Government & Politics

Jackie Yamanaka

Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Montana Senator Max Baucus says there’s insufficient critical thinking today.  He says for many, it’s easier to watch or read the news they agree with.  Baucus says as Senator he strove to meet with those who didn’t always agree with him. 

“I love walking into a lion’s den. It’s a challenge,” Baucus says. “You learn something. And basically, they might learn something too.”

Courtesy image

A legal advocacy organization that represents low-income people says nearly every state has a law that requires the suspension of a driver’s license for nonpayment of court costs and fines. Legal challenges have been filed in 5 states challenging such laws, including in Montana.

The Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia released those findings in report released today.


Grant Kier for Congress campaign

The former executive director of an organization that works to preserve open space in western Montana is the latest candidate to enter the Democratic primary for the U.S. House.  Grant Kier thinks that experience will serve Montanans well in Congress.

He spent the past decade as the executive director of Five Valleys Land Trust, before that with the Bitter Root Land Trust. The former well site geologist says he’s learned an important lesson from his time in the non-profit world.


Montana Motor Vehicle Divison

  The Montana Department of Justice is asking U.S. Homeland Security for more time to comply with the REAL ID Act, the 2005 federal law passed in the wake of 9/11 requiring stricter identification before boarding an airplane.

Montana is approaching an October 10 deadline when standard state driver’s licenses will no longer be acceptable forms of ID when visiting a military base or most other federal facilities. The current deadline would also require people to use an upgraded ID to board a plane by the end of January.

A legal settlement reached Friday could have a big impact on the future of Colstrip – both to the coal-fired power plant there, and the town itself.

Some renewable energy advocates say the settlement means the Colstrip plant could shut down sooner than had been anticipated – maybe as early as 2027, instead of sometime in the 2040s. But that depends on a lot of variables, and Colstrip’s backers say it could stay open for decades.

Creative Commons

Republican congressman Greg Gianforte gave a keynote address to the Montana Association of Counties today.

It was the second stop in his “forest jobs tour,” and the congressman told county commissioners the best way to stop wildfires is to cut down more trees.

On Tuesday, congressional hopeful Grant Kier became the second challenger in the race for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republicans for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat in 2018. Kier, a Missoula resident, made the announcement to a crowd of about 80 at the newly-built Kettlehouse Amphitheatre in Bonner.

Congressman Greg Gianforte invited the media Friday to what he called a roundtable talk about the U.S. Forest Service Stonewall vegetation project near Lincoln.

He says that lawsuits blocking projects like Stonewall are standing in the way of healthy forests in the Montana.

MTPR News Director Eric Whitney: By my count there are at least five formally declared candidates, and then there's Billings Judge Russel Fagg, who hasn't officially declared, but he certainly looks like a candidate. Is Fagg really just exploring a Senate run, or is he just saying that?

MSU Political Science Professor David Parker joins us with a look at the 2018 Senate race.

Running Weasel of the Blackfoot Confederacy sits on horseback near the historic Roosevelt Arch near Yellowstone National Park.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Tribal leaders from Canada and the American West gathered in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday. They were there to protest places named after early explorers who advocated for the mass killing of Native Americans.

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