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4 Questions MTGOP Gubernatorial Candidates Should Be Asked (But Probably Won’t)

by Matthew Monforton Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Montana’s Republican candidates for governor, Congressman Greg Gianforte (MT-AL), Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, and State Sen. Al Olszewski, will have their first (and, so far, only) scheduled debate in Billings on Thursday.  It’s a Republican primary, so it would be really cool if there were a few questions that Republican voters care about rather than the entire evening consisting of mainstream-media pap.  Here are a few that would liven up the night – and help separate the two conservatives from the RINO:

(1) Would you invoke the authority President Trump has given to governors to ban refugee resettlements in Montana?

Until recently, governors have never had any real say on federal immigration policy.  That changed in September when Trump signed Executive Order 13888, which authorizes state and local officials to object to refugee placements in their jurisdictions.

Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT) has refused to exercise this authority. Shockingly, so has virtually every Republican governor.

Executive Order 13888 is best thought of as the No-More-Omars order.  Trump signed it in response to the Left’s strategic packing of “refugees” into pre-selected congressional districts. That strategy is an existential threat to Republicans because it enables America-hating anti-Semites like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to roam the halls of Congress. More will join Omar unless Republican governors take a stand.

The cancellation of conservative Montana votes with those from pro-Democrat Third World “refugees” is already under way, as the New York Times recently noted.

Two weeks ago, Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) became the first (and, so far, only) governor to invoke Executive Order 13888. Do our gubernatorial candidates agree with Governor Abbott? Or will they sellout to Democrats, establishment Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce, newspaper editorial boards, and immigration activists?

(2) How would you as governor defend Montanans’ religious liberties?

Donald Trump is president today because millions of Evangelicals and Christian fundamentalists correctly concluded in 2016 that: (1) religious liberty was subject to unprecedented attacks by Democrats, (2) the GOP establishment and America’s clergy repeatedly surrender in response to these attacks and (3) Trump wouldn’t.

Despite the importance of religious liberty to Republican voters, however, none of the MTGOP candidates running for the U.S. Senate in 2018 were asked about it during the GOP primary debates. Perhaps someone will raise the issue on Thursday, especially given that Montana Democrats’ religious bigotry is becoming more virulent by the day.  Here are the latest examples:

  • After the Legislature enacted a tuition tax-credit in 2015 that expressly included both religious and secular schools, Bullock’s Department of Review declared the credit unavailable for donations to religious schools. On Wednesday – 24 hours before the debate in Billings – the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments as to whether the Bullock Administration’s actions violated the First Amendment rights of Montana Christians.
  • Last month, Bozeman High School revoked official recognition of the school’s local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  The reason?  FCA believes in the sanctity of marriage.  That’s literally it.  Here’s what I had to say last month about this blatant bigotry.
  • Democrats dumped $50,000 into the “nonpartisan” 2016 Montana Supreme Court election in support of a candidate who spewed anti-Christian bigotry against his opponent – a Christian law professor teaching at the University of Montana.  The MTGOP, of course, spent not a dime supporting the Christian candidate.  The bigot won. 

It would be nice to know if our candidates for governor are cool with the MTGOP’s perpetual capitulation to religious bigotry – and what (if anything) they intend to do about it.

(3) Would you sign Medicaid Expansion bills allowing for taxpayer-financed abortions?

The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funding (which is the source of most Medicaid funding) for abortions.  States can still use their own money, however, to pay for abortions for Medicaid patients.  Montana does exactly that.

By dramatically increasing the number of persons eligible for Medicaid, the Medicaid Expansion bill passed by Montana Democrats and fake “Republicans” has dramatically increased the number of women eligible for taxpayer-financed abortions.

What do our gubernatorial candidates think of this? 

We already know Fox’s answer. He insisted in 2012 that “Montana needs an attorney general that will stand up to the federal government, mainly because of the Affordable Care Act.” Fox has since changed his tune, so much so that, when other GOP state attorneys general filed a lawsuit challenging Obamacare, he filed an amicus brief in support of Obamacare. This would explain why Fox is Montana Planned Parenthood’s favorite Republican.

Let’s hear on Thursday night what Gianforte and Dr. Al think about increasing the number of taxpayer-financed abortions in Montana.

(4) Will you continue the Bullock Administration’s policy of enrolling ineligible persons in Medicaid Expansion?      

The Legislative Auditor recently determined that the Bullock Administration has a 50% error rate in determining whether persons are eligible for Obamacare-Medicaid expansion.  Naturally, Bullock officials have responded with threats against him.  Would any of the MTGOP candidates have the courage to insist on enforcing Medicaid eligibility rules, and removing ineligible persons from Medicaid rolls?

Montana Republicans deserve at least one gubernatorial debate in which Republican issues are at least occasionally brought up.  That didn’t happen much during the 2018 Senate race.  Hopefully, the debate this Thursday in Billings will be different.


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