After the Montana’s largest newspaper, the Billings Gazette, wrote a scathing editorial urging Montanans “Don’t Be Fooled by Charter’s Ballot Initiative,” the cable, phone, and internet giant appears to be desperately trying keep Montanans from finding out the truth about its proposed ballot initiative to force us to pay its taxes.
This in spite of the fact that the company has become somewhat of a national joke of late, inspiring websites like FU172 and causing bruising satire like this spoof video to go viral on Facebook and Twitter.
A senior Charter executive wrote a guest opinion in the Gazette last week with more blatant untruths–urging Montanans to sign their ballot initiative to force Montanans to pay its taxes “for fairness.” They don’t want Montanans to know that if their ballot initiative passes, our taxes will go up while their profits soar.
Well the Billings Gazette responded to the Charter propoganda with a plain and clear rebuke, which you should definitely read:
If you have been asked to sign an I-172 petition to lower your cable bill as some Billings folks have been, know that’s not what the initiative would do.
Chuck Denowh, spokesman for Big Sky Broadband Coalition, says signature gatherers are supposed to say: “This is about preventing an increase in what people pay for cable and broadband.”
When signature gatherers ask us to sign for I-172, they are asking us to support a huge tax break for a company that has been in Montana for just a year and wants to overturn a Montana Supreme Court decision. And, yes, I-172 would make the rest of us pay higher taxes.
Cowgirl readers recall that Chuck Denowh was the former Executive Director of the Montana Republican Party, before leaving it to form a series of PACs and front-groups when the MT GOP name lost its luster.
Charter Communications is a multi-billion dollar corporation which is currently delinquent in paying its Montana taxes. The corporation is seeking its own personal loophole to Montana laws, as I wrote about here, in hopes of getting out of their tax bill. The ballot initiative asks voters to cut Charter Communication’s property tax rate in half–and would leave Montanans holding the bag for the rest.