I am the proud father of two kids, Grace and Jack. While they’re not quite Irish twins, they’re close enough to keep us very busy. We spend as much time as we can in Montana’s outdoors.
I also have a solo law practice that specializes in civil rights and employment law. I’ve had the opportunity to help ordinary Montanans against some of the biggest companies in the world. To me, the best expression of American democracy is a jury trial because it literally puts American justice into the hands of its citizens.
I was proud to sponsor House Bill 626, which was a commonsense proposal to protect the Smith River. The bill was simple: Leave it like you found it. If a proposed mine is going to cause damage in perpetuity, it doesn’t get a permit. We had incredible support from Montana’s $5.8 billion tourism industry, including Simms Fishing Products and the American Fly-Fishing Trade Association. We also had support from Montana’s environmental community, like Montana Trout Unlimited and Montana Environmental Information Center. While the bill was killed in committee, I will keep fighting to protect this iconic river.
Keep Montana’s best and brightest here in Montana. Help businesses compete in the 21st Century. Expand opportunities for all Montanans.
Montana families need a break. Studies show that investments in pre-K education returns up to $17 for every $1 we invest. We need to set ourselves up for success here in Montana by expanding in early education. We can also help Montana families by creating simple, self-sustaining paid family leave program. When we put families first, they can take the time to care for a sick child, heal from an injury, or provide for an aging parent. It’s time to put families first.
The IssuesThere is a movement to privatize our public lands. As your legislator, I understand how important public lands are. They’re important not just for the tourist dollars – a recent study showed that tourism generates nearly $4 billion in tourist spending annually; supports 38,800 jobs; and produces $276 million in state and local taxes. Public lands are much more than that, though. Public lands are the heart and soul of being a Montanan. As a father who spends time on public land with his kids, I understand how it is to keep public lands in public hands.
Montana has the tools to expand its economy and create opportunities, but we have to invest in the future. By expanding broadband access to entrepreneurs, we can encourage job growth and keep the best and brightest here in Montana. By investing in basic infrastructure, like roads and bridges, we set the stage for businesses to invest here. By making college and apprenticeship programs affordable and available, we can spur job growth. I will focus on expanding opportunities to all Montanans.
An investment of one dollar in early education can produce up to seventeen dollars in return. Kids who learn to read and write turn into adults who have successful, rewarding careers. Kids who go to school early stay out of jail, stay away from drugs, and don’t get pregnant. I will fight for Early Edge Montana, which is Governor Bullock’s program to fund pre-K programs because our kids deserve a fair start.