Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What am I to Think?

So, ReNae Bowman, current Mayor of Crystal, posted this on her Facebook page the other day:

"What am I to think about a Senate District 45 Republican Party officer calling me “nasty and vile” in his blog and the reality is that he has never met me nor talked to me? I believe this is an indicator this person has very little in the way of personal integrity and absolutely no regard for truth or reality."

That Senate District 45 Republican Party officer is me. The blog in question is this one.

I believe that the particular post Bowman is referring to is this one, where I lay out my ballot choices for tomorrow.  In case it’s not obvious from the context, I’m not backing Bowman.

For the record, I never called her “vile”.  What I said was “The incumbent Mayor, ReNae Bowman, is a nasty, spiteful, and classless woman.  She needs to be retired from public ‘service’ permanently.”

So, where to begin?

I guess I’ll start with Bowman’s assertion that we’ve never met.  I suppose in a sense that is true, in that I’ve never shaken her hand, or held an extensive one-on-one conversation with her.  (I have spoken to her, in the most technical sense, in that I greeted her prior to the debate the other day.)

I have watched several videos of Mayor Bowman on Channel 12, our local Cable Access station, and I have been to two debates where she was a participant.  A few days ago I sat just a few seats away from her in the audience during the city council debate.

I find it rich that the Mayor feels that it’s improper for me to make a judgment about her because we’ve never met, but it’s totally proper for her to judge my integrity and regard for the truth, even though, according to her, we’ve, you know, never met.

But this isn’t entirely surprising, since self-awareness and an understanding of irony are not the Mayor’s strong suit.  This is, after all, the same woman who in one online tirade says she “hates” her opponent, and then also claims that she is the “positive” one in the race.

I called Mayor Bowman nasty, spiteful, and classless.  I stand by that statement.

In Bowman’s first debate this election cycle she said her opponents were going to claim “evil lurks around every corner”. (They didn’t.)  She admitted in the second debate that many find her “abrasive” but she considers that “leadership”.  She’s called her opponent a “liar” on many occasions, and as I covered above, she also said she “hates” him.  I think that covers nasty and spiteful.

As for classless, that impression was gained primarily by observing the Mayor’s body language during the debates.  When she was on stage she gave Al Gore a run for the money with her head shakes and eye rolls every time her opponents spoke.  During the City Council portion of the debate, when Bowman was in the audience, she added arm-folding and nasty comments under her breath to the head shaking.  To me, this type of open contempt for people you disagree with shows you lack class.

Now, about “regard for the truth,” this post from Community Solutions lays out the case that Bowman has very little, at least when it comes to the Crystal Airport. 

I hope that the Citizens of Crystal elect a new Mayor when they go to the polls tomorrow.  Jim Adams is a great guy, and a class act.

If they choose to retain Bowman, I hope that we can get a mirror installed in City Hall, because I think she needs a little time for self-reflection.

P.S. For even more classy fun, check out Bowman’s response to her critics on Facebook.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Election Judges Being Told Not to Inform Voters About How Amendments are Counted

MNGOP’s Janet Beihoffer sends along this alarming bit of information:

Issue: some Election Judges are being told they cannot explain that a blank vote on the amendments is an automatic “NO” vote. Other counties are requiring EJs to read the amendment instructions.

Yep, you read that right. In some areas, Election Judges are being told that they are not allowed to explain to voters how the voting process works.

I have confirmed that Election Judges in the City of Crystal were given this instruction at their training. 

What is not clear is where this direction ultimately came from.  Who believes that it is improper for an Election Judge to honestly and accurately inform a voter about how the process works?

Janet offers this advice to Election Judges out there:

Recommendation: Read the directions to the voters. If stopped, reference Minnesota Statute 201.27, Subd. 1 which says, “No officer, deputy, clerk or other employee shall intentionally…fail to perform or enforce any of the provisions of this chapter (to enforce election laws)… An individual who violates this subdivision is guilty of a felony.

From the Secretary of State website: Q: Is it true that if I don’t vote on a constitutional amendment, it is the same as a “no” vote? A: Yes, that is true. Constitutional amendments by law must be passed by a majority of all of the voters who vote on Election Day. Therefore, if you don’t vote on this question, the effect is the same as a “no” vote.

The Demonstration Judge (pp. 30, 21 of the 2012 Election Judge Guide) must remain impartial but is expected to explain how votes are counted. The 2012 Guide does not say anything about the specific constitutional amendments, it would be good practice to inform the voters of the guidance provided by the Secretary of State. Thus, when you point to the area of the ballot containing the two constitutional amendments, the Demonstration Judge should either read the instructions and the amendments OR say the underlined phrase above.