My husband and I had the opportunity to listen to the debate on 9/23/20 on KUFM between Matt Rosendale and Kathleen Williams. I found it quite informative, despite the usual trite political phrases that do not contribute to the conversation.
I didn’t start taking notes until Rosendale said Montana should eliminate the “death” tax. My ears perked up like my dog’s when he hears a squirrel. Take note, Mr. Rosendale, Mr. State Auditor: the “death” tax was eliminated in this State in 2001. Ms Williams rightfully pointed out that there is an estate tax on estates over $5.45 million, and suggested it was “much ado about nothing for 99% of Montanans.”
Now we were paying attention! Next Rosendale suggested tax dollars shouldn’t be used to fund politician’s salaries. Well, not salaries like his! He makes $92,000 annually from us taxpayers, although he refused a modest raise the legislature gave him in July. Kathleen Williams has been paying herself $3000/month out of the contributions individuals have donated. That seems thrifty, doesn’t it? It’s more than my husband and I accrue, but if candidates aren’t wealthy, how can they pay expenses to run for office? I abhor regulations that exclude the less advantaged from having a public political voice.
Ms Williams made a pledge at the beginning of the debate to minimize name calling and polarizing topics by political party, and she did a pretty good job of it. Mr. Rosendale failed on that one, bringing erroneous and irrelevant rhetoric into nearly every response. An example is the old “she’s-gonna-take-our-guns- away-from-us” war cry, which Ms Williams pointed out just isn’t true. Name calling and slogans are a default strategy of the ill-informed, who aren’t equipped to have a deeper dialogue about the critical issues facing our state and the nation.
All in all, Kathleen Williams established that she’s a clear-headed independent voice running for the U.S. House of Representatives. She will dig deep into issues with opponents and like-minded legislators to represent the majority of us in Montana. And she’ll design legislation with the care and research every bill deserves.
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!