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Here We Go Again: Greg Gianforte’s New Running Mate Opposes Public Access
New Jersey Greg Gianforte and his new running mate, Kristen Juras, share the same goal: denying Montanans access to the state’s public lands. Juras has strongly criticized “the development of Montana law allowing public access to rivers via private land.” Gianforte has his own dodgy history with public access issues which maintain “sacred status” in Montana.
In 2016, Gianforte’s decision to buy up large tracts of land outside Bozeman and then promptly turn around and sue to block access to fishing grounds defined him as an out-of-state multi-millionaire with no respect for public lands.
As Montana’s Congressman, Gianforte has repeatedly undermined public lands stewardship. Former Montana BLM Directors said two bills Gianforte introduced would “strip protections from cherished public lands… a blatant, top-down, special interest driven attack on our public lands.”
University of Montana Political Scientist, Rob Saldin foretold Gianforte’s history could hurt his chances in his race against Gov. Bullock, saying the move made him look like “a rich guy dropping bags of money down to buy a trophy house on a multi-acre estate, then put up fences and kick people out their favorite fishing hole, that is potentially damaging.”
That theory proved correct, it looks like Gianforte learned nothing from his epic defeat in 2016.
“In 2016, Gianforte was just an out-of-state millionaire who opposed public access,” said DGA National Press Secretary Jerusalem Demsas. “Now, he’s an out-of-state millionaire who opposes public access, has undermined public lands in Congress, and picked a running mate who agrees with him on denying Montanans their rights. Kristen Juras’ statements opposing public access are disqualifying and Gianforte should explain why he continuously allies himself with those seeking to destroy the Last Best Place.”