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…

Smith River Memories

Time for Some Smith River Memories

It’s nearly the weekend, dear readers. Weekends in June mean a Smith River trip for many lucky Montanans.  And the Montana Environmental Information Center has a new video out which captures how we feel about it.


From MEIC:

Montana’s Smith River is renowned worldwide for its clean water, rugged canyon scenery, and incredible trout fishery. The Smith is Montana’s only permitted recreational river. The permitted section of the Smith River winds 59 miles through a remote canyon in the Big Belt Mountains. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks classifies the Smith River’s fishery as high-value, owing to its bountiful population of rainbow, brown, westslope cutthroat, and brook trout. The canyon walls of the Smith also boast some of the best examples of Native American pictographs in Montana.


But all of this could be at risk:

republican party

Fractured Republicans to Meet in Helena June 26th

The MTGOP Convention is coming up at the Red Lion Hotel on June 26th in Helena. It should be a fun time. If Twitter chatter is to be believed, there’s a chance of an announcement at the convention by the anti-retirement creationist Greg Gianforte that he is getting into the ring. Will Deschamps, the Chair for five years now, is being challenged by…


Forward Montana Calling for Nominations for “25 Under 25″

Forward Montana, who brought us those great legislative videos, wants to bring recognition to the many ways that young people are contributing to Montana.  To do this, they’ve created “25 Under 25,” a project to highlight young people across the state that are doing great things.  They’ve issued a call for nominations of those “change agents” in our state between the ages of 13 and 25.

In a press release, the organization says it understands “how difficult it is to step out onto a new frontier, to take a stand for what matters, or to look the status quo in the face and say, ‘this isn’t good enough.’ We also know that brave, young badasses all over Montana are doing this every day.  But it’s not enough for us to know – we need to spread the word.



Gianforte to seniors: Social Security not in Bible, so get back to work

The gubernatorial campaign that doesn’t technically exist suffered a major setback today.  Greg Gianforte, the ultra-religious Bozeman magnate, told an audience that the entire notion of retirement is fictional.  As reported in the Huffington Post, Gianforte said that the bible makes no mention of “people sitting around cashing social security checks.”

“How old,” Gianforte asked, “was Noah when he built the ark? 600. He wasn’t like, cashing Social Security checks, he wasn’t hanging out, he was working. So, I think we have an obligation to work. The role we have in work may change over time, but the concept of retirement is not biblical.”

Josh McDowell (pictured). His event is being advertised by the Montana Shrugged TEA Party.

TEA Party Featuring Anti-Internet Conspiracy Theorist in Billings

Guest Speaker Claims “Internet the Greatest Threat to Christians” Because: Porn, Bloggers, and Access to Information

The Montana Shrugged TEA Party may have tried to rebrand itself as the Montana Center Right Coalition, but it’s still up to the old craziness.  The group is sending out emails urging members to attend an event where anti-internet conspiracy theorist Josh McDowell will be speaking in Magic City at the end of June. The event is advertised at shedding some light on how “social media, the internet, and porn have converged to create the perfect storm” of problems “in our courts, schools, and even our churches.”

No Picture

GUEST POST: A Real Explanation Of the Taxi Industry In Montana

Guest post 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  (Third in a series of four.) A Real Explanation Of…

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 7.23.45 PM

Montana AG asked to Investigate Right-Wing Group, Montana State Senator

There is a group known as American Lands Council, which consists of a man named Ken Ivory and his wife, who travel the West and offer their services to county governments for a fee, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

What services? They promise to help the counties fight to takeover federal public lands (known as TPL). Place like national forests and national parks, and as depicted by the group’s own map on their own website, apparently Indian Reservations and treaty lands.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 8.21.58 PM

Outsourcing, Not Creationist Museums, Will Prove to Be Gianforte’s Kryptonite

GOP candidate sensitive when called “outsourcer”
There has been a persistent question about Greg Gianforte, the fundamentalist zealot and apparent Republican nominee for governor, that has hounded him for several years.  And it is this: did he make his money by outsourcing jobs? When the Democratic Party made this assertion about him, he became so enraged that he filed a lawsuit against them.  (And, like a dog rolling over on its back, looking to be scratched, the party lay down and settled the case by agreeing to retract the assertion that Gianforte outsourced jobs. That was not a very fine moment for the MDP.)

And yet it is apparent that his business career has been based largely on outsourcing. For starters, Gianforte has said this himself.

Blog post 3


by Norma Duffy

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

(Second in a series of Three)

Uber argues that as a technology company, it is not subject to laws regulating public transit like other transportation providers,  who have to follow ADA rules. UBER doesn’t want to Fingerprint its drivers, or do background checks. Instead of getting along with others… Uber likes running headlong into cities, no matter the consequences.  Uber doesn’t feel, any standard local laws should apply to them…. which generally entails, getting into fights with regulated taxi services and city halls throughout America, once they decide to move in …

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 8.21.58 PM

Chamber, MSU Alumni make early bet on Gianforte

Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech executive and religious zealot from Bozeman, has unofficially kicked off his 2016 Governor campaign with a 30-town tour of Montana.  In this tour he will be describing his idea to “Bring Your Families Back.”  That’s the name of the tour, and it will be a charade in which Gianforte will tour the state and discuss his plans for “luring back” people who supposedly want to live in Montana but cannot find a job, and have family here.

There are a host of problems with what Gianforte is doing.  First is the plan itself. His big idea is…wait for it…that people should “telecommute.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 7.12.05 AM

Chronicle: Two Top Montana Attorneys Will Prosecute Wittich Case

The Bozeman Chronicle is reporting today that two of Montana’s best lawyers, Gene Jerussi and John Heenan have been appointed as state’s special attorneys general to prosecute the political practices case against TEA Party state Representative Art Wittich, of Bozeman. Both Jarussi and Heenan are shrewd, with good insincts in the courtroom and in politics (as is the firm’s other partner Randy Bishop).

They will play the proper role of prosecutors, which is to bring down the quarry.  So whomever represents Wittich has their work cut out for them. Perhaps it will be one of the state’s collection of famous republican attorneys like Matthew Monforton or Jim Brown at Thunderdome Law.