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Burns Gets to Repeat His ‘Story’ to Another Montana Newspaper

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Maybe Lee Enterprises could save a little money if they invested in conference call technology. The lack of such equipment is the only plausible explanation I can think of to explain why each Montana paper owned by Lee has sat down in succession, to report on an editorial meeting with the Senator for the Saginaw Chippewas. At a certain point, repetition of the same self-serving nonsense (complete with words that defy English) would seem to no longer qualify for publication in a NEWSpaper.

Today, it’s the Missoulian. Mostly, the story is exactly the same as the same one that ran in the Independent Record and the Billings Gazette, with a few twists. Some of the quotes are word for word transcription. Maybe the public would be better informed if Lee Papers investigated the Senator, rather than letting him have the front page to repeat his unproven allegations about the Montana Democratic Party and his hollow protestations of innocence. What use is an independent media when they let themselves be used by the politicians they are supposed to as a watchdog on?

On the other hand, Burns is always good for a few crazy remarks. In his remarks to the Missoulian, Burns claimed that he pushed for the appropriation “for the kids.” The one immutable law of politics–from national elections to elections for a local school board–is that someone who claims to be doing it for the kids certainly isn’t. And if he is so concerned about the children, shouldn’t Burns care about improverished Indian tribes here?

Montana tribes don’t seem to think he does.

The Blackfeet Nation made similar requests for federal funding, but remain empty-handed. “We’ve always got promises from Sen. Burns, but no actual support to build a school here in our community,” said Carol Juneau, an educator from Browning on the Blackfeet Reservation who’s also a Democratic representative in the Montana Legislature.

“I would have hoped that if he was going to support a $3 million appropriation for Indian education that it would have come to Montana and not a Michigan tribe,” Juneau said. “They’re a wealthy casino tribe. We are not.”

Coming Soon: the exact same news in the Butte Standard and Daily Interlake.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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