Thursday Quicktakes

The cover of this week's Missoula Independent.

TEA Party Sen. Jennifer Fielder New Head of Extremist Group

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting this week that TEA Party, militia affiliated state Senator Jennifer Fielder will replace Ken Ivory as head of the ludicrous public land takeover quacks known as the American Lands Council.  The group’s ties to anti-government extremists were well-documented even before the Bundy-militia bunch took up its cause in Oregon. 

The article points out that:

A vocal critic of federal land management, Fielder has been leading the land-transfer charge in the Montana Legislature and has been a conspicuous spokeswoman for the cause. Last year, her Senate staffer William Macon Richardson resigned after Montana media disclosed he registered as a lobbyist for the ALC. The movement has not gained much traction in Montana.

The Cowgirl Blog was the first tho break the story that Fielder’s staffer was an ALC lobbyist, and when this came out, he was forced to resign.  Another staffer with ties to white supremacy groups remained on the payroll and is now running for legislature.   This week, Fielder has an opinion piece in the Missoulian defending (and misrepresenting the facts behind) what she calls the “Oregon Uprising”.

 

Missoula Independent writes about Montana’s blogosphere

The Missoula Independent has a new story up about the state of the blogosphere in Montana, which includes an exclusive on the record feature interview with yours truly – the only one I’ve ever done. I’m not sure I buy the premise, but its a fun read nonetheless.  While I think the author is right that traffic dropped at both Left in the West and 4& 20 Blackbirds when their authors left the state and passed those blogs onto others (which seems obvious and would be the case with any blog), the piece doesn’t factor in that blogs now have exponentially higher traffic than these sites ever had.  Last year alone the Cowgirl Blog got 720,000 visitors and 2.4 million page views – more than 20 times the traffic of the Left in the West at its heyday. Meanwhile 4&20 Blackbirds hit counter says the blog has gotten 1.6 m total cumulative hits since the blog first started 10 or so years ago. Nor does it consider a number of popular new sites like the Missoula Current, the Last Best Blog, and The Montana Free Press.

The Cowgirl blog frequently makes national news. Over the TEA Party legislature’s ridiculous dress code for women.  Over a GOP gubernatorial candidate’s expertise on overseas prostitution and yachting with hookers.  Over the TEA partiers who filed as democratic candidates for legislature in a trojan horse scheme to try to take over the democratic party.  About the Tea Party elected officials who were caught on tape in a conversation about how American Indians were “not Americans.”  About the researchers who used Montanans as guinea pigs by sending fake mailers in our Supreme Court elections.  Over the Charter ballot initiative to tried to stick Montana taxpayers with the bill for their back taxes.   Over Greg Gianforte’s financial support for spurious right-wing causes.   Over the Montana legislator who compared Sandra Fluke to a rutting bulldog. Montana Cowgirl has been featured on the front page of Reddit Rachel MaddowCNN, and in the Washington PostHuffington Post, and  Mother Jonesand these are just the stories the blog is actually credited with breaking. (Yes, even in 2016 there are still some news outlets which regularly take content from blogs without crediting them.)

Thank you readers and commenters and tipsters, the success of the blog is due to you.

Thank you also to the growing number of guest and contribution authors including Dr. Daniel Carpenter, Professor of Government and Director of the Center for American Political Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, Justin Robbins, Dan Lourie, Ben Lamb, Don Dunwell, Paul Van Tricht, Kathleen Stachowski, Clara Bentler, Kiah Abbey, Pamela Owen, Linda Gryczan, Carol Mackin, KC York, Evan Barrett, George Wuerthner, Anna Whiting Sorrell, Rob Kailey, retired Judge Steve Muth, Maggie Moran, Norma Duffy, Jonathan Hutson, retired Supreme Court Justice Jim Nelson, Wade Sikorsky, legislative candidate Josh Manning, lawmakers Christine Kaufmann, Mary Moe, Ellie Hill, Tom Woods, Mike Phillips, JP Pomnichowski, Zach Brown, Chris Pope, Denise Hayman and MaryAnn Dunwell–and many more.

Your conversation, comments, and tips are what makes this blog so different, and so successful.  As always, you can submit tips and guest posts to mntnacowgirl (at) gmail.com

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25 Comments on "Thursday Quicktakes"

  1. Having the foolish Jennifer Fielder lead the American Lands Council means at least they will accomplish nothing substantial for a while. This is just more proof that she is nothing more than a paid shill for the fascist Koch brothers. Anyone who is against our Public lands is against Montana and our way of life.

  2. The Missoula Independent article argues that blogging hasnt been the same since Left in the West, which had almost no rradership at all and had to shut down, was the “hayday” of blogging, based on a man crush which the author had on Matt Singer. This is why nobody reads the Missoula Indie, and why it, too, will be shutting down soon.

  3. Are Montana’s independent political bloggers a vanishing breed? No. We’re an evolving breed.

  4. Isn’t Fielders acceptance of this post a conflic of interest. Should she recluse herself from all land used votes in the Senate. Should she disqualify herself from an land use committes.

    • if that was the case, we also have all those state employee’s that are legislators, not vote on almost all bills because of a conflict of interest. Remember this folks work for us first.

      • According to the available information on the 2015 Legislature, only 4 legislators are state employees. You might want to call for all those retired, ranchers, and small business owners to not vote on legislation involving property taxes, business incentives, water laws, workers compensation, etc. etc.

        Bashing state employees is par for the course no matter the numerical significance or flawed logic.

  5. My biggest issue with that article was the core tenet that the only time blogs are important is during senate or presidential cycles and only two bloggers really counted as being authentic. As if all the other chicanery, and much worse stuff, that occurs around state/district-level politics does not matter. If anything, those are stories that make or break Montana and normally the things the media in Montana seems to not care about until they get busted by everyone else (then steal the sources and storyline). Also, the Indy piece made it seem like this and other sites are part of some dying flame when the bloggers (and contributors here) mentioned in the Indy article are ALL keeping the fires hot. Lame, Missoula Independent, really lame.

    P.S. Thanks for the shoutout.

    • Keep in mind that the Independent is part of the mainstream media, which resents bloggers and blames them for many of the MSM’s woes. Still, although the story was Missoula centric and may have drawn questionable conclusions, it was interesting and may provoke some readers to visit the blogs mentioned and form their own judgements.

      • I certainly hope so. I neglected to mention the notion two bloggers got Tester elected… twice. You know who got Jon Tester elected? Jon Tester.

  6. Why didn’t the MISSOULIAN break this news about Fielder’s new position of POWER which obviously creates CONFLICTS OF INTEREST with her involvement of state public land study? Fielder gave the Bundy Outlaws a ‘wind and a nod’ approval AND falsely put out the belief the Hammonds (the focus the Bundy bumblers) were being charged with MURDER by the feds, but they were charged with ARSON Senator Fielder, get it right! This year is the 100th Anniversary of our fabulous FEDERAL NATIONAL PARK SERVICE and ever more reason to PUSH
    back on Fielder’s FANTASIES and DEFEND our national public parks and public lands!

  7. I have to say I’ll pick up an Independent or a Beacon if I think of it, and mostly go ahead and read them instead of throwing it in the kindling box, but I never fail to read the new Cowgirl-even if I’m traveling and away from easy Internet access. This blog exemplifies what is good about the new journalism and what good can be done with free speech. This information-sharing Evolution is what will enable the Political rEvolution our nation needs throw off the shackles of serfdom being fitted for us by the Plutocrats.

  8. The Indie article was a joke. It sounds like the author is completely out of touch – I was embarrassed to be seen reading it.

  9. The article failed to mention dozens of new blogs. Montana on the Ground. Little Big Town Montana, the blogs James Conner mentions in his article. http://www.flatheadmemo.com/archives_2016/february_2016/2016-02-04_dying_breed.html Sen. Dick Barrett’s blog, Alexis Bonogofsky’s East of Billings, Sounds to me like Singer is a self-important turd. And the author is clueless. That is all.

  10. Rattus Norvegicus | February 5, 2016 6:57 PM at 6:57 PM |

    Whew=eee. I can smell the stench of lies from that Missoulian piece (of something) all the way down here in Bozeman. For a bit of reality (although a couple of comments from crazies creep, and I mean creep, in at the end) see this from High Country News:

    http://www.hcn.org/articles/legal-experts-oregon-militants-land-transfer-advocates-misguided-on-constitution/?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

  11. Although we have a vacation home in NW Montana, we live in So. Calif. I am interested in knowing why some people are against the Government owning land in the West. Is their argument that private ownership would put the land to better use?

    • As near as I can tell, they are generally arguing for State management of “public” lands as they see the federal government as some kind of vast conspiracy designed to kill them or take away all their rights and property. They don’t seem to understand the concept of representative government and that the federal government is US – just like the state government, only in a larger division is all. They either didn’t take a civics class in school, or slept through the whole thing.

      • Old Line Democrat | February 11, 2016 8:39 PM at 8:39 PM |

        That may be the case for the “foot soldiers” like those paranoid fellows who went on the “missions” in Nevada and Oregon.

        The upstream is where the action is. The moneyed class knows that the western states with the most public land could not manage that land for public use because the “no new taxes” propaganda has virtually eliminated their funding source.
        The moneyed folks would then swoop in to rescue the states by buying up the former public land and then either locking it up for their own use or exploiting the resources or both.
        Do you really believe that the Koch brothers are financing this movement for altruistic reasons?

  12. Montana Mountain Man | February 11, 2016 6:17 PM at 6:17 PM |

    I have been reading Conners comments for awhile now and must comment. The Independent is not a part of the mainstream media. It is locally owned. All articles except one originate locally. The article does not resent bloggers, but rather gave prime space to inform its readers. Your negative interpretation is out to lunch, as most of your comments are. You act as though you know everything, but you really do not. You just keep spreading half truths and lies. I see where your pretend blog has no space for feedback, so it just your ranting space to make you feel important. So for you “it is your way or the highway”. You are obviously quite sequential and you do not the truth come in. Repent and sin no more.

    • To the contrary, I very often appreciate Posts from Jamers Conner!
      Flathead Memo is so good I can read and understand it early in the morning!
      Mountain Man let it go! Half of your Post is immoderate, to say the least!

    • Is it open season on James Conner at this blog? This is yet another thread where he has been attacked without any moderation by Mt.Temperance or Cowgirl.

      • Thanks for your comment. The comment policy prevents people from personal attacks. E.g. of someone said “Kimberly is fat and stupid.” Attacking an argument is fair game. James is an adept debater and has no problem holding his own on that front. For the record here, I agree with him and also regularly read his blog.

        http://mtcowgirl.com/comment-policy/

    • James Connors and I sometimes disagree. but the majority of the time I find him spot on. I love reading his perspective, even if I disagree with it sometimes. That’s what Freedom of speech is all about, allowing Americans to debate, agree and disagree.

      Anyone can chime in and whine their feelings are hurt, and point to nothing specific while doing so, but the fact remains just because you are upset, doesn’t mean the world thinks like you do.

      Just saying!

      Hes been here for years, his word is valued and you’re a newcomer.

  13. do we democrats have an candidate to run against fielder?

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