Breaking News

Kier starts his run for U.S. Rep nomination

By: 
Eleanor Guerrero
CCN Senior Reporter

Grant Kier, 42 and an engineer, is running for the Democratic nomination to be a candidate for the U.S. House seat for 2018. He came to Red Lodge on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
Kier spoke of Montana’s three core values that helped him succeed in life and that he knows everyone needs. “Quality health care, public education and public lands.” All three are necessary for “a level playing field” and “all three are threatened.”
"Government is not a business. Corporations are set up to generate profits. It’s their primary goal. Our government provides fundamental services for human beings to have the best opportunity.” The number one goal of government is not “to have profits, but to be safe.” Citizens should be free from foreign or domestic threats, have access to a healthy clean environment and equal opportunities.
People want health care. “I’ve been hearing it over and over again. People are terrified by the level of uncertainty and chaos.”
He said, “There’s the young woman in Butte, a bartender, who told me, ‘I’m so glad you’re running to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I was diagnosed with cancer and would not be alive today if not for the ACA.’”
A small business owner in the Flathead told him, “When this administration tries to kill the Affordable Care Act, they’re trying to kill me.”
“I don’t think the current administration has any real sense of what rural life is like,” said Kier. “Rural hospitals are the lifeblood of Montana. We can’t sustain our agriculture, industry or recreation and tourism if we don’t have strong, capable, sustainable rural hospitals. Rural hospitals don’t know how they would remain open if not for ACA and the expansion of Medicaid.”
Kier said, “Good rural hospitals bring young teachers, young entrepreneurs, small business owners…there’s a foundation when people know they have access to good medical care. It keeps the families on the ranch and farm.”
Kier was raised in Colorado. He and his wife, Becks, moved to Montana in 2005, where his wife teaches at U. of Montana. For ten years, Kier was the Executive Director at of Five Valleys Land Trust, a nonprofit. He’s dealt with balancing budgets and negotiating million dollar deals often with opposing groups. He promoted open space, diverse partnerships and public access.
The son of a single mother, Kier knows the value of education. “It’s important to have access to good quality education” and keep “public funds in public schools.”
Vouchers, he said, “suggest public education is a quid pro quo: you are paying into a system so your kids gets education.” He disagrees. “We all invest in public education. That’s why you don’t charge a family more taxes if they have more kids.” Public schools need every dollar “to be on the cutting edge of education and technology.”
Kier also sees public lands as a great equalizer. “My brother and I were always on public land, whether hunting, fishing or on trails-we felt like kings! It’s who we are in the West and as Americans.”
He would build relationships with loggers, environmentalists, and forest service to keep forests healthy.
He disagrees with Gainaforte. “There’s no way that regulations are causing our forest fires. The scientists tell us that we aren’t going to prevent fire but we can manage them in a changing climate…likely more fires and extreme weather events. We need to care for the limited water resources we have and the limited remaining habitat for wildlife. Whether irrigating, drinking water or out on the river, all Montanans know we want clean rivers and clean water. Clean and free.”
Again, he disagrees with Gainforte. “It is a lie to suggest you have to choose profit or sustainability when you are looking at how to care for our natural resources and make sure we are benefitting economically. It’s more work but at the end of the day it’s almost always better. Our agriculture, public lands, healthy forests and clean rivers are (especially with ag prices at a low) our biggest economic drivers in the state! For us to jeopardize ag or recreation and tourism is setting us up for failure down the road.”
An engineer geophysicist, Kier expanded his small business to grow it internationally. With the land trust, he worked on economic development helping farms and ranches grow. “There are tremendous opportunities for government and private partnerships.” He supports new infrastructure.
Rural products need international trade. “I’m deeply commited to generating profits for businesses to sustain our economies.”
He said, “My vision is that my daughter and every child in Montana grows up talking in terms of unity and respect and has a level playing field.”
Kier says Gianforte and the administration are not providing a “commitment to respectful discourse to find Montana solutions to Montana problems.” Montanans’ pragmatic and practical ability to reach across the aisle “can be a model for the nation.”
On campaign finances Kier says, “I have a primary opponent who wrote himself a six figure check! I am running a campaign to prove that normal people can take back their government again.”
Overturning Citizens United is a goal. “We’ve got to make sure our democracy is in the control of the people again and not corporations.”

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Upcoming Events

  • Monday, April 22, 2019 - 6:00pm
    Paintbrush Piecers Quilt Guild meeting will be Monday April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Cody Sr. Center. After a short business meeting the program will be a trunk show presented by Betty Hecker, Audrey Clark and Sharon Kaeding from Red Lodge. Meetings are free and guests are welcome. For information contact Marybeth 754-5399
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