Ward 6 Candidate Lewie Schneller is Violating State Campaign Law

by jhwygirl

We’re supposed to vote Lewie Schneller into office and he can’t even follow the laws that may help put him there? The laws that ensure open and fair elections for citizens?

How can I expect, with this behavior, that Lewie Schneller will play fair if he ever gets on Council?

Campaign law is easy to access – Montana has a easy-to-use website, and the stuff is printed there in plain English. I’m not even an attorney, and I can understand it. I got the above line by using Google.

Is Lewie Schneller afraid to print the truth? Does he even know the truth?

Does he know even how to use the internet?

On the front page of his most recent mailing, Lewie Schneller hypocritically cites the Open Meeting Law while violating campaign law on the back page.

So much for openness in government, huh?

In Lewie’s first campaign rag, he violated MCA 13-35-225 (1), which requires “All communications advocating the success or defeat of a candidate, … must clearly and conspicuously include the attribution “paid for by” followed by the name and address of the person who made or financed the expenditure for the communication.” Lewie Schneller, while having his phone number and email available, left out the legally required information.

He also violated MCA 13-35-225(3) in its entirety. On the back page of his first campaign materials, he lists 10 things that “opponent and incumbent Mr. Ed Childers” supposedly supports – by citing things like “(Childers) voted for requiring Missoulians to vote on the Iraq War resolution” and “Supported and voted to approve 8-million dollar overcharge for the ‘Splash Aquatics Pool’ projects without ballot and bond approval” and “Supports increased local property taxes at 6% per year for the past 8-years”

Hey Lewie – is that compounded or just a straight 48% increase in taxes that Childers supposedly did us wrong?

The pool project, I’m pretty darn sure, cost under 3-million – other issues aside. Calling out 8-million? That’s just plain bullshit. Yep, I said it – BULLSHIT.

Childers voted to require me and everyone here in Missoula to vote on the the Iraq War Resolution? Interesting…….

MCA 13-35-225(3) requires that a candidate, when citing information about a candidate’s voting record, provide “a reference to the particular vote or votes upon which the information is based” and a “disclosure of contrasting votes known to have been made by the candidate on the same issue if closely related in time.”

The law does allow for a candidate to make the types of unsubstantiated statements that Lewie has made without referencing the actual votes by providing a “statement signed” by either the candidate or the preparer of the literature that states “to the best of the signer’s knowledge, the statements made about the other candidate’s voting record are accurate and true.”

Schneller does neither – and perhaps its because since most of his stuff is crap, a signed statement saying that what he’s stated is ‘accurate and true to the best of his knowledge’ might throw up a little red flag in a voters head?

But geez Lewie, the City of Missoula, too, has an easy-to-use website. I use it all the time.

In Lewie Schneller’s second campaign rag, delivered right to my mailbox this past week, he manages to comply with MCA 13-35-22(1), by providing the “paid for by” statement…but he continues with violating MCA 13-35-335 (3) by accusing councilman Ed Childers of disgracing the Pledge of Allegiance.

He writes “…the Pledge of Allegiance was disgraced August 6, 2007 in comments of Council members opposing a permanent change to add the Pledge of Allegiance to the City Council Agenda.”

I’m confident Childers did no such thing – what are you trying to tell me Lewie? That Ed is calling the Pledge of Allegiance some communist statement? A plot to overthrow the government? Ed and the rest of Council exercised their Constitutional rights to free speech, I am sure, but absolutely no one said anything to “disgrace” the Pledge of Allegiance.

He also calls out Childers for “continuing down the current infill path or even increasing crowding to make housing more extensive.”

Hmm – first – what, exactly, is he continuing? Can you cite some voting records or evidence to support that which you contend he is continuing?

And as for wanting to “make housing more extensive” – you really need to explain that one. I thought you supported affordable housing (rag #1, “Need intelligent and reasonable planning for infill housing and neighborhood clusters.”)

Schneller cites, also, that Childers “proposed doubling the current city council salary from $11,000 to $22,000.”

I think not.

Unless, of course Mr. Schneller, you can prove me wrong.

There’s more – but hell, I shouldn’t have to reprint the whole darn thing!

I might want to think, because of his campaign violations, that he doesn’t know how to use the internet – but, unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

He lists an email address in both of his campaign rags (one left at the door and the one mailed out this past week) of lewieward6@yahoo.com – so why not email him and ask him to comply with the laws of the State of Montana?

Those campaign laws are written to protect the citizens of Montana – voters like me and you – and, frankly, candidates like Ed Childers and Lewie Schneller – from unfair practices and unsubstantiated claims (and as I noted above, “bullshit”) like that which Lewie Schneller is dishing out in his campaign literature (and probably at the Missoula GOP picnic too.)

Here is MCA 13-35-225, in its entirety.

  1. Ayn Rand

    Why don’t you send the MCA to Holly Raser also


    by jhwygirl

    I’ve edited this comment for now – pending some further consideration.

    Boris – you are free to contact me at jhwygirl at hotmaildotcom –

    This comment may reappear.

  3. edchilders

    On Friday, 10/19/07, I filed a complaint against Lewie Schneller for just the stuff that’s laid out in this posting. The Office of the Commissioner of Campaign Practices should receive the complaint on Monday.

    MCA 13-35-225 says if you mention another candidate’s voting record you have to do the following things:

    “(3) (a) Printed election material described in subsection (1) that includes information about another candidate’s voting record must include:
    (i) a reference to the particular vote or votes upon which the information is based;
    (ii) a disclosure of contrasting votes known to have been made by the candidate on the same issue if closely related in time; and
    (iii) a statement, signed as provided in subsection (3)(b), that to the best of the signer’s knowledge, the statements made about the other candidate’s voting record are accurate and true.”

    I don’t see a provision there that says anyone can pull stuff out of thin air and then swear it’s true and make it OK. It says, if you say it, you have to support it. And then swear to it.

    Early last week I contacted the Office of the Commissioner for Political Practices and showed them that Lewie hadn’t followed their rules. The Office contacted Lewie; Lewie sent them a nice letter that swore that he had received the information he put in his literature from some un-named sources, including some “currently sitting Missoula council members.”

    As if “currently sitting Missoula council members” would feed Lewie lies to put in his campaign literature.

    On Friday I had a phone visit with Mary at the Office of Political Practices and asked whether Lewie had now complied with the law. He had not. I asked whether the Office would do any followup. She said, not unless an official Complaint is filed.

    So I filed the complaint against Lewie Schneller for violating the campaign laws.

    I don’t think the Office much cares what kind of crap candidates throw at other candidates, as long as they don’t violate the law. Sure, Lewie lies in fairly mundane and unimaginative ways about my record, but they don’t care. They DO care, however, that Lewie has not followed the law, and I think they’re likely to follow up on that, once they receive the official Complaint.

    In the meantime, here’s some little bit better info on the Aquatics: the cost was originally budgeted as 11 million dollars, to cover Splash, Currents, the spray decks, and a 50 meter Olympic-sized competition pool. (the money was supposed to come from the 8.1 million dollar voter-approved bond issue, a million and a half in tax increment funds, and 1.4 million from privately raised financing for the 50-meter pool). Bids were far higher than estimated. I think the whole thing came in under 14 million, or 3 million or so higher than expected. That’s a lot of money, I think, so why would anybody have to say, as Lewie did, that I approved an extra 8 million? I don’t get it. It’s just dumb.

    The Pledge: I say it. The City Council opens nearly every meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. However, I will not make anyone else say it. Lewie & his merry band of anonymous miscreants will never be satisfied until the City Council is forced to open meetings with the Pledge. Personally, not only do I not want to make anyone say the Pledge, I don’t see the point: once I said it, as a consenting adult, I thought it was done. Heck, when elected officials take office they swear (or affirm) that they will uphold and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Montana. I haven’t heard anybody come forward to make the Council reaffirm that oath of office every week (although it might make more sense than saying the Pledge, if you ask me).

  4. Mr. Childers – thank you for the information. I may have to contact Political Practices to get a copy of whatever Lewie had to say in his defense to breaking the law.

    If he offered that he got the information from “currently sitting council members” then I believe he needs to tell us who they are. It’s his defense, right? He introduced it.

    I’m wayoff on the numbers of the aquatics project, but substance is still intact. He lied. THAT is the truth.

  5. edchilders

    Sure you’re off on the numbers, if you believe me! …
    You’ll find that Lewie wrote, 10/16/07, (after fixing his disclaimer address error, which I don’t much care about):

    “#2. Information concerning Ed Childers voting record was received by me thru conversations with currently sitting Missoula council members, and a weekly political advisory group which I attend on a regular basis. To the best of my knowledge, the information on my brochure is true and correct.”

    Yes, he lied, but as I noted, Political Practices probably doesn’t care. What they’ll want is for him to document what he says. That’s where he runs into problems, because he can’t. And no currently sitting council members can do it, either, even if said people exist.

  6. What’s this “weekly political advisory group,” anyway?

  1. 1 Just WHO are Lewie Schneller’s political advisors? « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Ward 6 Candidate Lewie Schneller is Violating State Campaign Law […]

  2. 2 Ward 6 Candidate Lewie Schneller under investigation by the State Commissioner of Political Practices « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Ward 6 Candidate Lewie Schneller is Violating State Campaign Law […]

  3. 3 Credible Blogging 101: How to deal with Anonymous posts « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] the comments on this post, for your lesson in Credible Blogging […]

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