Montana Democrat Offensive Ignores Glaring Missoula Blindspot

by William Skink

Should Democrats get their defense off the field? Pete Talbot thinks yes, yes they should:

The refrain I’ve been hearing lately is that Montana Democrats need to do outreach to rural counties but should avoid topics like abortion, minority and LGBTQ rights, and environmental issues. They should focus on jobs and the economy.

Of course they need to visit the likes of Prairie, Treasure, Carter and Golden Valley Counties, and deliver a strong economic message. But they need not abandon their moral duty to women, the disenfranchised or Mother Earth.

It’s time for Democrats to go on offense and ask our country folk what the Republican Party has done for them lately.

While this strategy conceptualized by a Missoula Democrat gets floated out there about how to talk to them good ‘ol country folk, a little defense from Missoula Democrats might be necessary to protect their own end-zone from getting scored on.

The effort by Missoula City Council to alleviate property taxes with an educational donation scheme is moving forward. Spearheaded by Julie Armstrong–the councilperson who was simply shocked she had lots of aging, anxious seniors in her district dismayed at ever-increasing property taxes–Betty’s Fund will be a donation-based duplication of services that will require paid city staff to screen applicants for funds, should they materialize.

While City Council panhandles donations for property tax relief, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency hooked up a bank with over a million dollars:

On Thursday, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s Board of Directors approved $1.5 million in tax increment financing to reimburse the bank for a portion of the work. The package is contingent upon MRA’s ability to put together an acceptable financing package, which would be paid to the bank over time.

Thanks MRA, helping banks getting built really helps the public! What would we do without the MRA to grease the skids for the private sector?

While agencies like MRA help to midwife half a billion dollars of investment in Missoula, the cost of housing continues to outpace wages. Whatever shall we do? I know, how about turning to an enabler of this situation to fund another study?

“A lot of Missoulians are facing decreasing opportunities to find obtainably priced housing,” said Sam Sill with the Missoula Organization of Realtors. “This lack of affordability disrupts housing options across the income spectrum and has negative effects on the workforce, the economy and our quality of life.”

Joined by the Missoula Chamber of Commerce, the Missoula Economic Partnership and the city and county, MOR has launched a new housing study and expects to have the results by August.

“What we’re really trying to do here is take a look at the barriers to developing more obtainably priced housing and what are the solutions,” said Sill. “We want this to be something the local governments look at in terms of evaluating regulations, and also make developers aware of the tools out there that may be underutilized.”

Sure, take another look at this, MOR. Then enlighten us on the barriers to developing more obtainably priced housing in Missoula.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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10 Responses to Montana Democrat Offensive Ignores Glaring Missoula Blindspot

  1. JC says:

    ” barriers to developing more obtainably priced housing”

    If MOR were capable of self-reflection, maybe they’d see their role in price fixing. But of course they always point to regulations in an attempt to further deregulate the market, and to “tools”, which is nothing more than a euphemism for pork at the public trough.

    Maybe we just need another good ole asset/debt bubble or two to burst to bring some sanity back to “market forces.”

  2. Big Swede says:

    Someone needs to tell Pete that “environmental issues” and jobs don’t mix, especially in rural MT.

    Colstrip and other counties east of the continental divide thrive on energy development, in fact the XL pipeline will double some counties revenues because of the increases in property taxes. Free up state and federal land and see what it does to middle class job growth.

    But no, you have to lie to your hicks outside city limits. So be it. I’m glad your party is stupid enough to run a gun grabbers, lesbians, or greenies expecting different results.

    • JC says:

      Mining carbon-based fuels is the economy of the past. There are far better ways to transition rural economies to either energy sources of the future (wind, solar and nuclear fusion), or to transition them to an economy based on restoring the land base to one that supports a thriving “big open” style ranching, hunting and ecotourism economy. See the 777 Ranch in SD for an example.

      • Big Swede says:

        There’s some high paying jobs. Come see the wind mills and solar arrays here in Treasure County. And make sure you stop by our gift shops to pick up some rubber tomahawks and plastic windmills from our minimum wage smiling store clerks.

        • JC says:

          Yeh, if nothing else, we can offer job retraining skills, and translocation packages so disaffected coal miners can work on building dikes in New Orleans, Miami, New York, Jacksonville…

          Company towns like Coalstrip have come and gone since the invention of the corporation. People who move there to work and live do so with the understanding that life in a company town is transient. We owe nothing to people who work for corporations mining carbon, except a free ticket to where the water is rising, to mitigate effects there.

  3. Big Swede says:

    Is this what Pete means when he says, “going on offense”? His quote below.

    ” (and I seriously doubt they like their Pu**ies being grabbed by the likes of a Donald Trump).”

    Trump did say this but Clinton did it, in the oval office. How would our rural MT mothers like it if their 22 year old intern daughter was being taken advantage of by a serial rapist in the White House?

  4. Eric Coobs says:

    Pete is always a Pollyanna when it comes to the Dems – if you are running for an office, and you have a ‘D’ behind your name, he’ll post about how and why you will win, playing the ‘Glad’ game.

    This election is shaping up to be a 49-39-5 Gianforte win – because Quist doesn’t have any money, or name recognition. I remember hearing Tracy Velasquez in an interview years ago, when the Dems (the party of the rich) were sitting on their wallets.

    Not that it really matters – one vote in the House right now more-or-less means little to either party. They are getting ready for the 2018 elections, where the Dems have some serious defense to do, with 10 Dem Senators from States where Trump one still have Obama-era votes to defend.

    • JC says:

      Funny that you say the dems are the party of the rich when the rep candidate is a half billionaire. Montanans aren’t dumb enough to think that a personally and PAC funded campaign is reflective of a populist campaign. And those vote predictions? You’ve got no reason to assume that GG will get any more voters than the 46% he did against Bullock. My sense is that Quist has the ability to campaign to the common person in Montana, a skill that GG does not have. I think you’ve got the numbers backwards, more like 49-46, Quist.

  5. Eric says:

    Have you forgotten how much cash the Montana Dems laundered for Hillary?
    And how much was spent on her campaign?
    And the kind of cash Baucus / Tester have gotten?
    My calling the Dems the party of the rich is spot on in our era.
    The standard for Dems running for that seat over the last 8 election cycles has been about 40%, and Quist being a non-starter thus far doesn’t lead me to think he’ll do that well – thus I knocked off a point.
    The election is effectively over in 5 weeks.

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