Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan, after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, and Wyoming.

Montana Supreme Court: Former Roosevelt County Attorney was not a resident

By: - October 10, 2023

When Northern Plains Independent Publisher Darla Downs took on the Roosevelt County Attorney, alleging that he was not qualified to run for office there, it was a David-versus-Goliath situation. David won. Downs was a newspaper publisher and an accountant by background. Frank Piocos was running for election to an office which he had been appointed […]

FWP chief takes responsibility for toxic culture while lawmakers ask for a follow-up audit

By: - October 5, 2023

At a Legislative Audit Committee meeting Thursday, lawmakers had their first chance to address a scathing report that showed more than half of Montana’s game, fish and wildlife wardens fear retaliation and believe the culture in the department is bad, while state auditors found a dearth of required personnel records. In an audit report released […]


The other great divide in Montana

By: - October 5, 2023

Montanans refer to the great divide that runs across our state – the continental one that rises with the mountains and roughly separates the mountainous west from the plains and prairies of the east. Then there’s the rivalry between Bobcats and Grizzlies, Bozeman and Missoula, both quintessential university towns that vie for Montana’s sports loyalty […]

The absent legacy of Montana’s most successful Copper King

By: - October 4, 2023

Charges of election fraud in 2020 have nothing on Montana’s 1899 election fraud that briefly sent Copper King William Andrews Clark to the U.S. Senate before a massive bribery scandal was exposed, which eventually led to the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, mandating the direct election of U.S. Senators. While no evidence of fraud […]

New book explores Mansfield-Dirksen’s bipartisan cooperation during turbulent 1960s

By: - October 3, 2023

Can you imagine U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sending Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a box of his favorite candy? Not so long ago, when politics was less about bloodsport, the leaders in the Senate were more cordial and collegial. Even though Sen. Everett Dirksen, a Republican from Illinois who was the minority leader, was […]

Billings attorney will represent Montana Attorney General in disciplinary charges

By: - September 28, 2023

When special counsel Timothy Strauch brought 41 counts of professional misconduct against Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen earlier this month, it likely set a record for most charges in a complaint brought by the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel. Likely, because the office confirmed it doesn’t necessarily track statistics like that. However, in the days […]


The first step to hitting the ‘reset’ button

By: - September 28, 2023

Government shutdowns. The Trump organization being dissolved. A writers strike and an auto workers strike. The news is both fast and furious, but let’s pause for a moment on the spectacle and theater that is the unfolding scandal of Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who seems to have earned himself a bribery indictment that […]

Conservation groups claim logging project near Helena will hurt elk, grizzly bear and lynx

By: - September 27, 2023

Two conservation groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that a large logging project near Townsend would not just endanger lynx and grizzly bear habitat, but also would have detrimental impact on elk populations. Furthermore, Native Ecosystems Council and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said that the United States Forest Service has […]

Montana Supreme Court sides with attorney general in property tax ballot initiative

By: - September 27, 2023

The Montana Supreme Court has said that Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen was correct in striking down a proposed ballot initiative that would have capped property taxes because it violated the state constitution. In an unanimous opinion authored by Justice Jim Rice, the 17-page ruling said that ballot initiative, proposed by attorney and former Republican […]

Rosendale: Debate all appropriations bills, no continuing resolutions

By: - September 26, 2023

In an hour-long call with constituents on Tuesday night, Congressman Matt Rosendale, a Republican representing the central and eastern part of the state, spoke on a wide range of topics ranging from January 6th protestors to Nancy Pelosi, but gave no indication that he’ll change course to stop a likely federal government shutdown on Saturday. […]

Sen. Molnar brings class-action lawsuit for statewide residential property tax relief

By: - September 26, 2023

A former and a current lawmaker are hoping to do what neither the Legislature nor the Montana Attorney General was willing to do – challenge residential property taxes. In a class-action lawsuit filed in Yellowstone County on Tuesday, attorney Matthew Monforton, a former Republican lawmaker, and current lawmaker Sen. Brad Molnar, R-Laurel, allege that the […]

Montana wardens describe fear, intimidation, while audit finds missing paperwork, scattered data

By: - September 25, 2023

An audit of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Enforcement Division paints a picture of employee dissatisfaction, retaliation and fear, while leaders within the department could not provide any human resources paperwork. More than half the game wardens surveyed by state auditors from the Legislative Audit Division said they feared retaliation from leadership in Helena and […]