Wednesday, July 9, 2008

James Azeltine comes out swinging

I received a mailing from James Azeltine, candidate for Johnson County Commission, 3rd District. He is running against David Lindstrom who I believe has served a couple terms. Lindstrom is a former Chief as if that means anything.

For an initial lob over the net Azeltine threw a pretty heavy bomb at Lindstrom. I don't have the campaign letter in front of me but in it he appears he isn't going to play nice. He went right after Lindstrom and basically accused him of doing nothing during his time as a commissioner, taking both sides of issues, and being apart of a crew that has no vision for the problems the county is and will be facing with all our growth.

I'm not sure what is going on behind the political curtain but whatever it is got Azeltine all fired up. He has been serving on the Leawood City Council as well as many other public commissions, committees, etc. He clearly feels strongly that the wrong things are being done and further that Lindstrom isn't doing much for the 3rd District. He call Lindstrom a "nice guy" who but lacks leadership and vision and calls his service "lackluster".

Rarely do you see local politics get this unsavory this early. I haven't seen anything like this since the contentious Olathe School Board elections back in the early and mid 1990's. We usually act much more civilized in SoJoCo and especially here in Leawood. I'm not exactly sure how to respond but it certainly has my interest. I guess what it makes me do is think I need study up on the county issues a little more. The only issue I've been following regularly is the Stilwell of Overland Park annexation issue and my criticism of John Toplikar as a putz. Aubry Township is apart of this district so I'm wondering if he will work to gain their support. It will be interesting to watch how that develops. Reading a little online stuff it seems that opinions are already strong in this race with issues like the intermodal, a failed soccer complex, Phill Kline's prosecution of Paul Morrison but expect the Stilwell of Aubry Township of Overland Park to be front and center as the uber rich living out there try to get someone friendly to them in that seat. The County Commission is usually a sleepy little part of local politics and public service but James Azeltine is bringing it to the forefront. I wonder if others will show any interest. To check out James Azeltine's website for his campaign go to This weekend I'll try to remember to scan the campaign letter and add it to this post. So if you want to see that check back.

Checking out his website this is a really busy guy and you have to wonder if he truly has time to add another position to his already busy life. Even the best leaders can get stretched too far to be effective.

So, is anyone else following this campaign? What are your initial thoughts about this race? Love to hear from you.


AdAstraPerAspera said...

I got Azeltine's letter and I don't see anything uncivilized about it. He is just pointing out facts that aren't very flattering to Lindstrom. To me, negative campaigning is when you said bad stuff about the other candidate that is misleading or a lie. Azeltine actually cites resolution numbers in county commission minutes to reinforce that he is sticking to the facts. We need an honest and open discussion of this issues in this county and if that offends someone's sensibilities, so be it. I like Azeltine's style. Most of these politicians speak in platitudes and never get into any kind of specifics. Should be a good race.

JOCOeveryman said...

No place in my post did I say that Azeltine is being negative and I don't even think I said he was being uncivilized. I just said he has come out swinging from day one and is showing all indications of not playing nice in this race.

Since you brought it up though let's discuss the definition of going negative. I think yours is very limited. I would say that the more someone can talk specifically about what they want to do in office is considered positive, talking about Lindstrom's record is certainly fair and I respect that but that can be negative. I think most people think that is fair enough. When people go negative and personal that is where it crosses the line. Azeltine hasn't come even close to going there and I don't think he will.

My point is lots of our local races are more like beauty or popularity contests than issue oriented races. This is shaping up to be an issue oriented race and Lindstrom doesn't stand a chance. He is already on the defensive and it is the kiss of death unless he can return the favor.

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