Monday Quick Takes: Reading the TEA (Party) Leaves for 2017

Nazi Lit in Missoula

In Missoula this week, American Nazi Party literature showed up in Missoula, the Missoulian reports:

Fliers citing the American Nazi Party have appeared on some Missoula doorsteps, touting “the white working class” and disparaging Jews.

Readers may have noticed that the Helena IR also published the Missoulian story on neo-Nazi lit drop in Missoula.  Except that the IR version included a live link the the website of the neo-Nazi group.  The Missoulian somehow managed to report the story without including that.

You can here’s a screenshot of the story that shows the IR including the link so that you can see it in its original form in case they take the link down.
I don’t know that there’s AP-style guidance on this, since the ethical implications are so obvious that the AP probably thought no one would ever be that stupid.


Billings Coffee Tavern Owner Goes on “Hate-Filled Racist and Sexist Rants”

Meanwhile in Billings, the Last Best News reported (and later KRTV after overwhelming traffic crashed that Larry Heafner, the owner of the Coffee Tavern in Billings was caught posting  “hate-filled racist and sexist rants on Facebook.”   Here are a few screenshots of some of his posts.

Heafner, who also owns a construction company and event production firm, said he wants to provide a festive, tavern-like venue appropriate for all ages.

“We’re leaning toward the family atmosphere, where kids can enjoy stuff,” he said.

Heafner actually told the Last Best News, no joke, that he “has ‘tons’ of black friends.”


Legislative Leadership Choices will Be Telling

Who the GOP will elect as its leaders Monday will be telling.  Certainly there are a few conservatives in the Senate at least who understand that the good of our state is more important than TEA party talking points and if one of these relatively reasonable and intelligent people are elected to leadership positions the legislature could go O.K. for everyone.

It will be easy to tell if this is not going to happen: Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas and Senate President Scott Sales.  Recall that this would mean that the GOP was making the public face of its party the arch-conservative who’s own wife was caught embezzling $45,000 from a senior citizen–her own mother, who was living with Sales at the time.

When asked about this by the media, the Billings Gazette reported that Sales said he “felt extorted by the request to pay back $45,000.” In other words, he would like us to believe he never noticed when tens of thousands of extra money hit the couples bank account.

Sales and his wife were also caught up in the meth house scandal with American Traditions Partnership which was covered in a nationally broadcast documentary on Frontline called “Big Sky, Big Money“.  Sales settled with the commissioner of political practices (unlike Art Wittich.)  Sales is one of the most divisive, obstructionist, and uninformed, and ineffectual figures in legislative history:

Montanans will best remember Sales as the speaker of the House during the disastrous 2007 Legislature, a session that featured the Republicans, with the narrowest one-vote majority, deciding to re-write the Schweitzer budget rather than take it as the governor submitted it. That ill-advised decision under Sales’ leadership resulted in a deadlock that
wasn’t resolved during the legislators’ regular 90-day session, outraged citizens, embarrassed serious legislators and made Republicans generally  look incompetent.

Fred Thomas is another retread, the architect of Energy Deregulation himself, the most disastrous policy ever enacted by the Montana legislature, a program that swiftly led to the bankruptcy of the Montana Power company and with it the savings, pensions and retirement accounts of tens of thousands of Montanans. He’s one of only 10 Montana senators who actually voted to keep prison time for gay people.

There are probably few who remember that it was Fred Thomas who, in 1999, sponsored a bill that Libby asbestosis victim testimony pointed out would have helped W.R. Grace avoid litigation by steering victims of disease away from court and into the time-consuming and often difficult administrative process.  The testimony from Libby victims in opposition to Thomas’ bill was so horrific and heart-wrenching that he was forced to shelve it on the spot.

If Republican lawmakers elect leaders with less baggage than Sales and Thomas, it means that Republicans are at least trying to reserve the option not to immediately declare war on the people of Montana. We’ll see.

4 Comments on "Monday Quick Takes: Reading the TEA (Party) Leaves for 2017"

  1. Meanwhile, for the non-deluded, who believe that the Dems owe some answers to their constituency, I heartily recommend George Ochenski’s OpEd from today:

    Maybe, just maybe, Cowgirl will author or run an objective article that one could consider “journalism” that would further flesh out how the Montana Democratic Party failed to listen to their constituency, rolled into the Convention, and sold your primary vote. Nah, must still be delusional.

  2. Hi Harvey – I voted for Sanders too. I’m not seeing how the DNC’s mistakes in backing Clinton before the primary means that the Montana Dems “failed to listen to their constituency” or “sold the primary vote” however.

  3. Pretty simple CG, when the populace of a state overwhelmingly votes for a candidate, in a Republic, it is the responsibility of the delegates to represent the constituency.

    Now, about posting or authoring some pieces discussing how the Montana Dem Party was a train wreck last week…

    I suggest starting with hubris.

  4. Maybe, the Democrats party ranks are filled with good public servants, I enjoy Testers honesty as well as his handshake, Denese seems to be a bright public servant, and Bulloch seems to have good intentions as well. But their Party leadership seems to be somewhat difficult to accept after their lack of response to Questions about the State Party folks involvement in the Hillary Victory fund. Now that could be just another rock thrown at the window of thin skinned leaders who feel you can buy votes. But transparency was not some crowning feature of the Montana Democrats, the dirty looks we as Berners got when we took over the big room at the state convention were an indication of the mistrust the party faithful seemed to feel for us fresh faces. We could have been some kind of asset in the struggle to overcome tax cuts for the homeless, and the major funding needs we now are predicted to experience as the soup kitchen lines get longer.
    The DNC doing all they can to stifle the outpouring of enthuasiasm from Sanders supporters was probably what doomed this Spanish Galleon to sink under the weight of gold it seemed to be uverly burdened with.
    We can clearly see the party has fallen into the same trap the GOP is always expected to wallow in, but no amount of phony feminine entitlement or pleas that we would be supporting Trump with our lack of unbridled support for the Chosen One, can change the fact that they sunk to the level of the compettition.

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