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Montana Tea Party Members Back Canned President

Jim Burroway

September 9th, 2010
Former Montana Tea Party President Tim Ravndal

Former Montana Tea Party President Tim Ravndal

When the board of Montana’s Big Sky Tea Party Association voted to remove president Tim Ravndal over comments he posted on Facebook which appeared to have mocked Matthew Shepard’s murder, Tea Party leaders characterized the move as evidence that the Tea Party is not interested in anti-gay issues. But it turns out that grass roots members of Montana’s Tea Party are very interested, and are voicing their objection to Ravndal’s removal. The the board has now promised to consider reinstating his membership:

[Board member Tom Baird] called the move [to remove Ravndal] “a knee-jerk reaction that cannot be reversed.” He abruptly left the meeting, saying he was resigning from the organization. “My worry is that the association will turn tail and run in the opposite direction,” he said.

Board member Bobette Madonna abstained from that vote, but joined the group consensus that Ravndal could have been perhaps just reprimanded and removed from leadership, and that the complete ejection was too quick and harsh.

“What happened to Tim is cruel, it’s unnecessary,” said Madonna. “They’re making a fool of people who are responsible and decent.”

Kristi Allen-Gailushas, a GOP nominee for state legislator, had resigned her position as the group’s secretary and posted a comment on her Facebook page announcing, “The Gay community wants a war….They’ve got one!!” According to the Helena Independent’s account of the Big Sky Tea Party Tuesday night meeting, her post wasn’t discussed. In fact, there doesn’t even appear to be that much discussion over Ravndal’s post either, just the fallout and the need for damage control. Board chairman Roger Nummerdor remarked, “It’s such a small comment, but it has big implications. And the implications will hurt us, You know as well as I do they’re looking for a target.”

Comments

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TampaZeke
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

At least they’re being honest about why it was that they took action and what exactly it was about the comment that they found offensive and potentially hurtful.

They were offended that homosexuals would use it to attack their group and knew that the anti-gay comment would be hurtful to, wait for it, wait for it, THEM!

Tell me again how the Teabaggers are only concerned with fiscal responsibility and aren’t the rabid anti-gay social conservatives that we’ve come to expect from the Republican base.

I’m have a very hard time figuring out how anyone was able to come to that conclusion.

Timothy Kincaid
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

…Tea Party leaders characterized the move as evidence that the Tea Party is not interested in anti-gay issues. But it turns out that grass roots members of Montana’s Tea Party are very interested, and are voicing their objection to Ravndal’s removal.

I read the article and came to the EXACT OPPOSITE conclusion.

Ravndal was running away from his comment as quickly as he could and the rest seemed to be far more interested in whether the board was too hasty in booting him or whether they should have just quietly removed him from power. Mostly it seemed to be annoyance that they are now in this media spotlight.

What I DID NOT see was any desire by this group to take up Allen-Gailushas’ war or to discuss gay issues much at all (although I’m not sure what the sex-ed issue is about).

I am in complete agreement that the Tea Party movement is not comprised of gay allies. But I see this as a reaffirmation that they aren’t interested at this time in fighting Teh Ghey and see it as a distraction from their real goals.

Regan DuCasse
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

Yeesh. This guy and that Q’ran burning whack job in Gainesville look like they were separated at birth.

Plug ugly. Both of them. Must suck to be people who, if it weren’t for a few issues guaranteed to piss people off, they don’t have much of a life.

They need stunts and hyperbole to get anyone to pay attention to them.
Seriously.
How pathetic is that?

Samiimas
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

The teabaggers think it’s “responsible and decent.” to make fun of Mathew Sheppards murder and Timothy is still trying to defend them? Why am I not surprised. Is their any amount of evidence that could get him to stop pushing this “well the tea party really is on our side…” idea?

Timothy Kincaid
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

hey penguinsaur (aka Samiimas), did you change your name because you know that your comment is completely loony? I guess my only response would be:

I am in complete agreement that the Tea Party movement is not comprised of gay allies. But I see this as a reaffirmation that they aren’t interested at this time in fighting Teh Ghey and see it as a distraction from their real goals.

Penguinsaur
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

actually my name just didn’t come up like usual and I couldn’t remember which I used on this site.

And I’m aware you put that handy disclaimer on your post. Doesn’t change my point that you do constantly defend the tea party. Any time one of them get’s interviewed and is smart enough to keep to their script about taxes and government spending you declare it to be proof that the tea party doesn’t care about gays at all when the polls show over 80% opposing gay marriage.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/14/us/politics/20100414-tea-party-poll-graphic.html?ref=politics#tab=6

Timothy Kincaid
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

penguinsaur,

You must not be reading me very carefully. I don’t “defend” the Tea Party movement, I simply want it to be portrayed accurately.

These are not our buddies. Some of them are ignorant, superstitious, ill-informed, and not very bright. Few favor gay rights and even fewer favor marriage equality.

However, it is not smart to insist that they are really organized to oppose our community, all fired up to fight gay rights, or even “very interested” in anti-gay issues, when we see over and over and over and over that this is not what is motivating them at all.

It’s like insisting that because everyone in the family likes hot-dogs that therefore Thanksgiving is really a hot-dog eating contest. It just doesn’t follow.

Surely you agree that it is possible to be anti-gay without meeting for the purpose of engaging in anti-gay activism, don’t you?

Jason D
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

Peng, you have to give Timothy some credit here.

While they may be answering “yes” to anti-gay survey questions, when they get to the “What are you doing about it?” question the answer appears to be “nothing”.

Not true across the board, but it seems they’re content to dislike us on paper.

Chris McCoy
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

Jason D said:

While they may be answering “yes” to anti-gay survey questions, when they get to the “What are you doing about it?” question the answer appears to be “nothing”.

So, in the long term, if/when Tea Party activist economic objectives are met, what then?

The economy and immigration are current events. I believe that many of these people, once elected, and successfully rush through legislation to achieve these short-term goals, will fall back on the same old long-term bigotry and hate we’ve come to know and dread.

I am not willing to vote for short-term financial objectives, and ignore long-term social consequences.

I think the more realistic scenario is:
Q: “What are you doing about it?”
A: “Nothing…for now.”

Jason D
September 9th, 2010 | LINK

Chris this is a good point,

I think the more realistic scenario is:
Q: “What are you doing about it?”
A: “Nothing…for now.”

but I look at it this way, I wish NOM, FRC, PFOX, AFA, CWFA, were all as active in opposing our rights as the Tea Party.

Priya Lynn
September 10th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy said “However, it is not smart to insist that they are really organized to oppose our community, all fired up to fight gay rights, or even “very interested” in anti-gay issues, when we see over and over and over and over that this is not what is motivating them at all.”.

That may be true now, but if elected they will oppose the LGBT community whenever the opportunity arises. Its a bad idea for any LGBT person to support the tea party on the assumption that they’re never going to hurt us.

Other Fred in the UK
September 11th, 2010 | LINK

@ Chris McCoy

I agree that the Tea Party in themselves are not good for gay rights, I see them as a means to the end of breaking the stranglehold on power the Religious Right has within the Republican party. While my enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend he may be a useful ally.

Also while it may be possible to deal with illegal immigration, controlling the Federal budget is a never ending battle enough to keep politicians busy.

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