Posts tagged: 2011 city elections
As you may know, seven of seven candidates endorsed by Kootenai County Reagan Republicans in four towns in Kootenai County won last Tuesday, including two of two in Coeur d’Alene. Reagan Republican-endorsed Dan Gookin told Huckleberries that Coeur d’Alene residents were interested in chiefly three things: Where do you stand on a public vote on McEuen Field changes? Are you an incumbent? Are you a Republican? You had to score three-for-three to get the surly “throw-the-bums-out” vote – yes on a public vote on McEuen Field, no on incumbency, and yes on Republican pedigree in nonpartisan City Council race. All other issues were window dressing. Yet progressive Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members who face re-election in 2013 are moving ahead with the McEuen Field changes sans public advisory vote. In 2013, Bloem & Co. may learn how the British cavalry felt in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, “Charge of the Light Brigade”/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.
SR weekend columns:
In case you were wondering when Mary Souza would get around to gloating re: the election results Tuesday, you need wonder no longer. She does in her weakly newsletter. “Well, the good news is there will be two new voices on city council now. I know their votes may not carry the issues but they can speak out in public, televised meetings and ask questions. They can make a motion on a topic and get a second, so the whole council is forced to discuss the issue in public. Wow, that's big. Even if the final vote does not go the way many of us want, at least the council members have to give some sort of rationale for their decision. It’s a great step in the right direction.” Mary sez the three biggest issues in the election were: 1. Public vote on McEuen, 2. High salaries & raises at the city, and 3. Arrogance & disrespect from mayor & council. Funny, Dan Gookin, who knocked on many doors, said the issues were but three: 1. McEuen vote, 2. Are you an incumbent, and 3. Are you a Republican. I'll trust Dan on this one.
Question: Will one of the other council members change his/her position on a public vote on McEuen Field?
After he election loss in which she finished 3rd with 10.5% of the vote, Amber Copeland wrote on her blog: “Some people spend their entire lives inside of a shell of fear. There are many things they desire but don't seek simply because the idea of failure looms so heavily that the reward of success seems impossible. While this may be safe and predictable it sure doesn't help anybody acheive their goals. Reaching for things may end with burnt fingertips but not reaching for them always ends with nothing. Even when you don't win whatever prize you are after you must remember that it is our wounds that teach us how to be better fighters, how to build stronger armour, how to swim faster and jump higher. Those failures aren't actually failures at all.” More here.
Question: What lessons have you learned from failure?
In discussing his election win Tuesday, Dan Gookin told HucksOnline that people wanted to know about three things when he knocked on their doors: Where did he stand on the McEuen Field public vote? Was he an incumbent? Was he a Republican? That might explain the mood of Coeur d'Alene voters Tuesday. Meanwhile, Mayor Sandi Bloem & the three council members who'll face re-election in 2013 are determined to move ahead with changes to McEuen Field. That would mean a 4-3 vote is in place, opposing a public vote. That would also mean that the 4 incumbents are gambling with their political careers that the improvements will be so impressive that many residents will take a second look at their opposition to moving the boat launch, American Legion Baseball diamond, and 3rd Street parking lot. On the other hand, with the effectiveness of the Reagan Republican machine, Sandi Bloem, Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers, & Deanna Goodlander may figure that they're toast in two years any way. So why not proceed? I hate to see the CAVErs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) be given a stick to beat the Bloem administration for another 2 years. I'd also like to see changes to the under-utilized green space. If nothing else, I want to see the lower boat-trailer lot & the 3rd Street lot moved, to expand green space. I suspect most residents want to see some change. I'd also like to see some sort of compromise at this point that would bring an end to the war on McEuen Field. It's past time for this community to come together — DFO.
Question: Is there room for compromise on McEuen Field?
JohnA: My hat’s off to Dan (Gookin) and to all of the candidates. I have no idea why anyone would want to run for City Council. 750 bucks a month for the beating they take? No thanks. Al told me once that serving on the Council cost him tens of thousands of dollars because the time requirements took him away from his business. Of course, in Dan’s case, I imagine he could always write ‘City Council for Dummies’ during the meetings when the boring stuff is considered. In the meantime, congrats Dan. The third time was truly the charm. :)
Question: Have you ever run for office, at any level, from student body offices to local and beyond? Did you win? If not, did you try again?
Coeur d’Alene’s mayor and three council members say the election Tuesday of three critics of a multimillion-dollar plan to remake a downtown park does not sway their support for the plan. “I’m really committed to the parking and to improving the field,” said Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander of the plan to remake McEuen Field. “That’s what the future holds. We don’t plan for today. We plan for 10 years down the road.” On election night, the three winners of council seats – one incumbent and two challengers – said their victories resulted from public discontent over the plan, which would remove a boat launch and baseball fields, replacing them elsewhere in the city to make room for additional green space and other features/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.
Question: What will be the fallout if Mayor Bloem and the Coeur d'Alene council minority pushes ahead with changes to McEuen Field, on a 4-3 vote?
Message from Jeff Ward/Reagan Republicans to Facebook Friends this AM: “Congratulations to Steve Adams, Dan Gookin, Tim Timmins, Skip Hissong, Kerri Rankin Thoreson, Joe Malloy, and Vic Holmes on their fantastic victories last night. And congratulations to all the Reagan Republicans who knocked on doors, made phone calls, put up signs and licked stamps and envelopes to make it possible. It has been a long time coming but the walls have come tumbling down!”
Question: Did the walls come tumbling down or has Sauron & Saruman invaded the Shire?
Big Mac: I’m pretty hopeful about the results. Not all races went the way I wanted, but that’s democracy for you. With all the loose talk about Reagan Republicans and “geezers,” I think the main issue here still was the McEuen plan. The council and mayor rubbed a lot of voters the wrong way by keeping numbers secret, refusing to hold a referendum on the city’s most expensive project ever, and insisting, ridiculously, that no tax money would go to the project. Now the city should take a hard look at scaling back their plan or scrapping it entirely.
Question: What will become of proposed upgrades to McEuen Field now?
Seven of seven candidates endorsed by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans won handily last night in four different towns staging mayor and city council elections. No where will the money and influence of the Reagan Republicans be felt more than in Coeur d'Alene, where challengers Steve Adams and Dan Gookin ran ahead all night to win with 56% and 54% of the vote, respectively. Council incumbent Ron Edinger, who wasn't endorsed by the Reagan Republicans, swamped his opponent with 72% of the vote. All three winners in Coeur d'Alene support a public vote on proposed changes to McEuen Field. Other Reagan Republican winners were: Kerri Thoreson, Skip Hissong, and Joe Malloy in Post Falls council races; Tim Timmins in a Hayden City Council race; and Vic Holmes in the Rathdrum mayor's race. (Kerri Thoreson photo: Victorious Post Falls council candidate Joe Malloy at City Hall Tuesday night)
Question: Are you excited/disappointed by 2011 city election results in Kootenai County?
I'm rarely as baffled by a local election as I am by the one in Coeur d'Alene today. My gut tells me that Reagan Republican candidates Dan Gookin and Steve Adams are in good shape. They have the gale-wind support of dominant Republicans and 3 issues on their side (in descending order): McEuen Field, high-end city salaries, and perennial whipping boy LCDC. A long-time resident of Coeur d'Alene told me at the Viks playoff game last week that he's usually a Bloem administration supporter. But the lack of an advisory vote on McEuen Field bothers him. Another long-time resident told me he supports Sandi Bloem & her council because he's tired of seeing McEuen Field under-utilized. Gookin's attempt to tie well-known, well-respected former legislator George Sayler to unpopular President Barack Obama underscored the lengths challengers/Republicans were willing to go to win these spots. It's hard to match that passion on the other side. I hope I'm wrong. Edinger, despite his misstep w/nepotism involving his grandchildren, should survive for another term on the council. I expect Hayden Mayor Ron McIntire and Post Falls Councilman Kerri Thoreson & Skip Hissong to win re-election, too. The race between quiet-but-competent incumbent Scott Grant & Reagan Republican-backed Joe Malloy will test RR partisan clout in Post Falls — DFO.
Question: How successful will Reagan Republican candidates be tonight?
A Coeur d'Alene resident emails this to me (although I received it in the mail this weekend, too), with the observation: “I'm surprised Gookin felt he needed to do this officially from his campaign. Seems this would have been a better attack coming from his supporters and not an 'official' campaign piece. At least that's what I would have advised had I been supporting Gookin.”
Question: What do you make of Dan Gookin conjuring Barack Obama to dis opponent George Sayler in a nonpartisan City Council race?
Originally posted at 12:47 p.m.
Councilman Ron Edinger just emailed this message re: an accusation being made that he used his position to gain city employment for his grandchildren: “After many years of my family and me serving the citizens of Coeur d’Alene, I find myself forced to come to the public with this announcement. There is a law titled (18-1359, Using Public Position for Personal Gain) that was enacted in 1990. The law contains the provision that “no member of a council member’s family or mayor may be appointed or employed by the city with which the salary or wages are paid from the general fund.” With that said, for many years two of my grandsons have worked part-time within the city and for the last two summers a third grandson has worked seasonally for the street department. My grandsons were never appointed or hired by me; my family has always assumed that they could always apply as well as any other citizen in this community for these part-time positions. I have never, let me repeat, never used my position to further the aspirations of any employee of the city including those of my grandsons. Unbeknownst to them or me, they were ineligible for employment.” More here.
Challenger Steve Adams has raised more than triple the amount of money than incumbent John Bruning in his 2011 race for Bruning's Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 5. Adams has raised $5673 and spent $1695 through today's first filing period for campaign finance disclosure statements. Bruning has raised $1772 and spent $69 to date. Dark-horse candidate Amber Copeland has raise $220 and spent $13. Adams has received $1000 contributions from Charles Adams, Craig Adams, and Mary Adams, all of Coeur d'Alene; a $999 donation from Regan Properties, and a $500 donation from James Hollingsworth. Bruning has received one $200 donation, from Douglas Fagerness, of Coeur d'Alene, and loaned himself $200. Copeland has received two $100 donations, from Carole Preslar-Gibson and Sam Crawford. You can read all the campaign finance statements here.
Question: What do you make of Adams' warchest?
Item: Hollingsworth vows less government, more listening/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Three-time Republican representative candidate and building contractor Jim Hollingsworth is running for Coeur d'Alene City Council. The 71-year-old, in his first attempt for a city seat, is campaigning on scaling down the role of city government, including reducing employee wages and staff positions, loosening parking and building code restrictions and supporting a public advisory vote on the McEuen Field project.
Question: What exactly is meant by less government, more listening?
Amber Copeland grew up here and graduated from Bonners Ferry High School in 1999. Growing up here, she says, her world consisted of people she knew and would come to know. She grew up with two parents in her home, who had a handful with she and her brothers and sisters, Casey, Sean, Jody, Sarah and Billie Jo. Her house, overseen by her parents, Pam and Larry Copeland, wasn’t her only place of haven; she could always visit her grandparent’s homes, either Tom Copeland’s or Ron and Evelyn Smith’s. “Oh, don't call him grandpa … he hates that,” Amber said, referring to former sheriff and long-time county commissioner Ron Smith. “He prefers grandaddy, guess it's his southern roots!”/Mike Weland, News Bonners Ferry. More here. (News Bonners Ferry photo/Mike Weland: Amber Copeland & her 4 daughters Abigail, Gracie, Lillian and Baylee.
Question: Seems to me that newcomer Copeland has political pedigree. What do you think?
Here's further proof that it's nearly impossible to please Mary Souza of OpenCDA.com. In a response to another comment under a Coeur d'Alene Press thread about George Sayler's candidacy for City Council, Mary takes George to task for voting as a legislator in favor of urban renewal — you know, the engine that has helped build the Kroc Center, library, Riverstone, Education Corridor, Prairie Trail, and other progessive projects. Worse yet, George has attended fund-raising events at thehomes of the Charlie Nipp/Steve Meyer families — you know, the guys who developed the Ironwood Medical District and even brought us Millie & Mudgy (via Charlies wife). Now Mary's poohpoohing the idea that George would provide a second to Ron Edinger's motion for a public vote on McEuen Field. Harrumphs Mary: “But please be advised that a second is not the same as publicly standing firm against the removal of the perfectly functional boat launch and the historic, memorable American Legion ball field. Will George stand with the Friends of McEuen? … he hasn't said. I seriously doubt it.” More here (6:43 p.m. Thursday item).
Question: Do you believe George Sayler would second a motion for a public vote on McEuen Field, if he sez he will?
In his Kootenai Weekly Conservative newsletter, Reagan Republicans president Jeff Ward announces that his group plans to raise $10,000 to help Republicans win nonpartisan mayoral, City Council, and fire district seats Nov. 8. Writes Ward: “As you may know the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans were very active in the School Board and Highway District elections in May. Our Reagan Republican Victory Fund was highly effective in turning out Republicans voters through our mail ballot and voter targeting campaigns and we had great victories when our KCRR endorsed candidates won on Election Day. We called May 17 a “200 Million Dollar Day” because the officials elected that day control about 200 million tax dollars a year in Kootenai County. With the Mayoral, City Council and Fire District elections on November 8, we will have another “200 Million Dollar Day” in Kootenai County. This election the Reagan Republican Victory Fund hopes to raise twice as much (ten thousand dollars) as we did for the May elections. More here.
(Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Steve) Adams said he would look into reducing city department head wages by 10 percent each, giving 5 percent back to city coffers and 5 percent to the “rank and file” employees. He said he would implement this first for the police and fire departments, but consider it for all employees. He said he would also be interested in exploring ways to do away with the city's collective bargaining groups. “I would not have voted to accept those increases, but it's deeper than that because of the contracts,” he said about the proposal to give 3 percent cost of living raises for city employees. “I think I would support going the way of Wisconsin and getting rid of any union representation for government employees”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you think department heads in the city of Coeur d'Alene are paid too much?