Corin Cates-Carney

Capitol Reporter

Corin Cates-Carney is the Capitol Bureau reporter for MTPR,  Corin was formerly MTPR's Flathead area reporter.

Corin has worked for NPR, and is a UM Journalism School Graduate.

Contact Corin Cates-Carney:
Mobile: 253-495-5193
Capitol Office:  406-444-9399

Ways to Connect

Eric Whitney

This weekend Montana Democrats will convene in Helena to begin strategizing how to appeal to voters in the 2020 election. They’ll elect party leadership, who will guide fundraising and candidate recruitment.

State Democrats have struggled to gain significant political ground in recent elections. Next year will be another big test of the party’s appeal to voters.

Libertarian Rick Breckenridge, left, got 2.9% of the vote in Montana's 2018 US Senate race against Republican Matt Rosendale, center, and Democrat Jon Tester
MTN News

Montana’s Libertarian Party is starting its 2020 election planning this weekend with a convention in Great Falls.

Montanans have never elected a Libertarian to a legislative or statewide public office.

The total number of candidates running for Montana’s open U.S. House seat jumped to seven today. That’s after Simms Democrat Matt Rains and Corvallis Republican Tim Johnson announced their candidacies.

More than 40 people came to the DPHHS hearing on Medicaid cuts Feb. 1, 2018 in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Montana’s Medicaid expansion now covers more than 92,000 people. Its future was in question earlier this year when state lawmakers debated whether to continue it, and if so, how.

Conservative lawmakers campaigned to scrap expansion altogether. More moderate Republicans pushed for adding work requirements for enrollees — something not allowed under the Obama administration but OK'd by President Trump.

Gov. Steve Bullock announces his candidacy for president in Helena, Mont., May 14, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Gov. Steve Bullock is heading back to Iowa this week for what his campaign says will be his sixth swing through the state in just under two months.

After being excluded from the first Democratic primary debate stage last month, Bullock’s campaign continues to pour on efforts in the early-caucusing state and to seek national media attention.

Candidates for statewide office in Montana’s 2020 election raised more than $1.4 million since the start of the year, most of that coming over the last three months. Candidates were required to file campaign finance reports by Friday.

Most of the early money coming in is taking sides in the contested Republican primary for governor.

U.S. Democratic Senator Jon Tester held his third in-person town hall of the year in Helena, Tuesday, July 2. Tester won reelection to a third term in 2018 by three percentage points.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A town hall event with Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester brought around 100 people to the Helena College Student Center Tuesday morning.

Tester was praised for his work on public lands and stance on funding public education, but received some push back on issues surrounding the southern border.

The crowd was overall favorable to the state’s senior Senator as microphones were passed between rows of plastic seats for an hour of questions.

Veterans, Buttians, and stateVeterans, Buttians, and state and federal  and federal political figures gathered in Butte for the ceremonial groundbreaking, Tuesday July, 2, of the long awaited Southwest Montana Veterans Home. It was first proposed in 1993.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

After years of waiting, the Southwest Montana Veterans Home broke ground today in Butte.

Governor Steve Bullock says he could support the controversial Keystone XL pipeline “if it’s done right.” 

As a Democratic Governor of a red state Bullock often straddles issues that others in his party can take a clearer stance on, like the TransCanada Keystone XL oil pipeline.

In an online town hall event where Bullock pledged making Montana’s electric grid carbon-neutral by 2035, Bullock got a question from Crow Tribal member Avery Old Coyote.

Old Coyote said, "My question is just a simple one, do you support the Keystone XL pipeline?”

2019 Montana lobbying spending.
Cassidy Alexander, via Datawrapper / Montana Public Radio

At least $6.5 million dollars was spent on lobbying during the state’s 2019 legislative session. That’s according to the spending reports that groups trying to influence state lawmakers are legally required to file.

Montana Public Radio dug into the reports, which this year got harder for the public to make sense of.