Just five years ago, however, Bozeman woke up to controversy when the newly formed local Tea Party decided it wanted to march down Main Street on the Fourth to protest taxes and government spending. But rather than follow the normal process for a parade permit, the Tea Party stormed a Bozeman City Commission meeting and demanded a parade permit for July 4. The commissioners were so intimidated that they ignored both the usual application process and Montana’s Open Meeting Law. On the spot, the Tea Party was granted a parade permit.
The town then learned that the Tea Party’s plan to close down Main Street for its tax protest was going to cost city taxpayers $1,100 in staff and police overtime. The irony turned out to be too much to pass up, so I applied for a second parade permit for Independence Day. And because city regulations only allowed an organization to apply for a parade permit, I made the application (with tongue firmly in cheek) on behalf of a new, contrastingly “big tent” organization: The Green Coalition of Gay Loggers for Jesus.
The whole thing is a fun read. Open thread.