Candidates for governor disagree over who is more committed to shared goals

Greg Gianforte and Steve Bullock debate in Big Sky on a stage with no front light.

Greg Gianforte and Steve Bullock debate in Big Sky on a stage with no front light.

Seriously, are there no downstage lighting positions in the auditorium at Big Sky Resort, such that Montana’s two candidates for governor must debate as sharp outlines whose faces are shrouded in darkness, like the dream sequence from a David Lynch movie? I guess not. Greg Gianforte1 and Governor “Steve” Bullock coalesced from the shadows to disagree about which of them was better equipped to increase jobs, protect our Second Amendment rights, and preserve access to the fields and streams of Montana last Sunday. Neither man offered even the kind of minimal detail that a four-instrument high cross system would have brought to their facial expressions. They spoke competently, vaguely, and tepidly, even managing to find agreement on the contentious topic of gun control. Quote:

Bullock began by emphasizing his commitment to the Second Amendment and his role in Heller v. District of Columbia, a Supreme Court case that affirmed the right to own handguns for self-defense. “Ultimately, I will protect all Montanans’ rights with the firearms,” he said, “but I’m not going to extinguish common sense.”

“This is another area of clear distinction,” Gianforte responded. I still can’t decide if he was joking, but he went on to tout his own commitment to the Second Amendment, contrasting his own “A” rating from the NRA with Bullock’s “C” and criticizing the governor’s veto of a bill that would have allowed Montanans to carry concealed weapons without permits. The clear distinction, it turned out, was between the candidate who thinks we don’t need to exercise any more control over guns and the one who thinks we exercise too much already.

You can read that hot fire and more like it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent, which practically begs for a more interesting gubernatorial race. Be careful what you wish for. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.


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