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Sep 19, 2012 10:30 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News

Montana gubernatorial candidates debate

HELENA - The differences between gubernatorial candidates Rick Hill and Steve Bullock came to light Tuesday night as the two men debated about policy and politics.

Hill and Bullock answered questions about taxes, education, natural resource development and raises for state workers, and on most every issue they end up on opposite sides of the aisle aligning with their respective parties.

But each man has something they're really proud of, and of course their opponent has criticism of to go hand-in-hand.

Bullock boasts about his work protecting Montana's elections from corporate money.

"We want to make sure that it's people not unlimited corporate expenditures that are deciding who we elect and who serves on our behalf," Bullock said.

"I think Steve you are 0 for 3 before the Supreme Court right now. I find some imbalance in this because you had enough money to take a court case to the Supreme Court that there was no chance you would win, and yet we had a chance to stand up for Montana on Obamacare, and instead you decide to stand behind Barack Obama," Hill stated.

"I didn't join the Affordable Care Act litigation, it was bipartisan brought, because our involvement wouldn't have made a bit of difference. The US Supreme Court isn't like American Idol where one more state jumps on and all of sudden they say 'Alright, yeah now I'll go with ya'," Bullock countered.

Hill touted his work on developing Montana's natural resources and securing the Otter Creek Coal tracts for the state.

"We can do coal development and we can deploy the benefits in a way to help all Montanans. That was the vision I had when I got Otter Creek coal, and that's what Steve should have done when he was on the Land Board," Hill commented.

"I also support responsible development of the Otter Creek tracts. But I don't believe we should sell our resources for bargain basement prices," Bullock countered.

"Mr. Bullock suggest that was an inadequate price but this was the only bidder for that coal. The real benefit from this coal is not the $85 million that we are going to get as a lease deposit, but the economic benefit that will accrue to Montana over the life of the mine," Hill retorted.

During their closing remarks, Bullock focused on his family values and planning for his kids future while Hill spoke about creating jobs, getting government out of the way and funding education.

Both men are hoping that their messages will tap the undecided and independent voters.

Montana's News Station will be hosting our own debate between Bullock and Hill in Bozeman on Saturday, October 27th. The event will be televised live across Montana.

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