Montana is known as the Last Best Place. When you float the river, hike the mountains, or ride horseback on the open prairie- you can feel it. You can even feel it when you enter the Montana Capitol in the early morning hours, right after the doors unlock for the public, and before the capitol is abuzz with the legislative session.

One of the great things about the Montana capitol is the openness of the building, and the historic artwork and sculptures inside. As someone who has hosted a LIVE radio talk show from inside the capitol, I've showed up early to get my equipment ready and get all set up for the program.

I've been there, standing at the back entrance to the capitol when the light goes from red to green and the door unlocks. The serenity you feel when you walk through the capitol rotunda, in the early morning hours before everyone gets there- when you walk past the Maureen and Mike Mansfield statue, when you pass the historic artwork of Charlie Russell and Edgar Paxson-  that serenity is something I hope all Montanans get a chance to experience.

Following Monday's antics at the Montana capitol- where a Left-wing mob stormed the House Gallery and pounded on the antique doors to the House Chamber before law enforcement in riot gear was able to clear the scene- I wonder if that openness is now at risk. Will everyday Montanans be able to simply walk through the doors and enjoy our state's capitol?

As retired Lt. Colonel Darin Gaub reported Tuesday morning from Helena, not only was the mob pounding on the antique House chamber doors, they were throwing red gloves at lawmakers on the floor and hurling obscenities and getting physical with law enforcement.

We also learned from other news reports that Soros-backed groups like Forward Montana and the ACLU coordinated Monday's rally. They also bragged about having bail money already in hand shortly after the arrests took place.

This all begs the question- was this a coordinated, pre-meditated attack on the Montana capitol and the legislative process? Will/should it be investigated and prosecuted as such? Darin says from his perch in the House gallery the whole thing seemed timed and coordinated between the activists and Rep. Zephyr.

By the way, you can listen to Darin's phone call in the 8A hour audio below. We also heard from Speaker of the House Matt Regier (R-Kalispell) in the 9A hour of our below podcast as well.

Also, if you'd like to read more about the history of the art in Montana's Capitol, check out this link to information on the Montana Historical Society website.

The painting featured above on the floor of the Montana House of Representatives is an historic Charlie Russell painting that measures twelve feet high by twenty-five feet wide.

Lewis and Clark Meeting Indians at Ross’ Hole depicts a fortuitous encounter between Thomas Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery and the Salish Indians in the Sula Basin in the southwestern corner of Montana. The meeting, which occurred in September 1805, was one of enormous strategic importance as it enabled the expedition to secure the horses and directions needed to traverse the Bitterroot Mountains before winter snows would make travel impossible.

The MHS added that the painting "is the largest that Russell ever produced; its completion required that Russell raise the roof on his log cabin studio in order to accommodate it."


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