Mayoral Candidate Shawn Knopp Is Already Being Sniffed By Partisan Pete Talbot For Social Media Transgressions

by Travis Mateer

Yesterday I stopped by Montana Glass to talk with Shawn Knopp, the fourth candidate who beat the filing deadline on Monday to run for Mayor. It had been years since I last spoke with Knopp in my capacity as the coordinator for the Poverello Center’s Homeless Outreach Team program, but he recognized me and greeted me with a smile and a handshake.

Back then the Poverello Center had something called a “good neighbor policy”. This policy extended the behavior-based rules to the immediate surrounding around the Poverello property, so if clients were causing repeated problems for neighbors they ran the risk of temporarily losing services.

When I parked my car outside Montana Glass I noted the activity bordering on chaos in and around the street between Knopp’s employer and the Pov. Since relocating to West Broadway in 2015, Knopp and his co-workers have had a front row seat witnessing the failure of our community to address addiction, mental illness and homelessness.

Here is how proximity to what Poverello clients are experiencing is ALREADY being viewed by one partisan as a potential indicator of Knopp’s politics:

In preparation to run against Engen’s political machine, Knopp took down his personal Facebook page precisely for the reason Pete Talbot exemplifies; sniveling partisans like Pete salivate over the prospect of finding a shared Qanon post or anything that can be depicted as racist. Sorry Pete!

In my conversation with Knopp, I offered to educate his campaign on the failures of Missoula’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, and which public officials and non-profit leaders are most responsible. Hello Susan Hay Patrick!

I also offered Knopp’s campaign my powers of vocalization when it comes to personally validating the challenges businesses like Montana Glass are facing BECAUSE OF their proximity to the homeless shelter, and if anyone wants to accuse me of hating on the homeless, well, they will get a VERY informed response.

If you want to hear my lovely voice articulate this kind of stuff with an EVEN MORE knowledgeable co-host on matters of the media and political campaigns, then please tune in to my podcast Zoom Town. Here is the latest episode, recorded and released yesterday.

I know it’s hard to pay attention to politics in such a beautiful place during the season we endure 9 months of winter for, but this local election cycle has the possibility of being engaging in some unexpected ways, so stay tuned.

And if you’re feeling generous, you can learn about how to support my work here.

Thank you.

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 Mayoral Candidate Shawn Knopp Is Already Being Sniffed By Partisan Pete Talbot For Social Media Transgressions

  1. Pete Talbot says:

    I was just curious, as I imagine many others were, about Mr. Knopp so I Googled his name. Most folks when making a run for mayor have a website or Facebook page with some info. Mr. Knopp did not and I noted that. No big deal. And in case you haven’t noticed, I no longer have a platform to advance political commentary, like you do. Since you’re the resident expert on homelessness, city politics, hyperbole and hypocrisy, I leave the blogosphere in your capable hands.

  2. Pete Talbot says:

    My fault for basically two of the same comments. The first one didn’t post so I tried it again then, wham!, both appeared simultaneously. Feel free to take one of them down (although I thought better and took “clueless asshole” out of the second comment, so it’s your call).

  3. Pete, if you have a Facebook account, and you use it, then you have a platform, especially in a small town like Missoula with your family history:

    So spare me the downplaying of your influence, the effective deployment of local political power rarely makes it to public platforms these days, not when people like our County Commissioners use public/private partnerships to hide their scheming.

    • Pete Talbot says:

      I tend to use my Facebook page with the very small following it has to post pictures of my grandkids and various misadventures of mine. I have no desire to weigh in on the mayoral race. As you and I both know, Engen is going to win by a landslide.

  4. John says:

    Someone needs to point out the fact that he didn’t really get the water system the Montana supreme Court overturned that decision in the city the Missoula current The Missoulian nobody will do an article about it

    Seems to me that’s his Achilles heel

    his 10-year plan to end homelessness now includes covid and cares act money which was non-existent 3 years ago

    Motel sits vacant @420 west Broadway perfect shelter

    Then you could approach what does he really get paid zip recruiter says it’s 172,000

    The mayor in the city say it’s somewhere between 75 and 90,000

    If you count that up if he’s making $172,000 a year he makes $380 an hour a full-time service worker makes $385 a week before taxes

    Having produced his tax returns and prove that he’s not taking money development deals on the side while he’s mayor….

    • Pete Talbot says:

      Another articulate fan of Reptile Dysfunction.

      • I’d like to hear from you why you’ll be voting for Engen.

        • Pete Talbot says:

          What I said was Engen will win by a landslide. I did not say I was voting for him. In his last election (2017), though, Engen won by 3,766 votes (12,712-8,946) or over 17 percentage points against a single candidate. It was Lisa Triepke, who had a decently funded campaign and a media presence. (2021 Mayoral candidate Greg Strandberg said she came “within 10% of Engen,” indicating his math skills, but I digress.) This year, there are three candidates opposing Engen: Starndberg, Jacob Elder (whose campaign is imploding) and Shawn Knopp. I have yet to see anything concerning Knopp’s platform. As mentioned, Knopp’s workplace proximity to the Poverello could be his motivation, and perhaps a legitimate gripe, although I don’t believe Engen had much to do with the Pov’s new location. Anyway, until I learn more about Knopp, I have not committed to a candidate.

    • That’s not accurate. The MT Supreme Court upheld the City’s acquisition of the water system three years ago. The recent (third) MT Supreme Court decision vacated the District Judge’s subsequent order as to final compensation amount, costs, and attorney fees, because for some reason the City opposed, and the judge denied, Carlyle’s motion to disqualify the judge after her refusal to permit discovery by Carlyle of City litigation cost records was reversed by the MT Supreme Court in the second appeal to the Supremes. State statute requires such disqualification on motion of a party when a ruling by the judge is vacated by the MT Supreme Court prior to the end of a case. Those money items will be reconsidered by a different judge, and that ruling might be appealed, but the water system is now owned by the City, and that’s a final decision.

  5. There are MANY sketchy payments to Engen that should be investigated. A few years ago, he submitted a bill for compensation of mileage that claimed he had driven the equivalent of driving to Wibaux and back every three days. A citizen wrote about this in a published letter to the Editor in the Missoulian, providing the accurate arithmetic, but no councilperson questioned this, and neither did any other citizen make an issue of it.

    As for Mr. Knopp, he will appeal to the populist sentiment rightfully upset over skyrocketing property taxes, but he is just another developer, one who thinks Engen and the council are too hostile to development when, in fact, their policies lavish millions on multistate development consortiums, drive up property taxes, and displace middle and lower working class residents and fixed income retirees while replacing them with very wealthy transplants who can afford to live anywhere they want, under the guise of remedying the housing emergency.

    This Engen agenda has driven the average Missoulian elsewhere and imported out-of-state 1%-ers to the point that right now, FORTY PERCENT of Missoula residents derive 100% of their income passively from COLLECTING RENTS and dividends. That is SHOCKING and has made Missoula #33 of all U.S. cities in income/weaath inequality.

    Meanwhile, consider Engen’s brazen efforts to stifle public comment on his sweetheart deal to give $16.5 million to Wisconsin multimillionaire carpetbagger Nick Checota for the since-abandoned construction of The Drift, a massive complex of luxury hotel rooms, high-end condos, restaurant and concert hall to expand Checota’s already monopolistic music venue empire, a use of TIF subsidy that would yield ZERO housing units much less any affordable ones. Engen abruptly moved the hearing date on that massive public subsidy to a multimilionaire, from a regular Monday evening Council meeting to a 2:15 pm time FIVE DAYS EARLIER, catching even the Council off guard and preventing working people from attending. I was the only one to accidentally catch this chicanery and I rushed ot the hearing, testified against this $16.5 million gift to a multimillionaire, and objected to Engen’s last minute acceleration of the public meeting date while the City Clerk was out of town. Engen’s reposnse was that he had to do that to get the project approved immediately in order to “get ahead of rumors” that he never identified.

    There is no smoking gun evidencing corruption on Engen’s part, but this and other episodes certainly are consistent with those one observes in cases of public officials engaged in graft.

    For that reason, I will vote for someone other than Engen, despite there being no peoples’ candidate and one of them having a Messiah complex. Engen will win, and for that reason it is IMPERATIVE that Nugent be defeated in Ward 4, Carlino be elected in Ward 3, and that voters do their research on the four candidates including myself, running in Ward 1.

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