by Travis Mateer
The title of this post is NOT who is QUALIFIED to be the Mayor of Zoom Town because who am I kidding? This isn’t the kind of political climate where the cream of the crop is going to rise to the top. Instead we’ll be dealing with substances that look more like this:
Am I walking into a metaphor that connotes some sort of unconscious racial bias? Probably, and thanks to someone who REALLY doesn’t know any better, race gets to be a fun focus for the slate of candidates that unsurprisingly will include Jacob Elder.
Here’s the inevitable announcement I hoped I wouldn’t see on Facebook:
What is driving this young man to ignore the drubbing he received against Mayor Engen? A political loss that occurred BEFORE the no contact court-order imposed on Elder after serious allegations have once again been directed at him, this time from his baby mama? Is it the church community helping this troubled young man keep the faith, thus wasting our time, with his obsession?
Moving on (like Elder needs to do) we have Jordan Hess, a City Council person and Director of Transportation for ASUM. Or is he? I’ve heard Hess has moved on from that position. Is he getting ready to be Mayor?
The next possible candidate might not even be a possible candidate, but the way Stacie Anderson glared at me and my council viewing partner during the long Council meeting made me realize I had no idea what Anderson does when she isn’t killing Carlino amendments, and after some quick online searching, I STILL don’t know, but it has something to do with making more progressive candidates like her and Pete Buttigieg.
When you go to the New Deal profile page for Stacie Anderson, you’ll see the organization she is supposedly the director of. From the link (emphasis mine):
Councilmember Anderson was born and raised in Montana and is a proud graduate of the University of Montana, with a degree in Organizational Communications. Stacie is a passionate believer that the best way to ensure good policy is by electing effective policy makers; she has worked with and led several statewide organizations whose missions range from electing conservation champions to electing more progressive pro-choice women. Councilmember Anderson currently serves as the Executive Director of A Better Big Sky, which is a state-based donor alliance that works to fund greater civic engagement and progressive leadership.
I tried finding more about A Better Big Sky, but there isn’t much online about this organization, which I find a little weird, so instead I poked around the New Deal website to see who else are promoted leaders, and I found another Stacey who is very well known for her political activism:
If you’re interested in how created political persons like Stacie and Stacey operate, the Propaganda Report has been tracking Stacey Abrams for quite some time. Here’s a podcast episode examining some of the questions Abrams raises with her political advocacy.
On Friday, Missoula citizens will get to see the names of those who turned in applications to be Mayor. I’ll be writing more as this process plays out, so stay tuned.
And, as always, thanks for reading!
Some Mayoral thoughts: I believe Jones’ ego is too big – being acting Mayor suits her. I dont know if City Charter rules preclude her from consideration but if not I’d expect her to push hard to remain (seems she is already working Council to align).
I’ve always seen Hess as too much of a lick spittle to be Mayor. However, he does have some “old Missoula” backers that push him forward. I expect if he is chosen it will be due to his malleability. “Old Missoula” money will breath easy that they would again have a Mayor to put their interests first.
Never thought Anderson had the ambition but recently changed my view. She is actually a very good politician; she can talk at length without saying Anything and never painting herself into a policy corner. And she is adept at deflecting all criticisms toward the State. Her go to is that the mean State government and their lack of taxation keeps Missoula from reaching its true Utopian state (therefore the City is forced to gouge home owners to achieve the same).
I still think Slotnick will be a player. Engen spent the past few years grooming him – for what reason if not to succeed? Strohmaier’s recent statement that City/County need to be unified seems to anticipate a Slotnick appointment.
Finally, and most telling of all involved, is how quick the Council came out to quash any pointed questing of the MRA and Queen Ellen. Lets one know that no matter who is chosen there will be no end to slush fund financing (imagine if someone suggested using the MRA’s $40 million balance to offset the 12% tax increase to citizens – never happen).
As the saying goes….new boss same as the old boss – just a different mustache
Remember, old EB’a fav event is setting up later this afternoon, maybe I can receive another well-earned glare?
I think they’ll offer up Nugent. He’s new to the council, doesn’t have a voting history, and has family ties to the Engen empire. Most of the other candidates have too much history, and will just continue to be whittled down like Engen was, for failed policies and being tone deaf with a large portion of the Missoula community. Nugent might even survive politically long enough to actually run for Mayor in a real citizen election in a couple years.
I concur with webdoodle. There has been much signaling (virtue- and otherwise) from “The Nuge” recently:
(1) What webdoodle said.
(2) He broke with the liberals to side with the democratic socialists twice Monday night (including by supporting Kristin Jordan’s proposal to provide $261,573 to Fire Dept. for Mobile Support Team, from surplus ARPA funds).
(3) The Nuge sent me a FB friend request today. This follows our interaction Monday evening when I said that for a fraction of the millions wastefully spent on the Ravara Project that yielded zero truly affordable housing units but accelerated gentrification while enriching multistate development consortiums, the City could have built hundreds of small houses on the land it squandered in a vast money-losing sale to the Ravara partners. The Nuge responded that the City can’t afford to be in the development business, citing the inapposite example of the $42 million Villagio Project. I said I’d meet him for lunch to go over figures I calculated last year and his body language and facial expression signaled willlingness to do that.
(4) He has history with some of the MT Progressive Democrats including some Sandersnistas. I’m informed that there used to be regular poker game in town with him as regular, and that he’s known to his friends as “The Nuge.”
(5) His dad is the almost half-century-long City Attorney.
I also agree with you, Mr. Skink, that Stacie Anderson and Jordan Hess are likely Mayoralty applicants. Acting Mayor Gwen Jones had signaled that she isn’t interested in the three-year gig.
I think that a Mike Nugent interim mayoralty spells trouble for Daniel Carlino, whom many of us hope will run for Mayor in three years. Anderson would likewise prove formidable competition for Daniel, but I doubt she could put together the mass grassroots organization that will spring up for Carlino. She’ll get lots of money from out of state quasi-progressive organization members, and Emily’s List donors, though.
If Hess has left his current gig, it hasn’t kept him from being an hour or more late to Council and Committee meetings lately.
BTW, Travis, your comments Monday night were excellent.
FYI, here is a breakdown on votes on several of the proposed budget amendments Monday night:
The political orientation identifiers noted after each Alderperson’s name are not in official minutes but rather are my additions, to-wit: “L” = liberal; “LBN” = libertarian; “DS” = democratic socialist.
FAILED AMENDMENTS (totalling $1,912,891):
AMENDMENT MOVED BY ALDERPERSON CARLINO (DS): Cut $630,318 for security services by Rogers International at shelters and the authorized camp site. FAILED. AYES (3): Carlino (DS); Jordan (DS); Vasecka (LBN). NAYS: Nugent (L); Savage (L); Sherrill (L); West (L); Anderson (L); Becerra (L); Contos, (LBN); Hess (L); Jones (L).
AMENDMENT MOVED BY ALDERPERSON JORDAN (DS): Appropriate $261,573 to Fire Dept. for Mobile Support Team, from surplus ARPA funds. FAILED. AYES (4): Jordan (DS); Nugent (L); Savage (L); Carlino (DS). NAYS: Sherrill (L); Vasecka (L); West (L); Anderson (L); Becerra (L); Contos (LBN).
AMENDMENT MOVED BY ALDERPERSON CARLINO (DS): Add $300,000 to fund the affordable housing and climate action incentives program, from surplus ARPA funds. FAILED. AYES (3): Carlino (DS); Jordan (DS); Hess (L). NAYS (8): Sherrill (L); Nugent (L); Vasecka (LBN); West (L); Becerra (L); Anderson (L); Contos (LBN); Jones (L).
AMENDMENT MOVED BY ALDERPERSON VASECKA (LBN): Add funding for one motorcycle for the police fleet totaling $45,000 to be funded by capital leases. FAILED. AYES (6): Anderson (L); Hess (L); West (L); Contos (L); Vasecka (LBN); Savage (L). NAYS (6): Becerra (L); Jones (L); Sherrill (L); Carlino (DS); Nugent (L); Jordan (DS).
PASSED AMENDMENTS (totaling $40,000):
AMENDMENT MOVED BY ALDERPERSON CARLINO (DS): Add $25,000 for quick build neighborhood traffic management in Public Works Mobility, from Road District 1 funds. PASSED. AYES (11): Sherill (L); Vasecka (LBN); West (L); Savage (L); Anderson (L); Becerra (L); Carlino (DS); Hess (L); Jordan (DS); Nugent (L); NAYS (1): Contos (LBN).
AMENDMENT MOVED BY ALDERPERSON CARLINO (DS): Add $15,000 in one time funding from ARPA surplus funds for Community Zero Waste Infrastructure, Incentives and Capacity, to-wit: to fund one AmeriCorps position for that purpose. PASSED. AYES (8): Carlino (DS); Contos (LBN); Jordan (L); Nugent (L); Savage (L); Sherrill (L); West (L); Anderson (L). NAYS (4): Becerra (L); Hess (L); Jones (L); Vasecka (LBN).
P.S. — Note the irony of a transportation guy (Hess) being very late for Council meetings.