Full House For Republican Dinner Speakers

Cynthia Marble
For the News
Thursday, May 12, 2022
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Photo by Amy Seymour
County Clerk candidate Kristy Mensik Lohmuller addresses the crowd at the Lincoln/Reagan/Trump Dinner at Rock Creek Resort May. 6.

“I’ve got a new woman in my life,” Montana’s US Congressman proclaimed to the sell-out crowd at Rock Creek Resort, “Her name is Veronica, 8 lbs 5 oz, our first grandchild!” Matt Rosendale delivered the keynote address at the Lincoln/Reagan/Trump Dinner, May 6, to a standing ovation, touching on a variety of topics, from family to national interests. 

Representing all Montanans in Washington DC (till Jan. 2023 when an additional congressman from western Montana will be sworn in) presents some challenges. The big push from the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi is “compromise,” claims Rosendale, but Rosendale has sponsored more than 20 bills and he ends up  “like a teenage girl on Friday night waiting for the phone to ring, but no word from the Democrats,” on anything he has offered. One of his bills is sculpted to trim the overabundance of fire fuel in our National Forests by extracting downed trees. He says there are several areas of potential compromise in the bill such as the timeframes for the leasing of the federal lands from five years to three years, but there is no desire from the Left to take these into consideration. He mentioned a Democrat sponsored bill that was to require 1.9 trillion dollars in spending. That’s an amount “you can’t even get your head around,” he noted. After doing the math Rosendale determined that with all the taxes paid to the state of Montana, including property, gas, income, all taxes, we could run the state for 380 years on 1.9 trillion. He emphasized that he is working for Montanans, his bosses, and he’s keeping a positive outlook in desperate times. He believes inflation can be turned around and fuel prices brought down, but it will take Republicans being elected into the 2022 congressional majority and the White House in 2024.

Brad Barker, Republican House District 58 candidate, was also well received by the audience. Barker and his wife, Carla, have 4 children and live in Luther. Grounded in character and values learned growing up on a ranch in Oklahoma, he left home at 17 for West Point. Those lessons served him well as he spent most of his adult life as an aviation officer flying and leading Apache helicopter units in Korea, Europe, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.  

From years in combat he has seen the effects of government regimes that stifle the free will and, consequently, the creative pursuits and productivity of their people. “Because of my nature and faith, I am still an optimist. I can say from direct experience that we are the shining city on the hill. We are the most prosperous, powerful and benevolent country on the planet because of our Constitution that enshrines the pursuit of our free will without the restrictions of arbitrary force. Sustaining that requires vigilance, and at the state and local level that begins with education,” Barker noted. “Our long-term prosperity and the health of our democratic processes depend on an educated, free-thinking population. That requires quality education for all which includes options in the trades rather than the singular emphasis on college, free from partisan political agendas while recognizing parents’ rights.” 

“Our economic prosperity depends on creating the conditions for our small businesses, farms and ranches to thrive. We must pursue all resources available to provide abundant, reliable, and inexpensive energy to minimize the burden of energy costs on our families and businesses,” Barker stated. 

He added, “We must pursue every reasonable effort to increase confidence in our elections and institutions. Lack of trust is corrosive and subverts the very institutions and processes that have made us great. I would support measures increasing scrutiny to ensure citizenship, voter roll and absentee voter verification.”

Barker closed with, “I am not one to jump to conclusions without evidence, name-call or engage in personal attacks. I believe that we are called to be Salt and Light by loving our neighbors that includes Republicans and Democrats. We are all Americans. I also don’t spend a lot of time wringing my hands or living in anxiety, I prefer to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I will do that for you in Helena and would be honored to serve as your Representative.” 

Several other speakers took to the podium:  Justice of the Peace Kevin Nichols, his challenger in the race, Callie Allen; County Clerk candidates Kristy Mensik Lohmuller and Macque Bohleen; MT Senate Republican candidate, Forrest Mandeville-- a conservative running unopposed; Public Service Commissioner Tony O’Donnell on behalf of MT Supreme Court candidate James Brown, Senator Dave Howard, and Office of Public Instruction Superintendant, Elsie Arntzen. 

After a first class roast beef dinner cooked up by Friar Cassell, attendees returned home better informed and energized from sharing the company of those passionate about freedom.