The Billings Outpost

War for GOP’s soul

There is a war for the soul of the Republican Party in Montana. Responsible Republicans have shown leadership with conservative solutions and is the path I hope voters take on June 3.

Option 2 is a Montana Republican Party fueled by dark money, emulating Washington, D.C., gridlock, the party of no, guns on campuses and shooting drones.

The state of Montana is in the enviable financial position with a structurally balanced budget and a $350 million ending fund balance.

Montana is one of a few states that addressed their overdue bills from the Great Recession without raising taxes.

Responsible Republicans working within the constraints of the legislative system and the guidelines outlined by the Montana Constitution have been able to cut taxes, fund a world class K-12 school system, freeze tuition at our universities, fairly pay our hardworking state employees and build infrastructure, all while maintaining a balanced budget.

Government in Montana has grown at a pace less than population growth plus inflation since 1993, much less than the growth of wages because responsible Republicans have made hard choices and set priorities.

The 2015 session of the Montana Legislature will feature some big issues that need reflection and hard work.

To grow our economy we must address the issues of income tax simplification/lower rates, working with our health care providers to reform Medicare and Medicaid, property tax reappraisal, workers’ compensation system changes, meeting Montana’s expanding infrastructure needs and getting more federal logs on trucks.

Responsible Republicans have worked hard to deliver a Montana that is a great place to live, work and play. Many primary races provide a choice for the voter, D.C. style gridlock or a hardworking team looking for solutions to make government work. If the Legislature fails to function, the bureaucracy will govern.

Sen. Bruce Tutvedt

Kalispell

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:05

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Rosendale smears Zinke

As the smears against Ryan Zinke continue to arrive in our mail, we feel it’s time to put some perspective on the congressional race.

It’s pretty easy to represent yourself as the true American in the race, but it’s a whole lot tougher to put your life on the line to defend the principles of freedom in the fight against terrorism.

Congressional candidate Matt Rosendale pretends to shoot down a drone aircraft in his television ad to prove how tough he is. But Rosendale’s negative gimmickry pales in comparison to Zinke’s decorated record of defending this nation’s freedoms. Zinke’s patriotism is no act.

While Rosendale was making his millions in Maryland, Zinke was risking his life for our nation as a Navy Seal. It is deeply offensive for us, all military veterans who have known Ryan for most of his life, to see him attacked by someone who has never worn the uniform of this great country.

It’s also extremely revealing to compare campaigns. Typical of someone whose character is proven through his life experiences, Zinke has remained positive, while Rosendale stoops to new lows with each vicious attack.

Earlier this spring, Ryan Zinke stood up and delivered a fitting and moving eulogy for his mentor, Sen. Bob DePratu, a true Montana statesman. It seems only fitting that we who were friends of Bob’s now stand up as DePratu would have done in a forthright defense of Zinke, as fine, brave and capable a man as any of us have known.

We will vote for real character over character assassination. Ryan Zinke is a genuine and proven leader with the guts to think independently and the will to fight to get this country back on track. He is exactly who we need in Congress.

Charlie Abell

Bill Beck

Bob Brown

Bob Lawson

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:01

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Daines voted for debt

Rep. Steve Daines, through his Washington, D.C., attorney Charles R. Spies, has complained about an ad we [Montanans for Limited Government] are running supporting Champ Edmunds for U.S. Senate. In the ad, we state that Steve Daines voted four times to raise the debt ceiling. Mr. Daines claims he only voted to raise the debt ceiling two times.

We reviewed Rep. Daines’ votes on the Heritage Scorecard, Freedomworks and VoteSmart. On Jan. 23, 2013, less than one month after he took office, Rep. Daines voted for HR 325, which suspended the debt limit for five months. On May 9, 2013, he voted for HR 807, which authorized spending in excess of the debt ceiling to pay interest on government debt. Then on Oct. 16, 2013, he voted for HR 2775, which reopened the government, and suspended the debt ceiling until February 2014.

Rep. Daines, whose 2012 campaign emphasized fiscal restraint, voted numerous times to increase spending, which necessarily increases the deficit and national debt.

The letter also claims that we falsely state that Rep. Daines voted to fund Obamacare. It points out that he voted to repeal Obamacare, which is true, and is commendable. However, when given the opportunity to prevent the funding of that program, he chose to vote in favor of HR 2775, which not only re-opened the government after the shutdown in October 2013, but fully funded Obamacare.

We are sorry that pointing out Rep. Daines’ actions makes him uncomfortable.  However, we believe that, based upon Rep. Daines’ voting record, not his rhetoric, Champ Edmunds is the conservative choice to represent Montana in the U.S. Senate.

Kathryn Kay

Lolo

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:01

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Stapleton the best choice

For 40-plus years I have been actively involved in politics, on both sides, for many candidates. In all that time, I have never worked with a candidate as qualified as Corey Stapleton. He is the real deal, the full package and the most well-rounded candidate for the U.S. Congress.

I would like to quote, in part, Corey’s endorsement from Gov. Judy Martz:  “… He had unanimous support in Helena as the conservative leader and has the ability to articulate our conservative principles. Corey is a big part of the reason we still enjoy a surplus in our general fund … . He is not tossed around by every idea that comes his way. He is a true leader, a solder, an honest person, clear thinker and he will keep his word. He has the passion, integrity and experience to represent us in Washington, D.C. Corey is a Naval Academy graduate, an engineer, family man and businessman.”

I would like to add, Corey is a man of faith, who walks the walk and not just talks the talk, a humble man that I am honored to support. Corey Stapleton is a statesman who will make Montana proud!

Judy Crabtree Trenka

Billings

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:00

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Vote “Yes” on backside.

On the backside of the June 3, primary election ballot is the most important item on the ballot for citizens of Yellowstone County. The Referenda to Establish Yellowstone County Government Study Commission is an opportunity for those of us who live in Montana’s most populous county to speak up regarding the structure of our county government. If this ballot issue passes, members of the study commission will be elected in the November general election.

Many of us feel that our present structure is outdated, unfair and inadequate for the 21st century and that changes need to be made. Yellowstone County has 150,000 people and an annual budget of $40 million to $50 million yet is ruled by an elected board of only three people. That means that two constitute a quorum – if one person can persuade only one other, the whole county is subject to their decisions.

While state representatives represent about 10,000 people and senators about 20,000, our present county commissioners represent about 50,000 and are elected by all the voters in the county – not just those in the district they represent.

It is plain to many of us who live in the county but not in Billings that we have no one to advocate for our concerns and that much of the money we pay in taxes is not spent on our critical needs but elsewhere in the county. It’s not fair.

Vote “YES” on this issue.

Don Reed

Lockwood

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:00

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Daines whitewashes record

It appears Rep. Steve Daines has finally gotten the message that intruding in women’s private medical decisions is not only bad policy, it’s bad politics. Months after announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate, Daines made the misleading claim that he does not support outlawing birth control.

But Montana voters won’t be fooled.

The truth is that Daines supports so-called “personhood” measures which, if enacted, could interfere with a woman’s personal medical decisions relating to birth control, access to fertility treatment, management of a miscarriage and access to safe and legal abortion.

“Personhood” is government gone too far, and the defeat of similar state constitutional amendments all across the country — from Colorado and Ohio to Mississippi and Oklahoma — sends a clear message: Health care decisions should be left to a woman, her family, her doctor and her faith — not politicians like Steve Daines.

That’s also why, through conversations with voters, we were able to keep personhood off the Montana ballot in 2008, 2010 and again in 2012.

Montana cannot move forward while politicians like Steve Daines try to take half the population backwards — and Montana women won’t stand for Daines’ attempt to deny his anti-women’s health agenda.

We need leaders who will defend a woman’s freedom to make decisions about her reproductive health without government intrusion, and who will protect women’s access to basic health care — including birth control. That’s why Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana is proud to support Sen. John Walsh in his re-election campaign for U.S. Senate.

Stacey Anderson

Planned Parenthood of Montana

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:32

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