Ad Watch: JET-Pac’s ad critical of gubernatorial candidate Hill

2012-08-30T00:00:00Z 2012-09-25T10:55:57Z Ad Watch: JET-Pac’s ad critical of gubernatorial candidate HillBy MIKE DENNISON Gazette State Bureau The Billings Gazette
August 30, 2012 12:00 am  • 

HELENA — This 30-second TV ad criticizing Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill is from the Montana Jobs, Education and Technology Political Action Committee (JET-Pac), which is financed primarily by the Democrat Governors Association. It began airing in Montana last week.

Script: Narrator: “Who is Rick Hill?”

Rick Hill: “It’s not complicated.”

Narrator: “Hill was a lobbyist, who tried to slap Montanans with a $400 million sales tax. A Washington, D.C., congressman who voted to cut Medicare and raise premiums for seniors. A long-time insurance executive who supports a plan that could charge women higher insurance rates than men. Lobbyist. Washington, D.C., congressman. Insurance executive.

Hill: “It’s not complicated.”

Narrator: “He’s right. And Rick Hill is wrong for Montana.”

Analysis: Hill did work as a legislative lobbyist in 1993 for the administration of newly elected Republican Gov. Marc Racicot, trying to persuade the Legislature to endorse Racicot’s agenda — including a tax-reform package whose centerpiece was a $400 million sales tax. The proposal offset much of the tax increase with lower property and state income taxes. Racicot had campaigned on the issue, saying he would bring a sales-tax package to voters to decide. The Legislature put the package before voters, who overwhelmingly rejected it in a special election in June 1993.

As a candidate for governor, Hill has not proposed a sales tax, has said he has no intention of bringing one forward, and that he wouldn’t sign one if the Legislature approved it. However, he has said within the past year he would be “open” to a sales tax if it were a “substitute tax” replacing another tax.

The claim that Hill voted as a congressman to “cut Medicare and raise premiums for seniors” is a reference to his votes in 1997 for a federal budget measure that passed with bipartisan support and was signed and supported by then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. It did reduce Medicare spending $115 billion over five years, slightly raised Medicare premiums for senior citizens covered by government health-insurance program, included block grants to states to cover uninsured children, and balanced the federal budget.

Hill is a former insurance executive, having owned and sold a firm that sold surety bonds to businesses. The claim that he “supports a plan that could charge women higher insurance rates than men” is a reference to his stated support for repealing Montana’s unisex insurance law, which forbids insurance companies from using a customer’s gender when setting their insurance premiums.

Supporters of the law say it has prevented insurance companies from charging women higher rates for life and health insurance. However, the unisex law has meant higher auto-insurance rates for young women and girls.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from the Gazette

Taxing and spending: How much money is coming in and how will it be spent

Taxing and spending: How much money is coming in and how will it be spent

12 hours ago Photos

Photos

Loading…
Helena man sentenced to 50 years for 11th drunk-driving offense

Helena man sentenced to 50 years for 11th drunk-driving offense

20 hours agoLoading…
Missoula native Darian Stevens seeking X Games medal

Missoula native Darian Stevens seeking X Games medal

21 hours agoLoading…

House committee advances income tax cut bills

January 23, 2015 6:15 pmLoading…
Plan would help small business pay for health insurance

Plan would help small business pay for health insurance

January 23, 2015 3:38 pmLoading…
Supporters rally as lawmakers weigh preschool plan

Supporters rally as lawmakers weigh preschool plan

January 23, 2015 1:23 pm Photos

Photos

Loading…
Lawmaker seeks to up penalty for abuse of pregnant women

Lawmaker seeks to up penalty for abuse of pregnant women

January 23, 2015 12:35 pmLoading…

Whitefish man pleads no contest to felony arson

January 23, 2015 11:41 amLoading…
Browning man accused of killing 3 grizzlies must pay $30K

Browning man accused of killing 3 grizzlies must pay $30K

January 23, 2015 11:16 amLoading…

Follow The Billings Gazette

Popular Stories

Get weekly ads via e-mail

Deals & Offers

Featured Businesses