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Like I Was Saying

Like I Was Saying

A Potbellied Farm Bill

When a piece of major legislation championed by Montana’s U.S. delegation is passed, the e-mails are inevitable. Such was the case when the House and Senate signed off on the recent Farm Bill with a veto-proof majority. The inboxes filled up in a hurry. “This is a good solid bill for farmers and ranchers in […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Assuming the Worst

When one is intentionally left out of a debate, or worse, told they can’t participate at all, it’s human nature to assume what’s hidden is fraught with bad intentions. Such is the case with two recent federal land management plans that have been discussed behind closed doors – one involving Plum Creek Timber Co. and […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Drug Testing’s Mixed Returns

As Whitefish High School makes a strong push to begin drug testing its students, school officials supporting the policy should heed the wisdom they pass on to many of their pupils: Don’t overreact. That is not to advocate complacency, especially if the drug problem there is as grave as what was described at an April […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Clinton Favored in Schweitzer-Stakes

As Gov. Brian Schweitzer wrapped up an interview with my colleague recently, I quickly interjected to ask two dumb questions: What do you think your chances are at the Democratic vice presidential nomination and whom do you plan on endorsing in the presidential election? He scoffed at the first and ignored the second, deflecting attention […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Justice Delayed

Few have the gall of John Earl Petersen. And that’s a good thing. The Spokane man believed to have masterminded the $11 million collapse of Mountain Bank of Whitefish in the mid-1990s was captured in Boulder, Colo., last week. Among his belongings: a blond wig, several dismantled cell phones and a book titled “How to […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Bad Timing for ‘Solitaire-gate’

Recently two state departments have reinforced stereotypes that neither wants. It’s become easier to accuse the Montana government of wastefulness upon revelations that its employees are playing video games and swapping dirty e-mails on taxpayers’ dime. Late last year, a Department of Corrections employee reported receiving an objectionable e-mail from a co-worker. A subsequent investigation […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Ideological Brawl

As Whitefish and Flathead County officials dig in their respective heels for what is sure to be a drawn-out litigation battle, it’s clear the wedge between the two municipalities involves more than the law of the land. As legal arguments focus on who controls the outskirts of a city and what soil can be developed […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Quirky Field of Aspiring Politicos

Shay Joshua Garnett acknowledged last week that he has a warrant out for his arrest in Indiana. Despite his legal woes, he promised to continue his fledgling campaign for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., in the upcoming election. And who can blame him? Several elections for higher office, here and […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Where’s Roger?

Roger Koopman’s so-called “Liberty Project” was intended to lure “pro-freedom Constitutional conservative” candidates to challenge GOP incumbent state lawmakers who he considers to be sellouts in upcoming primaries. And he could have touted the project as a revolution for the right wing of the right, if he himself had filed for reelection – but he […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

McCain’s Grizzly Aversion

There is little stigma attached to Montana. Living here for the better part of a decade, I’ve found the out-of-state response to my adopted home is one of curiosity or adulation or both. Whereas Californians, whether deserved, are often blamed for ruining much of the rural West and New Yorkers the East. But with the […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Stan Jones: Montana’s Ralph Nader

Republican candidate Roy Brown, upon hearing the news last week that Stan Jones is running for governor, welcomed the quirky Bozeman Libertarian to the race. If genuine, Brown’s response was certainly gracious. Former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., must not yet have warned him. Third-party candidates are often chastised for playing spoiler and Burns could […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Miles Apart, Worlds Away

The prospects of British Petroleum drilling for coal-bed methane in the Canadian Flathead appeared to dim last week when Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., boasted that the oil behemoth had quivered under intense U.S. pressure. “I made it clear,” Baucus told a boisterous Kalispell crowd, “Ain’t no way that this is going to happen, period.” Cheering […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Supers on a Slippery Slope

Ed Tinsley, so far, is the only Montana superdelegate to have pledged his support to a Democratic presidential candidate. The Lewis and Clark County commissioner has endorsed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama – in a vote weeks premature. Obama is a formidable politician, but with the race between him and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton still […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Flathead Governments’ Looming Litigation

In the litigious Flathead Valley, there are myriad reasons – good and bad – to sue local municipalities. In recent months complaints have been filed over whether politicians live in the jurisdictions they serve; whether public meetings were, in fact, public; and the degree of slope upon which a landowner can build a mansion. Some […]

By Kellyn Brown
Like I Was Saying

Obama, Clinton to Bask in the Big Sky?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, emphasizing good news on a bad night, told supporters in the early goings of Super Tuesday to cheer up. He may have been trounced by his opponents in several states, but things were looking up in Montana. Montana? Mitt mentioned Montana? It was a desperate attempt to highlight good news; […]

By Kellyn Brown

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