Bohlinger said his effort would send a message to federal agencies even if the Montana Constitution would not bind them. It takes nearly 50,000 signatures from registered voters to change the Constitution. Bohlinger said he will lead the signature-gathering effort.
The announcement came a day after many Silicon Valley leaders escalated pressure on President Barack Obama to curb US government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry's financial livelihood. Bohlinger said he wants Montana to lead the nation in protecting electronic communications from government spies.
While there are some things I can accomplish without your active engagement and partnership, there are other areas where we need each other if we are going to make progress.
Crafting a budget is one of those areas where we need each other. Montana is the envy of other states: our unemployment is lower and our economy sounder. While nearly every other state's budget is awash in red ink, thanks to good fiscal management, Montana has amassed a half-billion-dollar budget surplus.
Rehberg described the stimulus as a failure. "You don't spend $1 trillion and hope to create an asset. I don't think government should be picking winners and losers. Government should be creating an environment of liberating Main Street."
Tester dismissed claims that he's sided with Obama and the Democrats on the vast majority of issues. He cited the auto industry bailout, proposals to regulate farm dust and youth labor and the removal of wolves from the endangered list as instances when he's gone against members of his party.
Rehberg spoke of the need for "Montana solutions" and declared his support for government assistance to ensure rural areas of the state are provided adequate highways and air and train service.
The Advanced Telecommunications Infrastructure Act passed in the last legislative session has helped accelerate the growth of high-speed telecommunications infrastructure throughout the state. The tax credits issued under the Telecommunications Act will keep us in the forefront.
Elimination of geography as a business issue means more and better jobs for Montanans statewide. With our new E-Government initiative, citizens will be able to dial up to find out about the expenditures of their tax dollars, register to vote, and obtain licenses and permits online.
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