Any conservative who has ever run a campaign knows it’s a battle against two opponents — the other candidate and the media.

Recently the Missoulian and other local media published one-sided stories about local citizens who donated to a political action committee. The media’s claim that mailers sent out by this PAC were “deceptive,” “misleading” and “false” has been parroted by the Democrat Party, Missoula Area Central Labor Council and other powerful, well-funded organizations, without any legitimate response to disprove the claims in the mailer.

Voting records, responses to questionnaires and comments online and in the media back up the claims in the mailers. News articles from various sources show Democrat-endorsed candidates Mirtha Becerra, Alex Fregerio and Nick Shontz all support a sales tax, but they attempt to disguise it as a “tourist tax,” the "politispeak" of which is shameless considering it’s a tax that will fall squarely on Missoulians.

Despite assurances their proposed sales tax would come with property tax relief, a reading of the proposal being pushed by Democrats in the Legislature and lobbied for by the City of Missoula proves otherwise. Their sales tax proposal would require 25% of revenue collected be put towards property tax relief, which does not mean a 25% property tax reduction as incorrectly cited by candidates and the Missoulian. For most, the city’s portion of your property tax bill doesn’t even make up 25% of the total. Unless a city is at its mill levy cap (Missoula isn’t), there is no requirement for property tax relief.

The pearl clutching over these mailers from the Missoula County Democrats and Missoula Area Central Labor Council (part of the AFL-CIO) is comical since both groups’ state affiliates sent out at least eight negative, blatantly dishonest mailers opposing my 2018 re-election campaign. The media never shamed the donors who funded the attacks or fact checked their outright lies. Apparently, it didn’t fit the media’s political agenda.

Progressives have run Missoula’s government for more than a decade. We now have the highest property taxes in Montana, one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the nation, rising crime and drug abuse, growing traffic congestion and a city well on its way to being a gated community.

Differing perspectives and a thorough vetting of policy is vital to the well-being of our city. City Council should not be the echo chamber it’s been for the past decade. Please vote for Amber Shaffer, Brent Sperry, Alan Ault, John Contos and Sandra Vasecka for Missoula City Council.

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Adam Hertz is a former member of the Missoula City Council (2012-2015) and of the Montana House of Representatives (2017-2018). He is also a donor to the Missoulians for Missoula political action committee. 

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