Montana’s National & Alternate Delegates to the Republican National Convention

Billings, MT – At the Montana State Delegate Convention today the following individuals were elected as Montana’s national and alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention:

National Delegates

Berglee, Seth
Brown, Dee
Brown, James
Butcher, Edward
Fagg, Harrison
Fielder, Jennifer
Happel, Dan
Hopkins, Mike
Lamm, Debra
Landsgaard, Paul
Lotton, Bradley
Mandeville, Forrest
Manzella, Theresa
Milanovich, Anita
Milanovich, John
Miller, Ken
Miller, Peggy
Noland, Mark
Nordwick, Suzzann
Olsen, Eric
Pfaehler, Karen Marie
Tuck, Thomas
Wittich, Art
Zinke, Ryan

Alternate Delegates

Baker, Mark
Barbisan, Susan
Dellwo, Liz
Deschamps, Will
Fick, Ronald
Kopetski, Vondene
Linn, Janice
McKinney, Jenna
Murray, Arla Jeanne
Nelson, Kevin
Nelson, Lorena Fatouros
Pierce, Terra
Porta, William
Rambur, Dale
Reger, James
Reneau, Susan Campbell
Sales, Scott
Saunders, Robert
Scranton, Dennis
Seekins-Crowe, Kerri
Selph, William
Shipp, Chris
Vogel, Randy
Zinke, Lola

In total, Montana will send 27 national delegates to the Republican National Convention. The remaining 3 delegates are: Chairman Jeff Essmann, National Committeeman Errol Galt and National Committeewoman Betti Hill.

Bernie & Bullock’s Awkward Moment

As liberals across the state welcome Bernie Sanders to Montana today they are almost guaranteed to hear Bernie rail against the evils of Wall Street and the influence of corporate special interest money in our elections.

With Bernie’s crusade against corporate special interests, you might think he’s found an ally in Governor Bullock, who never misses an opportunity to tout his work leading the fight against unlimited corporate cash and dark money in our political system:

  • Bullock bragged about taking the “fight against corporate influence. (Great Falls Tribune, 11/21/2014)
  • “I don’t think there’s any governor in the country that’s fought harder to make sure our elections didn’t have corporate dollars in them.” (Great Falls Tribune, 02/22/2015)
  • We should have elections, not auctions. We should have public servants – not elected officials beholden to some special interest and their secret money. (State of the State, 01/28/2015)

Well, Bernie’s in for a rude awakening when he finds out that Bullock sold himself out to the corporate special interests– raising tens of millions of dollars in corporate and dark money and exploiting loopholes to funnel this money into Montana– in an all-out effort to save his re-election campaign:

  • Bullock’s exploiting contribution limits to launder corporate and dark money into his campaign.
  • Bullock raised $30 million– mostly from corporate donations– last year as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA).
  • Bullock raised $5 million in dark money while serving as DGA Chair.
  • Bullock has taken almost $80,000 in special-interest PAC money.

For all Bullocks’ anti-corporate rhetoric, he has cozied up real close to the corporate special interests. Bernie wouldn’t be too proud of Bullock if he knew how he conducts himself behind closed doors. Bullock has put his trust in the hands of the corporate special interests– not Montanans.

BUY TICKETS: Kris “Tanto” Paronto: Benghazi American Hero from 13 Hours

Click here to purchase tickets to see Kris “Tanto” Paronto on Friday, May 27th, 2016 in Bozeman as he shares the true story of what happened the night of the Benghazi terrorist attack. This will be an amazing opportunity to hear “Tanto’s” personal account and first-hand details of the Battle of Benghazi. “Tanto” will set the record straight on the night that has been shrouded in mystery and controversy.

The event starts at 5:30 PM at Copper Spring Ranch in Bozeman. It’s going to be an incredible evening that includes dinner, live and silent auctions, and a quick draw. This will be an event you won’t want to miss. We can’t wait to see you in Bozeman!

ICYMI: Bullock, McLean Falling Out Traced to Dec. 2014 Convo

More emails were released last Friday that shed light on the falling out between Governor Bullock and former Lt. Governor Angela McLean. Those emails now confirm that the source of their falling out can be traced to a December 2014 conversation between Bullock and McLean.

Now, neither Bullock nor McLean will comment on this meeting or what was discussed but there’s little doubt that a bombshell was dropped.

What else explains how their professional relationship deteriorated so rapidly or why Bullock worked so aggressively to isolate and eventually force out McLean.

How did things get so bad so fast? In May 2014, Bullock described McLean as “LG extraordinaire,” and only a month before their falling out, McLean called Bullock: “The greatest Governor Ever in the Milky Way.

What happened between Bullock and McLean? Why are BOTH Bullock and McLean refusing to talk about their falling out? What could have possibly happened between Bullock and McLean during that December conversation to cause such a complete breakdown in their professional relationship?

Bullock releases private emails; sheds little new light on McLean departure (05/06/2016)

Gov. Steve Bullock Friday released nearly 400 pages of emails from his private account, revealing more details about his schism with former Lt. Gov. Angela McLean.

But the emails primarily confirmed what the Bullock administration and previously released email documents from state accounts revealed last December: That the pair had a falling out, which led to Bullock considering whether to find a new running mate in 2016 and freezing McLean out of key meetings and initiatives.

One of the emails released Friday, from McLean to Bullock, seemed to pinpoint what sparked the souring of their professional relationship: A “conversation in December” 2014.

Bullock, however, declined to discuss the subject of that conversation and McLean also declined to comment.

Read more here:

Bullock’s Infrastructure Record: Can’t Get the Job Done

Governor Bullock had three and a half years to sign an infrastructure bill into law and he failed to get the job done. Now, Bullock announced a new infrastructure proposal today. Well, this comes too little too late. Bullock’s failed leadership is exactly why Montana hasn’t seen an infrastructure bill.

In 2013, Bullock VETOED a critical Infrastructure bill for Eastern Montana after the bill passed both chambers of the Legislature by wide bipartisan margins.

Two years later, Bullock pursued an all-or-nothing approach to address our critical infrastructure needs.

Bullock could have signed an infrastructure bill that was less focused on his pet projects in Helena but instead, he demanded Montana go into debt and remained adamant that all his pet projects were fully funded.

The Billings Gazette warned Bullock against taking Montana into debt to pay for our infrastructure needs:It makes more sense to avoid the cost of borrowing and use available cash to help address the urgent infrastructure needs.”

The Billings Gazette urged Bullock to support a fiscally responsible proposal: He needs to reach out to Republican and Democratic lawmakers to craft a fiscally responsible grant proposal that actually can pass the Legislature.”

Did Bullock listen? No. Montana had the cash-on-hand to pay for our critical infrastructure needs but he remained adamant Montana go into debt.

The stalwart-liberal ideologue George Ochenski blasted Bullock for his all-or-nothing approach: “That Bullock sought to abandon long-held legislative protocol with his “all-in-one” spending bill is a mystery in itself.”

Ochenski even called-out Bullock’s hypocrisy:It is disingenuous of Bullock to insist that these projects are vital to the state’s interest – so much so that they require $212 million in bonds – yet threaten to veto the bills containing them unless the legislature funds them through his single infrastructure spending bill.

Bullock’s the reason communities haven’t seen any infrastructure funding under his watch.  A Republican Governor will get the job done where Bullock has failed and sign an infrastructure bill into law. 

Bullock Lacks Know-How to Create High-Paying Jobs

Since taking office, Governor Bullock has failed to address the crisis facing Montana: The lack of high-paying jobs available to our kids and workers. Central to fixing this problem is providing tax relief and supporting measures that will help improve Montana’s business climate.

It’s no secret: Bullock is bad for business. Bullock repeatedly VETOED tax relief bills that would have put more money in the pockets of workers, families and small businesses and will NOT eliminate the business equipment tax.

You may have heard about Bullock’s empty gestures to bring Facebook, Google and PayPal to Montana. Well, it will never happen unless we improve our business climate.

In fact, Facebook has even said the problem with doing business in Montana is the business equipment tax. [1:34]

Greg Gianforte supports tax relief and wants to eliminate the business equipment tax to help Montana’s business climate and create high-paying jobs.

Greg knows what it takes to do business in Montana and create high-paying Montana jobs because he’s done it here. Greg founded a start-up in his home and grew it into Bozeman’s largest commercial employer– creating over 500 high-paying Montana jobs.

Meanwhile, Bullock has left a terrible mark on Montana:  Nationwide, Montana ranks almost last in good jobs available, we are the 7th worst state to make a living, income for millennials ranks lowest in the country, and we rank near dead last in salaries– 49th in the nation!

This is a crisis. It’s essential Montana reduce its tax burden if we want to attract employers, help small businesses grow, and create more high-paying jobs.

Montanans deserve a Republican Governor who understands what it takes for businesses to succeed and knows how to create high-paying Montana jobs.

Bullock VETOES Tax Relief Bills

SB 171 | Comprehensive tax reform that reduces and simplifies Montana’s tax rates from 7 to 2 brackets and eliminates special interest loopholes (2015)

SB 200 | Lowers state income tax rates for all Montanans and reduces the capital gains tax to help small businesses grow and create more high-paying Montana jobs (2015)

HB 166 | Lowers state income tax rates for all Montanans  (2015)

SB 282 | Comprehensive tax reform that reduces rates for all Montanans and eliminates special interest loopholes (2013)

SB 394 | Provide a one-time tax cut to all Montanans (2013)

Governor Bullock’s Bad Business Climate

Montana greatly needs to improve our business climate if we are going to attract employers, help small businesses grow, and create high-paying Montana jobs. Without an improved business climate, Montanans will continue to see their kids leave home in search of better paying jobs and families will continue to struggle living paycheck to paycheck.

Montana needs a leader who can strengthen our economy with their experience growing small businesses and creating high-paying Montana jobs. Unfortunately, Montanans are stuck with Governor Bullock (until November). Bullock just isn’t up to the task of addressing the crisis Montana faces with our weak business climate and lack of high-paying jobs.

It’s time for new leadership in Helena. It’s time to elect a Governor who will put Montana first and finally address this crisis.

Montana’s Crisis: Weak Business Climate, Lack of High-Paying Jobs

Juneau’s Gun Control Birthday Bash

Denise Juneau brings Steny Hoyer– the number two in House Democrat leadership– to Montana today to celebrate her birthday in Bozeman. Denise Juneau is being sung Happy Birthday by an extreme liberal who has a ZERO percent rating from the NRA!

The last time Steny Hoyer was here in Montana he was raising money for John Lewis’ failed House run. At the fundraiser, Steny Hoyer revealed the Democrat playbook: Cover up the candidates’ anti-2nd Amendment agenda to win the election and then they will turn around and take away our right to keep and bear arms.

Steny Hoyer: “I’m not from Montana, I have a zero rating with the NRA, and I would not recommend that John use gun control as part of his campaign… But I will tell you …  if you have a Democrat in charge of the House of Representatives, those issues will have a shot.

Denise Juneau and Steny Hoyer’s Washington D.C. values have no place in Montana. Our elected officials swear an oath to defend and protect the Constitution– including the right to keep and bear arms. For Juneau to so blatantly showcase her anti-2nd Amendment agenda goes to show Montanans can’t trust her to protect our way of life.

Bullock Leads From Behind; Flip-Flops on Colstrip

Governor Bullock is once again reacting to the leadership shown by Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte, who has repeatedly called on Bullock to defend Montana jobs and Colstrip. Bullock has now reversed course and asked Washington Governor Jay Inslee to VETO a bill aimed at shutting down Colstrip and resulting in the loss of 700 high-paying Montana jobs.

For weeks, Greg Gianforte has asked Bullock to fight back against Inslee’s Colstrip Shutdown bill, only to be told: Bullock isn’t likely to ask Inslee to veto the measure.

Yesterday, Bullock caved and asked Inslee to VETO the bill: “I still asked Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to veto it because I think we can do better.”

Wow–That’s quite the flip-flop, and there’s nothing like waiting until the last minute to change your mind with the bill’s April 2nd deadline right around the corner.

But, this isn’t the first time Bullock’s failed leadership has been on display when it comes to fighting for Colstrip and Montana jobs. He never had the courage to try and stop a similar bill in Oregon that also puts the future of Colstrip at risk.

The Colstrip community and Montana workers deserve leadership on this issue– not watch Bullock scramble as he leads from behind.

Earlier this week, Bullock also raised eyebrows when he snubbed Montana’s energy community after agreeing to speak at the 2016 Montana Energy Summit. His no-show isn’t the signal you want to send to this community dedicated to developing Montana energy and creating thousands of Montana jobs.

Bullock was probably uncomfortable attending a meeting that would upset his fringe environmental allies, who he is heavily dependent on for their money and support (or, maybe there was just no campaign fundraiser to piggyback onto the trip).

Montana faces threats from Obama’s job-killing energy agenda to efforts by Washington and Oregon to shut down Colstrip, and the last thing Montanans want is an inept Governor who repeatedly lacks the leadership and inability to fight for Montana jobs. Montanans deserve a Republican Governor who they can always count on to defend their jobs and fight for their livelihoods.

Billings Gazette Rips Bullock for Abusing Tax Dollars

The Billings Gazette took to their editorial board today to rip Bullock for campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime scheduling “questionable” and “weak” official state business trips to mask his true intentions of flying on the State plane to raise campaign money. They also note that more than a month has gone by and Bullock refuses to fulfill information requests made by the media about his State plane travels and emails related to his fundraisers. Bullock’s stonewalling the media by refusing to provide transparency about his taxpayer funded campaign trips. Bullock really does believe he’s above the law and accountable to no one– even the people he was elected to represent.

The Billings Gazette raised a number of important questions that Montanans deserve to have answered:

  1. Will Bullock stop abusing taxpayer dollars and pay for his campaign travels like other Montana governors have done in the past?
  2. The State plane cost $1,650/hour so why can’t Bullock make the drive from Helena to Bozeman, Butte, and Missoula and save taxpayers money?
  3. Does Bullock plan to ever honor the media’s information requests about his plane travels and emails related to his campaign fundraising trips?

Excerpts from the Billings Gazette–

Gazette opinion: Plane-gate may mean more rules necessary

Last week, Gazette reporter Tom Lutey reported a series of questionable trips taken by Bullock around the state which conveniently had fundraising stops attached.

Questionable because the official business — besides the fundraising — seemed rather weak, especially at $1,650 per hour of airplane cost at taxpayer expense.

It seems to us Bullock’s trips across the state that seem to magically coincide with fund-raising events aren’t just accidental. And, it makes sense from a time and resource perspective to pair those events. However, it raises the question: Should the taxpayers of Montana be on the hook to foot Bullock’s expense as he tries to raise more money? Why should he get a free ride when his opponents don’t get the same opportunity? And, just saying that Bullock is doing what others before him have done is a lousy excuse that we shouldn’t tolerate. Because someone else did the wrong thing shouldn’t excuse it forever into the future.

Other governors in Montana have paid for part of their trips when a fundraising event was scheduled out of their campaign. Marc Racicot paid for part of the costs when he would “piggyback” fundraising events onto official business. When the trip was completely for fundraising, Racicot took a private plane.

Just as questionable as running around in the state plane for fundraising is Bullock’s need to fire it up to go from Helena to Butte. We imagine that there’s hardly a time savings for such a short trip (less than 70 miles), by the time you figure out shuttling to the airport and getting ready to fly.

Both of these cases seem to have a common theme: Taking advantage of a taxpayer resource. 

Yet, examples like flying from Helena to Butte have us rethinking the position. Is Bullock — or any governor — so important that he or she can’t spare the extra time to drive between those two communities?

Life in Montana means roads and roads mean driving. We’re not sure why the governor doesn’t have the same sensibility, especially for short distances.

And if he is using the state plane for fundraising, why not reimburse Montana for the expense? It saves on the charade of trying to explain why making sandwiches is essential state business.

The Gazette began asking for the governor’s travel itinerary and emails related to this trip more than a month ago. We’d point out that a simple calendar request should not take this long. 

We’re not certain what is so cumbersome about releasing Bullock’s schedules or his email.

It only gives the appearance that Bullock has something to hide, or that it looks exactly like he’s taking advantage of a taxpayer resource.