The Missoulian on DC representation: wrong and amoral

by Jay Stevens 

What is it with amoral positions taken by our newspapers’ editorial boards? There were plenty in the lead up to the election, when some state pundits urged us to vote for Burns because of the pork – never mind good ol’ Connie’s ethical lapses or support of Bush administration immoral policies.

Here we are again: this time the Missoulian is complaining about Congress’ plan to give the District of Columbia Congressional representation:

Montana and its 944,632 residents have a single seat in the House. Montana is the most-populous congressional district in the country. If Washington, D.C., gets its congressman, the district and Montana each would have 1/437th say in the House. In other words, the votes of 600,000 Washingtonians would count the same as those of 944,632 Montanans. Pardon our parochialism, but we think that’s a lousy idea.

Not only that, but Missoulian editors call Montana the “least-represented state in the Union.”

First, these “leading lights” of our local media would prefer we deny more than a half-million of any representation so that our sole Representative will be one of 435 members instead of one of 437 members, a difference of 0.0011 percent of the House membership. That’s hardly a great injustice suffered by Montanans, it it?

Second, Montana is hardly the “least-represented state” in Congress. Remember, we also get our full compliment of Senators, too. With two Senators and a lowly Representative, each Congressional legislator represents 314,877 Montanans. Compare that to California – which has 36,457,549 residents, 53 Representatives, and 2 Senators – which has about 662,864 residents for each of its Congressional representatives, more than twice Montana’s proportion. I could do a whole list, ranking each state according to its representation, but you get the idea. Montana is actually grossly over-represented in Washington DC.

Perhaps the Missoulian should reconsider outsourcing its editorials to outer Kazakhstan.


  1. Electoral votes equal senators plus representatives – so-called red states, low on population but having two senators each, are way over-represented in the presidential elections.

  2. jhwygirl

    You’re going to have to stop all that math! It’s way too complex and logical for The Missoulian to grasp.




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