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Instead of flinging mud, candidates should try having coherent thoughts and building a platform around them

Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013 5:00 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The current campaign for mayor of the city of Morris has been one of the most enjoyable election cycles I can think of in years because we have three candidates with vastly different levels of experience and campaigning abilities.

In the last three weeks or so, I have received in the mail some of the most entertaining reading I’ve had since my last Carl Hiaasen novel — letters from the Grundy County Young Republicans (GCYR) and its chairman, Arin Hansen, for Alderman Drew Muffler; a candidate profile flier for Mr. John Brooks; and an apparently unpublished Voice of the People written by someone in the Brooks campaign.  While I found very little of it informative or valuable, I did enjoy them purely for the comedy.

My first instinct on both letters, along with the glossy-finished political flier, was to grade them for poor grammar and send them back.  I’m shocked that any candidate, for any office, would ever endorse such a poorly written mailing being sent out in his name.

Judging these mailings strictly on the information they contained, I found that they held little value. The GCYR’s mailing was intrusive, juvenile, and completely legal, though unnecessary in my opinion.  The only reason they did it, as best as I can tell, was that the few votes that Mr. Brooks was likely to get in the election were going to come from potential Muffler “supporters”.

At the end of the letter, they essentially called Mr. Brooks a Democrat because he has voted in some primaries as a Dem, which made me laugh out loud. I’ve pulled Republican ballots in primaries because, in any given election cycle, one primary can matter more than the other.  It has little to do with party in my world, and I’d assume that Mr. Brooks feels the same way. But either way, he’s running as an Independent — not a Dem.

The Brooks mailings were unfortunate to say the least. Apparently, the Morris Daily Herald elected not to publish the letter, but instead of getting angry, Mr. Brooks and his campaign should have thanked them vigorously and taken the editorial staff out to lunch as a token of his appreciation. He chose to copy it thousands of times and pay to have it mailed to voters who will read it and say: “This guy wants to be the CEO of a business with a $24-25M annual operating budget? Pass.”

Additionally, he states that because the other two candidates never served in the military, they can’t possibly criticize him... apparently for anything. As a veteran, I can assure you, there are plenty of people who have defended this country and have deserved criticism for something they have done either during their service or outside of it. Taking the oath doesn’t make you angelic, untouchable, or above reproach.  And it certainly, all by itself, doesn’t qualify you for a job as a mayor/ city administrator.

I did, however, receive in the mail a political flier that was intelligent, well-written, concise, accurate, and to the point. There was no meandering, insinuation, false accusation, or unfounded speculation — just verifiable information. Facts. Thank you Mayor Kopczick. Your mailer was informational (and boring by comparison).

Some before me have lamented the death of class and decorum in modern-day political campaigns. I’m not going to do that. I will however make a different appeal:

Have some coherent thoughts.  Turn those into a political platform.  Compare and contrast your platform against your opponent(s). Explain why your platform is better and will lead the voters in the right direction. Don’t allege things that can’t be proven. Don’t sling mud when you have nothing else. Try and exhibit the class and maturity that this office demands. It’s difficult, I know.  I would also recommend hiring a proofreader.

For those of you who don’t care for the Kopczick Administration, get used to four more years. You can partly thank his unofficial campaign staff of Brooks, Bojovic, Muffler, Hansen, and the GCYR.

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