On May 1st, 2012 at 6:30PM there was a political forum in Mountain Home, Idaho put on by the Chamber of Commerce and our local Elks Lodge. I was there and if you weren't you should have been. Who Showed - The Mountain Home Primary Election Political Forum
My guess is there were about 125-200 citizens in attendance at this forum. There were exactly 14 candidates sitting at the table ready for some hard hitting questions from the general public.
Websites for Platform?
- Rich Wills, our State Representative, decided to attend but not face the public because “he is running unopposed” in the Primary and likely in the November election. I wouldn't call that cowardly...would you?
From what I heard from most of the candidates last night, I was and wasn't impressed. Of course, 1 minute sound bites really don't give you enough info to determine if someone is electable in November. That's what websites are for unless the candidate is going to open a full time election office in town. But just in case “the people” want to know what your platform is or what you stand for, a website should actually be considered mandatory. I'll be compiling a list of candidate websites soon. If a candidate doesn't have an informative website before the elections, they will be ridiculed by me...seriously. The Political Forum Advertising?
Just like a candidate must have a website, a full on advertising blitz needs to be attempted to get people involved in our political process and this forum. In short, if you are not part of the “in crowd” and/or missed the road signs, this political forum would have been a non-event.
The Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce put this event on and their website was almost devoid of any information. Let me check my calendar....Yep, it's the year 2012 and most people have internet connections. I also saw nothing on Facebook, Twitter, the City or County website about this event. Come guys, a few lines on a few websites and “the people”
have the opportunity to get a political education. Maybe someone doesn't want that to happen?Questions Were Good Except
I was impressed with the quality of the questions asked at this political forum. But I'm not going to dwell on the good. The bad is more telling when it comes to finding out what “the people” are thinking. And my favorite question was directed at the motley crew running for an Elmore County Commissioner seat. “What can you do to encourage higher education to come to Elmore County”
was the question. That certainly isn't a direct quote but it gets it into the ballpark.
So what's wrong with that question? Well, it shows a total lack of understanding of what our County Commissioners job is. You wasted my time by asking the question. No seriously, it was a really stupid question.The Commissioner Hopefuls Have a Plan?
A question was asked of all candidates. It went something along the lines of “If elected, what do you think will be the biggest challenge you will face in the future”
I believe most candidates for Commissioner answered something along the line of“Expanding or creating new jobs and/or businesses in the county. And partnering with the Mountain Home Economic Development Department would be a good 1st step.”
While I agree with the sentiment and the idea, I'd like to know what direction Elmore County (and the City) wants to head in the future. I mean, we should already have a plan...a vision of what this county wants to become and be known for in 5, 10 and 25 years. But there is no published plan. The Economic Development Department, Elmore County and even the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce and the El-Wyhee Business Association have no plan.
The movers and shakers in this area “want and want and want some more”
but have no plans to get to their unstated goal. And the people whose job it is to define and move towards that goal are missing in action. Hopefully the 2 newly elected county commissioners will actually develop a vision and start working to get there. Who Did Well During the Forum
- Senator Tim Corder: Senator Corder was probably the most well spoken person at the forum. Obviously he isn't well liked by the Republican Party of Idaho right now. He's apparently not conservative enough for the normal Idahoan. But he seems to have common sense, good ideas and can back up what he says with information and sound reasoning. A trait lacking in other candidates.
- Independent District 23 Senatorial Candidate Bill Chisholm: While he won't be on the May 15th Primary ballot he has some good ideas and appears to “think outside of the box”. If Tim Corder doesn't win the Primary, Bill Chisholm will likely get my vote in November. He might even get my vote if Corder is on the November ballot.
- Matthew Bundy is a Republican running for District 23 State Representative: He is a well spoken individual with some fresh new thinking and I think he needs to be considered as a strong and viable candidate. I also feel his opponents Millington and Nielsen are scared of this newcomer?
Who Bombed the Forum
- Bud Corbus running for County Commissioner: A local businessman, entrepreneur, soft-spoken and common sense type of guy. He's the man for the job.
- The 2nd Amendment Candidates: I believe Senator Brackett, Representative Nielsen and “County Commissioner hopeful Ireland” made the Second Amendment to the US Constitution an issue for this election. I'm trying to figure out where the 2nd Amendment comes into play for these elected officials? If these candidates would be honest with us they'd come right out and tell us they're using (pimping) the 2nd Amendment just to get your vote. Didn't work for me...you lost my vote just for bringing the issue into play.
- Senator Brackett Bombed: This guy isn't well spoken by any stretch of the imagination. But that's not a reason to discount him. His stand on the issues and his insinuation that opponent Sen Corder isn't “a conservative enough Republican” was more than enough to push him into the unelectable category. It's the “issues” that should and will get you votes. Seems Brackett's only issue was pimping the “military” with a military home owners tax exemption?
- Representative Hopeful Pam Chiarella Sorta Bombed: Speaking style and incoherent message was a huge distraction for me. As the lone Democrat in this race...Pam could walk down the center of Mountain Home with six-guns hanging from her hips, a cold dead sage grouse clutched in her fist and a bloody mutilated wolf hide thrown over her shoulder and she'll still lose the election in November.
- Representative Nielsen Bombed Too: Pete is a throw-back candidate. I suspect he'd be more relevant if the year was 1806 or maybe the McCarthyism era of the 1950's. This well spoken candidate needs to pass on the torch to someone a little more modern and in touch with the 21st century. Hopefully Pete wasn't clutching a copy of the US Constitution in his hand during this entire forum but I think he was.
Caveat For Bondyweb Thought Process
- Commissioner Hofer Bombed Big: Being a bad public speakers in acceptable. Being extremely shy is acceptable. But I don't believe Al Hofer uttered more than 50 total words during this forum. I am a firm believer in “actions speak louder than words”, but stringing together 3 sentences to answer relevant questions should be a prerequisite for the job.
The US Constitution is a wonderful document. It is a great “source document” for making laws and the running our country. But make no mistake, if it's a document you must carry around with you and show off, then I'd have to say there is a problem. And if you must constantly affirm your faith in the 2nd Amendment, then maybe politics shouldn't be your career choice and you should consider a career in the firearms business. In other words, stop pimping our Constitution. It's not a political document so stop using it as such.