It is a fact of life that every decision that affects us as public employees is a political decision. That’s why MFPE has a comprehensive program to ensure our members’ voices are heard in political decisions at all levels—local, state, and national. We help elect candidates who support you and the important work you do. And we work with elected officials to make sure your voice is heard through our lobbying and advocacy.

Lobbying and advocacy

Once the elections are over, MFPE goes to work making sure elected officials know where we stand on issues that affect our members.

Year-round representation

MFPE’s leaders and staff make your voice heard in issues that affect you. We work with Montana’s members of Congress, state legislators, the governor's office, Public Employees' Retirement System, Teachers' Retirement System, other state, county, and locally elected officials, the Board of Regents, Board of Public Education, and many other entities. MFPE’s influence is felt statewide.

Member advocacy

MFPE provides training and support to help our members become effective advocates in government relations. Every legislative session, at least one MFPE member volunteer is assigned as a “legislative contact” for each Montana legislator. Through phone calls, visits, and e-mails, MFPE legislative contacts make the connection between proposed legislation and how the legislation would affect a legislator’s own community.

Lobbying the legislature

When the Montana Legislature is in session, MFPE leaders and staff bring our members’ issues to the Montana state legislature. Whether advocating for adequate funding for public education, public services, and members’ pay, benefits, and working conditions, or stopping legislation that would harm our members and their work, MFPE’s lobbying team works gavel to gavel to represent members at the legislature.

MFPE’s legislative program is developed and voted on by members.

Lobbying the legislature

Lauren Caldwell is MFPE’s political director. She helps on campaigns ranging from local school mill levies to candidates to ballot issues.

Lauren works in the Helena office. You can reach her at [email protected]800-398-0826, or 406-442-4250.

MFPE Candidate Recommendation Process

MFPE’s candidate recommendation process involves hundreds of hours of research, dozens of members conducting interviews, and an exhaustive process to bring you the best information about candidates.

MFPE candidate recommendations are based on issues, NOT on political party.

  • Local MFPE members interview candidates of both parties about their positions on issues that affect our members, the work you do, and the people you serve.
  • Local members consider the candidates’ interview responses, public statements, community service, and any voting records.
  • Based on this research, local MFPE members make a recommendation to MFPE’s PAC.
  • The members of MFPE PAC vote to recommend candidates who support MFPE members, public education, and public services.
  • MFPE PAC uses mailings, e-mails, and meetings to communicate those recommendations to our members.

The bottom line: MFPE PAC never tells members how to vote. Instead, MFPE PAC provides information so members are more educated voters.

MFPE PAC funding: MFPE does not use members' dues for political contributions. Instead, MFPE members are asked to voluntarily donate funds through payroll deduction. The suggested donation per member is just $3 a month.

Just as individual workers can’t challenge the power of their employer without collective bargaining, individual voters can’t change the political landscape without working together. PAC gives a powerful voice to people who would otherwise have little say in the political process.

You can help elect MFPE recommended candidates who support you and your work. Here’s how:

  • Sign up for a monthly payroll deduction to MFPE PAC.
  • Talk to fellow members, friends, and family about recommended candidates.
  • Whether going door to door, stuffing envelopes, putting up a yard sign, or hosting a coffee, there are many opportunities to help.
  • Run for office yourself! MFPE members make great school board members, legislators, and statewide elected officials.

The following MFPE staff members work on government relations

Lauren Caldwell
Political Director
[email protected] 

Marco Ferro
Public Policy Director
[email protected]

Diane Fladmo
Research Director
[email protected]

The following MFPE leaders and staff all work on our lobby team when the legislature is in session

Eric Feaver
MFPE President
[email protected]

Erik Burke
MFPE Executive Director
[email protected]

 

Quinton Nyman
MFPE Deputy Executive Director
[email protected]

Lauren Caldwell
Political Director
[email protected]

 

Marco Ferro
Public Policy Director
[email protected]

Diane Fladmo
Research Director
[email protected]

Bob Funk
Director of Communications
[email protected]

Larry Nielson
Field Consultant
[email protected]

Morgan Smith
Director of Organizing
[email protected]