Another Rough Week for the Gianforte Campaign Already…

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It’s already looking like another rough week for Greg Gianforte’s effort to buy himself the governor’s office. In words that were probably strikingly familiar to readers of this blog, the Great Falls Tribune took Gianforte to task for his repeated dishonesty during the campaign, writing that they are disappointed by his “tendency to talk without having the facts to back him up.” That’s polite talk for lying.

This evening, a new ad highlighting one of those lies hit the Internet and will likely be seen by many Montana voters. It’s the best kind of negative political ad, because it’s entirely true. When the candidate’s response has continued to be to keep repeating the lie, despite press coverage, despite legal filings, and despite the obvious truth, it’s a wound that simply won’t go away.

It’s never mattered to me that Mr. Gianforte wasn’t born in Montana, but it does seem clear that he hasn’t learned in the past twenty years here just how seriously we take our public access or how much stock we put in how people treat their neighbors.

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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.

17 Comments

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  • There are no ‘good’ negative political ads, there are only ones favored by the party that produces them. Most voters prefer ads that focus on the issues, and I would think a PAC calling itself “Good Jobs Montana” would be focused on… well, jobs.

    • I disagree. There is nothing wrong with a political ad critiquing a candidate. When they are misleading or unfair, they debase political discussion, but when they are accurate, they are critical to inform voters.

      They are even more important when the candidate in question (Mr. Gianforte) is actively lying about his record.

      Access to public lands absolutely matters for Montana jobs.

  • With $6 billion in economic activity and 64,000 jobs, Montana’s outdoor economy thrives because opf our stream access law. In fact, over $100 million from fishing alone comes in to this state. Those are outfitters, hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc. If you can’t see that our access laws mean big business, you’re sticking your head in the sand.

  • Mr. Gianforte is the best option for Montana. I would love to return to my home state, but due to low paying and lack of employment opportunities, I need to live out of state. Pretty sad when most of the younger professionals need to leave family and the place they love.

    • Explain one policy Mr. Gianforte would implement that would allow more young professionals to come home to Montana.

      He hasn’t presented any.

      • CodeMontana.

        Feb 24 2014 – CodeMontana already has more than 1,000 students from 140 Montana towns participating, and Montana Tech officials have told him computer-science enrollment there has tripled

  • Anyone,
    if you really loved Montana, you’d be here, money or not. I meet poor people every day who have pretty nice lives because they can afford a whole house instead of an apartment, and they don’t need money to vacation because they can get in their cars and drive to the mountains or down to a river and camp for free.
    It is not about money here. Never was. And I hope it never will be.

    I moved here and made it work, by choice. Moved here in 1989. I was poor until 2009. Worked a lot, figured it out. But I didn’t leave. How could I? Even poor, I was not treated like a second class citizen.

    If you aren’t willing to do that, then maybe it’s best you are not here. We are a state peppered with people of grit, who still matter, no matter where their income falls on the continuum.

  • Hey all, grow a pair….know when the liberal media is blowing smoke and twisting the facts to invent political rhetoric(lying). Research the facts for yourself and find the real truth. I am amazed how they insult us by not thinking we will not look into any and all indictments.

    • You need to “grow a pair,” Bill. You sound like Donald Trump, blaming the “liberal media” for bringing facts to light. That’s always the right-wing cop out.

      • And the usual twisted political rhetoric based on emotional intimidation and not the facts as reported bu the Missouian: “Gov. Steve Bullock and Democratic organizers took aim at Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte on Monday after an anonymous liberal blog surfaced …….” and “The incident provided fodder for Democrats who sought to extend their narrative……..”

        Makes you want to vote for Gianforte just so you don’t show support for this type of tactics.

        Governor Gianforte sued state in 2009 over access to river
        JAYME FRASER and HOLLY MICHELS jayme.fraser@lee.net holly.michels@lee.net May 10, 2016 11
        Greg Gianforte
        Buy Now
        Thom Bridge, Independent Record
        Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte speaks at recent press conference on the steps of the State Capitol in Helena in this Lee State Bureau file photo.
        Gov. Steve Bullock and Democratic organizers took aim at Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte on Monday after an anonymous liberal blog surfaced a 2009 lawsuit filed by a family-owned company to kill a public access easement in Bozeman.

        East Gallatin LLC sued Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in May 2009 to remove an easement that provided public access along the East Gallatin River, arguing that users were damaging adjacent land, the original 1993 agreement by a previous owner was invalid and that the public had sufficient access via two other nearby sites. The complaint was filed to create a foothold for a case, but the papers were never served to the agency.

        The dispute was resolved after a department visit to the site in July 2009 led to trail and fence upgrades that did a better job keeping users off the rest of the Gianforte property and the agency updated records on the easement boundaries, according to state documents requested by the State Bureau.

        The incident provided fodder for Democrats who sought to extend their narrative that Gianforte is a wealthy transplant who won’t look out for the average Montanan, while highlighting Bullock’s work to strengthen the state’s stream access laws. Spokesman Jason Pitt denied that the Montana Democratic Party shared their research with the sympathetic Montana Cowgirl blog.

          • You have to wonder why Gianforte didn’t initially work with FWP to upgrade the trail and fence instead of going the lawsuit route. Maybe Wittich needed the work?

            • Pete, he did via numerous letters via, yes, Art Wittich but no action till the lawsuit filed. Typical grief in dealing with the bureaucrats. Ask any farmer or rancher in the state. Most all have or know friends that have had to deal with the same.

              Yes, Wittich and I hear a new PAC for Bullock for Avgas. Both are dandies.

              billingsgazette.com/news/government-and-politics/governor-candidate-gianforte-sued-state-in-over-access-to-river/article_951b0234-304c-5570-b90e-83e92fb8c976.html

              • I’m not sure the link you provided bolsters your case:

                “The Gianfortes and other landowners first contacted FWP in writing about the easement in April 2008 through attorney Art Wittich, the Republican legislator recently convicted for multiple campaign violations. The letter Wittich sent to director Jeff Hagener asked the department to give up the easement.” (Emphasis mine.)

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