Montanans Speak Out to Tell Matt Rosendale: Jon Tester’s 19 Bills Aren’t the “Little Stuff,” They’re “Montana Stuff”

Billings—While Rosendale was in Washington, DC today for a fundraiser, Montanans spoke out against the East Coast developer’s insulting new advertisement calling Jon Tester’s 19 bills—which hold the VA accountable, deliver resources to our first responders, improve care for veterans, provide relief for community banks in rural Montana, and cut government waste, fraud, and abuse—the “little stuff.”

Montana veterans and firefighters joined together to slam Rosendale for being completely out-of-touch with how Tester’s work has made a difference in their lives and professions. Speakers included:

Patience Woodill, wife and caretaker of her husband, Jim. Jim is a Vietnam Navy Veteran who has service-connected disabilities. Patience and families like hers have been helped by Tester’s leadership on improving caregivers benefits and his work to cut red tape for veteran disability claims.

Mike Lawson, leader of Butte area veterans groups and long-time advocate for the Southwest Montana Veterans Home.

Bernie Jacobs, leader and volunteer for local veterans groups in Helena. Bernie is a veteran of both Vietnam and Iraqi Freedom, and retired as a Master Sergeant from the U.S. Army and Montana National Guard.

Mike McDaniel, captain with his local fire department and member of IAFF Local 448. Tester helped secure $800K in SAFER grants for Mike’s fire department last month, which will go towards securing six full-time positions for his department.

Rosendale was hit hard for calling Tester’s bills to help veterans and first responders the “little stuff,” despite consistently voting against veterans and firefighters himself.

Rosendale was heavily criticized for voting against funding for a veterans home in Southwest Montana, which Tester recently secured federal funding for so the project could move forward, and for voting against resources for Montana firefighters.

The following statewide rally drew more than 100 people across the state in Montana’s largest seven cities to tell Rosendale that these bills aren’t little stuff—they’re Montana stuff.

“As a Montana veteran, my experience with Matt Rosendale has been seeing him vote against the Southwest Montana Veterans Home,” said Mike Lawson. “I have not seen any support for veterans from Rosendale. Sen. Tester has been a champion for veterans—he does what he says and gets results time after time. To us, that’s ‘big stuff.’ Jon Tester is our look-in-your-eye, down to earth, get the job done, native Montanan who we can, without a doubt, trust to be our champion for Montana.”

“Matt Rosendale has said he believes that passing legislation like Sen. Tester’s VA Mission Act is ‘little,’” said Bernie Jacobs. “So he must also believe that getting the best care possible for Montana veterans is a ‘little’ thing. True Montanans care for our veterans, and Matt Rosendale doesn’t. He’s not fit to represent Montana in the Senate, or even to call himself a Montanan. He belongs back in Maryland.”

“Every Montanan I know would agree that it’s not ‘little stuff’ to provide our men and women battling fires with better resources to execute their jobs safely and more effectively,” said Mike McDaniel. “But Matt Rosendale stands there and tries to tell us that these crucial resources aren’t ‘big stuff.’ Try telling that to the men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day.”

“I have had enough of the commercial, disrespectful, out-of-context, and just plain wrong ads. Jon Tester’s commitment to Montana and our veterans is felt all over the state,” said Patience Woodill. “There is no ‘little stuff’ where our veterans are concerned. Jon is making headway and progress in a fight that should not have to be fought—and to those of us living the reality of what is yet to be done, and the progress Jon has accomplished on our behalf, that’s the ‘big stuff.’”