Gianforte Weighs In On Montana Tech Rumpus

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 9.42.29 PMIt was revealed last week that Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul from Bozeman who apparently believes that the earth is 4,300 years old, has been invited to speak at Montana Tech’s graduation. This touched off a stir,  with stories in Montana and national press.  Students and teachers at Montana Tech are organizing a boycott.

Gianforte’s wife was also invited to give the speech with him, in a kind of duet.  But she has her own problems–she’s a big player in the “christian shop-owners must have a right to discriminate against LGBT people” movement.  She recently testified against Bozeman’s proposed non-discrimination ordinance, and Gianforte bankrolls the non-discrimination ordinance opposition.  His wife is chair of the pro-discrimination bunch’s board of directors.

To smooth things out, Gianforte today wrote a piece of his own, in the Montana Standard, defending himself.   Strangely, he makes no mention of his “young earth” theories, nor about whether such beliefs should disqualify a person from speaking at a geology school.

Rather, he addresses discrimination (without specifically mentioning his wife or the fact that she’s the chair of the board of the organization fighting to keep discrimination legal, which Gianforte bankrolls), and claims that he opposes it.  He also says that the best way to deal with it is to give people a good education so that they be raised to know right from wrong.  He then goes on to list all of his educational philanthropy–all the money he has given in the pursuit of better educational opportunities for young people.

Therefore, if I hear him correctly, Gianforte believes that his wife needs to be sent back to school, and be taught that discriminating against LGBT people is wrong.  Perhaps Gianforte can set up a scholarship for her, with the money he demands back from the Montana Family Foundation.



38 Comments on "Gianforte Weighs In On Montana Tech Rumpus"

  1. Aware and Not stupid | April 1, 2014 10:05 PM at 10:05 PM |

    So what’s the big Kerfluffle with Greg Gianforte Cowpie? I thought you represented the political party of Tolerance? Or is it that you only tolerate those who agree with the agenda of the left?

    • Ahem … Cowpie is not anything remotely resembling “left.” Man, I hate it when Democrats are portrayed as being lefties as they make unjust illegal wars and attack civil rights and protect bankers. But American politics is corrupt all around, so I am not surprised at your odd perception.

    • Because the Gianfortes represent intolerance you fool. Of course somebody who represents tolerance is intolerant of intolerance.

    • The “Christian” right asks ‘us’ constantly to accept that their motives are guided by their religious “values.” It seems some people/students have reviewed the “values” and found them weak. We are not expected to share all the same values – that’s what makes us “free”. It is not “intolerant” to choose science or dignity.

  2. Aware – Just to be clear, you’re equating being born gay with choosing to be a bigot, and then urging tolerance for bigotry and calling anyone who doesn’t support bigotry intolerant. Got it.

    • Aware and Not stupid | April 2, 2014 9:42 PM at 9:42 PM |

      W.H. This has nothing to do with a persons sexuality and everything to do with the intellectual dishonesty of those who are so intimidated by Mr.Gianforte’s success and intellect that they’re not willing to hear a point of view that might differ from their own.Very immature and speaks volumes about tolerance or the lack thereof.

  3. My problem with his speaking at the Montana College of Science and Technology (this might give my age) is that he believes that the Earth was created less than 6000 years ago. As a grad of this great college, I can’t understand how someone that can’t understand many of the courses taught in Geology and Petroleum would be allowed to speak.

  4. better education opportunities for young people? sure at the same time he’s been bankrolling measures and groups to undermine Montana’s excellent system of public education. He is not an appropriate choice to speak at a public institution of higher education.

  5. It’s like if a medical school brought in the state’s leading advocate of treating people with leeches and bloodletting. A complete embarrassment for the school and for the state. It makes people worry that their degrees will be perceived as a joke and that they won’t get jobs. This lunatic needs to step aside.

  6. From the front page of the creationist museum Gianforte paid for in Glendive:

    The mission of the Foundation Advancing Creation Truth and its related ministries is to glorify God as Creator and Sustainer, emphasize man’s accountability to Him, and challenge the hearer/visitor to think through the humanistic concept of evolution. Currently this is achieved through the Fossil Digs at Glendive where fossil excavation of dinosaur bones is done in the context of the flood of Noah’s day.
    Or you can see the museum director present about why the book of genesis is important to dinosaurs

  7. “Strangely, he makes no mention of his “young earth” theories, nor about whether such beliefs should disqualify a person from speaking at a geology school.”

    Good one.

  8. Another billionaire speaks with forked tongue. He and his paid for politician, Daines, need to crawl back under their 6,000 year old rock.

  9. From the Montana standard.

    Greg Gianforte started a little tech company in Montana (yeah, not California or Seattle or New York) and grew it into a business that created hundreds of new jobs and sold for $1.5 billion in 2012. He’s launched five software startups and was a vice president for McAfee. He founded Bootstrap Montana, a program to help new entrepreneurs grow their businesses and obtain loans. And most recently, he’s leading a program (announced in September at the Montana Economic Summit in Butte) that’s helping Montana high schoolers learn computer programming.

    According to his website, Gianforte has spoken at the Harvard Business School, Cornell School of Business, Stanford, Stevens Institute of Technology, Berkeley, Marquette, London School of Business and both the University of Montana and Montana State University.

    The man knows a thing or two about business, regardless of his opinions on dinosaurs. He told the Standard his and his wife’s speeches won’t include anything about their social views.

    Besides the practical knowledge students may absorb, there’s the principle. As an institution of higher learning, part of Tech’s job is to expose its students to an array of viewpoints. By no means do we share the Gianfortes’ opinions about gay rights and evolution, but we believe students and faculty at Tech are mature enough to determine for themselves what to think.

    Did you catch the part where he and his wife are not going to discuss social issues? Could it be he is merely going to share a few pearls of wisdom regarding success and giving back to the community? Gosh, how awful. Perhaps Cowgirl you could start an online petition asking for the Gianfortes to take their businesses, JOBS, money, and charitable giving to another state like Idaho as some in Montana just can’t stand success.

    • so craig-if they were segregationists who advocated for apharteid, they should still speak as long as they dont discuss theirnracial beliefs?

    • Then invite him to participate in a lecture or seminar, where there can be some give and take. When anyone stands before a graduating class that person identity becomes entwined with the school. Aside from the being a devoted to “beliefs”, there also seems to be an additional question: what does it say about inviting the richest (and probably very powerful) person in the state to speak at graduation? Sometimes the measure of “success” is confused with just being rich.

  10. He also supports paying for PRIVATE education with his foundation. Want to bet the schools he supports don’t teach science?

  11. Craig, by your standards George Wallace could have delivered commencement speeches at Howard University if he avoided the topic of segregation? Public figures, like little Greggy aspires to be, stand for all of their views. Not just the ones they wish to put on display.

    I find it ironic that Greg is chagrined by the backlash he is receiving upon his first foray into public life as he has certainly spent the better part of the last decade providing funding for groups that shoot from the dark at existing public figures.

    If I were Greg, I’d quit whining. Hell, at least the folks attacking him have the courage to do so in the daylight!

  12. There is absolutely no reason to allow a scientifically ignorant person the honor of speaking at a highly respected school of science.
    “People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.”

    – Neil De Grasse Tyson, Letter to the Editor, New York Times, December 21, 2006

  13. Ask for the chancellor, let your opinon be know…..let’s bring on the voodoo for med schools!

    Montana Tech
    North Campus
    1300 West Park Street
    Butte, MT 59701

  14. Maybe we can get that Laszloffy gal to perform a resurrection during intermission? That there would we be some fancy stuff …

    • And Laszloffy’s daughter, Holy Molie, a rep. in our legislature, and elected on her pop’s holy coat-tails and her constituents get the gov’t they deserve, but that doesn’t mean the minority must endure the majority tyranny forever. Let’s also bring along ‘Birther Bob’ while we’re at it, and a few
      ‘sovereign citizen’ buffoons for added flavor and we can all walk hand
      in hand with Jesus and the Dinosaurs!

      • Let’s not forget to add some public beatings and then we can have a ‘fully informed jury’ score the quality of each act …

  15. I just saw his TEDx talk. You don’t want to sit through this egomaniac’s BS no matter which side of the argument you are on. He is so great – just wait, he will tell you all about it. As for his place speaking at a science institution, irony?

    • And I thought TED talks had integrity, which is lacking in Gianforte’s protege ‘Shutdown Steve’, as Daines now attacking the EPA as ‘heavy-handed’ in enforcing the CLEAN WATER ACT in Great Falls, where city government FAILED (on top of coal plant disaster) to keep eye on the ball and take corrective action YEARS ago, so bad decision have consequences for inattention by City Hall in Great Falls. Daines is just being a very ‘slimy’ political opportunist who knows – and cares – nothing for what’s really happened here in Great Falls.

  16. Make no mistake Gianforte is a political operative who has used his massive wealth and influence to fight against Public Education, Unions, Healthcare for kids, Science in schools, Gay Rights, Native American issues, etc. Gianforte’s group, that he co-founded, the (Family Foundation) is the main reason Medicaid expansion failed in Montana. He has been honored by “Americans for Prosperity” (Koch’s front group), for his support of sectarian religious schools receiving our tax dollars. The business that “he” built was actually built with 20% Federal dollars while he promotes the “Free Market” for the rest of us. Gianforte is a radical religious, anti-science, neo-con, ultra right winger…. don’t be fooled he is setting himself up to run for Governor, everything he is doing is for his political gain right now.

  17. So, when does the screaming start about the Rocky commencement?

    • Heck, Rocky had the founder of the American Nazi Party speak a few years ago–Gianforte to him is like Mussolini to Hitler, that is to say small change.

  18. ============================================
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    [W]hoever MT. Cowgirl is, that particular journalists Has Shown an “Uncanny Knack” of tracking down insider information **Before anyone else, Including Most Journalists.**
    The anonymous “Montana Cowgirl” has been doing Professional-Style “oppo” Research Work in the State.”.– the **Associated Press reported.**

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  20. Message to all Christians “You, because of your beliefs, are not tolerated. Shut up, and do not get involved in public live.”

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