First off, I sympathize with Rob Quist’s medical misfortunes -- I’ve had similar misfortunes. But to claim that his troubles (and history of unpaid taxes) makes him a better candidate for congress than Greg Gianforte is a pretty hefty spin on the subject.

I don’t intend any ill-will, but some of this sounds like a mess of his own-making; not paying a local contractor for labor, stopping payments on a credit card, not carrying at least some type of insurance, and just flat out not showing up in court over another suit.

The state’s $15,000 tax lien was filed in 2015 for unpaid taxes beginning in 2007 (three years total, 2007, 2011, and 2012). There seems to be a good amount of time between 2007 and 2015 to try and work out something if one feels obligated to pay his taxes.

Kudos to Tom Lutey and the Billings Gazette for digging a little deeper into the story (March 25, 2017) than did the AP writer. And to be fair, Gianforte also had a $3,600 tax lien filed against him in 1993, but to my knowledge he hasn’t tried to spin that, and he settled it in a period of three months, not eight years later.

I hope and pray that Rob Quist and the family are past their hardships, I mean that. There’s too much division in our country and we need to have more compassion for each other. But there’s also a lot at stake, and I don’t think Quist’s unpaid taxes makes him more qualified for office. Gianforte seems to me to have the better resume’. So take it all in before you decide on May 25 who will best serve Montana in congress. Thank you.

Joe Dooling

Lewis and Clark County GOP chair