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Montana Politics

Winners and Losers of the Week; Top Five Posts for June


  • Firefighters. What an exceptional effort from the dedicated men and women who riskand-the-winner-is their lives fighting fires to protect all of us. There are still some fires ongoing and it’s going to be a long, difficult fire season, but we’re all better off because of their efforts. Let’s hope they make it through another week without some Montana politician insulting or suing them.
  • The Helena Independent Record might have adopted an incredibly short-sighted paywall model at the behest of their incompetent corporate masters, but it’s certainly to the paper’s credit that they briefly took the paywall down to allow local residents to keep track of fire news.
  • Corporate-funded candidates got a huge boost when the Supreme Court reaffirmed its paradoxical position that neither inmates in Guantanamo nor illegal aliens are human beings, but that Exxon is. It’s certainly good news for candidates like Rick Hill and Dennis Rehberg, who are getting pasted in early fundraising.


  • It’s been another rough week for Dennis Rehberg, perhaps best exemplified by the factDerek-Skees-and-Denny-Rehberg-300x200 that even the Wall Street Journal called him out for his dishonesty. The takeaway line from their stinging editorial? When the Journal called Rehberg “another wildebeest in the herd that has created trillion-dollar deficits.”
  • Derek Skees and Brad Johnson are two of worst major party candidates Republicans have fielded in statewide races in a generation, if not more, and even the very Republican Montana Chamber of Commerce recognized that when it refused to endorse either candidate, choosing competence (Monica Lindeen and Linda McCullough) over ideology. You absolutely *must* read Skees’ justification for losing the Chamber endorsement.
  • Krayton Kerns has lost his mind. Wow. Just wow.

And the Top Five Posts at Intelligent Discontent in June

  1. Republicans Aren’t Sold on Rehberg
  2. More Reasoned Rhetoric from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
  3. Jesse Laslovich for Attorney General
  4. Dennis Rehberg Co-Sponsors Bill Endorsing Massive Federal Land Grab
  5. Montana Broadcasters Cancel Debate for Rehberg
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.

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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  • The Lee Enterprises papers SAID they were lowering their paywall shield for fire news, but at least on my computer you occasionally were still asked to pay to read about fire threats and evacuation notices.

  • a big shout out to big time winner Linsey Corbin, who won the Austria women’s Ironman triathlon! GO LINSEY!!!

    • Craig, your blatant attempt to smear Tester aside, is it really so hard for you to stay on topic? Do you really want us to get into who has donated money to your boy Rehberg or your boy Hill or your boy Daines?

      It is quite likely that Tester is personally unaware of the donation or it’s implications. Now that the Supreme Court has said in no uncertain terms that corporations and individuals are free to buy candidates in Montana, I am sure money will be flowing in from every sort of bottom feeder to every candidate that stands a chance of winning. What you should be asking yourself is why this bottom feeder is throwing money at Tester instead of your boy Rehberg? Do they thing Tester has a better chance of winning? I certainly do….

    • Even if he isn’t staying on topic, Craig is still grossly ‘fudging’ the truth. The ‘investigation’ by the DOJ was pretty well over two years ago, when the original guilty pleas were registered. The extravagant $5200 donation to the Tester campaign is for the 2012 reporting cycle. Craig is committing 2 rather blatant fallacies.

      1) Guilt by association, the dread Red Herring, which is an appeal to emotion. GSK is evil, EVIL! Craig tells us. They gave money to Jon Tester, and a whole lot of other people so all those people are EVIL! too. Uhh, no. Jon Tester had nothing to do with the crimes that GSK committed. Jon Tester was and is in no position to help them with the resolution of their EVIL! There is no association that can be drawn between Jon Tester and GSK. None.

      2) Notice that Craig never explains why Jon Tester should give back the money his campaign received from GSK. He’s appealing to Tradition, that tainted money should returned, with no explanation at all why. It’s funnier still because he’s begging the question of what is ‘tainted’ money while appealing to tradition.

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