Montana politics

Campaign Beat
5:28 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Who Is AFP And Why Are They Spending So Much On Montana Elections

Screen capture from an AFP ad.

This week on Campaign Beat: Is the Stanford/Dartmouth apology too little, too late? Who is Americans for Prosperity and why are they spending so much on a Montana Supreme Court race? How effective are the new ads in the House and Senate races?

"Campaign Beat," our weekly political analysis program, appears on Fridays throughout the fall election season.

Former MTPR news director and now senior news analyst, Sally Mauk, hosts the program. She's  joined by Lee newspapers Capitol reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison.
 

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Absentee Voting
3:33 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Absentee Voting Surges Ahead Of 2010 Numbers In Most Counties

Early voter turnout looks good -- especially for a midterm election year.

Turnout tends to dip in years without a presidential election, but the absentee voting numbers are already looking higher in Montana’s largest counties than they were in 2010.

“Every election, the number of absentees continue to grow,” said Lewis and Clark County election administrator Paulette DeHart.

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Early Voting
10:54 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Early Voting Gives Campaigns Less Time To Win Voters Over

Ballots have been out for more than three weeks and that has changed the way campaigns work.

More Montanans are taking advantage of absentee voting, and the trend is forcing campaigns to adapt quickly or get left behind.

The rapid increase in absentee voting means campaigns have less time to convince most their constituents to vote for them.

In the 2014 primary, absentee votes made up 68.9 percent of all votes cast. In the 2006 general election, only 29.5 percent of people voted absentee.

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Supreme Court Mailer
1:20 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Stanford, Dartmouth Apologize For Supreme Court Mailing

Dartmouth College and Stanford University today apologized for a controversial Montana campaign mailer. They’ll send follow-up letters to the 100,000 people who got that mailer, telling them to ignore it. Those letters are supposed to arrive before election day.
 
"I think it’s a good first step," says Linda McCulloch, Montana's Secretary of State. "I think it’s a good pre-election step."

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State Laws 'Disregarded'
6:00 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

State Wants Stanford, Dartmouth To Apologize For Supreme Court Campaign Mailer

Jonathan Motl, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices.

Update 10/28/14
Read the apology letter from Stanford and Dartmouth here

Lawyers representing Stanford University spoke with Montana’s commissioner of political practices today about a controversial campaign mailer.

That flyer, sent to about 100,000 Montanans last week, used the state seal without permission, and purports to show the political leanings of those running for two seats on the state supreme court. Supreme court races in Montana are by law non-partisan.

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Campaign Beat
4:06 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

'Deceitful' Mailers & More Outside Spending On Montana Supreme Court Races

Linda McCulloch, Montana Secretary of State held a press conference Oct. 23 to call attention to a 'deceitful' mailer that appears to come from her office.

"Campaign Beat" recaps the recent House and Senate debates, looks at another outside funded ad in a Montana Supreme Court race, and talks about the mailer that's spawned outrage among many Montanans.

"Campaign Beat," our weekly political analysis program, appears on Fridays throughout the fall election season. Former MTPR news director and now senior news analyst, Sally Mauk, hosts the program. She's  joined by Lee newspapers Capitol reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison.
 

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U.S. Senate Race
4:04 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Interview With U.S. Senate Candidate Steve Daines

U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines joined MTPR for an interview on Oct. 21.
Credit Courtesy photo

Tonight we have the fourth in a series of in-depth interviews with the four major party candidates for Montana’s U.S. House and Senate seats.

In this extended interview, we hear from Republican Steve Daines, who’s running for Montana’s seat in the U.S. Senate. He spoke with Montana Public Radio News Director Eric Whitney.

Listen to the extended version below. Due to technical problems, the extended interview did not go the full 30 minutes like the interviews with other candidates.

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Political Mailer
4:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Montana Secretary Of State Calls Out 'Deceitful' Political Mailer

Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says this mailer is deceitful because the use of the Great Seal of Montana makes it appear to be a voter guide from the SOS office.

Have you received an official-looking mailer that rates the political leanings of Montana's four nonpartisan Supreme Court candidates?

If so, take a close look at it; the flier features an image of Montana's state seal and compares the candidates' political ideologies to those of President Obama and former Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Problem is, it's a fake. The state of Montana has nothing to do with these mailers.

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U.S. Senate Race
3:00 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Interview With U.S. Senate Candidate Amanda Curtis

U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis joined MTPR for an interview on Thursday, Oct.16.
Credit Christopher B. Allen

Tonight we have the third in a series of in-depth interviews with the four major party candidates for Montana’s U.S. House and Senate seats.

In this extended interview, we hear from Democrat Amanda Curtis, who’s running for Montana’s seat in the U.S. Senate. She spoke with Montana Public Radio News Director Eric Whitney. We'll post our interview with her opponent, Republican Steve Daines tomorrow.

You can listen to the 10-minute broadcast version of our interview above, or the 30-minute extended version below.

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Mid-Term Election Coverage
5:01 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Curtis Takes Offensive Against Daines In Senate Debate

U.S. Senate candidates Steve Daines and Amanda Curtis met for their first and only televised debate in Billings on Oct. 20, 2014.

Republican Congressman Steve Daines didn't respond to Democrat Amanda Curtis's jabs during last night’s U.S. Senate debate in Billings.

Curtis said several times that Daines is too extreme for Montana and represents corporate interests over average Montanans. She says it's time to send a working-class Montanan to represent the state in Washington D.C.

Curtis also said Daines' vote last year to shut down the federal government during a budget stalemate hurt Montanans.

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