Ryan Zinke

Josh Burnham

Bozeman's Stacey Haugland never thought she'd live to see the day when gay marriage would be legalized nationwide. The Supreme Court today guaranteed that right.

U.S. Supreme Court
Flickr user: Marty Stone (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for people to buy health insurance means nothing really changes in Montana’s health insurance market. And that’s pretty big news.

James St. Goddard announced his candidacy for Montana's lone House seat Tuesday at the state capitol.
Steve Jess

The 2016 election is more than 16 months away, but the race for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House already has its first candidate.

James St. Goddard, a former Blackfeet Tribal Council member, announced he’s running for Congress as a Democrat.

Bell & Jeff (CC-BY-2.0)

A bill to to expedite forest management activities on federal forests continues to pick up steam in Congress.

The "Resilient Federal Forests Act" passed out of the House Agriculture committee Wednesday.

Eric Whitney

An attempt to strip a bonding provision from a new forest management bill failed Thursday on Capitol Hill.

The bill, co-authored by Montana Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke, would require people who aren’t part of collaborative timber projects to post a bond before they could sue over over the projects.

F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber in Columbia Falls, MT
Eric Whitney

Montana's congressional delegation agrees on at least one issue; too many of our timber stands are sickly, overgrown, and fire-prone. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, and Congressman Ryan Zinke say it's time to reform how we manage our National Forests.

Michael Garrity of the Helena-based environmental group, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, doesn't trust any of them to lead that charge.

Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

Congressman Ryan Zinke says federal forests don't have a fire problem as much as they have a land management problem.

Zinke, Montana's lone Representative in the U.S. House, introduced a forest management reform bill this week.

Rep. Ryan Zinke. File photo.
Eric Whitney

Congressman Ryan Zinke has introduced a forest management reform bill that he says would prevent unnecessary litigation, improve forest health and help prevent wildfires.

At least one Montana environmental organization says it would instead be a waste of federal tax dollars.

A revised federal water pollution rule issued today is earning praise from Montana conservationists and condemnation from the agriculture and building sectors.

Bell & Jeff (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana's timber counties recently lost lots of federal revenue. Local officials say public services are going to suffer as a result.

"It's very scary. We're pretty bare bones out here the way it is," said Mineral County Commissioner Duane Simons.

"What do we do? We've got a four-man road crew. Do you lay four guys off? Do you lay three guys off? We've got some real difficult choices ahead of us here."

He's talking about the loss of federal "Secure Rural Schools" funds. The program expired this fall and wasn't reauthorized by Congress.

News Roundup, Week 4 At The Montana Legislature

Feb 2, 2015
William Marcus

In the middle of the fourth week of the 64th Montana Legislature, Gov. Steve Bullock took the rostrum in the House of Representatives with a big smile.

“The state of our state is strong,” Bullock said, beginning his State of the State address.

Bullock touted his fiscal discipline and pushed his big legislative priorities, getting multiple standing ovations from Democrats and occasional claps from a few Republicans.

Taylor Brown: How The Voice Of Agriculture Found His Senatorial Voice

Jan 26, 2015
Michael Wright

Of all the people on the Montana Senate Agriculture committee, there’s one who always seems to be having more fun.

“To me,” said Sen. Taylor Brown, R-Huntley, “that’s like recess.”

Brown, in his second Senate term, serves as the committee’s chair. He knows the issues and the people, and the people know him. For many years his voice reported farm news to every corner of the state for Northern Broadcasting System, which he now owns.

The chairman of a Montana Indian tribe says he thinks the federal government may formally recognize his tribe by the end of this year.

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ Gerald Gray made that prediction one day after Montana's U.S senators introduced a bill to federally recognize the Great Falls-area tribe. The senators say Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke intends to introduce similar legislation in the U.S House.

Gray says federal recognition would be critically important to the Little Shell people who number about 6,500 members.

Political science professor David Parker, at Montana State University has a new book out. It’s called Battle for the Big Sky. In it, he says, “Much of the existing scholarship suggests that campaigns don’t matter much at all.”

Interviewed at his office recently, Parker acknowledged, “It does seem kind of weird, right? You look at the cost of presidential campaigns, and, wait a minute, political scientists say they don’t matter. They basically take the view of MacBeth, right? It’s all ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Eric Whitney

Saturday was the start of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2015. It’s is the second year most Americans will be required to have health insurance or face a tax penalty.

There were at least two events on Saturday in the MTPR listening area to help people shop for coverage, and investigate whether they qualify for a subsidy to help them afford it. One at the Great Falls Public Library, the other at Missoula County’s fairgrounds.

The Missoula Indian Center sponsored the event in Missoula, but it was open to anyone.

Montanans who buy their own health insurance, or who want to, can start buying policies for next year starting on Saturday. It’s the beginning of the Affordable Care Act’s second so-called “open enrollment” period.

The process will be similar to last year, but significantly different, says Adam Schafer, at the Montana insurance commissioner’s office.

"Folks should not experience the same problems that came up last year," he says.

Eliza Wiley

Do Montana Democrats have a messaging problem? Will post-election talk of bi-partisanship translate into action? Sally, Chuck and Mike talk about these things and more on the final election season episode of "Campaign Beat."

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.

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) Montana. File photo.
Courtesy photo, Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke, Montana's new U.S. Representative spoke with MTPR Assistant News Director Edward O'Brien late Tuesday.

Zinke says he's ready to get to work in Congress representing the people of Montana.

"I understand the responsibility. You not only represent the people who voted for you, but you represent the folks that did not. I think it's time to roll up the sleeves and get things done."

Ryan Zinke Rides GOP Momentum To Election In U.S. House Race

Nov 4, 2014
Jessie Mazur

  In a battle of two first-time Congressional candidates, Republican Ryan Zinke scored a solid victory over Democrat John Lewis Tuesday night.

Like many other Republicans nationwide, Zinke ran a campaign highly critical of President Barack Obama, pledging to end the president’s health care law and criticizing American policy against Islamic extremists.

The Associated Press called the race with 26 percent of the precincts reporting.

Zinke, a retired Navy Seal, stressed his military background as a central part of his campaign.

General Election Results 2014

Nov 4, 2014

Election results for 2014 Montana and national races.

Steve Jess

Helena's Democrats have chosen a very memorable setting for their watch party: It's Exploration Works, a science museum normally teeming with school-age children. Candidates and party officials are wandering among the exhibits that highlight the inner life of cells, or explaining how solar power works.

It's a colorful background for this election night, though some of the seats are a bit lower to the ground than you might be accustomed to.

Homegrown Candidates Tout Their Roots; Do Voters Care?

Nov 4, 2014

 Native-born Montanans have a deep sense of pride. But if you’re one of the 54 percent of Montana residents born elsewhere, you might wonder why that seems to be such a big deal in the state’s election campaigns.

Montana candidates are eager to show voters that they and their families have deep roots in the Big Sky Country. Most TV ads feature the candidate telling viewers how long his or her family has been here.

Eric Whitney

Our national election coverage will begin at 6:00 p.m. with NPR’s election night special coverage.

Coverage of local races starts at 8:00 p.m., and we’ll have local reports and analysis every thirty minutes until at least 10:00 p.m.

We’ll have reporters in Helena and Bozeman. Here in Missoula, Edward O’Brien will host our coverage. Joining him in the studio will be our Senior News Analyst Sally Mauk.

"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.
 

Rep. Ryan Zinke. File photo.
Eric Whitney

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

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

You can listen to the extended version of the interview below.

"Campaign Beat" looks at recent campaign finance reports, dueling gun ads in the U.S. House race, the first TV ad from the Curtis campaign, and LR-126, the initiative seeking to repeal election day voter registration.

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

LR-126 ad from Montanans for Free and Fair Elections:

New Poll: Republicans Lead Montana House, Senate Races

Oct 17, 2014
Rep. Ryan Zinke. File photo.
Eric Whitney

The latest statewide poll shows Republicans are leading in Montana’s races for the US House and Senate, but a large number of respondents remain undecided.

In the race for the open US House seat, Republican Ryan Zinke is leading Democrat John Lewis by a 40 percent to 33 percent margin.

Yellowstone Public Radio spoke to Montana State University Billings Political Science Professor Craig Wilson.

"I think the House race is probably, in relative terms, a bit closer than a lot of people thought," said Wilson.

MSU-B Poll Shows Daines Pulling Away, Zinke With Slight Lead

Oct 17, 2014
Kaci Felstet

The top races in Montana look like they’re going red according to the state’s only public opinion poll released Friday, with the U.S. House race much closer than the Senate.

The poll of 410 Montanans gave Republican Ryan Zinke a 7-point lead in the race for the state’s sole U.S. House seat. Zinke garnered the support of 39.8 percent of all respondents support while his Democratic opponent, former aide to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus John Lewis, scored 32.9 percent.

House Candidates Zinke & Lewis Battle Over Public Lands

Oct 15, 2014

 

Both the Democratic and Republican U-S House candidates agree access to public lands in Montana is a critical part of the state’s culture and heritage.

But that’s about all they agree on when it comes to this issue.

As Yellowstone Jackie Yamanaka reports, Democrat John Lewis is aggressively going after Zinke on the issue of public lands. So Zinke held a press conference in Billings today to reiterate his position.

This election year, Montana's state legislative races look to be the most intriguing. State lawmakers are, "the ones that will actually effect what happens in Montana in terms of policy, as far as who controls the  legislature in 2015," says Lee newspapers Capitol Reporter Mike Dennison.

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