Raph Graybill Will be the Progressive Attorney General We Need

Photo Courtesy of Raph Graybill

I don’t just throw around endorsements for candidates to elected offices. I have to trust the candidate, work with them on issues, and know they are truly a progressive who will always fight for the people of our state. I want to tell you why, as a progressive, I’m excited for Raph’s campaign to be our next Attorney General.

Raph Graybill won’t just be another Democrat in office. He’ll be a transformational Attorney General—a national leader in our movement to reclaim America’s legal system from the wealthy, extremist forces that have hijacked our democracy.

For 30 years, activist judges and extremist legislators across America have used our own laws and courts to chip away at rights that we progressives fought hard to earn. And now they’ve set their sights on the most basic protections, like a woman’s individual right to bodily autonomy, the right for unions to exist, or the basic right to keep yourself healthy at work during a pandemic.

Our next Attorney General needs to serve as our progressive counterbalance, a real fighter, who will defend and expand the rights of working folks through the legal system. Our next Attorney General needs to be Raph Graybill. 

Raph is the only candidate with the experience of going to court for Montanans, standing up to powerful industries and institutions, and winning. 

When our current Attorney General Tim Fox refused to defend our public schools and constitution from attacks at the U.S. Supreme Court, Raph fought for us.

When our Attorney General wouldn’t stand up for the rights of workers to organize their labor and have a fair playing field with powerful employers, Raph fought for us.

When the Attorney General wouldn’t stand up to Trump and big telecom companies trying to end net neutrality and privacy protections, Raph fought for us.

When the Attorney General wouldn’t stand up to big tobacco selling a new generation of addictive products to our kids, Raph fought for us

When the Attorney General wouldn’t stand up to members of his own party and protect Montana’s legacy of public access, Raph fought for us.

And when the Attorney General wouldn’t take on the Trump Administration when it tried to put more dark money into our elections, Raph fought for us and beat Trump.

No one else in this race has beaten Trump in court. Raph stood up for Montanans in the highest courts and won progressive victories for all of us. That’s the kind of work an Attorney General does and that’s exactly what we need our next Attorney General to do. 

And when it comes to standing up to conservative overreach in Montana, in the last year alone Raph has taken half of the Republican Land Board members to court—Secretary Stapleton and Attorney General Fox—and defeated them.

The Republicans running for Attorney General have radical designs for the office. They will use this office as conservative activists, further eroding the rights and equality of workers in Montana. They’ve already promised to pursue a dangerous and unconstitutional agenda to take away a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and to give more power over our health care to private insurance companies. 

Raph is the candidate who’s shown he can take on these fights on day one and win. He’s the truly progressive candidate, and I’m not just voting for him—I’m genuinely excited about his candidacy and political future.

I know Raph will stand up for the constitutional promise of equality in our state. I know Raph Graybill will stand up for workers. I know Raph will stand up against privatizers and profiteers. And I know Raph will stand up against the corporate power in our politics and their dark money groups. Raph is the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, who pledged not to accept corporate PAC contributions. Money and power corrupt—Raph  Graybill understands this as a progressive—and I trust him to represent the people of Montana and no one else.

I know he will stand up for our values, because he’s the only candidate that has gone to court and actually fought the big fights for us.

It’s no longer enough just to have a Democrat sitting in office. With everything on the line in 2020, we need progressive, transformational leaders. We need a change in direction, someone with a progressive vision, for what the Attorney General can be. 

I want a fighter in my corner and Raph Graybill is that progressive fighter.

Vote for Raph Graybill for Attorney General in the Democratic Primary.  The future of our movement depends on it. 

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

Amanda Curtis

Amanda Curtis is president-elect of MFPE, Montana's largest labor union. She served in the 2013 and 2015 sessions of the Montana Legislature and was the second woman in Montana’s history to run for United States Senate following a Special Nominating Convention in August 2014.

18 Comments

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  • I think Mr. Graybill is a very good candidate and I love Amanda Curtis, but I’m supporting Kim Dudik because I’ve seen her in action. Look at both these candidates carefully and make up your own mind, but I’m voting for KIm.

    • I’m sorry, Representative Woods, but what does that mean? I assume you have also seen Mr. Graybill in action as the Governor’s attorney?

      I am thrilled we have two outstanding candidates for AG in this primary.

      I am leaning towards Mr. Graybill, but, either will be amazing.

      I wish we had more competitive primaries across in other offices, but, in any case, Democrats have an outstanding slate for this fall.

  • I think, as the British say – “we’re spoilt for choice”

    Both Graybill and Dudik are excellent candidates, and just simply excellent people. They both are supremely intelligent, capable, and committed. They both have backgrounds and records that couldn’t be better. Whichever wins the primary will be a strong candidate with a very good chance at the office.

    That said, I tend to favor Raph Graybill because his experience and talents are perhaps a little more suited to the post, but I certainly wouldn’t be upset if Kim Dudik ends up as the candidate. I think it’s also a certainty that both will continue in every way they can to protect and serve the interests of the people of Montana. Talk about a win-win!!

  • Yes, the Mt Supreme Court sided with Comrade Bullock and so Bullock decided that rather than bringing Horse Creek back before the land board, Bullock, who oversees executive agencies such as FWP, used a narrow reading of the statute to conclude the Land Board has no legal authority over state easements. While “land acquisitions” via purchase require Land Board approval, the law does not specifically mention easements under the requirement, meaning they only need a vote of the Fish and Wildlife Commission, he decided. The state then closed on the easement without board approval.

    Is this the way democrats manipulate the law? Sounds like James Comey logic. Would you have submitted to the land board for review to ensure a clean process or look for loop holes? Do you support this? Graybill did. Who figured out this crafty maneuver?

    • While you deride a “narrow reading of the statute,” you must also concede it was a correct reading. The rest of your brief analysis is bereft of logic.

      • Manipulation is one thing, ethics is another! Legislators need to do some tweaking to protect mineral rights owners and stop the invasion of liberal adding restrictions. And now for the rest of the story. The owners of the mineral rights below the land complained an easement would hinder them from mineral leases and drilling for oil and gas. More Montana jobs and revenue lost. Thanks democrats. The real motive.

        • I would ask you to demonstrate the “hindrance” to mineral rights and enumerate the “jobs and revenue lost.” Consider the ethical ramifications of baseless conjecture.

    • The repugnicant members of the Land Board openly acknowledged that they were holding up the process to make more public land available to turn over to greed-driven, private interests. They GLOATED about it and gleefully publicized their determination to deliver a set-back to landowners and conservation organizations in the process.

      The Bullock administration proceeded to LEGALLY pee in their wine glasses, so they cried, “Mooooommm!! No fair!! He hit me BACK!!”

      Once again, we see who are the real snowflakes, fragile and delicate.

  • Amanda, who has proven herself admirably in battle, is absolutely right. Here in Eastern Montana, we don’t really know who Dudik is. But we definitely know who Graybill is, and the name alone resonates with us. It stands for intelligence, integrity, and grit. Gotta go with what works and has worked. Any of you old enough to remember the ‘72 con con?

  • Being from Western Montana, I also think that either candidate would be a welcome change for Montana. And thanks Amanda, you are a Montana gem and great singer too 🙂

  • Yes we have two outstanding candidates and I support Dudik because of her proven record working to protect abused children, prevent sex trafficking and helping to end Missing and murdered Indigenous women.

    • That’s it? That’s all? We need a bit more. Side issues aside, we need more substance. Tired of back burner issues ruling the day. Do you really think that Graybill will be ineffective on these issues? Wake up. Pay attention to Montana!

      • No Mr. Kralj, that’s not it. Dudik has been a nurse, a state legislator, a public lawyer (defense and prosecution) a private attorney, AND assistant Attorney General for Montana. All this while having and raising four kids. I think there’s quite “a bit more” than back burner issues involved here.
        I served with Dudik for 4 terms. We were both on the “Rules” and “Appropriations” committees where a lot of the best legislative work of the past 8 terms was wrangled. I’m talking about The Water Compact, Dark Money and Medicaid Expansion. I’ve seen Kim in action and that’s why I am supporting her. I trust her.
        To be clear, I also served with Amanda Curtis and have nothing but love and respect for her. This is simply a difference of opinion

        • Good points. Thanks for the clarification. Hard to keep track of what’s actually going on in the legislature sometimes, especially who’s doing what. Those are all meaty issues. Now, if the party can lay off gun control for a while, they just may have a chance. And other back burner issues I won’t mention. And by back burner issues I mean issues that, while important to certain minority groups, are not all that important to a majority of Montanans. The republicans are masters at using back burner issues to define the entire party. Just my opinion from observing Montana politics for the last fifty years.

          • Note that both candidates when directly questioned if they would continue Montana’s fight against Washington State’s push to stop building a coal terminal that they responded they would not support this fight. This will result in lost revenue for Montana, including schools and jobs. This is a attempt by Washington State to stop and interfere with interstate commerce. It is not just Montana.

            • Funny – I thought people on the far right were foam-at-the-mouth outraged at any hint that “big gummint” might interfere in corporate business decisions. They even seem to believe that it’s a matter of “religious freedom” that corporations are people (actually BETTER than mere people) and it would be sacrilegious to deny their god-given right to bigotry and discrimination. Yet here they are, demanding that the courts intervene to allow Montana to PROHIBIT entities in Washington from CHOOSING not to allow Montana companies to extend their pollution to a neighboring state.

              It’s called h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y.

              • Hypocrisy. Relevant or subjective? Hard to know. An old cowboy said to me, one time,
                “Pard, progress is sometimes just hard to recognize.”

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