Lots of right-wing activity and even some racism lately has been seen on the Flathead reservation.
Two groups of TEA Partiers have come to town, stirring up sentiments against tribal sovereignty in hopes of obstructing a water rights agreement that the tribes negotiated with the state of Montana. One group is called the Western Montana Water Users Association and the other Concerned Citizens of Western Montana. Their donors are anonymous and they haven’t filed anything with the Political Practices office.
The head of the first group is Steve Killorn, a conficted felon (“tampering with public records.”) If you click here you can see his picture on the MT Correctional Offender Network website.
The head of the second group–is Terry Backs, founder of the the Lake County Tea Party. Backs is a big Chuck Baldwin acolyte and has rallied the TEA Party under the “Concerned Citizens” banner. Baldwin is the right wing of the right wing of the right wing in Montana, and preaches white supremacy dressed up as politics. But as Terry Backs told PBS, she felt Baldwin’s bunch didn’t have enough “bite” and splintered off to form a new even more conservative group.
A third Tea Party ring leader is part of the action as well. She is Catherine Vandemoer, who is pictured here at a WMWUA meeting. Vandemoer’s blog is pretty much a repository of the most ludicrous birther arguments: Secret codes that show Obama’s birth certificate is a “definite forgery,” Hawaii was a communist outpost, etc. Vandemoer is a “consultant” to the Concerned Citizens group, to whom presumably the wackier the birtherism the better. Vandemoer’s writings are often skewered in the aptly named “Dispatches from Birtherstan” column on the birther mythbusters blog Bad Fiction. The blog’s comments are filled with blatant racism, anti-semitism, and fear of “commies” (the term refers to any non-birther).
UPDATE #2: It now appears that Vanoemoer has password protected the blog post I linked to after she took down post shown in the google cache link above, so, here’s the google cached version of the second post.
But, we do know that there are racists taking part in the political activity there. At a recent meeting, a tape recorder was accidentally left on. Two elected officials whose campaigns were backed by WMWUA were caught on tape discussing Indian people “in very ugly tones, with one of the new leaders declaring that Indians weren’t Americans and others making similar statements.” This certainly makes them the number one suspect in the racist flyers incident, but it doesn’t prove they did it.