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Q&A: John Driscoll, Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 02

John Driscoll

We are gathering information from all statewide candidates as a resource for the 2024 Primary Elections. Responses were limited to 200 words per question. Political attacks may have been removed, but otherwise, the responses are published unedited.

What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?

John B Driscoll

What is your age?


Where do you live?

Helena, MT

What is your education background?

Sacred Heart Grade School, Miles City, MT; Hamilton High School, Hamilton, MT; BA-Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA; MIA-Columbia University School of International Affairs, New York, NY; Certificate, Columbia University Latin American Institute, New York, NY; MPA-Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA; MBA-University of Montana, Graduate School of Business, Missoula, MT; Graduate U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Please list your current and previous occupations.


Military Training and Readiness Support Analyst, Camber Corporation; U.S. Army and Montana Army National Guard; Commissioner, Montana Public Service Commission; Legislator, Montana House of Representatives, House Majority Leader/Speaker

US Forest Service, Forest Worker, Wild Lands Firefighter and Smokejumper

What motivated you to seek a seat in the U.S. House?

While reading The Memoirs of General Robert E Lee, a biography written by confederate General Lee’s Military Secretary, I was touched by the struggle Lee experienced deciding whether to serve as a high-ranking officer in the forces of the United States or a high-ranking officer in the forces of his home state of Virginia. I feel the same love for our nation that he felt for Virginia, which rebelled against the United States during the Civil War. This country and Montana have been good to me and my families since immigrating and becoming citizens. Our country needs to face the present coordinated assault on our Constitutional Democracy by precisely targeted disinformation operations coming from Putin’s Russia, China’s Communist Party, and Iran’s conservative Mullahs. Our public discourse is being sabotaged by the endless lies of Donald Trump and his fascist followers.

Fascism was as familiar in the last century as the faces of Hitler and Mussolini and was described by them as a Counter-Revolution against all the individual rights and freedoms we humans have achieved and taken for granted since the European Enlightenment, the American Revolution and the United States Constitution.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ease impacts of inflation and cost of living in Montana?

The main cost of living increase in Montana is housing. More incoming people are causing a shortage of housing affordable to Montanans who must rely on our local economies for their livelihoods. After working closely with the challenge of affordability for two years, I’ve concluded there isn’t enough developable land for the great number of affordable dwellings required to alleviate the problem. Less opportunity to own equity-building homes is driving up rental rates. Renters deserve the opportunity to build equity in a membership in a cooperative that allows them to hold a long-term proprietary lease in a dwelling. Such limited equity housing cooperatives could lease ground from local, state or federal land-owners in return for accepting a limit to the gain in their equity. Congress can offer long term leases of suitable federal properties near existing communities for multi-family home construction, while setting long term financial guarantees and affordable housing guidelines.

Yes, or no, do you support a federal ban on abortion?


What changes, if any, should be made to the way elections and campaigns are funded?

After trying to address this problem for decades, I’ve concluded that the only way to eliminate the influence of money in political campaigns is to offer voters the opportunity to communicate displeasure with the present floods of money by offering myself as a candidate committed to not seeking and not accepting campaign contributions in cash or in kind. I believe that the election of a candidate without a campaign financial war chest will become the future norm, alleviating special interest influence on congressional voting.

What, if anything, should Congress do to improve the nation's immigration laws and security at the southern border?

A practical place for the next Congress to begin controlling our southern border will be the sweeping bipartisan Senate Border Bill attempted this February. It would allow emergency authority to make asylum not possible for persons crossing our border between ports of entry and raise the standard for a person to be considered for asylum. It would increase our border detention bed capacity while expanding numbers of work visas and permanent residencies. Having been involved in our response to the 9/11 attacks, I favor its offer of citizenship for Afghans who helped us.

With unprecedented numbers of people wanting to be part of our nation, we need to absorb those of good character to energize our economy and to enter our armed forces. If an undocumented immigrant already living in this country wants a green card, they need to pursue one through proper channels. I consider any initiative to seek out and deport persons already here to be spitefully disruptive. Our congress, not the immigrants, is at fault for not addressing this problem of undocumented human migration. We need the skilled labor offered by our undocumented neighbors.

What should be the top priorities when managing public land?

Wilderness areas have therapeutic values. My priority is to see our federal agencies make final all areas still under consideration for wilderness legal status. It’s imperative to manage wilderness areas as real wilderness. This may mean combining wilderness management training for all our public land agencies to develop elite organizations. Unless we reorient our public land management priorities, wild land fire fighting and timber management for climate change on the majority of public lands will steal all the budgetary capability for protecting and accessing what I consider an essential resource for our people.

What, if anything, should Congress do to address climate change?

Coal fired electric power generation has to be replaced with nuclear electric power generation. Congress needs to modify federal law to permit and to encourage states like Montana to explore and develop high level nuclear waste repositories. Multiple use managed federal lands close to existing communities need to be made available for construction of carbon-sequestering cross laminated mass timber and compressed agricultural fiber skyscrapers to be long-term leased by limited equity affordable housing cooperatives.

In Montana where water is scarce we need to build at least one federal pipeline for moving seawater to green hydrogen producing electrolysis sites near our nuclear plants and for returning brine to the ocean.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits meet the needs of older adults?

Protecting the present systems of Social Security and Medicare from political attacks by office seekers who lie to gain the public’s trust has to be the realistic priority for the next few years. We need to implement lessons learned from the rapid expansion and contraction of Medicaid for the impoverished during and after the COVID 19 pandemic.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to address law enforcement challenges on American Indian reservations? Should Congress increase/decrease/leave unchanged funding for law enforcement in tribal communities?

Pending more discussion with tribal leaders, I support the budget for Bureau of Indian Affairs uniformed law enforcement officer training and tribal law enforcement grants proposed by Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland.

What, if anything, would you do if elected to build trust in Congress?

If the people of Montana care enough to tell their friends in Eastern Montana to vote for me without ever seeing a lot of expensive political campaign signs or paid television, or radio and social media, I’ll work to help eliminate the start, then stop, jerky appropriations process that’s plagued us since the 112th session of Congress,12 years ago. The continuing resolution approach to governing is a sabotaging tactic that keeps our elected representatives from working together and addressing the complicated issues our nation faces. All I’m asking in return for offering to make this effort is that Montanans speak with their vote instead of their money.