Uncommon Ground

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

The politics of pure ideology grinds harshly on working families and struggling hometown people

By Mike Jopek

Calling all people of the Flathead. Consider paying attention. There’s good momentum brewing in the valley and you should help. It won’t cost much. The community return is big.

It’s not hard to grasp that many locals were beaten back during the pandemic. We’re sick and tired of extreme politics and dislike the behavior from Montana politicians who spend their elected time tearing down our great state and communities. 

One bright beacon is a candidate from Columbia Falls who’s likely to reinvigorate your dedication to our valley. You should help her win and do it the old-fashioned way, donate to her campaign, even $20 provides key support. 

It’s easy to tear down, much harder to build up. We’ve seen much bad behavior emanating from Helena and D.C. The politics of pure ideology grinds harshly on working families and struggling hometown people. Even locally, Flathead County is methodically dismantling of our public libraries, one book, one staff member at a time. 

We can pretend that such blowhard condescendence bears little consequences for working people. That’s not true. Go try to rent a home or buy a place to live in the Flathead. As ideologue politicians are warring their latest and greatest political crusade, they’re ignoring big local issues of livelihood and security.

The Montana Legislature’s refusal to mitigate homeowner property tax reappraisals over the last decade have cost local taxpayers plenty. So much that when a statewide citizen’s initiative pops up in the valley, many local homeowners will sign the petition to cap skyrocketing, market-driven property taxes.

I digress, I’m not here today to argue taxes. I personally believe they’re far too high for people who live in their homes. 

I’d prefer to invest this week’s remaining words, impressing upon my Montana friends to trust that good hometown people can make big stuff happen in the valley. Often it takes time, lots of hard work, or years of effort. But kind, straightforward and honest solutions invigorate community support.

Today I modestly ask for your hard-earned dollars to help Andrea Getts from Columbia Falls win a state legislative race. I know this firsthand, it costs real money to run an effective campaign. It’ll take hundreds of small individual donations to send Getts to Helena to work for the people living in her hometown area.

Andrea Getts graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2014 and Brigham Young University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Phycology. She’s an AmeriCorps VISTA alum serving two years, and a sixth generation Montanan. She’s from a big local family, works hard in her hometown and is a candidate to represent all the people of House District 3.

“I appreciate the heritage of our home. I was raised on small town, family based, Columbia Falls values and am not going to turn my back on what I know,” writes Getts on her webpage. “I am here to work toward solutions, not divide our community,” she continues.

Two decades ago, as a young candidate myself running to represent the people of the Whitefish area, hundreds of local people donated small amounts of their hard-earned cash to our winning campaigns. Those early dollars really helped and pushed our efforts of listening to people onto neighborhood doors, throughout downtown, and in local newspapers. 

That was a long time ago, yet strong values remain true. Hard work and representing people are key to democracy. There’s a lot of good Getts could do representing locals around Columbia Falls. 

Trust me on this one. Be kind my friend. Smartly invest some early money into the Andrea Getts campaign to represent the people of House District 3 around Columbia Falls. Do it today. 

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