MTPR

Sally Mauk

Senior News Analyst & News Director Emeritus

Retired in 2014 but still a presence at MTPR, Sally Mauk is a University of Kansas graduate and former wilderness ranger who has reported on everything from the legislature to forest fires. She also taught broadcast writing and reporting in the University of Montana journalism school.

Ways to Connect

Montana's special election is getting lots of attention from the national media. That includes NPR, which sent national political correspondent Don Gonyea here for coverage that will air this week. Gonyea stopped by MTPR to talk about the American political scene now from his perspective. He spoke with MTPR News Director Emeritus Sally Mauk.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to "Capitol Talk," our weekly political analysis program. I'm Sally Mauk And I'm joined by veteran capitol reporter Chuck Johnson and University of Montana political science professor Rob Saldin.

SM: And Rob two new polls show the House race between Greg Gianforte and Rob Quist is narrowing from double digits to within six to eight points with Gianforte still leading but is getting closer what's going on do you think?

With three weeks left until Montana's special U.S. House election, the "Capitol Talk" crew analyzes the attacks being traded by the candidates. And the 2018 campaign has started as Sen. Tester begins running TV ads. Listen now on "Capitol Talk."

On This episode of "Capitol Talk," Sally, Chuck and Rob discuss the budget, tax and infrastructure questions awaiting resolution during the final week of the Legislative session. They’ll review the latest ads in the U.S. House Race, and question whether the national attention in that race will help or hurt the candidates.

Greg Gianforte.
Josh Burnham

Republican U.S. House Candidate Greg Gianforte is running a different kind of campaign than he did when he challenged Governor Steve Bullock in November. He's also more fully embracing President Donald Trump than he did when Trump was a candidate.

In this wide-ranging interview Gianforte answers questions about public lands, coal development and social issues.

What does the Kansas congressional election have to do with Montana's House race? Will the upcoming visits by Donald Trump Jr. and (possibly) Bernie Sanders, help the candidates? Mail-only voting looks dead in the Legislature, where passage of a gas tax hike looks likely and infrastructure funding and bonding are still being debated. And in 2018 election news, Jon Tester has a Republican challenger in the Senate race. These stories an more on this episode of "Capitol Talk."

Can the governor's amendatory veto bring back the mail ballot option for the special election? We parse Quist's new TV ads and his decision not to participate in a public broadcasting statewide debate. We also discuss what Gianforte gains or loses by keeping a low profile. Then we look at how Tester's Gorsuch vote might affect his re-election chances next year. Finally, we remember the well-respected former Helena legislator Mignon Waterman who died this week.

Congressional candidate Rob Quist is dealing with a flurry of bad press over his financial issues. Meanwhile, his opponent Greg Gianforte is laying low and raising more money than Quist. The vote by mail bill for the special election was killed by in the Montana Legislature where debates over bathrooms, taxes, and more are heating up as the session approaches its end date. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin dig in to this week's Montana politics news on "Capitol Talk."

Rob Quist.
Josh Burnham

Democratic U.S. House candidate Rob Quist is traveling around Montana holding rallies where he emphasizes  his stand on protecting public lands. He's also been in the news for unpaid debts and tax liens on his property.

MTPR's Sally Mauk talks with the nominee about his positions on everything from gun rights to healthcare and what he thinks of President Trump.

State revenue estimates have grown, but lawmakers are taking a cautious approach. Will the Legislature pass an infrastructure bill this session? A mail-voting hearing turns heated. And Sally and Chuck remember Bob Ream, on this episode of 'Capitol Talk.'

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin review the legislature's busy week as the state budget heads out of the House and on to the Senate. They also discuss how the debate over healthcare and the Trump administration's proposed federal budget is affecting Montana's upcoming special election in May.

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin discuss the Quist and Gianforte nominations, the proposed health and human services cuts, and their impacts, as well as the ongoing controversy over whether counties can use mail-ballots only in the May special election.

Sen. Daines vs. protesters; the new national attack ad against Sen. Tester; state GOP chairman pushes to block the mail-ballot election for Ryan Zinke's replacement; opposition to Gianforte as the Republican nominee in the upcoming special election; and former Chief Justice Karla Gray's legacy, this week on "Capitol Talk."

On this episode of "Capitol Talk": The Legislature debates a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's anti-discrimination law; should teachers carry guns in schools; proposed university cuts and how they could raise tuition; the delay in Zinke's confirmation hearing; and a new poll shows Rob Quist and Amanda Curtis are the front-runners on the Democratic side to replace Zinke in Congress.

Sen. Daines shuts down Sen. Warren and votes to confirm Betsy DeVos. Will the special congressional election be a mail-only affair? A death penalty repeal bill narrowly fails at the Montana Legislature. Join MTPR's Sally Mauk and UM Political Science Professor Rob Saldin for analysis of these stories on "Capitol Talk," your weekly legislative analysis program.

Public lands advocates flooded the state capitol this week and won a victory against privatization in Congress. What's fueling their increased intensity of late? With Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary, is development on public lands a bigger threat than privatization?

Faced with a revenue shortfall and an unwillingness to raise taxes, Montana's University System and other state agencies are preparing for some painful funding cuts.

And the Legislature spent time this week debating a ban on Sharia law in Montana courts. Find out why in this episode of "Capitol Talk".

The "Capitol Talk" panel recaps the State of the State, talks about the state of the budget, and notices that both Amanda Curtis and Greg Gianforte are trying to tie their congressional campaigns to Donald Trump. Can the enthusiasm on display at the women's march be translated into real action for change? Sally Mauk and Rob Saldin discuss the week in Montana politics on this episode of "Capitol Talk."

Montana Capitol, Helena.
Mike Albans

This week, Congressman Ryan Zinke had his confirmation hearing this past week to become the next Secretary of the Interior. Assuming that Zinke is confirmed, Gov. Bullock will soon call a special election to fill Zinke's Congressional seat. Republican Ken Miller is the latest new candidate for this position.

Part of this week's conversation also includes a proposed bill that would set up long-term financing for future infrastructure projects by using coal tax money, and several bills aiming to update Montana's sexual assault statutes.

Lastly, the hosts discuss the women's marches taking place across the country the day after Trump's inauguration and whether this is the start of a long-term movement.

Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin now for this episode of  "Capitol Talk."

Montana Capitol, Helena.
Mike Albans

State lawmakers consider big budget cuts this session, including $93 million in cuts for the Department of Health and Human Services. The Montana Legislature begins preparations for the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and two familiar names are circulating for the special election to fill Ryan Zinke’s congressional seat — Gianforte and Baucus.

Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin now for this episode of  "Capitol Talk."

A federal judge upholds the Disclose Act: what does it mean for the gubernatorial race? Ryan Zinke’s ads get "nasty" in the House race, and the analysts discuss which races are likely to keep us up late Tuesday night. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin break down the final week before the elections on this episode of "Campaign Beat."

Ryan Zinke will be President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the Interior.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

It didn't take long for several prominent Republicans to say they could no longer support Donald Trump's candidacy for president, after a 2005 recording of him speaking disparagingly of women became public Friday.

On Saturday, Montana's Congressman Ryan Zinke, a strong supporter of Trump, issued this statement:

Gov. Bullock's campaign has portrayed Greg Gianforte as a rich out-of-stater. Gianforte has been painting Bullock as weak on jobs. Are these arguments effective? We also look at how the issue of gun control always comes up in major Montana races, and why that is such an effective campaign tactic in Montana. Lastly, we discuss whether or not ties to the presidential candidates will hurt or help the Montana candidates this year.

Tonight on "Campaign Beat," a look at Montana’s primary results, the ongoing spat between Gianforte and Bullock over stream access, and the potential "Trump effect" on down-ballot races like Montana's lone seat in the U.S. House.

Today on "Campaign Beat": Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin preview the primary, and talk about the moderate/conservative split among Republicans. What are Bernie Sanders' chances in Montana, and what happens to his movement after the election; and why conservative Republicans want a special legislative session, and why that's unlikely to happen.

Jane and Bernie Sanders.
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA-2)

Jane Sanders, Bernie Sanders’ wife and chief policy advisor, talks with Sally Mauk about what she’s learned on the campaign trail, the conduct of supporters, and sustaining a political movement.

On this episode of "Campaign Beat," Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin talk about this week’s campaign finance ruling, the fuss over the Gianfortes' big donation to MSU, and the race for Montana’s seat in the House of Representatives.

Bernie Sanders visits Montana, Rep. Zinke endorses Trump, and Montana Democrats smell blood over a 2009 lawsuit Greg Gianforte filed over a public access easement near his property in Bozeman. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin take you behind the curtain of Montana politics.

Journalist Hedrick Smith On The Historic 2016 Campaign Season
Bree Zender

Journalist and author Hedrick Smith recently delivered a President’s lecture at the University of Montana about the widespread political disaffection in America. Smith won the Pulitzer prize for international reporting while covering Russia and Eastern Europe for the New York Times. After his newspaper career, he went on to win Emmys for his work on the award-winning PBS Frontline series. 

Smith talked with Sally Mauk at MTPR studios to give his take on this historic campaign season.

On this episode of "Campaign Beat": Conrad Burns' legacy; analysis of the latest attack ads in the gubernatorial race; and Gov. Bullock's new (yet old) infrastructure funding plan.

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin break down Gianforte's "406 tax relief" plan; discuss the aim of Juneau's reservations tour; explain why it's hard to stop illegal robo-calls; and look at the new TV ad in the only contested state supreme court race, on this episode of "Campaign Beat."

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