State of Montana Archives: on Principles & Values

Steve Daines: We're the greatest country in the world

Daines was one of a handful of Republicans who supported the president's declaration that four congresswomen should "go back" to "the crime infested places from which they came." Daines posted on Facebook and Twitter that "Montanans are sick and tired of listening to anti-American, anti-Semite, radical Democrats trash our country and our ideals. We're the greatest country in the world. I stand with @RealDonaldTrump."
Source: The Nation magazine on 2020 Montana Senate race Jul 6, 2020

Steve Bullock: Has "grave concerns" over use of military on protests

Bullock has "grave concerns" about the evoking of the Insurrection Act and the use of federal military after President Donald J. Trump suggested using active-duty troops to halt protests nationwide caused by the death of George Floyd. Marissa Perry, communications director for Bullock, said Thursday he believes it should be up to governors to determine what is best to fit their states' unique circumstances.
Source: The Great Falls Tribune on 2020 Montana Senate race Jun 5, 2020

John Driscoll: Running as Abe Lincoln Republican to heal country

Driscoll, who once served as the Democratic House speaker in the Montana Legislature, said he read a poll about a year ago in which some Republicans said they believed Trump was a better president than Lincoln. "And that was ridiculous," Driscoll said, adding he is "very comfortable" running as Lincoln Republican. He takes Lincoln's words to heart that "A House divide against itself will not stand." He said the country needs to heal.
Source: Great Falls Tribune on 2020 Montana Senate race May 15, 2020

John Driscoll: Running because of total loyalty to upholding Constitution

I place our United States Constitution above my own well-being, personal loyalties or any political party. I have the proven capability to work with the interpersonal chemistry of a legislative caucus as I find it and the mental determination to check and balance our president as required by our Constitution.
Source: The Missoulian on 2020 Montana Senate race Apr 15, 2020

Jack Ciattarelli: Find problems, then build coalitions

I've prided myself on listening and trying to find core problems and then building coalitions, bringing people together, helping them to see the vision and believe in it, and then getting it done. We've done very well not just with legislation, but with big coalitions on human trafficking and substance use disorders. Of those 51 bills, roughly half were carried by Democrats and half by Republicans, at my request. That's my style of governance and leadership, and it's been very effective.
Source: Boulder Monitor on 2020 Montana gubernatorial race Apr 1, 2020

Susan Good Geise: Running to combat partisanship and tribalism in politics

The current tenor of partisan politics motivated her to run. "I have grandchildren and I want them to live in a nation of laws and partisan politics has devolved into tribalism. It is dangerous and we need to step back from this precipice and I am willing to go up against a sitting United States senator and a two-term governor to stop this madness." Geise indicated she has felt alienated by her former party and disagrees with its current direction under the Trump administration.
Source: Independent Record on 2020 Montana Senate race Mar 18, 2020

Whitney Williams: Will fight for families because he lives it every day

At an announcement from the Capitol rotunda, Schreiner said he understood the struggles of many Montana families, having navigated the loss of his teaching job and the premature birth of one of his sons. "Montana families deserve somebody in Helena who's willing to fight for them, that understands first hand the challenges," Schreiner said. "These are the things people need to know about when they're governing, not from a poll or survey but because they live it and breathe it every day."
Source: Helena Independent-Record on 2020 Montana governor debate Feb 28, 2020

Whitney Williams: Parents were elected officials in Congress, state Senate

The daughter of Pat and Carol Williams--Montana's longest serving Congressman and first female Senate Majority Leader-- Whitney grew up knowing that being a Montanan was a privilege--but that it was up to every generation to fight for it.
Source: 2020 MT Gubernatorial campaign website Jan 23, 2020

Reilly Neill: Campaign hamstrung by state party, money, & media

Former state lawmaker Reilly Neill, a Democrat from Livingston, has announced on her campaign website she is dropping out of the governor's race primary. As first reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Neill cited the role of money in the race, the Montana Democratic Party and media in the state as factors she says hamstrung her campaign.
Source: The Missoulian on 2020 Montana Gubernatorial race Jan 21, 2020

Casey Schreiner: I live like an everyday Montanan

Schreiner said, "Part of the reason, I threw my hat into the ring to run for governor is I think Montana deserves a governor who knows what it is like to live like every native Montanan but by knowing how to live like an everyday Montanan... you have skin in the game."

Schreiner said. "Our family still has over $40,000 in student loan debt, our family still lives paycheck to paycheck to pay for those services that my kids need all the time."

Source: Havre Daily News on 2020 Montana gubernatorial race Dec 17, 2019

Wilmot Collins: Immigrated from Liberia in 1994; served in US Navy

Collins fled his native Liberia for Helena in 1994, as a refugee from the First Liberian Civil War. He had petitioned for refugee status to join his wife, who had moved to Montana two years before he did. He subsequently became a United States citizen, and worked for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, specializing in child protection. For over two decades, he was a member of the US Navy Reserve. Collins has two children with his wife, their daughter, Jaymie and their son, Bliss.
Source: Connection: 2020 Montana Senate race Sep 9, 2019

Greg Gianforte: American exceptionalism & capitalism lead to prosperity

Sen. Steve Daines, Rep. Greg Gianforte and leaders of Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit organization, spoke to a crowd of about 550 people in the Strand Union Building at Montana State University. Gianforte said he has long supported Turning Point USA's advocacy of American exceptionalism, the U.S. Constitution and free-market capitalism because those things lead to prosperity and opportunity.
Source: Helena Independent-Record on 2020 Montana gubernatorial race Feb 4, 2019

Jon Tester: AdWatch: Voted with Trump 52%, but against key initiatives

MTN News examined a trio of these ads airing in recent weeks, and the facts behind them:
Source: MTN News AdWatch on 2018 Montana Senate race Aug 28, 2018

Albert Olszewski: References to God on federal buildings is ok

Q: Should the government support a separation of church and state by removing references to God on money, federal buildings, and national monuments?

A: Albert Olszewski's answer: No

Q: Should a business be able to deny service to a customer if the request conflicts with the owner's religious beliefs?

A: Albert Olszewski's answer: Yes

Source: on 2018 Montana Senate race Jan 1, 2018

Jon Tester: No safe haven for neo-Nazi white nationalists

Top Montana lawmakers warned neo-Nazis they would find "no safe haven" for a rally that could include guns planned for next month in a mountain town where white nationalists have threatened Jewish residents.

The lawmakers include both Democrats and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, recently picked by Republican President-elect Donald Trump to be interior secretary. "We say to those few who seek to publicize anti-Semitic views that they shall find no safe haven here," Zinke wrote in an open letter also signed by Gov. Steve Bullock (D); U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R), and Jon Tester (D); and Attorney General Tim Fox (R).

Neo-Nazis plan to march in January in the mountain ski town of Whitefish in Montana's remote and rugged northwestern reaches. The march is to support the mother of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. Sherry Spencer is facing pressure from community members to sell a building she owns in Whitefish because of its ties to her son and to disavow her son's beliefs.

Source: Religion News Service on 2018 Montana Senate race Dec 28, 2016

Bill McChesney: Served in state legislature from 2007 until 2015

Bill McChesney, a former Miles City representative, filed his paperwork with the Secretary of State's office; he lists Mike Anderson as his running mate.

McChesney, 67, served in the state House from 2007 to 2015. He lost a 2014 election for state Senate to Republican Eric Moore.

McChesney donated $50 this year to Bullock's re-election campaign, according to records from the state Commissioner of Political Practice's office. He also donated $150 to Bullock's 2012 campaign.

Source: The Missoulian on 2016 Montana gubernatorial race Mar 11, 2016

Mark Perea: Americans lose liberty at hands of federal government

In one word, Perea's campaign message is liberty. In his eyes, Americans are losing their liberty at the hands of the federal government. And he does not think much of Congress, including the Republican caucus. "I think it's the state's responsibility to pick up the mantle of freedom and fight and make sure the federal government stays within its bounds," Perea said. "Congress has a very low approval rating right now, and I think the reason why is they go up there and forget where they come from."
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle on 2016 Montana gubernatorial race Feb 1, 2015

John Edward Walsh: OpEd: 2007 Master's thesis plagiarized from online sources

One of the highest-profile credentials of Walsh's 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Walsh's master's degree from the US Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least 1/4 of his thesis on Mideast policy from other authors' works, with no attribution.

Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a "strategy research project," to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers and books that are almost all available online.

A line-by-line analysis of Walsh's thesis shows that he took much of it from other sources without giving them credit. Most strikingly, the six recommendations Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy," are taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.

Source: N.Y. Times on 2014 Montana Senate race Jul 23, 2014

Champ Edmunds: Judeo-Christian values established our government framework

Question topic: Efforts to bring Islamic law (shariah) to America do not pose a threat to our country and its Constitution.

Edmunds: Strongly Disagree.

Question topic: Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which permitted our system of limited government.

Edmunds: Strongly Agree

Question topic: Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

Edmunds: I am a born again Christian. I attend The Journey Christian Fellowship (an Evangelical Christian Church) where I serve as a Deacon.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Montana Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Steve Daines: AdWatch: Walsh appointment was "Big Sky buy-off" D.C. deal

Republican Steve Daines' campaign unleashed its first attack ad against Sen. John Walsh Wednesday, ripping Walsh's appointment to his post as a "backroom deal" arranged by the president and "D.C. insiders." The broadcast web ad, which targets various audiences on certain video websites across the state, calls Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock's Feb. 7 appointment of Walsh "the Big Sky buy-off."

"John Walsh can continue to deny the truth, but Montanans know that his appointment was a politically motivated, backroom deal that put Washington interests first," said Daines' campaign spokesman.

The ad says that President Barack Obama and "the D.C. insiders hand-picked John Walsh." Bullock said he chose Walsh because he was the best one for the job, and told reporters last month that he had told US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to "butt out" when Reid called and suggested Bullock appoint Walsh as Baucus' successor.

Source: The Missoulian: PacWatch on 2014 Montana Senate race Mar 19, 2014

John Edward Walsh: AdWatch: "Where's Walsh-o" website: "Walsh is hard to find"

John Walsh is coming under attack by national Republican groups. The National Republican Senatorial Committee went up with a website titled "Where's Walsh-o" that's critical of the new senator. And American Crossroads, the pro-GOP independent super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, plans to welcome Walsh into the Senate with an attack ad that's set to run back in Montana.

"John Walsh is Hard to Find These Days..." says the NRSC's website, which goes onto claim "That's because he doesn't like to answer questions about his disastrous record, his ability to lead, and a management record dominated by a culture of poor morale, inappropriate relationships and horrific personnel problems."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was quick to defend Walsh and criticize the NRSC. "Only a Washington insider like Steve Daines would call on his NRSC handlers to smear John Walsh's distinguished 33-year record of service leading the Montana National Guard," said the DSCC press secretary.

Source: CNN coverage: AdWatch on 2014 Montana Senate race Feb 11, 2014

John Edward Walsh: Appointed to Senate while running in Senate primary

Win or lose in November, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh will be the next senator from Montana. Gov. Steve Bullock appointed his former running mate to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who is leaving the Senate early after being confirmed as ambassador to China.

Walsh was already running for the seat, but he'll now run as the incumbent senator. That change could provide some inherent advantages in his quest to hold one of the party's most vulnerable seats. "I wanted to appoint someone who I truly believed would wake up each and every day wanting to put Montana and Montanans first," Bullock said in a news conference to announce the appointment.

National Democrats recruited Walsh to run after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer took a pass on the race. The open seat is a top target of national Republicans, who landed a top-tier candidate in Rep. Steve Daines. Two other Democrats, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger and rancher Dirk Adams, are also seeking the nomination.

Source: on 2014 Montana Senate race Feb 7, 2014

John Edward Walsh: AdWatch: "Big Sky buyoff" to appoint Walsh to Senate early

The expectation that outgoing Sen. Max Baucus will be named ambassador to China has raised the likelihood that the leading Democratic candidate for his Montana Senate seat will be appointed to the post nearly a year before the election.

Under Montana law, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock can appoint whomever he wants to fill the Senate seat until the next election. National Democratic sources expect that appointment to be Walsh, who polls show has been trailing Republican candidate Steve Daines.

Democrats argue that appointing Walsh to the Senate seat nearly a year before the election would give him a leg up against Daines. Republicans, meanwhile, have begun painting Walsh as a D.C. insider, calling him Senate Majority Leader "Harry Reid and Barack Obama's handpicked US senator." They also have blasted the news of his potential appointment as Washington backroom dealing, dubbing it the "big sky buyoff"--an approach that could ultimately hurt Walsh, who's been running as a Beltway outsider.

Source: AdWatch on 2014 Montana Senate race Dec 19, 2013

Brian Schweitzer: Considered Senate run; now supports both Dem. candidates

Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who plucked Bohlinger from the ranks of moderate Republican state senators to be his running mate in 2004, may be Bohlinger's closest ally after eight years as a team.

But the ex-governor--whose shadow has hung over the Senate race since Baucus announced his retirement, and who nearly pulled the trigger on a bid himself before declining this summer--is adamant that he's staying not picking sides, despite professed admiration for Bohlinger.

Walsh was also a member of Schweitzer's government, though not in an elected role: Schweitzer picked Walsh to head the state's National Guard. "I want to make sure it's known: I think the world of both, I selected them both" for their old jobs, Schweitzer said. "I'll probably be a large donor to both of them," he added.

Schweitzer said, "If the primary were held today, Bohlinger would win 2-to-1 over Walsh. But the election isn't right now, and the Democratic Senate machine in Washington has their sights set on John Walsh."

Source: National Journal on 2014 Montana Senate debate Nov 12, 2013

John Bohlinger: An outsider supported by the people & not the establishment

Bohlinger is spending his early days as a candidate advancing an outsider case against Walsh, criticizing the DSCC and other forces for meddling in local politics by anointing his replacement. "I think it's inappropriate for the DSCC or the paid staff of the Montana Democratic Party to involve themselves in primaries," Bohlinger said. "I think the people of Montana should make the choice, not political operatives."

But outsiders still need supporters. Walsh has put together a team of campaign staffers and supporters that include both sitting Montana senators. Asked specifically who is supporting him, Bohlinger replied: "It's the people of Montana."

There is one answer to that question that some deem obvious. Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer may be Bohlinger's closest ally in state politics after eight years as a team. Bohlinger says that Schweitzer gave him their old campaign donor lists and "pledged me a nice contribution" for his Senate run [but Schweitzer will not publicly endorse].

Source: National Journal on 2014 Montana Senate debate Nov 12, 2013

John Bohlinger: Elected as Republican; then ran on Democrat governor ticket

Bohlinger, a former Republican state representative from Billings, ran twice on the Democratic ticket with gubernatorial candidate and former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, in 2004 and 2008. The duo twice won election, with Bohlinger serving as lieutenant governor under Schweitzer from 2005-2012.

Bohlinger has said for several months he was considering entering the US Senate race as a Democrat, and that he felt he would be the best candidate to defeat Daines, the likely Republican nominee.

"I believe it's important not only for Montana but for our country that we maintain a Democratic majority in the US Senate," he told the Gazette State Bureau earlier this fall. "Because of my statewide name recognition, I think I can win in November 2014. We need to nominate someone who can win in November."

Source: Billings Gazette coverage of 2014 Montana Senate debates Nov 5, 2013

Steve Bullock: I teach my kids the same Montana values I was taught

Born in Missoula and raised in Helena, Steve Bullock believes that the leaders we elect and the decisions we make today will define the Montana that we live in now, and the Montana we pass on to our kids and grandkids.

Steve and his wife Lisa are raising their three kids in the same community they grew up in and teaching them the same values they were taught: to work hard, play by the rules and get the kind of education and job that will allow them to raise their families here, too.

Source: Montana Governor campaign 2012 website, Nov 6, 2012

Jon Tester: Premature to call for impeachment proceedings against Bush

Q: Do you believe that Pres. Bush has committed impeachable offenses?

TESTER: I think itís a bit premature to say that there should be impeachment proceedings against Pres. Bush. I do think there will be public hearings, and I think thatís critically important. If impeachable offenses are found, then so be it. I think we need to focus on the issues I hear about from the people of this great state. Weíve got a system thatís broken right now, and needs to be fixed, and it needs some leadership back in Washington DC. The current cast isnít getting it done.

JONES: Yes, Pres. Bush has committed many impeachable offenses. He has issued executive orders that have the force and effect of law, when he has no constitutional authority to issue laws. Pres. Bush pushed the Patriot Act and other bills that have been just as threatening to our freedom. This man has to be impeached in order to preserve our freedoms. We have to impeach this man to let these people know they cannot do that to our freedoms.

Source: 2006 Montana 3-way Senate Debate at MSU Oct 9, 2006

Stan Jones: Bush has committed many impeachable offenses

Q: Do you believe that Pres. Bush has committed impeachable offenses?

TESTER: I think itís a bit premature to say that there should be impeachment proceedings against Pres. Bush. I do think there will be public hearings, and I think thatís critically important. If impeachable offenses are found, then so be it. I think we need to focus on the issues I hear about from the people of this great state. Weíve got a system thatís broken right now, and needs to be fixed, and it needs some leadership back in Washington DC. The current cast isnít getting it done.

JONES: Yes, Pres. Bush has committed many impeachable offenses. He has issued executive orders that have the force and effect of law, when he has no constitutional authority to issue laws. Pres. Bush pushed the Patriot Act and other bills that have been just as threatening to our freedom. This man has to be impeached in order to preserve our freedoms. We have to impeach this man to let these people know they cannot do that to our freedoms.

Source: 2006 Montana 3-way Senate Debate at MSU (x-ref Tester) Oct 9, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of Montana Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Principles & Values:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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