Montana Politics The Media

Your Montana Media Inaction

Rick Hill Goes to Court

I can’t think of a news story of comparable significance and strangeness that has been so poorly covered by Montana’s media. The leading GOP candidate for governor, one who is touting his credentials as a business-savvy leader who will restore Montana’s economy, was represented Friday in the Montana Supreme Court over a failed business deal—and not a single media outlet reported about the hearing.

The Daily Interlake did cover it before the hearing, just leaving out the detail that Rick Hill is running for governor.

The print media was late to the story—and then seemed to forget about it. The story matters, from a policy and political standpoint. Consider the argument Hill is advancing in his suit:

It  would appear from the record of  the lower court proceedings, as argued in the appellants’ principal brief, that (I) the appellants were not sophisticated investors,(2) they did not have Ii long-standing business relationship with the appellees, (3) the appellants were not represented by counsel, and (4) the predispute arbitration provision and its consequences were not explained to the appellant.

In other words, the leading GOP candidate, one who touts both his business experience and law degree, is asserting that he lacked legal counsel and investment experience in  a 2.4 million dollar business deal.

Not exactly encouraging for a candidate who talks about investment in the state every time he opens his mouth.

Rehberg Coverage

The staff over at the Rehberg Response team at KRTV offered this gem:

Representative Denny Rehberg’s campaign is refuting allegations that the Republican attacked the current pell (sic)grant system..

Campaign Manager Erik Iverson said, “Denny supports pell grants and that’s why he said that the program needs to be reformed. Unfortunately, the problem is Jon Tester and Barack Obama have literally bankrupted the pell grant program. They threw so much money at it initially under the stimulus package that it couldn’t be paid for.”

Just a few thoughts for the KLXH reporter:

  • You didn’t think it worth mentioning that Rehberg called Pell Grants Welfare?
  • How exactly did increasing Pell Grants by $500/year “bankrupt” the system?
  • Given his concern for reform, why didn’t you ask Representative Rehberg what steps he’s taking to “reform” it? Hint: he’s not doing anything.

It’s absolutely appropriate to let Rehberg’s brain respond to Democratic allegations—but you might want to ask him to tell the truth next time. Now that would be news.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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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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