continues to collect money from financiers who are benefiting from some of the deals she decries. Among those who have raised at least $100,000 for her campaign is… Read more »

Big Swede
Guest
Big Swede

Here’s the distraction I promised.

Publius II
Guest
Publius II

Wait a minute Gianforte, I thought you played LACROSSE in New Jersey?

Greg Strandberg
Guest

Cowturd’s desperation is growing fun to watch.

The paragraph on Gianforte’s fundraising the other day, the call for ‘real’ people to write articles, then the gem yesterday, linking to an article that’s 2 weeks old.

What could the problem be?

Kevin D Curtis
Guest
Kevin D Curtis

A little history on “Richt to Work”.
https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/right-to-work/

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