Montana Tea Party leader canned over anti-gay comments

Last week, Nick Seaver wrote about the heinous anti-gay comments from Tim Ravndal, the President of the Montana Teabaggers:

The comments on his original post turned to jokes about murdering gay people, using the murder of Matthew Shepard as a joke.

Over the weekend, Ravndal lost his job:

The Big Sky Tea Party Association removed its president, Tim Ravndal, after inflammatory comments from his Facebook page surfaced in national blogs and local media.

In a press release, Board Chair Jim Walker of the Tea Party group based out of Helena, called Ravndal’s comments “unacceptable,” and said that the group learned about them Saturday, when an article about the comments was published in the Tribune.

The exchange between Ravndal and another Facebook user named Dennis Scranton was originally posted on July 23 on Ravndal’s personal Facebook page.

According to other Big Sky Teabaggers, the group doesn’t do social issues:

Roger Nummerdor, a former president and current member of the association’s board or directors, said Ravndal’s statements were “completely” outside the Big Sky Tea Party’s mission statement, which he said focuses on such principles as limited government and fiscal accountability on a government level.

“We try not to go outside that scope,” Nummerdor said.

UPDATE: Montana CowGirl reports that not all the Teabaggers in Montana are on board with this leave-the-gays alone strategy. In fact, Kristi Allen-Gailushas, “who is listed as secretary on the Big Sky Tea Party Association website” and also GOP candidate for State Rep., has “Declare[d] War on ‘the Gay Community.'” That one is a real piece of work.

Last week, Chris Johnson wrote an article in the Washington Blade along those same lines of the teabaggers not taking on LGBT issues:

The Tea Party is making headlines for energizing the Republican Party base and ousting incumbent GOP lawmakers from Congress, but some observers say the movement is having limited impact on LGBT issues.

The movement is focused on economic issues and limited government rather than anti-gay rhetoric in its bid for growth and acceptance.

Michael Cole, a Human Rights Campaign spokesperson, said the Tea Party movement has “taken a lot of the wind out of the LGBT demagoguery sails.”

“Their relentless focus on economic issues has really taken a lot of the attention away from some of the attacks on LGBT people that we usually see from elements of the conservative movement,” he said.

I think it still remains to be seen. I don’t think we’re going to find LGBT champions among the candidates supported by the teabaggers.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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