Montana Public Radio

Mike Cooney

State officials are worried a new sped up federal deadline could jeopardize Montana’s chances of getting an accurate census total. The once a decade count has large implications for the Treasure State.

In April, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it would push the counting deadline back a month to Oct. 31 because the coronavirus pandemic had halted field operations across the U.S.

Monday, the bureau said counting will end Sept. 30 after all.

Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney announces his economic plan for the state during a July 30 press conference in Missoula. Todd Frank and Whitney Williams look on.
Charles Bolte / Montana Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney Thursday unveiled an economic plan for the state. Cooney’s plan emphasizes in-state hiring for state contractors; growing rural economies; and empowering women in the workforce.

Montana Candidates Highlight Flip-Flops, Public Lands And China

Jul 24, 2020

New ads in Montana's U.S. Senate race target the candidates' election year flip-flops. And candidates in the Senate and gubernatorial races try to make the case that they're the best steward of Montana's public lands.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Campaign Beat: Fundraising, Schools And The Politics Of Masks

Jul 17, 2020

Gov. Bullock's mask mandate becomes a political football with one conservative commentator predicting "mass civil disobedience.” Office of Public Instruction Superintendent Elsie Arntzen gets into a public feud with the governor over school reopenings. And new fundraising numbers and polls show Montana's top races up for grabs.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.


This week, Montana’s Republican candidate for governor unveiled what he’s billing a comeback plan for the state.


Montana’s Democratic candidate for governor today unveiled a plan he says will protect public lands and access to them.

Campaign Beat: Can Montana Dems Win On Health Care?

Jul 10, 2020

Montana's U.S. Senate race is now rated a toss-up. New ads highlight health care as a top issue in that race and in the race for governor. President Trump's waning approval could also impact Montana's down ballot candidates. And a former Republican candidate for governor disavows his party and its top candidates running for high office.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Mike Cooney
Courtesy Mike Cooney

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney has been fined the maximum of $1,000 for violating state ethics laws by participating in a campaign-related video conference call from his state office this spring, the commissioner of political practices said Wednesday.

Lockers in an empty school hallway.
PD

Two separate reopening guides for Montana schools were released on Thursday, one from the governor’s office and the other from the state’s office of public instruction. Neither document is an order, but were presented as ideas for schools to consider when reopening.

Montana’s K-12 schools shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s still unclear exactly how they plan to reopen for students this fall.

Gubernatorial candidates Greg Gianforte and Mike Cooney each raised over $200,000 in the most recent 30-day campaign finance reporting period.

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