Things are getting mighty interesting in two of the more contentious races for Missoula City Council.
Missoula County Democrats sent out a release this morning saying they will file a complaint with the state's Office of Political Practices over a misleading radio ad by Ward 2 candidate John Hendrickson. The Dems allege the incumbent, whom we're admittedly not too fond of, is "trying to grab the coattails" of Mayor Engen with a confusing spot that started airing last week. According to the release:
On October 19, 2009, Roy Houseman sent the attached mailer to voters in ward 2. The mailer contains the following endorsement from Mayor John Engen: “The Missoula City Council should be comprised of leaders willing to offer solutions, work together and represent this great city as we meet the challenges of this remarkable place. Roy Houseman has demonstrated that brand of leadership. He listens and learns and acts to serve the best interests of his community. You can't ask for more and you shouldn't settle for less.”
As early as October 23, 2009, John Hendrickson began airing the attached radio ad, voiced by Gap West Broadcasting News Director Pete Deneault. The radio ad begins as follows: “Mayor John Engen says the Missoula City Council should be comprised of leaders willing to offer solutions, work together and represent this great city as we meet the challenges of this remarkable place. City councilor John Hendrickson fits these qualifications…”
In the other heated race, Ward 5 incumbent Dick Haines is pulling out all the stops against challenger Mike O'Herron. We received a particularly nasty mailer from Haines over the weekend, that questions, among other things, whether O'Herron would turn 23rd Street and Gharrett into "another Reserve Street." There are other reports of dirty campaigning by Haines.