I Promise To Fight For Our Military Veterans

 

This Veterans Day we honor our veterans for everything they have sacrificed and all they have given to our country. My father served in the Army in the Korean War, and I am thankful every day for the service he gave and that he is still a large part of my life now. Growing up in our household, he instilled in me the values of honesty, hard work, and kindness that I try to live up to every day.

But Veterans Day is about more than just thanking our vets. It’s about showing all of our veterans that we have recommitted ourselves to making sure their interests are always represented.

Our veterans deserve an Attorney General who will prioritize championing issues that affect them. I am that Attorney General. I understand what it means to fight for people in their toughest moments, and I know how to deliver results that matter.

First, it starts with ensuring our service men and women have access to health care and the services they need to live their lives. As a nurse, I worked with veterans, helping them deal with the medical issues they faced. I know our veterans face challenges accessing the services they are owed and obtaining comprehensive health care coverage, including mental health care. As Attorney General, I will make it a priority to help our veterans obtain the services they are owed.

As a state and county prosecutor, I know the challenges our service members can face in our legal system. I have been a strong advocate of establishing and funding veteran treatment courts to help veterans who are facing criminal charges deal with the causes underlying their criminal actions. As Attorney General, I will continue to be a champion of reforming our legal systems to best help veterans.

 

As a state lawmaker, I know first-hand how our state policies can help our veterans. I have worked to do this for the past eight years representing Montanans in the legislature.

As a state representative, I have:

  • Supported legislation that expanded access to services for military members in Montana by increasing the number of service offices in the state (allowing county offices), reforming veterans’ treatment courts, and improving outreach to underserved veterans, especially in Indian Country

  • Supported legislation that allowed veterans to apply the skills and training they received in service for college credits, professional certification, and commercial driver’s licenses, as well as allowing employers to receive tax credits for employing veterans

  • Supported a bill that grants scholarships to Purple Heart recipients to honor their service

  • Spearheaded legislation that supports veteran-owned businesses through focused business and trade assistance, as well as a skill-building and training program for veterans

  • Championed legislation establishing the Montana Veterans’ Home Loan Mortgage Act to ease payments on closing costs as well as increase the amount of state funds available for veteran housing

  • Wrote the bill that dedicated the Memorial Highway for Minnie Spotted Wolf, the first Native American woman in the nation to enlist in the United States Marine Corps

 

But more needs to be done. In traveling the state, I have heard from veterans about what they need — from lack of access to comprehensive, affordable health care, to the epidemic of veteran suicide, and the unseen violence against women in the military. From financial scams, to homelessness and underemployment, trauma, and suicide, I understand the challenges veterans’ face and vow to help with these issues as Montana’s next Attorney General.

When elected, I won’t just pay lip service to our veterans — I will fight for them.

I hope you will stand with me and also commit to honoring our country’s brave men and women. As a mother, a nurse, a prosecutor, and a legislator, I have spent my whole life fighting for Montanans — and as Attorney General, I will do the same for Montana.

 

Kimberly Dudik

Member, Montana House of Representatives

Kimberly has served the people of Montana as a registered nurse specializing in neonatal intensive care, a Deputy Gallatin County Attorney, and an Assistant Montana Attorney General. She is Chairperson for the Legislative Finance Committee, Chairperson for the Council of State Governments West, and Immediate Past Chairwoman of the National Foundation for Women Legislators. She is a Democratic Candidate for Montana Attorney General.

 

Medium link: https://medium.com/@IAmForYou/i-promise-to-fight-for-our-military-veterans-70a2d3d6ba37

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Protecting Our Elections as Montana Attorney General

Safeguarding the rights of Montanans, including the equal right to vote, the fundamental bedrock of our nation, is a pillar of my Montana Attorney General campaign. Every citizen in our state should have confidence that every election, from those for President to city council, is fair and free. We live in the greatest democracy in the world and as Attorney General I will fight to protect this fundamental right.

Montana needs a comprehensive approach to safeguarding our right to vote, including keeping dark money out of our elections so the voices of everyday Montanans, not rich and powerful special interests, are heard; ensuring voting rights of all eligible voters; and fighting back against attempts to infringe on our right to vote.

As Attorney General I will fight to protect against any restrictions that cause disenfranchisement for any citizen eligible to vote, especially our military service members and Native American communities. Most importantly, we need an Attorney General who has a proven record and the know-how to protect our elections — my record shows I am that champion.

I have fought to protect Montana’s elections and our right to vote for the past eight years as a state legislator. I have:

· Fought against anonymous and dark money

· Banned foreign money in our elections

· Supported same-day voter registration and online voter registration

· Ensured adequate funding for satellite voting sites

· Pushed for increased election transparency

· Fought back against attempts to limit our right to vote, especially in Indian Country

I’m running for Attorney General to be a fighter who protects the integrity of our elections because more needs to be done.

Having spent eight years making laws to protect citizens’ rights and make government work for us, I know what needs to be done and how to do it. I will:

· Uphold the Voting Rights Act to better protect the rights of all Montanans at their polling place

· Protect the right to vote for Indigenous people and fight against attempts to require street addresses in order to register to vote

· Ensure military service members and others living abroad do not have their right to vote infringed upon by unreasonable requirements

· Keep dark money out of our elections which dilutes the voices of everyday Montanans

· Ensure citizens who have served their time in the criminal justice system can exercise their lawful right to vote

· Make registering to vote as easy as possible, including using automatic voter registration

 

As a mother, a nurse, a prosecutor and a legislator, I have spent my entire career fighting for justice and to protect our rights — and as Attorney General, I will do the same for Montana.

Kimberly Dudik

Member, Montana House of Representatives

Kimberly has served the people of Montana as a registered nurse specializing in neonatal intensive care, a Deputy Gallatin County Attorney, and an Assistant Montana Attorney General. She is Chairperson for the Legislative Finance Committee, Chairperson for the Council of State Governments West, and Immediate Past Chairwoman of the National Foundation for Women Legislators. She is a Democratic Candidate for Montana Attorney General.

Medium link: https://medium.com/@IAmForYou/protecting-our-elections-as-montana-attorney-general-cb71ac8d09ff

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Native American Issues Initiative: Making Montana Safer for Everyone

Today we can celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day with other Americans throughout the nation, a day to honor our Native American communities and cultures. Montana is home to eight Tribes with over 69,000 Tribal Members, according to the 2016 Census. These Tribal Nations are rich in history and culture. Unfortunately, Native Americans, especially women and children, experience violent crime at rates significantly higher than other American women and children.

Native Americans in Montana are nearly 4 times more likely to be murdered than the general population. The reason for this increased rate is not clear. Native American women are especially at risk - at times 10 times more likely to be murdered than other Americans according to a study for the U.S. Department of Justice and 2.5 times more likely to be raped according to a 2016 National Institute of Justice study. 

This is a Montana problem - not just a Native American problem. More than two-thirds of sexual assaults against indigenous women are committed by non-Native American people according to one study by the University of Delaware and the University of North Carolina similar to findings from a 2016 U.S. Department of Justice Report. The survivors may not see justice because if a non-Native individual is the perpetrator of the violence, he can fall outside the jurisdiction of tribal or local law enforcement - leading to a failure of the legal system to be able to hold him accountable. Confusion about how different legal jurisdictions (local, tribal, state, and federal) work together can also hinder timely and effective response. The effects of this violence is not confined to reservations - it has ripple effects and resulting costs throughout the state that can last for years and affect multiple generations.

As a domestic violence advocate, nurse, prosecutor, and legislator, I have seen the hidden violence too many in our communities face and that they are crying out for help and change. I am ready to provide that leadership and change. I am running for Attorney General because I believe we can, and must, do more. 

I am thankful for the leadership Indigenous people, especially Indigenous women, have been providing on this issue. We took one step forward to stop this violence this year when I worked alongside other legislators to pass Hanna’s Act, carried by Rep. Rae Peppers and named in honor of Hanna Harris. Hanna was missing for several days before being found murdered on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2013. Hanna’s Act improves the investigation of missing persons and, along with other legal changes, can hopefully save lives. The improvements made include:

  • Establishment of a missing Indigenous persons task force to help remove jurisdictional barriers and improve investigation of missing indigenous persons

  • Creation of a missing persons specialist position within the Department of Justice to specialize in missing persons crimes

  • Clarification that all law enforcement authorities must report missing children to the missing child information program to help find them.

But more must be done. I am running for Attorney General to provide statewide leadership on issues of violence that for too long have been insufficiently addressed. I will elevate the conversation surrounding tribal justice issues, especially violence against women and children. We must identify the underlying causes of increased violence against Montana’s Tribal Members and then implement a comprehensive plan with our Tribal Nations to effectively address criminal justice and violence-related issues.

Together we are building a movement that creates a safer Montana for everyone by fighting for a more equal Montana and addressing problems that have been ignored for far too long. It is long past time Montanans at all levels come together to help solve the issues our Tribal Nations are facing so that together we ensure safety for all Montanans. The time to act is now.

Kimberly Dudik has served the people of Montana as a registered nurse specializing in neonatal intensive care, a Deputy Gallatin County Attorney, and an Assistant Montana Attorney General. She is Chairperson for the Legislative Finance Committee, Chairperson for the Council of State Governments West, and Immediate Past Chairwoman of the National Foundation for Women Legislators. She is a Democratic Candidate for Montana Attorney General.

 

Medium link: https://medium.com/@IAmForYou/native-american-issues-initiative-f2e7aa4736e9 (links to data citations provided in article)

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Public Lands Initiative:  Protecting our Land

I didn’t grow up in a political family, always knowing I was eventually going to run for office. Frankly, I never expected to be in elected office, period. I grew up in a household supported by my father, a union airline employee, and my mother, a small business owner. Like so many Montanans, we were focused on getting by, not getting to the top. It wasn’t until I started a family of my own, saw through my work as a prosecutor the danger some children face, that I realized I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to make the changes that needed to be made to make our state safer. I had to do more.

I ended up running for the Montana House of Representatives eight years ago because I looked into that chamber and didn’t see many people that looked, or thought, like me. I didn’t see people championing the important issues I care about. I’m a registered nurse, domestic violence advocate and prosecutor who spent my life working for children and those in need. In the House, I fought hard to pass legislation to protect citizens’ rights, ensure justice for victims of crime, uphold children’s rights, and strengthen Montana’s families. But, there is more work to do.

I’m running for Attorney General to be an advocate for the people of our state because I understand what it means to fight for people in their toughest moments and I know how to deliver results.

I know I am best positioned to deliver on the issues that matter to us, but I believe you should hear from me exactly what those are. So, I am going to spend the next few months telling you why I am running, and how I plan to fight for you as your Attorney General.

First, it starts with protecting our state from polluters who are more concerned with their bottom line than the health of Montana’s environment and economy. In Montana, the land around us is not a political talking point — it is a way of life. As a Montanan, I grew up camping, hiking, and fishing on these lands. As a mother of four, I have raised my children on hiking trails and trout streams. As a nurse, I have seen how polluted waters can end lives and tear apart communities. As a legislator representing Frenchtown, I know first-hand the damage the abandoned Smurfit-Stone Container mill did to our town when the management closed shop and stopped paying their taxes, leaving the bill for clean-up to the people of Montana. I stood up to this out-of-state corporation and held them accountable, because protecting our public lands for generations to come is more than political, it is personal.
 

Despite the fact that outdoor recreation is one of the largest economic drivers in Montana, generating more than $7 billion annually and sustaining over 71,000 Montana jobs, more remains to be done to protect this industry and our environment. Unfortunately, here in Montana, we have a history of companies putting profit over the health of our outdoors and our economy. Operating near streams and vital water sources, these companies have left behind a legacy of toxic pollutants that threaten the health of our economy and our environment for generations to come. With cuts to the EPA ongoing, clean-up of these sites is slowing.

We need an Attorney General that will stand up to polluters and demand accountability for Montanans. We need an Attorney General who will fight for the federal dollars we already pay to clean up the mess that was left behind by abandoned mills and plants. We need an Attorney General who will protect the right to access our public lands. Most importantly, we need an Attorney General who has a proven record and the know-how to get the job done.

I will:

Join in lawsuits protecting our water and fighting against pollution, especially from harmful chemicals that can make us sick.

Protect public lands from being sold off. As a member of the Montana State Land Board that deals with the management of public lands, I will ensure public lands stay in public hands.

Challenge out-of-state corporations and billionaires who would build fences and prevent locals from accessing their favorite fishing hole, hiking and camping area, or hunting grounds.

Curb illegal dumping on private lands that is seeping into public lands and polluting our waterways.

Stand up to polluters and manufacturers who want to cut corners and expose our people and land to toxic chemicals that make us sick.

Demand the EPA does its job and cleans up the superfund sites in our state, and adds currently pending sites to the list for clean-up.

As a mother, a nurse, a prosecutor and a legislator, I have spent my whole life protecting our public lands and fighting for families — and as Attorney General, I will do the same for Montana.

 

Kimberly Dudik

Member, Montana House of Representatives

Candidate, Montana Attorney General

Medium Link: https://medium.com/@IAmForYou/protecting-our-land-5f840b5dfc22 

Paid for by Friends of Kimberly Dudik, P.O. Box 674, Frenchtown, MT, 59834-0674

Treasurer Kelly Gallinger

Democrat

© 2018