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Morigeau stumps for state auditor in Havre

 

Last updated 2/19/2020 at 11:54am

Havre Daily News/Derek Hann

State Auditor candidate Rep. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, left, sits next to State Rep. Jacob Bachmeier, D-Havre, Saturday in Havre while listening to members of the community at a meet and greet event.

Democratic state auditor candidate Rep. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, was in Havre Saturday alongside Democratic candidate Raph Graybill, who is running for attorney general, meeting with people and discussing the biggest issues facing the state.

"We can sit here and we look at documents and papers, but that doesn't really mean anything if you're actually not out talking with actual Montanans or worrying about them and the issues they are facing," Morigeau said.

State Auditor Matt Rosendale announced his candidacy for U.S. House of Representatives rather than running for re-election.

Morigeau is the sole Democrat to file in the auditor campaign so far.

Morigeau said his campaign is going well so far this quarter and he is doing everything that he can to meet with people across the state, talking to them about the issues they are experiencing. He added that he has received a lot of feedback and heard about the things that matter to them and how these issues are impacting their everyday lives.

He said he grew up in rural Montana, born and raised in Ronan. He added that he grew up in a low-income household whose members worked hard and struggled to pay for essential things, such as health care and making ends meet. From his experience, he said, he feels in touch with many of the families across rural Montana and wants to work to improve the system.

Being the state auditor is more than just banquets and meetings, and is more than campaigning for office, it's about finding a system for Montana that works for everybody, he said.

Morigeau said that some of the main issues he is hearing about while campaigning is health insurance and health care. He added that he has heard some difficult stories, such as a story he heard in Havre about an elderly woman who couldn't afford health insurance that gave her in-home care. She ended up falling in her home and died.

Another story he said he has heard was about a mother who was looking for health care but could not afford any of the options available.

He added that these things are the things the state auditor needs to work on fixing.

He said that another issue many Montanans face is confusing paperwork regarding health care. It would be in the best interest of the consumer and to the businesses if the paperwork for claims were done correctly and in completion.

"We are here to protect consumers," he said.

Morigeau said his experience as an attorney, an auditor and a legislator gives him a deep understanding of the office. He said he understands the system and can do proficient work to bring bad actors into light. 

He also doesn't want the office just be a place for people to complain, rather he wants the office to be proactive and work to educate people on financial opportunities, management and scams going around the state. 

"Education is power," Morigeau said, adding that this would be a big advantage to seniors, who are the most vulnerable to being taken advantage of.

In the two terms he has served in the Legislature he has also had seven bills passed, he said, which he was able to do by working across the aisle and being reasonable, respectful and appreciating other people's perspectives.

"(The people of Montana) expect us to work together," he said. "They expect us to be real and honest and upfront with them."

He said many people across the state don't want a radical from either party, but someone who seeks to work with other people and get things done. He said that Montanans also want someone in office who is from Montana, grew up in the state and in the communities and knows the issues the state is facing.

"I have a proven track record," Morigeau said. "I've shown I am willing and able to work with everyone in Montana, to do what's best for them not just an ideology."

Morigeau said the reason he is not running for re-election in the Legislature is because he feels he can do more as the state auditor.

One of the reasons he wanted to be a legislator is so he can understand how the government works and how litigation works, he said. He added that he also served as a prosecuting attorney before he became a legislator, and all of his skills and knowledge gives him a well-rounded look at the state he is hoping to bring to the office.

"To me, I just think this is a great opportunity to help out people just like me," he said. 

The state auditor also sits on the state land board. The state has seen a lot of litigation in the past couple of years to take people's private property rights away, he said, adding that the current land board needs to be changed and needs to work to protect the people of the state.

He said that another issue is the cost of prescription medication and health care, which he hopes to be able to work on and protect the people of the state. He added that he also doesn't just want people to have affordable health care but quality health care.

"I will use every single tool in belt to make sure it's fair and affordable," he said.

He added that he knows how damaging it can be to not have health care, but also how damaging it can be to have bad health care.

"That's just no way to live," Morigeau said.

 

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