by Travis Mateer
I’ve been thinking of writing this open letter for a few weeks now, but some recent factors have made the timing ideal to state, with cautious optimism, that I may have been wrong in my cynical assessment of Daniel Carlino.
When I see Mr. Carlino getting the Gomer treatment for his worrisome vote (aligned with the two remaining conservative votes) signaling the possible existence of an independent political spine, well, I’m willing to put aside my concern that this city council position is just a stepping stone to higher office.
Because a person like that has easy levers to pull, from the perspective of a skilled political operator like GREAT LEADER and his many enablers.
One lever that’s easily yanked by this cabal is the GUILT BY ASSOCIATION card. How would this work, you ask? I’ll provide an example.
Let’s say Daniel Carlino decided to finally give me a direct call on the old telephone. Would I openly acknowledge a call like that had been placed? Nope, I wouldn’t, and a recent comment from “kevin” (not J. Kevin Hunt) shows precisely how that guilt by association is being set up.
From the comment:
I loved your film covering the TIF issue and watched the whole thing. I’ve been reading your blog off and on over the years and love when you call out the shitty developers and corrupt government in Missoula. Then I see takes like this one that are so lost in the sauce that it’s no wonder no one wants to be associated with a film that carries your name. It makes me (and likely many other rational people) question the validity of all your other work, which is a real shame.
Get your shit together and stop being such a reactionary whiner so you can be taken seriously enough in the broader community to have your good work shared with more people. And if you’re going to make claims stating that “covid vaccine bad!! mask bad!!” please link to some relevant research to back that shit up. Or stop calling yourself a “citizen journalist” and call yourself a “citizen reactionary blogger.”
Now, the coolest part of this much longer comment is the claim (not in this excerpt) that I’m trying to be a RED PILL EDGE LORD, so that is the part I chose to respond to. The other stuff is just concern trolling hoping for an unhinged response.
I offer this excerpt as evidence of the kind of mentality percolating out there in Zoom Town. IF Daniel Carlino called me on the phone, I would assume he already understands the risks associated due to this town’s political dynamics, and therefore that call would certainly give me EVEN MORE encouragement that his political spine is for real.
The documentary Engen’s Missoula is a film I am VERY proud of, and I would LOVE to take full credit for doing the heavy lifting, but, alas, I wasn’t the one bringing the Dawg Majik to the process, so already you can see the guilt by association risk being deployed by “kevin” as he pretends to compliment the moments my content align with his sense of “right think”.
I assume a hypothetical call from Daniel Carlino would entail a discussion about how to reign in the obvious Tax Increment Financing abuses so clearly on display for those paying attention. That discussion is already happening in the increasingly lively comment threads on posts about TIF, or the shitty “reporting” on TIF being spewed out by Martin “Gomer” Kidston.
I’m willing to consider any and all possibilities. For example, I attended the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival’s DocShop on art and activism, where I learned there is something called an Impact Campaign, so now I’m thinking about where I could make an appeal for funding so I can take Engen’s Missoula on a Montana road trip around this glorious state to politely shame Republicans for not doing more to take this sharp tool away from irresponsible toddlers.
Another idea that has been discussed is a citizen-led initiative to make sure the voting public is involved with ANY bonds that risk extending the tax-siphoning life of Urban Renewal Districts or, what I’m going to start calling the financial engines of Missoula’s shadow government.
If putting bonds to a vote is a solution being seriously considered, my question is this: do you REALLY trust the software? Because Republicans in Missoula DO NOT, and they have been bucking their own State leadership on this issue, and have been doing so IN SPITE OF winning big.
Weird. It’s almost like they’re legitimately worried about the actual integrity of our elections.
So, there it is. My open letter to Daniel Carlino. A young man I can only imagine having spoken with, perhaps after imbibing a strong strain of Sativa from Nick Checota’s GROOVY weed shop.