Steve Bullock

Tonight on "Campaign Beat" we talk about the AG race and the lack of a Democratic challenger;  dueling narratives on the economy between Bullock and Gianforte; Brad Johnson's epiphany that he can't win the governor's race with the time and money required; and the Republican party chairman's anger at the Billings Gazette for running an editorial that blames something besides President Obama for coal's decline.

Colstrip power plant
Courtesy Montana AFI-CIO

The future of Montana's Colstrip power plant is very much in the news lately. The Clean Power Plan rules announced by the Obama administration in August called for Montana to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants more than any other state. And the utilities in West Coast states that own most of Colstrip face growing political pressure to stop buying coal-fired electricity from Montana. That makes for an uncertain future for the nearly 800 members of the Montana AFI-CIO unions who work in the Colstrip area.

Governor Steve Bullock gave an upbeat assessment of Montana’s economy today as he unveiled his office’s 2015 Economic Development Report.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock gave an upbeat assessment of Montana’s economy today as he unveiled his office’s 2015 Economic Development Report.

The deadline set for the Protect Montana Kids Commission to draft recommendations to deal with the state’s struggling child abuse and neglect services may have to be pushed back.

Sunday Is The Deadline For Obamacare Enrollment

Jan 26, 2016

  Sunday is the deadline to enroll for health insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act for this year. Some Montanans might find out during this year’s enrollment they are now eligible for coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox
Courtesy MT DOJ

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox officially filed for re-election today. One Montana political scientist thinks Fox is well-positioned for the 2016 election.

In his first stump speech in the state capitol since announcing a bid for Governor, Greg Gianforte said he would not take special interest PAC money in his campaign.
Corin Cates-Carney

Thursday, in his first stump speech in the state capitol since announcing a bid for Governor, Greg Gianforte said he would not take special interest PAC money in his campaign.

Montana Officials Oppose Mining Limits Aimed At Protecting Sage Grouse

Jan 20, 2016
Greater Sage Grouse
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (CC-BY-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana's governor and attorney general objected Wednesday to a federal proposal to withdraw almost a million acres of public land in the state from future mining to protect greater sage grouse.

Republican candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

Republican Greg Gianforte officially kicked off his campaign for governor in Lockwood, just east of Billings this morning. It was the start of a two-day fly-around across the state.

Gov. Steve Bullock (file photo)
Josh Burnham

Governor Steve Bullock reacted strongly to the news from the White House today that it’s issuing a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land. The Interior Department says the pause is necessary to give it a chance to evaluate whether lease rates are fair to taxpayers, and their environmental impacts. Bullock issued this statement:

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