Our existential moment

BY: - May 30, 2021

A terrifying thing about democracy facing existential crisis is that it’s entirely possible – perhaps even natural – to miss the flashing red warning lights. We have arrived at such a moment. There are many and varied reasons for the American decline into tribalism, nationalism, embrace of conspiracy and profound distrust of public institutions. The important thing […]

The Regents followed history in order not to repeat it

BY: - May 28, 2021

Last week the Montana university system’s governing body, the Montana Board of Regents, voted unanimously to file a lawsuit challenging House Bill 102. The law allows for open carrying of firearms on public college campuses and in classrooms by nearly anyone. It was to take effect June 1. The legislature authorized $1 million to implement […]

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen stands behind a podium and microphone with her mask in her hand just before taking her oath of office. To her right is a man and also Judge Mary Jane Knisely of Yellowstone County District Court in a mask. Another man in a masks stands to her left.

State’s education leader wants less education for your children

BY: - May 27, 2021

Since Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen couldn’t offer one concrete example of a Montana problem teaching social studies and history, and since she couldn’t provide one example of a parent giving feedback on critical race theory, you can imagine my excitement at being Parent No. 1. So, consider this official written feedback to Arntzen’s […]

Slouching toward fascism

BY: - May 26, 2021

Dr. David James’ recent guest view comparing our modern political times with those of pre-war Germany and the rise of Hitler and Nazism was point-on.  When lies trump truth; when fiction trumps fact; and when fantasy trumps reality, we are, indeed, circling the drain into fascism. The Jan. 6 attempted putsch of our national government […]

Everyday Montanans lost in the 2021 legislative session

BY: - May 23, 2021

As hardworking Montana families try to make a comeback, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte and the Republican majority legislature left them behind, instead favoring out of state corporations, and the rich again and again.  The Covid-19 crisis and its economic effects continue to create challenges for families across our state.  As we entered this legislative session I had […]

The undemocratic talking point behind ‘We’re a republic, not a democracy’

BY: - May 22, 2021

Who knew that America was filled with so many amateur social studies teachers? Whenever I write about Republican-led efforts in state capitols across the land to sharply curtail voting rights (which disproportionately impact Black and brown voters who tend to support Democrats), I’ll often get a letter from an aggrieved conservative reader who reminds me, […]

Voting reform will save us from ‘sleeping over a volcano’

BY: - May 21, 2021

In his recent memoir “Grounded,” U.S. Senator Jon Tester describes a strange hearing in the Montana Legislature in January of 1899. State lawmakers gathered to investigate concerning rumors that Copper King William Clark of Butte, one of the wealthiest men in the world, had tried to buy his way into the U.S. Senate (back then, […]

The day the Regents lived up to the Montana Constitution

BY: - May 20, 2021

Wednesday was a historic day for the Montana University Board of Regents. In some ways, it was a moment in the making for 49 years. It was the day that the Regents claimed fully the power that the framers of the state’s Constitution assigned to them. More accurately, they attempted to wrest back the reins […]

Lessons from an old country lawyer

BY: - May 19, 2021

The following was an address given to the Alexander Blewett III School of Law graduates at the University of Montana on May 8, 2021 by Clifford Edwards. You COVID contagion graduates are truly “history makers.”  In the 110-year history of this storied law school – that began right over there in that elegant old building […]

Arntzen’s recent opinion suggests ‘white-washing’ history

BY: - May 16, 2021

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, as an elected official, has the responsibility to serve all Montanans – not just some. Instead, she needlessly and recklessly chose to place Montana’s public education system in the crosshairs of a national political debate. Her recent opinion piece undermines long-established critical race theory that recognizes slavery, segregation, […]

Coal-fired GOP abandons free markets in favor of state-run solutions

BY: - May 13, 2021

Republicans, please sit down now. Even though most of you have good, reliable state-sponsored health insurance, I don’t want to be the cause of anyone fainting in disbelief. One of several things Gov. Greg Gianforte got right during this legislative session — that was otherwise regressive and mean-spirited — came via veto when he gave […]

The Montana Setback Plan

BY: - May 8, 2021

As the old adage goes, “elections have consequences.” As the dust settles on the 2021 Montana Legislative session, we are seeing the consequences of the last Montana election right before our eyes. During my first legislative session as Governor in 2013, my administration kept our promise of creating jobs and growing the economy. That year […]