2020 Governor Featured Greg Gianforte Montana Politics

Why Can’t Greg Gianforte Quit Meeting with Militia-Loving Legislators?

Once again, Congressman and candidate for governor Greg Gianforte is choosing to spend time with people who have expressed abhorrent and dangerous views. The Congressman, who has never had an open, publicly-announced town hall with constituents, somehow found the time Sunday 

Ask yourself this question if you are someone from Helena or Missoula or Butte or Great Falls or countless other Montana cities or towns where Gianforte refuses to hold public events: why does Greg Gianforte refuse to meet with us when he always seems to have the time for people like Manzella?
to attend a church service and ministry event put on by Representative Theresa Manzella, even though Manzella has repeatedly endorsed those who call for armed insurrection against the United States.

We’ve written extensively about Manzella over the years, so we’ll stick to a brief recap.  Manzella, who believes vaccination is a conspiracy between the government and pharmaceutical companies and that people who work in schools in Montana are communists, is one of the most extremist members of an extremist Republican Party here in Montana. These are just a few highlights:

My issue here isn’t really with Manzella. For the most part, she’s a crackpot with little influence even inside her own party. But it is troubling that in an era when politicians carefully consider their images and who those they choose to associate with, Gianforte is seemingly unconcerned about attending a Manzella event.

One would hope that someone who wants to be governor of all Montanans would, at the least, not schedule an event with someone who believes teachers are communists or that armed insurrection is a legitimate response to federal officers enforcing the law, but Gianforte seems awfully comfortable being seen with some people with truly awful views.

Of course, this isn’t Gianforte’s first rodeo with anti-government supporters. As I reported back in 2017, Gianforte has repeatedly donated to and supported fringe anti-government supporters and white supremacists before and throughout his political career.

Ask yourself this question if you are someone from Helena or Missoula or Butte or Great Falls or countless other Montana cities or towns where Gianforte refuses to hold public events: why does Greg Gianforte refuse to meet with us when he always seems to have the time for people like Manzella?

It’s a story we’ve told over and over here: Montana Republicans are deeply, troublingly, and repeatedly linked to groups and individuals who espouse violent actions against the government and white supremacist ambitions. They attend their church services, they donate to their campaigns, they “like” them on Facebook, and they attend their events. For the most part, the mainstream press has ignored these connections for reasons I can’t entirely understand.

Theresa Manzella is absolutely entitled to her dangerous, ill-informed, reactionary worldview, but what does it say about Greg Gianforte and the state of Montana politics that a candidate for governor isn’t running from her and her events as fast as he can?

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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  • “. . . Gianforte is seemingly unconcerned about attending a Manzella event.”. “unconcerned”??? WTF, how naive can you be??? His attendance is undoubtedly a calculated attempt to preserve his dog-whistle alliance with our Confederate Nazi Racist majority. This is Montana, after all: our capital was, save for federal judicial veto, “Varina” (Mrs Jeff Davis).

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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.

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