Letters, published May 16, 2017

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Max, we need you – and Quist

Glad to read a recent column by Max Baucus and know that he is back amongst us in Montana. I have missed my many e-mail exchanges with Max while he was our U.S. senator, before he left to be U.S. ambassador to China, and I want to address him directly in this letter to the editor.

Max, I realize you might want to rest and relax now, since you are my age, and may feel this aging process slowing you down, as I do, but I have a request of you … namely, please run for the U.S. Senate again in 2018.

Now I know you are friends with Jon Tester, as I once was, but I have fallen out of grace with him since he turned his back on my efforts to save wildlife (especially the grizzly bear and wolf) by preserving and endorsing and advocating for the Endangered Species Act, and Jon has written me off and declared me to be “one of those fringe, extremist, environmentalists” and no longer exchanges e-mails with me. Furthermore, Tester is in dramatic opposition to me in my efforts of eliminating man-caused global warming and to cease the mining of “dirty” Montana coal, and stopping the Keystone XL pipeline from moving the incredibly volatile, highly toxic, Canadian tar sands oil from traveling through Montana. This, by definition, makes Jon a DINO (Democrat in name only) and exposes his true political ideology as being one of a Republican ... in tune with the maniacal Donald Trump on my key issues.

Along has come a man named Rob Quist who seems to have the same values as you do, Max, and I am writing op-eds on his behalf for the upcoming (May 25) special election for U.S. House of Representatives to replace Ryan Zinke, who has been named the secretary of the interior by Donald Trump. You should try to meet Rob and I am sure you will like him and lend him your own support for his campaign efforts. The two of you would represent Montana well in order to counteract U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, who is exactly aligned with Trump on all issues detrimental to Montanans. Daines will not even attend his town hall meetings to face the Montana citizenry and listen to their complaints about how he is governing us. One went on without his attendance in Kalispell and climate change and women’s health issues dominated the conversation. Tourism needing wilderness and wildlife was also big. Numerous others were discussed as well.

Max, we Montana environmentalists are 30,000 strong and, although a relatively small number, comprise well more than the 3,000 vote winning margin of Tester’s first election victory over Conrad Burns. We strongly considered denying our votes to Tester for his second election victory, but reconsidered at the last minute and did vote for him as the lesser of two evils. The result of our loyalty was to see him betray our trust for that loyalty. Never again will that happen.

Welcome home, Max. It is your time, once again. —Bill Baum, Martin City

Can’t Democrats do any better?

I’m shocked to see that the Democrats are running a musician and poet (Rob Quist) for the open Congress seat. Have they run out of community organizers and agitators? Evidently so, because President Obama had a major gathering in Chicago to educate the new crop of snowflakes on how to destroy America and the world.

Quist was a supporter of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders in the most recent Democratic presidential primary. Many people quote Montana values as the bedrock reasons to vote for a candidate. If you support a socialist, is that a “Montana value”? On the Quist website he mentions his opponent as a “New Jersey multimillionaire.” Mr. Gianforte is a resident of Bozeman, Montana.

In his political statements, Mr. Gianforte states, “ We founded RightNow Technologies 20 years ago in our Bozeman home and grew it into the town’s largest commercial employer, creating over 500 high-paying Montana jobs, employees with an average Montana salary near $90,000 a year.” Ask Mr. Quist how many high paying jobs he created in Montana or anywhere?

A true sense of the Gianforte character is to visit his family foundation website (https://gianfortefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/giving-2016.pdf) for a copy of their 2016 report. There is a pie chart showing over $51 million in donations since it was founded in 2005. Also, for 2016, over $8 million in donations with $2.7 million for the Bozeman area and $3.1 million for other Montana areas. Mr. Quist, how much has your foundation donated to Bozeman and Montana?

You choice is simple. I like those New Jersey values over those of Mr. Quist. —Walt Rucinski, Libby

Gianforte’s values just fine

What’s next? First, Rob Quist’s financial history made front-page news in March in a story recounting his failure to repay a $10,000 loan, that he did not pay thousands of dollars to a contractor he had hired, and had three tax liens because of $15,000 in unpaid taxes.

Now another headline story on May 3 tells us there is more. An investigation by the Associated Press uncovered the fact the Quist under-reported $57,000 in income when he filed federally required financial disclosure statements two months ago. He overlooked $57,000? Really?

If he is so careless, dishonest, and irresponsible with his own money and financial dealings, how will he handle taxpayers’ money if he is elected to Congress?

We’ve heard a lot of airy talk about Montana values in this campaign. Montana deserves a U.S. congressman who “walks the walk” of those true Montana values of honesty, responsibility, accountability and hard work. Because Greg Gianforte’s life and accomplishments reflect these values, he will do the best job standing up for Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives. He deserves your vote. —Penny Jarecki, Polson

Quist will stand up for Montana

By this time most of us are sick and tired of seeing back-to-back political ads. We have been bombarded with negative ads containing material that was misleading, contrived, and bordering on outright slander. The most offensive ads have been in support of a millionaire and have been paid for by the National Republican Campaign Committee. These despicable ads that attempt to demean the character of Rob Quist always include a tag line of “approval” by the millionaire. Why would anyone with a reasonable degree of integrity ever “approve” of such an ad?

Most of us can think of people we know who have experienced medical situations that have caused serious financial difficulties. Some cases have resulted in bankruptcy.

Rob Quist chose to work his way through his challenge and he paid off his debts as quickly as he could instead of declaring bankruptcy. The fact that he has been through this experience makes him the perfect person to represent his fellow Montanans, many of whom have had similar experiences.

With voting day, May 25, drawing near, and as we consider our choice of the next person to represent us in Washington, D.C., let’s choose the person who truly knows from experience what Montanans value. Let’s choose Rob Quist to be the one who will stand up for Montana values. —Edd Blackler, Bigfork

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