Featured Articles in Opinion

Forget Companies—the Global Taxman Wants the Middle Class

To hear some politicians and commentators tell it, this will be a banner weekend for global tax policy. And you know what that means, dear reader: Hang onto your purses and wallets. The danger to personal tax bills may not be immediately apparent because the current discussion concerns corporate taxation. Finance ministers from the Group Read More…

Barry Usher

Judicial Branch Shouldn’t be lobbying against legislation

Recent revelations that Chief Justice Mike McGrath and members of the judicial branch engaged in lobbying campaigns against particular legislation that they did not like is deeply concerning. Having members of the judicial branch taking positions on particular bills and using taxpayer resources to lobby against them is certainly not what the framers of our Read More…

Steve Bullock

Bitter Bullock should find something better to do

Montana voters overwhelmingly rejected Steve Bullock’s recent attempt to represent us in the US Senate – he lost the race by over 60,000 votes. Based on the column he submitted to news publications across the state, it seems Mr. Bullock still has not gotten over his loss. Voters going to the polls last November had Read More…

All in: Opinion

AOC Demands We Bail Out NYC Cab Drivers

Last week, freshman Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortz (a.k.a. AOC) decided to jump into the issue of New York City taxi drivers and the financial problems they’ve been facing in the era of the gig economy. Even though she’s a federal elected official, I don’t knock her for entering the debate since many of her constituents are Read More…

Gianforte will protect Montana values

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, it’s clear that the 2020 election cycle is upon us. This includes our own governor’s race. For the last 16 years, we have sent a Democrat to Helena, to be our state’s chief executive, and the results have been clear. A less than stellar economy which causes Read More…

Gianforte thanked for going against grain in DC

Last summer, a group of the country’s largest telecom providers, including CenturyLink, filed a petition with the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C., to cut off access competitive broadband providers have to portions of their networks. Independent broadband providers like Blackfoot Communications rely on portions of CenturyLink’s network to provide network connections to Read More…

Can Steve Bullock win?

The gold leaf Hamptons in New York are about as far as one can get from Helena in Montana. In the Hamptons, it is all about Christian Louboutin sandals. In Helena, cowboy boots are more likely. In the Hamptons, a haircut can cost a small fortune. In Helena, well, see Jon Tester. This past Saturday, Read More…

Montana Senator Steve Daines Stands Strong For Gun Rights

Montana – -(AmmoLand.com)- Despite intense pressure from the media and the D.C. Establishment, he’s not budging in his opposition to proposed “red flag” gun grabs and expanded background checks. “These horrible tragedies should not be politicized to advance a political agenda,” he says. “Knee-jerk reactions and more gun laws are not the solution. I stand strongly Read More…

Montana tourism industry draws millions each year, boosts economy

The tourism industry in Montana is booming and it’s easy to understand why. Montana is the best place to explore over a million acres of wilderness filled with glacier-carved terrain, crystal clear rivers, and 400-foot waterfalls all in between breathtaking mountain ranges. The sightseeing alone draws millions to the state every year. During the winter, Read More…

Guest view: Montana must increase baseload power

While California may have a population nearly forty times greater than Montana, utility consumers are still subject to the same vulnerabilities. With current technology, the best way to protect utility customers from an energy shortage is through an increase in available, reliable, baseload power.   Out-of-state and foreign interests are applying increased pressure on lawmakers, Read More…

Don’t Answer It

There is little less unifying than our collective hate of robocalls. It’s a bipartisan issue, and unwanted calls, by far, elicit the most complaints to the Federal Communications Commission. I often receive as many robocalls over the course of a day as regular calls. And, in recent months, it has only gotten worse. For everyone. Read More…

Session showed Montana Republicans not of like mind

The 66th legislative session is completed. I was humbled by the opportunity to serve the citizens of Flathead County in my first session. Now that the session is over, it is right and proper that I detail for my constituents my observations.   Montana, like America throughout its history, has a two-party political system. Since Read More…

It’s Time to Break Up Facebook

The last time I saw Mark Zuckerberg was in the summer of 2017, several months before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. We met at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., office and drove to his house, in a quiet, leafy neighborhood. We spent an hour or two together while his toddler daughter cruised around. We talked politics Read More…

Montana GOP legislative agenda on track

As speaker of the House, it is a goal of mine to have unity within the Republican Caucus and a positive working relationship with the minority party. At the halfway point of the 66th legislative session, we are hitting those marks. Another goal of this session, was to put the K-12 funding bill on the Read More…

Now is the time for Montana to build

For a decade or more, our Montana Legislature has grappled with the increasing need to renovate both Romney Hall on the Montana State campus in Bozeman and the Montana Historical Society museum facility in Helena.   A compelling case has been made for both these projects, but they have repeatedly come up just short of Read More…

Underwhelming results from Montana Medicaid expansion

In November, Montana’s voters rejected renewal of the Medicaid-expansion welfare program (hereinafter “MedEx”), consigning its fate to the Legislature in the 2019 session. Even though the subject may sound boring, taxpayers should pay close attention these next few months, since big money is at stake and the program dis-incentivizes work and self-sufficiency.   Medicaid itself Read More…

Changing House Rules Will Weaken Checks & Balances

As former House Speakers and Senate Presidents of the Montana Legislature, we question the wisdom of making significant changes to the rules of operation in the Montana House. Currently, there is a group of legislators trying to change the House rules. One of the proposed changes would allow a simple majority (51 members) to “blast” Read More…

Montana becoming increasingly Republican

    Montana appears well down the road to becoming a one-party Republican, deeply conservative state, like the states that surround us. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s survival was an anomaly best explained by his personal popularity and his opponent’s weakness. In the late 1960s and ’70s, when I was first cutting my teeth in politics, Read More…

Dear Montana, Thanks For Nothing

Tuesday’s midterm elections weren’t a slam dunk for either party, not by anyone’s estimation. Democrats managed to avoid another apocalyptic election meltdown and keep their base from flipping out by flipping the House, if barely, and Republicans added slightly to their already slight majority in the Senate. We sent at least three Red State fake Read More…

Liberal Trial Lawyer Group Launches $20K Campaign For Juli Pierce

A Helena-based political committee linked to the liberal Montana Trial Lawyers Association has spent over $20,000 on a last-minute campaign for Juli Pierce, their chosen candidate in a Billings District Court Judge race. In the past, the group has supported the likes of Democrat State-Senator-turned-Supreme-Court-Justice Mike Wheat and Democrat Attorney-General-turned-Supreme-Court-Justice Mike McGrath. Campaign finance records Read More…

Nygaard will bring fresh perspective to legislature

I commend people like Colin Nygaard for standing behind his principles and desire to serve, and throwing his hat in the ring as a state legislator. Colin has shown incredible energy and hard work during his campaign to get to know the issues important to his constituents. I believe he will bring this same dedication Read More…

Mortensen represents Billings well

I had the honor of serving in the Montana House of Representatives with Dale Mortensen for several sessions. I know Dale as a top-notch legislator who is dedicated to serving his constituents, and I encourage all to vote for Dale for re-election this November. Dale brings decades of experience in law enforcement, and we need Read More…

Eggart strong choice for HD50

Quentin Eggart has been a successful business owner in Billings for many years, and I’m glad that he’s decided to bring his experience and dedication to the Montana legislature. Talking with Quentin, it’s clear that he wants to bring his private sector experience  to Helena in order to make positive change for his community and Read More…

Frank Fleming will serve Billings

Frank Fleming’s experience working in state and federal corrections will bring important insight to the state legislature and I’m happy to endorse him for House District 51. Frank has already been serving his constituents as the appointed Representative, and come November I hope you’ll join me in supporting Frank by giving him your vote. Last Read More…

Rehbein will be strong advocate

Missoula legislators often times seems out of touch with the rest of Montana – especially with my part of the state. But, luckily there are people like Dean Rehbein in Missoula who are paying attention and want to make positive change in their community and the state. Dean served as a Naval officer for many Read More…

McGillvray best choice for SD24

Tom McGillvray isn’t a new name to the Billings community, but it’s been a few years since his time as House Majority Leader during my very first session as a representative in 2011. I was lucky to serve with him back then, and I’m happy to give him my full support as he runs to Read More…

Russ Tempel is a true public servant

It has been a pleasure to serve in the state legislature with Russ Tempel, and I’m happy to endorse him for re-election. Russ has been a public servant for 20 years and is intimately aware of the issues facing Montana. His experience will be invaluable to tackle some of the major issues that will come Read More…

Jane Gillette will represent Bozeman

There’s almost nothing that Dr. Jane Gillette hasn’t done. She’s an Air Force veteran, a dentist, a health care advocate, a small business owner, and much more. I’m thrilled that Jane decided to put her energy and time into running for public office, and I whole heartedly endorse her for the state legislature. Jane’s experience Read More…

Hoven the right pick for Great Falls

I was able to get to know Senator Brian Hoven while serving together in the legislature for many years. He’s a top-notch legislator who is dedicated to his constituents and driven to make Montana a great place to live and raise a family for future generations. For Brian, this means using his more than 50 Read More…

Lola Sheldon-Galloway the right choice for Great Falls

I had the pleasure of serving with Lola in the Montana House of Representatives in 2017 during her first legislative session, and I saw that she was a strong conservative and a thoughtful legislator. Lola is a devoted to her constituents and was an important member of the Republican caucus. She’s a top notch legislator Read More…

Denise Johnson will make great legislator

Denise Johnson is known in Yellowstone County as being a fierce advocate for Montana’s foster children. She’s also a candidate for the Montana legislature, and I’m happy to give her my full support. I’m sure that Denise will show the same passion in Helena that she has as an advocate for foster children in Billings. Read More…

Zaugg best choice in HD47

It’s great to see young people like Colton Zaugg, with the passion of community service, stepping forward to run for political office. Colton has shown incredible energy and hard work during the months of campaigning to get to know the important issues to his constituents. I believe he will bring this same dedication to Helena, Read More…

Joe Read the right choice for legislature

I had the pleasuring of serving in the Montana House of Representatives with Joe Read and am happy to endorse him for election this November. Joe has always held firm to his strong, conservative values and it is great to have representatives like him in Helena who will firmly support the Constitution – both Montana’s Read More…

O’Neil the right choice for HD 3

Republican Jerry O’Neil has served the people of the Flathead well in the legislature, and I know that given the opportunity again this year he will again. I had the pleasure of serving with Jerry for a couple of sessions and can tell you that he’s a top notch legislator who is dedicated to his Read More…

Time to stop the Montana Public Service Commission gravy train

Would it surprise you to find out that each of the five members of the Montana Public Service Commission makes more than the Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of State and the State Auditor? These are the current salaries of Montana elected officials. Governor— $111,570 Lieutenant Governor—$86,362 Attorney General—$123,499 Secretary of State— $95,695 Superintendent of Public Read More…

Bullock more interested in out-of-state donors than Montana jobs

Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) took an unprecedented step last month in its efforts to block the opening of the Rock Creek and Montanore mines in Sanders and Lincoln counties, projects that would create hundreds of jobs for Montana workers. Bullock’s DEQ has opposed Hecla Mining Company’s attempt to open these Read More…

The truth about direct primary care

Direct primary care agreements are a fee-for-service contract between health care providers and patients, and are meant to cover preventive, routine or preliminary office visits. Primary care clinics are independent doctors’ offices that do not accept insurance or bill third parties. There have been several of these arrangements made available to consumers in Montana during Read More…