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Legislative Notes

As a practicing lawyer, I am often reluctant to criticize decisions made by a court.  However, last week, the Montana Supreme Court rendered a decision involving legislative rules which is absolutely stunning. One of the basic principles of our system of government is the separation of powers. Under our constitution, there are three separate and equal branches, each with their own duties and responsibilities. As a fundamental principle, each branch is charged with running and managing its own affairs. This principle is enshrined into the Montana Constitution in Article V, Section 10. According to that provision, each house of the Legislature shall choose its officers and make rul...

Valley Views

On Feb. 8 (and in this newspaper issue), senator (and lawyer) Steve Fitzpatrick (R-SD 10) published a guest view in the Independent Record chastising the Montana Supreme Court for a “stunning” decision. The Senator’s litany of complaints included that the Court violated the separation of po...

We cannot afford to lose our democracy

Editor, Three considerations: (A) In our nation, black or white, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, male or female, young or old, our experiences have generally formed a trust in our two-party democratic system of government. However, many Republicans are presently baffled and bewildered by current...

Elder distinction shouldn’t be based on income

Editor, I received my letter from DHRD Elder Services Program May 4, 2023. Long awaited with great anticipation almost a feeling of excitement opening up the letter. Finally after working 47 years of my life I will finally be recognized by my Tribe and its Council for all my hard work and dedication to my...

Strike Two for Tribal Health Department

Editor, This letter is being addressed to the Tribal Council and the Tribal Health management. Once again failure within the Tribal Health Department in the same program that failed to bring me to my scheduled surgery back in January 2024.  Upon calling their program in December 2023, letting t...

Slices of Life

I was sick last week. It felt like a long and miserable 12 days – and that was just Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m not good at being sick. Thankfully, I don’t get much practice. I’m one of those robust and healthy types. I like to joke that I’m too crabby to get sick; germs ...

All’s fair in love, war? and U.S. politics?

Editor, The smooth transition of Presidential power came to an end after 225 years due to Donald Trump. The work of many, highly placed Republicans is responsible for this debacle. After 35 months, Wisconsin Republican “fake electors” who collaborated with Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 ...

Valley Views

As a fifth-generation Montanan, I have fond memories with my Grandpa Daines of learning how to fish and hunt north of Big Timber, and my goal is to pass these traditions on to my own children and grandchildren. There is no better way to experience Montana than backpacking, hunting, hiking or fishing. I share...

Those who don’t do job right should be disciplined

Editor, To Tribal Council and to all those involved with the program who failed to follow through with their jobs. When you put your trust in those to do their jobs and they end up hurting you by not doing their jobs, they should be disciplined. The Tribal Health Program contacted me back in October...

What is the benefit of a citizen ballot initiative?

Editor, Currently there are six ballot initiatives approved by the Secretary of State for signature gathering.  Several are sponsored by single individuals. One by a young teenage girl. These are Montanans. None are sponsored by out-of-state corporations like the marijuana initiative was. Montana ...

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