Lawrence VanDyke

Recent Posts

Nonpartisan races becoming ever more partisan


Much as I rail against the two-party system, it has its advantages when you get down to the bottom of the ballot—you know, those races you meant to check out but never got around to. If you hate taxes, worry about coal-mining jobs and think people should be able to do whatever they want except smoke dope, abort babies and marry the sex of their choice, vote for the Republican. If you love government, worry about global warming and think people should be able to do whatever they want except own guns, burn gasoline and block bathroom access, vote for the Democrat. (more…) Continue Reading →

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VanDyke takes yet another political job

The Nevada Appeal is reporting that Lawrence VanDyke, who lost a very expensive campaign to unseat Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat last month, has a new job. He has been named solicitor general for Nevada by that state’s newly elected attorney general, Adam Laxalt. VanDyke held the same position in Texas before Montana Attorney General Tim Fox hired him as his solicitor general. VanDyke worked there for only a year and a half before quitting, and with that very slender experience as a Montana lawyer decided to challenge Wheat. VanDyke attracted a lot of outside money—and it is true that Wheat did as well, in response to what seemed like a blatant attempt by non-Montanans to buy a seat on our highest court—and still got clobbered in the election, which reflects well on the ability of Montana voters to pay attention. Everything VanDyke has done suggests he is exactly the opposite of how he billed himself in his campaign slogan, “Law, Not Politics.” Continue Reading →

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In Montana, at least, voters 1, dark money 0


I said two weeks ago that there was always something on an election ballot that made me feel good about voting. This year, there were two things in particular: voting against the legislative referendum that would have ended Election Day voter registration and voting for state Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat. (more…) Continue Reading →

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The pleasure of voting for Mike Wheat


In almost every election there is something on the ballot I feel good about voting for or against, something to balance my cynical distaste for politics. A few years ago it was the chance to vote for our beautiful new library. When I pass it now I can say to myself, “I built that,” and it’s kind of true, in a way. In other elections, during the time I was covering the City Council, I could for vote for an incumbent I knew from experience to be a good public servant—or against one I knew to be an annoying jackass. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Lawsuit challenges state high court candidate’s eligibility

Five people who were delegates to the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the state Supreme Court candidacy of Lawrence J.C. VanDyke. The lawsuit, filed Friday in District Court in Helena, argues that VanDyke is not qualified to run for the high court because he has not been admitted to practice law in Montana for as long as required by the Montana Constitution. (more…) Continue Reading →

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