At first glance, it would seem that the wealthy Whitefish landowner who spent big bucks trying to put a slate of developer and industry toadies on the Whitefish City Council suffered a big defeat when citizens voted down the entire special interest bunch.
However, wealthy landowner Rick Blake didn’t come out of the affair too badly at all. That’s because the County Commission turned around and appointed him to the Whitefish City-County Planning Board directly.
When you think of all the rulings Rick Blake will be in a position to make for his wealthy development industry friends, the $25,000 of his own money he spent on personal attacks aimed at progressive candidates in the Whitefish City Council election doesn’t seem like such a poor use of funds after all. (He can just wait a week to upgrade the AV system in his yacht in Belize, so it’s really no big deal.)
The Whitefish City Council elections were a high profile fight between Republicans backed by Blake and big developers on one side and the rest of us on the other. When all of the candidates Blake supported lost, voters seemed to be speaking out strongly against the ideas espoused by Blake and the developers. But we’re not talking about people with a record of listening to voters. Remember, these were the guys who sent out an official county governance survey only to those who owned property–whether they lived in the Whitefish area or not. The more property you owned, the more votes in the survey you got.
And so it goes with Republicans in the Flathead, who don’t even try to hide their actions.