Mill Levy Mailer Propaganda Gets Jurisdictional Pinball Treatment From Conflicted Officials, And Other Stories

by Travis Mateer

Since plenty of people see a headline and surmise the content without reading it, it’s frustrating when the manipulation of a media article begins with its headline, like this Missoulian article, titled State rejects ethics complaint against city of Missoula.

Maybe I’m just nitpicking to think REJECTING something isn’t the same thing as playing jurisdictional dodgeball with the merits of mailer complaint filed by “the duo” (another odd word choice). From the link (emphasis mine):

Missoula City Councilmembers Sandra Vasecka and Daniel Carlino allege the city and county used taxpayer dollars to fund a mailer improperly supporting the crisis services levy on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The duo brought their complaint to the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices. It claims city and county officials used taxpayer dollars to fund a mailer with language “blatantly in support of the levy.”

But Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan said the complaints fall under the county attorney’s jurisdiction, not the Commissioner of Political Practices.

At issue is the neutrality of claiming people will die UNLESS voters support the mill levy. Is that a biased reading of this supposedly NON-biased language? (emphasis mine):

Vasecka and Carlino took specific issue with the sentence, “This November, voters will decide whether to fund a crisis services levy that would keep these crucial, life-saving programs moving forward.

Their complaint states this language “impl(ies) that the voter would be risking lives if they voted in opposition, and thus, the mailer is obviously in support of the levy.”

When you’re a conflicted local official willing to do sketchy things for your agenda, like spending taxpayer money to convince voters to allow conflicted officials to take MORE MONEY from them, it must be nice to have a local media outlet willing to misrepresent the actions taken toward accountability while the jurisdictional shell-game is played by cowardly protectors of the system.

While the story of the mill levy is basically over (unless the “duo” want to waste their time with the Missoula County Attorney’s Office), the “fictional” story of dead Yellowstone wolves is just getting started after last Sunday’s premier of Yellowstone’s season 5, which I wrote about here.

To better understand the national perspective on Yellowstone wolves, I did some online surfing and ran across a very in-depth article by The Intercept.

While I think the article is worth reading, I also think one should be aware of the money behind entities like “The Intercept”, which was started by billionaire Pierre Omidyar and saw one of its star journalists, Glen Greenwald, resign in disgust over The Intercepts downplaying of Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal before the 2020 election.

A more recent admission from The Intercept acknowledges its FTX financial connection, which I find hilarious.

Isn’t it funny to see a “crusading independent” news platform started by a billionaire panhandle its audience because one of its funders’ immense Ponzi scheme fell apart?

If you would like to help fund an independent journalist who DOESN’T rely on philanthropic billionaires to investigate local corruption, consider making a donation at my about page.

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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