MTPR

Montana politics

In a debate that seemed as late as Friday not likely to happen, Republican Ryan Zinke met Democrat John Lewis in a statewide debate that focused on experience and education Monday night in Billings.

Montana PBS had already cancelled broadcast coverage after Zinke cited a scheduling conflict, but the Monday evening debate was available across the state on radio. You can listen to the debate from Yellowstone Public Radio.

Neither candidate has widespread name recognition – Zinke having served in the state legislature and Lewis as state director for former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus – so the debates are a vital piece of both men’s campaigns, according to University of Montana political science professor Christopher Muste.

I think Zinke will attack Lewis for being inexperienced and Lewis will attack Zinke for being out of touch and having extreme views on a number of issues,” Muste said in the pre-debate analysis with Montana Public Radio.

The debate, in the end, was largely a civil and substantive affair. Zinke stuck hard to the issues of education and energy independence, claiming that Montana “had enough coal to support the nation at peak consumption for the next 100 years.”

Lewis countered that Zinke would pursue oil and gas exploration at all times and criticized him for not support limits on energy exploration near Glacier National Park, a position supported by current U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.

On education, Zinke stated he rejected the increasingly controversial learning standards known as Common Core and wanted to boost more training for skilled labor.

Lewis focused his efforts in staking out support for higher education and reducing student loans. He said by financing student loans “much like you would a house” and ensuring continued access to Pell Grants, he could cut the amount of debt many Montana students have. He added that Zinke would cut support for higher education, making it more expensive for students.

The two meet again on Saturday for a debate in Bozeman.

From left to right: Sgt. Josh Manning, who served in Iraq with Capt. Humayun Khan; Diane Carlson-Evans, a combat nurse in Vietnam; Retired Lt. Col. Jim Gillison; John Hollow, a Navy SEAL during Vietnam
Corin Cates-Carney

Four military veterans, organized by the Democratic party stood in front of the state capitol today condemning U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke’s support of Donald Trump.

Iraq war veteran Josh Manning stood behind a wooden podium on the capitol steps Thursday as he called on Montana’s lone U.S. Representative  to denounce the Republican Party’s candidate for president.

The backer of a proposed ballot measure to eliminate Montana’s medical marijuana program is seeking a court order to put the measure before voters this November.

Flathead irrigators are appealing to the State Supreme Court in a legal battle to overturn the state’s water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
David Wiley (CC-BY-2)

Flathead irrigators are appealing to the State Supreme Court in a legal battle to overturn the state’s water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke and South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy campaign in Kalispell on Tuesday, August 9 2016.
Nicky Ouellet

Representative Ryan Zinke whipped a crowd of supporters to nationalistic fervor at a fundraiser in Kalispell Tuesday afternoon, focusing on such topics as the ailing economy, immigration reform and what he called the scandals of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

Steve Zabawa sponsored the I-176 ballot iniative to make all drugs illegal on the federal level also illegal in Montana.
courtesy Safe Montana

  The backer of a proposed ballot measure to get rid of medical marijuana in Montana says county election officials mishandled thousands of signatures.

The I-176 ballot initiative to make all drugs illegal on the federal level also illegal in Montana received just over 20,000 signatures. It needed about 24,000 signatures to make it on to the 2016 ballot.

For the past two months the candidates for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House have attacked each other on the issue of public lands.

At times, the maneuvering in this political joust has missed striking a mark of complete truth as Democrat Denise Juneau and Republican Ryan Zinke attempt to gain an edge before the November election.

The first TV advertisement of Democratic Governor Steve Bullock’s reelection campaign airs Friday. 

The 30 second spot shows Bullock’s family living and growing up in Montana.

Bullock, Gianforte Agree on Billings Debate

Aug 3, 2016

 Montana’s gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate in Billings in September. The campaigns are working to confirm other debate offers.

Eric Hyers, campaign manager for incumbent Steve Bullock, says the Democrat looks forward to showing Montanans the contrasting visions each candidate has for Montana.

“Mr. Gianforte fundamentally wants to change all that makes Montana great,” Hyers says. “We think that’s a contrast that’s very apparent to anyone who watches these debates.”

Monica Lindeen, commissioner of securities and insurance, and Democratic candidate for Montana secretary of state.
Courtesy Monica Lindeen

Because Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is term-limited, Republican Corey Stapleton and Democrat Monica Lindeen will face each other in the general election to replace her.

Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive August 01, 2016 promoting the work of his Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order today promoting the work of his Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force. Bullock says his executive order aims to incentivize businesses who promote wage transparency.

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