Letter to the Editor

There was a great letter to the editor yesterday about the City of Great Falls' refusal to allow City Commission Candidate, Stuart Lewin, campaign on his bicycle at the Riverfest event due to 'safety concerns.' (Someone please explain to me how a bike with a sign that says "Lewin for City Commission" is inherently more 'unsafe' than one without such a sign.)

Now I disagree with Lewin on most everything, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have First Amendment rights. And from the sounds of the letter, a lot more happened that day and since than has been reported in the Tribune:

Having a city official subject a candidate for City Commission to a screaming fit in public and advocating false arrest is not a "tempest in a teapot." The fact that as a representative of this city she carried out this action against a candidate critical of her boss, lied about having called City Attorney David Gliko, submitted what appears on its face to be false police report [sic] (a crime), and created a public disturbance at the very event she was trusted to oversee is outrageous!

Since I've been mentioned in the Tribune as the "unidentified" individual on the phone with Patty Gumenberg, let me say that I identified myself, as I am doing now, by name, as a supporter of Stuart Lewin for City Commission.

I don't blame Ms. Gumenberg for embellishing that conversation, given the fact that she has to justify the unjustifiable and given the embarrassment she has caused, but she definitely did not tell me or anyone else that "campaigning would have to be done at a booth." The fact that she accused a candidate in public of not obeying the (unspecified) law when she herself is on the wrong side of law speaks for itself.

I have a law degree (as does Mr. Lewin) from one of the [sic] America's finest law schools.

Ms. Gumenberg should have, at least, the knowledge of any elementary school student of the First Amendment. Open government and free speech cannot be made up as we go along. [Emphasis Added]

P.S. Why isn't the Tribune going ballistic over this? They have sued for less.

1 comment:

Treasure State Jew said...

Well said! I cannot believe a city employee would have the chutzpah to try and deny someone from speaking in a public park.