We received responses from three candidates – Tony Rosales (Libertarian HD22), Ed Buttrey (Republican HD21), and Fred Anderson (HD20).
First up is Tony Rosales’ responses. You can also read his candidate profile here.
Question One – Which position on abortion most closely describes the kind of legislation you would support in the Montana state legislature? Please choose only one option and feel free to briefly explain or expand on your views.
- Abortion should be legal for any reason at any time during pregnancy, including up until birth, with no exceptions.
- Life begins at conception and abortion should not be legal at any time for any reason.
- Abortion should be illegal after 12-14 weeks into a pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, or life threatening risk to the mother.
“Abortion should be illegal after 12-14 weeks into a pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, or life-threatening risk to the mother.”
In today’s political climate Republicans and Democrats often take extreme positions on this issue, but in the district 22 race, as the Libertarian, I am the moderate practical choice. This is one of those issues I dislike compromising on because I have my own religious beliefs as a Catholic.
However, this is the exact situation for which I am a Libertarian. I do not think my personal views on abortion should be a factor in how the State addresses the issue. The role of the State is to promote wellbeing – not enforce it – and that primarily includes education. This issue is similar to consuming alcohol while pregnant, the State should warn of the implications, but there should be little enforcement, especially in early pregnancy.
Question Two – Describe what you will do if elected to address the lack of affordable housing in Montana. What specific legislation would you put forward or support to tackle this issue?
Housing is a great example of when governments over exercise power. Many with an economics interest cite supply and demand as the problem. However, often your politicians take supply as the sole issue – i.e. regulatory barriers prevent new development. Solution here include removing or shifting regulations to local governments instead of state and federal, as well as ensuring zoning and other regulations are intended to help the local community – not used as a political tool to ensure someone does or does not develop property.
With that said, many politicians miss the role of demand in the housing market. Demand has been far more impactful. As we have learned from the 2008 recession – and learning again 10+ years later – interest rates, inflation, and the overall financial market effect how much demand there is, or in other words, how many people are looking for property and with how much cash on hand. We cannot stop people from wanting to buy houses, but we can ensure demand is not artificially created. This can ONLY be accomplished by exercising “checks and balances” outlined in our constitution. MT State Legislatures should be holding the federal government accountable for out-of-control deficit spending, historically high national debt, and an unconstitutional federal reserve system.
Until we tackle the heart of the problem – the federal government’s fiscal and monetary policy – housing problems will continue to surface as they did in 2008 and more recently. Like many other industries, we must move away from government-induced “socialism for the rich” and establish truly free markets managed by local communities.
Question Three – Describe in what way and on which issues you would ‘reach across the aisle’ to implement solutions for your constituents.
Likely as the only Libertarian State Legislator, my only option is to work collaboratively with Republicans and Democrats. However, my constituency in district 22 and I get to prioritize the issues based on our community concerns, not a party platform. This means if HD 22 wants me to focus on healthcare over cannabis or ensure the MT constitution protects privacy then I will work with other legislators to do so, which will likely include Democrats. I will also work with other legislators, likely including Republicans, on issues related to responsible fiscal spending or holding the federal government accountable. I want to ensure I represent the views, concerns, and will of the people in HD 22, and not the political establishment.