The Wednesday Read

The Western Word is coming to you from deep inside an underground bunker in Montana – where we’re helping to deprogram the Trump cult one column at a time…

Today’s independent commentary deals with these people/issues:

  • Montana Voter Suppression
  • Great Falls City Commission
  • One More Thing


Lee Newspapers reported Tuesday that Montana lawmakers have revived a bill that would end same-day voter registration in Montana. The House State Administration Committee voted Tuesday first to bring back the bill, then amend it to close voter registration at noon the day before an election.

It’s still voter suppression.

It’s a sad deal that Montana Republicans want to keep people from voting – and when you boil it down, that is what it is.

If election administrators feel that allowing same-day voter registration in Montana is too much work for them, I suggest they quit their job and move on to something less demanding – like watching paint dry.

It has been reported by the Montana Free Press that Legislative Referendum 126, a 2014 ballot measure to end same-day registration that was voted down by 56% of voters, as evidence that Montanans have already voiced their stance on the issue.

We can only hope that common sense prevails and that at least some Republicans in the state legislature see that making voting easier for all Montanans is the best way.


The Great Falls Tribune is reporting that Great Falls City Commissioner Rick Tryon gave some startling statistics about crime in Great Falls during the Jan. 28 commission strategic planning session. He quoted and as his sources, but a deeper dive into those websites reveals that their information is inaccurate and some of its sourcing is suspect.

The Tribune also reported that in an interview Tuesday, Tryon said he was “absolutely comfortable” presenting the information from and the like because they appear in search engine results when potential newcomers are looking to learn about Great Falls.

Sounds a lot like the meme, “I found it on the internet so it must be true.”

The Tribune presented a graph of crime stats in Great Falls from 2009-19. They titled the graph, “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.” Ouch.

There’s talk from the Great Falls Commission about forming a “blue panel commission” to address crime in Great Falls. It was reported that members would be police department officials, prosecutors and others with expertise on the topic to get together and study the issue of crime in Great Falls.

I’m not sure taking these people from their regular duties (fighting crime) is the best solution. It reminds me of the boss of a company saying, “We will continue having meetings until we find out why no work is getting done.”

I’m sure the Tribune/Tryon feud is just beginning.

Read the Tribune article HERE.


If you only read one more thing today, read the article from Axios called “Inside the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency.”

Click HERE.


4 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read

  1. My son and his wife who are still Republicans forgot to send their ballots by mail so took them to Election Office that evening of election in Lake County. He said people were registering and voting. The process appeared to be going well with no protests of length to finish nor did staff seem overworked and were pleasant. Lake County is about 30% Native American and many register and vote Election Day. For some reason the GOP believe all Native American vote for Democrats. Which is certainly not true in Montana as we have Republican legislators in Helena now. Many Tribal members supported Senator Daines. In fact Native Americans were at Trump’s Missoula Rally sitting in front row. Perhaps the GOP needs to work harder to get more votes from Native Americans. Why would a political party that won every State office in Montana by 60-100,000 votes try to cut back number of voters. I am surprised no wacko fool hasn’t introduced a bill to end elections by mail. The current GOP in Montana is certainly trying to get back to 1930. But my parents and grandparents didn’t think that era was so great. Also two month into Montana legislative session I am still waiting for those bills that the GOP promised to improve our financial well being.

    • Dennis – Great points. It’s crazy the Montana GOP wants to prevent people from voting. Just crazy. Thanks, JmB

  2. Regarding the crime statistics … if the numbers at and the like are inaccurate or have suspect sourcing, why would a city commissioner be comfortable using those? If they’re inaccurate simply throwing taxpayer money at law enforcement isn’t going to correct them. Nor does basing spending decisions on inaccurate data do the taxpayers any favor. Maybe making an effort to get the stats online corrected to clean up the city’s image might be something a city-boosting commissioner could tackle. Correct the stats, instant better image, flood of new residents, Simple.

    But getting the truth out there for prospective residents probably wouldn’t appeal as much to the commissioner’s existing local political base as much as proposing increased police spending, or demonizing “defunding the police” which no one in Great Falls is seriously considering.

    • Terry – Thanks. Great common sense approach. Common sense appears to be lacking in most levels of government. – JmB

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