Ryan Zinke’s $200,000 Hollywood Makeover


By now, you’ve probably read that the Zinke for Congress campaign has
managed to spend itself into debt
, despite raising more money than any other campaign for Congress. What that says about a candidate who promises he’ll bring fiscal discipline to Washington is one thing, but just how he’s spending it is another altogether. It seems that Mr. Zinke wants to spend campaign donations on lavish dinners for himself, some questionable political advice, and his very own Hollywood makeover.

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Zinke Releases Energy Plan Not Even He Agrees With

Ryan Zinke

Just a mere six and a half weeks after John Lewis released his energy plan, Ryan Zinke

held a press conference to announce his proposal, something that could neither be called energy nor a plan. Instead, it’s nothing more than tired Republican talking points about “taking back the EPA” and ending the “war on coal,” interspersed with the kind of grammatical errors a serious candidate for Congress might think about proofreading before sending out to the public. Zinke’s proposal doesn’t offer anything substantive in the “plan,” which suggests that we should develop power plants, frack everywhere possible because God gave us tracking (really), and mine without any oversight from the EPA or the hassle of Environmental Impact statements. It’s less a plan for energy independence than it is a plan for an environmental holocaust. 
In addition to its partisan posturing, Zinke’s plan once again contradicts positions he’s taken in the past. For instance, Zinke’s plan seems to suggest the federal government should invest in renewables. Continue Reading →

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Brad Johnson Defends the Poor, Beleaguered Oil and Gas Industries

30 Rock

If I were advising PSC candidate Brad Johnson, I’d probably suggest he avoid mentioning highways in any opinion pieces for the public, but that was hardly the worst part of his anti-tax, pro-oil, fact-free rant in the Missoulian today. Johnson opens by suggesting that we not even consider raising taxes or eliminating subsidies for the poor, put-upon oil and gas industry, because they don’t receive subsidies. He writes:

Let me break it to you, the oil and gas industry is not subsidized – that is, they don’t receive direct government payments to augment their revenue stream. The industry does, however, get the same sorts of tax deductions and credits that businesses (and individuals) of all stripes receive. They get to write off the cost of doing business – otherwise they probably wouldn’t be in business. Continue Reading →

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Maybe the Great Falls Tribune Should Cover Montana Politics Instead of Just Pontificating About It

I got into blogging just over nine years ago as a bit of a media scold. I was troubled that the Montana press didn’t seem to cover stories that needed to be covered and that often the stories took a predictable approach of letting both sides (Democrat and Republican) speak with equal authority, even when one side was clearly not telling the truth. Voices outside of the two parties were largely marginalized. Since that time, I’ve had moment of sympathy for the press. They’ve seen jobs cut to pay for executive bonuses and have struggled with the transition from the world of print media to digital media. Continue Reading →

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Support a Film Highlighting Butte, America


What does home mean? One of my favorite authors, Scott Russell Sanders, describes what it means to be rooted in a place, in love with your home, when he writes that “in belonging to a landscape, one feels a rightness, at homeness, a knitting of the self and world.”

The landscape for me is Helena. Despite growing up on the plains of Shelby, Helena, with its terrible street lights, manageable mountains, and great little downtown, has become my home, and this landscape—this place—will remain my home no matter where the future leads me. But I love Butte. I love that this small city in Montana which has had far more than it’s share of booms and busts, still believes in itself so much. Continue Reading →

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Ryan Zinke Smears American Soldier, Advocates Militarizing Mexican Border

Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke’s transformation from a self-described “moderate” to a fire-breathing TEA Party Republican over the past twelve months has proved an amusing illustration of political opportunism, but there are moments when Zinke crosses the line from being a politician to being a truly despicable human being. This week saw Zinke at his worst, a candidate willing to smear the reputation of an American solider who was in Taliban captivity for five years. On his campaign web site, Zinke writes:
“The President should be using all available means to return Sgt. Tahmooresi,” continued Zinke. “He should immediately close the border until Sgt. Continue Reading →

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