While it seems to be de rigueur for Republican candidates for any public office in Montana to avoid making any statements about the policies they’d pursue if elected to office, Legislator Liz Bangerter, who is seeking election in House District 82 has taken that strategy to an absurd level. Witness her latest mailer, a massive monstrosity of nothingness.
On the inside, voters are treated to a series of images with slogans like “Representing Our State,” a bold and provocative statement one might find in a children’s book about governing. It’s also probably telling that Ms. Bangerter also includes the slogan “Protecting the Outdoors” while clearly standing on a highway—one she and her party no doubt intend to install in the Bob Marshall Wilderness once they privatize it. Given that Bangerter voted both to diminish Montana’s constitutional protection of a clean and healthful environment and access to waterways for those seeking recreation in Montana, it’s a dishonest attempt to manipulate voters with an empty catchphrase.
So that’s just one side of the document. Surely, the reverse includes some details about either what Representative Bangerter has done in two terms in the Legislature or what she hopes to accomplish in a third, right? Not so much. Instead, voters are treated to a deeply informative sepia-toned photograph of the Helena area. (I placed a full size iPad next to the brochure to give you a sense of just how big and empty it is).
I know when I am choosing a legislator to represent me one of the most important things I look for is a candidate who can use Photoshop to make a picture look old-timey, just like the values of her party.
Despite all that space, Representative Bangerter found the smallest font available to tell voters in her new district that she’s a Republican—and no room at all for any substance about her campaign, values, or priorities.
There’s a reason a candidate with two terms in the Legislature would refuse to talk about her record and her votes: they’re badly out of line with the values of the people she hopes to represent.
The next time Ms. Bangerter drops by your house, ask her why she won’t tell HD82 voters what her real priorities are and wants to diminish her connection to the radical Republicans who want to destroy public education, public lands, and public trust in Montana. It’s commendable that Representative Bangerter is willing to listen to constituents, but it’s about time she starts talking to them, too.