U.S. Investments in the Russian economy — a hot topic in the election

Great falls, Montana — on Saturday, the main candidates to the position of the only Congressman from Montana in the House of representatives argued about money. In addition to questions on taxes and campaign Finance were also discussed investments the candidate of the Republican party in the amount of 240 thousand dollars. These investments are the financial statements of associates with index funds that are actively investing in Russian companies under us sanctions.

This situation gave Democrat Rob Quist (Rob Quist) ability to criticize Greg Gianforte (Greg Gianforte) in their only televised debate before the scheduled for may 25 elections. The debate also included libertarian mark wicks (Mark Wicks).

Sanctions against Russia were imposed by the Obama administration three years ago in connection with the Russian annexation of the Crimea.

One of the main topics of debate was money. Kvist and wicks together condemned Gianforte for massive spending on election campaigns — now and in the past. This election Congress Gianforte tried unsuccessfully to become Governor last year and spent on the campaign, six million dollars from its own funds.

Quist urged voters to “demonstrate that MT can not be bought or sold”.

Gianforte, earned millions by selling his company to Oracle for software release RightNow Technolgoies, is clearly not going to apologize for his wealth.

“I’m impossible to buy, and I’ll be true to you,” he said into the camera.

The debate lasted an hour and took place in the Studio of channel KRTV in great falls. They were broadcast throughout the state. Investment Gianforte Kvist spoke, discussed the issue concerning North Korea.

“I was very disappointed when learned that Mr. Gianforte invested a quarter million dollars in shares of Russian companies under sanctions,” he said.

Information referred to by Quist, was first published Friday by the British newspaper the Guardian.

Gianforte first refused to answer the accusations of Quist, but after Quist for the second time raised the issue, asked me to give him a chance

“All who invest in emerging markets, but investments in Russian securities,” said Gianforte. He also stressed that it is only a small part of its assets and promised to transfer their investments in an anonymous trust.

His staff recognized that the applicant has invested about 150 thousand dollars in VanEck Vectors Russia, and around 92 thousand dollars per MSCF IShares Russia. The speech in both cases is about exchange traded funds — the concept is close to the mutual Fund.

According to the declarations that Gianforte required to submit to Congress, with assets ranging from $ 96 million to 327 million dollars.

Montana sends to the House of representatives a Congressman. This place was released in March, when Ryan Zinke (Ryan Zinke) resigned from Congress to become the Minister of internal Affairs of the United States.

Specialist in local politics David Parker (David Parker), who teaches political science at the University of Montana, believes that candidates behave correctly, appealing primarily to those viewers who already support them.

“The most points could pick up on the debate Rob Quist, but something they could give Mark Wicks — as a person, informed on the political scene at the state level was not present. In this sense, Kvist himself put on a good show, explains Parker. — As for Gianforte opinion on it, in my opinion, has been formed”.

The Republican party is actively sponsoring a campaign Gianforte, hoping to retain a seat in Congress. The democratic party also started to invest in their candidate, but the priority are the upcoming June elections in Georgia.

The General election is only 26 days, and this means that the candidates have little time for the conquest of electoral sympathies.

During the debate various topics were discussed — abortion, tax policy, the right to bear arms, health. In particular, discussed the question of the repeal is adopted under President Obama’s affordable care Act.

Before the event there were disputes about whether the Block not to shoot at the debate of his cowboy hat. It seemed an important issue for a candidate who is emphatically builds the image of the common man and “his guy”, contrasting with the more aggressive and business-like manner Gianforte.

However, Gianforte, during the struggle for the post of Governor hvastatsya that he is an entrepreneur who knows how to provide the state of prosperity, these debates were kept very reserved. He called himself an engineer and promised to resolve in Washington to issue voter.

Wicks urged the audience to consider his candidacy as a reasonable alternative to candidates from both major parties, saying that he is ready to be an independent voice in Congress, representing Montana.

In his speech, he also used extremely colorful image, comparing Gianforte with an expensive car, the Bose — with the truck and himself with a truck capable of pulling people out of trouble.

“In my opinion, Mr. Gianforte is an expensive car, comfortable, with a smooth swing. But, in the end, he only wants to rest in the Parking lot of country club”.

Quist’s he called “a half-ton pickup” — small, bright and with a good stereo system, which will eventually fall by the wayside.


“Well, am I? I’m a truck,” added wicks.