Letter: Graybill has proven record fighting for law enforcement

The Missoulian

October 29, 2020

We both spent our careers in law enforcement and we’re both voting for Raph Graybill to be Montana’s next Attorney General. The decision to cast our ballots for Graybill was an easy one because of his values, his experience, and his commitment to Montana law enforcement.

The same cannot be said for his opponent, Austin Knudsen. In fact, when it comes to supporting Montana’s law enforcement, the differences couldn’t be more stark.

Knudsen has given us plenty of lip service during this election season, but words are cheap. The truth is that Knudsen has always turned his back on us when we’ve needed him the most. As a state legislator in 2017, Austin Knudsen voted against House Bill 473, which provided funding to the Montana Highway Patrol. Someone should tell Mr. Knudsen that you can’t say you oppose “defunding the police” when you’ve literally voted to do just that. Knudsen’s anti-public service record doesn’t end there. During his time in Helena, Knudsen repeatedly voted to gut and even end our retirement systems. When law enforcement and public servants put their lives on the line, the least we can expect is for politicians like Knudsen to keep their promises.

Perhaps worst of all, Austin Knudsen doesn’t believe Montanans who serve and protect their communities should have the freedom to negotiate for better wages, safer working conditions, and retirement benefits.

Raph Graybill, who served as an auxiliary police officer, will treat Montana’s law enforcement with respect and advocate for our needs. Graybill has a proven record of fighting for Montana’s law enforcement families in the courts. While Knudsen was voting against law enforcement, Graybill was defending Montana’s laws and fighting the United States Supreme Court’s disastrous, anti-public servant Janus decision. We know that Graybill will always protect our right to be at the table to ensure we have the best policies in place for our workplaces.

Simply put, actions speak louder than words. Graybill’s values and record speak for themselves. We can trust him. Knudsen’s radical anti-law enforcement record should worry all Montanans, regardless of party affiliation.

Joe Cohenour, Montana Highway Patrol (retired)

Debbie Willis, DOC Adult Probation & Parole Officer (retired)