MontanaPBS Equal Time

MontanaPBS offers television air time to the political candidates for five statewide races asking questions that deal with the important issues surrounding the office for which they are running.   These short segments will broadcast throughout the day, during station breaks between programs, in September and October leading up to Election Day.  MontanaPBS asked the candidates the following questions:



  1. The AG's office in Montana has recently taken part in various lawsuits asserting the US government has infringed on our state Constitution and citizens’ rights.  How do you view the ever- present conflict between states’ rights and those of the federal government?
  2. Do you believe state consumer protection laws need to be strengthened?  Why or why not?
  3. As a member of the state land board, how would you balance quality public access with development of natural resources?


  1. As a member of the state land board, what are your views on the state’s current management of the 5.2 million acres of public land and would you support any transfer of ownership of federal lands to the state?
  2. Do you think Montana should offer online voter registration?  Why or why not?
  3.  Is it the job of the Secretary of State to increase voter registration and turnout? Why or why not?  And if so, which groups of voters would you focus on?


  1. Thousands of Montanans are facing significant increases in their healthcare premiums next year. Separating the reality from the rhetoric, what role can the State Auditor play in controlling the costs of health insurance?
  2. When the MT legislature convenes in January, what legislation would you bring, and how would it affect the function of the State Auditor’s office?
  3. How important is the role of the State Auditor in regulating the securities industry in Montana?


  1. What are your views on Montana's common core standards?
  2. How do you feel about charter schools and the school choice debate?  Should public tax dollars go to non-traditional schools?
  3. Do you believe the state should offer publicly funded pre-kindergarten for four year olds?  Why or why not?


  1. Do you believe the office of Montana Supreme Court Justice should be an elected office? Why or why not?
  2. Given the prominence of popular sovereignty in the MT Declaration of Rights, and the ease with which people can amend it by initiative or referendum, how much deference would you give the democratic process in deciding whether to strike down laws passed by the People or their representatives?
  3. Do you believe the MT Constitution ever requires tradeoffs between rights, like property rights and a clean environment, or freedom of religion and protection from discrimination, and if so how would you weigh the conflicting constitutional values?