Targets of PAC attack fliers in City Council races say Missoula deserves better

On October 21, a PAC-funded flier was mailed to residents of Wards 2, 5 and 6 regarding the Missoula City Council race. The fliers smear candidates Mirtha Becerra, Alex Fregerio and Nick Shontz.

For example, the document claimed that these candidates support “a sales tax” and will create “more traffic problems.”

The fliers were paid for by Missoulians For Missoula, a Political Action Committee (PAC) whose donors included the owners and/or operators of Fuel Fitness, Tollefson Construction, Bretz RV and Marine, Majestic Madness, Property Management Education, VEMCO, Inc., Muralt’s Hospitality, and Garden City Plumbing and Heating, among others.

We three candidates, Mirtha Becerra, Alex Fregerio and Nick Shontz, strongly condemn this action. Community divisiveness, negative campaigns based on misinformation, and meddling in the election process for our city council races is against our democratic values.

All three of us have worked hard to educate ourselves on complicated issues, and we communicate with people in our ward, knocking on doors and making ourselves available to discuss local concerns. We have run positive races and seek to unite and not divide our community.

Tactics that are antagonistic and discredit opponents have no place in Missoula politics. Our community deserves better.

Missoula needs to look hard at this flier, not only the misrepresentations in it, but also the blatant errors – and decide whether business owners and operators should be running Missoula, or city councilors who truly represent their constituents.

“I was raised with a strong moral compass that has guided my work in this community as well as my campaign. Throughout my campaign I have had honest conversations with Missoulians from all walks of life and one thing is evident: we all care about this place. I know Missoulians will not stand for divisiveness or misrepresentations. I trust that my fellow Ward 2 constituents will see past tactics like these and stand for what’s right.” – Mirtha Becerra

“Having worked diligently to educate myself on the issues, search for real solutions and keep my campaign focused about my ideas, these mailers are extremely disappointing to me. The blatant misinformation and smear tactics funded by a small handful of Missoula’s wealthiest citizens is not what we need in this municipal election and it is a disservice to the candidates.”- Alex Fregerio

“I believe Missoulians will see this for what it is: a dishonest, outside attempt to influence our city elections. It’s disappointing that these few individuals are trying to turn our city elections into a bidding war. Missoula is not for sale. These kinds of attacks and disinformation don’t represent the kind of campaign or public servant I will be and aren’t part of the Missoula I love.” – Nick Shontz