Montana Public Radio

Steve Bullock

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.

Campaign Beat: Sports, Mail Voting And 'Fawning Adulation'

Aug 28, 2020

The pandemic response remains an issue in Montana's Senate race. Postal service cuts may factor in the governor's race. New ads in the House race feature candidates filleting a fish and changing a tire. The Greens are, once and for all, off the ballot. and "Trumptana" debuts at the Republican National Convention.

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

Campaign Beat: Greens, Guns And Preexisting Conditions

Aug 21, 2020

Montana's Secretary of State loses his battle to keep Green Party candidates on the ballot. New campaign ads focus on family and gun rights. The two candidates for governor release their health care plans. The national party conventions may hold little sway over Montana races. And Governor Bullock rebukes State School Superintendent Elsie Arntzen in their ongoing dispute over school masking policy

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

Montana’s firefighting fund is full for the first time in state history amid what Gov. Steve Bullock is calling strong overall budget reserves.

Bullock said during a press call on Aug. 17 that his office transferred about $46 million to the fire suppression fund on Aug. 15, hitting the statutory cap of more than $101 million.

“A fire fund filled to the brim is an important cushion to have at this time,” Bullock said.

GOP Senate Ad Misrepresents Montana Governor’s Stance

Aug 18, 2020

An attack ad, which was released in mid-July, states that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democratic candidate for the Senate, supports a government-run health care program that would wreak havoc on the state’s health care infrastructure.

Campaign Beat: Parsing The Senate Debate And Latest Ads

Aug 14, 2020

The first Senate debate scored talking points but not a clear winner. A new ad in the U.S. House race touches all the Montana bases: fishing, shooting and beer. And the candidates for governor talk sales taxes.

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

School hallway.
iStock

For the first time in months, students will be heading back to class in-person. What schools look like will depend on each school district, their community and what public health officials are comfortable with. Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton joins Corin Cates-Carney to explain.

Elsie Arntzen is Montana's superintendent of public instruction.
Montana Legislature

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The ongoing dispute between Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and the state’s schools chief deepened Thursday when Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen blasted Bullock for announcing a school mask requirement without consulting her.

Arntzen is a Republican running for reelection in November, while Bullock, a Democrat, is running for U.S. Senate.

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