by Travis Mateer
When I saw the headline that Missoula legislators were sharing their priorities for the upcoming session, I knew the Representative for District 45 would come locked and loaded. Ellie Boldman (no longer) Smith didn’t disappoint. From the link:
Good riddance, 2020. Like many of you, it hurt. We cancelled my parents 50th wedding anniversary, my son missed first grade, several businesses shuttered, and my family was literally evacuated on a flight from South Africa. When my hometown newspaper asked what my legislative priorities will be, my first response: to survive.
Where to start with this? How about WHY Ellie Boldman was in South Africa, in March, during a pandemic. According to this article from the Missoula Current, Boldman was there to promote STEM education to poor African girls and to help Boldman help Africa, she got a $10,000 dollar grant. From the link:
A team of Montanans – high on solving the lack of science and math in South African schools – has won the first-ever Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund award.
The group will teach vital STEM curricula to girls in sub-Saharan Africa early in 2020. The $10,000 grant will cover the faculty’s work in March.
Comprised of Missoula lawyer Ellie Hill Smith, University of Montana chemistry graduate Tyler Smith, plus two Great Falls retired math professors, the team’s plan is one of 25 winning projects selected.
“There were a lot of other Montana agencies that applied,” Hill told the Missoula Current. “This is a brand new funding source. We try to replicate what we’re doing in Montana at schools around the world.”
I wrote about this educational trip earlier this year and noted at the time how the MC article failed to disclose that the Montana chemistry graduate, Tyler Smith, was also Ellie Boldman’s husband.
After surviving South Africa, Ellie Boldman returned to our humble little valley where the Covid pandemic was adding fuel to the already smoldering financial struggles of many local small businesses. How was this lawyer/budding Cannabis entrepreneur going to survive?
With the help TWO Covid relief grants, one for Ellie Hill Smith Law Office, and one for Willow Bark Science, as evidenced by the screen-shot below.
I would REALLY like to know more about the application Willow Bark Science filed with Missoula County to receive $25,000, especially considering Ellie Boldman was told by a court injunction to divest from Willow Bark Science, which I wrote about last week. Here is the relevant quote from the Missoula Current article:
The parties agreed to a stipulated preliminary injunction in December that granted permits for Lionheart and Big Sky in exchange for a commitment for the providers to follow tracking regulations via Metrc when using Willow Bark’s lab. Another stipulation was that Hill divest from Willow Bark, as the health department did not want a conflict of interest if marijuana products produced at Willow Bark were tested at White Buffalo, the marijuana testing lab owned by her husband.
I haven’t seen any more recent reporting on this, but I suspect the fact Ellie Boldman dropped the “Smith” from her name could indicate Tyler Smith is no longer, legally, her husband.
Marital status aside, taking Covid relief money means REPORTING what you are doing with that money, which Melissa Gordon, Program Manager for Grants and Community Programs, made abundantly clear in this article:
“The term of the grant is three months, it’s January 1 through March 31,” she said. “At the end of that time, each recipient will need to provide both a program and a financial report to the county to ensure that the funds were spent as they were intended.”
Ellie Boldman (no longer) Smith explained her intent upon returning to Missoula from her trip to Africa: to survive.
Don’t be some jealous hater just because YOU didn’t think of snagging $50,000 in Covid relief money.
After engaging in some REPUBLICAN BAD fear mongering about what the Democrat bloodbath might mean for her constituents (who weren’t smart enough to cash in on a pandemic), Boldman states her priorities:
My legislative priorities, as always, are to defend our constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, to support a world-class public education, and to fight, without hesitation, for equality, and reproductive and economic justice. Minority voices will be heard and the fight will be real.
And she ends with “And for God’s sake, wear a mask!”
I look forward to following the continued work of this valiant pubic servant.
Later today I’m hoping to put out a 19 minute intro to the podcast I’m launching this year, but technology seems to always take me longer to navigate than I anticipate.
Regardless, stay tuned…