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Gianforte Still Stumbling on Public Lands

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Gianforte Still Stumbling on Public Lands

Great Falls Tribune headline: ‘Gianforte dispute with state over easement dogs campaign’

Bullock jabs Gianforte during debate: ‘Thanks for the invitation. But the beauty is … I don’t need your permission’

It’s been seven weeks since news broke of Greg Gianforte’s lawsuit to prevent public access to the East Gallatin River near his property in Bozeman. Now, it’s clear that public access has become an albatross for the Montana GOP gubernatorial nominee’s campaign.

Yesterday’s Great Falls Tribune front-page headline makes it clear: “Gianforte dispute with state over easement dogs campaign.”  

Montana political pundits have said the issue has “hurt Gianforte and put him on the defensive.” 

And, during the first debate in the race on Sunday, Gianforte’s struggles were on center stage:

“Governor, I invite you to come out and fish, but you haven’t come out yet. You’re welcome,” Gianforte said in attempt to turn the tables. 

 Governor Steve Bullock was quick to respond: “Thanks for the invitation. But the beauty is, that’s a public right of way. I don’t need your permission.”

Watch the exchange here:

The contrast between Gov. Bullock and Gianforte on public land access has become a focal point in Montana’s race for governor. 

In May, news broke that Gianforte had filed a lawsuit against Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to eliminate a public easement on Gianforte’s property that allowed access to fishing grounds on the East Gallatin River, prompting a sharp backlash in Montana.