Kathleen is running for Congress to get Washington past its dysfunction and working for Montana again.
Politicians on both sides are too interested in scoring political points against each other rather than getting the job done. Kathleen will bring her experience and independence to Washington to work with people of all political stripes to do what’s right for Montana and America, not the special interests. That’s what she did as a state legislator and what she will do in Congress.
We must restore civility, integrity, and stateswomanship to a broken Congress. Kathleen made headway doing that at the state legislature, and will bring that art and skill to Washington. Kathleen believes it’s our responsibility to find practical solutions that are going to help our neighbors now – solutions like the ones she delivered in the legislature.
These are the issues she hears most often from Montanans as she travels the state. See an issue that you want to hear more about, or have a question? Join us at one of our events and ask Kathleen. You can see a list of our events here.
GETTING PEOPLE THE HEALTHCARE THEY NEED
All Americans deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Healthcare is personal for Kathleen. When she was 11, her mother started to lose her memory. It was early-onset Alzheimer’s; she was only 49. Her father and Kathleen became her mother’s caregivers for eight years until she passed away. Kathleen knows what a healthcare crisis can do to a family. As Kathleen travels the state talking with Montanans, she knows it is unacceptable that some pay $2,000 a month with a $10,000 deductible; or sacrifice food or utilities to pay for medicine.
Kathleen believes Congress needs to get moving on fixing the expensive and inefficient patchwork of a system we call healthcare in America. There has been so much partisan bickering in Washington over healthcare and we still can’t move forward. That has to change.
As a state legislator, Kathleen worked hard to find common interests in unique places.
She passed legislation that stopped insurance companies from denying routine care to cancer patients. It took four years, but it’s saving lives. She worked to eliminate surprise medical bills and address discrimination in our insurance laws.
GROWING AND DIVERSIFYING OUR ECONOMY
The economy has been recovering from the Great Recession since 2011. A high stock market might be great for some, but it masks the struggles of others. Everyone deserves a fair shot at their American dream. Kathleen was first elected to the Montana Legislature just after the Great Recession and got to work right away.
She worked with both parties to pass a law that cut red tape and created over 200 new businesses and thousands of new Montana products. Another bill created a new type of corporation in Montana that is attractive to millennials and entrepreneurs. She worked to attract the film industry to our state, and reduced taxes for small businesses. Kathleen was honored by the Montana Chamber of Commerce for advancing creative business ideas that diversified Montana’s economy.
PROTECTING MONTANA’S ENVIRONMENT AND OUTDOOR HERITAGE
Our outdoor heritage helps make Montana “The Last Best Place,” but that heritage is under threat. Private lands are less accessible for hunting and fishing. Our climate is changing; our snowpack melts out earlier; our fire seasons are longer; and stress on our waterways is continuing to increase.
Kathleen has loved the outdoors since she was a small child. It’s her sanctuary, where she goes to think and have some time at peace. She has fished all her life, and hunted for the last 20 years. Kathleen knows many Montanans share these values, which is why she dedicated her nearly four-decade career to outdoor opportunities and solving natural resource problems.
In the 1990’s Kathleen served as the Montana Legislature’s nonpartisan staff expert on water, mining, and outdoor recreation policy. She worked hard to fulfill her council’s mission – “encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between humans and their environment”. Protecting Montana’s outdoor heritage is critical to the state’s communities and economy. That’s why in the legislature, Kathleen stood up to proposals that would have weakened land and water protections and transferred public land. Her work experience, problem-solving skills, and ability to forge diverse coalitions, will foster real solutions we need to protect our environment and heal our planet.
FIGHTING FOR RURAL MONTANA
Kathleen has a deep commitment to rural Montana. For much of her career, she has worked with farmers and ranchers to resolve water rights issues, help diversify their incomes, tell the story of good work being done on the land, ensure Farm Bill programs work for Montana, and address predator conflicts more.
It’s always a challenge to make a living on the land, and farmers and ranchers need stable and predictable markets for their products. Montana wheat growers worked for decades to develop a wheat strain attractive to Japan. Kathleen will work to maintain the markets Montanans have worked so hard to build. It’s past time rural Montana had a friend and advocate in the US House.
REBUILDING A BROKEN CONGRESS SO IT WORKS FOR US
Politicians everywhere talk about addressing political corruption. The difference is that Kathleen has actually done it. Washington is full of too many lobbyists, professional politicians, and special interests who make it even harder to get things done.
Montana has led the way on transparency in campaign spending, as well as keeping contribution limits low so no donor has too much sway or access. Even when some Democrats wanted to raise campaign contribution limits, Kathleen argued for keeping them low and won. She supported Montana’s DISCLOSE Act, one of the strongest transparency laws in the nation.
She leads by example and never forgets who she’ll work for — you.
STRENGTHENING OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM
A critical gateway to opportunity is a strong public education system. Kathleen is proud to be the product of public schools: K-12 and degrees from two land grant universities. Although much of education policy and funding is determined at the local and state levels, the federal government has an important role to play.
In the legislature, Kathleen made sure that public dollars went to public schools so every Montanan could get the education they need to succeed. She supported policies that help Montana recruit excellent teachers and advance school safety. Our kids are the world’s future, and they deserve the best.
ADVOCATING FOR INDIAN COUNTRY
Tribal heritage in Montana is rich in culture and history. The proud Native people who live in reservation and urban communities share a strong sense of family and being there for one another. To preserve these values and history we must respect tribal sovereignty and ensure federal policy incorporates tribal interests. Too often, our government makes misguided policies on behalf of our Native communities without meaningful consultation. It’s far past time that America’s promise for security and opportunity is shared by all.
Kathleen will work with Tribal representatives to address the intertwined issues of poverty, jobs, wages, and education on our reservations. She also understands that we must confront addiction, suicide, and domestic violence head on. While economic opportunity must be the starting point, these issues demand their own solutions.
Kathleen was proud to be one of the key negotiators on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Water Compact and helped get it passed. It was a critical agreement to protect water rights holders across half of Montana, foster economic development, and ensure the Tribes’ rights were clarified and secured. She supported legislation to preserve native languages, combat suicide, and expand medical services. Kathleen will always be a champion for our Native communities and work in Congress to uphold the sovereign relationship between Federal and Tribal governments.
HONORING OUR VETERANS, SERVICEMEMBERS, AND THEIR FAMILIES
Fighting for our veterans, service members, and their families is personal for Kathleen. Montana has one of the highest proportions of veterans in the country. Kathleen’s father served in World War II. Her late husband, Tom, was a Vietnam-era veteran, and later served as a civilian advisor in Iraq. She was born in an Army hospital and their family goods and groceries came from the commissary and PX. Her military family background forges Kathleen’s commitment to our service members. We must provide the services they need and the opportunities they deserve.