Friday Missoulian review

by Pete Talbot

There were a number of nuggets in today’s (Friday, Nov. 2) Missoulian. We’ll start out with a shout out.

4&20 Blackbirds’ founding father, Jay Stevens, made the paper’s In Business Monthly insert. This month’s theme: “Movers and Shakers.” Don’t be fooled by the story’s erroneous headline. It really is about Jay. Check it out.

Reporter Keila Szpaller did my homework for me and pulled up the campaign contributions to city council candidates. A couple of things struck me:

Missoula’s Republican Party has more money than Missoula’s Democratic Party. I guess this isn’t breaking news. The Republicans maxed out ($650 per candidate, per election cycle) to Armintrout, Nicholson, Ballas, Hellegaard, Mitchell and Schneller.

The Democrats gave $100 each to Wiener, Walzer, Rye, Prescott and Childers.

The Republicans gave money to both the candidates in Ward 4 (Ballas and Hellegaard). I guess they’re trying to keep the peace within the party.

Ward 3 candidate Doug Harrison didn’t take any party money. Was this because of altruism or because Ward 3 trends Democrat? (As a former Republican council member, the donation to his campaign would have most likely come from the Republican Party, which might not play well in that ward.) Either way, it was a smart move on his part.

Finally, the majority of Democratic endorsed candidates received their money from small, individual contributions. The majority of Republican endorsed candidates got most of their money from either the Republican Party or donations out of their own pockets. There were exceptions to this in both parties, however.

There was a letter to the editor from perennial gadfly Warren Little, which was full of misinformation and the usual caustic comments, but only one mention of the New Party. It seems that his new whipping boy is Forward Montana. The folks at FM must be doing good work to draw Little’s ire. It’s a badge of honor to be targeted by Warren.

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  1. Still smarting over the Allison Handler thing, Pete?

    Warren Little is a great guy.

  2. goof houlihan

    Wow, I’ve never seen any campaign so sleazy, Carol!

  3. petetalbot

    I stand by my post on Little, Carol. His letters to the editor are consistently “full of misinformation and the usual caustic comments.” Since he has your endorsement, I know I’m on the right track.

  4. goof houlihan

    “It’s a badge of honor to be targeted by Warren.”

    That report from the Commissioner of Political Practices was a big bruising badge of dishonor. Hard to see where Warren Little was in the wrong bringing that complaint. Certainly any caustic comments are well deserved about all who had a part in those illegalities.

  5. I know and respect Warren Little. It was pretty disappointing to see his name attached to that piece of trash letter.

    I can understand why you folks don’t like us, but I’m puzzled why you feel you have to lie to Missoula about us. That’s sleazy. And you wonder why young people hate Republicans.

    I won’t forget it these low attacks, Carol, and you can bet Warren will be getting a piece of my mind next time I see him.

  6. goof houlihan

    By the way, congrats Jay on the publicity.

  7. petetalbot

    The master of hyperbole, Goof Houlihan, says, “Wow, I’ve never seen any campaign so sleazy …” I assume he’s referring to the Ward 2 Handler v. Kazmierczak campaign back in 2001.

    I make no excuses for the breaches of campaign finance law that occurred — mistakes were made and there were some bad judgment calls.

    I was involved very peripherally in that race but I recall that “coordinating” between the Handler campaign and Progressive Missoula was the main complaint. And although there can be a fine line between an “independent campaign committee” and a “principal campaign committee,” the Handler campaign should have avoided any appearance of “coordinating” between the two. I’ll chalk it up to inexperience and naivete on the part of the candidate. Some hard lessons were learned during that campaign.

    However, “I’ve never seen any campaign so sleazy …” Watergate, swiftboaters, Conrad Burns’ contributors, even the city council races up in Whitefish make the 2001 Ward 2 race pale in comparison.

    I realize that two wrongs don’t make a right, but c’mon Goof.

  8. goof houlihan

    I have a different standard than your “rules for radicals” Pete.

    I’ll try to have a little bit more to say about that later on your new post, which has set me off on the ethics vibe. Heck the bloggers anti Morrison campaign was sleazier than any Montana campaign you mentioned.

    Watergate, that’s laughable, but I do see you have your standards: “we weren’t as bad as Watergate”.

  9. goof houlihan

    “mistakes were made and their were bad judgement calls”

    You gotta love the third person. It’s like immaculate conception. Nobody actually committed a crime, they just happened.




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