The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


31 May 2012

Censorship at Flathead High, cheap shot at Tutvedt, Perry’s pussyfooting, & I-166

Censorship is alive and well at Flathead High School, reports the Montana ACLU and the Montana Cowgirl blog. According to the ACLU, a student was forced “…to change her shirt saying, ‘Legalize Gay,’ or to go home.” Some of her classmates organized a protest supporting her exercise of free speech.

There are two possible explanations for the behavior of the school’s authorities: (a) it was a standard end-of-the-school-year bully boy reminder of who’s in charge, possibly coupled with a desire to retaliate against a student the authorities didn’t like, or (b) it was a maladroit attempt to support the student’s message. I’ going with Explanation A.


Cheap shot at Tutvedt. Prominent Kalispell Democrat Dale McGarvey took what I consider a cheap shot at Republican State Senator Bruce Tutvedt with a front page advertisement in today’s Daily InterLake. Tutvedt, together with senate cosponsors Carmine Mowbray (R-Polson) and Bradley Hamlett (D-Cascade), carried SB-409, a bill establishing valuation methods for leases and sales of state lands. As a result, the annual lease for the Girl Scouts camp on Lower Stillwater Lake will increase from $5,000 to $25,000.

That may be more than the Girl Scouts can afford — but Montana’s constitution requires obtaining full value from state lands, so there’s nothing nefarious about SB-409, which passed both houses with huge majorities. McGarvey has a long record of supporting education, which is in part supported by revenues from state lands — so why did he run this ad? Does he want Rollan Roberts II to win the GOP nomination for SD-3?


Perry’s pussyfooting. Democrat Zac Perry is again running for the legislature in House District 3, which encompasses Columbia Falls and points north. And once again, his Republican opponent is Jerry O’Neil, a politician not unknown in the Flathead. In today’s InterLake, Perry starts a letter with “I understand and respect the current HD3 incumbent’s position….”

Memo to Perry: this is the kind of pussyfooting that loses elections. Not only is it okay to utter your opponent’s name, it’s actually helpful. And stop writing letters to the editor. Candidates should write opeds.


Gather signatures for I-166. Tim Baldwin, the GOP candidate for House District 4, recently published a well written and well worth reading essay in support of I-166, the initiative that, if it makes the ballot for November, would write into law the principle that corporations are not people. Stand with Montana, the organization behind I-166, needs help gathering signatures at the polls on 5 June. If you support I-166, please consider manning a clipboard and petition station on election day.

(Note. Stand with Montana’s website is quirky and not Mac friendly, but you should be able to find a way to contact the head honchos and volunteer to gather signatures.)