While most Democrats are running on abortion and crime, Monica Tranel has made taking on corporate greed the centerpiece of her Montana congressional campaign. And it just might launch her to an historic upset over Donald Trump’s former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Monica Tranel: Ryan Zinke has sold himself.
[News Clip]: Interior secretary Ryan Zinke is being investigated on several fronts.
[News Clip]: An investigation into Montana former Congressman Ryan Zinke finds ethics violations.
Ryan Zinke was pushed out of the Trump administration for corruption. Now he’s running for Montana’s new congressional seat.
Monica: I think he is doing the work of the people who have bought him. And I’m doing this for Montana.
Monica Tranel is running against him.
Tranel: I have kept $10 million in Montanans’ pockets. You are paying less every month on your energy bill than you would be paying if I hadn’t been there.
Tranel won a lawsuit against NorthWestern Energy that saved Montanans millions of dollars.
Tranel: NorthWestern [Energy] is the monopoly utility that provides electricity and gas across Montana. They’re the biggest corporation. They wrote in Montana law, a thing called pre-approval, which means that if they want to buy a big plant, they would go to the Public Service Commission, the utility commission, every state has one, and then those costs are baked into our rates for all time.
We pay 10 percent profit on all of their generation whether the plant works or not. And so we argued it was unconstitutional and we won.
Tranel is running to continue taking on corporate monopolies.
She has said her top priority in Congress will be costs for working families
Tranel [in debate]: My plan tackles inflation and the affordability crisis by saying: let’s build things here. Let’s invest in Montana. Let’s take on corporate monopolies and tackle the monopolization of profits for private people. I’ve spent 25 years keeping money in your pocket because I’ve been here.
Montana hasn’t elected a Democrat to Congress since 1994.
Tranel believes that her anti corporate corruption message can change that.
Tranel: I bring to Congress that ability to follow the money, to follow the money trail, and to really understand how people will lie for money. I’ve seen it. I’ve cross-examined their witnesses. I know what that looks like.
Zinke [in debate]: We need hydrocarbons to make sure the grid is stable. Monica’s right. She did sue NorthWestern Energy, and we’re going to pay for it in everyone’s rates. Because when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, you still need energy. And that energy makeup should come from hydrocarbons.
Tranel: Last year alone, he took $460,000 from ConocoPhillips, and he is zealously advocating for the advancement of fossil fuels. Now, I mean, that’s a direct current link. His funding over the course of his career in Congress has really come from fossil fuels Exxon, ConocoPhillips, and he’s done their bidding.
Tranel [in debate]: With respect to the energy transition, it’s happening, it’s here, and I am positioned to make it work for Montana in a way that’s super exciting. One of the counties in this district has a tax base of $1 billion. They have a solar project going in there that’s a $500 million additional tax to that county. That’s real money. And this is coming to our rural counties across Montana.
Tranel: His donations now in this campaign are from out-of-state corporations. Six percent of his money is from Montana. Six. Over 70 percent of my campaign contributions come from Montana.
So if you’re asking what’s the difference between us? Montanans are sending me to Congress.