Reporter picked a poor choice of words

Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009

As the city election draws to a close with the counting of absentee and question ballots, I feel the need to dispel a misconception regarding my campaign and express my dismay with the choice of words used by Pat Forgey in his reporting of the election in the Oct. 7 Juneau Empire. To quote Mr. Forgey, "Stone praised his opponent, who ran an active but poorly financed campaign."

The truth is, I ran a campaign without taking any contributions and without spending any money.

I submitted my name to run for Assembly District 1 for two reasons:

• To give voters a choice. District 1 previously had two years where the incumbent ran unopposed. Jeff Bush in 2007 and Merrill Sanford in 2008. While I have nothing against either person, I do not feel that any person should be allowed to run unopposed. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Assembly actions affect all of us in Juneau and there needs to be debate and discussion on all sides of the issues before a decision is made.

• I was at a point in my life where I was ready, willing and able to devote the countless hours required to be an effective Assembly member. I have always been an active participant and volunteer in this community, but the decision to run for office, at any level, is one that will affect your family, friends and work. I could not have considered running in 2007 or 2008 but this year was a different matter.

Would taking and spending money have changed the result of the election? I think not. One should be able to run a campaign for Assembly without large sums of money. Yes, I could have taken and spent money showering the town with yard signs and mailers but instead I told people who wanted to donate to my campaign to give to their favorite charity if they had a few dollars to spare. Juneau has so many families that are homeless, hungry and in dire straits.

I thank the local media and all the organizations who hosted debates, discussions and voter pamphlets during this campaign. We were given many opportunities to get our views aired on the issues facing Juneau. Granted that took quite a bit of time, but time is what I was willing and able to give. Spending large sums of money for yard signs, mailers and other advertising? Not so much. Besides, I can't help but wonder if all the old signs and mailers are now adding to our landfill problem now that the election is over.

Poorly financed campaign? How about a non-financed campaign. Wouldn't it be nice if a candidate didn't have to spend money to get their ideas and views heard so voters could mark an informed ballot?

Congratulations, David Stone, for your time and dedication to the people of Juneau.

Karen Lawfer

Assembly District 1 candidate


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