Chuck Johnson

Mike Fellows speaking at a candidate forum in Seeley Lake Sept. 19, 2016. Fellows died in a car crash shortly after the event.
Corin Cates-Carney

At a small community hall in Seeley Lake Monday night, Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House Mike Fellows shared his views at a sparsely-attended candidates forum.

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.

MSU Political Science Professor Eric Austin.
Courtesy of Montana State University

The political climate this year is brutal, with both sides throwing mud and stones at their opponents, a “whatever might stick” mentality that has some questioning whether there’s a better way.

And that’s what a conference this weekend in Helena is all about.

Former state lawmaker Joe Quilici is being remembered as a statesman and advocate for Butte. Quilici died Sunday at the age of 91. The Democrat served in the legislature from 1971 to 1999.

The founders of our nation placed a great deal of trust in the role of a free press as the key to maintaining informed public opinion. Chuck Johnson, a professional newspaper reporter for 44 years, is in a good position to say how we're doing.

On this episode of “Campaign Beat” we talk about Greg Gianforte’s pick for a running mate, the role of ambition in the U.S. House race, how a coal company’s decision not to mine Otter Creek affects the governor’s race, and whether the governor is using his plane too much for campaign fundraising events.

Greg Gianforte speaking to the Conrad, Montana Chamber of Commerce
Eric Whitney

Not everybody's summer road trip around Montana generates headlines at every stop, but Greg Gianforte's does, and Gianforte is not just anybody. He's been meeting with local chambers of commerce, like a group of about 10 people at the Sport Club restaurant in Shelby recently.

Chuck Johson with Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
William Marcus

As you might have heard, the Lee newspaper chain, which publishes most of Montana’s larger papers, is closing its state bureau in Helena. Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, the two veteran reporters who staff the bureau, are leaving the company.  The news stunned many Montanans who follow politics. Johnson and Dennison have been honored with blog posts on the internet and speeches on the floor of the U. S. Senate.

Recently I sat down with Chuck Johnson in his Helena office to talk about his 43 years covering the state of Montana, starting with how he found out it was coming to an end.

Lee Newspapers Closing Capitol Bureau

May 22, 2015
Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

Late Thursday afternoon a news story broke on the Great Falls Tribune website that spread across Twitter like wildfire, and struck some people like a death in the family: Lee Newspapers, which owns five of Montana’s largest papers, is closing its state bureau, and its two reporters, Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, are leaving the company.

Josh Burnham

A 100th anniversary celebration for the University of Montana’s Journalism School took place at the state capitol today.

It was 1914 when Dean Arthur Stone set up tents for journalism classes on the Missoula campus because no classrooms were available for the program’s twelve students. By the mid-seventies, when the Watergate scandal turned reporters into heroes, enrollment hit three hundred students. Today the UM Journalism program counts several Pulitzer Prize winners among its alumni.

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