Op-Ed: Wilmot Collins is Not Good For Helena, Vote Sonda Gaub


After some thought and concern, I decided to speak up about the Independent Record endorsing city mayor candidate Wilmot Collins. While I’m out-of-town, the Independent Record is out of state, one of many newspapers outside Montana that don’t have a real stake in our community. The following information came from those inside Helena, however, residents who took exception with the newspaper’s endorsement. I agree with them.

The Independent Record’s endorsement has posed a significant level of intimidation on the public submitting their letters freely to the editor on the candidate. Given the timing of this endorsement, just about a week before the ballots go in the mail, one can’t help but wonder if this was done to quelch even the slightest concerns to be aired through the letters to the editor.  But, additionally, how can anyone think that a letter would be published if they did send in something concerning a less than favorable opinion of the mayor? I tried to publish in the other main paper in town and they won’t take letters to the editor, so I hope people will see this. The Independent record has also endorsed other candidates, but they don’t have to do this, and seems like they are playing politics instead of reporting the news. I know papers will do this from time to time, but how is it different than an advertisement for a candidate in the paper, when the paper itself publishes half a page endorsing a candidate for a local race?

A news source is supposed to report on the news, but here we see a political bias (every news source has political bias, but they claim – dishonestly – to be absent one). Even though they claim in their own editorial that he has not been the best mayor, citing things like transparency issues, and leaving out that citizens tried to recall this mayor just last year. They still endorsed him for the position, when they could choose to either endorse a new female candidate for mayor and give a woman a chance after 24 years of men at the wheel, or not endorse at all and stay out of it, like 2017 when they chose NOT to endorse a mayoral candidate. It just seems that the regular working person is swamped with all the things of normal life, while there is an elite class traipsing around owning everything we work so hard to preserve. I’d like to see a change here; accountability, transparency, and a mayor that doesn’t talk out of both sides of their mouth.  

Sonda Gaub

How is it that this man was elected (slim win of something like 200 votes in 2017), and right after taking office is giving interviews about how politics in Montana is great, laid back, no need for party, people just pick the best candidate so we don’t have to pick parties….and turn around and register his mayoral race with the Democrat party to collect bigger money this second bid? Does this sound fishy to you? Because it sure did to me. I am embarrassed for the party, as it seems like he was willing to abandon the notion just 4 years ago, and came crawling back for another term (and money) when it looks like he might have to work for it. 

With that said the Montana Daily Gazette proudly endorses Sonda Gaub for mayor of Helena. She has the conviction, wisdom, and values to truly make Helena the wonderful, beautiful, and inviting Montana city it was designed to be.

[Editor’s Note: Published by MDG Publisher, JD Hall]


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