Montana Politics Winners and Losers of the Week; Top Five Posts for May


  • Ken Miller. Bizarrely, the Commissioner of Political Practices report which clearly demonstrates that Miller broke Montana campaign law will help him with the kind of person inclined to vote for Miller. They’ll be energized enough to fire up their buggies and head in to vote Tuesday, which should bring Miller to nearly 18% in the race.
  • Commissioner of Political Practices office. One of the complaints over the years has been that the Commissioner’s office simply doesn’t act quickly enough to enforce Montana campaign law. Despite Mr. Miller’s wailing, Commissioner Murray promised to investigate and issue a ruling before the primary—and that’s exactly what he’s done.  Let’s hope the Commissioner’s office can continue this kind of excellent work.
  • The First Amendment in Schools. Students at Flathead High School in Kalispell challenged an absurd ruling by school administration that said a T-shirt saying “Legalize Gay” was inappropriate for school. Way to go, students!
  • Jim Foley. One hopes, like in the case of Ken Miller, that this is a short-lived victory, but it’s amazing that Mr. Foley is still employed by the University of Montana. When the person in charge of communications at an institution demonstrates not only a profound lack of understanding about public records and a misogynistic disregard for the welfare of female students, he needs to lose his job. Period.
  • Steve Bullock. While Republican candidates for governor spent the week trading shots over ethical violations, Attorney General Bullock was defending Montana’s prohibition against corporate influence on elections. One looks like a governor; the others look like squabbling children.


  • Rick Hill. Mr. Hill is certainly going to win the Republican primary contest on Tuesday, but the AP investigation (undeveloped as it was) into his real estate dealings with the state will hurt him in the general election.
  • Representative David Howard’s Constituents. While the man has a unique gift for violating the norms of standard English, his hateful attitude towards people who are gay is anything but amusing.
  • Dustin Hurst. It seems that no one believes he’s a reporter, as he’s been kicked out of political events in Wisconsin while masquerading as a journalist there.
  • Traditional Voting. It seems we’re all becoming absentee voters. I know there are a lot of reasons to prefer easy access to absentee ballots, but it’s hard for me to give up the tradition of Election Day. I’ll be going down after work and getting my “I Voted” sticker from the friendly election judges as long as I can.

And the Top Five Posts at Intelligent Discontent in May

  1. Patty Lovaas Continues Her War Against Voting (from Aug 2011—strange)
  2. Who Watches the Watchdog?
  3. AG Candidate Conducting Illegal Robocalls 
  4. Online Ethics and Political Campaigns: The Bucy Bots Go On the Attack Again
  5. Champ Edmunds: A Special Kind of A#$*&!@
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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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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