Evan Barrett

History Says Keep An Eye On Federal Coal Payments

Apr 5, 2016

The Department of Interior recently announced a comprehensive review of federal coal leasing and a pause in most new leases. This has been done twice before during the Nixon and Reagan Administrations. Then, like now, those reviews and moratoria arose from concerns the public was being denied a fair return on the coal it owns. Seems like every time the system is fixed, it turns up broken again, leaving taxpayers on the short end of full and fair payment from the coal companies profiting from the people’s resources. How could that keep happening?

Who’s In Charge: The 'People' Or The One Percent?

Feb 29, 2016

“The people,” said a farmer’s wife in a Minnesota country store while her husband was buying a new post-hole digger, “The people,” she went on, “will stick around a long time. “The people run the works, only they don’t know it yet – you wait and see.”

Carl Sandberg in “The People, Yes” (1936) 

Opinion: Protecting People And The Environment

Feb 11, 2016

Republican/Tea Party political mantra includes phrases like “government is the problem,” “any business regulation is bad,” and we just need to “trust the marketplace” and the companies that inhabit it.

Is America About Doors Or Walls, Fear Or Hope?

Dec 2, 2015

Here on Thanksgiving Day my thoughts go to my family, which is like the face of America. My Catholic father was mostly Irish with a little Scottish, Welsh and English thrown in. My mother was Jewish with ancestors from Germany, Russia, Poland, Austria and England. One of my six brothers is married to a wonderful lady from Mexico. Their daughter is married to a Moroccan. One of my daughters married an African American. One of my brothers is gay and his partner is from Mexico. Our family includes a Native American and several Asian-Americans. We include Jews, Christians and Muslims. Parents and siblings, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, we are certainly part of that great jumble of differentness that is humanity – that is America.

Opinion: History Bodes Well for Bullock Reelection

Aug 27, 2015

Analyzing historical electoral patterns may seem like an exercise for the back rooms of a university political science department.  But active practitioners in the political arena dive into history to find patterns that are indicative, if not predictive, of what might happen in current and future election cycles. 

Commentary: Politics Or Prudent Money Management?

Mar 3, 2015

Here are some givens, some just plain facts. Public infrastructure investments are for the long-term, they serve both now and future generations. Also, public infrastructure is public: Montana’s citizens (and businesses) enjoy the benefits of having backbone infrastructure in place that is not the obligation of private companies. And because of those facts, public infrastructure is normally funded (totally or partially) through long-term bonding (borrowing) so that those folks who use infrastructure into the future help pay for the infrastructure they are using.

Imparted Montana Values And The Election

Oct 23, 2014

Yesterday would've been my father's 95th birthday. On Monday, my mother will be celebrating her 95th with all six of her sons and some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with her.

Backsliding into Corporate Dominance?

Sep 25, 2014

I recently dropped in on the annual gathering of the remaining delegates to Montana’s 1972 Constitutional Convention.  The Constitution these heroic Montanans crafted made Montana the envy of other states.  As time takes its natural toll and we lose more of these champions of the people, we also are in danger of losing much of what they accomplished as today’s power elites seek to reverse the progress these great Montanans helped make.

Political Debates Strengthen Our Democracy

Aug 28, 2014

In the United States and in Montana, the proper functioning of our democratic form of government requires an active and informed participation by the electorate.

Broad “participation” is essential to the American democratic election formula.  That is why GOP efforts at suppressing the vote across the nation, the subject of my commentary last month, is not just reprehensible, but also detrimental to the proper functioning of our system.

Democracy A Casualty Of Voter-Suppression Politics

Aug 1, 2014

If there's one thing that Americans and Montanans are proud of it's the fact that our form of government is a democracy.

We brag about that around the world and to ourselves.  Our whole belief in American exceptionalism is based substantially upon the fact that we are the oldest continually functioning democratic constitutional governmental structure in the world.

The fact that we have those free elections in our country is something we hold up as a model for the rest of the world to emulate.

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