Montana Shooting Sports Association

2008 Candidate Grades and Endorsements


Note:  If a letter to the right of a name is in parenthesis (R) (D) (C), that indicates the political party of the candidate.  A letter not in parenthesis is the letter grade MSSA has awarded that candidate.  A question mark as a grade means the candidate did not respond to MSSA's Candidate Questionnaire and that the candidate also has no voting record upon which to base a grade.  Not responding to MSSA's CQ is usually a sign of disinterest in the Right to Bear Arms, or even outright hostility to the Right to Bear Arms.

Please recirculate the URL for these candidate grades and endorsements.  All concerned gun owners should actively support good candidates and oppose bad candidates.

President and Vice President of the U.S.

Democratic Party
Barack Hussein Obama II      F
Joseph Biden                         F

Republican Party
John McCain                        D
Sarah Louise Palin                A

Constitution Party
Ron Paul                                A+
Michael Peroutka                   A

Libertarian Party
Bob Barr                                A
Wayne Allyn Root                  A

Independent
Ralph Nader                           ?
Matt Gonzalez                        ?

MSSA Endorsement - Presidential Race

MSSA makes a dual endorsement in the presidential contest:

If you are a pragmatic person and wish your vote to have the most effect possible in opposing the very anti-gun  Barack Obama and Joe Biden ticket, we recommend that you vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

If you are a person of strong principle and wish to vote for the best team possible for gun owners, regardless of effect, we recommend that you vote for Ron Paul and Michael Peroutka.


U.S. Congress
U.S. Senate

Max Baucus(D)         D
Bob Kelleher(R)        ?
(No MSSA Endorsement)

U.S. House of Representatives

Denny Rehberg(R)     A - Endorsed
John Driscoll(D)         F
Mike Fellows(L)          ?


Party Platform Planks on the Right to Bear Arms
(Text of party platform planks posted at the bottom of this page)

Democratic Party Platform
National Platform         F
Montana Platform        F

Republican Party Platform
National Platform         A
Montana Platform        A

Constitution Party Platform
National Platform         A
Montana Platform        B

Libertarian Party Platform
National Platform         C
Montana Platform - Unavailable


State-wide Montana Races

    Governor

Brian Schweitzer(D)          C
John Bohlinger(D)            F

Roy Brown(R)                 A - Endorsed
Steve Daines(R)               A - Endorsed

Stan Jones(L)                   A
Michael Baker(L)              ?

    Attorney General

Tim Fox(R)                      A - Endorsed
Steve Bullock(D)              ?

    Secretary of State

Brad Johnson(R)             A - Endorsed
Sieglinde Sharbono(C)     ?
Linda McCulloch(D)        C

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Elaine Sollie Herman(R)     A - Endorsed
Donald J Eisenmenger(L)    ?
Denise Juneau(D)                ?

LR-118 - Six-mill Levy for the Montana University System - Against (
See MSSA News Release posted at the bottom of this page.)

Montana Legislative Races

Key for tables below:

Bold type and "E" after a candidate's grade means the candidate has been endorsed by MSSA.

Yellow highlight and a "?" for the candidate's grade means no information about the candidate - no voting record and no MSSA Candidate Questionnaire returned to MSSA.  This should be interpreted as either that the candidate is indifferent to the right to bear arms, or that the candidate is outright hostile to the right to bear arms.

Orange highlight is for F-rated candidates.  These candidates have terrible voting records showing outright hostility to the right to bear arms.  They should absolutely be replaced.  If the candidate is unopposed in the General Election, unfortunate voters in their districts are urged to write in "None."

Montana Senate Candidates


District First Last Grade
SD 02 Brittany MacLean ?
SD 02 Ryan Zinke B
SD 03 Bruce Tutvedt BE
SD 03 Mark Holston ?
SD 06 John Brueggeman A
SD 06 Neal Donohue A
SD 07 Paul Clark B
SD 07 Greg Hinkle AE
SD 09 Rick Ripley AE
SD 09 Erik Somerfeld ?
SD 10 Brad Hamlett ?
SD 10 Jim Whitaker AE
SD 16 Jonathan WindyBoy F
SD 18 Shirley Baumgartner ?
SD 18 John Brenden AE
SD 19 Donald Steinbeisser AE
SD 21 Randen Schoppe B
SD 21 Sharon Stewart-Peregoy ?
SD 22 Lane Larson F
SD 22 Taylor Brown AE
SD 24 Kim Gillan F
SD 24 Wilfred Ebert ?
SD 26 Lynda Moss F
SD 26 Max Graham BE
SD 27 Jack Sands BE
SD 27 Gary Branae F
SD 33 Bob Hawks F
SD 33 Nick Landeros ?
SD 34 Joe Balyeat A+E
SD 36 Debby Barrett A-E
SD 36 Lynn Giles ?
SD 37 Steven Gallus D
SD 37 Robert Dwyer BE
SD 38 Jim Keane D
SD 41 Christine Kaufmann F
SD 41 Bob Leach ?
SD 43 Dick Motta AE
SD 43 Jesse Laslovich F
SD 45 Jim Shockley A+E
SD 46 Carol Williams F
SD 47 Ron Erickson F
SD 50 Kandi Matthew-Jenkins AE


Montana House Candidates


District First Last Grade
HD 01 Freeman Johnson AE
HD 01 Eileen Carney ?
HD 01 Gerald Bennett ?
HD 02 Timothy Linehan ?
HD 02 Chas Vincent AE
HD 03 Dee Brown BE
HD 03 Michael Holm ?
HD 04 John Fuller BE
HD 04 Mike Jopek F
HD 05 Jake Pannell ?
HD 05 Keith Regier AE
HD 06 Bill Beck AE
HD 06 Timothy Martin ?
HD 06 Scott Wheeler ?
HD 07 Shannon Hanson ?
HD 07 Jon Sonju AE
HD 08 Cheryl Steenson ?
HD 08 Craig Witte AE
HD 09 Scott Reichner ?
HD 09 Edd Blackler ?
HD 10 Carla Augustad ?
HD 10 Mark Blasdel AE
HD 11 Janna Taylor AE
HD 11 Pat Estenson ?
HD 12 Ronald Marquardt ?
HD 12 John Fleming ?
HD 13 Jim Elliott D
HD 13 Pat Ingraham AE
HD 14 Gordon Hendrick AE
HD 14 Cindy Grimm ?
HD 15 James Steele ?
HD 15 Frosty CalfBossRibs ?
HD 16 Shannon Augare D
HD 17 Russell Bean AE
HD 17 Lora Wier ?
HD 18 Jesse O'Hara BE
HD 18 Laura McGee ?
HD 19 Nick Ethridge B
HD 19 Mike Milburn AE
HD 20 Deb Kottel AE
HD 20 Jack Allen ?
HD 20 Terry Poupa ?
HD 21 Kent Holtz ?
HD 21 Rick Tryon AE
HD 21 Anders Blewett ?
HD 22 Bill Wilson F
HD 22 Jonathan Martin AE
HD 23 Lance Olson BE
HD 23 Carlie Boland ?
HD 24 Brian Hoven AE
HD 24 Steve Bolstad ?
HD 25 Sue Dickenson F
HD 25 Dale Busby ?
HD 25 Paul O'Leary ?
HD 26 Kirk Lundby AE
HD 26 Robert Mehlhoff ?
HD 27 Llew Jones AE
HD 28 Roy Hollandsworth BE
HD 28 Trudy Skari ?
HD 29 Dan Simpson B
HD 29 Edward Butcher AE
HD 30 Dan Teigen ?
HD 30 Dave Kasten AE
HD 31 Margarett Campbell B
HD 32 Tony Belcourt ?
HD 33 Kyle Austin AE
HD 33 Bob Bergren D
HD 34 Wendy Warburton AE
HD 34 Perry Miller ?
HD 35 Wayne Stahl AE
HD 35 LeRoy Baublitz ?
HD 36 Pete Rising ?
HD 36 Julie French D
HD 37 Walter McNutt AE
HD 38 Dennis Getz ?
HD 38 Patricia Banister B
HD 39 Lee Randall AE
HD 40 Jeff Harding AE
HD 40 Bill McChesney F
HD 41 Raymond King ?
HD 41 David Roundstone ?
HD 42 Bill Joseph C
HD 42 Carolyn Pease-Lopez ?
HD 43 Duane Ankney AE
HD 43 Del Dinstel ?
HD 44 William Glaser AE
HD 44 Don Reed ?
HD 45 Tom Berry ?
HD 45 Henry Plott ?
HD 46 Ken Peterson AE
HD 47 Dennis Himmelberger AE
HD 47 Penny Hanson ?
HD 48 Wanda Grinde F
HD 48 Douglas Kary BE
HD 49 Kassidy Olson ?
HD 49 Kendall VanDyk D
HD 50 Maria Hernandez ?
HD 50 Tom McGillvray AE
HD 51 Robyn Driscoll F
HD 51 Susan Anderson D
HD 52 Ryan Shore ?
HD 52 Arlene Becker F
HD 53 Linda Kay Wetzel ?
HD 53 Elsie Arntzen AE
HD 54 Debra Bonogofsky C
HD 54 Margie MacDonald ?
HD 55 Robert Maxson ?
HD 55 Cary Smith AE
HD 56 George Day ?
HD 56 Donald Roberts BE
HD 57 Connie Wardell ?
HD 57 Penny Morgan AE
HD 58 Don Woerner ?
HD 58 Krayton Kerns AE
HD 59 Paul Beck ?
HD 59 Scott Boggio AE
HD 60 Ross Keogh ?
HD 60 David Howard AE
HD 61 Joel Boniek AE
HD 62 Bob Ebinger D
HD 62 Neal Donaldson AE
HD 63 Tom Burnett AE
HD 63 Jennifer Pomnichowski F
HD 64 Franke Wilmer F
HD 64 Ken Champion AE
HD 65 Brady Wiseman F
HD 65 Nick Mahan BE
HD 66 John Milanovich ?
HD 66 Mike Phillips F
HD 67 Gordon Vance AE
HD 67 Joel Steinmetz ?
HD 68 Scott Sales AE
HD 68 Robert Brastrup ?
HD 69 Ted Washburn BE
HD 69 Joe Hensleigh ?
HD 70 Michael More AE
HD 70 Anne Millbrooke ?
HD 71 Kim Miller ?
HD 71 Bob Wagner ?
HD 72 Frank Mastandrea ?
HD 72 Jeffrey Welborn AE
HD 73 Pat Noonan ?
HD 74 George Groesbeck D
HD 75 Edith McClafferty ?
HD 76 Jon Sesso F
HD 77 Stan Voreyer ?
HD 77 Scott Mendenhall AE
HD 78 Jill Cohenour F
HD 78 Steve Gibson ?
HD 79 Chuck Hunter ?
HD 79 Neil Templeton ?
HD 79 John Forbes ?
HD 80 Mary Caferro ?
HD 80 Tari Elam ?
HD 81 Tod Glenn AE
HD 81 Galen Hollenbaugh F
HD 82 Chris Sinrud AE
HD 82 Mike Menahan ?
HD 83 Fred Froelicher ?
HD 83 Harry Klock AE
HD 84 Pam Hunthausen ?
HD 84 Ronald Vandevender A
HD 84 Mike Miller AE
HD 85 Cynthia Hiner B
HD 85 BJ Schubert A
HD 86 Dan Villa F
HD 87 Ron Stoker AE
HD 87 Peter Rosten ?
HD 88 Patrick Boylan ?
HD 88 Bob Lake AE
HD 89 Gary MacLaren AE
HD 90 Ray Hawk AE
HD 90 Yvonne Gritzner ?
HD 91 Walt Hill BE
HD 91 Tim Furey F
HD 92 Dan Stusek ?
HD 92 Robin Hamilton D
HD 93 Steve Dogiakos AE
HD 93 Dick Barrett ?
HD 94 Linda Frey AE
HD 94 Dave McAlpin F
HD 95 Diane Sands F
HD 95 Kevin Blackler ?
HD 96 Steven Eschenbacher BE
HD 96 Teresa Henry F
HD 97 Michele Reinhart F
HD 97 Carol Minjares AE
HD 98 Will Deschamps AE
HD 98 Sue Malek ?
HD 99 Jedediah Cox AE
HD 99 Betsy Hands F
HD 100 Bill Nooney BE

Last Updated on 09/11/2008




National and State Party Platform Planks
Relating to the Right to Bear Arms



Montana Democratic Party Platform

Hunting, Fishing & Outdoor Recreation Activities

We support the right to own and bear arms as defined in both the Montana and U.S. Constitutions. We recognize that hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities are essential components of the Montana culture. We also believe that the opportunity for Montana families to enjoy nature’s bounty is an important part of our state’s heritage. We support the public ownership of fish, wildlife, streams and rivers of our state, and believe that the state holds these resources in trust for the beneficial use of its citizens. As such, we believe that Montanans are entitled to reasonable access to these public resources, consistent with private property rights, and that no commercial entity should be allowed to hold a vested interest in them.

National Democratic Party Platform

Firearms

We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact and enforce commonsense laws and improvements – like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system, and reinstating the assault weapons ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Acting responsibly and with respect for differing views on this issue, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

*******************************

Montana Constitution Party Platform

Gun Control
The right to keep and bear arms is clearly spelled out in Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.  It is the position of The Constitution Party of Montana that the Exclusive Guarantee of all natural and sovereign rights of the Citizen rest solely in the Second Amendment restriction upon the Congress and upon the Federal Government.  All Federal legislation in contradiction to the Second Amendment is unconstitutional and should be abolished.

The individual States of the Union have retained the right to restrict access of persons convicted in a court of law of a felony crime involving the illegal use of a firearm.

We hold that the current "Brady Bill" and any subsequent enactments under it are in fact "Bills of Attainder", and "Ex Post Facto".  As such they are unconstitutional, therefore NULL and VOID, and should be immediately abolished.

National Constitution Party Platform

Gun Control
The 2nd Amendment strictly limits any interference with gun ownership by saying: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny, conferred on the individual and the community by our Creator to safeguard life, liberty, and property, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation.

The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; it may not properly be infringed upon or denied.

The Constitution Party upholds the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. We oppose attempts to prohibit ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition.

We emphasize that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen's protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized.

We call for the repeal of all federal firearms legislation, beginning with Federal Firearms Act of 1968.

We call for the rescinding of all executive orders, the prohibition of any future executive orders, and the prohibition of treaty ratification which would in any way limit the right to keep and bear arms.

************************

Montana Republican Party Platform

Right to Bear Arms
We oppose the concept of “gun free zones” in any form or in any place except detention facilities.  Depriving victims of the means to protect themselves and others does not make anyone safer and violates the Montana Constitution.  We affirm that the right to bear arms is a right the people of Montana have reserved for themselves, individually, from interference by government agents and government employees.  We oppose any restrictions on the type or number of firearms any law-abiding citizen may own or possess.  We completely support the unfettered right for citizens to use firearms to lawfully defend themselves without fear of prosecution or government interference (“called in question”) for having done so.

We urge the repeal of the Brady Bill Law.

We oppose any system of national registration of firearm owners and their firearms and the setting of limits on the quantities of firearms and ammunition that are owned by an individual.

National Republican Party Platform

Upholding the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms
We uphold the right of individual Americans to own firearms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller affirming that right, and we assert the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. We call on the next president to appoint judges who will similarly respect the Constitution. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend themselves, their property, and communities. We call for education in constitutional rights in schools, and we support the option of firearms training in federal programs serving senior citizens and women. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to returning members of the Armed Forces who have suffered trauma during service to their country. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which are transparent attempts to deprive citizens of their rights. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as violations of the Second Amendment. We recognize that gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens, and that such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime.

********************

National Libertarian Party Platform

Self-Defense
The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.

============================

MSSA News Release about the Six-mill Levy

NEWS RELEASE
(for immediate release - September 9, 2008)

Gun Group Announces "Send a Message" Campaign
Oppose U-system Six-mill Levy

MISSOULA - A coalition of pro-Second Amendment groups led by Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) announced today the kickoff of its "Send a Message" campaign against the Montana university system six-mill levy. The coalition is urging Montana taxpayers to vote against the University system's six-mill levy (LR-118 on the ballot) to end taxpayer subsidy of the dangerous victim disarmament zones imposed by the U-system managers on Montana campuses.  MSSA asks Montana taxpayers to "Send a Message" to the U-system by voting against LR-118 on the General Election ballot in November.

Other groups in the coalition include the nation-wide organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).  All these groups have long been critical of the failed and deadly policies that have led to student massacre sites like Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.

MSSA President Gary Marbut commented, "Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University have displayed with human blood just how dangerous these disarmed victim zones are.  The Montana university system has been absolutely unwilling to negotiate about its potentially deadly and unconstitutional campus gun bans.  We all know that law enforcement can never arrive in time to save those who die in attacks on campuses.  Current campus policies only guarantee that a madman will encounter no effective resistance on a Montana campus.  We deplore that our children should become sacrificial victims to such an irrational and dangerous policy.  MSSA asks voters to send a message to the U. system that Montana people will not tolerate this artificially-imposed risk to our children.  Vote against the 6-mill levy that enables this potential deadly policy, and that also violates the Montana Constitution and Montana culture.  It doesn't make sense to raise our taxes to support a gun ban."

While the Montana Constitution gives broad authority to Board of Regents to manage the university system, Marbut said, it gives the Board no power to suspend the Montana Constitution, the Declaration of Rights, or the right to bear arms the people of Montana have reserved to themselves from government interference in the Constitution.  He points out that campus officials could not, for example, suspend the right to trial by jury, prevent people on campus from reading newspapers, nor could they deny people on campuses the right to worship via the religion of their choice.

Marbut reports that MSSA has attempted for over a year to negotiate with campus officials and the Board of Regents over the nonsensical campus gun bans, bans that create the same fertile ground for mass killers that facilitated the massacres at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.  MSSA's attempts to reason with U-system officials have been essentially ignored, forcing MSSA to ask taxpayers to quit subsidizing the campus victim disarmament zones.  MSSA hopes the U-system will "Get the message."

Marbut added that although the six-mill levy has passed in prior elections, there has never before been any organized opposition, and sometimes it barely passed anyway.  He says that he has reason to believe other Montana organizations may join the "Send a Message" campaign because of their own areas of concern about the conduct of the Montana university system, areas of concern such as fiscal responsibility, social concerns and religious concerns.

MSSA is the primary advocate for gun owners and hunters in Montana, having achieved passage of 50 pro-gun and pro-hunting measures before the Montana Legislature in the past 25 years.  MSSA is affiliated with the National Rifle Association and associated with GOA and the CCRKBA.

Information:    Gary Marbut, MSSA - 406-549-1252
                Larry Pratt, GOA Ex. Dir. - 703-321-8585
                Alan Gottlieb, CCRKBA - 425-454-4911
                Aled Baker, SCCC V.P. - 208-559-8205
                Mike Craddock, SCCC Montana - 406-925-1012


White paper concerning guns on Montana campuses:
http://www.progunleaders.org/university/

MSSA 2007 comment on MSU firearms policy revision
http://www.marbut.com/MSU/