For Immediate Release: February 8, 2012
For More Information: Eric Feaver, MEA-MFT President, 442-4250
Locally elected leaders of MEA-MFT voted recently to recommend Steve Bullock for Montana’s next governor.
MEA-MFT represents 18,000 Montana k-12 teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty, Head Start educators, state and local employees, and health care workers.
Members of MEA-MFT’s political action committee (MEA-MFT COPE) recommended Bullock after interviewing him and reviewing all the candidates’ records and position statements.
“We are very excited that Steve is running for governor,” said COPE member Ron Kimmet, an industrial arts teacher in Hardin.
“Steve is a national hero for standing up to the big corporations that want to buy our elections with their secret money,” Kimmet said, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” ruling that allows unlimited corporate spending on elections. “When corporate CEOs tried to get rid of Montana’s law banning corporate campaign spending, Steve defended our law and got the Montana Supreme Court to uphold it. Montana is the only state in the nation that has held firm on this issue, the only state to say citizens control our elections, not corporations. It’s a huge win for Montana values. We have Steve Bullock to thank for it.”
“Steve Bullock has an outstanding record as Montana’s attorney general,” said Tammy Pilcher, a COPE member in Helena. “As a mom and a teacher, I am very impressed with Steve’s work to protect the safety of our kids and communities. He has taken the lead in stopping sex predators from stalking children online. He has been a great supporter of the public employees who keep our neighborhoods safe – our correctional officers, probation and parole officers, and police.”
COPE member Ron Gruber, a music teacher in Shelby, talked about Bullock’s work to stop the prescription drug abuse epidemic, which has eclipsed meth as Montana’s biggest drug crime problem. “Steve put prescription drug abuse on the front burner,” Gruber said. “He got people working together to tackle it – educators, law enforcement, doctors, pharmacists, parents, and others. His efforts will save a lot of children’s lives. I appreciate his ability to bring people together to solve problems.”
Mona Bilden, a COPE member and elementary teacher in Miles City, said, “Steve grew up in Montana, and now he has three young children of his own growing up here. He has a deep commitment to this state. He wants Montana to be a place where all kids have the chance to reach their dreams. That means strong public schools, safe communities, clean air and water, and good jobs. He knows paving the way for jobs means investing in education, infrastructure, and research and development.”
COPE member and high school teacher Kelly Haverlandt of Whitefish said, “Steve is committed to supporting public education at every level – preschool, k-12 schools, colleges of technology, community colleges, and four-year universities. Our economy depends on it, and so does our democracy. I’m especially impressed with his emphasis on early childhood education, which is so crucial to a child’s success in school and in life.”
MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver noted that Bullock was instrumental in helping pass the 2006 initiative to increase Montana’s minimum wage. “It will help thousands of Montana families weather the Great Recession and give them a little more to spend in local Montana businesses,” Feaver said. “Steve is dedicated to working for our families and for Main Street, not Wall Street. He’s accountable to the people of Montana, not to the big corporations. He’s the leader we need.”
MEA-MFT Committee On Political Education (COPE) members live in or near the following Montana towns: Anaconda, Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Deer Lodge, East Helena, Great Falls, Hamilton, Hardin, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Laurel, Lewistown, Miles City, Missoula, Polson, Poplar, St. Ignatius, Shelby, Stevensville, and Whitefish. Party affiliation is not considered in COPE recommendations.
MEA-MFT Communications Director
1232 E 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59601
406.447.1466 or 800.398.0826