The Blame Others Strategy Is In Full Effect

by Travis Mateer

Before getting to the mill levy sore losers, I’m still reflecting on the hour-long conversation from T.J. McDermott earlier this week about his time running the Sheriff’s Office, which includes the jail.

Since McDermott is not stupid, he kept the Sheriff’s Office FAR AWAY from supporting the crisis mill levy. While yesterday’s post helps Zoom Chron readers understand the fall-out that occurred between McDermott and his former Democrat pals by illuminating the dynamics of what’s happening AROUND the jail, what’s happening INSIDE the jail is a different story.

McDermott is acutely aware of the public’s perception that more and more violent people are roaming the streets of Missoula, and that our criminal justice system is not capable of keeping the public safe from their reckless drug use and broken brains.

What is McDermott’s response to this? For a man still exploring his future options, McDermott’s response makes sense: blame anyone and anything else for the problems we see on the streets, like why this guy is back in jail:

You won’t read about Virinder’s latest escapade at KGVO because THIS assault is just a misdemeanor, and KGVO only reports on FELONY cases, like when Virinder Brar got himself arrested FOUR TIMES in just 12 days last September.

Keeping a lovely citizen like Mr. Brar locked up is NOT what our elected braintrust has in mind, hence all those diversion programs we always hear about. Even McDermott discussed the benefits of diversion programs, but with one distinction: the Sheriff’s Office has legit diversion programs, apparently, while all those other pretenders, like judges and stuff, have NOT GOOD diversion programs.

Controlling the narrative for the enforcement arm of County power is no easy task. Is that why some of T.J.’s boys are seeking MORE influence in the criminal justice system, like the failed candidacy of former Missoula Sheriff Captain, Bill Burt?

While Burt’s loss was pretty bad, I still find it concerning that thousands of votes were cast for this guy, especially when I think about the weird emails Bill Burt likes to send to Angela Mastrovito, the mother of Rebekah Barsotti.

Here’s how bad Bill Burt lost his bid to become a Justice of the Peace:

If Bill Burt is looking for something to do, I’m sure the new Sheriff of Mineral County, Ryan Funke, is looking for a few good men warm bodies to help him with the REAL diversion program run by local Sheriff Office’s, and that’s NOT INVESTIGATING crimes in the first place, or doing such a subpar job of investigating, no charges can be brought by a County Prosecutor.

If this ever comes to light, like what’s happening under the legal hammer of Mandamus in Mineral County, all it will take is MORE TAXPAYER MONEY to create a process of criminal justice PR damage control that will ensure inside players, like lawyer Lance Jasper, maintain their access to the dumpster fire; a special kind of dumpster fire that only destroys SOME lives, while perversely providing a comfortable amount of warmth to those in privileged proximity to its flames.

In other boo-hoo news, the losers of the crisis mill levy are busy blaming things like inflation for the decisive loss their levy received at the ballot box. From the Gomer link:

Whether it was inflation, the stock market or a general malaise around taxes, voters in Missoula were clear on Tuesday night, saying they weren’t ready to fund any more projects or services, at least right now.

For the first time in recent memory, Missoula voters upended two funding initiatives, one being a $19 million bond to improve the county fairgrounds and the other being a levy that would have raised $5 million annually to support crisis services.

Further down in this “article”, the threat from United Way’s ED is made clear (emphasis mine):

Without the levy, the city and county have enough funding to operate the winter shelter for one more season next winter. Without the public sector at the table, it’s unknown where the city and county will find the funding to run such operations after that.

“I think Missoula is going to have some very tough decisions to make,” said Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of the United Way of Missoula County. “There aren’t any easily identifiable sources of funding for things like the mobile support team, the planned crisis receiving center or the temporary safe outdoor space.”

What a bunch of crap. I have been writing about the untapped potential of the MILLIONS held in trust by the Headwaters Foundation for years. If this isn’t “easily identifiable” I have two suggestions: get your eyes checked, or retire, because you don’t have Engen to protect your scheming anymore.

In a different article, County Commissioner Slotnick also blames external financial realities, like the stock market, before getting to his implicit threat.

“This bond, as did the fairgrounds bond, first pushed up against some pretty strong national economic headwinds that none of us could do anything about,” began Slotnick. “Over the last year we’ve seen the stock market plummet, so for people who are in retirement or approaching retirement and have money in the stock market, they lost up to 30 percent. Everybody who faces inflation has a tougher economic task to deal with now, in fact much harder than they did a year ago, and so looking towards voluntarily coming up with more money, well it’s a really hard thing to do right now.”

“One of the big things that really makes me nervous is that in order to provide enforcement on ‘no illegal camping on public land’, we need to create legal places for people to camp,” he said. “That’s part of the deal according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and we’re going to really have to struggle to come up with the resources to keep places like the Emergency Winter Shelter and the temporary safe outdoor space open.”

The economic scapegoats of inflation and a weak stock market are being trotted out by mill levy losers because a County that voted heavily for Monica Tranel AND against the mill levy points to their own people telling them NO in numbers big enough they can’t ignore (this was pointed out to me by a more astute political observer than myself).

Now that the giving season is upon us, the Executive Director of United Way should probably chill out for a bit, because energy put into getting language changed in online news articles COULD be better spent preparing to pander to marginalized populations, like the United Way’s support of the Black Collective.

What the hell is the Montana Black Collective, you ask? Good question. From the link:

Formed in the spring of 2020 during the racial tension that was gripping the nation, our members sought to find ways of reaching out and connecting to the black population in Missoula with an eye toward developing a sense of community and a defined support network.

To that end we met and determined that in order to move forward, we had to build a structured organization aimed at developing the community we desire alongside creating a sustainable platform to dismantle racism in our community

The Missoula Black Collective seeks to engage and empower people of African ancestry living in the Missoula community.  We are committed to stimulating intellectual, political, spiritual and social growth among our members.  And to the deconstruction of racism of all forms throughout the larger community.

If you click the link you will find a webform you can fill out. This is a screenshot of mine:

If you don’t feel like donating to the United Way this holiday season, may I suggest a contribution to an independent journalist instead?

With the weekend almost here, I hope those that worked hard to acquire other people’s money take some time to gather their energy, because 2023 is gonna be here before they know it.

Thanks for reading!

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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1 Response to The Blame Others Strategy Is In Full Effect

  1. Travis,

    Frankly, I am a little surprised that the “crisis intervention” levy failed. I thought that it had a pretty good chance of passing and I mentioned that in this recent article–https://poorrogersalmanac.com/2022/11/06/you-will-be-good-dammit-or-else/

    Considering that the just-past election endorsed the attitude of staying with the status quo to solve every problem we face, it is heartening that the voters in Missoula County said, “No!”, in a resounding way. Perhaps this is a crack in the monolith that passes for conventional wisdom — authoritarian government knows what is best and will do right by its citizens and all we have to do is open our wallets and shut our mouths. On the other hand, perhaps it means that the good citizens of the county are simply tapped out and did not want another tax bill coming their way.

    It does not matter. What is important is that this attempt at enforced morality, “You will be good, dammit, or else!” went down to defeat. That alone is reason to celebrate for a moment. After that, it’s back to the grindstone.

    Thanks for sticking to it.

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