(MSWord file for this CQ)

(Return by March 20, 2012)

1.  Concealed weapon permit reciprocity.  Montana recognizes the concealed weapon permits (CWP) from all other states that issue after doing background checks.  Many of those states do not recognize Montana CWPs.  MSSA has asked the current Attorney General to attempt to persuade those states that do not recognize Montana CWPs to do so.  Will you pursue such recognition by other states if you are elected AG, and, if so, how?

2.  Second Amendment - individual right?  For some the USSC decision in D.C. v. Heller finally settled the question of whether the Second Amendment reserves to the people an individual right, or a collective right for the states to arm their militias.  Did that case settle this issue for you?

3.  Second Amendment applies to states?  For some, the USSC decision in McDonald v. Chicago finally settled the question of whether the Second Amendment applies to states, counties and cities via the Fourteenth Amendment.  Did that case settle this issue for you?

4.  Presidential candidates and the RKBA.  Presidential candidates have been visiting Montana.  The Secret Service protective detail associated with presidential candidate visits requires that no person may be admitted within the perimeter venue of a protected candidate unless that person's name, date of birth and Social Security Number are provided to the SS in advance, and unless the person is disarmed.  Do you find any conflict between that protective protocol applied in Montana and Article II, Sections 10 and 12 of the Montana Constitutions?

5.  Supremacy clause and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.  Some argue that because of the "supremacy clause" any action of the federal government prevails over any provision of state law.  Others assert that the supremacy clause was amended by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and that only federal acts well-founded in the federal constitution and consistent with the Ninth and Tenth Amendments prevail over state constitutional and statutory provisions.  Do you hold the former or latter view?  If you hold a different view, please explain.

6.  Fusion center oversight.  Montana DoJ participates in and supports a "fusion center," to connect and share information from federal, state, and local databases and entities.  This fusion center is overseen by a committee made up primarily of government employees.  Privacy advocates see this as the fox guarding the hen-house.  Would you support statutory redesign of this oversight committee to include a majority of appointees who are not government employees?

7.  Right to privacy.  The Montana Constitution contains a strong declaration of right to privacy at Article II, Section 10.  Do you see this as general advice, such as a right to pursuit of happiness, or do you see it as a hard restriction such as the right to trial by jury or freedom from unwarranted search or seizure?

8.  Civil asset forfeiture.  Civil asset forfeiture laws were originally intended to take the profit out of crime by allowing forfeiture of the assets from major drug dealers.  However, application of asset forfeiture laws has changed, becoming an addictive budget augmentation for some law enforcement agencies.  This profit motive is seen by some to possibly corrupt law enforcement agencies and personnel.  Would you support redirection of ALL proceeds, including "federal returns," from asset forfeiture into the public defender fund in Montana in order to relieve law enforcement agencies of the potentially corruptive influence of profit motive for asset forfeiture?  Also, would you support a change in Montana law requiring that a person's assets may not be forfeited unless a person is convicted of a crime involving those assets?

9.  Public funds for lobbying.  Federal courts have held that when legislative bodies appropriate funds to executive branch agencies it is usually no part of the intended appropriation for the agency to spend the money to influence public votes or legislative decisions.  About half of the paid lobbyists operating before the Montana Legislature are public employees, being paid to lobby with funds appropriated for other purposes, not for lobbying.  If AG, what would you do to interdict this illegal use of public funds for the purpose of influencing the policy-making of the Legislature (would NOT affect private expression by public employees not on payroll OR provision of non-advocacy information by public employees upon legislative request)?

10.  AG opinions.  One way that application of state laws may be clarified is with Attorney General opinions.  However, most people in Montana are not authorized to request an AG opinion.  Would you support broader involvement of the Attorney General in deciding genuine differences of opinion about the effect of Montana laws, especially laws relating to state or local government operations, where facts are not at issue?

11.  RKBA standard of review.  The people of Montana have reserved to themselves the right to bear arms at Article II, Section 12 of the Montana Constitution.  Some assert that a standard of judicial review is specified within this constitutional reservation as "shall not be called in question."  Do you agree that this language constitutes direction for standard of judicial review?  What do you think "shall not be called in question" means?

12.  University system and the RKBA.  The Montana Constitution gives the Board of Regents "full power, responsibility, and authority to supervise, coordinate, manage and control the Montana university system," yet the Constitution fails to give the Regents any authority to suspend or abrogate the fundamental rights of persons on U.-system campuses.  The Montana Supreme Court has said that the primary effect of reserved, fundamental rights is to inhibit government actors.  U.-system managers are clearly government employees because the U.-system is clearly a function of government.  The Montana Constitution says that the right of "any person" to bear arms in defense of themselves or their homes "shall not be called in question."  Yet the Regents do more than "question" this right by asserting rules making it impermissible to bear arms on a U.-system campus.  Do you believe that the current scheme of effective prohibition of firearms on campuses by the Regents and campus managers is consistent with the right the people have reserved to themselves to bear arms in the Montana Constitution?
( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) Other (please explain)

13.  Definition - "self government."  The Montana Constitution says, at Article II, Section 2, "Self-government. The people have the exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state."  What does this sentence mean to you?

14.  MSSA 2013 Legislative Agenda.  Would you instruct or allow any Montana DoJ personnel to oppose or seek modification of any items described on the MSSA Legislative Candidate Questionnaire at:
Link to MSSA's LCQ

15.  Remedies for federal/state conflicts.  When there are conflicts between what a state wishes to do and what the federal government wishes to impose upon a state, there are a variety of remedies available.  A state, for example, may pass a resolution protesting against a federal mandate or incursion.  Or, a state may ask its congressional delegation to introduce and enact legislation to address or moderate the conflict.  One commonly-understood remedy is for a state to sue the federal government in federal court, asking that the judicial branch of the federal government to restrain the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.  While that may sometimes be a fruitful remedy, some observers express concern that lawsuits in federal court are inadequate as an ultimate remedy for federal/state conflicts, because that remedy depends upon an agent (federal courts) for one party (federal government) to a conflict to resolve a conflict in favor of the other party (a state) to the conflict.  This may leave the party whose agent is not deciding the outcome (a state) at a distinct disadvantage.  About this concern, do you:
( ) Agree
( ) Disagree
( ) Other (please explain)

16.  Contract for statehood - effect.  Article I of the Montana Constitution is the Compact with the United States.  That Compact is a contract entered into by and between Montana and the other states in 1889, wherein Congress was acting as the agent for the other states.  Some argue that this contract is not subject to amendment without such change being ratified by the parties to the contract, and that Montana and its people are also guaranteed by contract a view of the Montana and U.S. Constitutions as they were understood and accepted in 1889, at the time the contract was agreed upon.  Do you agree with this view, or do you view the terms of this contract as having become changed over time, without overt ratification, but by the flow of time, events, case law evolution, changing judicial philosophies, and/or enactment of laws by Congress that effect changes in the original conditions of the contract?
( ) Agree
( ) The contract or circumstances have changed
( ) Other

17.  How many years out of the last ten have you purchased a Montana hunting license?

The foregoing responses are actually my positions on these issues, to the best of my knowledge and at this time.

Candidate Signature (digital signature accepted)
Candidate for Attorney General of Montana


Thank you for being willing to serve your state in public office, and thank you very much for helping to provide us information about your views on these important issues related to firearms.

Please return this questionnaire by email to MSSA at mssa@mtssa.org by 5PM, March 20th, or mail to:  MSSA, P.O. Box 16106, Missoula 59808.