Montana Public Radio

Capitol Talk

Fridays at 6:44 p.m. during the Montana Legislature

"Capitol Talk," our weekly legislative news and analysis program, appears on Fridays throughout the legislative session. MTPR's Sally Mauk is joined by Lee Newspapers State Bureau Chief Holly Michels and UM Political Science Professor Rob Saldin.

Tune in to "Capitol Talk" online, or on your radio at 6:44 p.m every Friday during the session.

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'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature is now back in session. Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels review week 1 and look at compromises that make it more difficult to kill bills in committee, the outlook for cross-party alliances, and a controversial proposal that would have Montana help fund a wall along the Mexican border.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to a special edition of "Capitol Talk" our political analysis program I'm Sally Mauk And I'm joined by University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin and veteran Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson.

Chuck, the Legislature met in special session for three days this week to deal with a $227 million budget shortfall. And they've come up with a combination of cuts and transfers and fees to deal with it but not with any new tax increases as the governor had proposed. Republicans of course control the House and Senate, and Chuck they got a lot of what they wanted out of this special session.

Eric Whitney: Howdy and Welcome to "Capitol Talk," our weekly political analysis show. I'm Eric Whitney filling in for Sally Mauk.

Greg Gianforte: Montana sent a strong message tonight that we want a congressman who will work with President Trump to make America and Montana great again.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to "Capitol Talk," our weekly political analysis program. I'm Sally Mauk And I'm joined by veteran capitol reporter Chuck Johnson and University of Montana political science professor Rob Saldin.

SM: And Rob two new polls show the House race between Greg Gianforte and Rob Quist is narrowing from double digits to within six to eight points with Gianforte still leading but is getting closer what's going on do you think?

With three weeks left until Montana's special U.S. House election, the "Capitol Talk" crew analyzes the attacks being traded by the candidates. And the 2018 campaign has started as Sen. Tester begins running TV ads. Listen now on "Capitol Talk."

The "Capitol Talk" crew discusses what did and didn't make it through the legislative session, with a focus on infrastructure and the state budget. On the House race, they discuss whether Quist's nudist colony gigs will impact the race, and break down the latest attack ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund. They also look at the recent Emerson poll showing Gianforte with a double digit lead. Listen now on this episode of "Capitol Talk."

On This episode of "Capitol Talk," Sally, Chuck and Rob discuss the budget, tax and infrastructure questions awaiting resolution during the final week of the Legislative session. They’ll review the latest ads in the U.S. House Race, and question whether the national attention in that race will help or hurt the candidates.

What does the Kansas congressional election have to do with Montana's House race? Will the upcoming visits by Donald Trump Jr. and (possibly) Bernie Sanders, help the candidates? Mail-only voting looks dead in the Legislature, where passage of a gas tax hike looks likely and infrastructure funding and bonding are still being debated. And in 2018 election news, Jon Tester has a Republican challenger in the Senate race. These stories an more on this episode of "Capitol Talk."

Can the governor's amendatory veto bring back the mail ballot option for the special election? We parse Quist's new TV ads and his decision not to participate in a public broadcasting statewide debate. We also discuss what Gianforte gains or loses by keeping a low profile. Then we look at how Tester's Gorsuch vote might affect his re-election chances next year. Finally, we remember the well-respected former Helena legislator Mignon Waterman who died this week.

Congressional candidate Rob Quist is dealing with a flurry of bad press over his financial issues. Meanwhile, his opponent Greg Gianforte is laying low and raising more money than Quist. The vote by mail bill for the special election was killed by in the Montana Legislature where debates over bathrooms, taxes, and more are heating up as the session approaches its end date. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin dig in to this week's Montana politics news on "Capitol Talk."

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