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.

More money for renters, emergency preparedness and childcare likely with COVID relief funds

By: - March 18, 2021

Montana lawmakers on Thursday found themselves in an unfamiliar position: Having hundreds of millions of dollars to spend, with little guidance yet from the federal government and the clock ticking on the legislative session. Members of the Legislature came together to review the American Rescue Plan Act funds that are targeted toward health and human […]


The freewheelin’ Rep. Matt Rosendale

By: - March 18, 2021

One of the most frequent knocks on two-thirds of Montana’s Congressional delegation is that they rarely take questions or give comments outside of very controlled settings. As a Montanan and a member of the media charged with covering our state officials, I agree. Carefully scripted “tele-hall” meetings with pre-screened questions and no debates mean that […]

Group files suit against governor, state over judicial appointments

By: and - March 17, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 140 into law on Tuesday afternoon. The newly minted law eliminated the Judicial Nominating Commission and gave the state’s chief executive the power to appoint judges. On Wednesday morning, a group of plaintiffs filed a lawsuit with the Montana Supreme Court to stop the law, possibly setting a […]

Butte protesters say Rosendale yelled, made obscene gesture; Freshman Rep denies reports

By: - March 16, 2021

When union members and supporters showed up in Butte to picket U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana’s only member of the U.S. House of Representatives, they said they wanted answers about his lack of support for unions and the massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. They got answers, but not the ones they expected. At least […]

COVID-19 ranks No. 3 in cause of death for Montana in 2020

By: - March 16, 2021

Maybe nowhere in Montana does COVID-19’s impact appear more profound than the annual report that compiles the leading causes of death in the state. According to that yearly report, COVID was the third-leading cause of death in Montana in 2020, accounting for nearly 10 percent of all deaths. Moreover, the mortality rate for all causes […]

Tribal liaison positions restored; continuous enrollment policy for CHIP, Medicaid cut

By: and - March 12, 2021

Lawmakers charged with crafting the budget voted for an amendment on Friday that would restore a pair of tribal liaison positions in the Department of Public Health and Human Services, reversing cuts that Democrats and indigenous Montanans have been agitating against throughout the session. However, the House Appropriations Committee voted to forge ahead with its […]


…Are condemned to repeat it

By: - March 11, 2021

Pop quiz, folks: In what way are some Montana lawmakers like anti-vaxxers? OK, besides that whole science thing. Both suffer from a lack of historical perspective that could keep them from making mistakes that hurt residents. You see, when the anti-vaxxing craze (and that’s what it is, crazy) heated up several decades ago, and parents […]

A good return on investment: New report shows Montana senators benefit from defense lobbying

By: - March 10, 2021

A new report this week looking at the defense industry and lobbying shows intercontinental ballistic missile contractors directed millions towards politicians and efforts to support a new system, which would be located in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. Those lobbying efforts appear to have largely been effective as the United States plans to replace its Minuteman […]

Montana debates bill to exempt churches from political reporting

By: - March 9, 2021

The beginnings of legislation that would exempt churches in Montana from reporting political campaign contributions have their roots in a lawsuit nearly 20 years ago. Senate Bill 162, carried by Sen. David Howard, R-Park City, would allow churches to be exempt from reporting political expenditures. Proponents of the bill say it protects the ability of […]

More funding, forest management needed to end epic wildfires in West

By: - March 5, 2021

As Montana prepares for another wildfire season, reports are already trickling saying that 2020 and the extensive damage done last year may be the new normal. The good news: There’s a way to avoid the catastrophic large fires that have plagued the West. The bad news: It will likely take years – and a change […]


Montana: The lost best place?

By: - March 4, 2021

I am one of the lucky Montana kids. I was born and raised in Yellowstone County, as had three other generations of my family before me. And like so many kids growing up in the 1980s and ‘90s, I believed Montana was too small, too old-fashioned, and left for college, thinking L.A. was more my […]

IG report finds Jackson intimidated subordinates, drank, used prescription drugs while on duty

By: - March 3, 2021

When Sen. Jon Tester first made allegations about Dr. Ronny Jackson, then White House Physician, President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of invective at Montana’s senior Senator, vowing the Big Sandy farmer would have “a big price to pay.” Trump’s payback was personal as he traveled to the Treasure State several times to campaign against […]