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Bullock AMA

Gov. Steve Bullock will host a Reddit AMA on Wednesday.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock hosted a Reddit AMA on Wednesday to discuss his recent net neutrality executive order.

The post announcing the AMA (Ask Me Anything) says Bullock is the first sitting governor to participate in a Reddit discussion.

Bullock made headlines at the end of January when he announced Montana would require companies to follow net neutrality principles if they wanted to be issued state contracts.

The governor offered up his template to other states, and New York and New Jersey have done similar executive orders.

The order was not without its critics. Some questioning whether it was just a stunt to gain Bullock more attention. He's talked about a possible 2020 presidential run.

Here are a few reader questions that Gov. Bullock answered during the AMA session:

Reddit questions have been edited for clarity and length. 

Q: What led you to establish the order on net neutrality and why do you think this will help Montana in the long run?

Bullock: Beyond being a governor, I'm also the father of three kids — one of which is my teenage daughter, Caroline. If she were to be believed, the world would literally end if SnapChat went away or charged a monthly fee. After the FCC repealed net neutrality rules, she was on the phone calling Montana's congressional delegation. She even called my office. My initial answer to her was that states couldn't do much — then I dug into it, and we came up with the executive order.

Q: What would be your follow-up action if the FCC or the federal government instituted rules that prohibit states from protecting net neutrality??

Bullock: In repealing net neutrality, the FCC tried to preempt states from passing their own regulations. In Montana under the executive order, we aren't regulating the companies. We are simply acting as consumers - saying that if internet providers want to contract with the state, they can't violate net neutrality principles for the state contracts or any other Montanan.

Q: What do you think makes Montana more willing to vote for Democrats than, say, Wyoming? Is there any way that the lessons you've learned from campaigning and winning in Montana can apply to other states?

Bullock: In Montana elections are still decided by people talking to people - so showing up matters. I showed up in places during my reelection where there were no Democrats in sight. I made my argument and gave people reasons to vote for me - and on the day President Trump won in Montana by 20 points, I won by 4. I think my success can be replicated across the country, but it starts by showing up, and by actually doing things, not just campaigning.

Q: Have you been approached by governors of any other states regarding net neutrality? 

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Bullock: I have spoken to many other governors that are considering it. I am pleased that NY, NJ and HI are on board so far!

Q: What are your current plans to stop corporate financial influence in Montana?

Bullock: Adding transparency is the first step, as corporations may well be less likely to engage if people know the corporations are trying to influence the system.

Q: Which Montana brewery is your favorite?

Bullock: We now have almost 80, second highest per capita in the nation. I like them all! (I know, sounds like a politician).

Interesting factoid — when KettleHouse was just a you-brew, they brewed beer for our wedding.

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Holly K. Michels contributed to this report. 


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