Letters to the editor June 16

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The whole truth

It’s a sad day for the Daily Inter Lake when the front page headline article (June 9) references the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source of authority for news. I wonder if the journalist who authored the article was aware of recent scandalous issues unfolding at SPLC.

A quick online search shows multiple articles from liberal and conservative news and opinion sites opining over the resignations of senior leaders within the organization for ethics and other concerns. Bob Moser, a former SPLC employee published an article in The New Yorker after the recent firing of SPLC co-founder Morris Dees where he states several disconcerting facts about Dees and the SPLC. An article published by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council states, “More than two dozen employees have signed a letter to the SPLC board of directors, rife with ‘allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism.’”

One would hope the journalist, editor and publisher assessed the veracity of the SPLC as a journalistic source prior to publishing Sunday’s front page article.

It is noteworthy that the local and statewide sources of authority are associated with the Montana Human Rights Network: a liberal, left-leaning organization who, according to their website “Use a multi-faceted approach to expanding human rights in Montana including pursuing progressive public policy, exposing the radical right, and supporting community organizing. We use a multi-issue approach that addresses LGBT Equality, Economic Justice, Immigrant/Refugee Rights, Combating Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Tribal Sovereignty, Ending the Death Penalty, Reproductive Rights and Protecting Public Education.”

Will Randall, Travis McAdam, Cherilyn DeVries and Love Lives Here are directly associated to the Montana Human Rights Network.

Make no mistake – Ms. Gardner’s article is one-sided, leftist and clearly ideological. I hope my fellow Montanans will recognize the bias and delve into the whole truth.

—Janet Walters, Lakeside

[Editor’s Note: Thanks for writing, Janet. It’s worth noting that the reporter reached out multiple times to all of the groups listed on the hate map. Only the Last Chance Patriots returned the call, and their comments rejecting the Law Center’s findings were included in the article.]

Going back to the Dems

After abandoning the local Flathead County Democratic Party 20 years ago to be an independent, progressive, environmentalist, focused on saving grizzly bears and educating on global warming topics, I am now, in my advanced years, trying to rejoin them. I left because they were inept at closing the 70-30 gap advantage the Republican Party had over them in local elections — with no end in sight ­— due to insufficient, incompetent effort. Only those living in Whitefish, with its Democratic population advantage, or a rare couple in House District 3, could win. The Democrats seemed to be more of a friendly social club than a competitive political party.

As a result of my attending the five-hour Flathead Democrats Precinct Leaders/Activist Training on June 8, I can see a renewed professional effort to govern and do what is necessary and positive to accomplish that.

Unlike the Republican Party which actually only represents the most wealthy people of the country, and is mostly focused on making money, with everyone in it for themselves, the Democrats are a caring, considerate, compassionate group of people wanting a happy and healthy life for one and all of us, including the middle class core of America. That is most of you reading this.

Since Democrats don’t seem to know how to reach out to Republicans in our hostile partisan society, I would recommend that Republicans attend Democratic public noticed meetings and see for themselves if they wouldn’t be better off represented by Democrats. You will be welcome, and can participate, and joining the party is easy if you choose to do so. When you vote, your ballot is secret and it cannot be disclosed who you voted for.

—Bill Baum, Badrock Canyon

Dealership steps up

I just wanted to give a huge thank you to Gerrid Gandrud, the owner of Kalispell Ford, Kalispell Toyota and Kalispell VW. He stepped up and finished an offer that was given to the students of the local high schools at the beginning of the year. If you have perfect attendance during the school year your name is placed in a drawing to win a free car. Two weeks before school was out this year the schools were notified that the original sponsor was not going to honor this offer. I reached out to the Kalispell Ford, Toyota and VW dealerships and they graciously jumped on this and are making this happen for the students of the valley.

On June 15 they had the drawing for the group of students who had perfect attendance.

— Patty Smith, Kalispell

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