The 2018 Elections will determine who represents Montanans in Congress and in Helena. The US House race will determine whether Montana’s lone Congressperson will defend the key principals OSM feels are critical to the continued success of the tech industry in the state or succumb to pressures from campaign funders and special interest in Washington and decline to defend these principals or even worse contribute to the undermining of them.
Also at the Federal level Senator Tester, a staunch advocate for our key principles, is up for reelection and millions of special interest out of state money will be spent trying to defeat him.
At the state level several key legislative races, including several in Gallatin and Park Counties, will present a similar contrast between the leading candidates, just as we expect to see in the House race.
OSM believes it is important to advocate for or against candidates depending on where they stand on policies that affect the future or our industry, and for that matter the future of many other industries in the state. We will do this regardless of party affiliation. You can expect to see us, through this website and through other efforts, voice our views in support of candidates that embrace the policies that are critical for the growth of the tech industry or in opposition to those who would undermine these key principles.
We strongly believe public funds should be reserved for public schools. We will support polices and candidates who stand up for our public education system and will speak out against policies or candidates who advocate for cutting funding of our public schools in general or for taking funding away from public schools in order to support private schools.
We also will support candidates who advocate for expanding our public education system to the Pre-K level.
The tech industry, nationwide, depends on qualified and hard working employees. It is essential that Montana, at all levels of government, maintain a welcoming environment for potential employees regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual preference or gender orientation.
We will support candidates who understand this and fight to maintain laws and policies that promote and protect diversity in the state. We will oppose any efforts to allow discrimination to take place in our state and will speak out against candidates who support, directly or indirectly, efforts to impose or allow discrimination on any basis.
For the tech industry, and many others, our public lands are essential to the competitiveness and success of our businesses. They should remain public, open to all citizens of the country. We will support efforts to defend and expand access to them and speak out against policies and candidates who would undermine our public lands or access to them.
Specifically we will support the full funding and permanent authorization of the Land and water Conservation fund at the Federal level. And, we will advocate for collaborative efforts to evaluate public lands in Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs). There are enough public lands in Montana to accommodate all modes of recreational activity as well as resource extraction activities. A rational balance between these activities should take into account the special characteristics of certain lands and the ways in which certain activities are incompatible with other activities. We support candidates who advocate for this and oppose those who would summarily dismiss WSA lands by top-down legislation under the guise of “unlocking” them. And even more importantly we will oppose efforts by our representatives in Washington or in Helena to divest of public lands or transfer them to the states where there will be enormous pressure to privatize them.
Infrastructure investment is critical for a rural state like Montana. Like other essential services, infrastructure maintenance and improvement isn’t free. We must be willing to generate the tax dollars needed at the state and national levels to insure safe and functional infrastructure across the state and to do so without taking funding from other important priorities.
We will support candidates who recognize the importance of a safe and broad based infrastructure system and who advocate for responsible funding of the state’s infrastructure needs.
Accessible and affordable healthcare is critical to our industry and other industries in the state. We will support candidates who work to improve access to and affordability of healthcare and speak out in opposition to those who would undermine our existing healthcare programs without offering anything better in their place.