The Independent Record’s HD 82 Article

The Independent Record’s John Harrington profiled the candidates running for House District 82 today, and while the piece certainly didn’t go into all of the crazy details that make Kristi Allen-Gailushas the candidate she is, the piece made it abundantly clear that she’s not equipped to run a bake sale, much less represent a House District.

Allen-Gailushas has some curious ideas about education and the environment, suggesting that she would “do away with the Office of Public Instruction and the Department of Environmental Quality.”  Who needs pesky things like endorsements for teachers, content standards for education, or clean water and air? Most of those things are liberal conspiracies foisted on us by the United Nations, anyway!

Her keen understanding of all issues educational also extends to the salaries we pay teachers.  Allen-Gailushas is very upset that teachers are paid the exorbitant salaries they receive, suggesting that “it’s not about the kids anymore.”  It certainly won’t be about the kids any more when small towns are absolutely unable to recruit a single candidate for a job; it’s hard enough now; one has to wonder how many people will apply if Allen-Gailushas got her way and teachers collected minimum wage? Oh wait, the minimum wage is clearly part of a UN conspiracy, as well.

I know that Ms. Allen-Gailushas is fact-challenged; listening to her inane testimony to the Helena School Board over the past month and reducing my level of literacy reading her half-baked lawsuit have ably illustrated that she may be allergic to the truth. Montana teachers currently rank 47th in the nation in average teacher salary, and to suggest that our students would do better if we paid our teachers even less is the kind of thinking that  has made Mississippi great.

Ms. Allen-Gailushas is also quite selective about her support of the people against the TYRANNY of the government. When asked about the legal status of medical marijuana, A-G argued that the law should be repealed.

To recap, the government is taking away the rights of the people and needs to be checked, but when the public votes in a law through the initiative process and Ms. Allen-Gailushas disagrees, the “sovereignty” of the people should be ignored. I think she summarized her own philosophical depth as well as anyone could:

I don’t like the word regulation but there needs to be strict regulations put in place.”

That screeching sound you just heard was the 400 year old tradition of Enlightenment reasoning coming to a halt.

Finally, a note about the article itself. When a candidate for public office has made a series of inflammatory remarks, both online and in public, with reporters present, don’t those remarks belong in a candidate profile?

And what exactly is the IR’s position about correcting grammar and usage in quotes? 🙂

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • I'm no fan of the IR, but John Harrington may be the best reporter on staff. He did a piece on August 22 about the federal Comptroller of the Currency review of Mountain West Bank. No scare tactics, no finger pointing, just a straightforward account of the situation and its cause. Not only did he shed light on the local situation, but his clear analysis illuminates the national banking crisis as well.

    Today;s story was equally nuanced.

  • I don't really have an opinion on Harrington specifically, but I do object to your characterization of the Mountain West piece. I bank at Mountain West; I like their service, but I thought that story was really one-sided. It certainly could have used more investigation than interviewing people with a financial stake in the bank.

    To me, it seemed like the typical boosterism that I see in the IR about local businesses. While I don't think the paper needs to be in the business of attacking local business, it certainly should offer critical looks at them when discussing them.

  • Ha, yeah – the IR missed at least two 'sic's when quoting our locally flown-in anti-sex ed 'expert.' Admittedly, it would get a little bit annoying to point out every time their interviewees speak incorrectly when it occurs every other sentence.

  • Allen-Gailushas is the kind of person who shouldn't be allowed to run anything except her own life. And that includes her kids. I say that because she once opined that if she wanted to have McDonald's for three nights of the week and pizza for the other four, nobody should stop her, ergo there should not be nutrition education in the schools, because parents know best. You know, junk food every single day of the week. Parents know best. Cognitive dissonance? What's that, I'm a brick!

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