Montana Public Radio

Steve Bullock

  • Republican Sen. Steve Daines, whose state depends heavily on fossil fuel revenues, says Montana needs to balance environmental protection with an energy economy.
  • A task force is expected to unveil a report soon to Gov. Steve Bullock, Montana’s Democratic Senate candidate, on proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Both candidates portray themselves as Montana’s best hope for preserving the state’s outdoor culture in this closely watched, high stakes Senate race.

Montana Gov.

Campaign Beat: QAnon, Carbon Tax And Cooney On Drums

Sep 11, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence and top Montana Republican candidates plan to attend a fundraiser hosted by supporters of QAnon, which the FBI calls a domestic terrorism threat. Gov. Bullock flip-flops on support of a carbon tax. A new ad accuses Sen. Daines of cozying up to Texas billionaires who own a big chunk of Montana. A new poll shows the Senate race a virtual tie. Trump's remarks about dead soldiers draw party line reaction. And Mike Cooney marches to the beat of his own drum.

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Gwen Florio, filling in for Holly Michels.

Relief For Montana Meat Packers, Nonprofits Expanded

Sep 11, 2020

Montana’s governor Thursday said he will direct more coronavirus aid to nonprofits and meat packing businesses in the state.

Governor Steve Bullock’s office announced it would add more than $32 million in coronavirus relief funds to the Social Services Nonprofit Grant Program and Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant Program.

While the state has redistributed some of its grant money from other programs because of lack of demand, Bullock said this week that applications from meat processors flowed in.

A coronavirus testing swab in a test tube.
iStock

Some public school districts and public health officials in Montana say medical privacy laws are preventing them from working together when a positive COVID-19 case is found in a school. On Thursday, Gov. Steve Bullock’s office released new guidance on the issue.

Montana absentee ballot for the 2017 special congressional election.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

As of Friday, 45 of Montana’s 56 counties have filed plans to hold all-mail elections this November after Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive in August allowing counties to do so. However, some people are pushing back against the measure and Republican officials have filed a lawsuit trying to stop it.

Campaign Beat: Hanoi Who? Montana Ad Checklist

Sep 4, 2020

Republicans try to impede Montanans voting by mail. A new ad resurrects "Hanoi Jane." Sen. Daines says a proposed climate action plan would hurt Montana's economy. A democratic protest rings hollow. And a new campaign ad checks all the Montana boxes.

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Gwen Florio.

Montana unemployment rate by county on September 3, 2020.
Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Applications for unemployment assistance increased in Montana for the third consecutive week, even as national numbers are falling, the U.S. Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

COVID goes to college

Sep 3, 2020

For months, Gallatin County was the epicenter for COVID-19 cases in Montana. The county was the first in Montana to hit 100 cases, the first to document community spread, and during the pandemic’s first month Gallatin County was home to more than half the reported cases in the state.

Opposition to Obamacare Becomes Political Liability for GOP Incumbents

Sep 1, 2020

In the 2014 elections, Republicans rode a wave of anti Affordable Care Act (ACA) sentiment to pick up nine Senate seats, the largest gain for either party since 1980. Newly elected Republicans such as Cory Gardner in Colorado and Steve Daines in Montana had hammered their Democratic opponents over the health care law during the campaign and promised to repeal it.

Six years later, those senators are up for reelection. Not only is the law still around, but it’s gaining in popularity. What was once a winning strategy has become a political liability.

With Nov. 3 approaching, Montana’s secretary of state candidates are offering starkly contrasting visions for the state’s top election office. Both candidates have emphasized greater election security but have different plans to achieve it.

The secretary of state race doesn’t catch the headlines of Montana’s high profile gubernatorial and U.S. Senate contests but Montana State University political scientist Eric Raile says it carries big implications. Whoever voters choose will oversee the next four years of Treasure State elections, among other duties.

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