Evan Barrett

Evan Barrett

Evan Barrett lives in historic Uptown Butte after retiring following 47 years at the top level of Montana economic development, government, politics and education. He is an award-winning producer of Montana history videos who continues to write columns and commentaries and occasionally teaches Montana history.


Free stuff and the public trust

By: - May 17, 2023

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ documented gift-receiving behavior made me recall a personal 1974 Montana event. In November that year, I was working in the governor’s office when I was approached by a lobbyist for the Anaconda Company, a nice guy I liked.  He asked me what my favorite liquor was, as the “company” would […]


GOP and business groups stifling voters’ voices

By: - April 10, 2023

In contravention of the Montana Constitution, the supermajority Republican legislature and a series of business lobbying groups are placing themselves above the voice of the Montana people. Our 1889 and 1972 Constitutions not only limit the legislature to the legislative function, but clearly place the people above the legislature. In both its original 1889 form […]


Redistricting and Apportionment Commission needs no fixing

By: - February 26, 2023

The redistricting wrangling is now over.  The Redistricting and Apportionment Commission has made its decision, will formally file the legislative district structure, and the 2024 elections will move forward.  For the sixth time that the difficult and politically-charged redistricting process has been handled by the Commission created by the 1972 Constitutional Convention, known as the […]


Montana Seniors: Social Security/Medicare is in the crosshairs

By: - November 5, 2022

“Don’t tell anybody.”  That’s the approach GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell took when approached recently with the question of what his party would do if it regained control of Congress next year.  McConnell said: “I’ll let you know when we take it back.”  Such failure to disclose your party’s plans makes a mockery of the […]


Rice was right — destroying American institutions? Over our dead bodies.

By: - June 26, 2022

At last week’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Montana’s 1972 Constitution, there were many memorable moments, including the presentation of Jim Rice, Associate Justice of the Montana Supreme Court, during the panel discussion about “The Basic Rule of Law: The Backbone of a Constitution.” Rice, who prior to his 2001 Supreme Court appointment had been […]


Montana begins its ‘Constitutional Celebrate’ as document celebrates 50th anniversary

By: - March 15, 2022

Fifty years ago, in 1972, 100 Montana citizens gathered and wrote the state’s new Constitution.  Of those 100 giants of Montana history, only 12 are still with us.  In 1972, Montanans began changing Montana from a state known at the time as a “corporate colony” of the powerful Anaconda Company into a state that vested […]


50 years later, the ‘Con-Con’ still a model for today

By: - February 22, 2022

I recently sat in awe as I listened to 94-year-old Montana Constitutional Convention Delegate Wade Dahood, one of 12 remaining delegates of the original 100, talk about his convention experience 50 years ago.  From his Anaconda law office, Dahood addressed a camera and a reporter for an interview, part of a series noting and celebrating […]


Montana doesn’t have nor want a state police

By: - November 17, 2021

In Montana we do not have to worry about a knock at the door at night after which we are confronted with a gruff voice declaring, “This is the state police, and we want to talk to you.”  Every four years when we Montanans vote we have the opportunity to select our county sheriff, the […]