Montana Politics Steve Bullock

ICYMI campaign news

An unlikely source …

MTV News has the most in-depth article on Denise Juneau, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, that I’ve seen this cycle. It’s titled “The Historic Congressional Race That Nobody’s Watching,” which, judging by both in-state and out-of-state media coverage, is pretty accurate.

Her opponent, incumbent Republican Ryan Zinke, must like it that way:

Zinke, whose campaign, along with the Montana GOP, did not respond to MTV News’s requests for comment …

Anyway, “Bravo Zulu,” as Zinke would say, to MTV for covering this race.

The more I read about Montana Supreme Court candidate Kristen Juras …

The more scared I get.

Missoulian reporter Chelsea Davis, darn her, scooped me on the ongoing animosity between Juras and the Montana Kaimin. The hostilities started over seven years ago with Juras wanting to ban a sex column in the UM student newspaper. She reignited the flames recently with some posts on her Facebook page.

One of the posts was a satirical send up of the old Doctor Hook “Cover of the Rolling Stone” hit, now performed by Juras and reprised as “Cover of the Kaimin” (without the iambic pentameter). Juras has since pulled the post. The Kaimin, however, has the “music” video and commentary here.

I find the video mildly amusing. How Juras played fast and loose with the facts isn’t quite as entertaining. Here’s the Kaimin editorial that lays it all out.

But there’s possibly more damning information in this post, over at Last Best News. Juras has been creating reports using her title as “Associate Professor, University of Montana School of Law” without revealing that these studies were paid for by various corporations.

Because most voters had no clue about the candidates in June’s nonpartisan primary election, Juras handily beat Judge Dirk Sandefur. Now that information is coming out on Juras, the results, I hope, will change.

In the race for governor …

MTN’s Mike Dennison has two stories. The first concerns Republican challenger Greg Gianforte’s denial of job outsourcing. Yes, he created jobs, the story goes, but he also eliminated some. One thing that caught my attention was this non-comment from Oracle, the company that bought Gianforte’s RightNow Technologies and subsequently shipped around 100 jobs to Texas:

Oracle, which bought RightNow, still employs several hundred people in Bozeman, but refused to say precisely how many.

An Oracle spokeswoman said U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations prevent it from disclosing how many employees it has at specific sites.

An SEC spokesman in Washington, D.C., said he knew of no such regulation.

The other story has to do with the state’s dwindling surplus, projected at $300 million but now looking closer to $109 million. Falling revenue, particularly from oil and gas leases, and a general slowing of the economy, is to blame for the slowdown. Gianforte lays the fault on Helena leadership. I’d like to now how he’d manipulate the commodity markets and spur the world economy to get our surplus back on track.

Here’s economist Dick Barrett (SD 45):

Republican legislators, who have been trying to pin the decline in state revenues on Steve Bullock and his alleged hostility towards natural resource industries, need to read this story very, very carefully.

It turns out that state revenues are down just about everywhere. It’s not unique to Montana and certainly not to Steve Bullock. Both corporate and personal income tax collections are down in lots of states, and although the decline in natural resource production may be a factor in some states, that’s far from the whole story, even in Montana.

The rest is below the fold, including a link to The Hill piece referenced by Barrett.

Finally, turnout info …

At Flathead Memo, James Conner has stats and graphs trending down for voter turnout in the 2016 general election. Let’s prove him wrong.

Thanks for your interest, and please jump to the Barrett/The Hill state budget analysis.

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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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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