Montana Politics Special Election

Message from Rob Quist: I need to hear from real Montanans.

Written by Nathan Kosted

Written by Rob Quist


Dear friends and fellow Montanans,

I know how worrisome it is to put your life in someone else’s hands and hope for the best. And we all know what it is like dealing with big insurance companies. Montana has some of the best medical professionals in the country, but sometimes things still go wrong.

Years ago, I went under the knife for gallbladder surgery and it went badly.

My family was faced with thousands of dollars in medical bills that nearly bankrupted us. That’s a story that too many Montanans share.

Montanans and hard-working folks across this country are too often put into the same financial situation my family has had to face. One in five working Americans1 — even those with insurance — reported that they have had problems paying medical bills, according to a 2016 survey.

I know my family’s health care story isn’t unique. That’s why I’m asking to hear your story.

What is your healthcare horror story? When were you forced to make some difficult decisions between your health and your way of life here in Montana? What did you end up doing to get by?

Click here to share your stories with me so we can take action!

Your stories will help me elevate your voices and represent your needs when I’m elected your next Congressman. With your support, I will fight, everyday for your right to have quality, affordable healthcare and to continue to lead healthy, productive lives.

Share your stories to help us stand up to radical leaders in Washington who want to take away our access to quality, affordable health care.


Rob Quist

About the author

Nathan Kosted


  • Real Montanans? Thanks, Rob Quist! I was NOT born and raised in this country, but I’ve been living and voting in Montana for 34 years. I’ve worked, paid taxes, volunteered and raised two kids in this state. Am I not good enough to vote or give my opinion? That was a real stupid question to ask! That’s my opinion. You’ve got my vote, in spite of that really stupid question.

    • Yvonne, according to Rob Quist and most of the Democratic Party, you are not a “Real Montanan” unless you were born and raised in Montana. Should you decide at some point to run for elected office in Montana, Quist, Don Pogreba and most in the Democratic Party would denounce you for being an out of state candidate and call you unqualified to serve in public office on that basis even if you have spent more years of your adult life in Montana than your opponent (as James Conner’s pointed out so well at the Flathead Memo).

      • I believe that in his headline, Quist is using the term “real Montanans” as shorthand for the 95–99 percent of Montana’s residents who cannot afford to self-insure for Health Care. I do not believe he was using the term as a slur against Montanans not born in Montana.

        • James, with all respect, I believe you are being too generous in interpreting Quist’s “real Montanans” comment a reference to Health Care. Quist is simply mimicking MtCowGirl’s and other Democratic Gianforte attacks lines about “real Montanans”, “real Montana”, “real Montana solutions”, etc. It is another way of saying “New Jersey Millionaire”. Both are lies.

  • Well, Yvonne, I guess one could take issue with Rob’s semantics but he did address his post to “friends and fellow Montanans.” I’m sure glad you donated anyway. Despite Possum’s take on it, I don’t need Rob’s assurance that I’m a Montanan although I wasn’t born and raised here. I LIVE here, I WORK here, ergo I am a Montanan. Folks here are proud of their generational roots and as a military child wandering the globe, I get that and envy that a bit too.
    Rob, as for health care horror stories, I too had no health insurance since I returned to the States in 1995. Before that, I had national health care in Spain – like the rest of the civilized world – which was terrific. I finally had Medicare when I turned 65 and really, rearly appreciate the expanded wellness and prevention services added by the ACAmerican. Still, I can’t afford any other insurance to cover the Medicare 20% copay so a health crises would definitely bankrupt me.
    Today, we’ve seen the AHCA pulled with no vote so this, I believe is a great time for ACA supporters in Congress to immediately propose the changes to improve it. You know I’m behind you all the way!

  • As a teacher, I had health insurance for 20 yrs until I decided to try something new and became a small business owner. Suddenly – no health insurance until Medicare – and cannot afford supplemental insurance. I have not been to a doctor for about 15 yrs. Lucky to have good health! When I saw Gianforte’s attack ad about your tax liens and learned it was due to medical issues, my first thought was that his ad will come back to haunt him because your situation will resonate with many Montanans. You have been there! I will donate to your campaign tomorrow!

  • Quist wants to hear from “Real Montanans”. Here is one who had a lot to say in todays news.

    Kraig Trippel, a “Real Montana” contractor who was forced to sue when Quist stiffed him and refused to pay him for construction work said

    . . . . “the Quist”s seemed to want special treatment. Both of them, they definitely had a sense of arrogance about them, because he was doing concerts and he was a singer and yada, yada, yada . . . .And I don’t care. He’s just another dude to me.”

  • OK, Rob. Hear his. Drop out now and throw your support to Amanda Curtis. That’s the best (only) way to help us real Montanans now. We had a good shot at winning this thing until you decided that you needed a job to pad your retirement. What we’re you planning to do? Stiff us too?

    Not my Montana value at all. We never stiff a workin’ dude. ‘Sides, state’s just too damn small to screw somebody over. We all know each other. Ya simply can’t hide that sort of thing. It’s Walsh time, Dems! I tried to warn you!–year-debt-trail-records-show/article_579f11cc-2466-5818-aee8-6a3dba3f0fdf.html

      • With all the great young talent in the state, it disturbs me greatly that they chose a deeply flawed candidate. What sense does that make? Quist will get the I’m not Gianforte vote, and the cry me a river vote. But I doubt he will get the working man vote. We don’t have a ranch to sell. We just suck it up and move on with our integrity intact.

        He might pull it out, but I seriously doubt it. Not enough old stoners out there. Time for some deep introspection on the part of the Dems. Some folks need to retire and get the hell out of the way for the young turks.

        But you really shouldn’t ban us oracles. This is what we do. Leonidas did, and look how that turned out!

  • Merv, I wonder what folks will say when they find out Rob Quist doesn’t own any land in Montana.

    As I remember, attacking politicians for not owning land in Montana was a big topic discussed on this site last year.

      • Pete, Rob Quist does not own land in Montana. Bonni owns 10 acres in Creston and their daughter owns the adjoining 10 acres. Rob’s name is not on either section and I am not able to find any other property in Montana in his name or the name of another entity (LLC, Trust, etc) in which he has ownership. It is a bit disingenuous for him to claim “he” owns a ranch. He may want to explain to the press why his name isn’t on the property.

        I also noticed that neither parcel of land is listed as Agricultural land. (Both pieces are coded as Tract Land) So when he talks about being a “rancher” and owning a “ranch”, that is a bit of an exaggeration, to put it politely. Even if his name was on the property, I would like to see him convince an eastern Montana farm family that 10 or 20 acres constitutes a working ranch. You can’t run many AUs on 20 acres.

        Of course the whole Cowboy getup he wears is just a costume he puts on for his act whether it is performing on stage with the band or performing in front of the crowds as a politician.

        • What’s with the tawdry comments, Pogo? I’m disappointed. Who cares that the family property is in Bonni’s name, or that it’s not listed as agricultural? Or what kind of clothes he wears? That’s the best you can come up with?

          Let’s talk substantive stuff. Where’s Gianforte on Trumpcare? On the proposed budget that cuts Forest Service and National Parks jobs, and Essential Air Service, and the Department of Agriculture? Or Superfund clean up in Montana? And how about Russia?

          Let’s get serious.

          • Pete, I understand your comment, I just wish you would have applied it equally to the “tawdry” attacks made on this site against Republicans. This includes the title of this piece which includes the “tawdry” phrase “real Montanans”.

            Pogreba spilled gallons of ink during the last election nit picking Ryan and Lola Zinke’s home ownership in Montana and countless detail on how their property was registered. He is still beating that “tawdry” drum on this comment section. He even berated Lola Zinke for being in California with her dying mother the same week she passed away. Don made repeated “tawdry” attacks nitpicking the smallest details of Zinke’s military career, his service record, medals earned and received and even what was printed on his campaign bus.

            Don’s “tawdry” attacks include criticisms of Gianforte’s religion, attacks on what is and isn’t taught in private schools and what is displayed in museums. These “tawdry” attacks are just the tip of the iceberg made on this site by Don and others. In fairness, you have been above that.

            Quist and his campaign staff are using the “tawdry” attack on Gianforte that he is a “New Jersey multi-millionaire” which James Conners calls a lie. I will avoid discussing the MtCowGirl site which is a cesspool that is the very definition of “tawdry”.

            As today’s Billings Gazette article demonstrates, Quist has compounded the story of his financial problems by falsely blaming others for his financial problems and being dishonest about his finances. He continues to add to his problems by misrepresenting himself to Montana voters. The land issue is simply an example of this.

            Quist and his followers try to appeal to rural Ag voters by saying he is a rancher and a cowboy and owns a ranch. He isn’t a “rancher”, he isn’t a cowboy and he doesn’t own land in his name. The property his wife and daughter own does not have an agricultural designation because it does not generate agricultural income and thus is not a “ranch” that any person who makes their living on a working ranch would accept. The fact that his name is not on the title may well have to do with his attempt to avoid creditors. Let him explain all this when he tells people in rural Montana he understands them because he is a “rancher”.

            • Again, let’s deal with the real issues, Pogo, not the Gianforte campaign talking points. It’s crazy that Gianforte sides with Trump on public lands, health care, energy, the environment… and bigotry.

              That aside, rural Montanans like Quist because he’s played their county fairs and special events. He grew up on a ranch in Cut Bank. He’s had tax and debt issues related to our health care system, like many Montanans. He’s genuine and folks can relate.

              But stay petty, Pogo, on Quist’s cowboy credentials, and avoid the fact that Gianforte does not represent Montana’s interests.

              In a way, this special election is a referendum on the Trump administration. Your thoughts, Pogo, on the President and leader of your party. How’s he doing, especially as it affects Montana? Does he make you proud?

            • 1. Learn where quotations marks go.

              2. Repeating your assertions about my content about the Zinkes doesn’t make them true. My claims were well-supported. I’d ask you to read over a certain D.C. lawsuit if you want to learn just how dishonest Zinke was about his reason for not living in D.C.

              3. The attacks on the Congressman Zinke’s military record were based on comments by others who served with him and press accounts of his actions.

              4. I have never attacked what is taught at the Gianforte private school. I have, however, repeatedly questioned why it explicitly discriminates against students with disabilities in its admission policy.

              5. Use evidence. Use logic. But stop acting like you’re above the fray. You’re just as partisan as the rest of us. You’re just afraid to be partisan under your own name.

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