Montana Politics The Media

Burns and Resodyn: BFF

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Conrad Burns certainly isn’t subtle, is he? In a response to a question posed by the Billings Gazette, Conrad has this to say:

Butte has made the transition from a town dependent on natural resources to a place where good-paying jobs are being created. Look at companies like Resodyn and MSE that are now doing cutting-edge research and at the same time bringing good-paying jobs to Butte.

When did he send that little love note? The same day as the Resodyn sponsored debate in Butte, described like this by Gwen Florio:

Burns highlighted his history of bringing federal money to Butte; indeed, the debate was co-sponsored by the Resodyn Corp., the beneficiary of some of that federal largesse. When Burns was introduced, those in the roughly 60 seats reserved for Resodyn employees comprised the majority of those who stood and applauded him. Despite Republican appeals for Burns’ supporters within 100 miles to attend the debate, the crowd seemed largely made up of Tester’s backers, many of them wearing yellow “Fire Burns” T-shirts.

Lee Enterprises and the Montana Standard should be deeply ashamed of themselves. Stacking the audience in a debate for the public, to determine the next Senator for Montana is an affront to the entire democratic process. If they fail to cover this story–and explain their actions, we’ll know for certain that they have no honor, and no respect for the role of the press.

It’s time to come clean. Post the agreement between yourselves and Resodyn. Explain the nature of the seating arrangements. Investigate the claims that voters were moved if they refused to wear Burns apparel.

It’s not too late to be journalists.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-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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  • *There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

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