Archive for the ‘Lewie Schneller’ Category

by Rebecca Schmitz

Lewie Schneller defended his campaign against Councilman Ed Childers recently, in response to a complaint filed with State Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth. While the heart of the Ed’s complaint is the fact that Lewie may have misrepresented his votes on City Council, I was struck by this:

[Lewie] said he relied on his supporters, including some council members, to proof his material, but he declined to name them…“I am unaware of any legal requirement to disclose sources that I have consulted with…”

While it’s illegal to conduct an anonymous campaign against a political opponent, it’s not illegal to provide simple assistance to a candidate for office.  However, this isn’t Dick Cheney’s infamous 2001 super secret squirrel Energy Task Force meetings.  It’s a campaign for a City Council seat in a small Montana city.  What’s with the hush-hush crap?  Why can’t a sitting member of City Council admit to providing analysis and advice on a colleague’s voting record?  It’s a savvy political strategy on the part of a challenger.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.  Unless, of course, that Councilman is trying to hide the fact his information about the colleague’s voting record was not, as required by law, accurate and true. 

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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.

by jhwygirl

And guess who it was?

lewie-fax-oct-29-2007.jpg

by jhwygirl

This guy isn’t even finished with an election yet, and he’s already under investigation!

The Missoulian piece brings us more details on Lewie Schneller’s law-breaking campaign for Ward 6’s city council seat.

The Office of Political Practices is investigating Councilman Childers’ complaint, which he filed on Friday, against his opponent Lewie Schneller. Unfortunately, there are 26 other complaints ahead of Childers’, and it’s not likely that they will get to it before the November 6th election deadline.

Among the details the Missoulian give us, Lewie Schneller’s not very smart:

Schneller admitted Monday he had not reviewed his opponent’s voting record before printing campaign material and said he was relying on others to provide him information and to “proofread” his literature.“I was relying on the information I was receiving through consultation with the political folks I was involved with,” Schneller said.

Not smart enough to oversee his own campaign, and not smart enough to select smarter people than himself. Do we really want this guy on city council?:

However, Schneller said his sources thoroughly reviewed his campaign literature before it went to print, and they raised no concerns about the information.“I had these people proofread everything. I was never led to believe that there was any impropriety or wrongdoing,” Schneller said.

Schneller is also awfully secretive:

He said his sources included “two or three” sitting council members, but refused to disclose the identities of those councilors or others involved. Schneller also said he considered his literature generally true – though perhaps not precise.

Maybe the Missoulian should contact each sitting councilperson and see who lays claim to serving as one of Lewie’s proofreading political advisors?

Wonder who would admit to being part of this mess?

This whole ugly situation only illustrates the nasty partisanship and lengths to which certain politicos will go to get what they want.

Lewie’s ‘political advisors’ will undoubtedly sit back and let him swim on his own with this – they don’t want to be connected to this illegal activity.

Ugh. The thought of 2 more years of nasty personal attacks and partisan politics and “NO” to anything and everything which moves towards improving our community is too much to bear.

Lewie is someone’s puppet – already. If he’s not smart enough to take the blame on his own for this mess, I wonder if his so-called ‘political advisors’ even still want him around?

My guess is that they’re screening their calls and checking the caller ID.

by jhwygirl

Yesterday I posted a piece on city council candidate for Ward 6 Lewie Schneller’s violations of Montana’s election laws.

Boy, that opened a can of worms!

Apparently councilman Ed Childers, the other candidate for Ward 6, has filed a complaint regarding Lewie Schneller’s campaign fliers with The Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices.

In the comments to the post, Councilman Childers provides us with this interesting piece of information:

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.”

It also seems Childers has been in contact with Political Practices for some time, because Lewie Schneller has already had time to defend his flyers – by saying that he’s gotten his information on Childers’ voting record “thru conversations with currently sitting Missoula council members, and a weekly political advisory group which (he attends) on a regular basis”

So which council members are feeding Ward 6 candidate Lewie Schneller information such as “increased local property taxes at 6% per year for the past 8-years” and “proposed doubling the current city council salary from $11,000 to $22,000”???

And as for the “weekly political advisory group” which he “attends on a regular basis” – should we have any doubt who they are?

Liar.

Any and all candidates for council should be disgusted and outraged at this lie-filled smear campaign.

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.

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.

by Jay Stevens

If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know there’s some serious rifts on the Missoula city council. The latest hubbub has been about city council members emailing during meetings and discussing city business in those emails. The emails have since been made public, but that doesn’t mitigate the underlying tensions, which find their true home in vastly different philosophies on the council surrounding development, taxation, fees, and the future of the city. H*ll, the email brouhaha was likely initiated as just another blow in an ongoing war.

The Missoula Independent:

With elections on the horizon and some members struggling to keep their seats, it may seem excusable that civil discourse has suffered. The problem is that there are serious issues facing council—the Hillview Way SID, impact fee increases, growth, inadequate facilities for the police, and the Riverfront Triangle—not to mention the routinely demanding business of running the city.

Jack Reidy of Ward 5 used his comment time on Monday to voice concern for the institution he’s been a part of for more than 20 years.

“It used to be fun to come here on a Monday night, but not anymore; not with things the way they are,” he said. “We’re the laughing stock of city.”

There are certainly few chuckles to be had at the council’s expense this week, and we suspect that most voters feel an exasperating mix of disappointment and amusement. That’s too bad, because the council members put in too much time and effort for any of us to enjoy watching them fall on their faces.

The Indy also caught whiff of the Schneller party affiliation controversy, in part stoked by this very blog. To get an idea of the type of vitriol thrown around by some candidates, see this quote from Schneller:

“I call myself a democrat but I’m not in with the democrats in Missoula. I wouldn’t want to be,” he says.

Yeah, f*ck you, too, Lewie.

Enter Forward Montana’s “Candidates Gone Wild” event last week:

Veronica Asmus, a Forward Montana intern, said the forum was a refreshing change from other political events.

“They’ve always been really dry,” Asmus said. “It’s like a class lecture.”

Not Wednesday night’s session – a chicken-cheering, President Bush-booing extravaganza with Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” bumping in the background. Ward 1 candidates Jason Wiener and Justin Armintrout both attended. From Ward 2, Pam Walzer showed, and from Ward 3, incumbent Stacy Rye appeared. Ward 5 brought Christine Prescott. From Ward 6, incumbent Ed Childers showed as did challenger Lewie Schneller. And they all danced on stage.

That’s right. As Ed Kemmick noted, people paid to attend a candidate forum.

They got the pizzazz and they got the crowd. Diaz told me Friday that 140 mostly young people paid $5 to attend the event. That’s right, 140 people paid money to learn more about City Council candidates.

If you read local rightie blogs, you’ll know that Matt Singer and Forward Montana are being painted as the next George Soros and MoveOn.org, and “Candidates Gone Wild” as superficial.

In reality, though, Forward Montana’s mission isn’t partisan, its mission is to get more young people excited by and involved in politics. Period.

Mission accomplished. (It’s nice to see that phrase used accurately for a change, eh?)

And the event coincided nicely with the email brouhaha. Just when you thought the city council was doomed to overserious and self-important gridlock, Ed Childers and Lewie Schneller were chicken dancing together on stage.

Now that’s the spirit! Forget the “Pledge of Allegiance” – that old limerick is being used to poison the council and the city. Let’s start off every city council meeting with the chicken dance instead!

by jhwygirl

4&20 blackbirds got a shout-out from The Missoula Independent in this Thursday’s edition, in a brief short looking into the disappearance of Ward 6 candidate Lewie Schneller’s picture from the local Missoula GOP website along with his “I’m a Republican using a Labor Democrat label” campaign motto.

While I encourage a look around, here’s a link to the Lewie story, for your reading convenience.

by jhwygirl

It’s not like we didn’t notice him there in the GOP annual picnic photos Missoulapolis linked to in this post, back on September 12th.

Seems like they’ve taken that photo out, though.

Wonder how long it will be before his name is removed from her post – which, for posterity, currently says:

We had perfect weather, great turnout, interesting talk. Special guests included Congressman Denny Rehberg, Secretary of State Brad Johnson, Public Service Commissioner Doug Mood, City Councilmen Dick Haines and John Hendrickson, County Commissioner Larry Anderson, and Ward 6 candidate Lewie Schneller.

Funny.

But wait! Google to the rescue!

ward-6-lewie-schneller-at-missoula-gop-2007-picnic.jpg




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