Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Evan Barrett

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  • Guest Opinion: Montana Doesn't Have Nor Want a State Police

    EVAN BARRETT, Montana Historian and Producer|Nov 17, 2021

    In Montana we don’t have to worry about a knock at the door at night followed by a gruff voice declaring, “This is the state police, and we want to talk to you.” Every four years we Montanans vote for our County Sheriff, the head of law enforcement for our counties. Likewise, in our local elections, we vote for city commissioners or council members and mayors who control the city police. Local control of law enforcement is a firmly established governmental principle here in Montana and in much of the rest of the nation. Even at the national lev...

  • Congressional Districts Need to Reflect Competitiveness

    EVAN BARRETT, Montana Producer, Historian|Oct 20, 2021

    When the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission adopted criteria and goals for dividing Montana into two Congressional Districts it included a goal of considering competitiveness in its decision-making. That made sense, for history is very clear: Montana, over the years, has been competitive between the two major parties. It is easy to look at the most recent election results of 2020 and declare that Montana is not a competitive state politically. But a landslide of sorts in one election does not define the state permanently. Our...

  • Guest Opinion: Some 9/11 Toxic Leftovers

    EVAN BARRETT, Butte Native, Producer|Sep 8, 2021

    September 11, 2001 was one of those days, like November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Most Americans alive in 1963 can remember the exact moment they heard that JFK had been shot. It is seared into their memories. So, too, with 9/11. We mostly saw it rather than heard it. But, no one in America will ever forget the images. It is said that on November 22, 1963, America lost its innocence. As we cruised through the post WWII period, even with Soviet competition, we believed America always stood for what was right and...

  • Remembering Jim Murry

    EVAN BARRETT, Butte Resident, Producer|Aug 25, 2021

    James W. “Jim” Murry, top Montana labor leader and friend, passed away last October. On the 29th of August, his memory is being celebrated at a Memorial Service at Tizer Botanic Gardens, just outside of Jefferson City. In the period of Montana history from 1965 to 1990, when Montana dramatically changed from being a corporate colony to a citizen-oriented state, nobody played a larger role in that progressive period than Jim Murry. He stood astride those 25 years like a Colossus. Saying Jim was the head of the AFL-CIO for 23 years doesn’t do hi...

  • State Courage or Shame Regarding Tolerance?

    Evan Barrett, Guest Columnist|Mar 24, 2021

    Passage of SB 215, with a shadow title of “Establish the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” opens the door for advancing discrimination in Montana, changing us from a courageous and tolerant state to one of bigotry and intolerance. Let’s look at history. Twenty-nine years ago, Billings set the standard for rejection of hatred and bigotry by saying “NO” to racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic ultra-right-wing extremist behavior. Billings’ actions made me proud of them and Montana. The Northwest United Skinheads and elements of the Ku Klux Kla...

  • We've Been Trickled Down Upon Enough

    Evan Barrett Dan Bucks|Feb 24, 2021

    The Legislature is now considering the Gianforte tax policy: cutting income taxes for the wealthy with the promise that a windfall for those at the top will somehow “trickle down” to the rest of us. That familiar refrain is called “supply-side economics.” It’s been told and retold for decades by politicians and hucksters, but it’s not true. It’s a political-economic lie repeated so often for such a long-time that many inherently believe that it is true. But check out the Kansas nightmare where cutting taxes for the wealthy created a fis...

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