Let's get ready to rumble 

The Indy sizes up the candidates in the key June 8 primary races.

Page 3 of 4

senate District 48, Democratic primary

More work to be done

Why this race matters: Both Tom Facey and Teresa K. Henry served their district in the state House of Representatives, and are now vying for the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Carolyn Squires. Facey and Henry come cut from a similar cloth—in fact, Henry once worked as Facey's campaign treasurer—but still present a clear difference to voters.

Name: Tom Facey

Nickname: Spacey Facey

Age: 56

Relevant experience: Montana House of Representatives, 1999–2006; caucus leader of House Democrats in 2001.

Profession: Science teacher, Sentinel High School

Website: www.faceyforsenate48.com

In three sentences or less, why should residents of SD 48 vote for you?

Two reasons: I have the energy and ideas to move us forward. Second, I've worked hard on constituent issues during my four sessions, including introducing 51 bills with only three at the request of the governor or committee. That shows I listen to the concerns of my constituents.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment from your extensive time serving in the state House of Representatives?

I have two: I didn't realize it at the time, but I started the process of televising the Legislature...The other is, when [Missoula Police Sgt. Bob] Hinle was shot in Missoula [in 1988], the community raised about $100,000 to help his wife travel to Denver when he was recuperating. I saw the fact that if a logger or construction worker got hurt and had to go to Seattle for care, or a guy from Glasgow had to go to Billings for a workers' comp case, all those travel expenses would not be paid by work comp. It took me three sessions to get a bill through, but I finally got a bill through that allowed for some of those travel and lodging costs to get paid for by workers' comp.

If elected, what would be your top legislative priority in the Senate?

We've got this huge hole in our budget, and part of that is from using stimulus money from last session for ongoing expenditures. I've heard figures of upwards of $400 million—I don't remember the exact source, but the next sentence was something to the effect of, "and no one's really talking about this." That's a good chunk of change.

During the special session in 2002, we filled a $500 million deficit. I know it's possible. I know we're not going to fall off a cliff. But I also appreciate that it's going to take a lot of maneuvering.

One item already being discussed in Helena is how the state can better address DUIs. What do you think is the best approach to the issue?

One guy, when I knocked on his door, he said, "You know, the first one, everyone makes a mistake. Let's focus on the treatment aspect with a DUI court or something like that. Let's not throw the book at the person. After that, well, you've made more than one mistake." I agree with that philosophy.

I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but I think if you agree to a driver's license, you agree to take the appropriate test if you're suspected of being under the influence. I think that passes constitutional muster. Driving is not a right; it's a responsibility. The offender should also have to pay for his treatment, and the monetary loss for getting a DUI should be higher.

Another contentious issue heading into the 2011 legislative session is medical marijuana. Do you believe the law should be amended? How?

I do believe the law should be amended. I don't want to take a politician's view on this, but I know Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, has been heading up a committee that's been looking at this. I trust that committee will come out with some great ideas. I hope those ideas include allowing cities and counties to zone where those businesses go.

As a high school teacher, I'm just not going to move forward with any legalization...I also don't think you should smoke marijuana in public.

Let me add that, I'm fairly sure that no matter what we do, some constituents will not be happy. As I've knocked on doors, opinions on this issue have covered the whole spectrum.

What adjective best describes Gov. Brian Schweitzer?

It's not an adjective, but I'll say that he sucks the air out of the room when he comes in.

What's your campaign song? If you don't have one, what do you wish it would have been?

I don't have one, but I'd say most anything by Steely Dan.

••••••••••

Name: Teresa K. Henry

Nickname: Tracy

Age: 57

Relevant experience: Montana House of Representatives, 2005–2009.

Profession: Registered nurse and assistant professor of nursing at the Montana State University College of Nursing on the University of Montana campus

Website: www.tkhenry.com

In three sentences or less, why should residents of Senate District 48 vote for you?

I'm experienced in the legislative process. I'm also good at problem solving and being able to look at multiple points of view and come to a solution.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment from your extensive time serving in the state House of Representatives?

The one that gave me the most positive feeling was being co-signer on the bill that expanded CHIP coverage by changing the poverty level. We basically ended up covering more kids.

The other thing, during my first session, I introduced and carried a bill to include more labeling and monitoring for mercury that's used in dental offices. The bill didn't pass, but I ended up working with the hospital association and the dental association and a variety of other groups to come up with some internal commitments and regulations to decrease mercury use and exposure.

If elected, what would be your top legislative priority in the Senate?

Health care is my background, so one of the more important things will be implementation at the state level of any of the changes from the federal health care reform bill. I think that will be tied considerably to our budget issues because we'll have a number of newer unemployed people who will lose benefits, and we're going to have to look at the Medicaid rolls and how we balance those costs. I have the expertise to help us get the most bang for our buck, so to speak, so we can support prevention and early intervention programs.

One issue already being discussed in Helena is how the state can improve its DUI laws. What do you think is the best approach to the issue?

My short answer is DUI courts...I don't know that changing the felony level is going to make any difference if our jails and corrective facilities are so full that we can't put people into jail or into treatment.

Another contentious issue heading into the 2011 legislative session is medical marijuana. Do you believe the law should be amended? How?

I think we need to look at some of the administrative rules about how it's implemented. But I don't know that the law needs to be amended. It's a people's initiative, and I think we've gotten a really strong message that access to medical marijuana for symptom management is important to the people of Montana.

What adjective best describes Gov. Brian Schweitzer?

The word is indefatigable. The guy never tires. I just don't know when he sleeps.

What's your campaign song? If you don't have one, what do you wish it would have been?

I haven't technically thought of one, but it would be something by Bruce Springsteen, and probably "Into the Fire" from The Rising.

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