• Getting the Message Out

    The mainstream media, both nationally and here in Montana, continues to try to spin up stories of disarray in the Republican Party.  Media outlets want to paint Republicans as disorganized and chaotic, as if there have never been primary elections in U.S. history. Here in Yellowstone County, we responded to those efforts.  See the editorial printed in the Billings Gazette here.

    Unfortunately, in exercising “editorial control,” the heart of the piece, which outlined the real differences between Republicans and Democrats, was gutted in the printed version.  Here, for those who are interested, is the original editorial in its entirety:

    Primaries are a sign
    of strength, not weakness

    By Dale Mortensen, Jennifer Owen and Anna Woods

    The Gazette’s front page story on January 13, 2014, “GOP Showdown,” seems to suggest that primary elections are a new Republican invention and that the very soul of the party is at stake in 2014.  Reality, as usual, is quite different.

    We, as local leaders of the Republican Party in Yellowstone County, are proud to volunteer our time on behalf of a party that welcomes a robust exchange of ideas, a party of people eager to put their diverse philosophies to the voters and serve the state we all love.

    Republicans constantly question the proper size, scope, and role of the government – an examination we would urge our friends in the Democratic Party to undertake on occasion.   While the Obama-Bullock agenda depends on inserting bureaucrats into every aspect of our lives, Republicans are regularly assessing the constitutionally appropriate balance of government and liberty.  Sometimes, that debate plays out on the floor of the Montana legislature, other times in primaries.  Regardless, we believe these debates to be healthy, productive, and entirely consistent with the noble founding of our Nation.

    Many Republican legislators have differing opinions for the future of our party and our state.  Some of those legislators will face primaries.  This is a natural part of a functioning republic and is certainly nothing new.

    Candidly, we prefer to be in a party with principled leaders who bring such passion and dedication to public service, rather than a party that meekly marches in lockstep to a single ideology. Democrats demand loyalty and obedience above all, because those are behaviors essential to centralized government control.  Republicans, on the other hand, reflect a wide spectrum of philosophies and, consistent with our commitment to liberty, we do not require our members to leave their personal values at the party door.

    What unites us is an unwavering faith in the people.  Republicans trust individuals, Democrats trust institutions.  The distinction between the two parties has never been more apparent.  The 2014 elections will offer Montanans a clear choice between more government-sponsored train wrecks like Obamacare, or greater freedom and real solutions for individuals and businesses.

    At our core, Republicans are committed to more economic liberty, less government intrusion, and new opportunities for families to thrive in a free society.  We know that a large number folks in Montana are struggling, and that growing government solves nothing.  Democrats are working overtime to cultivate dependence on government programs, spreading the myth that a faceless bureaucracy can solve the problems everyday folks are facing.

    Republicans stand united against that creeping deception – we know that there is no kindness in encouraging people to rely on an impersonal system.  The bureaucracy’s only goal is its continued expansion, not providing actual solutions that help people in need.

    Democrats make promises that the government can never keep and then blame the taxpayers for not spending enough.  The Montana Republican Party is united against that empty rhetoric.   We believe in liberating people from the heavy hand of government, in using the levers of limited government to empower communities and families, and in creating a business-friendly environment that allows real growth.

    Montanans are facing critical decisions about the future of our state. Do we want the benefits of responsible natural resource development, or do we intend to regulate jobs out of existence? Do we want an education system we can be proud of, or the institutionalized groupthink of Common Core?  Do we want to embrace economic growth that lifts people up, or do we want to expand government programs that only make poverty tolerable?

    Members of our party may differ over individual policies or proposals, but that is an honest reflection of our commitment to freedom and independence.  Republicans are united as a party behind a shared vision of a better, freer future for Montana – a vision of limited, affordable government that is accountable to its citizens and allows liberty and growth to flourish.  This is what we fight for every day, and we look forward to putting our message to the voters in November.

    Dale Mortensen is president of the Midland Empire Pachyderm Club and a candidate for House District 44.  Jennifer Owen is chair of the Yellowstone County Republican Party. Anna Woods is chair of the Yellowstone County Republican Women.