Dan Boyce


Dan Boyce moved to the Inside Energy team at Rocky Mountain PBS in 2014, after five years of television and radio reporting in his home state of Montana. In his most recent role as Montana Public Radio’s Capitol Bureau Chief, Dan produced daily stories on state politics and government.

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 A group of moderate Republicans who denounce anonymous campaign spending in elections say their Political Action Committee, or PAC, plays by the rules.

PACs have been the source of so-called dark money over the last few elections cycles, and a lot of that spending in Montana has been aimed at helping more conservative Republicans win primary campaigns.

The moderates say this time they’re fighting back--in a transparent way.

Loco Steve, flickr

UPDATE: 2:30 PM: Matt Jones with BNSF said freight travel re-opened at 12:30 PM today on one of the two tracks closed by last night's avalanche. The other track should open soon. 


Amtrak and BNSF trains are delayed after an avalanche was reported late Sunday night east of the small northwest Montana town of Essex.

BNSF Regional Public Affairs Director Matt Jones expects the debris to be cleared from the track and freight trains should running again by this afternoon.

  The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana has written a letter to the state alleging widespread mistreatment of mental illness in both the Montana State Prison and state hospital.

  Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be hitting the airwaves of MSNBC as a political contributor, and he’ll be doing so from the comfort of his home on Georgetown Lake. Schweitzer said that was part of the reason he chose to sign with MSNBC.

“Some of the other networks require you to fly to New York or Washington D.C. and do work in the studio and I really don’t like being out of Montana that much,” Schweitzer said.

Since leaving office at the beginning of last year, Schweitzer has regularly appeared on networks like ABC, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

 As Montana moves toward the June primary elections, a deep divide still exists between elements of the state legislature’s Republican caucus.

This split between moderate and conservative Republicans was most dramatically seen in the 2013 Montana Senate, where the GOP held a 29-21 majority over Democrats. The body almost seemed to have three caucuses, though, as a small group of Republicans regularly defied party leadership to side with Democrats on a number of key issues such as campaign spending law changes, school funding legislation, and state employee pension reform.

A Missoula County Commissioner believes County Attorney, Fred Van Valkenburg is throwing the commission “under the bus” in the county’s lawsuit against the federal Department of Justice.

The DOJ has been investigating how Missoula law enforcement, the University of Montana and the County Attorney’s Office handle sexual assault cases after a string of such crimes were brought to light in 2012.

  The Montana Department of Corrections is expanding a notification system which allows victims of crimes to know the whereabouts of their offenders.

The Victim Information and Notification Everyday system, or VINE, allows victims to receive phone calls, texts or emails about changes in the custody status or location of any adult felony offender in the corrections system.

The system started tracking offenders on probation and parole late last year, which adds the movements of 84-hundred people to the system.

Supporters of an initiative looking to expand Medicaid in the state can now begin gathering signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

The Attorney General’s Office approved the Healthy Montana Plan this week after finding problems with earlier versions of the initiative.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says opponents still believe the measure violates the state constitution. 

State lawmakers are asking what rights local governments have to charge fees to megaload shipments moving through Montana cities and towns.

These vehicles carry enormous pieces of equipment, blocking traffic as they haul their freight often to the tar sands of Canada or the Bakken oil patch.

The legislature’s Revenue and Transportation Interim committee inquired into the fees Tuesday.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says the city of Missoula began charging them a few years ago. 

Dan Boyce

Governor Steve Bullock said Friday he spoke to no Democratic Party officials ahead of appointing John Walsh to the U.S. Senate other than to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the issue was “none of your damn business.”

This is in response to criticism from the state GOP, which has described the move as a political backroom deal orchestrated to help Democrats maintain control of the Senate in the 2014 election.