GUEST POST: Gallatin Valley Dems Disagree

by Rep Tom Woods (D) HD 62 

Sen Mike Phillips(D) SD 31

Sen JP Pomnichowski (D) SD 33

Rep Zach Brown (D) HD 63

Rep Chris Pope (D) HD 65

Rep Denise Hayman  (D) HD 66

It was disappointing to see that most of the Republican legislators in our county signed a letter asking our governor to block Syrian refugees from coming to our state.  Given that there are NO Syrian refugee requests to settle in Montana their letter appears to be the worst kind of politics: that which opportunistically capitalizes on fear.  It’s just one of the reasons why we Democrats refused to sign this letter. There are others.

The United States has long benefited from welcoming people in search of a better life. Most all Americans have ancestors who’ve come from other nations. When America welcomed us, the door didn’t close on others, and it shouldn’t now.  We wish to see our country remain a haven from oppressive regimes and religious extremism. It’s what has made us a great nation.

It’s important to ask ourselves what are the terrorists want to accomplish. They want us to be afraid.  Well, we refuse to give them what they want.

We feel that anybody who undergoes the rigorous qualifications of achieving refugee status should be welcomed to Montana regardless of their religion or the color of their skin. This is about maintaining our values.



9 Comments on "GUEST POST: Gallatin Valley Dems Disagree"

  1. Superb, very informative also provocative,
    interview with former Isis hostage Henin.
    Way beyond main street media spin on refugees from Syria!
    Watch it and be all the more grateful for the letter
    of six Democrats from Gallatin Valley!

  2. Good example of why we Gallatin County Dems are so proud of our legislators!
    Here’s my two cents on that subject, from the Chronicle a couple of weeks ago:

    Congress recently passed a bill excluding refugees fleeing regions made hostile by US-fueled war. It is irrational, racist, ill-conceived fear mongering in the wake of the Paris tragedy.

    The xenophobia is reflected here in Montana. Extremist state Republican lawmakers Art Wittich, Jedediah Hinkle, Scott Sales, Kerry White and Matthew Monforton have rushed to join the shouting for exclusion of Syrian refugees, fanning the flames of anti-Muslim bigotry sweeping the country.

    They’ve forgotten former President George W. Bush’s statement: “… Muslims make … valuable contributions to our country … doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads … and need to be treated with respect.”

    We have deep concern about the refugee crisis, hoping the United States will lead the international community in effectively addressing it.

    All countries have an obligation to not send refugees back to harm. History reminds us that our country turned away thousands of Jewish refugees in the early 1940s, many of whom were then slaughtered by the Nazis.

    We cannot in good conscience treat refugees as someone else’s problem. We must show leadership and the political will to respond to this crisis. As a country of immigrants and refugees who, in its finest moments, has been devoted to helping others, we must not now turn away those who are helpless and at great risk.

    In voting to bar refugees from Iraq and Syria from entering the United States, Congress embodies a racism and xenophobia which are un-American, doing great harm to people desperately needing help, fleeing the violence and brutality of war. More than half are children or youth, many orphaned by war, facing incredible hardships and trauma as they flee.

    We must not sit idly by as our representatives in Helena and in Washington continue to pursue this shameful policy. The American way is to help those in need.

  3. There is an excellent vetting process in respect to the entry of refugees. According to Nicholas Kristof in todays Times, since 2001 more than 700,000 refuges have entered the USA without an incident of terrorism. My grandparents were refugees from Russia. We are most at peril when we act scared and are willing to remedy a perceived problem with temporary amnesia concerning our constitution. I do believe many Republicans are masterful at creating a problem, politicizing the contrived issue and providing the solution, while vilifying the innocent with the wrong nationality or religion de jour for the sake of political expediency.

  4. fear and tax cuts seem to be the new GOP platform. they have failed to do their Constitutional duty and put forth a plan of their own for handling extremists in the Middle East and are content to sit and criticize and yet sadly, the voters are letting them get away with it. geez i hate this time of year-a contest is underway to see who can vanitize the Lord’s name the most, those of us agnostics who act like Christians are accused of abusing the holiday while a perfect Anti-Christ like Trump is headed for the White House-i wonder if it’s worth the bother some days…

    • You sound ready for the Citizen’s Equality Act (
      * Change the way we fund campaigns, so that congress gets its attention off the small number of number of people who fund political campaigns and back onto the majority of people in the states and districts that they were elected to represent.
      * End political gerrymandering, which has created so many “safe seats” with representatives that aren’t concerned about needing votes from the other party in order to be re-elected (which contributes to the polarization in congress).
      * Make election day a national holiday, along with other reforms that promote greater democracy.

      There is planning in the works to craft a bill that is ready to sign as soon as the new president and congress take office, and to support campaigns for Congressional and Presidential candidates that go on the record in support of the Citizen’s Equality Act.

  5. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” – FDR Stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters whenever and wherever you have the opportunity!

  6. People need to hear this side of the story! We need to kill the ISIS narrative by welcoming and protecting the refugees who are fleeing the false “Caliphate”. Everyone who flees is an insult to ISIS and proves ISIS is illegitimate and not of Islam. The greatest threat to ISIS is our kindness. Listen to a former hostage of ISIS in the link below, he says ISIS leaders were very worried that people fleeing could delegitimize their cause, but the minute countries announced they would refuse refugees ISIS celebrated.

  7. Wanting Isolationism is the first pure fact that conservatives are no longer American in Nature. I still can’t wrap my head around the GOP notion, that we must be afraid of people being gunned down and decapitated as they run from that carnage….to our country for hope.

    We never ran from any fight for right, especially the mind games of tyrants, yet here most republicans are playing right into the hand of Daesh’s game plan, which is make the west fear and abuse the muslim people until they turn back to radical thinking and them for help…. not us.

    Republicans have made our beacon of welcoming light wither until it is only a matchstick of light unto the world….a nation of fear mongers who want to hide in the night…. and no longer the light.

    A country to weak to beat bad ideas between our shores is too weak to beat ISIL and Al Qaeda Ideas anywhere else. And the solution is simple America, be a real christian, or a real American. But in today’s America that seems too hard for republicans who back violent Idealism like the NRA and watch Fox News instead of believing in their own personal savior, The almighty!

    I am ashamed of Republicans in our country right now. especially the 55 idiots that wrote that letter to our governor in Montana and continue to spread Un American Ideas in this state.

  8. The Montana Republican party is really showing how ignorant, racist, and hateful they really are. Through the vetting process, we know more about refugees coming to the US than we do about red blooded Americans living in our communities. You know, the guys who murder and maim people in Grade schools, high schools, movie theaters, churches, Planned Parenthood clinics, places of work, etc. Yet we see the GOP quaking in their shoes at the thought of sheltering Syrian families running for their lives from ISIS. Even worse, the latest polling show most Republicans in Montana want the Facist Hitlerite, Herr Trump for their next President! Are there any decent, intelligent people left in the GOP?

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