The Missoulian is reporting that a cabal of far right wingers that are part of a “fringe political element” has launched a campaign to take over the board of trustees at Flathead Valley Community College.
I can understand why local community leaders are afraid. School board races are often the starting points of future political careers, and the slate of far-right extremists will only end up dragging area schools into senseless and divisive “culture war” battles on issues that have nothing to do with public education, solely to promote their far-right views.
What’s worse, the move comes on the heels of Chuck Baldwin’s tirade in favor of making Montana into a right-wing mecca and that his machinations are in preparation for “a coming battle.” (Baldwin is the father of sect member Tim Baldwin.)
As the Missoulian reports, in addition to Ed Berry, the founder of Montana’s most extreme online forums Edberry.com and PolyMontana.com, the challengers running for three of four open college trustee positions are:
“Tim Baldwin, an attorney and the son of Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 presidential nominee for the national Constitution Party;”
“Roland Horst of Bigfork, where he is a board member of the Prolife Coalition” - the group whose leader was raided for Medicaid fraud; and,
“Glenn Wehe of Columbia Falls, a board member on the Evergreen School District and an active supporter of Senate Bill 114, which would have given county sheriffs authority trumping that of the federal government” – one of the nuttiest bills of the Legislative Session.
The candidates are so far to the right that even local conservatives are coming out in opposition to the extremists.
No doubt the extremists will pull the old “they’re lying about me!” response, but I don’t see where the wiggle room is. You lead these movements, you live with the consequences. You start a forum for the most far-right commentary in the state, you own it (like Obama owning Jeremiah Wright. Remember that, Ed?). You join a board of directors led by a woman suspected of defrauding the taxpayers of Montana, you own that too.