Additional reading: Our one pager on the Montana Senate election.
Senator Steve Daines of Montana wants you to believe he’s a moderate willing to reach across the aisle for the good of the country.
We say: hogwash.
The truth is that Daines is just another out-of-touch Republican beholden to corporate interests – a loyal foot soldier in Trump’s army who has voted with the President in every major piece of legislation since 2016. For Montana, a state that prides itself on choosing candidates who vote according to Montana values, rather than party lines, Steve Daines has been a massive disappointment. At a fundraiser in February, he told the pro-Trump audience that his seat “is the firewall for freedom” that will allow the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate. He’s talking about the freedom to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no plan to replace it, to stand by while the integrity of our elections is threatened, and to give everything from net neutrality to public lands up to the whims of private industry.
Daines is trying to talk a good game about his record on the environment, but facts are facts: his lifetime scorecard with the League of Conservation Voters is an embarrassing 6%, winning him the dubious honor of a place on the LCV’s “Dirty Dozen” -- the twelve candidates with the worst records on the environment -- alongside other Flip The West targets Martha McSally and Cory Gardner. For a state that’s rightfully proud and protective of its natural beauty, Daines is catastrophic. He sponsored legislation to remove protections from 17 million acres of wilderness nationwide, including hundreds of thousands of acres in Montana that experts call “some of the wildest terrain left in North America.” He repeatedly voted to allow the sale of public lands to developers and oil companies, against the wishes of the majority of Montanans. And he voted to confirm a man who believes all public land should be in private hands to head the Bureau of Land Management.
He’s also a lifetime member of the NRA, whose most recent accomplishment was getting almost killing the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act because it prevented domestic abusers and stalkers from procuring a gun. The NRA has rewarded his loyalty with their highest honor – an A+ rating. When Delta and United Airlines decided to stop offering discounted fares to NRA members following the tragic Parkland shooting in Florida, he took to Twitter to announce he was boycotting both carriers!
One issue that he’s uncharacteristically transparent about is abortion, and – spoiler alert – he’s unambiguously anti-choice. He boasts a perfect 0% lifetime rating from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
Daines’ hardline immigration rhetoric, opposition to women’s health, and catastrophic record on public lands make him out of step with the live and let live spirit of Montana. By 2020, voters in Montana can chart a different course into the great wide open, and Flip the West is here to help.
Vote Record Hall of Shame
- Voted to make abortion after 5 months punishable by up to five years in prison (H.R. 36, 2017)
- Voted against expanding background checks to purchase guns (S. Amdt 4750, 2016)
- Voted against authorizing the Attorney General to deny the transfer of a firearm to a known or suspected terrorist (S. Amdt 4720, 2016)
- Voted for the GOP tax scam, a deficit-busting giveaway to multi-national corporations and the super rich that makes our country unprepared for future economic downturns (H.R. 1, 2017)
- Voted against a reserve fund for paid sick leave for American families (S. Amdt 798, 2015)
Lifetime Report Cards
- Anti-Workers’ Rights: AFL-CIO: 13%
- Anti-Environment: League of Conservation Voters: 4%
Anti-Gun Safety: NRA: 86%