House of Representatives
Education, whether public or private, is an economic, cultural, and civil benefit to our communities, state, and country. My beginning in education was as a middle school math and science teacher. As the superintendent of one of the 15 largest districts in the State of Montana, I have unique skills and experiences separating me from the typical candidate.
Education has been the ping-pong ball batted back and forth depending on the Washington leadership. Education in Montana should remain in local control and that means that federal overreach and unfunded mandates should be addressed.
1. I support public education as an obligation of a community and not a right of the individual.
2. I support limiting federal overreach in our public schools including unfunded federal mandates where local taxpayers pay the bill so that Congress men and women can say they didn’t raise taxes.
3. I support competitive funding options for public schools that don’t mix publicly collected funds or tax benefits with private schools.
4. I support legislation creatively dealing with federal noncompliance other than withholding federal funds that, when broadly applied, negatively affects students.
5. I support legislation supporting local district interests in providing balanced educational options without violating the Bill of Rights.
An educated society is a free society. Education isn’t a partisan issue when education empowers individuals to, as Aristotle said, ‘entertain a thought [that is not your own] without accepting it.’
In over 20 years in education, I’ve found that we agree on foundational principles the overwhelming majority of the time. Increasingly in our culture, as is the case in today’s political climate, we confuse disagreement(s) over details with our ability to reach common agreement in principle(s). As a result, how we treat people suffers.
Civility is more than being cordial. Civility is the ability to genuinely listen to ideas, even disagreeable ideas, while always maintaining the high value for the person sharing the ideas.
As your Congressmen, I’m committed to:
1. Actively listening and processing the ideas and concerns of ALL Montanans as I would want my ideas and concerns to be treated.
2. Finding common ground where it genuinely exists and pursuing solutions with that in mind.
3. If we disagree, maintaining civil discourse and/or relationship.
Civility is a two-way street where ideas are exchanged without compromising the values of the people sharing the ideas. This concept is the bedrock of our country, our Constitution, and similarly, my campaign. Should you elect me your congressman, my door will always be open, and I will always listen to you, even if I disagree, even if I ultimately vote the other way. Let’s make it happen.
I'm pro-life as a matter of principle. My position in the pro-life arena is different from other candidates. I take a Whole Life position that is inclusive of life beginning at conception.
As a life long educator, I’m committed to lifelong service to all children at all stages of development. This means a child’s earliest stage of development starts at conception when its DNA is unique from both the DNA of the mother carrying the child and the father. Too often, we in the pro-life movement criticize our throwaway culture, but prematurely end our conversation at the prevention of an abortion. We have an obligation to the child, mother, and father, an obligation beyond the unborn being born. For a family in crisis, the crisis doesn’t end at birth.
We must provide for the needs of the child and mother, and strive to support the parents in raising a productive citizen.
1. I support a Constitutional Amendment defining human life beginning at conception.
2. I support the Hyde Amendment.
3. I support providing for the basic needs of the child and those of the parents as they directly relate to the needs of the child. Particularly, in providing access to well child screening and early childhood education.
Life is precious no matter the stage of life. The lives of those who cannot reasonably protect or preserve for themselves are depending on us to preserve and protect their lives and that doesn’t end at birth. Let’s make it happen.
I’m a gun enthusiast and a champion of the freedoms afforded by all the Amendments, including the 2nd Amendment. Firearms have been and continue to be an important part of my life, this state and country. My family and I take firearm ownership seriously. We value hunting, recreational shooting and personal defense as part of normal everyday life. I am a certified firearms and CCW instructor, USPSA Class C pistol competitor, reserve sheriff’s deputy, avid hunter, and family man.
Guns, like computers and cars, are tools. Public debate regarding the 2nd Amendment has increasingly seen more emotional rhetoric personifying guns as evil. No one blames a hammer for hitting the thumb.
I am committed to maintaining the fabric of all the Amendments including the 2nd Amendment as essential elements of a free society. For this reason, we all need to play a more active role in modeling civility and holding human life at its highest value.
I support basic firearm safety training in all public schools in a similar manner as internet safety and driver’s safety.
I support more effective enforcement of current laws and regulations with an increased investment of human resources before adding any more gun control laws.
I support efforts to improve civility and the value of human life above any disagreement (Whole Life) as the most effective option in decreasing violence, including the number one killer involving guns: suicide.
The 2nd Amendment is a freedom we must protect even when others abuse that freedom, just as we defend the 1st Amendment when abused by others. In order for freedom to exist, we must also accept the risk that others may abuse that very freedom. I am committed to reducing violence perpetrated by people and protecting the 2nd Amendment from being given away to fear. Let’s make it happen.
We live in a Constitutional Republic where our representatives are elected to connect the concerns of Montana with Washington. The failure of politicians to be present until it’s time to be elected is a message that voters hear loud and clear. The reliance of politicians on electronic communication as the primary mode of connecting with their constituents, is weak and unsatisfactory. As an educator, there is no substitute for face to face communication. While Washington has never physically moved further away, our representatives have become more distant from their voters.
The pattern of having town hall meetings as elections near is cramming before a big test that you can’t pass. The frustration Montanans have repeatedly shared is not understanding what is happening in Washington. Our elected leaders must do a better job of pulling back the curtain of Washington for Montanans. My background as an educator and bringing people together, is the experience needed to bring Washington closer to Montanans.
We need our political leaders to remain connected to Montanans.
As your Congressman:
I will visit all 56 counties at least once between election cycles and do a town hall.
I will assemble a team who will answer your phone calls, your emails within 48 hours, even if it’s just to tell you we’re on it.
I will provide updates to Montana through various means to make sure that all Montanans have increased access to the goings on in Washington.
In any family, there is no better way to build a relationship than being present and hearing the concerns of Montanans requires being present. You have to show up. While there is a job to do as our representative in Washington, the adjective ‘Montana’ comes before Congressman. Let’s make it happen!