Government & Politics

(Courtesy of Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio)

The Democratic party’s statewide candidates are filtering into the Helena election watch rally as the polls close. Corin Cates-Carney of Montana Public Radio is on site and reports.

(AP Photo/Matt Volz)

Candidates for Montana’s lone House seat are both in western Montana tonight waiting for the polls to close. Montana Public Radio’s Nicky Ouellet reports.

Incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte are hosting watch parties tonight in their home towns, waiting to see who Montana voters will select as the next governor. Corin Cates-Carney brings us this special election reports

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.


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.

Jackie Yamanaka

For all of the procrastinators who have an absentee ballot is still sitting on your kitchen counter, elections officials are urging you to drop it in the mail.

The general election is coming up fast, November 8, 2016.

Yellowstone County Elections Administrator Bret Rutherford says the reduction in the number of U.S. Postal Service sorting centers means it can take longer for mail to be delivered, especially for rural Montanans.

Jackie Yamanaka

House Speaker Paul Ryan urged Montana voters to return Congressman Ryan Zinke for a second term in the U.S. House. The Wisconsin Republican spoke briefly at a rally and fundraiser for Zinke at a private hangar the Billings airport Sunday morning.

The campaign stop was part of Ryan’s campaign swing on behalf of Republican Representatives.

Ryan said the U.S. House runs differently than the U.S. Senate.  He called it a meritocracy, “If you’re good, you get the ball and run with it.”

In the Senate, seniority matters. Ryan said that’s not the case in the House.

The arrival of property tax bills may be delayed in some of the counties affected by the settlement reached between the state of Montana and NorthWestern Energy. That settlement may also result in a slight increase for some.

MSUB University Relations

Jobs and job creation were the topics today for Montana’s gubernatorial candidates.

The Bullock Administration announced Montana received $1.3 million from the U.S. Labor Department to expand apprenticeship programs.

Governor Steve Bullock, D-MT, announced the award during a press conference at the Capitol.

“This new funding will be used to dramatically expand apprenticeship opportunities in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, energy, information technology, finance and skilled trades,” he says.