Gianforte Gets Shamed By Whitefish Brewer

Greg GianforteGreg Gianforte

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.


39 Comments on "Gianforte Gets Shamed By Whitefish Brewer"

  1. The only way Gianforte can win is if he creates a false narrative and runs across the state like Chicken Little screaming that the sky is falling. He is counting on the low information voters and the misinformed which are in large part the Republican base. The Republican voter has been conditioned (brainwashed)over many years to react positively to anyone who says “Government regulations are the cause of all problems”. Gianforte is using the Scott Walker/Koch/AFP playbook (fear,lies and half truths) to achieve his radical agenda. If elected he will put Montana in the race to the bottom along with Wisconsin and Kansas. Gianforte can not be trusted.

    • You are correct. Unfortunately, low information voters are the majority in this state. I will bet anybody that Trump wins Montana in November.

      • Donald Trump, the front-running “Lemming.” Ever wondered where he’s taking the Republican Party and once he becomes “Lemming in Chief,” where he’ll take the country? I’ve heard he’s good at running down-hill into Bankrupcy.

      • In the doctor’s office waiting area last month, an a Senior-Citizen man and wife and I got to talking, agreeing that everyone is unhappy with the country, Congress, the divisions, the hatefulness. The man said he thought Donald Trump was the best choice for president. I didn’t dare ask “Why?”. He said they watch Fox News and believed CNN was opinionated, favoring the liberals. I didn’t dare ask what they thought of ABC, CBS, or NBC newscasts. The couple was from rural Montana. They seemed like nice, everyday people. And, sure, they will vote for DT, if the GOP nominates him; and, if so, you and I both can be sure they will help carry DT in Montana. Scary.

      • Calling Trump to take Montana is hardly “going out on a limb” …

    • Low information voters is right! Two of my best friends who are registered Republicans are paying no attention to any of their own candidates, much less the Democrats. I get so angry with their ignorance but keep my mouth shut because they are good people. If they bother to vote I imagine they will select the GOP nominee regardless of the fact that his policies would cut their throats!

  2. As an Independent, Gianforte has not said or done anything to convince me a change is needed from the current administration. I’m looking forward to a debate between Gianforte and Mark Perea.

  3. If the state has “too much regulation,” how did he get around that and grow his business? What is different now than then?

  4. I take issue with both Gianforte and Konopatzke. As for Mr.Gianforte, We need more regulations when it comes to reigning in the money bags of these people running for public office. And as for Ms. Konopatzke the product they sell has put Montana in the top bracket of the states with the most vehicle deaths which were attributed to Alcohol as well as Suicide related deaths. Seems our elected leaders should be more concerned about the real cost to life and property than the revenue it “depends ” on from the sale of Alcohol,and to be promoting other types of business. Is anyone else tired of their comeback about people drinking responsibly?? If we had treatment centers instead of jail it would get people bwck in the work force helping to pay taxes into the system instead of putting more burden on the already overburdened tax payer.

  5. This guy is scary, and I can’t believe the number of people in our little town who are buying into his rhetoric – people I thought were relatively intelligent and would do some studying on what he’s all about rather than simply supporting him because he is a Republican and a slick talker!

    • Again – people you thought were relatively intelligent are probably low information voters, and are going to vote for Trump as well.

      The sooner the Democratic party gets over the myth that the average Montana voter is smart, educated, and well-informed, the sooner you will get back to the business of regaining the legislature.

  6. I take offense at the misappropriation of cowboy culture. You can’t use words like “Roundup” in Montana when we already know you are hat and no cattle. Those tactics might seem quaint or powerful back east, but we actually know what the word means. Don’t position yourself as an insider when you aren’t.

  7. Remember the Cowboy Creed the Republicans were all aflutter about in 2011. The one that Kinda of went like this, but fails to take in the whole code cuz some guy wrote a book for Wall street with ten commandments ( the real code has more about honesty and taking care of people)?

    1. Live each day with courage

    2. Take pride in your work

    3. Always finish what you start

    4. Do what has to be done

    5. Be tough, but fair

    6. When you make a promise, keep it

    7. Ride for the brand

    8. Talk less and say more

    9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale

    10. Know where to draw the line

    “The Code of the West was a gentleman’s agreement for certain rules of Moral conduct. though It was never written passed into statutes, it was put into the riles of conduct for the State house. It was supposed to be respected everywhere under the Capital range of this “Big Sky State.”

    The Republicans haven’t lived by any of this code (ie. take Art Wittich, or Mike Miller for examples), the Montana state GOP went batshit crazy over years ago. And that goes double for the base of their party, since they don’t seem to care how many Cowboy codes their represenitives break under the sun.

    Montana ain’t for sale Republicans! Yet, you are again backing a man who can’t keep a promise to the Big Sky populace and will try and destroy Unions like Scott Walker did… selling our state to out of state Corporations, and right wing extremist groups.

    That means Greg Doesn’t ride for our brand either, but people like the Koch Brothers.

    Greg and republicans gaggle’s Idea of branding, is outsourcing Montana’s service jobs to other countries where it is far cheaper to hire people and not worrying about safety rules and regulations, and other pesky laws that keep Montana workers happy and safe while pulling in money for their families.

    Oh Greg might talk less than others but that’s because his actions speak louder than words. Attacking people because they live a different lifestyle or paying dearly to cram our children’s heads with religion instead of science. Religion doesn’t pay you. you pay for your religion every time you go to church on sunday…..You pay a lot more like your liberties and freedoms to work for a good salary when the republicans get done with you.

    and Greg believes the world is only as 4000 years old, and Dinosaurs and men lived together? Doesn’t that tell you anything about his state of mind, or the republicans for that matter?

    Look around folks, In this state every bad thing that has happened was under the administration of a Republican Governor. from ignoring our Native Indian Brothers to opening the Libby mine, and later Ignoring, not caring for the people who contracted cancer from the asbestos in Libby; Covering up the environmental reports of Montanans poisoned…. Thank goodness real Cowboys like the federal Government and Democratic Governors finally stepped in and stopped the senseless destruction of Montanans health….

    Schwitzer put us as a state Back in the black in Montana, from Republican Malfeasance and Bullock has kept us there in the Black and growing. I say don’t take a chance on people who won’t follow their own code! Go with what is right and keep people who will keep Montana Strong.

    • Sorry for the typos! They happen!

    • “That means Greg Doesn’t ride for our brand either, but people like the Koch Brothers.” The Koch Brothers are Gianforte’s brand.

    • I’m not trying to act ugly here, and I sincerely mean it; but, this so-called Cowboy Creed is little more than a list of subjectives which can be kneaded to serve anyone and everyone, by groups or desperately, regardless of whether left, right, middle, committed, independent, whatever. What does “Do what has to be done” mean? Does it mean take over a wildlife refuge in Oregon? Cannot any one or all of the listed Cowboy Creed precepts serve one as equally as the other, serve what one might believe to be evil as well as what another might cherish, see as admirable? The obvious alternative suggestion, “Do unto others…,” is porous, too; but, maybe it is a bit more comprehensible, applicable.

  8. Well, not quite zero.
    I ran an urgent care practice in Helena.
    3 years of harassment from the board of medicine killed my business.
    15-20 employees
    $60,000/ mo payroll.
    Grossed 3 million/year.
    And patients have less choice.

    • Like to know what the complaint was from the medical board? hearing one side of the story doesn’t mean the whole story is out there……

      • I can’t speak for Dr. Ibsen, of course, but from what I read in the newspapers he was threatened with a prison sentence for taking care of patients with chronic pain. The DEA has been expanding the scope of their duties by going around threatening providers for writing prescriptions for opiate-based pain killers. There is a DEA agent based in Bozeman now, wouldn’t surprise me if there were 4 or 5 DEA agents operating in MT. Being sick or elderly does not make a person a drug addict, DEA doesn’t seem to get that.

        • The DEA doesn’t seem to “get” much of anything. Look at their track record in this country on killings of innocent people in their raids that are being done to protect us from those nasty doctors and drug dealers. We don’t need another branch of the Department of Defense. Maybe all the DEA agents need to attack the opioid problem at the source-Afghanistan/Pakistan and big Pharma.

          • Those countries are not the source of the problem and addiction is NOT a disease. Addiction is a symptom of a disease and until we attack the cause of the symptoms-the actual disease-we’re just chasing our tails. I am a nearly 30 year veteran of the opioid wars. My spine is held together with 1/2 pound of steel and titanium and chronic pain has been my constant companion. I still have the addiction but my real “disease” is under control. (thanks in large part to cannabis but that’s another story) In many cases the “disease” is lack of education and a nagging doubt your life will be better than your parents, along with a permanently dim financial future, maybe a prison record, many factors that result in a cultural bipolar disorder. Much like terrorism, until we solve the problems that create the symptom all our efforts will be in vain.

      • More people die from overdose of Prescribed meds than from illegal drugs these days. You can blame states like florida, and their doctors who have Habitually overprescribed Opiates, to the point the Feds had to get involved. Because of Florida’s rampant Opiate pill problem, the feds got involved a couple of years back in every state.

        Thats not our state medical board… they are almost non existent. According to their own state website, they haven’t put out an advisory of any kind since 2013. So how Greg Giafonte or anyone thinks he can fix the federal Government dabbling in Montana under what has always been their Fed Jurisdiction, regarding pharmaceutical drugs is beyond me. Bullock knows this is Fed Jurisdiction and the laws are responsible for all states compliance …So if the Montana republicans are promising shit they have no power over as far as state Powers…. Its time to stop fooling yourselves. the power lies with the DEA and FDA not the state

        Again I say Fed Control not state.

        Lastly, there just isn’t enough information given here at this time regarding the doctor or the feds, to pick a side in here in Montana.

  9. Too much regulation? Ha. He needs regulating.

  10. I do not doubt that there are annoying and/or burdensome regulations in some industries, but what Gianforte and all of the GOP presidential candidates are playing to are authoritarian voters — people who like the idea of rules applying to other people, just not them. In other words, they like strict rules for employees because they see themselves as the boss who writes the rules but doesn’t have to follow them.

    Aside from Judy Martz, Montana has enjoyed a great deal of stability under the present and previous Democratic governors, so clearly, Gianforte’s story isn’t about logic.

  11. Anyone want to write a letter to the Montana Standard and shed some light on Gianforte? Here is what the area Republicans say, they seem to think not answering a yes or no question is answering the question honestly, and they think anyone who does not support Ginforte’s pie in the sky AFP/Koch lies does not live in reality:

  12. Yep, ‘RAT’ Raciot left us a nice ‘TIME BOMB’ with de-reg and fled the state to be a disciple of Dubya and find nice, cozy positions on Fortune 500 boards.

  13. People please! I am not asking you to argue with people about the merits of Donald Trump. But I do believe it is important for us to tell people that we have a difference of opinion and we will not be voting for Donald Trump . Or Mr. G. You will be amazed what happens when you step up to the plate and tell people that you will have to agree to disagree And that you have a different opinion. You are a nice person too! If you say nothing, they assume that you are in agreement. Don’t miss any opportunities to have a meaningful dialogue. It is possible, I do it all the time. I have been a lonely liberal in conservative rural Montana for most of my life. People respect me. Sometimes they seek me out because they know I might have a different opinion. Try it, you’ll like it!

  14. I am thankful for the cowgirl blog!

  15. I would like to add comments about a great book I just finished. DARK MONEY by Jane Mayer. If you want to learn about the Koch Brothers political machine, read it. It is powerful, well written, Well documented. If the Koch brothers could sue, they would.

    • And does the book say anything about how to fix the problem? I’m W-A-Y past convinced that we need to fix the money in politics problem, I’m looking for the best way to do that.

      So far I like MAYDAY (, which is working to elect people to congress who are committed to changing the way we fund campaigns, and Issue One (, which is has a lot of former elected officials involved in fixing the problem. If there are more effective approaches out there, I’d love to hear about them.

      • If you haven’t explored the website called Follow TheMoney yet, you probably should! It is filled with very detailed information about where candidates receive their funding.and it is easy to cross reference in your search for interesting tidbits. I believe they were the recipient of a MacArthur grant recently.

        • OK, so I took a look at It has interesting data, which you can slice and dice to come up with things like:
          * Zinke has gotten 131 contributions totaling $61,905 from Missoula
          * Juneau has gotten 667 contributions totaling $50,714 from Missoula
          Those can sorted by various things like occupation and size of contribution.

          It’s an interesting source of information, but not quite what I’m looking for. I am already convinced that we have a “money in politics problem,” which causes all kinds of problems in government. At this point, I’m personally less interested in data about the problem, and more interested in “How do we fix the problem.”

          We need a bill, for example the Government By the People Act (H.R. 20) ( The bill needs to be passed by congress, so MAYDAY ( is working to elect representatives in congress who support that sort of change. It seems like there also should be an effort to lean on the people already in congress, but I haven’t seen that yet. Or maybe there’s something else that would be effective.

          • I took a look at the site, thanks for providing the link. But it was not apparent to me exactly how the amount of money might be limited. Rather, this proposal provides a method to steer established public money toward elections. I must say the information given was rather vague. I don’t know the answer to this expanding problematic situation, but I still think it is helpful for people to be able to determine the source of funds for candidates that represent them. It does take a certain amount of time and effort to determine the funding of politicians, but at least the researchers from the website Follow the Money have done the legwork.

            • “was not apparent to me exactly how the amount of money might be limited. Rather, this proposal provides a method to steer established public money toward elections.”

              Yes. Actually limiting the money is a bigger problem, because the U.S. Supreme Court has been saying that political money is a form of speech and therefore covered by the First Amendment. Dealing with that requires either a constitutional amendment, or for the Supreme Court to reverse itself. Publicly funded elections is something that congress can do without a constitutional amendment, or the Supreme Court. It provides an alternate pathway for funding a campaign, which makes it easier for a candidate to stay focused on the people who elect them, rather than also being pulled by those who fund them.

              “I still think it is helpful for people to be able to determine the source of funds for candidates that represent them.” Absolutely!! It’s just not what I personally am focused on at the moment. I personally am focused on how to solve this problem.

  16. Any Dark Money in Montana passages you could share?

  17. I guess beer is where it’s at! What about the coal and oil jobs that have been destroyed or blocked by this Administration, and they don’t stop, they want to completely eradicate the whole thing and put up a few more windmills! Drive through a few small towns and you will see that the last thing to go is always the bar. I enjoy having a drink with friends as much as the next guy, but those towns with only a bar left are on their way out! We need deregulation of our natural resources such as coal and oil more than than we need a good beer! It’s a luxury not a necessity! Check out North Dakota and all the high paying jobs that were destroyed by this Administration. Those jobs produced high wages and taxes which helped everyone. The local economy and the state, as well as the nation benefited from those jobs. But, because someone else believes they know better, they run roughshod over others. It takes everyone from the janitor to the CEO of any good organization to build this country. What we don’t need are a bunch of politicians in faraway places deciding how we should best run our businesses. The know-it-alls in Washington need to step back. Our country was great before they started messing with it!

    • Please consider that it was supply and demand that caused price of oil to plummet, resulting in heavy layoffs in the industry. And the market for coal is drying up faster than a puddle on a hot day. The demand for oil is an international is issue, please inform us how the administration made this happen? I am a fifth generation Montanan and as such am witness to the boom and bust of the natural resource industry n this state. Our big trees that provide the marketable timber have been harvested, the gold is too expensive to get out of the ground (citizen initiative prohibits use of cyanide for my name and everybody is scrambling to clean up the mess already made), The future in Montana is in sustainable things like agriculture, clean industry and manufacturing, tourism and providing services for all of its citizens. I wish people could see the big picture based on historical facts and correct knowledge of events rather than weak unsubstantiated hyperbole.

Comments are closed.