Greg Gianforte is staging what he calls a Regulation Roundup Tour, holding local gatherings at which he tries to convince the crowd that Montana’s economy is in dire straits, and hat the cause of the problem is “too much regulation.”
Steve Daines has often hit this note too, as have the Republicans in the legislature. “Too much regulation” is what Republicans say when they want to run for office but can’t think of a reason why. With the Montana economy strong and record numbers of business being created, Gianforte is a man who wants to be governor but lacks a purpose for his campaign. And so he’s resorted to the old faithful “too much regulation.”
Alas for poor Gianforte, he was confronted by a major business owner in Whitefish at a recent stop, a woman in the audience who decided to speak up. Rather than trash the Montana economy, the woman spoke in favor of it. As the Daily Interlake reports it:
Jeanie Konopatzke, who co-owns Great Northern Brewery with her husband, said she hadn’t found any specific problems with the current regulatory environment for her business. “I asked our manager and he couldn’t come up with anything,” she said. “We don’t have any trouble recruiting good people. Everyone wants to move here.”
It was a terribly awkward moment for Gianforte. Great Northern Brewery is one of the largest mainstreet businesses in Whitefish. And this woman was being quite honest, and the statistics agree with her. Montana has one of America’s the least burdensome regulatory environments for small business. In fact, the regulatory burdens are essentially zero.