….State Senator Jeff Essmann (R-Billings)
Essmann Embarrasses Montana
Very unfortunate incident in Billings two days ago.
Like most Republicans, Jeff Essmann, State Senator from Billings, religiously professes to be concerned about jobs, taxes, spending and the economy–unless, heaven forbid, it would require him to be supportive of a Democratic governor. This week Schweitzer began a series of TV commercials aimed at recruiting businesses into Montana, by advertising Montana’s excellent tax structure, business climate and workforce, and our enviable budget surplus, all of which rank among the nation’s best.
Reporting on the Schweitzer’s unveiling of the promotion campaign, the Billings Gazette quoted Essmann responding to Schweitzer’s efforts:
“Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, who has encouraged the state to recruit businesses, called Schweitzer a “shameless self promoter” for appearing in the ads.”
Later in the article, Essmann is quoted as saying that Schweitzer
“blew a billion dollar surplus” and has “grown government”.
Strangely, Denny Rehberg and Newt Gingrich have both been in the press lately saying the opposite, praising Schweitzer for his fiscal restraint and keeping government as small as possible. So it’s not clear what Essmann is talking about.
But far more troubling than the standard Republican-state-legislator-lies is the fact that a senator from Montana’s largest city has decided to deal with the Governor’s effort to recruit business by insulting him and ridiculing him an lying about him. And it should be noted that Essman’s quotes have now appeared in papers and business trade journals around America, in articles that were intended to promote the state. That’s Jeff Essman’s pitch to businessman around America. “Don’t listen to Schweitzer when he tells you what a strong business climate we have in Montana. He’s a shameless self promoter.”
Good job. The local Chamber of Commerce should swiftly and immediately tell Mr. Essmann to shut his mouth, and retract his comments in the interest of state business development.