After a decade-long internal battle, have legislative Republicans buried the hatchet?

By John S. Adams, Montana Free Press
For the better part of the past decade, Montana Republicans have enjoyed comfortable majorities in the state Legislature. Despite those majorities (or maybe because of them), GOP caucuses in the House and Senate have spent much of the past 10 years engaged in a bitter, and oftentimes very public, intra-party feud.

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Testimony Winds Down in Corruption Trial

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

HELENA — State Rep. Art Wittich, the man accused of accepting illegal in-kind contributions and services from conservative nonprofit groups during his 2010 Senate race, took the witness stand in his own defense Thursday in Lewis and Clark County District Court. Wittich is on trial in a civil lawsuit brought by Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, who has accused the Bozeman Republican of illegally coordinating with groups funded by the anti-union National Right to Work Committee.

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Wittich Corruption Trial Underway

By John S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

HELENA — A highly anticipated civil trial to determine whether Bozeman Republican Rep. Art Wittich violated campaign practice laws during his 2010 primary campaign got underway in Helena on Monday. Wittich, the former Republican Senate majority leader and conservative stalwart in the state House, has been accused by Jonathan Motl, Montana’s campaign ethics chief, of violating state campaign finance laws.

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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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