Archive for the ‘Doug Harrison’ Category

by Rebecca Schmitz

I would like to offer my congratulations to all the winners of yesterday’s City Council election. (The Iraq War referendum outcome? The maraschino cherry atop this sundae of progressive values.) J-school students at UM have tallied the results on their blog:

Ward 1
X Jason Wiener: 1,676, 64%
Justin Armintrout: 887, 34%
Ward 2
X Pam Walzer: 998, 52%
Don Nicholson (incumbent) : 906, 47%
Ward 3
X Stacy Rye (incumbent) : 1,504, 57%
Doug Harrison: 1,089, 42%
Ward 4
X Lyn Hellegaard: 1,506, 53%
Jerry Ballas (incumbent) : 1,282, 45%
Ward 5
X Renee Mitchell: 1,220, 54%
Christine Prescott: 1,026, 45%
Ward 6
X Ed Childers (incumbent) : 892, 50.48%
Lewie Schneller: 852, 48.22%

The big winners here, of course, are the voters themselves. Forty-six percent of them returned their ballots to the Election Office. Not an ideal 100% in a perfect world to be sure, but still proof that the new mail-in ballots and successful local voter drives can work for the betterment of our city’s political system. The Missoulian summed up the election nicely in today’s editorial:

More than Flag Day or Independence Day or any other show of devotion to this nation, Election Day – and the day after – are the true test of our commitment to democracy.

That’s so true. The simple act of voting itself–whether it’s at the dining room table or in a curtained booth–is more patriotic than all the hollow chest-thumping displays of the same, from enforced recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to plastering “In God We Trust” across school classrooms.  Young voters, same-day voting and fictitious liberal “machines” are not a menace to Missoula.  Apathy is.  Everyone who voted and everyone who ran, whether they won or not, deserves to be called a patriot.

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by jhwygirl

Forward Montana brings Missoula citizens a most excellent voters guide.

It provides information on each candidate in the form of a short Q&A, along with links to the Missoulian interviews and a list of who is endorsing which candidate.

It also has information on the war referendum, and links to news sources on the Iraq war. AND it also includes a ward map – which will be helpful to oh-so-many people (I can’t believe how many people don’t know what ward they live in!)

Lots of great information, all in one place. I highly recommend that you check it out.

But you won’t be able to get much information on any candidate in Ward 4 – neither Jerry Ballas nor Lyn Hellegaard bothered to answer the questions. Neither.

Maybe they didn’t have any answers or thoughts to offer. One question probably presented them with real Catch 22 – “How do you plan on being effective in light of this divisive council?”

I can only surmise that neither just plain doesn’t have plans to be effective. I guess I can give ’em a pass on that one – but geez, they couldn’t even bother with “What is your ward’s biggest problem and how do you plan to tackle it?”

I hate to find myself saying this, but maybe Ballas is the best choice there – I mean, at least you know what your getting there…with Lyn, who in the hades knows?!

(There’s a shining endorsement….)

Ward 2’s Don Nicholson didn’t bother either – but he was probably getting some needed nap time in, so he gets a pass there too.

Ward 3’s Doug Harrison also didn’t bother…but he might have been caught in a Catch 22 with the “How do you plan to be effective” question.

Not bothering to participate in answering questions of a non-partisan group of young people who are showing interest in the political process is a real shame. Their lack of participation – the seemingly organized lack of participation among 4 Republican candidates – sends a bad message to some young people who are going to be voting for a long long time.

And in local elections, when there really are so few (compared to state-wide or federal elections) sources with which to get information on candidates, it is important to get information out there from as many sources as possible. It helps in the sense that it can smooth out any bias that come come from reading just one source for information.

Shame on Ballas, Hellegaard, Harrison and Nicholson.




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