On Snakes And Pussies

by Travis Mateer

If you listened to last week’s WEEK IN REVIEW you will know the snake referenced in the title of this post is the former Sheriff of Mineral County, Mike Toth. Why is this elusive authority figure being referred to as a snake by a lawyer with a VERY influential last name in Mineral County?

My suspicion is that Lance Jasper, of Reep, Bell & Jasper, is trying to set Toth up as the convenient fall guy for the CULTURE of corruption that permeates the Sheriff’s office, so when Jasper describes the opportunity to LOP OFF THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE in actual court, well, I’m wondering about all those Jasper family donations to the political campaign of the NEW Sheriff, Ryan Funke.

The judge presiding over this shit-show, Shane Vannatta, is being VERY patient with the incredibly troubling dynamics on display. He calmly reprimanded Jasper about his use of language while also reminding this duplicitous “helper” that the legal process HE INITIATED is an adversarial one. Why do I say Lance Jasper is being duplicitous? Well, because his “help” isn’t actually help, it’s an inappropriate DIRECT line of communication with the Sheriff, Ryan Funke, who SHOULD BE going through the Mineral County Attorney’s Office on matters of getting the court specific information, like hiring policies and other basic elements of local government functioning.

Now that we’ve discussed one of the snakes who wants another snake’s head lopped off, who are the pussies in this drama? You might think this is the part where I talk about Deputy County Attorney, Wally Congdon, but you would be wrong. Pussies are people who consciously avoid difficult things, and I’m not entirely sure how consciously Wally Congdon is doing ANYTHING in his official role as Deputy County Attorney.

No, the pussies in this drama have initials like DB and they don’t act overtly in ways that would expose them to accountability. I’ll even include the LifeGuard Group in this category, since it was the Rebekah Barsotti case that put this group on my radar in the first place when a LifeGuard staff member by the name of Joe Danzer lied to my face about the LifeGuard Group’s involvement in the search for Rebekah when she was just a missing person and her family had hope that officials were capable of doing their fucking jobs.

Here is a post I wrote last February about these local helpers. From the link:

I’m also still curious why Joe Danzer, the SEARCH COORDINATOR for LifeGuard Group, seemingly lied to me about his participation in the search for Rebekah Barsotti. 

Last week I called the Sheriff’s Department, explaining that I wanted to speak with Lowell Hochhalter about any documentation that might prove Joe Danzer was being honest with me. I was told by the woman I spoke to that she would send Hochhalter an email with my contact info and my inquiry, since there is apparently no direct line that he can be reached at. So far, I haven’t heard anything back.

Did I ever hear back from Lowell Hochhalter? No, I did not. Does avoiding a journalist’s questions place Lowell Hochhalter in the pussy category? You can be the judge of that. I’m busy looking into Lowell’s interesting history, like this article I found from 2016. From the link (emphasis mine):

Leaders of “Say Something,” a touring school assemblies program about human trafficking, say their goals for the initiative are to not only increase awareness of the problem in the U.S., but to empower students to take pre-emptive action on behalf of vulnerable youth.

Currently in its fourth year of existence, Say Something has made presentations at 200 schools and in front of about 300,000 students. Say Something partners with F.R.E.E. International, an Assemblies of God U.S. Missions organization that exists to abolish modern slavery.

Say Something co-founder Lowell Hochhalter believes his experience during the past two decades, including with Youth Alive, a program of the AG’s national Youth Ministries, gives him a perspective on social problems that have become more commonplace.

“When we started with Youth Alive we were dealing with issues of drugs and alcohol for teenagers, but the more I spoke at schools and the more I talked to students, I began to realize that the issues we were dealing with were not the issues of the ‘80s and the ‘90s,” Hochhalter says. “We were not privy to it, and maybe we were just not paying attention.”

What is Lowell Hochhalter paying attention to now? Is he paying attention to my posts about his pretend anti-trafficking organization? Or maybe he’s paying attention to the people NOT mentioning his group, like Sergeant Prather on a local podcast about human trafficking, and Governor Gianforte during his State of the State address? Or maybe there are other things brewing that this Meow-Man is paying attention to, inspiring posts on Facebook like this one:

Yes, this man is on the search for COOPERATIVE LEADERSHIP while putting pictures of little girls wearing boxing gloves on his website. Maybe someone should ask the leadership of the LifeGuard Group why the leadership that already exists in this anti-trafficking field choose NOT to collaborate with him and his family-run “non-profit”?

Are there any gullible “leaders” out there considering working with this group? If so, let’s take a look at some of the other yowlers doing God’s work through this faith-based effort to stop human-trafficking, people like board president, Derek Talley:

And here is Lowell’s wife, Tammi, who is ALSO the Director of Development. No conflict there, right?

These smiles remind me of something, but I’m having difficulty putting my finger on it. Maybe this image will help describe the feeling I’m having:

That’s not quite right. Maybe this one fits the theme of the post a bit better:

Maybe by now those smiles are gone. If anything resembling “justice” still exists in this state, I’m thinking this is a more appropriate image:

If you appreciate the HISSES and MEOWS of this post, then consider making a financial contribution at my about page to keep this coverage going. Any little bit helps.

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 On Snakes And Pussies

  1. LJ says:

    LOL, you are funny! Go play with some legos with the rest of the kids your age!

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