WE'RE RUNNING out of room in our Opinion category for all the newspaper endorsements, so we thought we'd consolidate them here, where you can find them at a quick glance.
We'll group them together by newspaper, and keep updating the list as new ones come in.
BILLINGS GAZETTE: Clinton for president, Bullock for governor, Zinke for Congress, Fox for AG, Romano for OPI, Laslovich for auditor, Stapleton for secretary of state, Sandefur for Supreme Court, yes on I-177. no on I-181, no on CI-116.
HELENA IR: Bullock for governor.
MONTANA voters are among the most powerful in the country, according to a personal finance website called WalletHub.
How can that be? And what does that mean exactly?
WalletHub recently ranked Montana voters the 12th most powerful in the country, with the top five being from Arizona, Iowa, Alaska, South Dakota and Ohio. So how can states like Alaska, South Dakota and Montana, which have so few electoral votes, be rated "powerful" when it comes to voting?
It appears to have a lot to do with a state's chances of influencing a presidential election. On its website, WalletHub says it graded each state election on a 100-point scale, with 100 points given to states with a 50 percent chance of swinging either red or blue (50-50) and no points to states with zero chance of one party determining the election.
“We then multiplied the win probability score by the number of electors of a given state and divided the product by the state’s population aged 18 and older,” WalletHub says. “Finally, we multiplied the result by 1,000,000 in order to calculate the Presidential Election Voter Power Score for that state.”
Check out the full report and see if it makes sense to you. Sounds somewhat plausible, but the statistics are a bit overwhelming.
BOZEMAN'S computer museum has nabbed quite an honor: A spot on USA Today's reader poll as one of the Top 10 free museums in the country.
"I'm just overjoyed we made the top 10," George Keremejiev, who co-founded the museum with his wife, Barbara, told the Bozeman Chronicle. "It validates out 25 years here."
The museum, located near MSU's Bobcat Stadium, covers 5,000 years of human communication. Its collection includes an original Apple 1 computer donated by company co-founder Steve Wozniak.
TEXAS BILLIONAIRES Farris and Dan Wilks have attracted plenty of attention for buying more than 300,000 acres of Montana land in recent years, and sometimes getting into controversies over how they manage that land.
The brothers, worth an estimated $3 billion between them, spend about four months out of year in Montana and are building homes near their N Bar Ranch at Grass Range.
Now the Wilks brothers are buying up big chunks of land next door in Idaho. They've just bought 172,000 acres of land in Valley, Adams and Boise counties. No price was disclosed.
MONTANA'S natural resource industries have struggled in recent months, but the state has excelled in one economic category: Business startups.
It has the highest rate of startups among the 25 smallest states in the nation, according to a survey by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. It is the fourth time in a row Montana has finished at the top of the pack.
The Bullock Administration points to the rating as proof that it is on the right course in its efforts to promote business, while GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte says studies that show how low Montana wages are compared to those in other states is a better gauge of how the state is struggling economically.
FEELING FREE? Maybe you should, if you put any stock in a new study by the Cato Institute, which ranks Montana the 17th freest state in the country.
The libertarian think tank, which supports less government intervention both in the economy and in personal matters like abortion and drug use, ranks Montana as the 7th freest state in terms of fiscal policy (that's taxes, spending and the like.)
Montana ranks 21st nationally for personal freedom -- here Cato considers laws on such issues as drugs and gun control -- while it gets it lowest score in regulatory freedom: 30.
Among the issues the study takes into account in doing its rankings are smoking bans, right-to-work laws, sin taxes as well as rules on everything from happy hours and direct auto sales to land use and occupational licensing.
New Hampshire and Alaska finished atop the rankings, while California and New York came in last.
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Oct. 26, 2016