Does Tim Fox Really Believe the Farm Bill is Socialism?

Watching Tim Fox try to establish his credentials as a real conservative®  in his effort to defeat Greg Gianforte in the primary election for governor has been painful. He’s lurched to the right to pander to bigots who hate the LGBTQ community and those who want to strip women of their reproductive autonomy.

And now he’s attacking Montana ag producers, using Glenn Beck as his evidence to attack Gianforte.

Appearing on the very legitimate KGVO radio station, Fox claimed that Gianforte had received an ‘F’ grade from an outfit called Conservative Review to attack the Congressman.

Intrigued how any rational person could conclude that Gianforte isn’t rabidly conservative, I checked out the CR reviews and two votes stood out: Gianforte received failing marks from the Glenn Beck-backed site because he voted to extend the National Flood Insurance Program and for the 2018 Farm Bill.

It seems Mr. Fox has some explaining to do to the good people of Montana who live in flood-prone areas and the farmers and ranchers who are the backbone of Montana’s economy. As Steve Daines noted before its passage in December, the Farm Bill is crucial for Montana agriculture:

“We’re off to a very good start. This farm bill is good news for Montana’s farmers, for Montana’s ranchers, helping provide some certainty to Montana agriculture in these rather uncertain times,” Daines said. “In fact, USDA estimates net farm income to be 52 percent less than it was just five years ago.”

And Montana ag leaders agreed with Daines, Gianforte, and Tester, all of whom supported the bill. The Montana Farmers Union notes that the 2018 bill strengthened the safety net for farmers, encouraged conservation, expanded market access, protected the future of American Agriculture and more.

Desperate to establish his conservative bona fides, though, Attorney General Fox seems to be siding with Glenn Beck and his band of libertarian misfits who described the farm bill as socialism.

The hard-hitting journalists at KGVO didn’t follow up, but it’s fair to ask whether Fox would have really voted against Montana farmers and ranchers.

The truth, of course, is that the rankings Fox pointed to in his effort to attack Gianforte are no measure of conservatism. In fact, its rankings give an F to staunch conservatives like John Cornyn, John Barasso, and Mitch McConnell. It’s the scorecard of the fringe right-wing that still believe Glenn Beck’s paranoid fantasies.

But Attorney General Fox owes us an explanation. Since he used the rankings to attack Congressman Gianforte, he should probably tell us how he would have voted on the Farm Bill and Flood Insurance, along with bills to provide disaster relief after hurricanes and keep the government running.

After his brazen appeal to bigotry when he tried to get on Fox News by becoming a lobbyist for Chik-Fil-A, it’s probably too much to ask that Attorney General Fox would be honest with Montanans during this campaign, but does he really have to act like we are dumb enough to believe his desperate attacks?

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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  • He called the bills “socialism” To conservatives that is a very big four letter word. But by
    doing so, he is able to avoid talking about the bill’s content and thus evade scrutiny.

    Most people would call that lying.

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