Steve Bullock, Greg Gianforte Trade Barbs Over Campaign Cash Pledge
Campaign finance looks like it will continue to be a hot topic in the 2016 gubernatorial campaign. Today, January 21, Republican candidate Greg Gianforte sent a pledge to rival Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, asking him to sign a “Campaign Integrity Pledge.”
“We need elected officials to remember that they are here to serve the people- not the other way around," Gianforte said. "We have too many officials who act as though they are beholden to the special interests in Helena and in Washington, DC. That's why, today in our capitol city, I want to send a clear message: No special interest PAC money. I'm tearing up the checks. And I'm calling on you, Governor Bullock to do the same.”
In an associated press release Gianforte went on to criticize the Governor for raising “3 million dollars in dark money while serving as the head of the Democratic Governors Association.” Governor Bullock’s campaign manager Erik Hyers called the pledge a gimmick.
"Look, for Gianforte to be taken seriously, why doesn't he start by pledging he won't spend or funnel more than $1,300 of his own fortune into this campaign? Here's a guy that's dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into groups who lobbied against Montana's DISCLOSE Act. And a guy that has a Koch brothers' PAC, Aegis PAC, soliciting funds on his behalf on this very day. Montanans shouldn't waste time on his tired political gimmicks and hypocrisy."
Hyers said that the Bullock campaign does not plan on signing the pledge.
Governor Bullock made campaign finance reform a major campaign issue during his first election and the issue has worked its way into nearly every statewide campaign since the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United Decision.