Flying high

It will be hard for [Sen. Steve] Daines to travel to and from Montana since United is also no longer issuing discounts to NRA members (“On the Record,” March 1). Diamond Status on Delta? I’m sure that status came courtesy of the American taxpayer, paying for Daines’ junkets to who knows where.

Jim Frisk

Spectator sport

The NRA is just another convenient broker to funnel money to politicians. The investor can protect their investment in politicians and things that go boom. Politics has become just another marketplace, and the average American is not allowed to participate except as a casual observer.

Dan Hutchinson

Place of pride

I left the forum proud of the women who organized the event, and who have developed the programs UM now touts as evidence that everyone is doing everything they can (“Etc: At UM, winning isn’t everything — it’s the only thing,” March 1). It remains to be seen what the culture will do. I appreciated the forum’s emphasis on changing the entire culture — not only the culture of UM/Griz Nation.

Grace McNamee Decker

Blogging, probably

Jeez, the most toxic environment in Missoula seems to be the result of predatory journalism acting as antagonistic or more than Hauck ever did. Rather than an olive branch, the Missoulian and Independent come holding sharpened sticks, pickets and a noose. The city’s journalists act more like a lynch mob looking to stir the pot. Missoula, where have all the good folks gone?

Kory Bleak

Put up or shut up

Words and actions are quite different things. I heard some great things both from Bodnar and coach Hauck. Let’s hope that they do get it, because our community is engaged, and we expect action not just words.

Nathan Stephens

Be the change

Why is it that our political parties are so disagreeable, while we still visit with each other over coffee? The answer is that our political parties in Montana are no longer drawing their direction from our grassroots. Including Libertarians, of the 4,758 precinct vacancies in the June 2014 primary election, only 571 positions were filled by properly filing a Declaration for Nomination and Oath of Candidacy in a County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

Of more concern, only 10 of 168 potential county party committees achieved 50 percent of precinct positions represented, the parliamentary threshold for even calling a meeting, choosing officers for the two-year cycle or sending county delegates to state central committee policy gatherings or nominating conventions. Three were Democrat, seven were Republican. In other words, regardless of party, a tiny minority of Montanans has been left to speak for a huge voiceless majority.

We can work together, regardless of party, to make changes to the system envisioned by the non-partisan People’s Power League of 1911-1912, and protected from the Anaconda Company by the Non-Partisan League in 1919-1920. This seems the best way to place free speech on the same playing field with moneyed speech. Virtuous citizens motivated enough to stand on their own feet in their chosen political party and represent their neighbors in their respective precinct must file by 5 p.m. March 12, 2018. County Commissioners will declare unopposed candidates elected. Names of citizens vying for the same position will be on the ballot.

John Driscoll


My friend Josh

I am beyond excited to endorse Josh Slotnick for county commissioner, and hope you will take the time to learn about — and vote for — him. We both moved here to go to college in the early ’80s from our respective Dakotas, and immediately became fast friends. After college, he moved to Thailand for the Peace Corp. We reunited back in Missoula eight years later with kids and spouses in tow (at the farmers market). By then he’d studied permaculture and started a small family farm growing organic veggies. My friend was now a farmer, an entrepreneur and a family man. Wow! We both became educators at UM — and he frequently guest lectures in my sustainability classes. He is engaged, a great listener and so innately inquisitive — all great traits for a civic leader! He started the bountiful PEAS Farm, and together we were involved with building affordable and sustainable housing through service work with Homeword. He is humble, articulate, keenly intellectual, and has the ability to synthesize lots of information and envision change. I am so proud to call him a lifetime friend, and I can guarantee he will represent us proudly as our county commissioner.

Lisa Swallow


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