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Daines' words aim to mislead constituents

2014-08-10T00:00:00Z 2014-08-10T16:06:07Z Daines' words aim to mislead constituents The Billings Gazette
August 10, 2014 12:00 am

Plagiarism is, and should be, the "original sin" in journalism. In demanding that John Walsh withdraw from the Senate race, however, The Gazette has placed sanctimony above its responsibility to advocate for the issues facing Montana.

Steve Daines wants to voucherize Medicare. He voted against equal pay for equal work. He is against raising the minimum wage. He is in favor of selling our public lands. He off-shored thousands of jobs while working for Proctor and Gamble.

He voted to reduce federal food and heat subsidies to our most vulnerable; Gov. Steve Bullock had to use the state general fund to provide these services. We paid twice, since our state taxes were used when our federal taxes should have sufficed.

Daines sponsored the Government Shutdown Prevention Act in spring 2013. He then voted to shut down the government in October.

Walsh borrowed another person's words to bolster his academic argument; Daines showed his opinions are only as reliable as political expediency dictates.

Mitt Romney claimed that Obamacare cuts $700 billion from Medicare. Daines is using that quote in one of his ads. Politifact called this statement "mostly false" (Tampa Bay Times, Aug 15, 2012). Misleading one's constituents is much more egregious than a missing footnote.

The Gazette should not let moral indignation deflect it from comparing the two candidates with journalistic integrity. Then, and only then, should it decide upon its endorsement for Senate.

Gary Mermel


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