This article presents an unbiased comparison of the political positions and policies of Rick Hill and Steve Bullock, the Republican and Democratic party candidates respectively for the 2012 gubernatorial elections in Montana.

Comparison chart

Rick Hill versus Steve Bullock comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartRick HillSteve Bullock
  • current rating is 3.79/5
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(24 ratings)
  • current rating is 4.38/5
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(32 ratings)
Rick HillSteve Bullock
Political Party Republican Democrat
Hometown Grand Rapids, Michigan Missoula, MT
Date of birth December 30th 1946 April 11th 1966
Budget Wants to reduce government budget Wants to reduce government budget
Tax Policy Supports cutting taxes Supports a property tax rebate
Social Security Supports reducing social security benefits Has not commented on this issue
Healthcare Opposes Obama’s health care bill Has not commented on this issue
Abortion Opposes Supports legal abortion
Gay Rights Opposes gay marriage Opposes gay marriage, but supports other rights
Immigration Supports an increase in immigrant visas for skilled workers. Has not commented on this issue
Education Supports vouchers for private and charter schools Wants to make education better for everyone in Montana.
Gun Control Supports the right to bear arms and hunters’ rights. Supports right to bear arms and hunters’ rights.
Energy Policy Opposes increased federal regulations on mining. Supports use of fracking in Montana. Supports energy independence through responsible use of resources.
Environmental Policy Plans to loosen the regulations on mining, timber and agriculture Supports public access to public lands for fishing and hiking.
Logo of Republican(Elephant) and Democratic (Donkey) parties
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Logo of Republican(Elephant) and Democratic (Donkey) parties

Early Life and Career

Rick Hill grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he lived in a one-room apartment with three siblings. He was paralyzed by polio at age 4. He got his BA from Saint Cloud State University in 1968 and his JD from Concord Law School in 2005. He served in the US House of Representatives between 1996 and 2000, and he worked in the Montana Department of Justice and as a professor at George Washington University Law School before becoming Attorney General in 2008.

Steve Bullock was born in Missoula, MT, and grew up in Helena. He received his BA from Claremont McKenna College and his law degree from Columbia University Law School. In 1996, he began serving as the chief legal counsel to Montana Secretary of State Mike Cooney. Between 2001 and 2004, he worked as a lawyer in Washington D.C., as well as teaching classes at George Washington University Law School. He became Attorney General in 2008.

Differences in Economic Policy

Tax Policy

Rick Hill aims to cut taxes in Montana to keep more money circulating in the economy. [1]

Steve Bullock supports a property tax rebate to help increase cashflow and support small businesses in Montana. [2]

Budget

Rick Hill supports cutting the state government budget to allow more money to go into the private sector. [3] He also spearheaded the Priority Budget program, which allocates funding to departments based upon their performance. [4]

Steve Bullock has not commented on the budget.

Social Security

Rick Hill voted to reduce Social Security benefits in 2000. [5]

Steve Bullock has no clear policies on social security.

Healthcare Policy

Rick Hill opposes “Obamacare”, but supports reform that will address doctor shortages and overextensive healthcare entitlements. [6]

Steve Bullock has not spoken on health care, but refused to join a lawsuit challenging Obama’s health care reform. [7]

Social Issues

Abortion

Rick Hill opposes legal abortion, and has supported measures such as parental notification, waiting periods and bans on partial birth abortions. [8]

Steve Bullock believes that abortion should remain legal in some circumstances [9].

Immigration

Rick Hill supported an increase in immigrant visas for skilled workers. [10]

Steve Bullock has not commented on immigration policy.

Gay rights

Rick Hill opposes gay marriage and voted against allowing same sex couples to adopt. [11]

Steve Bullock opposes gay marriage but supports legislative measures to allow same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, such as visiting their partners in hospital. [12]

Education Policy

Rick Hill aims to increase funding for schools and supports the use of charter and private schools. He wants to use voucher programs to allow Montana’s students to take advantage of these opportunities. [13]

Steve Bullock supports an increase in education funding, particularly targeted at children age 3-5, as well as increased investment in higher education. [14]

Gun Control

Rick Hill supports the right to bear arms and is a staunch protector of hunters’ rights. [15]

Steve Bullock supports the right to bear arms and the right to hunt in Montana [16]/

Energy Policy

Rick Hill plans to reduce federal regulations on oil and gas development and increase the use of fracking to increase Montana’s energy production. [17]

Steve Bullock wants to develop Montana’s clean energy resources to allow for energy independence. [18]

Environmental Policy

Rick Hill aims to reduce the regulations on mining, timber and agriculture to create more jobs and boost the economy. [19] He opposes the designation of rural areas as “wild lands.” [20]

Steve Bullock worked to preserve access to public lands and streams for hunting, fishing and hiking. [21]

Debate

Steve Bullock and Rick Hill debated in Billings on October 9, 2012. Here's the full video of the debate:

Recent News

Opinion Poll Ratings

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Steve
Bullock (D)
Rick
Hill (R)
Mason-Dixon September 17-19, 2012 44% 43%
Public Policy Polling September 10-11, 2012 44% 39%
Public Policy Polling April 26-29, 2012 39% 39%
Public Policy Polling November 28-30, 2011 38% 39%
Public Policy Polling June 16-19, 2011 37% 39%
Public Policy Polling November 10-13, 2010 31% 41%

References

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