The Press, Again

The IR’s headline for this AP piece by Matt Gouras, like the story, gets it half right: “Campaign spin: Keeping facts straight no easy task.” They forgot the “So we don’t really try all that hard” part.

The most egregious lie the Burns campaign has made has been about his travel schedule?  What about:

  • his claims about embryonic stem cell research
  • his claim that UN troops are in Afghanistan
  • his connection to Abramoff
  • his assertion that chemical weapons have been found in Iraq
  • his claim that the 2005 Energy Bill heavily promoted renewables
  • his claim that he has never voted for a tax increase
  • his votes against increases for Pell Grants

Apparently, looking into those “was no easy task.”

As for the sales tax issue, Matt writes:

Burns has said in the past he would consider a national sales tax or a flat-rate income tax as part of overall tax reform that would eliminate all other taxes.

Charles Johnson, on Saturday, wrote:

Burns said he filled out a questionnaire saying he would be willing to look at a national sales tax that would eliminate all other taxes, but had made no commitment to support one until he saw the details.

Yet, Burns filled these questions out on the NTU survey:

6. MAJOR TAX REFORM. I will work and vote to repeal the entire federal Tax Code and completely replace it.

[x ] YES [ ] NO [ ] UNDECIDED

7. TAX REFORM CHOICE. If you answered Yes to Question 6, please state reforms you will support
(check one or more):

[x] A national retail sales tax that provides reasonable protection for low-income people, with a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to abolish and prohibit all federal income taxes after a transition period.

[x ] A single, low, flat-rate income tax with a large exemption for each taxpayer and dependent, with a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to prohibit more than one income tax rate.

It might be easier to keep the facts straight if you weren’t spun like a top by the Burns people. If he’s not responsible for his own words, on this survey or elswhere, then how can you fact check anything?

It’s not balanced reporting to say both sides are being dishonest when one is much worse than the other. It’s another lie.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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