Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The rushed planning of former President Bill Clinton’s speech in Havre Tuesday along with the heavy secrecy mandated by his security team left many parts of his visit to Havre in the dark as far as the public was concerned. Havre law enforcement officials were saying late Monday afternoon they still knew few details of Clinton’s visit, and the Havre Daily News was told that many details, such as when he would arrive, what his actual schedule was and where he would stay, would not be released. The planning was so rushed that the stage of the Montana State University-Northern gymnasium was not being set up until early Tuesday morning. Clinton met with local Indian tribal leaders Tuesday morning at Donaldson Hall on the- Northern’s campus, shortly before he gave his speech in Northern’s gymnasium. The Havre Daily did not receive confirmation that the meeting would occur until about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, and was told that the press would be allowed to attend, but only using still photography and with no note-taking allowed. The HDN reporter who attended to take pictures said the photographers were told to leave the meeting before it was over and escorted away. In another unpublicized meeting, local Democratic officials including state legislators, county commissioners, city council members and the chairs of the Hill and Blaine counties Democratic parties were invited to briefly meet and shake hands with Clinton. The press was not allowed to attend. State Rep. Bob Bergren, D-Havre, said he was contacted by a member of The Clinton campaign and invited to that meeting. “It was really interesting,” he said. “I got to visit with (President Clinton) a few minutes and shake his hand.” Bergren said about 10:30 a.m. Monday that he still had few details about the visit, and was trying to find out more.