Greg Gianforte Voted Against Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and Montana Media Ignored It

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On Thursday, Montana’s Congressman Greg Gianforte voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, most likely because he was concerned that a vote for the measure would jeopardize the NRA rating that he values more than the lives and safety of women across the country. And the Montana media didn’t bother to either write a story about his vote or ask the Congressman to explain why.

NPR, in its reporting on the issue, explains that Republican members of Congress were told the organization would “score the vote,” meaning that voting for the bill could threaten a lower rating from the NRA in elections:

The NRA called for a “no” vote and notified Capitol Hill offices this week that the organization was “scoring” how lawmakers vote on the bill to measure future ratings and endorsements in elections. Congressional Republicans rarely run afoul of NRA positions on legislation.

And what did the NRA find so objectionable? That the reauthorized VAWA would close the “boyfriend loophole,” which allowed those who had stalked or abused someone they weren’t married to the right to continue purchasing firearms. Fortune reports:

Under the current law, only those convicted of domestic abuse who are or were married to, lived with, or have a child with the victim can have their guns taken from them. The proposed provision would expand this to include stalkers, current or former boyfriends, and dating partners.

In the U.S., as many as 52 women a month are shot to death by an intimate partner, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. About 76% of intimate partner murder victims had also been stalked by their partner and 67% had been physically abused, the National Center for Victims of Crime found.

Congressman Gianforte was forced to make a choice. Either he could vote to protect Montana women, who face a grave and growing threat from intimate partner violence, or he could vote to protect the interests of the NRA, which opposes every sensible gun regulation to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who have demonstrated a willingness to do harm.

In the end, even though almost everyone in Montana has been touched by the scourge of intimate partner violence and that Montana women are in danger of being killed by their partners, Greg Gianforte is more interested in protecting the rights of people to stalk, harass, and abuse women than he is in protecting their safety, all because his NRA rating matters more than human life.

33 Republicans had the courage to vote for the measure and rebuke the extremism of the NRA, but not Congressman Gianforte. And Montanans deserve to know that. Instead, the Montana Standard opted to run this hard-hitting piece of journalism instead.

We deserve better, in our Congress and from our press.

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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  • While I appreciate your last link, the Kathleen Williams for Montana site, I’m reserving judgement. Tom Winters, a credible candidate, has filed and I believe there’ll be other Democrats. And Republicans will be filing for the U.S. House seat, too, which could play a role in which Dem. candidate is best suited to run in the general election.

    On a somewhat different note, the hubris of Gianforte is undeniable. Instead of serving Montanans in the House as a small fish in a big pond, he wants to be the big fish in Montana politics: governor. He couldn’t handle working his way up the seniority ladder to the important committees and leadership roles — like, say Pat Williams did in his nearly 20 years of service — Gianforte’s ego just can’t take it.

  • I’ve tried for the past day and a half to email Gianforte about this disgraceful vote. His official website isn’t working.. at least the page that allows someone to email him.

    I wonder why….

  • All the more reason for Representative Gianforte to resign from Representing Montana, now that Nancy Pelosi announces next years’ House races will be effectively won by this November.
    Resign himself to exiting the big pond in Congress, to bigly campaign for what he may see as a big fish way to Govern the comparatively small pond of Montana.
    Maybe govern like a barracuda, even like a very big, old Bull Trout, and gobble up minnows, competitors and spawners advocating for more democracy in the State of Montana.
    Maybe Gianforte will Primary campaign in alliance with the dominant party legislators who want to dominate even more in 2021, and cause even more good Bills, to die in committee. Especially Bills for more equitable wealth and income taxation in Montana.
    And whom all might you be considering advocating for, to be Appointed to our Montana seat that Greg might vacate, in the People’s House?

  • Gianforte, a pretend Montanan and a real, dishonest creep! But those who just vote for party without caring about the qualities of the CANDIDATE will vote to keep him in office…..

  • However I ran a rural domestic and sexual violence program from 1995 to 2010 and I can tell you that even though they could remove guns then it did not happen, especially in rural communities due to our gun culture. Not excusing his chicken shit vote but also alerting to the larger issue of changing our culture so local cops actually remove guns to keep women/children safe. Had a convicted batterer(who pled guilty) buy guns at the local sheriffs sale, multiple times! I’d keep telling the sheriff the guy wasn’t allowed to own guns, sheriff would say he didn’t think there was a conviction, I’d take him the court paperwork proving he couldn’t own guns and he’d do nothing.

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