Montana Republicans set the stage for raucous 2020 elections
Shortly before U.S. Sen. Steve Daines was scheduled to speak at the state Republican Officers’ Convention in Helena Friday night, a free round of champagne was delivered to convention-goers gathered in a hotel banquet room. State Rep. Forrest Mandeville of Columbus announced that the bubbly was courtesy of an anonymous donor, who had asked that a toast be read. Mandeville, raising his glass of champagne, recited: “Here’s to Republican friends working together to win for Montana in 2020.”
Montana Voices: A world of opportunities for independent online journalism
When I imagined writing this column just a few days ago, before announcing the impending shutdown of Last Best News, I saw myself in a calm, cool frame of mind, making a short and rational case for keeping independent journalism alive in Billings.
Montanans ask why state bears brunt of Bakken waste, while North Dakota reaps riches
More than a decade into the Bakken oil boom, the state of North Dakota, where the vast majority of the boom is concentrated, still does not have a single landfill licensed to accept radioactive oilfield waste. Montana does. Oaks Disposal operates a landfill 26 miles northwest of Glendive that has taken in nearly 350,000 tons of oilfield waste of all kinds since it opened in 2013.
Prairie Lights: Blessed by immigrants in our midst
Supporters of refugee resettlement, for good reason, tend to focus on all the good things that we can do for people who come here from other countries. On Friday, as I listened to Wilmot Collins, who entered the United States as a Liberian refugee and is now the mayor of Helena, it occurred to me that we should also spend some time considering how good it is for us to have refugees in our midst.
Initiative 185: Tobacco tax advocates file campaign complaint against opponents
A coalition promoting an initiative to expand Medicaid coverage in Montana — and a big increase in tobacco taxes to help pay for it — has charged its opponents with illegal campaign activities. A complaint was filed Monday by Tara Veazey, initiative campaign manager for Healthy Montana.
Ag’s labor needs in Montana behind push for more foreign workers
All over farm and ranch country, it’s getting harder and harder to find workers — whether to herd sheep, process potatoes, pick cherries or milk cows. And that's costing the state millions of dollars in GDP.
Havre Herald: Independent online news site launches on Hi-Line
Montana has a new, independent online newspaper — The Havre Herald, which aims to cover the news and tell the stories of people in the central Hi-Line region of the state. The online publication was launched Monday by Paul Dragu and Teresa Getten, a married couple who worked together on the Havre Daily News.
Former state legislator finally pays $70K fine for campaign finance violations
A former state legislator from Shepherd who was jailed last year for refusing to cooperate with authorities regarding his involvement in a political corruption scandal has finally paid a $70,000 penalty for campaign finance violations.
Democratic House candidate Lynda Moss drops out of race
The field of Democratic candidates jockeying to challenge U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte narrowed from six to five on Wednesday. Lynda Moss, a former state senator from Billings, said she has officially closed her congressional campaign office, though her name will still appear on the ballot for the primary election, which is on June 5.
Democratic House hopefuls meet for Billings forum, promise Gianforte’s defeat
The day after Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he was retiring, an audience of 150-some energized people listened to six Democratic congressional primary candidates sound off Thursday night at the Babcock Theatre in downtown Billings.