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U.S. Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, has the following details for those who are traveling to Washington, D.C. for the 58th Presidential Inauguration.

Washington, DC Office Open House: Daines will host an Open House at 320 Hart Senate Office Building the day before the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2017. He's inviting Montanans to stop by his office, snap a picture in the Senator for a Day! photo booth, and enjoy light refreshments and snacks from Montana. The office will host visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

Montana Legislature

A legislator from Billings is the latest candidate to announce he’ll seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. House seat expected to open up when incumbent Ryan Zinke likely will become the next U.S. Interior Secretary.

State Representative Kelly McCarthy made the announcement last night in an email. He said he wanted to get the word out before the start of 2017 Montana Legislature on Monday.

When  US Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-MT, accepts the appointment as Interior Secretary in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and is confirmed, then the process begins to fill his House seat.

The open seat will ultimately filled by a special election. But there is disagreement between Montana statute and the US Constitution and the House of Representatives on some of the details.

Jackie Yamanaka

Timothy Cavan is Montana’s newest U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was sworn in today and will serve in the Billings Division. 

Chief Judge Dana Christensen presided over the investiture ceremony before a standing room only crowd in the federal courtroom.


Jackie Yamanaka

Carolyn Ostby’s last day on the bench as a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge is November 30, 2016. 

She retires after serving nearly 15 years. Her tenure concludes as Montana’s longest serving full-time magistrate judge and she’s the state’s first female federal judge.


Montana State University

Incumbency, name recognition, and likability appear to be factors in the outcome of yesterday’s general election, says Montana State University political scientist David Parker.

Donald Trump’s strong numbers in Montana did not translate into automatic votes for Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte. Unofficial returns from The Associated Press show Bullock won re-election by a 50-to-47% margin even as Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Montana by a 57-to-35% margin.

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Congressman Ryan Zinke, State Attorney General Tim Fox, and Secretary of State candidate Corey Stapleton were declared winners from yesterday’s balloting.The A-P declared incumbent Steve Bullock the winner at 8:25 a.m. but other statewide races were still too close to call. Bullock defeated Greg Gianforte, his Republican opponent, by a 50-47% margin.

Around 11 p.m. last night, incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock took the stage at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena to thank his supporters and said it was time to call it a night and tuck his kids into bed.

It’s NOT your imagination.  There are a lot of political ads airing right now on television. 

A national study released today by the Wesleyan Media Project found Montana ranked near the top in the volume of ads bought and airedin the gubernatorial and U.S. House contests.

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Lies. 

That’s how political candidates often describe their opponent’s advertisements that are saturating television, mailboxes, and social media.

What does the laws says about truth in political ads?

Not much, says Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, because the content is protected by the Constitution’s free speech provisions.

“That is where the argument that you are interfering with the First Amendment speech right is strongest,” he says.  

Motl says the courts have struck down laws that have attempted to deal with political content.

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