Letter to the Editor
In Helena To Lead, Not Follow Party Bosses
April 15, 2020 | View PDF
Last week, Brad Tschida, a legislator from Missoula wrote a letter to the editor criticizing me. There is a reason why Tschida is attacking me: I disagree with Tschida on many issues.
While I normally ignore baseless attacks, because of the current COVID-19 situation I am limited in the personal conversations I would be able to have during a regular campaign season and I want you to know the truth.
Tschida voted against a bill to prohibit sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants in Montana; I voted to prohibit sanctuary cities in Montana. Tschida voted for a liberal version of Medicaid expansion; I voted for conservative Medicaid reform. Tschida is anti-business; I am pro-business. Tschida is anti-agriculture; I am pro-agriculture.
Don’t take my word for it. You can look it up yourself. March 29, 2019, Tschida voted with every Democrat to kill House Bill 147, a referendum to prohibit sanctuary cities in Montana. March 27, 2019, Tschida voted to advance House Bill 425, the Governor’s liberal Medicaid expansion bill, from committee.
According to the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Tschida only voted with Montana business interests 35% of the time, worse than most Democrats. I was named a “Champion of Business.” According to the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Tschida only supported agriculture 73% of the time. I voted with agriculture 100% of the time. This is the guy who is supporting my opponent.
I didn’t get into politics to be a pawn of a party boss from Missoula telling me he knows best how to represent the people of Richland County. I got involved to bring problem-solving leadership to Helena and do that by actually listening to the people I represent. I did that during the 2019 legislature and I’ll take that same approach to the 2021 legislature.
On the votes Tschida criticizes me on, such as funding for our rural airports, County Commissioner Shane Gorder and former Senator Walt McNutt traveled to Helena to testify in support of that bill. On Medicaid reform, the Sidney Health Center board of directors passed a resolution asking me to support reauthorization. These are community leaders whose opinions I value.
As your Representative, my promise remains the same as when I was first elected—I will continue to put Richland County first, be a problem-solver and reject the Washington DC style hyper-partisanship and gridlock that achieves nothing for our district. My commitment to stand up for Richland County will not change because of criticism from a party boss in Missoula or elsewhere.
- Joel Krautter