Our Most Popular Posts of 2013


6. Charter School Law Would Hurt Montana’s Students

There are certainly areas of improvement for Montana schools, but defunding them to pay for unaccredited, unaccountable institutions who are quite likely to put profitability and/or ideology ahead of education certainly isn’t a way to achieve better results.

5. Terrible D.C. Journalism and Anonymous Sources Attack Governor Schweitzer

“It’s the epitome of lazy Beltway journalism, laden with anonymous sources and a clear misunderstanding of Montana.  It takes a journalist based in D.C. to write that Butte is a “copper mining town” or that Governor Schweitzer was somehow motivated by the ass-kicking he gave Roy Brown to campaign against him in a subsequent Senate race. It also takes a D.C. “journalist” to title his piece “Brian Schweitzer’s challenge: Montana Democrats” without mentioning that the last polling showed Governor Schweitzer has an 86% favorability rating in his own party.”

4. Representative Daines Golfs While Western Montana Burns

Raising money from well-heeled donors at a campaign event might seem terribly important to Representative Daines, but one of the critical roles members of Congress play in a state like Montana is simple, visible leadership in times of crisis. There’s no excuse for Daines failing to do the same, especially when he’s in the midst of a month-long paid vacation from Congress.

3. Texas Fracking Billionaires have given to 70% of Montana GOP

Two Texas billionaire brothers were the largest donors to Montana legislative races in 2012, giving $51,040 to more than 70 Republican candidates.  That’s a lot of money in a state where the average legislative candidate only raises $6,537.

2. Steve Daines Is Already Following Denny Rehberg’s Tiny, Petty Steps in Washington

Americans take care of each other in times of crisis. That’s what we do. When communities are stricken with disaster, the nation comes together to help those afflicted. Most Americans, even some Republican members of Congress, understand that.

Not Steve Daines, though, who today voted against disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

1. A Post in Which I Upset Almost Everyone Talking About Max Baucus

I would always prefer a more progressive candidate that Montana Democrats are able (or willing) to choose, but I’m not willing to sacrifice critical policy that protects the rights of human beings for ideological purity. While the latter must feel incredibly affirming, it doesn’t win very many elections. And I still believe those matter.

Unlike Melinda Gopher, I don’t think my post drove Senator Baucus out of the Senate, but it turned out not to be terribly important, despite the raging battle in the comments.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an 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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Norma Duffy

Fact of the matter was, they were all great stories Don. This was a better read for me than most of the papers in MOntana this year. For Christ sake when they picked Max Baucus, as the story of the year over the legislature’s failure to expand medicaid? I was pretty disappointed. To me Essman and the republicans continued story of infighting and sleazyness –lack of protecting Montanans, or veteran….. that was a huge story never rightly told. The fact that papers nonchalantly spent less time on the military’s failed protection of Nuclear missiles in MOntana. than national news outlets…… Read more »


speaking of popularity, Norma, congratulations on helping make Cowgirl’s comment threads such a productive space.

also, I think you meant “soldier on”.

Don Pogreba

If you want to fight about Norma’s comments on another blog, it would seem most sensible and appropriate to comment over there, right?

Norma Duffy

I meant “shoulder on” as if to push through all the rhetoric. Sorry you don’t seem to know that one! Its a “racetracker” Phrase

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