By Way of Introduction
I’m Greg Gianforte and I’m not a career politician. I’m a rich guy who has spent the last 18 months and a ton of my kilotons of money
learning how to bootstrap my 20 years in Montana and ultra-right wing agenda into a political career. So as we debate today, you can be sure that every word that comes out of my piehole has been poll-tested by some out-of-state cynics to be just what you want to hear.
I’m a huge advocate for public education. I know it doesn’t seem like it, what with my wife and me funding and guiding the biggest anti-public education group in Montana for years.
Yes, that organization supports the teaching of creationism as science and discriminating against LGBT students in our public schools. Yes, it also supports diverting public funds to private schools without any public accountability whatsoever. And, yes, I myself have started a private “academy” in Bozeman that has BMWs backed up a block to drop off kids in the morning, but denies admission to special needs students.
But make no mistake: I’m a huge advocate for public education. I don’t know diddly-squat about it, but in the backcountry I’ve come up with some ideas for innovations that are as old as Noah. Noah’s the bomb. The original meritocrat.
Violence on Reservations
Well, the first thing you do about violence on the reservations is, you go there. I’ve been to every single one. It wasn’t easy because it kept me out of the backcountry for a while and, of course, it was really hard to get home by Sunday afternoon to enjoy that time around the dinner table with my kids.
But our reservations are important. So I’ve been giving entrepreneurial seminars there about bootstrapping. I’m a big proponent of bootstrapping. That word sounds vaguely violent and this question is about violence on the reservations, so nobody can say I’m ducking the question like a career politician would. Although as an avid outdoorsman, I love ducks.
My heart goes out to the families dislocated by the violence in the Middle East. I bet that makes it really hard to gather around the dinner table on Sundays with your kids, and of course backpacking probably isn’t as much fun. But that doesn’t mean we should let those people into Montana. Not on my watch. They are our least precious import.
And thank you, broadcasters, for posing this wedgie that is totally irrelevant to being Montana’s governor. I ‘m not a career politician, but my pollsters assure me I can bootstrap this non-issue into a winner!
Local-Option Sales Tax
Do I support local option sales taxes? Please visit my website and read my 4-0-6 plan on taxes. I’m pretty proud of tying in our area code like that because it’s genius-level clever and it helps me remember what the plan is.
The 4 stands for the prongs in my tax plan. There are 3 of them, plus 1 of me, so that makes 4. The 0 stands for 2 things: what my plan says about a local option sales tax, and what its chances are of actually penciling. The 6 stands for … something. Maybe the number of clicks it will take the average site visitor to find my 4-0-6 tax plan.
I’m in the backcountry every chance I get, so nobody cares more about the environment than me. No, I’ve never taken an environmental stand, other than on the NDO issue in Bozeman, but as an avid outdoorsman, believe me, I care.
But we aren’t in the Cowboy West anymore, not that I or mine ever were. We’ve got stringent regulations now. True, those regulations haven’t kept 200 gallons of crud from seeping out of Colstrip’s ash ponds this year, but I’ve done a little investigating out in the backcountry. In fact, I have documented that bighorn sheep graze right outside the Stillwater Mine!
Those sheep tell us we’ve got the right regulations in place. What we need are customer-friendly state officials who won’t enforce them. When companies plunk down millions of dollars for a permit they expect something more warm and fuzzy – kind of like the seepage some of them leave behind.
Well, it’s Sunday … time to log in for the dinner-table stint with my kids. Tomorrow, it’s back to the backcountry and maybe a reservation or two. I extend a warm invitation to all of you to visit my place any time and enjoy the public access I’m providing absolutely free of charge. God bless you all. And God bless the great state of Montana!