One of my favorite Montana columnists, Dan Brooks, who writes for the Missoula Independent, has a good piece out about the governor’s race.
So far, he says, the contest between sitting Gov. Steve Bullock and his Republican challenger, Greg Gianforte, has boiled down to partisan attacks on Bullock for using the governor’s plane for personal matters and partisan attacks on Gianforte for a lawsuit he filed nearly 10 years ago to kill an easement that gave the public access to the East Gallatin River across his family’s property.
Both things really did happen, Brooks writes—Gianforte did file a suit and Bullock did apparently overuse that plane—but neither camp has made much of a case for what either candidate will actually do if elected next fall.
“What’s the hot idea out of Bullock for Governor right now, besides that Greg Gianforte tried to shut down a beach?” Brooks asks. “What is the central narrative from the Republican side of the race, except that Bullock misused our tax-funded plane? The problem here is that both candidates are running negative campaigns—not negative in the sense of mean or critical, but negative in that they are constructed in opposition to things.”
I recommend you read the whole thing—or at least make sure you read the dandy opening paragraph. And let’s hope one of candidates takes the initiative soon to make this race about something, rather than against various things.