The Gianforte Regulation Tour: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

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While not answering any substantive questions about regulations or the right to form unions, likely Republican GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has received a great deal of press attention for his self-promoting “Regulation Roundup” tour across certain parts of the state. During these visits, Gianforte has encouraged participants to weigh in on the regulations that are hurting Montana’s economy. Last week, Gianforte ran into a hitch when, as MT Cowgirl reports, the owner of the Great Northern Brewery couldn’t come up with any regulations hurting their business.

Yesterday, one of Gianforte’s paid spokesmen took to Twitter to blame Governor Bullock for a decline in agriculture prices, bizarrely citing a Billings Gazette article that attributed the lower prices to global prices for grain and cattle, not any regulations in place.

So it’s been a rocky start for the campaign. But surely, I thought, there’s no way a VERY SERIOUS businessman like Greg Gianforte would be engaging in this tour as some kind of stunt. Surely he’s gathered some incredibly useful ideas from the crowds of almost a half dozen who’ve gathered at these stops.

Not so much.

The Gianforte team has been, in their words, “curating” a list of suggestions for regulations that need revision in Montana at one of their campaign sites, and, after a brief look through, I have to wonder what was cut, as many of the suggestions are either illegal or idiotic, with some managing to be both. Here’s sampling of the excellent ideas Mr. Gianforte has collected:

[Note: I should mention that in the course of the hour I spent researching this “regulation roundup”, Mr. Gianforte’s site repeatedly crashed, along with his campaign web site. Maybe he should have hired an in-state firm after all]

David from Missoula offers this:

Radio Shack has all but folded because it failed to cheaply promote the robotics-in-education connection. Montana’s governor might actually be able to save Radio-Shack by building connections.

That’s right. The next governor of Montana should save RadioShack.

Kat from Superior thinks the best way to curb regulations is to keep Syrians out:

I would like to see a Governor who would stick up for our land use rights & limit the Federal government from land grabs. I would also like to see a Governor that would stand up for Montanans who peacefully protest in the name of our constitution. Last, I would like to object to accepting Syrians into our state.

Virgil from Billings demonstrates a keen understanding of the issues facing our schools and offers a creative spelling for the people who provide excellent reading materials for our students:

Public schools over -regulated- costs taxpayers and businesses money. Examples: I need a librian for 500 students – outdated concept that wastes space in schools. cannont share admin stuff between smaller schools. results in more expensive larger schools/less effective.

Ray from City really thinks we shouldn’t have to pay construction workers on state jobs very much:

I also question the need for prevailing wage laws which apply to public works contracts. They require lots of additional paperwork and unnecessarily increase the cost of public works projects.

Randall from Bridger not only doesn’t understand the difference between the state and federal government, but thinks exhausted drivers should be able to fight tyranny by driving their rigs for freedom:

D.O.T. regulations. Many. Mainly the 60 hour in 7 days AND 70 hours in 8 days and MUST take a consecutive 34 hours off before driving again. Also they made many little laws in regards to lunches ect. I think it started getting worse with Sept 2013 Congress passed a law postponing it, but dot ignored the congress. Dictator EPA overreach. Trying to take land BLM AND FORESTRY LOCKING PUBLIC LANDS GATES

Heidi from Havre wants to bring back our God-given right to contract measles:

Mandatory vaccinations for our children in public schools takes away parents’ rights and is wrong. The are mounds of evidence proving vaccines are ineffective and dangerous – and who is the government to decide such things?

I could go on, but my point is not to mock the suggestions of those attending the Gianforte events, but the absurdity of this campaign kickoff. Because Mr. Gianforte both lacks the knowledge to take a position on many issues and is plainly unwilling to express his opinion on issues ranging from discrimination to the right to organize, he’s using these stops to promote the tired Republican talking point that regulations are killing business, even though Montana ranks in the top ten nationally for business tax climate and first in entrepreneurial startups, hardly the measure of state with crippling regulations in place.

At some point, Mr. Gianforte’s going to have to stop pretending to listen to tiny crowds and start laying out his vision for the state. The reason that’s he not doing the latter now should be obvious to everyone.

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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.

18 Comments

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  • So far, looks like Gianforte would rather be his own campaign manager,
    than Governor of Montana!
    His obsessed world view may be of more importance to him,
    than his religion and/or the state of Montana!!
    His natural caring and warmth would be more charismatic if he turned away from his continuously foolish views of Montana economy and Montana governance.
    (Like his view of appointing someone from “industry” to head up DNRC.)
    But like the trumpeting Trumper, he avoids to look up or outwards for experienced opinion!

  • Unfortunately Gianforte’s publicity stunt is very successfully building the false narrative that he will save us all from Government tyranny, and Bullock will not. Thousands and thousands of low information voters gleefully gobble that crap up. If Bullock wants to win he will have to aggressively cut the head off this snake right now and expose Gianforte as the carpetbagging charlatan that he is.

    • What strategy do you propose that will allow Bullock to do that…and why isn’t he doing it?

      I’m sorry, but having your East Coast campaign staff send out Twitter messages all day isn’t going to win an election. Hiding in the Capitol all the time or just attending fundraisers at private residences is also not the answer.

      Why did Bullock choose to cower in a back office yesterday while Gianforte went out to 8 cities to meet voters?

      Bullock seems awfully clueless. He’s counting on his first term to carry him through, and perhaps a bit of that out-of-state money he’s gobbling up.

      I just don’t think he has it in him this year. We see members of his executive staff falling away. Molloy last week, the woman at Child Protective Services yesterday, the lieutenant governor.

      It’s pretty understandable that Democrats want Bullock – the Party simply won’t allow any dissension aside from that chosen to keep the primary money in play.

      It really is a sad time to be a Democrat in Montana.

      • Well gee, Greg, some of us would prefer the governor to be in the Capitol, you know, working, instead of campaigning. I guess some of us see that as accountability to taxpayers while others may want to portray it as hiding or cowering in a back office. Perspective probably just depends on you nutty you are.

        • I guess that’s one way of looking at it. I personally feel that if he doesn’t get out more he’ll be at a disadvantage. I suppose it’s still early too.

          What is it exactly that he’s doing when it comes to working in the Capitol? What are the major issues? Main Streets Montana was supposed to be something but now it just seems to be the place you go to end your public service career.

          Since that 49th in wages storyline is going to continue to play, perhaps he should be working on that. How do you work on that? Call a bunch of out of state businesses and say, ‘come here and open up?’

          So it’s not easy. Right now I feel Gianforte is beating him in the message front and Bullock is on defense. What’s his plan to get on offense, or does he feel he needs to?

          Can’t wait for the first polls to start coming out. That’ll tell us a bit, like how a few hundred people are thinking.

          • I don’t understand why you ask questions here about what the governor is doing or what his plans are. How would we know? It’s like when you decided to call around to administrators in Helena earlier, apparently trying to ask them if the governor is having an affair with a staffer. It smacks of cowardice and insincerity.
            Instead of always asking others to speculate on the answers you obviously want to your questions, why don’t you gather up your fortitude and ask him directly?

      • Greg, I disagree with your statement “It really is a sad time to be a Democrat in Montana”. It is a great time to be a Democrat in Montana because we have a 11 year record of great success! People just need to know how great Montana has done and is doing right now after having Democratic Governors for the last 11 years, and the fact that Montana is doing soooo much better than the states with GOP Governors. In New Jersey, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Michigan, Kansas the GOP governors have all presided over unbalanced budgets, unfunded pension liabilities, credit downgrades, higher local taxes, cuts in education funding, and sluggish job growth. Under almost every economic indicator Montana is on the right track under Governor Bullock. Gianforte will put us in the GOP’s race to the bottom.

  • It’s gotta be the most egregious example of arrogance, rudeness, and hubris I’ve ever seen. Jeeyanfartey moves to Montana, makes a bunch of money, and then decides, “Hey, how can I screw UP my new adopted home”? What an a**hole! Doing away with regulations is code talk for shittin’ in our nest!

    But I still can’t figure out why! What does he get out of it? Any amateur psychoanalysts out there? What the hell is WRONG with this guy? Does he really think that promoting the destruction of our environment is beneficial in some way? I simply don’t get that. Hell, he’s RICH! If ANY native Montanan suddenly became rich, the first thing they would do is to simply ENJOY our wonderful out doors! Buy a boat, maybe a fishing pole, and a new hunting rifle, and build a cabin! Not Jeeyanfartey! Did Jesus tell him that the best way to honor His creation is to SHIT on it?! Must have!

    But OK, I have a suggestion for Gigi. Go up there on the Bozeman Pass and tell all them folks who built those trophy homes there that you are gonna fight like hell to get coal bed methane back in production in the area, for you see, those folks do NOT own the mineral rights under their own property. Hence, ANY place can be drilled for methane, ALL of which produces nasty water which will then flow freely into the Yellowstone! Look, if you’re gonna be an outta state asshole, go all the way, Gigi!

    I mean, it’s only fair, right? If Gigi wants to prove he’s serious about takin’ a dump on Montana, why not start at the top?! Maybe he could fight to build that old proposed dam there at Livingstone and flood the paradise valley. GOTTA be a few jobs in that old project!

    Bottom line? They guy is a freakin’ WEIRDO! He claims to be all workin’ man friendly, but there is sumthin’ else REAL strange goin’ on here. MOST jobs in Montana are humdrum common every day type jobs. If Gigi REALLY wants to improve people’s lives, head on down to the local Walmart and call OUT the sumbitcin’ Walton family! Tell them to pay their workers a livable wage so that the rest of us don’t have to make up the difference to keep these folks alive! Montana is blue collar country, always has been. Blowin’ techy talk SMOKE up our asses may make Gigi feel good, but it means absolutely nuthin’! I guess that pretendin’ you got calluses on your hands in STEAD of your ass does strange things to a fella! Gigi is a workin’ man groupie!

    Good site. Check it out. And so true!

    http://www.littlebigtownmt.com/?p=811

    • Gigi, get off your dam ass and get to damming! A leetle background for the younger folks.

      http://newwest.net/city/article/free_river_how_the_yellowstone_river_kept_its_course/C396/L396/

      If Gigi only realized how ridiculous he sounds. He sounds a whole LOT like the earlier morons who wanted to dam the Yellowstone. Progress you know. Jobs. No regulaltions!

      You see, THAT is what comes from not being from here. A fella can make a real ass out himself by not having a sense of place. He don’t understand that his bullhsit is nothing new. Wrapped in a fancy new package, it still stinks! He’s kinda like all the Californians that have moved here over the years and complained that it ain’t like where they came from. Biggest complaint? WE HAVE NO CULTURE! And you know what, I kinda LIKE that!

        • Wow. Sound like anyone WE know running for governor in Mt.? I eat this stuff with a spoon. Great site for a primer on Jeeyanfartey and his beliefs. It’s all in there. Dude is a serious wackjob, just like all the Pubes in our Lege!

          http://www.theocracywatch.org/rr_economics.htm

          Ya can’t beat’em if ya don’t know’em!

        • The 5th and the 6th Hedges quotes
          work the best for me.
          Not so much the 2007 Theocracy Watch link.
          For me, the one that hit the nail on the head was Theocracy Watch 2011: ‘this country going to hell because pastors won’t lead from the pulpit!’
          ISO current material on GiGi!

            • Petra Academy? Gotta be!

              Rushdooney’s son-in-law, Gary North, a popular writer and founder of the Institute for Christian Economics, laid out the aims of the Christian Right.

              “So let’s be blunt about it: We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” (Christianity and Civilization, Spring, 1982)

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