Ryan Zinke

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Billings lawyer John Heenan hopes to challenge Rep. Gianforte

Heenan

Billings lawyer John Heenan has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., in the 2018 election. Heenan, 40, is the first Democrat to file as a candidate for Montana’s only House seat. Heenan, who registered his campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission on Saturday, said he began thinking of running against Gianforte “after the special election and Gianforte’s assault on the reporter.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Former treasurer up to old tricks

Max

Talk about a bad penny… Max Lenington, the former treasurer, assessor and superintendent of schools for Yellowstone County, ended his long career of public service in disgrace a few years ago, after it became publicly known that he harbored racist, homophobic and all-around reprehensible beliefs. When I interviewed him in the midst of the firestorm about his comments, he still seemed rather proud of his notoriety, saying, among other things, “I enjoy the infuriation of the liberal left-wing media like you. I could say ‘fuck’ and I wouldn’t get as much news as when I said ‘Obama.’”

Since he left office, he has continued to trumpet his extreme, offensive views. Just this morning, in a letter to the editor of the Billings Gazette, he was at it again. Continue Reading →

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Public lands at center stage for governors meeting

Guvs

Gov. Steve Bullock on Monday welcomed governors from across the West to Montana for the annual Western Governors Association meeting, one that will cover everything from cyber security to childhood hunger. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is also slated to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday. Several outdoors groups have scheduled a simultaneous rally to encourage Zinke to protect public lands and national monuments. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Conservationists push to preserve Breaks monument

Breaks

Montana outfitters and guides have allied with historians and tribal leaders to demand protection of the Upper Missouri River Breaks and other national monuments that hold cultural, scientific and historical value. Timed to coincide with the late June meeting of the Western Governors Association in Whitefish, the effort comes in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order targeting 24 national monuments for possible downsizing or elimination. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Online town halls set for special election candidates

House

All across the country, voters often sit elections out because they lack access to good, reliable information about the candidates and issues. With a special election coming up in Montana on May 25 to find a replacement for Ryan Zinke, until recently Montana’s lone House member and now secretary of the Interior Department, Forward Montana is hoping to change that. (more…) Continue Reading →

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With special election dance over, Legislature gets back to work

Corbally

After uncertainty about how the upcoming special congressional election would change the makeup of the Montana Legislature, the nomination of Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte means it’s back to business as usual at the state Capitol. Multiple legislators had announced their intention to run for the vacant congressional seat after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was nominated and then confirmed as U.S. secretary of the Interior. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Special election could be good test of voter-turnout findings

PM

The confirmation of Ryan Zinke as secretary of the Department of the Interior has created an exceptional event in Montana: the need for a special election to determine his replacement in Congress. According to the secretary of state’s website, a special election has not been held to fill a congressional seat since at least 1912. How this special election, scheduled for May 25, will be conducted is proving to be controversial. Senate Bill 305, which would give county election officials the discretion to run the election entirely by mail, passed the state Senate only after the Republican caucus split on the question, with the Democratic members voting uniformly in favor of the bill. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Expert’s opinion on Zinke’s equine skills: He’s a dude

Zinkew

I don’t know the first thing about riding a horse, but Brenda Wahler evidently does, and she was not impressed with Ryan Zinke’s horsemanship. I had never heard of Wahler until today, but she is, according to her blog, an attorney and equine consultant who lives in Helena. In a blog post published on Sunday, Wahler closely analyzed several photos of Zinke riding a horse to his first day on the job as the new Interior secretary. The whole thing is worth reading—including the conclusion, where she also analyzes a photo of Zinke out fly-fishing—but here’s the gist of her argument:

“Being a Montanan doesn’t always mean you are born on horseback, and Zinke is a self-admitted son of a plumber. I don’t expect championship equitation from a casual outdoorsman, but Zinke looks like the guy who hires an outfitter once a year to take him into the mountains. More to the point, the guy who is packed onto the biggest, most unflappable horse in the string is the dude who doesn’t know which end to face, won’t take advice, and needs a horse who is wiser than the passenger.” Continue Reading →

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