Blog Cabin

Entries in Montana politics (40)


Montana leaders celebrate victory in campaign spending case 

(HELENA)- It's a victory being celebrated by top Montana leaders from both parties. 

Montana Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox are welcoming a ruling that upheld the state's limits on campaign contributions, which were first approved by voters in 1994.

Yesterday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2016 ruling in Lair v Motl, a case which has been rumbling through the courts since 2011 which challenged the voter-approved spending limits. The argument had been that the state's limits on individual and political party contributions were a violation of the right of free political speech. 

But the appeals judges found otherwise, saying the state had shown increased spending last year had actually shown evidence of interests attempting to use campaign contributions to acquire legislation. 

But we still don't know if the plaintiffs will appeal the ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released yesterday. 


Release of Gianforte mug shot will be up to a judge

(BOZEMAN)- Media organizations are asking a Gallatin County District Court judge to release Congressman Greg Gianforte's mug shot, after the Bozeman Republican had the picture, and his fingerprints, taken late last week. 

The booking photo comes weeks after Gianforte was cited for attacking a reporter on the eve of the May special election. Gianforte had never been arrested for the assault, and pled guilty the following month. But the court had ruled he must have a booking photo and fingerprints taken as part of the case. 

However, because Gallatin County doesn't release booking photos, a District Court judge will have to determine whether the release of Gianforte's photo is in the public interest or should remain private. 


Gianforte assumes MT Congressional seat 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)- For the first time in over 3-months, Montana has a voice in the House of Representatives again, with Bozeman businessman Greg Gianforte moving into the open Congressional seat. 

Gianforte takes the oath of office today, as he begins serving out the remainder of Ryan Zinke's term. Zinke left the seat open when he accepted the job at President Trump's Interior Secretary. 

The step comes just over a week after Gianforte was sentenced on charges of assaulting a reporting on the eve of the campaign. Since then, the Republican has been saying he wants to see a return to "civiliity" in government.  

Gianforte won't have much time to get used to the post before having to run again. He's already filed for a re-election bid next year. 


Gianforte still a "no show" for court appearance on assault charge

KBZK photo by Lena Blietz(BOZEMAN)- Protesters both critical and supportive were out with signs this morning, but Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte was a "no show" in Bozeman this morning, with time running out for him to answer to charges of assaulting a reporter. 

Gianforte, who won Montana's lone House seat in the May 25th Special election, is accused of "body slamming" a newspaper reporter the night before the polls opened during a Bozeman campaign appearance. 

Reporters, as well as Gianforte supporters and critics were back in Bozeman this morning anticipating his appearance on the assault charge. But KBZK TV is reporting Gianforte didn't come to court. The station reports his last chance to appear will be Wednesday morning, unless he requests a continuance. 


Zinke confirmation postponed

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)- There's been a hold placed on Congressman Ryan Zinke's confirmation hearing as the next Interior Secretary. 

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was scheduled for a business meeting today as the Senate continues to consider his nomination for the cabinet post in the Trump Administration. 

However, late in the evening, the committee's website posted a vote on Zinke's appointment Tuesday was being "postponed", with no additional explanation for the delay. The same was true for Governor Rick Perry's nomination as Energy Secretary. 

Montana's political leaders are watching the confirmation with interest because of the moves necessary to replace the Whitefish Republican if his confirmation is made, including a special election to fill his seat.