Biggest disappointment of the night: Mike Montgomery’s loss

Looking at both our endorsements AND my predictions I made yesterday, you might have already figured out that my biggest disappointment in last night’s results was Mike Montgomery’s apparent loss of his seat on Richland County Council.

Actually, last night was a bad one all around for you folks who live in Richland County, whether you know it yet or not. In the only other contested race, Gwen Kennedy — remembered mainly for her Hawaiian junket at taxpayer expense (and for almost nothing else because she basically accomplished nothing in office that I can recall) when she was on the Council before — won. But we expected that — there was no way a Republican was going to win that seat against a Democrat with name recognition, even BAD name recognition.

But Montgomery was arguably the best, brightest, hardest-working member of council, a guy who truly had the interest of everyone in the county, regardless of party or anything else like that, at heart. On a council that had lost its way recently — putting $30 million for parks ahead of transportation and other critical needs — he was one guy who was right on those and other issues, an extremely level-headed pragmatist with his priorities straight. This is a deep loss for anyone who cares about the future of the county.

And he lost to a guy who — and I kid you not — had exactly two reasons for running:

  1. He didn’t think Decker Boulevard was getting redeveloped quickly enough.
  2. He thought there should be a Democrat on the ticket to take advantage of the Obama Effect. Really. That was his reason. When his wife, who lost to Montgomery in the last election, wouldn’t run again, he put his own name on the ballot. That’s pretty much his story.

So basically, we have here a monument to party line voting over merit, the most stark that I saw in this election. And it’s a real shame.

Oh, and I would have given you some pictures of these two guys on this post, BUT MY LAPTOP GOT STOLEN LAST NIGHT. But perhaps I already mentioned that.

43 thoughts on “Biggest disappointment of the night: Mike Montgomery’s loss

  1. p.m.

    My biggest disappointment of the night was North Carolina.
    The heathens.
    But this kind of thing has been going on a long time up there, at least since they started trying to claim Andrew Jackson, who himself claimed South Carolina as his birth state.
    Now I can see why.

  2. Ozzie

    Overheard at a Lexington strip mall this morning:
    “What are we going to do? Where can we go? It is just a matter of time before the terrorists hit! Someone will bomb us soon, for sure!”
    Looks like some are suffering indeed at the results. I can’t help but think they are plaguing themselves.
    Look at it this way: SC beat Tennessee last weekend, the sun is coming out tomorrow, and gas is under $2 a gallon!

  3. Ozzie

    Well, Brad won’t like my seeing the cheap gas as positive, but for the time being, maybe it’s a little reprieve. If we could only see it that way and not delay doing something about energy needs in the future.

  4. Barchibald T Barlow

    Biggest Disappointment of the night: All 6 incumbent Representatives, including my Representative Joe Wilson, and Senator Lindsay Graham were reelected. After every single one of them voted for the “Bailout Bill” I hoped that they would all be out of office, but not one will have to face any consequences for such a terrible vote.

  5. Lee Muller

    Gerrymandered districts protect all the Congressmen from challengers, so they are unaccountable to the voters. They answer to the party.
    Mike Montgomery was on the wrong side of many issues, like not wanting to hold the bus system accountable. Voters saw no reason to get excited about another councilman who is a rubber stamp for Bob Coble and his crowd.

  6. Capital A

    But this kind of thing has been going on a long time up there, at least since they started trying to claim Andrew Jackson, who himself claimed South Carolina as his birth state.
    Now I can see why.
    Posted by: p.m. | Nov 5, 2008 12:30:03 PM
    For years, I have been trying to give AJ away to Tarheels. Besides the Battle of New Orleans and hastening the acceptance of the “dumbening”(Simpsons word)of American political discourse, what did the racist psychopath accomplish?
    “But…but…he has statues made of him!”
    I know, dear protestor, I have seen them myself as I am from what would be his home county if he were alive today. One day, Babybush will have similar devotions and his terrors and transgressions will be forgotten unfortunately, too.
    And before you interject with the “You can’t judge someone’s morality in a time period different from your own!” defense, I say go chew on some old hickory. You can never convince me that our vaunted redneck leader at the time thought that the Trail of Tears was going to be little more than a brisk, healthy walk.
    The biggest disappoitnment of the night was the fact that SC remained red. We’re always behind the trend and never out in front…but we’ll get there, one day, while I breathe and hope.
    I guess the spectres and shadows of Lee Atwater, Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond still loom large in my home state. Maybe in the future, we’ll do a better job of exposing what they have done to damage what they claimed to love.
    I’ve been tempted to think that one day may never come, but then yesterday happened.

  7. Brad Warthen

    Oh, I’m with you on Old Hickory — I think his election over John Q. was the ruination of the republic. I kid you not.
    But I have to differ with you on the “SC being behind the trend.” We’re not behind. We’re not ahead. We’re different.
    And I still believe that S.C. voters were right yesterday, as were 46 percent of voters across the country. But thank God that, if Obama had to win, he won BIG in the electoral college, so we don’t have to hear a lot of whining about voter fraud, etc. If McCain had won, and it had been close, we’d be hearing from the Democrats about “disenfranchisement.” That is, they’d have said “disenfranchisement” AFTER we’d peeled them off the ceilings that they’d stopped screaming long enough.
    Both sides make me tired with that stuff. So I’m glad we have a clear winner. I wish it had been the other guy, but you can’t have everything.

  8. Jeff Mobley

    Brad, I would think that another disappointment would be that the 2nd and 3rd proposed amendments (about funding pensions) were defeated.
    There should have been more of an effort to explain this to people. I know the timing was bad with the current situation in the stock market, but this should have been a no-brainer (in my opinion).

  9. Jeff Mobley

    Just to be clear, there should have been more of an effort to explain these proposed amendments by state leaders. I know The State made a case for these two items.

  10. Lee Muller

    The Democrats say they are going to take over the private retirement accounts anyway. They already authorized some of the bank bailout money to bail out union pensions and some state pensions.
    If they have their way, you won’t be permitted to save any more of your own money. The government will give everyone $600.00 a year. That will let you live at the Third World standards idealized by Obama.

  11. Phillip

    Not too many disappointments from my perspective, naturally…though I would have liked to see Obama’s total higher here and in Georgia (I blew that call big time) Very very proud of the state I grew up in, our neighbor to the north, both for going for Obama and especially for the bottom falling out of Dole’s numbers after running that appalling ad (memo to Libby…it’s not a Jesse Helms state any more). Seems that the blue wave is moving further and further south, though. (Plus coming in from the Pacific coast further and further east. Montana almost going for Obama? wow.)
    An amazing day. A win beyond my expectations. Now Obama must govern on the basis of his appeal to the moderates and centrists and independents who turned to him in such overwhelming numbers. They are his constituency and they are looking for the end to the old-style politics. Let’s hope his presidency fulfills those hopes.

  12. Matt

    I know Jim Manning. He’s a sincere, hardworking, capable person. He’s a family man unlike many I’ve met. I know he can do a good job as a member of county council. To denigrate him as a two plank hack with an “I kid you not” comment is insulting and wrong. Give the man a chance. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
    One more thing, I kid you not, but the two anti-abortion referendums last night both went down in flames. Since you all but admitted that the abortion issue was the deciding factor in your endorsement I think you need to realize that even a McCain state like South Dakota will support a woman’s right to choose. It’s over.

  13. p.m.

    Gee, Cap, I can see you don’t have a sarcasm meter, either, just like Phillip (or was it Randy?) didn’t. Now that Obama’s coming, maybe the two of you can scrimp your intellectual pennies together to buy one.
    But please don’t pretend you know how to act because you’ve been there before, else you’d realize I give a rat’s pancreas about where Andrew Jackson was born or how North Carolina voted.
    Heck, I rode Obama’s coattails to victory. I won by 1,200 votes — 1,200 to nothing.
    How’d y’all do?

  14. Mark

    Mr. Muller:
    I wanted to make one point to you on Mike Montgomery; to call him a man in the rubber stamp like Bob Coble is incorrect. Mr. Montgomery actually was irate at the city’s abandonment of CMRTA; he felt like the city was afraid to deal with the issue and dumped in on the county. As well, I disagree about the idea of accountability for CMRTA; from what I have seen of Mr. Montgomery, he likes government accountability. However, if I remember reading correctly, the rationale behind the transit bill was that every major and progressive city- Atlanta, Charlotte, Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, even LA and Minneapolis have public transportation systems, and to neglect this would be to neglect an important facet of successful modern cities.

  15. Lee Muller

    I corresponded with Mike Montgomery in this blog and privately. Yes, he had an ideological commitment to public transportation, but he had done nothing to obtain the data from CMRTA that would enable rational decision making on reforms.
    Montgomery may have disagreed with Bob Coble on some aspects of CMRTA, but at the end of each day, he went along with more taxes being poured into system which did not serve the riders, and abused the taxpayers.
    As a consulting engineer in transportation, I see no excuse for such a sloppy failure.

  16. Sand Hill

    Brad – It isn’t over for Richland County yet. Just wait for 2010 when Leon Lott goes the way of Barbara Scott.

  17. Brad Warthen

    Thanks for you comments about Jim Manning. I’m sure he’s a fine fella. If he were running against a mediocre incumbent, perhaps we would have endorsed him. But he was running against probably the most knowledgeable, dedicated, hard-working and thoughtful member of the council, the sort of person the council can ill do without. You can’t consider a candidate in a vacuum — Jim Manning’s a good guy, so let’s elect him. You have to look at what he’s up against. And if he had a compelling set of reasons why he should replace an excellent incumbent, he should have shared them. He did not share them with us; he talked about the two items I cited, and those are woefully inadequate.

    This is a setback for Richland County. Combine it with the replacement of Joe McEachern with Gwen "Let’s Go to Hawaii" Kennedy, and the county has suffered quite a loss.

    Finally, if you gained the impression that I even SUGGESTED that I made my decision on the basis of abortion, much less "all but admitted" it (an insulting construction on its own, suggesting that I, who go far beyond any editorial page editor you have ever seen or ever will see in telling you ad nauseam exactly what I think, would seek to conceal my motives), then you need to go back and read some of the things I’ve said during this campaign. You might start with the only column that even TOUCHED abortion, my last one. The entire point of that column what that abortion was not a factor — I had long known Obama disagreed with me on that point, as did most Democrats I’ve ever supported and endorsed. The point was that I had come to realize late in the campaign that our disagreement over judicial selection went far, far beyond that, to a disagreement over fundamental concepts of what our republic and Constitution and system of separate powers is all about.

    Then go back and read EVERYTHING else I’ve written over the last couple of years. Folks who are regulars on this blog have accused me for a long time for being in the bag for McCain — basing their assumption on such columns as this one. And here’s the truth of it: I was satisfied that I would be happy with McCain long ago. But I also had decided by the time of the SC primary campaign that I liked Obama (in fact, I had written this somewhat laudatory column about him even before the one I just cited about McCain). The issue for me in the last 10 months was whether I liked him ENOUGH for him to supplant McCain as my preferred candidate. I never reached that point.

  18. Cheryl

    Brad Warthen is dead-on with his assessment of the loss of Mike Montgomery in his county council reelection race as being a HUGE loss to Richland County. I have known Mike Montgomery for many years and he is, undoubtedly, one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. No other councilperson brought the kind of insight and expertise that Mike brought to county council. He is not a person to play into partisan politics; Mike stands up for what he believes in. As another post mentioned, it is truly a shame that Richland County has lost its finest leader due to the “Obama Effect.” I certainly hope to see Mike Montgomery run for political office again in the very near future.

  19. Lee Muller

    Mike Montgomery was one of the better members of the Council, but he was still not doing the job with the attention required. The others are just so lousy.

  20. Mark

    Mr. Muller:
    I respect your expertise on transportation; however, it seems like you are basing your assessment of Councilman Montgomery on one issue, CMRTA. Perhaps CMRTA could have been running more efficiently. But do you disagree that Richland County does not need a public transportation system? It seems to me that we need to model ourselves on successful cities like New York, Charlotte, or Atlanta, which see the importance of public transit. Mr. Montgomery’s position on CMRTA was a last ditch effort to save public transit in our county after the city neglected it nearly to failure. And on other issues, which you seem to ignore, Mr. Montgomery held vigorous opposition to the city, and undue taxation. Mr. Montgomery was against spending county tax dollars for Township Auditorium renovations that cost more than rebuilding. Mr. Montgomery was against the county funding the USC research campus because he felt the county and the taxpayers of the county would have an undue burden because the city and the university were not doing their part. Mr. Montgomery stood up against waste on many occasions, so much that he was often ridiculed by the other members at council meetings. I and many others have trusted Mr. Montgomery with our tax dollars, and been content doing so. Mr. Muller, as the self-avowed expert who seems to be unhappy with the general direction of the council and even with one of the members of the council who most think served illustriously, I propose you run for council. Perhaps you would have more respect for Mr. Montgomery’s stances, after running and dealing with the bog-like politics of the county if elected. And with all due respect to Mr. Jim Manning, who may do splendidly, but is very unproven, for the next four years I wish you well; perhaps in 2012 you will look back and join myself, Mr. Warthen, and many others who posted here in realizing how lucky we were to have Mr. Montgomery on the Richland County Council, and how he absolutely was no “Bob Coble rubber stamp” or Bob Coble crony.

  21. Fred

    Here Here Mark. Mr. Muller, a self proclaimed expert on every topic who must spend 8 hours a day on Brad’s blog has probably never been to a county council meeting. Had he observed just one, he’d probably have a bit more respect for Mike Montgomery. He’d much rather run someone down than even try to take a balanced look at the facts — it might offend his wierd world view. Consulting ought to read insulting in his title. I went to a number of council meetings in the last few years. Montgomery was always prepared, tried to solve problems and treated everyone with much more respect than I thought some deserved. He led on a variety of issues with great care and attention. I just think Mr. Muller wishes Brad would say something nice about him and is jealous. Do something Lee other than try to be the blogger here and maybe you’ll be appreciated for more than your instant expertise and attention. Mike Montgomery lost — perhaps he shouldn’t have, but he did. He will be off council the first tuesday in January. He served our community honorably for 12 years as a school board member and Councilman. Except for you, I haven’t heard anything but rave reviews on his performance in either job. Step away from the computer and get involved in the world — and stop the venom towards those who have done something for all of us.

  22. fred

    Now that I’ve vented on Lee — my real concern and why I think Montgomery was so important to Council. He would have been the only trained businessperson on Council and the only one who has run a business.
    Smith — wife of a wealthy banker, experience in government.
    Pearce — retired State employee
    Malinowski — retired Federal employee
    Jackson — state employee
    Washington — state employee
    Jeter — Lobbyist
    Hutchinson — wife of Dr., teacher, gardener
    Kennedy — retired teacher
    Dickerson — retired state employee
    Livingston — Midlands Tech Teacher
    now Manning — retired State Employee
    (McEachern also worked in the private sector — so there were 2) Now there are none.
    It seems incredible that we have people who have only fed at the public trough as our leaders. Who is there to even think about the taxpayers and keeping taxes down? Who’s going to explain taxes to them? I heard Montgomery do it. He’s gone. I can only say, hold on to your wallets the fox is minding the hen house.

  23. Lee Muller

    Montgomery was champion of a bankrupt, mismanaged, socialist bus system. He did not even expect accountability.
    So he was no better than the dummies you list above on that issue. I just cannot fathom a businessman who tolerates a bus system run in such an unbusinesslike manner.
    The lesson here is that if you want to run as a Republican, you have to act differently than a Democrat.
    Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Chris Shays, Bob Dole, and Elizabeth Dole forgot that, too.

  24. Lee Muller

    And no, I don’t think Richland County needs the same transportation system as New York City.
    In case you haven’t noticed, the New York has a lot higher population density. Since many or our bus routes are more expensive than just calling a for-profit cab for the riders, they obviously are not very efficient, in terms of moving passengers, burning fuel, or generating revenue.
    I am not a “self-avowed expert”. I happen to have just finished a $280,000,000 transportation project, and have 6 more in various stages of analysis and engineering.
    There are actually quite a few transportation experts here in Columbia, who are never consulted, even when we would offer suggestions for free. We are out there designing high speed rail for other countries, highways, subways, airports and intermodal systems for major cities, while Richland County stumbles along blindly.

  25. fred

    See what I mean. Mr. Muller just can’t get enough negative out. Montgomery was champion of trying to fix the system. He fought for accountability and transparency in everything he did on council. He wasn’t on the CMRTA board and the transit committee’s recommendations in that vein were voted down by council. But Lee can’t be constrained by facts. He is watching the blog like 18 hours a day, spewing negativism and his on distorted form of libertarianism. Lee, Montgomery was a champion of the community. He wanted a public transit system we could all be proud of, that would have provided service to the transit dependent as well as been desireable for those of us, like you, to ride as a convenience. He just couldn’t snap his fingers and fix 40 or 50 years of neglect — so you condemn him as a champion of the system. From my view, Mike Montgomery knows more about accountability in his little finger than all of your blog tirades combined. Plus he has compassion for people — something I’ve never seen from you toward anyone — in several months of silently perusing this blog. Today, I just felt that I had to speak up. I went to several council meetings and saw the man in action. You just spew jingoistic venom which reflects your arrogance, lack of knowledge and the fact that you are a whiner. The letter to the editor last week said that Mike Montgomery was a doer. You don’t know the man, never met the man and have no basis to judge him. You are a sad little know it all. Too bad you don’t even have the decency to acknowledge good works. I’ll pray that God gives you grace so that you have some compassion for your fellow man — you sure do need it.

  26. Barry

    I am having anger problems these days, and Lee Muller seems to be the source of my anger. If I were a better person I would no doubt overlook that he is a socially maladjusted, undignified, pompous blow hard that appears to know everything, and to have done even more. Even though he seems to never leave the computer, with his presumably “bug eyes” glued to Brads blog, he seems to be an expert on everything under the sun.
    I have never seen him at a Richland County Council Meeting, or a Bus meeting, nor in fact have never seen him anywhere that would lend gravitas to his bloviating diatribes. Last night, at a small meeting of movers and shakers, I brought up his name and it was greeted with howls and hoots…it seems everyone knows the want-to be- important-but ain’t Lee Muller. Or should I say they know his work which appears to consist of taking cheap shots at people that actually contribute to our society.
    Mike Montgomery represents the best of our society. He is selfless, smart, hard working and respected. Virtually all thinking people agree with this assessment, and Lee of course is comfortable in that tiny camp that does not. Disagreement and contentiousness are ingrained in Mr. Muller’s soul. Pity that.
    So, Mr. Muller, instead of plotting to control the world from you little Radio Shack computer terminal I would suggest that you broaden your horizons. Leave your cubical, take the 5 pencils out of your pocket protector, and experience the world, and you will find that honorable men like Mike Montgomery are worth knowing, and perhaps, you could learn something about the real, and often challenging world of public service.

  27. Interested

    Would you please post some information on the large transportation projects you are consulting on…I am interested in learning more.

  28. skeptical

    In addition to Interested’s comments, I’d like to know what you did on those projects. I don’t know many engineers that can provide meaningful input into hundred million dollar projects while they spend every day spouting off on the internet. I hope that you don’t charge your customers for all the time you spend on the blogs. I don’t know Montgomery, but enjoy the Star Reporter’s looks into County Council — and either he does a great job or he pays that reporter, because in reading the weekly accounts of council meetings there, he seems to be the only member who knows what is going on, acts responsibly and understands the issues. Since he is a lawyer, I bet he also could make a lot more money if he didn’t spend his time on Council and working for our community. Thanks Brad for your thoughts and insight on a fine public servant.

  29. Lee Muller

    What are your qualifications to assess transporation projects, much less my expertise?
    You can start by posting your real names and what you do for a living.
    I will answer one question:
    “What can one engineer do on a mulit-million-dollar project?”
    I perform detailed design, bill of materials, budget estimate, schedule, cost justification, ROI, sale of project to management and financiers, for starters.

  30. Lee Muller

    My only impressions of Mike Montgomery come from his posts here and to me.
    He didn’t seem to think a bus system should be expected to make a profit – I do.
    I thought the $500,000 they spent on analysis should have yielded a detailed report on rider patterns and opportunities to reduce waste and increase revenue – he didn’t.
    He thinks we have to have a bus system because other cities have done it that way – I don’t.
    It’s the same sort of non-economic arguments used by those who want to build light rail and sports arenas that have very low utilitization and no measurable direct payback.
    In the business world, you can’t sell vague estimates of indirect benefits and how good it will make you feel. If you can, you need to look for a new job or client, because those managers won’t be around long.

  31. skeptical

    You make my point. What are your qualifications to assess Mike Montgomery? You don’t know him, never met him, never saw him in action at a County Council or School Board meeting and your entire thoughts are put through the filter of your view of his positions on public transit — which you don’t really know.
    My impressions of you are at least based upon your blog rantings. You can’t work much because you’re always on the blog, I wouldn’t trust your engineering opinion because your a know it all who doesn’t listen to or acknowledge that someone else might know something that you don’t. You treat people who disagree with you contemptuously and only deal in the negative. Instead of just spouting off as if you are an omnipotent authority — why don’t you think about it, reflect and try to respect others for what they do. The glass isn’t always 90% empty — which seems to be what you think. And by the way, how do I know that Lee Muller is your real name?

  32. Lee Muller

    You still aren’t discussing the bus system.
    And you still haven’t posted your name, qualifications, or motivations to discuss the bus system.
    I have attended some Council meetings over the years, but the real work goes on out of public view.
    But if you are able, go ahead and get started discussing the issues. Otherwise, I will ignore your childish attacks on me and other concerned taxpayers.

  33. skeptical

    Mr. Muller, the blog entry isn’t about the bus system. It was about a loss to our county. You have hijacked it and made it about you. You don’t appear to be concerned about anything but yourself. You freely attack others — but can’t take the heat when it is turned on you. I’ve seen on other threads where folks have advised you to “take your medication”. No one has childishly attacked you — simply pointed out the fact that you’re mistaken. In your libertarian — “its about me and no one else world”, someone telling you that you’re mistaken is apparently an unpardonable sin. If you’re the brilliant engineer you profess to be, you understand that some projects must be done for the public good. Government generally is the place where economically unfeasible service tasks must reside — the only other place is charity. In your ideal world, every road would be a toll road, every call to the police coupled with a charge and government could just be a big corporation. I’m no liberal — but I do view that an efficient government has a purpose. From all I’ve seen, read and heard, Mike Montgomery worked for that. That is the subject of this thread, not the CMRTA and certainly not Lee Muller’s world. It’s too bad that you feel compelled to force your drivel on us all. From my view of things, Mr. Montgomery is a concerned taxpayer. You sir are nothing of the kind. How about try and be part of the solution in our community. Otherwise, you are part of the problem.

  34. skeptical

    And one final thing about this idea that Montgomery lost GOP votes as asserted by Mr. Muller. “The lesson here is that if you want to run as a Republican, you have to act differently than a Democrat”. I took a look at the returns. Montgomery looks like he did better than any other Republican in his precincts. I think that Brad’s conclusion on this issue — he lost to straight party democrat voting is correct. Particularly when you see that he got killed in the precincts with much larger minority registration and the absentee voting (we saw the pictures of the lines). Lee, once more, is dead wrong. (but I know that he spouted off before looking at the returns — it seems to be what he does)

  35. Lee Muller

    So get mad at dumb Democrats who voted straight party.
    I’m the one who has been trying to abolish straight party voting, Motor Voter, early voting, and all those things which helped marginal voters defeat Mike Montgomery.
    If I am “mistaken” about not wasting money on a socialist failure like CMRTA, please tell me why. Your bloviating over how you dislike me personally, when you know nothing about me or CMRTA, really is just noise.

  36. Bob

    At the end of the day, thinking people agree Mike Montgomery is a blessing to the community.
    At the end of the same day, those same thinking people agree Lee Muller is a boob.

  37. Lee Muller

    So says, “Bob”, who won’t name himself, much less these “thinking people” he has surveyed.
    Attacking me is not going to cure Montgomery’s failure to address the issues in a way which was different than the Democrats.

  38. skeptical

    Lee Muller just can’t stand not to get the last word in. That’s why he’s logged ten posts to this thread. Unfortunately, he hasn’t figured out that a) Montgomery is very different from the Democrats. He is very conservative in many ways, but unlike Lee he can build coalitions to work with others. b) Montgomery didn’t lose because he was “like the democrats”. He lost in a tide of straight democratic voting for a much weaker candidate (80+ percent of absentee ballots in Richland County were straight democratic pulls) and c) Brad started this as a thread to show that partisan voting replaced a great representative with a lesser candidate.
    So Lee, why don’t you just recognize that NO ONE here agrees with you on this — and all you’re really doing by continuing to unfairly and wrongly attack Mike Montgomery is illustrating that you’re not living in the real world and have too little productive work to do in the real world — hence your ability to account for more than 25% of this thread plus numerous others on this blog. I don’t want to agree with Bob’s second premise. I do agree with his first. Please don’t make me have to agree with the second.

  39. Lee Muller

    Why would it bother me that being right means some dummies don’t agree with me?
    I have nothing against Mike Montgomery. All I know about his in detail is that he is totally wrong about CMRTA, doesn’t have the facts to make a good decision, but wants to plow ahead spending money one something the people obviously don’t want.
    His attitude is not business-like, and not conservative.

  40. fred

    I can’t believe that this is still going on. See it here folks, Lee can tell your attitude about things when he doesn’t know you, has never met you and has never talked to you. He thinks everyone who disagrees with him is a dummy — and of course — he is always right — even when the facts are against him — they must be wrong.
    Lee: the big picture is that public transit is important. You can’t fix the problems if you have no system. You’re confusing policy issues with governance issues — County Council sets its policy — until it controls the CMRTA Board — which probably would have come on a referendum vote, it can’t control the day-to-day operations. But none of that matters to you does it? You can’t rest until you have the last word. I bet I can log on every day — add an entry and you’ll just have to respond.
    Whatever you say about Mike Montgomery — who, as I’ve said above, I think is the best Council Member we’ve had in my 58 years, I think this shows that you have some problem. I don’t think it is true that you verbally assault people you don’t know unless you have something against them. To paraphrase your post a couple back — “attacking Mike Montgomery won’t solve the transit problem in this community; nor does it cure your problem — whatever it is.” Although I’m thinking that I’m going to have to agree with Bob.

  41. Lee Muller

    To whom is public transportation important?
    There are no riders on the busses, so don’t tell me how much “Columbia needs them”.
    The busses are important as a symbol, like the rinky dink hockey team, baseball stadium, and empty Innovista. The mayor, city council and county council are run by children, with an inferiority complex for their third-tier town. They are like people living in a run down shack with a new car out front, financed for 6 years.
    There is nothing wrong with being a small city. Make it nice. Quit wasting money on symbols to salve your little egos. Stop borrowing money and pay as you go for the essentials, like law enforcement.
    The politicians have to keep the bus system in order to build a light rail system.
    The small minds who run small government want a light rail system, like Charlotte has, so they can feel proud. They don’t care if it goes nowhere, or to an empty ghost downtown, as long as they and their cronies can line their pockets while building monuments to vanity with some other taxpayers’ hard-earned money.


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