Articles by Cowgirl


Fact Checking the Billings Gazette on State Budget

An editorial in today’s Billings Gazette about a recent budget audit reads like a political hit job and gets several important facts wrong. Of course, this recent budget audit, which found that the depreciation of assets had mistakenly not been factored into a budget report, is an…


confederate fountain

Helena’s Confederate Monument In Limbo

As the rest of the nation is taking down its confederate flags, statues, and monuments, two members of the Helena City Commission say its time to do something about Helena’s monument honoring the confederacy’s legacy of racism. But not every commissioner is on board.

You might be unaware Helena has a fountain dedicated to the confederacy— that group of states that committed treason in an effort to perpetuate human bondage. 

UPDATE: This post now includes links to the Flathead Memo and Intelligent Discontent who also have posts up on this.


GUEST POST: Fortunate

by Anna Whiting Sorrell, MPA

Whiting Sorrell is Director of Operations, Policy and Planning Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health Department, former Director Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and former Billings Area Director, Indian Health Service

This week I will celebrate my 58th birthday.  Most women in Montana would not consider this a milestone in their lifetime, but for me, I will celebrate it with vigor as I know how fortunate I am just to be alive. According to a Montana Department of Health and Human Services report, as an Indian woman in Montana, I can only expect to live to be 64 years old.  Indian women die a generation younger than non-Indian women, who can expect to live 20 years longer. This statistic has been my personal reality as my mother died at 57 and her mother died in her forties.


GUEST POST: Olson Ignored Threats of Coal

How can we not be incredulous? Alan Olson, despite being a shill for the coal companies, should surely know better. He writes an op-ed proposing increases in coal mining and shipping without mentioning the impact on the health of Montana’s citizens and the other consequences of increased numbers of coal trains on the cities through which they will pass. Not a word!

There is enormous mounting evidence demonstrating the overwhelming impact of coal mining, shipping and combustion on public health. It will contaminate cities and towns, farmland, forestland, streams and rivers with coal dust and chunks of coal. A recent study calls coal dust a “pernicious ballast foulant,” containing toxic heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic and lead. Olson’s plan for increased coal train traffic via Bozeman’s residential neighborhoods will…

Jeff Essmann, new MT GOP Chair

Who Could Ask for Anything More

The man behind some of the GOP’s bloodiest battles, Jeff Essmann the state legislator from Billings, is the new Montana GOP leader. Democrats couldn’t ask for anything more. Essmann has been at the inner circle of the war between hardline extremists and everyone else from the beginning….

Re-elect Brad Johnson

Johnson Exploring Run

A Montana Republican who once campaigned for office from an alcohol rehab facility has announced that he is formally exploring a run for Governor in 2016.  Brad Johnson was Secretary of State from 2004-2008, and is now a public service commissioner. He’s been clean since…


GUEST POST: More Disdain than Respect

By Dan Lourie,  Dan Lourie lives in Bozeman. He is a lifetime peace and justice activist, an organizer of and participant in civil rights and anti-war era actions, a regular writer to newspapers since 1964.  While we Montanans appreciate Stacey Cowley’s article and the light it…

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GUEST POST: Anti-Abortion Violence and Its Ripple Effect

How an Anti-Abortion Vandal Hurt Susan Cahill…and Many, Many Others by Maggie Moran, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Montana This week an anti-choice vandal was sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay restitution after destroying the only clinic in the Flathead Valley to provide abortion services. …


The Montana Hypocrite of the Week Award Goes to…

…Bishop George Thomas, of Helena Montana who was captured pontificating at a meeting of U.S. bishops last week expressing his disappointment that his fellow bishops were not a stronger voice for the poor: “I want to express my disappointment. I really do believe that there needs to be much…

A Gallatin County TEA Party Protest

Leaked Transcript: TEA Party Legislators Say GOP Brand is “A Dead Rat” at the Bottom of a Can of Diet Pepsi

During a recent Gallatin County GOP event, TEA Party Republican Matthew Monforton, Art Wittich, and Tom Burnett told a small group of GOP insiders what they really think about the GOP brand, their fellow Republicans, the 2015 legislative session and the people of Montana.

A transcription of audio obtained by Cowgirl tipsters included comments by TEA Party hothead Matthew Monforton comparing the GOP brand to a dead rat at the bottom of a can of diet pepsi.  And that’s just the beginning…


ANALYSIS: Gianforte Cash Floods Montana with Fakery, Deception, and Junk Science

Greg Gianforte and his wife have set up a foundation which has been bankrolling a plethera of organizations found to have been involved in deceptive practices, pushing junk science, and peddling plain, old-fashioned bad information.

A review of the stuff Gianforte is abetting includes some things we’ve all known about – and a few surprises, as a peek at the publicly-available 990s the Gianforte Family Foundation filed in 2013 show. Let’s take a look.


Monday Quicktakes

Welcome New Montana Blogger Laura Lundquist: Montana on the Ground Montanans know Laura Lundquist as as an award-winning newspaper reporter specializing in environmental and outdoor coverage in Montana and Idaho.  Now, she’s got a new project, an independent blog covering “land, water and wildlife related issues…