Author

Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Arren Kimbel-Sannit is an Arizona-bred journalist who has covered politics, policy and power building at every level of government. Before getting his dose of northern exposure, Arren worked as a reporter in all manner of Arizona newsrooms, for the Dallas Morning News and for POLITICO in Washington, D.C. He has a special interest in how land-use decisions affect working-class people, which he displayed through reporting on the epidemic of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. for the Los Angeles Times and PBS Newshour. He's also covered housing, agriculture, the Trump presidency and more.

Montana GOP lines up behind Jim Brown for Supreme Court

By: - March 30, 2022

The Montana Republican Party executive board voted this week to endorse current Public Service Commission President Jim Brown in the three-way primary for the second seat on the Montana Supreme Court, the state GOP announced Wednesday. Brown, the last candidate to enter the race, is along with First Judicial District Court Judge Mike McMahon vying […]

Group sues EPA over Montana water quality revisions

By: - March 28, 2022

A Montana environmental group is making good on its warning that it would sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to halt the revision of water quality standards for streams and rivers in the state, filing a complaint in federal court in Great Falls alleging that the federal regulator failed to a respond to the change […]

Montana Democrats rally; a dispatch from the 2022 Mansfield Metcalf dinner

By: - March 27, 2022

The wheels of campaign politics are turning in Montana, with matchups now set in 100 state House seats, 36 state Senate seats and a pair of Congressional races, not to mention contested seats on the Public Service Commission and state Supreme Court. That the season had arrived was evidenced by dueling banquet fundraisers for the […]

Judge strikes down SupCo-by-district ballot referral

By: - March 22, 2022

A district court judge has voided a legislative ballot referral that would put to the voters the question of whether to elect Montana Supreme Court justices by district, a revival of a similar proposal from the 2011 session that the Montana Supreme Court would go on to strike down a year later. Peter Ohman, a […]

SCOTUS won’t hear legislative subpoena case

By: - March 21, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court will not weigh in on the separation-of-powers conflict between the Montana Legislature and the state judiciary that boiled over during a subpoena fight late in the 2021 session, bringing a major political dispute close to its conclusion. Attorneys for the Legislature filed a cert petition with the court in December arguing […]

Former SOS Stapleton considering 2024 presidential run

By: - March 10, 2022

In late October, former Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton posted a series of cryptic videos with naval iconography hinting at a forthcoming announcement. Given the timing, there was brief speculation among online media and political types that Stapleton, who formerly served as a Republican state senator from Billings, would be launching a bid for […]

Redistricting commission lays out timeline for drawing legislative districts

By: - March 8, 2022

The Montana Districting and Apportionment commission has laid out a timeline to begin the work of redrawing the state’s legislative districts in time for the 2024 election, though the commission’s members conceded that a series of bureaucratic snags have slowed their intended pace. The commission will begin looking at proposed maps in June after the […]

McMahon, Gustafson vie for Montana Supreme Court seat

By: - March 8, 2022

The first contested Montana Supreme Court race of the 2022 election cycle is beginning to take shape. Incumbent Justice Ingrid Gustafson is looking to keep her spot on the bench. And this week, First Judicial Court District Judge Mike McMahon filed his paperwork with the Secretary of State, initiating what could be a high-profile judicial […]

Jan-Feb recreational pot sales total almost $26 million

By: - March 3, 2022

Montana’s recreational marijuana industry posted around $13 million in sales between January 31 and February 27, according to the state Department of Revenue, slightly outpacing business from the recreational market’s first month as dispensary owners and other pot businesses work out the kinks. Marijuana sales totaled $12.8 million in January, the opening month for the […]

Congressional update: In eastern Montana, Ballard out, Sweeney in

By: - March 1, 2022

A new entry and a withdrawal from the Democratic Congressional primary in Montana’s second district has shaken up the budding election in the state’s eastern half. In February, state Sen. Mark Sweeney, D-Phillipsburg, announced that he would enter the fray, even though the district he currently represents in the state Legislature lies in Montana’s first […]

Montana court voids law preventing nurse practitioners from performing abortions

By: - February 25, 2022

A Montana district court struck down a 2005 state law Friday afternoon that prevented advance nurse practitioners from performing abortions, a restriction that plaintiffs said jeopardized access to abortion in a state with relatively few practitioners. Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Mike Menahan rooted his decision in the Montana Supreme Court’s landmark 1999 […]

Family of couple killed in Empire Builder crash takes Amtrak to court

By: - February 25, 2022

The family of a Georgia couple killed in the 2021 Amtrak derailment outside of Joplin is alleging gross negligence and wrongful death in a suit filed against the quasi-public passenger rail corporation this week, the fourteenth lawsuit stemming from the deadly crash of the Empire Builder last September. Donald and Marjorie Varnadoe had set out […]