Cambell understands the needs of Belgrade

Most folks are busy with commitments to family, work and community, so it’s difficult to stay informed about politics. But the choices we make have very real consequences. There are some clear choices to be made in the upcoming election.

You can choose to have your taxpayer dollars support quality public education or see that system weakened as dollars are siphoned off to private schools over which you have no control. You can choose to support quality, accessible, affordable healthcare or allow our current programs, as imperfect as they are, to be degraded. You can choose to have lower prices for prescription drugs or allow greater profits for drug companies. You can support the rights of workers to earn a living wage or you can choose tax cuts for the wealthiest and less revenue to support services for mental health, affordable housing and infrastructure. You can choose continued access to our public lands or see them sold off to private interests and public access denied.

Colette Campbell has lived, worked and raised children in this community for nearly 35 years and understands the needs of working families. Her career as a Head Start educator, a public employee at MSU and board member of MFPE representing educators, highway patrol, nurses and public employees reflects her commitments. Colette is an honest, passionate, hardworking advocate for the needs of working families. The choice is clear: Vote for Colette Campbell for HD67 and ask your friends to do the same.

Mary Brauer



Bullock led us through pandemic and will do right for all

I think that we Montanans can all agree that we’re looking for someone to represent us in the Senate who we trust.

After leading our state for eight years, Governor Bullock has proven that he’s a man of heart and integrity, and that he will follow through on his word.

Governor Bullock has led us through the pandemic with honesty, transparency, and accessibility, and he has spent his years in public service doing what’s right for all Montanans. I have known the Governor for many years and know that he will work across the aisle to do the same in Washington.

I hope that you will join me in voting for Steve Bullock for Senate this fall.

Penelope Pierce



Veteran insulted by Daines’ mailer 

Steve Daines sent me a mailer yesterday. Said because he is the son of a veteran, he knows “firsthand the sacrifices our veterans have made.” It is with this that Daines irretrievably loses any chance for my vote.

I spent a year in the field artillery with the Americal Division in Vietnam. The people who know firsthand what that means, and its aftermath, are those who served beside me and those whose experiences in war were similar to mine. Not my daughter, not colleagues who have not served the USA in its armed forces. Stories told to you by others when you are sitting in a comfortable chair are not “firsthand” experiences. It is deceitful to suggest they are.

Rank untruthfulness seems not to matter to politicians this year. But lying outright to veterans to try to seduce their votes crosses the line in so many ways. We have decisions to make this election, but I sure as heck will never vote for Daines. It would be disrespectful to veterans everywhere to do so.

Tom Stonecipher



Hinkle holds himself to daily mirror test

A year ago, I had the opportunity to meet Jedediah Hinkle and since than I have been able to get to know him fairly well. Jedediah is a man who holds himself to his own daily mirror test. As a Montanan he values the people of Montana. Jedediah believes in Bipartisanship and has established great relationships with all parties in the legislature. An example of this is when he visited the legislature last session. Generally former legislators receive an introduction and warm welcome on the senate floor. When Jedediah visited, a Democrat Senator insisted on introducing him, and while he received a warm welcome, she mentioned how the legislature had “missed his service.” This introduction was huge and having such kind words mentioned by the opposite party said a lot about Jedediah’s character. Jedediah knows that finding success at the Capitol includes listening, treating others with respect, and finding the common ground

While he is working hard for us, his opponent is working harder to slander his character. As I have done research into what his opponent is claiming I am finding that she is misinterpreting legislation and blatantly lying about his voting record. To the extent where she claims he opposed bills that his official voting record shows he supported. I encourage voters to do their own research and be a fact checker. His dishonest opponent is simply not the right person for this position.

Jedediah Hinkle is the right choice for HD67, please join me in supporting him!!

Disa Duncan



Let’s not turn Belgrade into Bozeman

 Recently, my neighbor, Jay, got a “pending fine” notice. His infraction? A pile of mulch. He’d received it from a tree service—a surprise donation—and was steadily using it up on his property and donating it to other gardeners.

Then the fine. A fine for the rich is annoying. A fine for the poor means devastation. When you’re both poor and getting older (that’s Jay), a fine can mean eating poorly for months. Ultimately, friends banded together to help, and Jay narrowly escaped the fine. But his better half hurt her back in the fray and hasn’t gone to a doctor. Can’t risk surprise not-covered expenses! What a heap of unnecessary stress for this gentle and kind couple.

Congrats Belgrade. You’re saving the city from…. Working class gardeners. This incident is part of a new pattern. The poor are being targeted for cosmetic infractions that have never been fined before. This began as a few nearby lots became “gentrified”. What’s going on?

The same strategy began in Bozeman about 20 years ago. Fine and tax the poor out of their neighborhoods, then rich developers move in. Both Belgrade Police and City Council, you know what you’re doing. Stop it. Just. Stop.

Police make a million daily decisions about whether to warn, fine, or let minor infractions slide. This is not an anti-police letter. This is a request for wise policing. Talk to residents. Give appropriate mercy. But become another Bozeman? Let’s not!

Cynthia Lewis



Libertarian candidate’s daughter questions election laws 

A drone hovered over our goat pen a couple weeks ago, then a federal agent trespassed on our land. We trust our neighbors, so these things wouldn’t usually worry me. The drone? Oh, we’d think, some child at play. The federal agent? Probably a neighbor.

Things haven’t changed since Dad decided to run for state senate. We still love our neighbors. But after John White hired my siblings, subtly interrogated them, then reported us for campaign fraud, I’ve been wary. 

I’m wondering, “Who do our campaign laws protect?” 

To fix the violation my father applied stickers to his posted signs, “Paid

For By John Lamb (L).” I spent hours stamping 5,000+ cards, my younger siblings also helping.

My dad spent the little he has so he might serve. Wishing to comply with our state laws cost him even more. We were told, “ignorance is no excuse.” Thus we’re facing prosecution and fines, as well as a tearing down of my father’s character.

These laws are supposed to assure we’re elected by our neighbors. I get that, and I want that, too. But this feels like a cutthroat move made legal by politicians looking out for their careers. Real neighbors would talk with you first, right, before reporting? And wouldn’t use children to get to the father. 

Why do we have laws that encourage neighbors to turn on neighbors? While having offices filled with the very same people the laws were designed to protect us from?

Maybe my family is the exception. Maybe this isn’t how most down-to-earth men candidates have it. Maybe the laws usually do guarantee good men succeed.

Or is it that those who would take advantage of people like my family have power? Are our regulations backfiring on the very people we wish to protect?

Keturah Lamb



Daines, Tester need to ease ‘burdensome’ loan repayment terms of MAAPP

Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester should push Congress to ease the overly burdensome loan repayment terms of the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs (MAAPP). These loans gave health care providers like First Choice Home Health a financial lifeline at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we are facing rigid loan repayment terms that Montana providers need Senators Daines and Tester to urgently address.

Currently, MAAPP loan terms require providers to begin loan repayment just 120 days after receiving the loans, with a repayment period of 12 months for hospitals and 210 days for other providers. If providers do not meet their respective repayment deadline, the loans are subject to a 10 percent interest rate. Additionally, providers will not receive Medicare reimbursements once repayment begins and until the loans are fully repaid. For home health services like ours, this could be financially devastating.

Providers across Montana’s entire health care community will be hurt by the terms of these loans unless Congress acts soon. In addition to extending the repayment period to a minimum of 36 months before interest begins to accrue, Senators Daines and Tester must work with their colleagues to reduce the interest rate applied to MAAPP loans—ideally to no more than one percent.

I hope Senators Daines and Tester will work with their colleagues in Congress to address the onerous repayment terms of MAAPP so Montana’s

Norm Dreyer



Montana needs superintendent who supports education

Montanans value our public education system and don’t like when politicians take public money to pay for private school tuitions most of us can’t afford. Superintendent of Education Elsie Arntzen’s support of the recent Supreme Court decision and other measures strengthen the privatization of education in Montana at our expense.

Montana’s public education system gives children an equitable chance for a great education. To keep it that way we 

need a Superintendent of Education who will ensure that our taxes are focused on our public schools, which, in turn, benefits all Montanans. That person is Melissa Romano.

Elected Montana Teacher of the Year in 2018, Romano’s extensive experience in the classroom means she knows the value of public education. She wants to keep our schools strong and make them even better by developing a preschool option which benefits children and their working parents. She’ll fight to keep our children safe as long as the Covid virus is a threat.

We need Romano because she believes in public schools. For the sake of our children and parents working hard to combat Covid-19 in and out of the classroom we should support Romano and ensure her election in November.

Peter Schweppe