Brittany and I had to go to the local Supermarket to pick up some stuff I needed for work around the house. We had no sooner gotten out of our van before an Ex Dillon City Councilman floored me by saying “We really need to you to start blogging and recording City Council Meetings again”.
To say I was floored would be an understatement. I really had no idea how to reply to that statement – or the person making it. Let’s see if I can explain -
When we first moved back to Montana in 2005, I quickly reconnected with my Brother, Wulfgar. We were pretty much inseparable while we were growing up and our relationship had become very estranged during the time I was in the service and the two decades after that while I lived on the coast. I can’t speak for him, but I always looked up to my younger brother and it hurt a lot that we had grown so far apart. It was amazing how much we have in common and we were able to bury the hard feelings enough to become best friends again.
I was really impressed with Wulfgar’s life here in Montana and even more so with his success at political blogging. He was a huge influence in me starting to blog. I took a little different tact with blogging than he did, though. I focused primarily on local politics. Goddess knows, there was plenty enough shenanigans here in Dillon to provide me with TONS of articles. Our local Mayor and his pet hit attorney are pieces of work….
My blog was called “Pragmatic Revolt” and it rapidly became the bane of the local City Council and Mayor Malesich. By the beginning of 2006, I was attending all the city council meetings (and recording them) and much of their monkey business found it’s way to the pages of my blog – often with video attached. I was threatened repeatedly by the Mayor and his hit attorney, Wilber Gilbert III (mustn’t forget the III). They both made it abundantly clear how much they hated my presence at meetings and multiple efforts were made to silence me. Eventually, my ISP dropped me without warning and all I could get from them was “an attorney contacted them and threatened to sue”. I wonder who that was?
Things went from bad to worse when my wife decided to run for City Council. The person she was running against was one of the Mayor’s “boys” – constantly supporting the less than above board crap the mayor was doing. That, coupled with the two attempts to recall the mayor I was involved in, must have tipped the scales. Mayor Malesich had me investigated (he claims that the Mayor is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the city and he has the right). When he found out I had a suspended licence, he and the City Councilman my wife was running against worked together to have me arrested. This made the news locally and was even reported on by the Butte newspaper.
Interestingly enough, not a single city councilman spoke out against this blatant abuse of authority by the mayor – including the very same City Councilman that said I should be recording and blogging about the misdeeds being done right now. Not one. After the election that year where Malesich was able to win re-election with less than a majority because two people ran against him, thus splitting the votes, I was done blogging about the City’s dirty laundry.
What makes this situation even more ironic is that the man who approached me about blogging the current fiasco claimed that one of the major ways Malesich was bypassing the public of Dillon was that he was arranging special council meetings during the work day to decide important issues so that the public couldn’t comment. This is ironic because when I was blogging about the antics of the city council, one of my primary complaints with the specific councilman in question was that he was scheduling meetings during the work day.
I won’t go back to blogging about local politics except in a general way. I won’t go back to spending 40 hours a week researching issues, attending meetings, recording video, composing posts, and generally working my butt off for a public that simply doesn’t give a crap about how they are being screwed over by the Mayor and his pet attorney. Moreover, if no one will speak out about his abuse of power in having a critic ARRESTED, I won’t put my butt on the line again for these people. They can deal with this crap. I will exercise my right to vote against him and leave it at that.