Tagged: Tim Ravndal

Posted: January 15, 2014 at 7:51 am

Ousted Bozeman TEA Partier Hopes Belgrade Voters Haven’t Heard of Him Yet

RepTomBurnettOfficialCowgirlBlogHeadshot

Will Belgrade Take Bozeman’s Leavings?  Not Likely

An absurd former TEA Party legislator who was ousted by Bozeman voters last cycle appears to be hoping that Belgrade voters may be unfamiliar with his record and may vote him back into office.

That man is Tom Burnett, who served one term in Bozeman in 2011 and was immediately voted out in the next elect.  The former lawmaker may soon be under investigation for having been caught up in the Meth House Scandal, in which documents found at a meth house in Colorado were found to implicate certain GOP lawmakers for illegally coordinating with a dark money group, the American Tradition Partnership. But that’s just the beginning.

Tom Burnett has accused a youth support for LGBT young people in his community of meeting to recruit people into becoming gay.   He has also written that he wonders whether the high school support group would soon include pedophiles and beastiality:

“Is it only a matter of time before the umbrella covers pedophiles, necrophiles, and zoophiles? When will the high school advertise a group called Beastiality Acceptance Alliance, BAA?”

Burnett took the post down after his ravings appeared in campaign flyers and on a reporter’s blog.

But perhaps what Burnett is most known for is his obsession with preventing poor people from getting enough to eat. For a peek into the serpents’ nest of irrationality that is this guy’s brain, look no further than what he calls his “studies” which consist of lies, unsubstantiated anecdotes, and incoherent wackiness he found on the internet.

Burnett’s latest screed, released in October of 2013, is a follow up to his premier work “Childhood Hunger, the Myth” in which he reveals that pictures of fat kids he found on the internet prove that there is no such thing as childhood hunger.

His bizarre writings prove nothing other than that the snake on a yellow background is the perfect symbol for the TEA Party.

Consider Burnett in light of the recent scandal in Iowa.  That state’s top GOP-appointed public-health official resigned just last week after she was caught making unsubstantiated comments about food stamps.

“The No. 1 food item bought with food stamps in Iowa is Mountain Dew,” the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health claimed, even though states obviously don’t track such purchases.  The woman later claimed through a spokesman she “found it online” but couldn’t remember where.

After this scandal, Montanans are even less likely to put someone like this in charge of making decisions here–someone who makes things up to demonize and perpetuate stereotypes about the poor.

Burnett himself has claimed that Food stamps = Red Bull.  He’s also written that teachers are what is keeping Mexico in poverty.  Yeah.

Burnett has organized TEA Party events  with Tim Ravndal, the Helena TEA Partier who made national news for comments he made that implied support for violence against gays.Burnett also is the author of the famous bill to eliminate law that requires landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors (House Bill 354)  It made the venerated 2011 Montana Nutjob Bills list first published at Cowgirl Blog.

 

 

Posted: October 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

ATP’s Tangled Web May Snare Others

Montana’s head elections regulator ruled this week that American Tradition Partnership illegally coordinated with a GOP legislative candidate, Dan Kennedy R-Laurel.  Now, Montana’s top election regulator says he’s launching an investigation into other candidates ATP may have coordinated with.

ATP is the right-wing political attack group that was instrumental in bringing us the nation’s most bat-crap crazy state legislatures in 2011 and 2013. Kennedy’s primary opponent was but one of several GOP candidates who complained about ATPs activities to elect hard right-wingers over more moderate republicans.

As KUFM’s Dan Boyce reports, an investigation into illegal campaign activity

“is now expanding to include Continue reading

Posted: March 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Montana Republicans Reach Out to Young People

by Cowgirl

NPR is reporting this week that the GOP is trying up it’s digital game.  Republicans are taking heat because their anti-science platform and failure to embrace technology is repelling young voters.

But Montana Republicans could change the game this week at a Holiday Inn in Bozeman.

First, local repubs announced by modern email technology  that former State Senator Joe Balyeat “will deliver a powerful power point presentation” this week on “Economic Freedom.”  This is exciting stuff, and a major leap forward for the Montana GOP.  Sure, the first emails were sent in the 1960′s, but PowerPoint first came into being as recently as 1987–and will certainly appeal to the many GOP’s who are young enough to have qualified for AARP cards in the last decade.

TEA Party Republican Joe BalyeatSenator Balyeat (pictured), though not a young person himself, was once a college student and is a “former editor of The Montana Companion,” which sounds like something a lot of young people have surely heard of.  The GOP email states that Balyeat’s “list of accomplishments and awards is too long to catalogue here”–but we can at least try.  He looks like a confederate general and wrote a book about how gays, the UN, and non-christians are leading America toward an armageddon.

With such an exciting, relevant speaker, a hip venue and a fascinating topic you can see that this event will be packed with youths, and not just with older men, angry and on the fringe-of society, conspiracy-theory minded, gun-wearing, Sasquatch hunters.

In all seriousness, technology isn’t the only roadblock preventing the Montana GOP from attracting young people and women.  Who can forget the famous incident in Whitefish in 2010, when a burly guy with long white hair, tattoos and a mullet showed up at a female voter’s house with a gun on his belt and holding a clipboard.  The woman called the police. The guy left.  It was later discovered that the guy meant no harm.  He was simply a canvasser, canvassing for the GOP.

That small incident in Whitefish has also played out on a much bigger stage in Montana. The Koch brothers have repeatedly failed to find a normal person, an organizer, to lead the Montana chapter of their national group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), to go around keynoting GOP events in Montana.  The current guy is the Colonel Sanders wannabe.  The previous leader of AFP is worse.  He had been a senior member of a cult that built a $30 million underground bunker to prepare for the end of the world, which they believed would occur on April 23, 1990.

The state Tea Party hasn’t done much better than the Kochs.    One of the many leaders they’ve cycled through was showing up to legislative hearings dressed in a pirate hat, jeans and a leather jacket, and posted violent rhetoric against gays on his Facebook page.  And Republican lawmakers haven’t done much better than the TEA Party. Montana legislative leader Jason Priest was forced to apologize for anti-gay remarks he made on his Facebook page too, the Billings Gazette reported.

Ultimately, even embracing advanced 1990s technology isn’t going to help Republicans. They need to realize that their party is packed with lawmakers whose vision is morally bankrupt and that bigotry isn’t a viable ideology.  If they can’t do this, they’re going to continue to repulse young people, women, and minorities and they will continue to shrivel and shrink.

The first step of course is getting rid of Montana’s law that makes being gay an imprisonable crime. Tom Facey has a bill that would to strike the offensive language from our statutes finally passed the senate.  by passing  SB 107 has yet to be voted on in the House, though it will be any day now.

It’s time to contact the lawmakers in the House of Representatives, which you can do via this online form. FYI, you can always use the back button after submitting your message, which allows you to skip retyping all your info when you contact multiple legislators. Or you can cut and paste this list of House GOP legislators.

Only four states in the U.S. have a law this ridiculous, and Montana is still one of them.  The others are Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  That’s right, even Mississippi and Alabama don’t have this garbage in state law.

Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Next Debate Tuesday in Helena

Montana’s superintendent of public instruction Denise Juneau (D) and challenger Sandy Welch (R-TEA) will debate here in Helena on Tuesday Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gateway Center.

Welch has been aptly called “the Derek Skees of education” (the comparison extends to spelling errors) and has even been compared to Skees by the infamous TEA Partier Tim Ravndal.

To be sure, there is one difference between Skees and Welch.  Welch is a transplant from California while Skees hails from Florida.  Most recently Ravndal linked the two in a bizarre post about the supposed need to break the collaboration between Montana PBS and public radio stations. Must be a conspiracy in there somewhere. Ravndal is one of Welch’s biggest fans.

Juneau meanwhile has launched an innovative series of reforms to increase Montana’s high school graduation rate that is popular with parents, unions, and the business community alike–no small feat. So this will be a very interesting debate.

Juneau/Welch Debate
6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, September 25
Gateway Center in Helena (map)

Posted: June 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm

When the Romney Campaign Knocks, What Will It Look Like?

I keep thinking of an incident in Whitefish in 2010, when a burly guy with long white hair, tattoos and a mullet showed up at a female voter’s house with a gun on his belt and holding a clipboard.  The woman called the police. The guy left.  It was later discovered that the guy meant no harm.  He was simply a canvasser, canvassing for the GOP.

Is this what the Romney campaign will look like when it knocks on your door? And can such a fighting force compete with the Obama legions of young and progressive volunteers?

Much is made of the Obama campaign’s famous use of technology and its massive, high tech organizing methods.  But it is all rooted in an abundance of young, enthusiastic volunteers.  They are the soldiers in the largest ground attack in the history of American politics in 2008, and though there’s plenty of talk of less enthusiasm in 2012, the fighting force, if smaller and slightly less enthusiastic, is still composed of certain basic types of people that the GOP does not have.   Sure, Obama’s troops are not exactly average Americans. They are pretty liberal, sometimes very much out there.  But they are closer to normal than Tea Party activists.  And they are numerous, energetic, easily summoned, in love with Obama, and tech savvy.

Who are the Romney soldiers?  Youths? Conservative young equivalents of Obama’s progressive soldiers?  No way.  Young voters are liberal nowadays.  No such Romney army exists.

Frighteningly, Romney’s ground game, his fighting force, will be Tea Partiers.  Older men, angry and on the fringe of society, conspiracy-theory minded, gun-wearing, Sasquatch hunters.  Can such an army win a war?

It’s a huge problem for Romney.  Even if he can find a way to motivate these citizens to walk neighborhoods for him (and it is unlikely that he can), will they be up to the task?  Will they be able to operate the handheld devices that are now required for instantaneous information upload to campaign headquarters (standard gear among progressive organizers).  Will they be able to behave appropriately at the door, and come across as at least marginally normal?  Will they provide energy? Can they transmit enthusiasm? Can they be cool?  And what such wing-nuts, who worship Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, will be able to knock on a door of a Latino voter and say, “Si, se puede!”?

That small incident in Whitefish has also played out on a much bigger stage in Montana. The Koch brothers have repeatedly failed to find a normal person, an organizer, to lead the Montana chapter of their national group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP).  The current leader, just hired, looks like a confederate general, and wrote a book about how gays, the UN, and non-christians are leading America toward an armageddon. The previous leader of AFP, had been a senior member of a cult that built a $30 million underground bunker to prepare for the end of the world, which they believed would occur on April 23, 1990.  The state Tea Party hasn’t done much better than the Kochs.    One of the many leaders they’ve cycled through was showing up to legislative hearings dressed like a biker, with a bandanna on his head, jeans and a leather jacket, and posted violent rhetoric against gays on his Facebook page.  He actually got kicked out of a local Tea Party group for being too right-wing, if you can believe it.

Compare this crew to the young women and men who have volunteered and organized in Montana for Obama. They have had graduate degrees, have worked in national organizations around the country, and possess a worldly view.

Meanwhile, Obama is plucking Silicon Valley start-up types to run the technology center of his campaign.  Few such young, talented tech wizards have any desire to be a part of a Republican Presidential campaign, and so the pool of talent is very shallow for Romney.  Even with the enthusiasm deficit that Obama is in relative to 2008, I do not believe Romney will be able to mount a ground game to compete.  Romney’s deficit is greater, a deficit of youth, of soldiers, of tech talent.  A ground war is won with soldiers, not imbeciles.

Posted: May 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Meet the TEA Party GOP’s Holy Trinity of Hate

Tim Ravndal doesn't understand that no one wants to read tea-bag news.Jason Priest, GOP New Rising Star?First there was Tim Ravndal who made national news for his violent anti-gay comments  that implied his support for the public hanging of gay citizens.

Then there was Sen. Jason Priest, (R-TEA Red Lodge) who used “hateful, homophobic talk” to argue his dislike for paying taxes.

Now, there is Rep. Champ Edmunds (R), of Missoula to compete the trifecta.  Rep. Edmunds came out against a federal probe into the way the University of Montana handled (at least) 80 rape allegations.  Edmunds says the investigation is just a ruse help Joe Biden.  Intelligent Discontent has the story.  It’s today’s must read political blog post.

Posted: March 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

A Look at Who is Opposing the Helena Non-Discrimination Ordinance

An article in today’s Helena IR reported on who is opposing Helena’s non-discrimination ordinance. Here are a couple of additional pieces of information.

Leading the charge are Mike Dellwo and Tim Ravndal.  Dellwo is the principal of Helena Christian School, which is not accredited by the Board of Public Education, the entity which assures all schools in Montana meet minimum standards.  There are other private Christian schools in Montana that are accredited.  Dellwo’s is just not one of them.

TEA Party leader Tim Ravndal was forced out of one TEA Party sect after comments implying support for lynching gay people like Matthew Shepard was lynched were reported on blogs and in the state and national media.  He formed a new TEA Party group in the Helena area.

The third opponent, a Mark Seitz, is a pastor at a fundamentalist church.

Montana state law does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. This means that LGBT people can be fired from their job, denied housing, or be kicked out of a restaurant simply because they’re LGBT. The non-discrimination seeks to change that in Helena.

Posted: October 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

ANOTHER UPDATE: TEA Party Faction Who Promoted Violence Against Gays Seeks Helena City Office

A leader of a group who was ousted from the Montana TEA Party over its comments advocating violence against gays is seeking election for a Helena city board.

Last fall, Tim Ravndal was kicked out of the Big Sky Tea Party for implying that gay people should be hung like Matthew Shepard.  The story, after being featured here on the Montana Cowgirl Blog, made national news.   Upset with the ousting, Helena resident Bobbette Madonna founded the Lewis & Clark Conservative Tea Party and Ravndall was put in charge.  Bobbette Madonna stated that she was “extremely pleased” that Ravndall was elected as leader.  

Now, Bobette Madonna is one of only two candidates running for four open seats in the Helena Citizen’s Council, an advisory board of the Helena City Commission.    Unless Helenans elect three write-in candidates, Madonna will get to walk on to the council.

As of this post, there are two write-in candidates who have stepped up to the plate to run: Matthieu Oppedahl and Jessica Peterson.   UPDATE:  Kim Abbott has joined the slate of write-in candidates.  UPDATE: Michael Hand has also joined the write in slate, Michael Hand lives in District 2.

Helena citizens would do better to elect a corndog to the Citizens Council than to let this woman on the board.

 

Posted: June 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Tea Party Chief Calls for New Blood in GOP Primary

In an announcement that went unnoticed by the Montana press, the head of the Montana Conservative Tea Party has endorsed “none of the above” in the Governor’s race, and has asked right-winger Rep. Derek Skees (R-Whitefish Kalispell) to jump into the Governor’s race.

 

Tim Ravndal endorses Derek Skees for Governor.

 

 

Posted: June 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

Basement Dwelling Conspiracy Theory Party Elects Leaders

Is there anyone normal in conservative politics anymore?

The conspiracy-focused political party that was formed during the Montana Home Educator’s Convention of 1994, known as the Montana Constitution Party, has re-constituted itself by electing a bold slate of leaders to take the party forward into the 12th century.

Newly elected Constitution Party of Montana leaders include Lisa Wamsley, a frequent testifier for some of the most famous nutjob bills of the 2011 legislative session who says she has “come to the point where I don’t trust the federal government to protect us.”

Also elected were  Tom Baird – Chair of Tim Ravndal’s Really Real True Conservative TEA Party group (he was the guy that the other TEA Party kicked out after he embarrassed them by saying in public that talking about killing gays is funny), and Kurtis Oliverson, Chapter leader for the John Birch Society in Kalispell, famous for its one world government conspiracy theories.

Surprisingly, no mention of Baldo the Great Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party’s presidential nominee in 2008.  This could be because Constitution Party of Montana broke ties with the national Constitution Party in 2006 because locals viewed the national party as “too liberal.” Or, it could lend further credence to the rumors that it is not party office that Baldwin seeks, but state elected office.

The Constitution party’s platform combines the theology of Christian Reconstructionism – a strain of Christian fundamentalism that seeks to make civil law mirror Old Testament biblical law – (If you rape a woman, you have to pay her dad 40 pieces of silver–something like $500 bucks today.) – with the ideology of the anti-government “patriot ” movement.

Non-believers, including followers of mainline Christian denominations like Lutherans, could lose their right to vote and citizenship.  The party’s platform also reflects the Montana Freemen’s racist views of citizenship – that “sovereign citizens” (white Christian men) have superior rights granted directly by God. The rest of us are “14th amendment citizens” and inferior presumably because we aren’t “white” or we lack the parts any real politician needs for Twit-pic posting.