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Online voter registration is no longer available for the May 25 special election, but voters can register in person at local county election offices.
Eric Whitney

With less than a month left until Montana’s special election to replace former Representative Ryan Zinke, some voters are casting their ballots early.

Yellowstone River Dam And Sturgeon Passage Lacks Funding

May 2, 2017
Pallid sturgeon.
USFWS Midwest (CC-BY-2.0)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal agency targeted by President Donald Trump for budget cuts next year has only about half the money needed to build a new Yellowstone River dam and bypass channel meant to save an endangered fish, but it plans to begin construction anyway.

Quist Underreports Income In Campaign Filing

May 2, 2017
Rob Quist at a campaign stop at Caras Park in Missoula, March 22, 2017.
Josh Burnham

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Democratic candidate for Montana's sole U.S. House seat, a cowboy poet and musician running for public office for the first time, underreported $57,000 in income when he filed federally required financial disclosure statements two months ago.

Rob Quist has garnered national attention in his bid to become the first Democrat to hold the congressional post in 20 years, but he has come under scrutiny for a history of financial difficulties.

The big state budget bill landed on Governor Steve Bullock’s desk Monday, one of the final acts of the 2017 legislative session, which was gaveled to a close Friday.

MTPR’s Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney joins us for a look at what Montana lawmakers did and didn’t accomplish since convening in January.

Fire experts are predicting a slower than normal start to wildfire season in Montana this year, but by July and August the potential jumps up to normal, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho.

Fire experts are predicting a slower-than-normal start to wildfire season in Montana this year, according to a Northern Rockies fire season outlook released Monday afternoon.

About 50,000 registered voters in the May 25 special election for Montana's lone congressional seat will be casting votes in new polling places because their regular places had previously scheduled events that could not be moved.
Josh Burnham

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — About 50,000 registered voters in the May 25 special election for Montana's lone congressional seat will be casting votes in new polling places (see polling places here: http://bit.ly/2pzg0eS) because their regular places had previously scheduled events that could not be moved.

To put that into perspective, the number of people with closed polling places is equal to Montana's sixth largest county of voters in 2016.

Republican Greg Gianforte, left, and Democrat Rob Quist
Corin Cates-Carney, Josh Burnham

Democratic U.S. House candidate Rob Quist is hoping voters will shy away from Republican Greg Gianforte because of his investments in Russian business stocks.

In Saturday night’s debate sponsored by MTN News Quist said, "Mr. Gianforte has a quarter-of-a-million dollars in stocks in Russian companies that the US has on the sanction list."

Greg Gianforte, Rob Quist and Mark Wicks at the MTN News debate April 29, 2017.
Screen capture courtesy MTN News

Mark Wicks, the Libertarian candidate for Montana’s U.S. House seat, got statewide exposure in the race’s only televised debate Friday, produced and broadcast by MTN News.

"We’ve been doing the same thing over and over and over, and we get the same result: People back in Washington that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to because they’re beholden to special interests, they’re taking lobbyist money. I’m not beholden to any of that." Wicks said during the debate.

Gov. Steve Bullock.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

The 2017 legislative session came to a chaotic end this morning. Democrats and Republicans fought until the final hour over funding long-term public works projects.

When the final gavel struck, Republicans leaders said they’re proud of their party’s unity and keeping government growth in check. Democrats also talked up their wins, but expressed frustration in being unable to accomplish their major goals.

The "Capitol Talk" crew discusses what did and didn't make it through the legislative session, with a focus on infrastructure and the state budget. On the House race, they discuss whether Quist's nudist colony gigs will impact the race, and break down the latest attack ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund. They also look at the recent Emerson poll showing Gianforte with a double digit lead. Listen now on this episode of "Capitol Talk."

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