Montana Politics The Media

Did the Government Shutdown Affect the Missoulian’s Editorial Judgment?

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I’ve seen some embarrassing, shoddy, terrible work from Montana newspapers over the past seven years writing this blog, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything this bad. It’s bad enough for Representative Daines to score political points while people who rely on government services can’t get them, but unimaginable that a newspaper would print word for word his office’s attention-seeking spin.

Real political journalism in Montana might not be dead, but it’s certainly on life support.

Representative Steve Daines Press Release:

Congressman Steve Daines today released information regarding his staff and office operations during the current partial government shutdown.

“Serving the people of Montana remains my number one priority, and my staff and I will continue working to serve the people of Montana and provide Montanans with needed information about the services they rely on during this time,” Daines stated.

Daines’ offices in Washington, D.C., Helena, Missoula, Great Falls and Billings will remain open during normal business hours, with limited staff.

In line with most federal agencies, nearly half of Daines’ official staff will be furloughed, allowing for necessary constituent services and office functions to remain active.

Daines also encourages Montana residents to visit his website, www.daines.house.gov, for more information about the partial government shutdown. The website will include information about Daines’ office operations and frequently asked questions about government services available during this time.

Daines has also announced his plans to donate his salary during the government shutdown to the Big Sky Honor Flight.

“The first piece of legislation I introduced, the Balanced Budget Accountability Act, was based on a simple principle—if Washington doesn’t do its job, it shouldn’t be paid. During a government shutdown, the same truth remains,” Daines stated. “That’s why I’ve signed onto legislation requiring salaries for members of Congress to be withheld through the duration of the government shutdown, and have also committed to donating my salary during the same time to the Big Sky Honor Flight.”

Missoulian “news” story:

Montana Republican Rep. Steve Daines today released information regarding his staff and office operations during the current partial government shutdown.

“Serving the people of Montana remains my number one priority, and my staff and I will continue working to serve the people of Montana and provide Montanans with needed information about the services they rely on during this time,” Daines said in a written release.

Daines’ offices in Washington, D.C., Helena, Missoula, Great Falls and Billings will remain open during normal business hours, with limited staff.

In line with most federal agencies, nearly half of Daines’ official staff will be furloughed, allowing for necessary constituent services and office functions to remain active.

Daines said he will donate his salary during the government shutdown to the Big Sky Honor Flight.

“The first piece of legislation I introduced, the Balanced Budget Accountability Act, was based on a simple principle — if Washington doesn’t do its job, it shouldn’t be paid. During a government shutdown, the same truth remains,” Daines stated. “That’s why I’ve signed onto legislation requiring salaries for members of Congress to be withheld through the duration of the government shutdown, and have also committed to donating my salary during the same time to the Big Sky Honor Flight.”

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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