Ed Walker to run for lone Montana US House Seat

Ed Walker, of Billings, has announced his run for Ryan Zinke's replacement in the Montana Special Election.

Ed Walker, of Billings, has announced his run for Ryan Zinke’s replacement in the Montana Special Election.

Originally published in the Yellowstone County News print edition 2/24/17.

BILLINGS — Ed Walker, 46, of Billings, a former Montana state legislator, is throwing his hat in the ring for the election to fill the U.S. House of Representatives seat which will be vacated with the resignation of Republican Ryan Zinke, if and when he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Secretary of the Interior.

Walker, who was elected to the state Senate in 2010 in Senate District 29, said that he recently toured the state and visited with Republican delegates who will potentially select their party’s candidate. Those conversations leave him confident that he can win the seat, he said.

“They are looking for someone who believes in the core principles of all Montanans. . . someone who is genuine. . . and for someone who can win,” he said. Walker believes that he has the record of a winner and has the experience to raise the funding necessary to run a successful campaign.

He is also very confident he holds the core values that all of the delegates said they wanted to see in a candidate. There are differences in issues the delegates are concerned about, from (more…)


It’s official: Greg Gianforte runs for governor

Greg Gianforte announces his candidacy for Montana governor on Wednesday at Peterbilt in Lockwood. The Bozeman Republican thanked his wife, Susan, at left, for her support at the beginning of his speech. (Jonathan McNiven photo)

Greg Gianforte announces his candidacy for Montana governor on Wednesday at Peterbilt in Lockwood. The Bozeman Republican thanked his wife, Susan, at left, for her support at the beginning of his speech. (Jonathan McNiven photo)

by Judy Killen-originally published in the Weekly Newspaper, Yellowstone County News. 

LOCKWOOD — Greg Gianforte launched his anticipated campaign for governor on Wednesday, telling 70-plus people gathered for his announcement that he intends to “give Steve Bullock pink slip.”

Speaking to a crowd of local Republicans and reporters, Gianforte, a Bozeman businessman, said he intends to fight federal regulations that he believes strangle Montana businesses and called Bullock, the current governor, a “chicken” who’s failed to stand up for Montanans in the face of lost jobs and a struggling economy.

“I fell in love with Montana 40 years ago,” said the 54-year-old Gianforte. He moved here with his young children and started a business in Bozeman, which paid high wages and stimulated business growth, he said.

He said federal officials use regulations to curtail and threaten Montana jobs and resources, including timber and mining.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte addresses a crowd of supporters, and reporters, on Wednesday at Peterbilt in Lockwood. (Jonathan McNiven photo)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte addresses a crowd of supporters, and reporters, on Wednesday at Peterbilt in Lockwood. (Jonathan McNiven photo)

“They think a prairie chicken is more important” than peoples’ jobs, he said, and the current administration in Helena is “too chicken to (more…)

Written by Jonathan McNiven in: Politics | Tags: , ,

State audit reveals major error in accounting ???

“In my fourteen years on Audit this is the first time the financials for Montana shouts of incompetency within the department.”

Montana Senator Dee Brown

Montana Senator Dee Brown

Guest Articleby Senator Dee Brown, Legislative Audit Committee

The financial audit for the State of Montana revealed some disturbing problems today in front of the Legislative Audit Committee in Helena. The audit detailed that the Department of Administration does not have adequate internal controls to ensure accuracy of our finances, nor are they properly reviewed or issued in a timely fashion.

Some of the examples include: transportation expenses overstated by about $220 million, capital grants and contributions for Natural Resources understated by $445 million and transfers of about $47.8 million which were omitted entirely.

The hundreds of millions of dollars not accounted for properly are huge red flags for anyone reading the audit, but the one that made my eyes bulge was the overstatement of approximately $1 billion of accumulated depreciation related to infrastructure. Yes, that’s with a ‘b’ as in billion.

The errors have been (more…)


Ramblings of a Conservative Cow Doctor

Krayton Kerns - Ramblings of a Cow Doctor

Krayton Kerns – Ramblings of a Cow Doctor – Montana Old West Chaps and Trailhead Master.

Montana has many nicknames like The Treasure State, the Old West, The Rocky Mountain Region and/or Big Sky Country.  Even though the state’s name is derived from the Spanish word “montaña”, Montana has a unique history and way of associating the West.  As does the following author in clarifying his point with the word “Rino” and “Rino Protection Act”.  Krayton Kerns, author of Ramblings of a Conservative Cow Doctor and who hails from the city of Laurel, MT; writes his weekly ramblings and thoughts for the week.  some will anger, some will make you think, and the rest will make you (more…)

Written by Jonathan McNiven in: Enjoy,Politics | Tags: , , ,

The coal export opportunity for Montana

Montana Coal Truck Carrying CoalAs the coal debate heats up on the west coast, our state is left hoping and waiting for the approval of five proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.  Our state economy is closely connected with the coal industry—keenly feeling the ups and downs of this industry.  And, right now, the proposed Pacific Northwest terminals will aide in supplying our state a new export market for sustained, long-term economic growth.

Montana has always had the largest coal reserve in the country with over 119 billion tons of coal—simply an unfathomable amount of coal that provides our state a built-in economic opportunity.  At the moment, coal, directly and indirectly, provides almost 5,000 Montana family-wage jobs with a payroll of over $273 million.  Our state has reaped the benefits of coal production; our unemployment rate is decidedly lower than the national average and our state had a budget surplus of $426 million.  This financial well-being stems, in large part, from our coal industry.  And, in order to keep this economic gain, the coal industry must continue to grow.

The five proposed Pacific Northwest terminals will aide our state (more…)


Montana Governor’s response to Chaos in the Montana Senate

Montana Governor Steve BullockMontana Governor Steve Bullock reacted today after the Montana State Senate broke down communications between parties as democrats tried to use a procedure which is called a “A call of the Senate” in which all voting and speech stops and ceases until all members or Senators of the Senate are present or accounted for.  It appears that democrats, who were not happy about certain ballot initiative bills that were being voted on third reading, tried to halt progress by a “call of the Senate” procedure but were not recognized before the third and final vote today.

Today was the final day for revenue bills and referenda bills to pass the Montana Senate and House or fail the legislative process due to failure to meet the deadline.  In an attempt to halt voting and request a “Call of the Senate” by Senate Democrats, the Senate went to third reading before recognizing the “Call of the Senate” motion to locate an apparent missing Senator Augier who apparently went back to Browning for the weekend.

The Montana Republican Party released (more…)


2012 Montana Governor and Senate Debates

Here is some updated Debate schedule info for the Montana Governors Race between Rick Hill and Steve Bullock. Also, stay tuned as Denny Rehberg and John Tester will debate it out in Montana for the Senate Race before the November General Election.
Tuesday, September 18, is the first debate between Rick and Steve Bullock.
Gubernatorial Debate – Helena Tuesday, September 18th DOORS OPEN at 6:00PM …

DEBATE BEGINS at 7:00PM Helena Middle School Seating is first-come, first-served, so please get there in time to grab your seat!
This is the FIRST DEBATE and the kick-off to the debate season – so you don’t want to miss it.

Onto another race, John Tester and Denny Rehberg tried a debate in June but it was cancelled.

The scheduled debate between the three Montana candidates for U.S. Senate had been canceled.  The decision was made by the board of directors of the Montana Broadcasters Association last June.

The debate was scheduled for Sunday, June 24th, in Whitefish at the annual convention of the Montana Broadcasters Assocation. (more…)

Written by Jonathan McNiven in: News,Politics,Reviews |

Election Results Prefacing Rehberg Tester Debate

With just over 150 days until Election Day 2012, one thing is clear: Montana’s closely-watched, nationally important U.S. Senate race is all about the clear contrast between the record and philosophy of Denny Rehberg, and that of Senator Jon Tester.

Between Montanans’ overwhelming rejection of President Obama’s policies, which Senator Tester has supported 95% of the time, and the high levels of enthusiasm among Montana Republicans, the political environment in Montana seems to be favoring Denny Rehberg.

Here is a synopsis on the state of this critical Senate contest according to Republicans, and what folks can expect to see in the months ahead.

The political environment in Montana:

The state’s June 5th primary results indicated that Montana Republicans enjoyed (more…)

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