U.S. House

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Jeannette Rankin, a woman far ahead of her time

Kevin S. Giles, a Deer Lodge native, is the author of the new book “One Woman Against War: The Jeannette Rankin Story.” It tells of the pacifist convictions of the first woman elected to Congress. Her campaign came just two years after Montana legislators gave women the right to vote. Rankin, from Missoula, thought she had lost the 1916 election until strong returns came from farmers and ranchers (and their wives) across the great sweep of Eastern Montana voted her into office. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Dennis Hastert accuser: ‘His silence says everything’


Jolene Burdge does not look at Dennis Hastert and see a man who used to hold one of the most powerful positions in the United States. “This whole thing of him being the speaker of the House and the third in line to the presidency—I know it’s there, but it’s just not as prominent in my mind as being a teacher from a small town,” she said. “He’s just a teacher that all of us kids had that hurt my brother.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Billings woman mum after telling ABC about Hastert allegations

I suppose everyone’s heard by now that a Billings woman, Jolene Burdge, has come forward to say that her late brother, Steve Reinboldt, was sexually abused by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. I was asked by the Washington Post to speak with Burdge this morning, so I went to her house on Avenue D about 10 a.m. A man who identified himself as Burdge’s husband said she was not granting any more interviews. He said she told ABC News everything she knew as completely and honestly as she could, and that if she talked to other media her story might be “misconstrued.” He also said they have been flooded with interview requests from all over the country, starting this morning at 7. He said of his wife that “God is with her.” Continue Reading →

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From the Outpost: An opening for long-shot Lewis

I just about dropped what’s left of my teeth when I saw on Sunday that the Billings Gazette had endorsed John Lewis for the U.S. House over Ryan Zinke. Zinke seemed to be the natural pick in this race: tons of experience, some of it relevant; an unflappable public presence; a history of edging toward moderation. Even the Butte Weekly, a Democratic-leaning newspaper in a Democratic-leaning town, has endorsed Zinke, a Republican. (more…) Continue Reading →

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House debate unlikely to have swayed many voters

If the purpose of a political debate is to change voters’ minds, then Monday’s U.S. House debate at Montana State University Billings was a clear draw. It’s hard to imagine that any minds changed after a debate in which Republican Ryan Zinke and Democrat John Lewis seemed to agree at least at often as they disagreed. (more…) Continue Reading →

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What makes people want the worst job in America?

On the eve of the primary election, I thought I should bring to your attention an excellent article I read on vacation. The story — headlined “Is being a congressperson the worst job in America?” — appeared in the most recent edition of City Pages, an alternative weekly in the Twin Cities. I guess the headline (and the one on the cover, seen at left) rather gives it away: The answer is yes, it is the worst job in America. The article gives eight reasons why the job is so bad, backed up by facts and anecdotes. Continue Reading →

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Zinke signs ordered taken down … in California


Here’s some odd news: Supporters of U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke were forced to remove some illegally posted campaign signs … in Santa Barbara, Calif. As columnist Barney Brantingham explains in the Santana Barbara Independent, supporters posted the signs, without a permit, in Hope Ranch, an unincorporated suburb of Santa Barbara, after a Zinke fundraiser there. It’s not entirely clear whether Zinke himself was at the event, but Brantingham said “Zinke gets his Santa Barbara credentials by being married to the daughter of Fred Hand, Lolita. Hand was a well-known Santa Barbara businessman in the ’60s and has a street named after him.” Continue Reading →

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