True Disclosure Demands Full Accountability

By Edwin Bender, Executive Director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics (FollowTheMoney.org)

With its Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly articulated the value of disclosure and transparency to the health of our democracy. After all, transparency is the best disinfectant, to paraphrase Justice Louis Brandeis’ famous quote.

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Mine Cleanup Concerns Spike as Industry Sputters

Dylan Brown, E&E News
If you want to mine coal in the United States, you have to promise to clean up the mess. But the industry’s dramatic downturn has raised questions about the ability of companies to follow through with that promise and whether taxpayers will be responsible for returning land and water to pre-mining conditions.

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Twists Aplenty, Corruption Lawsuit Could Still be on Track

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

Rarely does a civil lawsuit garner the level of statewide attention as the ongoing legal battle between Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl and Republican State Rep. Art Wittich. The widespread interest in the high-profile showdown was highlighted this week by the many headlines that stemmed from pretrial legal wrangling in advance of a week-long jury trial scheduled for March 28 in Helena.

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Medical Board Revokes State Addiction Doctor’s License

UPDATE: 2016-03-11, 12:35 p.m.: Anaconda-Deer Lodge Chief of Law Enforcement Tim Barkell confirmed Friday that Mark Jay Catalanello was arrested Thursday night following a hit-and-run incident east of Anaconda. According to law enforcement officials, Catalanello was found trying to hide in a culvert after he jumped from his truck at at Hwy 48 near the Warm Springs turn-off.

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Hearing Previews Upcoming Political Corruption Trial

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

District Judge Ray Dayton on Monday heard more than three hours of testimony in his Anaconda courtroom as he considers competing pre-trial arguments in a high-profile political corruption lawsuit. Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl is suing Republican state Rep. Art Wittich alleging Wittich illegally coordinated with third-party nonprofit political groups during his 2010 campaign for the Montana Senate.

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Embattled State Doctor Arrested on Drug Charges

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

A former state doctor who is facing an indefinite suspension of his medical license for alleged illegal drug use was arrested in Butte Friday night on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and possession of dangerous drugs. Mark Jay Catalanello was a staff physician at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs and served as the medical director at the Montana Chemical Dependency Center in Butte until October, when the Montana Board of Medical Examiners temporarily suspended his medical license amid accusations that he was using illegal drugs.

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Yellowstone Club wastewater pouring into Gallatin River tributary

By Joseph T. O’Connor and Amanda Eggert, Explore Big Sky

On Thursday afternoon, effluent began pouring down an embankment from a Yellowstone Club wastewater storage pond and into a tributary of the Gallatin River. A mechanical issue from a broken pipe is associated with the cause, according to Kristi Ponozzo, public policy director with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

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