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Republican Mocks Single Mothers, Tells His Tenants To Die ASAP This is not an April fools joke
Posted: 11 April 2013 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I at first thought the letter this article connected to was a hoax since the state representative sent it out on April 1.  Apparently, it wasn’t: 

http://mtstreetfighter.com/republican-mocks-single-mothers-and-tells-his-tenants-to-die-asap/

Republican Mocks Single Mothers, Tells His Tenants To Die ASAP
This is not an April fools joke

By Montana Street Fighter, on April 5, 2013 | 57 Comments
This guy…

Rep. Hagstrom

Need more evidence that Republicans in the Montana House of Representatives are total whack jobs?  Read this letter in which a House Republican mocks single mothers and hungry kids and tells his tenants they should die sooner.

This month, Dave Hagstrom (R-Billings) sent his tenants one of the most bizarre and distrubing letters you might ever read.  Hagstrom works for the Affordable Housing Development in Billings.

In a lengthy letter (that is very much worth reading and can be found HERE), Hagstrom tells his tenants – you know, the people who pay him rent every month – that they are living “a fairly-tale life-style.” What “fairly-tale” means remains a mystery.  Maybe Hagstrom meant to write “fairy-tale.”

The letter then gets extremely bizarre and mildly creepy when Hagstrom writes, “I feel it would not be loving of me not warn you about” the impending social crises facing Montana.

Hagstom contends that the root of all our problems “is a very bad practice” of providing “free healthcare services at Riverstone Health, more money for food in schools for the kids, more money to help pregnant single moms stop smoking, more money to help elderly people get out of nursing homes and get individualized care in their own homes, etc.”

If that weren’t enough, the Representative from Billings goes on to mock single mothers.  The government “creates a mindset that if I have kids and their dads are dead-beats, the government should buy my groceries and help me get a job while they provide day-care for my kids and send me to school to educate me so I can get a better job.”

You literally can’t make this stuff up.  For good measure, Hagstrom also mocks school programs that feed hungry kids.

In Hagstrom’s closing, he makes five recommendations to his tenants.  The first is the most notable and disturbing.  He recommends that “you accept that not everyone, including yourself, needs to live as long as they currently do, or as ‘comfortably’ as they currently do.”

That’s right.  Go and die as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Hagstrom was also one of three legislators to vote against assisting veterans returning home with affordable housing.  This from the man who works for the Affordable Housing Development in Billings.

Here is part of the letter:  http://mtstreetfighter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Letter.pdf

My recommendation is this:
First, you accept that not everyone, including yourself, needs to live as long as they currently do, or as “comfortably” as they currently do.
Second, you accept the fact that you and your neighbor are going to have to work harder than ever, maybe take a second or third job and live on less.

Third, that you plan to take your own health seriously and assume it is your responsibility to be more healthy by getting more exercise, watching less tv, and eating cleaner, cheaper and healthier food than you have been.

Fourth, that you manage the relationships in your life by removing those friendships that are abusive and destructive.

Fifth, that you begin taking into your life those family members who need help even if you could pawn them off on the government.

No, we should all die as soon as possible and NOT consider the ‘Right to pursue happiness’

Second: you’d be surprised how many people already have three jobs and still can’t make ends meet.

Third: ‘eating cleaner, cheaper and healthier food’ Good and healthy food is NOT cheap so many people just eat pasta or bread rather than a salad, or meat, or fruit…........they simply cannot afford those.

Fourth: Getting rid of abusive and destructive people can be an expensive process and typically requires police and court involvement.

Fifth: Many families are already doing this and those households have become multi-generational.

Let’s go back though to ‘abusive and destructive people’ and I believe the first we should get rid of is the author of this letter.

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Posted: 11 April 2013 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Here’s an interview with the

http://helenavigilante.com/archives/10194

Why did a Billings landlord and state representative send a letter to his low-income tenants that decried and even mocked many of the same government social programs that presumably help them pay their rent?

Rep. Dave Hagstrom (R-Billings)

“The reason I send this to my tenants is because I love them,” said Rep. Dave Hagstrom (R-Billings) in a recent interview.

When the left-leaning blog Montana Streetfighter first wrote about the letter and it started making the rounds on social media Friday, it wasn’t clear that Hagstrom had actually sent it. The letter was dated April 1 and the anti-entitlement-program messages were harsh enough that some thought it might be a hoax. It was not a hoax.

“First, you accept that not everyone, including yourself, needs to live as long as they currently do, or as ‘comfortably’ as they currently do,” the letter read in part.

Another part argued that the government printing money is problematic and that doing so leads to the following:

“…it creates in the mindset of the people a dependency on the government to meet all their needs. It creates a mindset that, if I have a premature baby, the government should spend whatever it takes to keep it alive….It creates a mindset that if I have kids and their dads are dead-beats, the government should buy my groceries and help me get a job while they provide day-care for my kids and send me to school to educate me so I can get a better job….It creates the mindset that since I only know how to cook Hot n’ Ready for supper, the government should give my kids a nutritious breakfast and lunch at school and feed them throughout the summer in South Park.”

The Vigilante reported Friday that Hagstrom sits on the House Appropriations Committee and the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. What went unreported was that he makes his living renting Section 8 (low income) properties in south Billings. This puts this landlord’s letter to his tenants in a different context: he rents properties to people on the very social programs he runs down.

In a lengthy interview, Hagstrom didn’t deny that he does this. He just argued that it isn’t a problem because he and his tenants have “strong relationships.” He contended that the letter was not political because it didn’t endorse any candidates or seek to encourage any voting behavior.

When asked if there was a possibility that it put his tenants in a tough spot since he holds power over them and they might not feel free to confront him, he said, “A landlord tenant relationship, the kind I have, is about being friends. And they have access to me. I live right in the neighborhood. They have complete access to me like I have access to them. If someone’s breaking into their place at night, they call me …. I take care of them and so, if any of them took offense at this, we have a working relationship. They can just call me up and say, ‘What are you talking about here or there? I got your letter.’ And so that’s the kind of relationship I have.”

The interview kept returning to the subject of this relationship he has with his tenants. Hagstrom seemed sincerely to believe what he said. However, he never acknowledged that as a landlord he was in a position of power over his tenants. He framed their relationship as being rooted in the Biblical notion of loving oneself as one’s neighbor. Here is a partial transcript of the interview:

Vigilante: Do you think you have tenants who are on government services? It seems like you probably do.

Hagstrom:
Of course. Of course. All of my units are in the poorest side of town. They’ve been there for years. That’s where I live. Yeah. And they know it and I know it. We talked about it. Some of them are disabled. They’re on 100 percent—they don’t have any income. They’re on 100-percent government services.

Vigilante:
You know, I hear that though, and you might assume that you’re all good buddies, and that you can have these open conversations about stuff like that, but they may not quite see it that way and might not feel comfortable talking to you about that and saying, “I don’t appreciate this letter, sir.”

Hagstrom: But they would feel comfortable sending it out to some blog…

Vigilante: I don’t know. Maybe the blogger is one of your tenants. I really have no idea who that person is.

Hagstrom: I don’t either. I can’t speak to that. I can certainly speak to my relationship with my tenants.

Vigilante: You haven’t had any—nobody has contacted you and said, “Hey, what is this about?” Did anybody contact you?

Hagstrom: No,I’ve gotten a few texts saying, “Thanks for the letter.” I mean, they all know I’m in Helena, too. Because it says I’m in Helena in the letter.I’m trying to get my hands around what is your interest in this, Shane? Because this is a relationship.

Vigilante: Well,I’ll tell you. I’ve rented places and when you rent a place your primary reason for doing that is to have a place to live, to feel secure, to put your things. It’s the centerpiece of your life. And then when you live in a place, you might see the landlord regularly even, but if your landlord is sending you letters that are pretty clearly political and that are running down—

Hagstrom: This isn’t political at all.

Vigilante: It is absolutely political.

Hagstrom: No, it’s not political. It isn’t political, Shane, and for you to say it’s political—

continued next post

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Posted: 11 April 2013 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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continued from previous

Vigilante: It’s clearly political. It is unassailably political. It’s talking about a right-wing view of how economic policy should work and it’s talking about some things that are very strong in the Republican platform about entitlement programs.

Hagstrom: Those are very strong on the Democratic platform too. But I’m not political with my tenants. Am I conservative? Obviously I’m conservative. Do I care about them? Deeply. Absolutely.  I have for years and years. I’ve been doing this for years and years and years. But it has nothing to do with politics. There’s not even a hint of a reference to voting in here: whether they vote, who they vote for, how they vote. It doesn’t do that at all. It’s a letter of concern about responsibility, personal responsibility. That’s a concern. Where in my relationship with them, I’ve been able to help people become more personally responsible, the quality of their life has improved. Is that political?

Vigilante:
I think when you’re broaching subjects that are clearly political and you send them to your tenants and you’re in a relationship of power over them … do you not see that there is too much room for abuse there?

Hagstrom:
There is no abuse there.

Vigilante: I’m not saying that you feel that there is or that you intend it that way, but for someone in that position, looking at you as their landlord, that it’s a power position. And that’s why I’m concerned. Because you look at this and the people who are in that position, not all of them but some of them, might feel that this is someone putting their thumb on them and saying, “This is how you should be.” That would be the concern. And I don’t think that’s just me and some wild interpretation on my part…

Hagstrom: I would see that they have power over me. They have the power to make my life good and easy or the power to make my life difficult. Does that make sense?

Vigilante: I’m going to give you an idea of the tack I take on this and give you a chance to respond to that. So this is what I hear: you have this relationship with your tenants and you think you have a good, symbiotic relationship with them and you can talk about these things frankly. But I see in sending the letter, that it may not be intended politically or to drive action in voting arena, but it might put them in an awkward position when they are people who receive government programs for you to be condemning entitlements. They may not feel free to really engage in that conversation with you and in that way it might be one sided. If someone said that to you, what would you say?

Hagstrom: It’s not one-sided with me and my relationship with my tenants because we talk about all kinds of things. We talk about entitlements. We talk about employment. We talk about childcare. We talk about abuse from exes.

Vigilante: Do you think you have a more open relationship with your tenants than most landlords do? Is that accurate?

Hagstrom: It’s what it’s about for me, Shane. I think, if you come from the mindset, well, here’s this guy who buys and builds rentals to rent them to low-income people because that’s his business model, that would make sense. But that’s not my business model. My business model is to love my neighbor as myself. You’ve obviously heard that.

Vigilante:
Yeah, a few times.

Hagstrom: And I don’t like to say it to them because it sounds, I don’t know—a friend of mine when I was talking about what I do to the city of Billings, to the community development department, and I said that, and he was a guy from the neighborhood and I’d known him for years, we walked out there and he said, “You’re so f—ing messianic.” I said, “I’m not f—ing messianic.” If I was coming out of prison and needed a place to stay and nobody would rent to me and somebody came along and said, “I’ll rent to you,” I would say this guy cares about me.To me, that smells like loving your neighbor as yourself. That’s my business model. So I rent to everybody: Indians, blacks, Mexicans, sex offenders, homosexuals, Jews. There isn’t any discrimination because if the roles were reversed, if I was walking in their shoes, that’s what I’d want them to do for me.

Vigilante:
I get this distinction, that you don’t see it as a top-down thing, that it’s more of a relationship … and that’s what I’m going to say is that’s how you see it.

 

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Posted: 12 April 2013 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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More and more I wonder about the intelligence of some politicians.  It seems the GOP is more liable to open their mouth and stick their foot in than the Democrats but I’m sure it goes both ways.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 05:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t see what the beef is with the letter? People who have no money don’t need cell phones and Xboxes and whatnot. They don’t need to live as comfortably as they do and with as many things as they have. if someone wants to better themselves and get the finer things in life, then they have the right to pursue that, not the right to HAVE that… even at he expense of others. If you haven’t been creative enough, or made yourself valuable enough to earn enough money to buy health insurance, then you don’t deserve it and if you get sick then the natural course of things takes over like it does in any animal kingdom and throughout human history. That goes for me as well, I don’t have insurance and it is my own fault and I alone take the consequences of my failure to earn enough.

This landlord/congressman has his head on straight and he knows what this country needs to turn itsself around .. people who are independent of the government and able to take FULL responsibility for their lives by taking the consequences for their failures. When I saw this headline I really thought this guy said something crazy like “I want to shoot poor people” or something. But as it turns out all he said was common sense ideas that make people use their minds to earn what they deserve.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Melee - 15 April 2013 05:22 AM

I don’t see what the beef is with the letter? People who have no money don’t need cell phones and Xboxes and whatnot. They don’t need to live as comfortably as they do and with as many things as they have. if someone wants to better themselves and get the finer things in life, then they have the right to pursue that, not the right to HAVE that… even at he expense of others. If you haven’t been creative enough, or made yourself valuable enough to earn enough money to buy health insurance, then you don’t deserve it and if you get sick then the natural course of things takes over like it does in any animal kingdom and throughout human history. That goes for me as well, I don’t have insurance and it is my own fault and I alone take the consequences of my failure to earn enough.

This landlord/congressman has his head on straight and he knows what this country needs to turn itsself around .. people who are independent of the government and able to take FULL responsibility for their lives by taking the consequences for their failures. When I saw this headline I really thought this guy said something crazy like “I want to shoot poor people” or something. But as it turns out all he said was common sense ideas that make people use their minds to earn what they deserve.

Back to medieval times, yay.

Sorry, but when someone says “you don’t need to live as long as other people do” he basically says “you are less worthy to live”.

And that is a very worrying kind of attitude, especially since the distinction is made based on social class. Basically he says that the poor are less worthy to live. That the elderly who need care are less worthy to live. That really should worry you, if you have some decency and moral ethics in you, and some historic knowledge.

Presumably, someone who makes $100K or more in his opinion is ‘worthy’ to live. Living long and healthy is only for the rich, apparently. And apparently it also gives you a right to talk down on other people as if they are your property. That is a feudal attitude. The way this guy addresses his tenants as if they were his personal property over which he may rule, is feudal.

The “Then let them eat cake!” attitude of some vociferous parts of the GOP is outrageous. They should remember that these are the kind of attitudes that historically eventually resulted in mobs in the street erecting Guillotines.

Interestingly, the US was founded by people who wanted to escape the feudal systems of Europe and live in freedom. Now part of your GOP is trying to turn the socio-political climate of your country more and more into a new kind of feudalism, where common people are serfs to a small number of extremely wealthy people who talk and act like they own you. The GOP is the biggest threath to your original US values and you don’t even see it.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Melee - 15 April 2013 05:22 AM

................... If you haven’t been creative enough, or made yourself valuable enough to earn enough money to buy health insurance, then you don’t deserve it and if you get sick then the natural course of things takes over like it does in any animal kingdom and throughout human history. That goes for me as well, I don’t have insurance and it is my own fault and I alone take the consequences of my failure to earn enough.

This landlord/congressman has his head on straight and he knows what this country needs to turn itsself around .. people who are independent of the government and able to take FULL responsibility for their lives by taking the consequences for their failures. When I saw this headline I really thought this guy said something crazy like “I want to shoot poor people” or something. But as it turns out all he said was common sense ideas that make people use their minds to earn what they deserve.

1.  Children still in school
2.  Vets who have served their country and are now disabled
3.  People who have become sick, maimed or disabled through no fault of their own
5.  The elderly
6.  People with birth defects
7.  People who have lost homes through fire, floods etc.

So these people have ‘failed’ and deserve what they got (or have now lost)? 

There are many MANY reasons why an individual cannot either at the moment or at any time have the ability to make it on their own, yet many of those people have been heroes to their country or the life-line to others. 

I believe one of the greatest motto of any service man is ‘no man left behind’.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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As usual the actual issue is never addressed by progressives. Personal frigging responsibility ... if you want health care earn it. I haven’t earned it so I don’t have it. My fault, not rich people’s faults .. only mine. If I waste my youth away with partying and clubbing and whatnot and I don’t learn a skill worth getting paid for then I get what I deserve when I die young from health issues that I can’t pay to fix. Why not do what responsible people do and find a niche and make yourself valuable so you can earn enough to live better and longer. Yes, those with money should live longer because they can afford good food and proper health care.  The pursuit of happiness is all we are guaranteed. To attain it you have to actually pursue. Those people you claim were running from feudal lords are the ones who wrote that. Do you think if they meant you have the right for the government to take care of your every need, that they would have maybe said something similar to that?

Regardless of what you think about it, there is no money to pay for it so it is a moot point. I may agree with giving freeloaders whatever they want, but if there is no money to do it then we can’t do it. or do you people also agree with the whole 10 trillion in debt practice that Obama is pushing forward? I can’t imagine a person with any intellect at all agreeing with that sort of idiocy… to be honest.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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1.  Children still in school -  They deserve health care and basic food, like food stamps but only limited items like meat/cheese cheerios orange juice etc.. not soda, candy bars and ice cream like they can get now with food stamps

2.  Vets who have served their country and are now disabled - totally different situation. They paid for the services they get .. they paid with their bodies and their life for years in the service… not freeloaders (exceot the ones who lie about being injured which is VERY widespread.)

3.  People who have become sick, maimed or disabled through no fault of their own - no government intervention, this is what charities are here for. No where in our founding documents does it say that the government is responsible to keep us healthy and well fed. Charities have always helped with that.

5.  The elderly - earn while you are young or you will end up in a bad spot. Social security was supposed to help with this and it is a contributory program so I am cool with it. what i am nto cool with is the politicians stealing the money out of the program for other free services

6.  People with birth defects - charities, not the governments job unless they are abandoned, we don’t want handicapped kids roaming the streets

7.  People who have lost homes through fire, floods etc. - they should have insurance. if you live in a floodplain, move. if you live in tornado alley, don’t stay there. you know your crap is gonna get bulldozed by nature, don’t be stupid and wait for it to happen. If you do choose that place to live you better expect to be dead or at the very least to lose everything you own. it’s like those hikers that go out to mountains all by themselves and then it takes 20 people and 4 dogs, like 2 weeks to find them. if you go out by yourself, then too bad for you. if you go out with a friend and are being wise, then we look for you.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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MeLee, I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but a portion of ALL our tax dollars go for government grants and social programs that all of us decided LONG ago we needed AND wanted in order to assure that if or when we fall down, there will be an area of the government that can assist until we can get back on our feet.  That has never been a free ride, it has always been a kind of insurance for particular assistance. 

Now, it IS true that there are people who take advantage, and there will always be.  There are people who break into homes too and steal, or people who swipe merchandise from stores etc.  There will always be thieves, just as there will always be ants in the larder in the summer time.  Keeping thieves out of the till is an ongoing job for those who oversee government assistance programs.  AND, there are many people who need that assistance who also never ask for it, or don’t know how to ask for it. 

It’s also important to remember AND understand, when it comes to health, that one very sick person in a single neighborhood can effectively infect neighbors.  That means that just one person with no health insurance can (not always) put others at risk just as there are people who refuse to have their children vaccinated can put other vulnerable people at risk (even when those others may have been vaccinated but are not as healthy as others).  The condition of a neighbor can reflect and be a problem for you. 

Not everyone is capable of the same level of education, or physical prowess as another.  We are all different in our abilities.  Our dreams are different too.  This country, the United States, embraces differences and plural ideas and ideals. 

Let me also point out that while charities are nice and appealing, these can also select who they will assist based on their own personal preferences.  I don’t care if they do or not and I think most people understand this as well.  As a country however, our government is designed BY the people, FOR the people based on equality, on the idea that ALL people are equal in worth even if not by birth design.  We take care of our own and sometimes that does NOT mean handing over money, but providing what that human being needs to survive, be secure and healthy by barter.  Not every gesture of goodwill asks for or demands coin payment in return.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I could point to what I learned in Macroeconomics 1 at university. These payments made by the government to poor people are referred to as “transfer payments”. They are actually a way of stimulating the economy. The poor people use the money they receive to pay for goods and services. This, in turn, produces benefits like generating jobs. While many people think of these transfer payments as purely charity they are, in fact, a way of benefiting the nation’s economy. The same effect would apply even if the money went directly to the suppliers of the goods and services rather than via the poor people, like when free food is provided to school children.

Beyond that I have to question whether or not this guy calls himself a Christian, or even a member of any other Faith.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Peter - 15 April 2013 08:13 AM

I could point to what I learned in Macroeconomics 1 at university. These payments made by the government to poor people are referred to as “transfer payments”. They are actually a way of stimulating the economy. The poor people use the money they receive to pay for goods and services. This, in turn, produces benefits like generating jobs. While many people think of these transfer payments as purely charity they are, in fact, a way of benefiting the nation’s economy. The same effect would apply even if the money went directly to the suppliers of the goods and services rather than via the poor people, like when free food is provided to school children.

Beyond that I have to question whether or not this guy calls himself a Christian, or even a member of any other Faith.

I hadn’t even thought about this answer Peter, but you do point it out rather clearly.  It’s like the more recent government bailouts to big car companies and banks.  By keeping these going (bailing them out) the economy remains protected, stable or is stimulated.  If the government hadn’t stepped in when car companies were going bankrupt, they would have had to close their doors, and permanently lay off thousands and thousands of workers.

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