Cyndi Baker (left) and Rep. Cleve Loney R-Great Falls (right)

Montana TEA Party Rebranding as Not the TEA Party

The Tea Party in Montana has been tarnished by demonstrations of racism, rabid extremism, general ignorance and, after the 2015 session, failure. So tarnished, in fact, that they are now shying away from being called “Tea Party.” In fact, the organization formerly known as the “Montana Shrugged TEA Party” in Montana is now calling itself…

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Lee Newspapers

Lee State Bureau, RIP

Surprising news was delivered Thursday by the Great Falls Tribune. The Lee Newspapers company is shutting down its State Bureau, meaning that Mike Dennison and Chuck Johnson, the state’s two veteran political reporters, are departing, leaving the company.  Sources with knowledge of the the decision say Lee…

Montana Legislature

GUEST POST: The Danger Of Preemption Laws!

by Norma Duffy.  

Ms. Duffy is lifelong resident of Beaverhead County, a businesswoman, farmer, public advocate, and single mother who has no tolerance for the bad politics-as-usual, interfering with our future as Montanans. Follow her on Twitter @Ilikewoods

(First in a series of Three)

Though I have my own dreadful, personal, business story about preemption law, which I will speak to in the next post – problems right here in our state of Montana…. I’d rather first, take this time, to explain to the average Montanan, what so called “Preemption laws” are.

Generally, every state in the union has…


Advances at the Cowgirl Blog

You may have noticed the Cowgirl Blog has been experimenting with a new look, as well as an increased number of guest posts.  I’m always looking for ways to improve the blog and your suggestions to the tipline at mntnacowgirl (at) are welcome–as are your…


GUEST POST Montana values shaped lawmaking during session

by Mary Ann Dunwell  

Mary Ann Dunwell is a democrat and represents Montana House District 84 Helena/East Helena. You can reach her at (406) 461-5358 or

As we celebrate summer graduations and holidays that honor our service men and women, and parents and families, it’s a good time to point out how our shared Montana values shaped lawmaking in the recent legislative session – values like the equal opportunity of public education, healthy and hard-working families and communities, and service to country and each other.

Here are a few examples of laws passed that reflect these values…

hypocrisy meter

The Montana Hypocrites of the Week Award Goes to

..the Montana State Fund. Turn on your TV and you might see a piece of propaganda the Montana State Fund is currently running featuring firefighters the ad boldly, if inaccurately, asserts that the State Fund is supportive of these men and women who keep our homes and families safe.

Problem is, over the years the Montana State Fund has repeatedly lobbied against allowing Montana firefighters to get the care they need when injured on the job.

Re-elect Brad Johnson

Gubernatorial Story, Speculation Raises Questions

Chuck Johnson reported today that GOP PSC Commissioner Brad Johnson is running for Governor. While this is somewhat interesting in itself, given Johnson’s history, the piece of the story that struck me the most was this bit: Rumors persist that Greg Gianforte, of Bozeman, the founder…


MT Commissioner of Political Practices Issues Campaign Violations Decision on Stanford, Dartmouth Fake Mailer Scandal, Refers Profs to County Prosecutor

The MT Commissioner of Political Practices has issued a decision that the scandal in which Stanford “researchers,” along with a researcher at Dartmouth College, sent 100,000 fake “voter guides” into Montana, with the look and feel of official state voter guides. You can see the fake voter guides at the Flathead Memo here….

kristen juras

Pro-Censorship Prof Under Fire for Paid Corporate Study to Run for Supreme Court

A right-wing law professor from the University of Montana who has made a name for herself by demanding censorship of the student paper has announced her candidacy for Montana Supreme Court.   The Bozeman Chronicle’s Troy Carter first reported that Kristin Juras was planning a run on Twitter yesterday.  Juras told the Chronicle she was running after Carter uncovered that she had registered a website “” in April.

In 2009, Juras called for censorship of the University of Montana’s student paper, the Montana Kaimen, because a student had written about sex.  Juras was, and perhaps still is, advisor to a student group called the “Christian Legal Society.”  The Flathead Beacon reported at the time.


GUEST POST Win a few, lose a few: Animal fighting, commercial breeding get another pass

by Kathleen Stachowski who writes about animal rights at  where this article is cross-posted.  I’ve added the Other Nations blog to the blog roll here.  It’s a great blog so check it out when you get a chance – Cowgirl.

Seventy percent of U.S. adults have a favorable opinion of the animal protection movement–so says recent research–which leads me to think that the other 30% serve in the Montana legislature.


Friday Quicktakes

Bullock Vetoes Trapping Bill Governor Bullock has vetoed a bill that attempted to expand trapping in Montana. It was the right thing to do. In 2004, Montana passed a constitutional amendment protecting the right to harvest big game. Fish and game, however, cannot be trapped….


Putting the Crack in Crackpot Ideas

A TEA Party state senator this week lashed out against Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke for eagerly voting against a measure pushed by special interest groups and right-wing legislators. The scheme to takeover, seize, or auction off our public lands (TPL) is so unpopular with voters that even Zinke, who during the election went…