Category: TEA Party

Posted: April 22, 2014 at 6:42 am

Baker Too Wacky for School Board

TEA Party school board candidate told the Great Falls Tribune this week that local voters should not attract businesses and increase their real estate values by funding public schools and supporting the Great Falls mill levy.  The reason? “Obamacare.”

This levy would make sense if there were not additional insurance costs of $2 million to $2.5 million per year due to kick in October 2015, but because that is the reality of Obamacare.

Cyndi Baker (left) and Rep. Cleve Loney R-Great Falls (right)
Great Falls TEA Party leader Cyndi Baker (left dressed as the statue of liberty for some reason) is running for school board.  The TEA Partier with her is Cleve Loney, he’s running for legislature as a TEA Party republican.

In fact, the entire levy is only $1.6 million, and will be used to improve public school classrooms with technology upgrades, gifted and talented programs, reduce overloaded classrooms and pay for operations.   District employees who are eligible for the district’s health plan are not even eligible for the Affordable Care Act, as a memo to employees clearly states.

Baker has a history of doing and saying odd things.  She boycotts Girl Scout cookies.   She believes new math and reading standards are a United Nations conspiracy.

But did you know that Baker, a former Jaker’s waitress, was caught last year attempting to publicly demean the restaurant’s democratic customers and community leaders on her TEA Party blog?

Baker has since taken down the blog post, but The Western Word wrote about the incident here.  Apparently, she wrote posts claiming that democrats and community leaders had supposedly written comment cards criticizing her political views and that they were bad tippers.  The customers deny Baker’s claims.

Cyndi Baker (with polyester "torch") at a TEA Party rally of some sort.
Cyndi Baker (with polyester “torch”) at a TEA Party rally of some sort.

Apparently the managers at Jakers didn’t think this was a great way to treat its customers. As Great Falls Tribune reported,“A manager at Jakers on Friday said the restaurant does not condone Baker writing about the comment card and said internal action has taken place.”

Baker filed for unemployment and was denied, then sued the state.  As someone who rails against government spending, it is indeed interesting that she is suing the government to collect her unemployment check.

You can read text of the Aug. 5, 2013 Great Falls Tribune story that’s referenced in the Western Word blog here, since that story is no longer online.

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Posted: April 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Republican Email Circulating Takes Aim at TEA Party Legislators

An email making the rounds in Republican circles today urges GOPers to stop the TEA Party “from doing any further damage to our beloved Montana GOP.”

The email take particular issue with Art Wittich, Jason Priest, Matt Rosendale, and Tom Tuck and the Gallatin County Republican Central Committee, was forwarded on by a tipster.  It is pasted below in its entirety so you can decide what to make of it yourselves.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Concerned Montanans <montanansontheissues@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM
Subject: Montanans on the Issues
To: montanansontheissues@gmail.com

Dear Concerned Montana Republicans,

Please boycott the Radical Tea Party members claiming to be Republicans and any future events they may have.

To find out why please read below: 

As many of you know radical Tea Party members are attempting to take over the Montana GOP and although we would agree on many of the issues they are promoting, the Tea Party has been taken over by criminals, liars, and cheats!!!

For example, the state political practices commissioner released findings on, Tuesday, April 1st, showing that Senate Majority Leader ART WITTICH violated the law by coordinating with Western Tradition Partnership and other entities to accept illegal corporate donations in his 2010 primary election campaign. THIS IS A FELONY CRIME!! Later that same day, Commissioner Jonathan Motl filed a civil complaint against ART WITTICH.

Is this someone we want our children looking up to?

For more information on ART WITTICH’s criminal activity please see the Billings Gazette article at:http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/commissioner-montana-senate-leader-broke-campaign-laws/article_03bef6a7-dc2f-513b-b7ba-4fb44a3d1de4.html

ART WITTICH and other GOP Central Committee members, claiming to be Republicans, such as TOM TUCK, the Gallatin County Republican Central Committee’s chair, also work very closely with JASON PRIEST whom was arrested last February on suspicion of partner family member assault and resisting arrest. Priest is also is a founder of a nonprofit group called Montana Growth Network which supports U.S. HOUSE Candidate MATT ROSENDALE.​

Is this someone we want out children looking up to?

To find out more pertaining to the coordination between JASON PRIEST and ART WITTICH click below:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/republican-senator-jason-priest-arrested/article_8e17b3a1-d8b4-5a44-aff2-3b8ce5ba08d6.html

What is the one thing all these criminals have in common, they all rabidly support, U.S. House Candidate, MATT ROSENDALE! The Gallatin County Republican Central Committee even held a vote last February, which TOM TUCK feverishly supported, to solely support MATT ROSENDALE and his criminal cronies in the primary election.

Please help stop these criminals from doing any further damage to our beloved Montana GOP by boycotting, not only the Central Committee’s like Gallatin County, but also all future events.

 THESE CRIMINALS ARE NOT THE LEADERS WE WANT OUR CHILDREN LOOKING UP TO!

 Thank you and God Bless!

Sincerely,

Montanans on the Issues

Posted: April 17, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Supreme Court Unanimously Tosses TEA Party Lawsuit

MonfortonTinFoilThe Montana Supreme Court today rejected an attempt by TEA Party AG Tim Fox and a TEA Party legislative candidate to block a citizen’s initiative to accept federal funding for health care for the working poor and veterans today.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices ruled that Fox’s and the TEA Partier’s attempt to invalidate Fox’s own fiscal statement and have it rewritten–an attempt to force the pro-Medicaid expansion signature gatherers to throw out thousands of signatures already gathered and start over at a later date, thereby severely restricting the amount of time they have to gather signatures.

It did not go unnoticed by the Supreme Court justices that these same obstructionists failed to voice their supposed concerns during the public comment period, thereby making their attempt to invalidate current signatures pretty obvious.

Montana Attorney General Tim FoxRemember also that it was Tim Fox himself who was charged with writing the fiscal statement.  He didn’t voice any concerns about his own work at the time he wrote it, yet instead decided to sign on to a lawsuit filed against himself, which speaks to his lack of competence if nothing else.

TEA Party Republican legislator Fred Thomas responded by saying any justice that disagreed with him “shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court.”   I guess he means all of them, including the arch conservatives on the court, since the ruling was unanimous.

Posted: April 17, 2014 at 6:58 am

Montana Lawmaker Says He Will Join Armed Rebellion in Nevada

More than five thousand gun-wielding, yellow flag waiving TEA Partiers and Montana militia members are descending on a small town called Bunkerville to fight the federal government.

Kerry White headshot
TEA Party Republican Rep. Kerry White of Bozeman, MT

No, its not a scene from the next Dinesh D’Souza movie flop, it’s actually happening in the town of Bunkerville, Nevada– an hour North of Las Vegas.   Now, TEA Party Republican Rep. Kerry White (R-Bozeman) posted on his Facebook page that he plans to join them.

White, who is the brother of Gallatin County Commissioner Steve White, has considered running for Governor on the GOP ticket in the past.  It’s not known whether he’s still considering that office. Here’s his Facebook post:

KerryBundy

At issue is one man’s refusal to follow the law like his neighbors have done and stop illegally grazing on federal land.  The rancher, a man named Cliven Bundy, has racked up $1.2 million in fines and unpaid grazing fees since 1993–but says he is special and needn’t follow the law like everyone else because his ancestors homesteaded in the area.

So the BLM, as is standard practice, began confiscating Bundy’s cattle to sell to pay some of the unpaid fees. This is no different than what happens to anyone who doesn’t pay their mortgage or their taxes for many years.  The government or bank has the right to foreclose because the person didn’t uphold her or his end of the deal.

As BBC News reported, many of these protesters are armed and have threatened to use deadly force to stop the government from doing its job.  A Montana militia member told reporters:

“That is what we do. We provide armed response,” Jim Lardy with Operation Mutual Aid said.

Lardy came from Montana to join the protesters, and he says he is not afraid to shoot, if necessary.

“They have guns. We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government,” Lardy said.

He says other militia members are joining him.

“There is many more coming,” Lardy said

Here’s another Montana militia member:

“We’re all in this together,” said Rick Lovelien, 50, a militia member from Libby, Mont., with the Montana State Defense Force.

One protestor even admitted they had plans to put women and children at the front of the crowd so they would be among the first casualties if violence broke out.  So these are the kinds of people that are involved.

The rancher is even urging sheriffs across the US to disarm federal law enforcement officials, Reuters reported.

An official with a group that tracks extremist and hate groups said the call by Cliven Bundy to disarm federal law enforcement with agencies like the BLM is equivalent to calling for an armed rebellion against the U.S. government.

The federal government, siting safety concerns for BLM staff and members of the public, have cancelled the cattle collection for the time being.  The situation remains worrisome for many reasons.  Dallas Hyland writes in Utah’s St George News that this could be the start of a growing trend:

The stand-down was necessary to prevent bloodshed, but it must be recognized that if Bundy and a multitude of his supporters, militia friends, and even family members who broke the law, are allowed to go unpunished, anarchy will follow. Other groups, emboldened by the appearance of forcing a stand-down, will only continue to gain momentum. And furthermore, law enforcement as a whole will be rendered impotent as average people with disputes with current laws begin to wonder if they too can call a militia in to force the police to leave them alone.

And even though the federal government is standing down for now, an update to the TEA Partier’s Facebook page includes an update that White has plans to postpone his trip to when the federal government returns, presumably so that he can get in on the action.

Kerry White Facebook page

 

Kerry White’s opponents are democrats Christopher Burke, a West Yellowstone businessman, and CJ Monteith.  The district is not dominated by Republican voters, like some in outer Gallatin County are, but contains about half dems and half repubs–so this kind of behavior will hurt White rather than help him.

Posted: April 9, 2014 at 7:22 am

“Shrimp Pimp” Art Wittich Complains about Cowgirl Blog at TEA Party Shrimp Peel

Disgraced Tea Partier and Art Wittich [pronounced "WIT-ick"] used the opening moments of his speech to Teton County TEA party Republicans to take a swipe at this blog.

The state senator, dubbed “Shrimp Pimp” by local republicans for goading TEA Partiers into hijacking the GOP’s popular local fundraiser, did not dispute the facts of any of my posts, rather he tried to attack me personally by flatly proclaiming that I’m not a woman, that I’m not Montana and that I “don’t know anything about cows.”  Why he thinks this is unclear, but probably based in sexism. People like Wittich think women can’t have good political blogs apparently.  Whatevs.

You can see the video here – Wittich’s anti-Cowgirl blog rant is one minute in.

It’s not surprising that this is the kind of line Wittich would take.  His problem is a very simple one:  He can’t complain about the merits of what I’ve written because everything that has been said about him has been backed up with facts.  I challenge the state Senator to find one thing I’ve written about him on this blog that isn’t true.

I shudder to think what Wittich will do when he finds out that his actions against the people of Montana and members of his own party are not just discussed on the blogs, but also on Facebook and Twitter, on television and in the newspapers, around dinner tables, at coffee shops, high school sporting events, at diner counters, and around water coolers across the state.

Posted: April 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

We’ve Met the Enemy and It is Science and Knowledge

Creationists have been much in the news in Montana of late. Here’s the latest on Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul who apparently believes the earth is 4,300 years old.  It’s also time for an update on Lawrence VanDyke, the creationist supreme court candidate who believes in “pray away the gay” conversion therapy.

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Posted: April 7, 2014 at 6:23 am

Choice of Flavors of Republican Shrimp: Angry or Angrier

The great Shrimp Peel schism in Teton county could be viewed as a microcosm of what is happening to the Republican Party.

The Teton county GOP hosts an annual banquet, known as the Shrimp Peel, where an older crowd of mostly angry men with white mustaches and 1970′s blazers complain about President Obama, socialism, spending, taxes and so on.  They do this while feasting on all-you-can-eat shrimp (unpeeled, meaning that flavor and freshness is preserved) as well as spaghetti.

This year, the Tea Party announced that it would hold its own event, because the Choteau area’s Teton County Republican Party is too liberal.  Thus there is now a competing Shrimp Peel, for true conservatives.

The main Peel (the “establishment” Shrimp Peel, if you will), will go down on May 2.  Patrons will be treated to a keynote speech by the top GOP celebrity in Montana, congressman Steve Daines.

The booby prize goes to the attendees of right-wing Shrimp Peel, which took place Friday night.   Their speaker was disgraced Tea Partier Art Wittich, who the TEA Partiers told the Choteau Acantha, was instigating the TEA Partiers to break off and have their own ultra-conservative peel. [Article pdf one two.]  Perhaps that’s why the local GOP central committee took out ads referring to him as the “Shrimp Pimp.”

PhonyPeel4

Local GOPers are not pleased about Essmann and Wittich meddling in their local affairs, and have been saying as much in the local papers. 

PhonyPeel2

Ads for the phony peel are below:

PhonyPeel PhonyPeel1

Wittich has been trying to be the Tea Party heavy for many years, though it’s not going well for him.   He was also notified this week by the Montana election authorities that he violated state law by taking illegal contributions from the criminal enterprise known as American Tradition Partnership.  His violations were so egregious that the Commissioner of Political Practices, Jon Motl, will soon be in district court recommending that Wittich be removed from the ballot in November.  The violations made national news. 

In the private sector, Wittich’s contributions to society include having once billed a legal client $2,300 for 20 minutes of legal work. The bill was $98.70, but Wittich tacked on a few thousand extra because the client didn’t pay on schedule.

Bon appetite, Choteau.

Posted: April 1, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Gianforte Weighs In On Montana Tech Rumpus

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 9.42.29 PMIt was revealed last week that Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul from Bozeman who apparently believes that the earth is 4,300 years old, has been invited to speak at Montana Tech’s graduation. This touched off a stir,  with stories in Montana and national press.  Students and teachers at Montana Tech are organizing a boycott.

Gianforte’s wife was also invited to give the speech with him, in a kind of duet.  But she has her own problems–she’s a big player in the “christian shop-owners must have a right to discriminate against LGBT people” movement.  She recently testified against Bozeman’s proposed non-discrimination ordinance, and Gianforte bankrolls the non-discrimination ordinance opposition.  His wife is chair of the pro-discrimination bunch’s board of directors.

To smooth things out, Gianforte today wrote a piece of his own, in the Montana Standard, defending himself.   Strangely, he makes no mention of his “young earth” theories, nor about whether such beliefs should disqualify a person from speaking at a geology school.

Rather, he addresses discrimination (without specifically mentioning his wife or the fact that she’s the chair of the board of the organization fighting to keep discrimination legal, which Gianforte bankrolls), and claims that he opposes it.  He also says that the best way to deal with it is to give people a good education so that they be raised to know right from wrong.  He then goes on to list all of his educational philanthropy–all the money he has given in the pursuit of better educational opportunities for young people.

Therefore, if I hear him correctly, Gianforte believes that his wife needs to be sent back to school, and be taught that discriminating against LGBT people is wrong.  Perhaps Gianforte can set up a scholarship for her, with the money he demands back from the Montana Family Foundation.

 

Posted: March 28, 2014 at 7:06 am

The Assman Copieth

Essmann Embarrasses MontanaMore interesting doings in Teton County this week.  Jeff Essmann has paid to have an op-ed placed in the Choteau Acantha which bears some surprising resemblances Art Wittich’s recent op-ed in the Great Falls Tribune.

Sen. President Jeff Essmann, aka the Assman, (a moniker that refers not to his physical situation but to the smell of his foul legislation and outright lies, which resemble ass) is either copying Wittich outright, or we’ve just discovered that it is really Wittich who is the man behind the TEA Party curtain, pulling the doomsday-prepper-procured strings.

Essmann’s piece has the same structure as Wittichs.  Both pieces start out in the first paragraphs by saying essentially someone called me an extremist but really I’m not.

Here’s Wittich:

So why am I called an extremist? Well, I had the audacity to lead 75 percent of the Senate Republican caucus in opposing the backroom political wheeling by O’Hara and his cross-over Republicans dealing with the Democrats, on things like:

Here’s Essmann:

So what did I do to deserve being called an extremist by Llew?  Well I, along with 80% of the Republican caucus had the audacity to oppose the backroom political wheeling and dealing he engaged in with the Democrats.

This kind of thing is similar throughout the piece.  Essmann also copies Wittich’s lies, almost word for word.  I wrote about Wittich’s lies and attack on Jesse O’Hara here. Sen. Dick Barrett wrote about the factual problems with Wittich’s hit piece here.

Here’s Wittich:

Appropriating taxpayer money to organizations such as Planned Parenthood to perform abortions.

Here’s Essmann:

Sen. Jones supports measures that allow taxpayer money to flow to organizations, such as Planned Parenthood. that perform abortions.

Wittich:

Passing a $125 million taxpayer-funded bailout of the state employee pension system, making taxpayers (and our children) again guarantee O’Hara and his friends’ retirement, instead of their own.

Essmann:

Sen. Jones supported a $125 million taxpayer funded bailout of the state employee pension system…taking taxpayers like you and me out of the business of guaranteeing anyone’s retirement but our own.

Essmann, after copying Wittich’s opening and Wittich’s lies, also copies his end:

Wittich:

The bottom line is that O’Hara and his fellow crossovers had the opportunity to work with their Republican colleagues to support the reform principles that we campaigned on.  Instead, O’Hara chose to support the liberal policies of our spendthrift governor and Democratic legislators.

Essmann:

The bottom line is that Senator Jones and his “Responsible Republicans” had the opportunity to work with their Republican colleagues to support the principles that we campaigned on. Instead, Llew chose to support the liberal policies of our spendthrift governor and Democrat legislators.

Here’s Page 1 and Page 2 of Essmann’s attack piece.

Here’s Wittich’s attack piece.

To be sure there is one difference between the two pieces–Wittich didn’t have to pay to get his published. Essmann’s piece appears labeled as a paid advertisement.

Posted: March 27, 2014 at 8:03 am

TEA Party Wing Hijacks Annual Republican Fundraiser in Teton County

Dirty Tricks in Teton County

Choteau Republicans have indefinitely postponed their annual Shrimp Peel fundraiser due to party infighting over legislative primaries, but local TEA Party wing of the party has hijacked the event for its own.  Right-wingers says the event is still on and is using the popular annual get-together to feature TEA Party wing candidates and speakers instead of Republicans.

Dueling ads appeared in yesterday’s Choteau Acantha–one says the event is off, the other says it’s on.

The first ad is directly from the chair of the Teton County Central committee.  His ad states that the traditional Shrimp Peel fundraiser, which the local central committee has hosted year after year, will be postponed until after the primary elections in June.  GOP Chair Lew Clark’s ad explains that local Republicans voted 8-1 to postpone the event after it was revealed that a rightwing candidate “is trying to hijack our event.”  This man  ”voted to cancel the Shrimp peel… and claim it as his own.”

In the same paper, the TEA Partier wing has their own ad, stating that the event is on for April 5, and that the event will feature angry TEA Party senator Art Wittich to bring fire and brimstone down upon the locals for daring to support their own popular elected Republicans.  What’s interesting about the phony shrimp peel ad is that it says it’s paid for by the “Teton County Republican Shrimp Peel LLC,”  which as far as I can tell doesn’t actually exist.  Cowgirl tipsters did a business entity search at the Secretary of State website and no such entity seems to be registered.

Here’s a pdf of the Teton Republican’s ad canceling the Shrimp Peel. The competing ad which claims the annual Shrimp Peel is on is below.

That candidate the GOP chair’s ad references is presumably Jim Anderson, the TEA Party right-wing challenger to Rep. Christy Clark. Clark is a pro-business legislator from Teton County. Both Clark and Teton County’s long-time state Senator, Llew Jones, face challenges from hard right-wingers who favor ideology over pragmatism and economic growth.   Anderson self-anointed former evangelical preacher who moved here from Red Lodge several years ago and operates a business called Grizzly Sports which sells guns, outdoor wear and espresso.

Anderson wrote his own angry screed in the Fairfield Sun Times this week [PDF], in which he seems to be claiming that his attempts to hijack the event were not well taken and places blame for the kerfuffle on local volunteers who didn’t want their event hijacked by TEA partiers.

The TEA insurrectionists are angry that some Republicans had the backbone to stand up to the TEA Party minority last session and vote based on what’s good for Montana’s economy rather than TEA Party ideology.  This horrifies TEA Partiers, but Montana voters expect rational thought. TEA partiers had hoped to hijack the government during the last legislative session. They succeeded on some things, like defeating a $6 billion infusion into Montana’s economy, but not on everything.