Stand with Montanans Issues Second Debate Challenge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Events scheduled to proceed with or without I-166 opponents
HELENA – Today, Stand with Montanans Treasurer C.B. Pearson sent a second letter to I-166 opponents, reissuing the challenge to debate in nine communities throughout Montana.
“We are waiting and Montanans are waiting, waiting to find out who you are, who is funding your campaign and what your arguments are against I-166. You have even failed to show up at community forums. Montanans are wondering why you will neither present nor debate,” reads the letter signed by I-166 Treasurer C.B. Pearson on behalf of the proponent’s ballot committee.
Opponents have filed two lawsuits, aiming at removing I-166 from the November ballot. On August 10, the Montana Supreme Court rejected the challenge in a 6-1 decision. But later that day, opponents filed another lawsuit, this time in a Fergus County district court.
“Instead of engaging us in debate and participating in the democratic process, you have opted to pursue expensive lawsuits aimed at denying the people of Montana a vote on I-166. It’s time to take the discussion out of the courtroom and bring it to the library meeting rooms, college campuses and courthouse steps of Montana communities,” said Pearson.
The Stand with Montanans campaign has scheduled a series of nine events across Montana over the next two weeks, which will take place with or without opponents.
“While your side pursues an agenda that would see our elections bought with unlimited, secret, untraceable, big money, we believe that our government works best when the people actively participate in elections, when campaigns are funded by small donations from real people, and the people engage in civil discourse over the important issues of the day. It is in this spirit of public participation and civil discourse that we challenge you to debate us at these times and these locations,” said Pearson.
The schedule is:
- 9/24 – 7:00 pm: Missoula, University of Montana, University Center, UC Theater
- 9/25 – 12:00 pm: Helena, Lewis & Clark Library, 120 S. Last Chance Gulch
- 9/25 – 6:00 pm: Great Falls, Gibson Room at the Great Falls Civic Center, 2 Park Dr. S.
- 9/26 – 12:00 pm: Butte, Butte-Silver Bow Library, 226 W. Broadway
- 9/26 – 7:30 pm: Bozeman, Montana State University, Strand Union Building Ballroom A
- 9/27 – 7:00 pm: Billings, Parmely Billings Library, 510 N. Broadway
- 10/2 – 12:00 pm: Hamilton, Ravalli County Courthouse, 225 Bedford St.
- 10/3 – 10:30 am: Polson, Lake County Courthouse, 106 4th Ave East
- 10/3 – 1:30 pm: Kalispell, Flathead County Courthouse, 800 S. Main St.
The letter was sent to Lorna Kuney (treasurer for Montanans Opposed to I-166), Chris Gallus (attorney for Montanans Opposed to I-166), James Brown (attorney for Montanans Opposed to I-166 and American Tradition Partnership), Donny Ferguson (executive director, American Tradition Partnership), Sen. Dave Lewis (plaintiff in the Montana Supreme Court challenge to I-166), and Phil Lilleberg (plaintiff in the Montana Supreme Court challenge to I-166).
“We hope you decide to participate in these debates. We will be there to deliver our side on this issue, and we are providing you the opportunity to share your perspective with voters. Montanans will be casting their votes on I-166 this November. Our aim with these events is to make sure each vote is an informed one,” said Pearson. “Mail ballots will be delivered the second week of October now is the time for Montanans to hear about this important issue.”