Congratulations to all the municipal candidates who won on Tuesday. Congratulations also to the candidates who did not win. Win or lose, we are lucky to have such a wonderful group of civic-minded citizens in our community.
I'd like to respond to Jim Powell's strong assertion on election night that his opponent and supporters ran a negative campaign. As the author of several letters detailing Jim's 1998 APOC violations, I have been directly accused of being vitriolic and Jim has indirectly accused me of being part of a negative letter campaign. A second reading of my letters reaffirms my belief that the facts regarding Jim's APOC violations needed to be presented to the voters in a clear and factual manner before this election, as those facts were not available to the voters before the last election, and that is what I tried to do.
As for Gordon Evans' assertion that the Juneau Empire conducted a "yellow journalism" campaign against Jim, that is just pure baloney.
After the first story mentioning Jim's APOC violations came out, I showed a reporter the complete APOC records and she corrected a figure in that story. Then as I pored over the records for the umpteenth time a few days later, I discovered, to my great embarrassment, that I had taken a wrong figure from them. If I had not contacted her with my error, it would have never been noticed. To his credit, editor Steve Reed insisted on running a final correction along with another letter from me so that the public could have the correct and true figures. Would Mr. Evans have preferred that the Empire leave the sum of Jim's APOC violations at $25,000 or the more accurate lower figure?
On another note, Jim was upset that his wife and his wife's cousin, both elected public officials, were mentioned during the campaign. Since when is it not permitted to talk about elected public officials in public? He was upset that his father-in-law was mentioned in the paper because "he hasn't served in over 15 years." Jay Kerttula lost his re-election campaign for the state Senate in 1994, or seven years ago. Jim's always had a tough time with those big numbers!
Speaking of big numbers, keep an eye out for Jim's final campaign expenses, which I predict will come close to $30,000. Does anyone remember that he originally said "I expect to spend less than $20,000. I hope it's more like $18,000." Then two weeks later the Empire reported "Powell said he expects to spend less than he thought he would, probably $22,000 or $23,000." Since when is $23,000 less than $20,000? Would someone please help Jim with his math?!
I apologize to Jim for not trusting him as an elected public official, but based on the facts as I see them, he has given me little reason to do so. I congratulate him on his victory and I admire his spirit of community service. But his money won't buy my support.