Wednesday, August 13, 2003

The Montana Democratic Party has posted its response to the governor's decision not to run for re-election:

Statement of Bob Ream, Chair, Montana Democratic Party

The Montana Democratic Party joins with all Montanans in giving Gov. Judy Martz our best wishes for the future. We understand and appreciate her desire be with her family and those she loves, and to further pursue her community and spiritual life. Again, we wish her well.

At the same time, we respectfully agree with Gov. Martz. It's time for change.

Montanans are hurting. For 16 years, Republicans who believe in the same failed economic policies have been in charge of our state and our future.
It's time to work together to create a better future for all Montanans. It's time to move this state forward. It's time for change.

But the change Montana so desperately needs won't come from Republicans who are mentioned or who have announced as gubernatorial candidates. They are simply different faces on the same failed policies.

Montanans deserve better than what we've got from the Republican Party and their elected leaders. Their policies have hurt Montana:

* Montana faces unprecedented job loss. Our traditional industries and Main Street businesses are hurting.
* Republican back-room deals gave away our affordable, reliable power through utility deregulation.
* When they gave away our cheap power, we lost one of Montana's competitive advantages in attracting new industries and
* Utility deregulation has led to skyrocketing utility prices, job layoffs and an uncertain economic future for Montana.
* Montana has the lowest wages in the nation and one of the highest poverty rates.
* Our neighbors, friends and families in need aren't getting the help they need to see them through these tough times.
* To make ends meet, more Montanans hold more than one job than nearly every other state.
* Our kids are going without needed healthcare and those with mental illness can no longer get the prescription drugs that keep them safe,
at home and on the job.
* Property taxes for homeowners and small businesses are going up at the same time taxes for the most fortunate Montanans are being cut.
* Education hasn't received the needed investment to keep college affordable, keep teachers in our classrooms and give children the
necessary tools to compete in today's economy.

Democrats offer hope for the future - hope for good-paying jobs and a better
economy, hope for an end to skyrocketing power bills, hope for our
neighbors, friends and families. Montana can't afford more of the same. It's
time for change.

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