Tag Archives: Flathead Daily Inter Lake

TEA Partiers Vote to Keep Seniors in Barn Rather than Use Federal Funds for Senior Center

by Cowgirl

TEA Party GOP  County Commissioners have voted against grant money for a home for the local senior center–even after they previously committed to apply for the funds.  Their actions will force the seniors to gather in a rented barn with numerous safety hazards–and pay rent for that privilege to key campaign supporters of the Republican commissioners’ campaigns.

The ultra-conservative Flathead Daily Inter Lake‘s editorial page explains the problem–and-excoriates Pam Holmquist and Gary Krueger soundly for their “shameful” actions and for “failing to lead” and “turning [their] backs on grandma and grandpa.”

Here’s what happened.

Ten years ago, Flathead County needed a new senior center–the area is home to a large and growing senior population and their old space was terrible. This is a place where low income seniors who live alone can come for a hot meal and some company.  The county moved the senior center to a rented barn.  The building had multiple safety hazards, but warehousing the seniors in a barn was supposed to be a temporary thing.

Ten years later, the county has saved up almost enough money to relocate the seniors.  The money comes not from local taxes.  Rather, it comes from payments the federal government makes to local government entities with lots of federal land nearby (e.g. Glacier) which can’t be used as source of local tax revenue.

To make up the difference in cost between moving to a new location  and the federal funds the county had in the bank, locals started looking at community development block grants.  On February 21, 2013,  commissioners officially voted to proceed with the grant.A local non-profit and the City of Kalispell had both planned to apply. However, when the county voted officially that it would apply, both entities stepped aside to give the county the spot in line for the money.

But at the last meeting county commission meeting, Pam Holmquist and Gary Krueger reneged and voted against the grant.  Cal Scott opposed the other two Republicans, voting instead to uphold the commission’s previous promises.

Here’s the kicker.  Because the county waited until the last minute to apply for the grant, its now too late for the city or local non-profits to apply.  Whether this was part of a TEA Party plot to screw seniors or sheer incompetence is not known.   What is known is that the senior center will remain in the barn–and paying rent to the commissioners’ campaign supporters.

This isn’t the first scandal to plague the Flathead County Commission.  In the United States of America today, it is illegal to allow only wealthy property owners to vote.  So in 2011 the Republican Flathead County Commissioners did the next best thing.

They sent out a survey to the ‘doughnut’ residents (people who live in a ring around the outer edge of the city of Whitefish) asking who they prefer to manage planning and zoning, the county or city of Whitefish.  Instead of mailing surveys to the registered voters in the area in question, they sent the surveys only to corporations and property owners. If you resided in the area, but didn’t make enough to own property, well, you weren’t allowed to voice your opinion.

In 2012, Flathead County officials told citizens who wanted to see the public documents related to Dennis Rehberg’s boat crash that in order get an email with the documents they must pay a fee of $82.50 per email for “photocopying.”



Call to Erect Voting Roadblocks Amplified

Usually when conservatives promote voter surpression tactics, they are smart enough to pretend their proposals are about “preventing voter fraud.” Not so with the Flathead Daily Inter Lake.

This paper’s world-class editorial department today  penned a “lament” that the people of Montana are able register and vote on election day.

First, the Inter Lake is outraged because it takes longer to count votes when more people cast them:

Election Day always has its share of surprises, but in Montana perhaps the biggest one was just how long it took to find out who won and who lost.

Whats more, these great minds opined, allowing people to register and vote after some arbitrary deadline supposedly “hindered the work of Election Department officials”  –as if these aren’t the people we taxpayers have hired perform these exact duties.

For those not involved with running the Daily Inter Lake, the GOP’s voter surpression strategy is actually pretty easy to understand.

Putting up roadblocks to voting suppresses turnout primarily among minorities, the lower-income earners, and the young, and these are well-known Democratic-leaning constituencies. The fewer the people that get to vote, the easier it is for them to put sub-par candidates in positions of power.

Right-Wing Editor of the Daily Inter Lake is Way Far Gone

Are people paying real money for the Flathead Daily Inter Lake?A week after writing an editorial in which he offered an impassioned defense of birthers, birther bills and the birther movement, Frank Miele–the ultra-right-wing editor of the Flathead Daily Inter Lake–has outdone himself.

Miele’s latest column takes aim at the “far left wing Associated Press” and the AP’s state-wide profile last week about the Tea Party.  That story gave a fairly benign description of all of the bills and proposals that the Tea Party has pushed forward in the legislature.

Laments Miele:

“I wish I could go through the entire story with you, and highlight all of the unfair reporting, but it would just take too long.”

What’s really hilarious (or absolutely frightening) about Miele is how far gone he is.  He cites this paragraph in AP reporter  Matt Gouras’s article…

“With each bill, newly elected Tea Party lawmakers are offering Montanans a vision of the future.  Their state would be a place where officials can ignore U.S. laws, force FBI agents to get a sheriff’s OK before arresting anyone, ban abortions, limit sex education in schools and create armed citizen militias”

…as the “only fair reporting in the AP article.” In other words, Miele agrees with everything in the above paragraph.

What upsets Miele is that Mr. Gouras goes on to suggest that a number of Montanans are turned off by the agenda described above.  The nerve of the AP to make such a suggestion. Miele says he sees nothing wrong with abortion bans, states’ rights, nullification and militias.  Miele sees all of these items as totally reasonable, and he is outraged the the Associated Press would presume to write an article suggesting that any portion of Montana should be turned off by these elements of the Tea Party agenda.

This guy Miele is half a sandwich shy of a picnic, and no progressive in the Flathead Valley should ever pay 50 cents for the Flathead Interlake. Read it online, and then only for the entertainment value.