Dear Newsletter Readers,
Our local CdA City Council election is more than “heating up”, it looks like something out of old-time New York politics---the intimidation from city hall is unbelievable! Here’s a quick overview of some of the action, followed by my review of each candidate in the city council races. Hope the information helps you make a clear voting decision:
1.The Reagan Republicans produced a flier supporting all three challengers for city council: Jim Brannon, Steve Adams and Dan Gookin. It included this one controversial sentence: “Jim Brannon is such a threat to the tax-and-spend liberals at city hall that, in a shocking act of dirty politics, they got him fired from his job as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity”. City Councilman Mike Kennedy went wild. He called Jim’s home and left a disturbing message on the phone machine. He confronted Jim the next day at Church, where Mike made accusations that Jim calmly told him were not true. Then the next morning, on Monday, Mike was at Brannon Campaign Headquarters, standing outside in the rain, pounding on the locked door for several minutes. Jim did not want another angry confrontation, so he did not answer the door and Mike finally went away.
2. The Mayor and City Council all signed a letter to the editor in the Press, denouncing the flier I mentioned above. Was this appropriate? Our elected leaders used their official titles to take action against a group of citizens, the Reagan Republicans, who were expressing an opinion? That’s our RIGHT to free speech, protected by the Constitution. Jeff Ward, the President of the Reagan Republicans did not back down. He wrote a strong letter to the mayor, which was also printed in the Press as a letter. You can read Jeff’s inspiring response by clicking here: http://opencda.com/?p=4245#more-4245
Here’s the first paragraph of Jeff's letter:
I am writing to you to emphatically respond to your astonishing abuse of the powers of your office. I am shocked at the threat of legal action by the City of Coeur d’Alene to stifle political debate and trample the First Amendment Rights of the members of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. Your statements in the Coeur d’Alene Press today and the intimidating words and actions of city employees demonstrate a caviler disdain for citizens’ rights of free expression and a willingness to use the legal power of the city to suppress political dissent...
3. Mike Kennedy has produced an attack piece, entirely against Jim Brannon, calling out two of the people who donated to Jim’s campaign. It is completely negative and nasty because it says nothing about Jim, or Jim’s behavior or Mike or Mike’s behavior. It attacks regular citizens who happened to donate, and infers that their donations will “buy” services from Jim Brannon. Mike Kennedy may work that way, but I’ll tell you that Jim does not. Jim is 100 times more honest that Mr. Kennedy could ever hope to be.
(I’m sorry, did I say this would be a “quick overview”? Ok, maybe not so quick, but you can read as much or as little as you want.)
4. Now other attack pieces are coming out, today, against Dan Gookin. They are dragging out a few blog comments from two years ago, and trying to make them look like official “statements” from Dan, which of course they were not. They were casual comments from a blog, taken out of context. (They were from a blog that Dan and I both left years ago because they were so sleazy. Many other legitimate bloggers left too. This is the site that called me a four-letter word, in print, that would make any woman cringe, right after I told them I was never posting there again.) Now they are attacking Dan Gookin? They have no credibility.
So, dear readers, enough of the tabloid stuff. It’s unbelievable to see grown people behaving so badly. Could there really be that much money and power at stake in this election? Why would Mike Kennedy need to raise more than $22,000 to win a part-time city council seat that pays $700. per month? No one else is even close; not even a third the amount.
And why was Mike Kennedy the ONLY candidate in this election who did not tell Jim Brannon he was sorry to hear about Jim’s job loss? The Mayor, Deanna and Woody all did. But not Mike. He said nothing.
So, here are MY CHOICES for Mayor and City Council:
Joe Kunka for mayor, Jim Brannon, Steve Adams and Dan Gookin for council.
Let’s SWEEP CITY HALL CLEAN!
Below you will find some info on each of the council candidates. Please VOTE and make sure everyone you know gets out to vote on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd.
Have a great weekend. And if any of you want to help with the campaigns this weekend, just email me and I'll give you the details. --Mary
CdA City Council, Seat 6:
Deanna Goodlander has been on CdA City Council for 12 years:
--She has a consistent record of voting for tax increases.
-- She is a sitting member of the LCDC urban renewal board and openly supports all of their actions. LCDC’s method of skimming property tax money from the whole downtown gives them a huge influx of cash. Every taxpayer in the City and County pays more to make up the difference. LCDC will get $5.2 million dollars this year alone, according to their own information. This money allows them to give grants to private projects, subsidize large developers and give money to large public projects without asking the voters
--Deanna lists the new Library as one of her big accomplishments, yet she and the city never kept their big promise of selling the old library to help pay for the new one. They just took an extra $1 million from the public coffers, without telling us or asking for our vote.
So, here’s the synopsis for Deanna:
Works to avoid the voters.
Dan Gookin is running against Deanna. He has lived in the area for 16 years and has raised his family here. Dan is the internationally successful author of more than 118 books on personal computing, his most famous being “PCs for Dummies”.
Dan has been involved in local governmental issues for many years. He frequently attends City Council meetings, budget workshops, LCDC meetings and often speaks at these events.
Dan has the courage to run for city council now, when most will not, because he is independent; he does not work for anyone else. I have known him for four years and can tell you he is smart, honest, hard working and cannot be bought. There are no “strings attached” to Dan!
Here’s a synopsis of Dan’s beliefs:
Increased accountability and budget oversight
Greater involvement of the voters!
(For more info on Dan, click here: http://dangookin.com)
CdA City Council, Seat 2:
Mike Kennedy has been on City Council for 4 years:
---Mike consistently votes for tax increases. In fact, at a recent candidate forum, when Mike was asked how the city might deal with the recession, he suggested TWO NEW TAXES!
--He is a huge supporter of LCDC. You all know by now that Mike is
closely tied into the whole LCDC-development network because his boss
at his regular job is a business partner of LCDC’s most powerful member. The influences and connections run deep. And, of course, as described above, LCDC causes all of us to pay more.
--Mike is particularly rude to people who question the city’s actions. There’s plenty of video showing Mike lashing out at citizens during public meetings. One example is a man who politely asked a question during the Comments segment of a council meeting. Mike grilled the guy, demanding to know if the man had a degree in engineering? Or construction management? Or municipal planning? What is our town coming to, that a regular person cannot ask their government a question without being publicly ridiculed?
--Mike also supports all of the city & NIC’s methods of avoiding the voters.
--Mike has raised more than $22,000 to fund his campaign for a part-time city council position that pays only $700. per month. A large percentage of Mike’s donations have come from way out of town, southern Idaho and a lot from out-of-state. Does this make you wonder?
Here’s a synopsis of Mike:
Lots of ties and connections
Disrespectful to citizens
We know better than the voters!
Jim Brannon is running against Mike Kennedy. Jim has lived in CdA for 18 years with his wife Christine. They have one grown son. Jim was an investment adviser for years, and is the recently former Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity. You know the story: 90 minutes before the televised candidate forum about a week ago, Jim was handed a letter terminating his job. The board of Habitat is heavily connected with the political power players in the city. Intimidation is alive and well in CdA!
Jim is adamant about fiscal oversight. He is great with budgets and demands careful use of taxpayer money. During his years directing Habitat, Jim was able to get a large number of homes built for those in need, without taxpayer money. He believes in helping people help themselves.
Jim attends LCDC meetings on a regular basis, and city council meetings as well. He wants much greater oversight of LCDC and more complete disclosures of their conflicts of interest.
Jim is deeply committed to public involvement in the process of our council, and is upset by the lack of respect coming from our elected officials to the public.
Here’s a synopsis of Jim:
Survives continued intimidation attempts
Demands financial accountability
Greater oversight of LCDC
Get the public back in the process
CdA City Council, Seat 4:
Woody McEvers has been on CdA City Council for 8 years. Woody is known as the soft guy of the group and ends up voting with the rest of them almost all the time.
---Woody questions increased taxes, wonders if it’s the right choice, but then votes in favor.
--Woody wonders about LCDC and it’s tax impact on everyone, but then votes to support everything they want.
--Woody is never rude to the public, but he does not speak out when others on the council are treating people badly. He sits quietly and says nothing.
-- Woody does not follow through with the decent questions he sometimes asks. He does not try to get accountability from the budget or LCDC or NIC
--Here’s Woody’s famous line, uttered just a couple months ago at a city council meeting with NIC: “If you can’t trust the government, who can you trust?”
Here’s a synopsis of Woody:
Wonders about “stuff”, but votes with the rest
Allows LCDC to go unchecked
Doesn’t speak out against intimidation
Doesn’t demand voter rights
(Woody does not have a campaign website)
Steve Adams is running against Woody. I did not know Steve prior to his city council bid, but I have been very impressed with him. He was born in CdA and lives here with his wife and three boys. Steve has been an insurance agent here for 18 years.
Steve is a smart, quiet, nice guy who just gets to work and gives it his all. He has been out knocking on doors, all by himself, since the middle of August. He’s been to more than 2,000 homes in our city, and still going. Steve also stands on street corners, holding his sign and waving at people. You’ve probably seen him.
Steve believes the city should protect taxpayers and lower our tax rates. He does not like the way LCDC has been managed in our town, and believes in honesty and integrity in all aspects of life.
Synopsis of Steve:
ALL of these challengers are men of integrity and honesty. And that’s a good place to start.
(PS--to my new readers--the newsletters are not usually this long, I promise!)
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