HELENA – It was a big weekend for Montana politics with the U.S. House Debate taking place in Helena and a U.S. Senate Debate on the University of Montana campus on Saturday.
The three candidates in Montana’s U.S. House race – Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte, Democratic challenge Kathleen Williams, and Libertarian Elinor Swanson – squared off live on MTN stations in their first debate of the campaign season.
The Montana PBS Senate Debate between incumbent Democratic Senator Jon Tester and Republican challenger Matt Rosendale also took place Saturday.
Many topics were discussed and at some points a very heated debate between the two including an interesting exchange when the candidates talked about “dark money” being brought into Montana, especially during election season when campaign ads are in full swing.
“We need to increase more transparency, so we have maximum transparency on the dark money that’s coming into this these elections.” Sen. Tester said. “Why? Because we need to know who’s trying to influence our elections.”
“It’s really important. It’s one of the reasons why I am endorsed by a group called end Citizens United,” the Democrat added. “They want to Go back to the way it was before Citizens United, so we have limits. So corporations aren’t people.”
“End Citizens United group is another one of those groups that has hidden contributors, and they’re running ads about fighting against so-called dark money,” Rosendale said.
“It is the height of hypocrisy. I think that what we need to focus on is making sure that we can get instantaneous notification on the contributions that they are receiving,” he added.
Watch the full US House debate above. The full US Senate debate is online at montanapbs.org. MTN will host a U.S. Senate debate on Saturday, October 6.
Mike Dennison – MTN News