The June 8 primary election will see Randy Brodehl and Steven Thompson each seeking the Republican nomination to run in November for the House District 7 seat just northeast of Kalispell. The Missoulian sent the candidates a questionnaire about issues likely to be of concern to voters this year. Thompson did not respond to invitations to participate in primary election coverage. Here are Brodehl's responses, some of which may have been edited and consolidated for space:
What's your solution to our looming state budget problem?
We have to spend less than we have coming in. I will support smaller government and budget through:
■ Consolidation and elimination of state government offices.
■ Reducing or removing state regulations and monitoring.
■ Removal of business and equipment tax.
Stimulation of business revenue will increase private industry production and state income tax. Also, I will make us competitive with South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho.
Is DUI a concern, and if so, what can the Legislature do about it?
Two areas that I would support in the Legislature:
■ The driver: immediate enforcement of DUI laws against the driver. The enforcement must hurt the driver with minimal impact on state and local budgets. At a minimum, loss of driver's license, house arrest and on-site vehicle impoundment. Costs should be assigned to the driver.
■ The server: The server who did not prevent the person from driving while impaired should be held equally accountable, and appropriate costs and punishment should be mandatory. Currently, this is a misdemeanor. It should be a felony.
Are property taxes a concern, and if so, what can the Legislature do about it?
The methods used to establish property values are identified in the constitution; however, the amounts assigned are for tax bases, bonds and levies that local voters have approved, making it a snarled mess. I suggest a property tax revision based on household users, not on property values - because services are used by people, with few additional services used due to the size or value of the property. This might be viewed as a flat tax based on the number of bedrooms in a dwelling, and, the use of public safety and maintenance tax dollars by a business.
Reporter Michael Jamison can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or at email@example.com.