Bullock and Gianforte Campaigns Trade Barbs Over Selling Public Lands
The issue of selling public lands continues to pop up during the gubernatorial race between Democrat Steve Bullock and Republican Greg Gianforte, oddly, it’s a policy that neither candidate is supporting on the record. However, Bullock’s Lt. Governor Mike Cooney says Gianforte has not been direct with the public.
"When our opponent [Greg Gianforte] was asked about this issue, he has said, 'the time is not right now,' so, he is leaving the door open. I think people need to question him about that particular issue. I think it is very important in Montana, what happens if there is going to be a major effort to transfer federal lands to the state, I think people need to know. I think Governor Bullock has made it very clear: 'Not on my watch.'"
Gianforte Campaign spokesman Aaron Flint says that there is a candidate who will sell public lands, but it’s not Greg Gianforte.
"Very clearly [Greg Gianforte] has stated that he will keep public lands public," Flint said. "In fact, lets put the perspective out there, both men were on the debate stage last Sunday in Big Sky, Steve Bullock and Greg Gianforte, there was only one man on that stage who has actually sold public lands, tens of thousands of acres of public lands, and that's Steve Bullock."
The issue of transferring land management isn’t just confined to the Gubernatorial race, It also occurs frequently in the battle between Democrat Denise Juneau and Republican Ryan Zinke for Montana’s Lone U.S. House seat. Similarly, neither of those candidates are pushing for a federal transfer of lands either.