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Montana Politics & Legislature

Keep up with the latest Montana politics and Legislature news. Get updates on your radio during Morning and Evening Edition, or online any time.

Follow the news from the 2017 Montana Legislature, with coverage from MTPR Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney; Sally Mauk and the "Capitol Talk" panel; Yellowstone Public Radio's Jackie Yamanaka; and reporters from the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

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William Marcus

With the biggest war chest, and the most name recognition, Congressman Steve Daines has a clear edge over his opponents Champ Edmunds and Susan Cundiff in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. The former Bozeman businessman is serving his first - and possibly - last term as Montana's lone representative in the U.S. House. Now he wants to win the Senate seat, long held by democrat Max Baucus, back for the Republican party.
    In this feature interview, Daines talks with News Director Sally Mauk about his campaign - and about some of the current issues facing Congress.

 

Eliza Wiley

Our political analysis show "Campaign Beat" this week looks at the heavy emphasis on the primary candidates' military backgrounds and support for veterans. News Director Sally Mauk talks with Lee newspapers' Capitol reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison about the latest ads and messages - and about the many contested Republican legislative races.

Eliza Wiley

Candidates like to brag in their TV ads - but not at all the bragging is perhaps as truthful as it should be. Deceptive ads - and websites - are part of the discussion tonight on "Campaign Beat", our weekly political analysis program featuring News Director Sally Mauk and Lee newspapers'  Capitol reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison.

Eliza Wiley

Candidates in Montana's high profile U.S. House and Senate races are gearing up their campaigns, as the primary is just six weeks away. Those who've raised the most money have new ads on TV, and messages they hope will resonate with voters.

In this edition of "Campaign Beat", our weekly political analysis program, News Director Sally Mauk talks with Lee newspapers' Capitol reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, about who's leading the money race in the House and Senate campaigns - and who's got the TV ads generating the most buzz.

Dirk Adams for Senate campaign

Born in Nebraska, educated at Harvard, with stints as a New York trial attorney, California banker and now Montana rancher - Dirk Adams of Wilsall wants to be Montana's next U.S. Senator. The political newcomer Adams is running against former lieutenant governor John Bohlinger and recently-appointed Senator John Walsh in the June democratic primary.

In this feature interview, Adams talks with News Director Sally Mauk about his background, why he's running, and his stance on the issues.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to let individuals give to as many political candidates and campaigns as they want.

The 5-4 vote Wednesday, led by the court’s conservative majority, frees up wealthy contributors to give more campaign donations ahead of the 2014 election.

It will have an immediate impact on Montana races for federal office, such as the US Senate and House of Representatives.

But, the state Commissioner of Political Practices says statewide elections will not be affected that much.

Montana’s newest United States Senator, John Walsh, is starting his second month in office.

The former Lieutenant Governor and head of the Montana National Guard was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to fill the seat vacated by long-time Senator Max Baucus. Baucus is now the U.S. Ambassador to China. 

Walsh was already running for the Senate Seat when appointed. Bullock’s move to appoint him has been seen as an attempt to give Walsh a political edge in this November’s election against likely Republican challenger, Congressman Steve Daines.

MT's budget on track

Mar 14, 2014

Analysts expect Montana’s budget surplus to be slightly higher than previous predictions.

The estimate comes from the Legislative Fiscal Division. It now predicts the state will have nearly $353 million left in the bank at the end of this budget cycle. That’s almost $6 million higher than estimates in December.

Conrad Republican Senator Llew Jones chairs the Legislative Finance committee, which looks at the budget between Legislative sessions. He said, overall, the budget is staying right about where it should.

State Capitol, Helena
Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

 As Montana moves toward the June primary elections, a deep divide still exists between elements of the state legislature’s Republican caucus.

This split between moderate and conservative Republicans was most dramatically seen in the 2013 Montana Senate, where the GOP held a 29-21 majority over Democrats. The body almost seemed to have three caucuses, though, as a small group of Republicans regularly defied party leadership to side with Democrats on a number of key issues such as campaign spending law changes, school funding legislation, and state employee pension reform.

Walsh appointed as Montana's next U.S. Senator

Feb 7, 2014
Dan Boyce

Just one day after Montana’s Senior Senator, Max Baucus, was confirmed as the next U.S. Ambassador to China, Governor Steve Bullock has appointed his Lieutenant Governor, John Walsh, to serve the remainder of Baucus’s term. The move keeps the post in Democratic hands and may bolster the party’s hopes of keeping the seat in November.

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