A daily digest of Montana news

Oct. 26, 2014






Great Falls






Miles City




Billings Gazette

Bozeman Chronicle

Montana Standard

Flathead Beacon

Havre Daily News

Daily Interlake

Livingston Enterprise

Great Falls

Helena IR

Miles City Star



Bozeman Magpie

The Flint Report

Last Best News

The Lowdown
Great Falls Tribune (blog)

Make  It Missoula

Mountain  West News



Belgrade News

Bigfork Eagle

(Big Sky) Lone
 Peak Lookout

Billings Outpost


Cascade Courier

(Chester) Liberty
 County Times

Choteau Acantha

(Columbia Falls)
Hungry Horse News

(Columbus) Stillwater
 County News


Cut Bank
Pioneer Press

Dillon Tribune

(Eureka) Tobacco
 Valley News

Glasgow Courier


 Ravalli Republic

(Hardin) Big Horn
 County News

(Huson) Clark
 Fork Chronicle

Laurel Outlook


 Western News

Missoula Independent

Char-Koostra News

 (Polson) Lake
 County Leader

 (Red Lodge)
Carbon County News

Seeley Swan Pathfinder

Shelby Promoter

Sidney Herald-Leader

(Sidney) The Roundup

 Bitterroot Star

(Thompson Falls)
Sanders Co. Ledger

Townsend Star


West Yellowstone

Whitefish Pilot

Government News for MT


CAN YOU imagine former Gov. Brian Schweitzer as a Playboy centerfold? Well, neither can Buzz. And that's something you won't have to see. But you can get the next best thing: A Playboy interview with Schweitzer in the newest issue of the magazine.

Playboy noted that Schweitzer was one of the nation's more polarizing, albeit popular, governors, and his tendency to make off-the-cuff remarks sometimes lands him in hot water. Such as his recent comments about former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor setting off his "gaydar."

Playboy interviewer Jeff Greenfield told Schweitzer that Bill Clinton didn't inhale, Barack Obama did, and George Bush was somewhere between them. Where were you? Greenfield asked Schweitzer.

"I'm right there with the three of them," the former Montana governor replied with a laugh.

Schweitzer told Playboy that the image he projects -- wearing bolo ties and jeans and bringing his dog Jag to the office -- isn't an act he dreamed up to help him politically. "You know, I don't have an image creator around me," he says. I am who I am."

But for most of the interview, Greenfield pressed Schweitzer on what he thought about issues such as foreign policy and government spending, how he rated the performance of President Obama (not too highly), and where he saw himself fitting into the presidential race in 2016.

Schweitzer made it clear it is a horse race he's thought a lot about entering. "You know, I'm just a guy who knows a thing or two about horses," he concluded.

IN A column written for the Last Best News web site, former Billings Gazette newsman David Crisp expressed surprise that the Gazette endorsed Democrat John Lewis in the US House race. "I just about dropped my teeth....," he said.

The Bozeman Chronicle also recently endorsed Lewis, who is trailing Republican Ryan Zinke in the polls.

While some may be surprised that Lewis got the endorsement of the Gazette and the Chronicle, Buzz would be surprised if Zinke got the endorsement of any of the major Montana dailies this year. Why's that, you ask?

A few years back, Buzz went back and counted all the endorsements in Montana's dailies for statewide races over the course of a decade. Sorry, can't remember the exact count, but the dailies endorsed Democrats by more than a two-to-one margin over that period. So all the papers, except for the Kalispell Interlake, generally prefer Democrats.

But there are two caveats to this trend. In every election cycle, papers like to endorse at least one Republican -- usually the most moderate one running -- to show readers they try to be fair and balanced. Second, they don't like to waste endorsements on candidates who seemingly have no chance of winning.

This year, there are only two statewide partisan contests: Senate and House.

In starting at the top of the ballot, the Senate race, the Gazette and Chronicle both endorsed Republican Steve Daines. Bottom line, Buzz believes it was due to the second rule mentioned above: Don't waste your endorsement on candidates with no chance of winning. Polls show latecomer Amanda Curtis far behind Daines.

So what are the Gazette and Chronicle to do to restore their karma? Go with Lewis in the House race, of course.

UPDATE: Since this piece first appeared, the Helena Independent Record made its endorsements in these races. No surprise, at least to Buzz: Daines and Lewis got the paper's blessing.

(Interesting side note: The Great Falls Tribune says it won't be endorsing candidates this year -- the first time Buzz ever remembers that happening.) 


THE MOST popular brand names in Montana? Dodge, Amazon, and Prilosec, according to research based on Google searches done by Montanans.

Really? Sounds odd, doesn't it?

You'd think that NorthWestern Energy might have been one of the top three, as it has been in the news a lot lately due to its purchase of PPL's dams. Or maybe a company like Budweiser, since Montanans not only like their beer, but they grow much of the barley used to produce it.

WHEN IT comes to taxes, which state is the fairest of them all? Montana is, according to a survey done by WalletHut, a personal-finance site. Really?

Even a lot of Montanans will be surprised by that finding, thinking they pay an awful lot in taxes. But they actually tend to pay less than taxpayers in other states. Why?

Because Montana is one of only five states with no general sales tax. And to make up for that lack of revenue, the state takes a bigger chunk of change from energy producers and big property holders.

Interestingly, both liberals and conservatives who were surveyed ranked Montana as the fairest state in terms of taxation. Now, how often do you see folks on either side of the political spectrum agree on something, especially an important issue like taxes?

Makes you wonder why Montana's tax system isn't more of a model for other states.

State Rep. Amanda Curtis of Butte, the Democratic candidate for US Senate, says she's 'amused' by Republicans labeling her a communist due to her sympathies for the Industrial Workers of the World, a union that was active in Montana more than a century ago that called for an end to capitalism.

Officials: Man arrested on Amtrak train w/ 31 lbs of pot products

Activists demand federal protections for wolves be reinstated

Curtis 'amused' by GOP interest in her ties to radical union

Daines, Curtis meet tonight in Billings for only televised debate

US House candidates spar over Ebola, energy, gun control

Gun incidents in Glacier Park are rare, officials say

Suspect arrested for attack on MSU student in shower

Walsh looks back, and to future -- says he has 'no regrets'

Dems see chances for legislative gains, but GOP doesn't see it

Spokane man, fearing zombies, steals car to flee to Montana

Helena native nominated for No. 2 post at NASA

Tuesday debate features 3 candidates for US House seat

Black bear shot at Great Falls' Malmstrom Air Force Base

Bull trout recovery efforts in Glacier Park showing promise

Instead of the 'Baucus guy,' John Lewis aims to be his own man

State, tribes continue to try to negotiate Flathead water compact

Missoula JP candidate violated campaign laws, official says

Board votes to close ailing Old Works golf course at Anaconda

State says firm failed to pay signature gatherers

Cow-killing grizzly moved to South Fork of Flathead River

MSU-Billings poll finds support for Republicans Daines, Zinke

US Supreme Court rejects candidate's request on endorsements

Montana-born actress Misty Upham found dead near Seattle

State's dubious ranking: No. 3 in nation for deer collisions

Crash that killed 6 near Helena leads to fire-truck recall

Did bullying play role in suicide of Billings middle school student?

Senate hopeful Amanda Curtis starts running first TV ad

State to send Yellowstone bison to Fort Peck Reservation

Missoula attorney arrested on 4th DUI charge

Justice's alleged donation to legislator draws fire

Name new historical museum after Betty Babcock. official says

Missing Laurel infant found safe in Kentucky

Bullock: State working with health providers on Ebola protocols

Zinke raises almost $2M in last 3 months, far surpassing Lewis

BNSF expects to hire hundreds in eastern Montana

State appeals judge's order to release UM player's records

State's abortion rate falls to lowest level in 4 decades

Judge reduces drug sentence of former UM quarterback

State reports at least 10 cases of enterovirus in kids

MSU expert: Brown recluse not likely source of fatal spider bite

Missoula County officials seek missing courthouse chandelier

Gay couples ask Montana judge to rule on gay marriage

Sen. John Walsh removed from Army War College plaque

Supreme Court rejects lawyer's unusual request to disbar him

Laurel police seek 6-month-old baby girl

Man pleads guilty to hash-oil operation that caused explosion


Missoula brewery plans major expansion at Bonner

UPS hiring 40 new workers in Helena

Kmart closing its Bozeman store in January

First Interstate Bank's purchase of Mountain West closes Friday

Oil price slump worries Bakken producers

State should end its ban on gay marriage

Banner year for eastern Montana sugar beet industry


Bobcat defense is struggling, but still hopes to get back on track

...While the Cat offense seems to be hitting on all gears

Montana families ask: Are rewards of football worth the risks?

Griz rally in 2nd half to defeat UC Davis, 42-28

Special teams lead Bobcats past Weber, 23-13

Idaho State gives 3-year extension to Kramer, formerly at MSU

Bobcats dismiss highly touted defensive end


Lewis is best choice for the US House

Let's end voter-registration on election day

Kavulla: Why I opposed NorthWestern's dam purchase

With his experience, Daines is best choice for MT in US Senate

Don't end Election Day registration

It's no big deal, but state should change auditor's title

Maybe it is time to end elections of Supreme Court justices

Lewis deserves support for US House seat


One list: Best books ever written about Montana?

MT scores another 1st: Leads nation in mountain monograms

A portrait of Montana a century and a half ago

Darby woman, 86, has been riding motorcycles for 7 decades

With new funding and donations, Lewis & Clark Library rebounds

New book details unusual deaths in Yellowstone Park

New Pete Fromm novel tells a love story strained by MS


Phillip Phillips to perform at UM Oct. 23

Comedian Bob Newhart to visit Great Falls Nov. 13

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