The Inquisition Comes to Helena

Part I – Torquemada Lives!

Fervent TEA Party conservatives are bringing back a Medieval institution – the Tribunal of the Office of the Inquisition. Their goal is to purge the Republican Party of those deemed too moderate or insufficiently committed to the extreme right-wing agenda embraced by the leaders of the movement. Following the disappointing results of the 2012 elections, these mental midgets determined that their best chance for success in the future would be to take a fanatical approach to shoring up the faithfulness of the faithful, as it were, by casting forth those who refuse to unquestioningly accept the tenants of the new doctrine.

The effort by these extremists to take over the Lewis & Clark County Republican Central Committee intensified in the final months of last year. Using the previously somewhat successful tactics employed by the Ron Paul “Evolutionaries” (or whatever the hell that logo-thingy said they were) of 2007, the TEA Party leaders organized a surprise coup to place sympathizers in a majority of precinct positions. They then created their own version of the Inquisition and Auto-da-fé to accuse, condemn, and oust the officers of the organization. The take-over will be complete when these fanatics elect the new officers of the LCCRCC next Monday night.

Who are the leaders of this twenty-first century jihad? Let’s take a closer look at the main characters in this pathetic drama.

The role of Grand Inquisitor Torquemada is being played with intensity, if not intellectual integrity, by a relative newcomer to Helena, Mark Perea.

perea photoMark landed in town about four years ago from California by way of New Mexico. He ran unsuccessfully for the Montana legislature last year, garnering less than 40% of the vote after supposedly contacting everyone in his district at least three times. That’s what he told his supporters during the campaign, anyway. Guess maybe the folks in the district weren’t all that impressed with him or his exclusionary message. Smart people. But, according to his biography, he is a veritable wonder kid:

He graduated from Albuquerque High School where he was an award-winning member of DECA and a star tennis player. From there he attended Boise State University on tennis scholarship before returning to Albuquerque to finish his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in history at the University of New Mexico. He then went on to U.C. Berkeley, where he received his master’s degree in ancient history, ancient Greek, and Latin. Since then Mark has held various positions in education. He is currently a substitute teacher in the Helena School District. He has been an instructor in European Civilization at Berkeley and a lecturer at The University of New Mexico and Santa Fe Community College, having taught Western Civilization and Ancient History. He has also taught History, Latin, and PE at two private preparatory schools in California. He served as the history department chair and middle-school basketball and flag-football coach at one. He also taught Spanish, English, and American Government in the Albuquerque Public Schools and filled in for five months for a teacher on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in northern New Mexico.

He goes on to mention that he has owned two retail businesses and three online businesses and founded a private school here in Helena. That’s an impressive resume for a young man. Except that, when you think about it, it looks more like someone who can’t find, or keep, steady employment. Apparently, he hasn’t been able to stay in one school district long enough to earn tenure, and can’t even find a permanent position here in Helena after three years as a substitute teacher. A simple check of public records shows that he hasn’t registered either his online business or his school with the State of Montana – as required by law. He’s also using the name of the school, Ascension Hall, illegally. (He’s not the registered owner of the assumed business name and the owner doesn’t know anything about the school. Whoops.) But hey – details, details! I’m sure the IRS knows about these successful businesses even if the state of Montana doesn’t seem to.

He’s a true blue conservative and passionate about inflicting his principles on those he considers his moral and political inferiors. According to his campaign website, he “decided to run for State Senate in order to restore an efficient, sovereign government to the People of Montana. But, further, he says he intends to advocate for a return to the principles of the United States Constitution at the national level as well.” He doesn’t explain how he intends to achieve this – perhaps he intends to challenge Max Baucus in 2014. That ought to be a hoot and a half. But we digress.

Mark is all about excommunicating members of the Party who donate “even one penny” to a Democrat candidate, his self-defined, number one, cardinal sin. He’s sure that whatever mean, vindictive actions he takes to achieve his own ends are justified by his dedication to this sacred purpose. Mark holds fast to an unflinching conservative orthodoxy of bigotry and narrow-minded fanaticism of the right-wing evangelical social conservatives.


Mark Perea – The Grand Inquisitor, indeed. Bring on the rack!!!

To be continued…

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