A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

12 October 2017 — 1247 mdt

Rep. Tom Woods’ website confirms he’s running for U.S. House


Three-term Montana legislator Rep. Tom Woods (D-Bozeman) is holding a campaign kickoff event this afternoon, but through his website he’s already announced he’s running for the Democratic nomination for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He joins political tyros John Heenan and Grant Kier in the contest for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte.

Woods teaches at Montana State University. According to a cached page from his old legislative campaign website:

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and first came to work in Montana when I was 19 years old. My heart never really went back and I continued to work summers while I studied Conservation back east in Ohio, but once I was done with that I made a beeline West for a succession of jobs that have taught me a great deal about life. While living in Montana I have been a bus driver, bell hop, bartender, musician, maintenance specialist,personnel manager, guide, hotel manager and most recently, a teacher. I’m currently an instructor for the Biology department at MSU where I teach Molecular Biology and Medical Ethics.

Woods, Heenan, and Kier, all hail from out-of-state. If one of them wins the Democratic nomination, the Montana Democratic Party will have a tough time keeping a straight face if it tries tarring Gianforte as “Jersey Gianforte,” an outsider from an alien culture who will pollute Montana’s cultural purity.

Single-payer men

On his campaign for Congress website, Woods confirms he’s a single-payer man:

Tens of thousands of Montanans still lack insurance, and millions of Americans struggle to pay their rising premiums. Healthcare is a right, and Washington is not doing enough to protect families from soaring healthcare costs. Tom will co-sponsor Medicare-for-All, which will eliminate premiums and deductibles while ensuring Montanans can go to the doctor of their choice without worrying about out-of-network costs or confusing paperwork.

Meanwhile, one-in-four Montanans rely on Medicaid to pay for their healthcare. Tom will vigorously resist attempts by Republicans to undermine this vital program. He will never vote for cynical Republican plans to strip healthcare from millions of Americans in order to cut taxes for the wealthy.

John Heenan also has offered foursquare support for single-payer health care:

John believes that we need to put people’s health above insurance company and health industry profits. The current proposed healthcare law would be a disaster for families in Montana. It eliminates protections for people with pre-existing conditions, rips away coverage from 70,000 Montanans and causes premiums to increase for countless others. John believes healthcare is a right, and he supports affordable healthcare for everyone, and would vote for Medicare for All.

Grant Kier’s website does not have an issues page, but it does have a link for making online donations to him. But why would anyone donate to a candidate who hides his positions on the issues?

Woods reckons he’ll need $3 million to mount a credible campaign. I reckon he’ll need at least $5 million to mount a winning campaign.

Woods’s website lets one sign up for campaign messages, but does not yet have an email link for him.

Woods, incidentally, shares his name with many, including right wing radio host Tom Woods, which is where you’ll end up if you go to http://www.tomwoods.com instead of http://www.tomwoodsformontana.com.