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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Gianforte Extends 'Regulation Roundup' Tour

Republican candidate for governor Greg Gianforte.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio
Republican candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte.

Today, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte is announcing an extension to his listening tour of more than 60 cities, according to a campaign spokesperson. Gianforte says what he is calling the ‘regulation roundup’ tour is an opportunity to listen to Montana's ideas about business-suffocating regulations that he would put an end to.

Here’s Gianforte talking to a crowd of about 13 people during his stop at Helena Motors on Friday:

“We need regulations. But, because no regulations would give us anarchy, too many regulations give us strangulation. But, as I talk to people today, we are way closer to strangulation than we are to anarchy.”

Helena McDonald’s franchise owner Terry Gauthier came to Friday’s meeting worried about the the EPA’s Clean Power Plan carbon emission reduction regulations.

"I’m a little worried about taxes rising, to make up for shortfalls in the state budget. As a business owner I’m always looking at the bottom line.”

Gauthier said he likes incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, but he hopes Gianforte will win. Gianforte has never held public office and is running on his creditably as a successful software entrepreneur.

He’s giving voters a picture of Montana where wages are too low and government regulations stifle business growth. Governor Bullock promotes just the opposite view of the state’s economy.

“There is a lot to be excited about right now from a government that is living within its means. Business are constantly innovating and leading the nation to a growing highly skilled workforce that can compete in the global market.”

Bullock made that argument at the kick off of the ‘Business Navigator’ online tool his office announced earlier this month in Missoula in front of local business owners. He says the Navigator will help streamline Montana entrepreneurs’ path through government regulations. Bullock’s event wasn’t pitched as a campaign stop, but it directly countered Gianforte’s ongoing claim that small businesses face excessive regulation.

“We need your help. Because as business leaders you are the driving force in our economy and you can point out where the obstacles are, where the opportunities are, where we should be doing better in partnership, not only with the private sector, but also with the educational sector and all throughout.”

Gianforte will visit about 11 more cities during his ‘regulation roundup’ tour as the two front-runners for the Governor’s seat try to win the affection of Montana’s workforce.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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