we have risen

By Jim Stanford on November 7, 2012

Tags: , , ,

Mets win World Series! No, unlikely candidate wins election. This was primary night in August, but a similar scene played out last night at Betty Rock.

On a visit to Dublin in 1994, I was struck by one of the monuments along O’Connell Street, a statue of an Irish labor leader named Jim Larkin. His words on the inscription have resonated with me ever since:

“The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise.”

Jim Larkin on O’Connell Street.

When I started this blog six years ago, one of my goals was to help citizens stay informed so they could empower themselves and take part in their government. I did not imagine they one day would elect me.

Over the past few weeks, I was impressed by the numbers of particularly younger people paying attention to the races down the ballot and doing their homework on the issues. Yesterday’s massive turnout attests to that. Win or lose, I felt good about the effort and citizens’ participation.

I tip my cap to Hailey Morton, Phil Cameron and Jim Genzer for running a great race. It’s going to be difficult to reconcile all the conflicting opinions in town, but I promise to keep an open mind and welcome the dialogue, as always.

After a wonderful and surreal night, my most sincere thanks go out to all of you for your support, encouragement and your votes.

(Top photo by David Stubbs; Larkin statue by Phil Douglis)

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Posted under From the Publisher, Politics, Town Government

12 Comments so far

  1. Sepp Jannotta November 7, 2012 2:01 pm

    Attaboy! Proud of you, Jim.

  2. CactusFunkBombs November 7, 2012 2:11 pm

    Great job Jim!!!!!!! I LOVE that I don’t have to wonder who will pick up your signs from yards after the election! Nice light footprint with your campaign!!!!

  3. js November 7, 2012 3:09 pm

    Alas, the news was not quite as good in Teton Valley, Idaho: http://www.valleycitizen.com/stories_news_detail.php?pkStories=646

  4. Barbara Barker November 7, 2012 6:05 pm

    Jim, we are very proud of you! Our boatman, yeah!!!

  5. M November 7, 2012 6:18 pm

    party on Jim! congrats, you deserve it!!

    xo the egg out west.

  6. Jazz November 7, 2012 6:40 pm

    A win for Teton County! Congratulations, Jim.

  7. Brad November 7, 2012 7:27 pm

    Firstly, Jim, congrats. A good stealth campaign that paid off. I don’t subscribe to most of your views, but after the primary and the candidate’s forums, I suspected it would be you and Genzer. I appreciated that it seemed only you two came forward with stands on most issues. For this reason, was surprised at Hailey’s emergence (and Turley’s victory). Hailey may have a steep learning curve going forward.

    BTW, why the diss of the Teton Valley winners, merely because the linked results showed a republican sweep? Those people aren’t worthy due simply to a party label? I don’t know any of those people, do you? While a JH bedroom community, their issues are certainly different from ours and they may fit TV and do very well. My point being, the sooner we get away from one political party wanting to wipe the other off the face of the earth, sooner we’ll move toward real compromise and solve real problems. Despite media coverage to the contrary, both parties (especially in JH) do have smart, competent, enlightened, FLEXIBLE individuals, not just hardcore left and right, willing to work things out. I’m hoping our president and congress can lead the way starting with the budget mess.

  8. js November 8, 2012 11:59 am

    Thanks, Brad. I look forward to hearing a diverse range of opinions, including yours. This site could be useful in that regard. As for Teton Valley, no offense to the winners — I don’t know any of them personally or have a good grasp of Idaho political affiliations, but I was pulling for Kim Keeley and Sue Muncaster. I’ve known Kim a long time, being a big fan of Victor Emporium huckleberry shakes. Sue is thoughtful, too. For Kim to lose by a few dozen votes stung. Also, sheriff candidate Lindsey Moss used to work over here and compete in bike races alongside me. Seemed like a solid choice.

    As for working together, I agree wholeheartedly. Let’s start with Simpson-Bowles and find a reasonable compromise from there. On the county level, I know Barb Allen is going to do a great job. She impressed me throughout the campaign. As you may have seen on this site over the years, I am not always knee-jerk one way. Think of the political spectrum as a circle, not a line, and there is a point where liberals and libertarians meet. I like to frequent that space from time to time.

  9. Chris E. November 9, 2012 7:59 am

    Good on ya, Jim and good on us!

  10. js November 10, 2012 9:57 am
  11. The Obvious Guy January 2, 2013 4:16 pm

    Jim, congrats on your win! I have one quick question, however, that I think all Jackson residents should be concerned about with you as a town councilman.

    Now that you are a councilman and a blogger/newsman, how do you plan on rectifying the conflict of interest situations that will surely come up? Who are your most important constituents? Those that voted you in or those you serve with your blog? They will come to cross at some point in your tenure, I assure you.

    Are you going to blog about happenings in town meetings? Are you going to try to sway public opinion (even in your best attempt to be neutral, you are not). How will you recuse yourself when/if the time comes? Here is your first test of leadership…tell us how you plan to address this very valid point. Curious, did you run this by lawyers to adjudicate whether or not this was going to be a conflict of interest before you ran.

    Answers, please.

    Good luck.

  12. Jim Stanford January 4, 2013 3:21 pm

    Mostly, use good judgment. All councilors and the mayor have other professions, and in a small town where people know and do business with each other, there are many opportunities for conflicts of interest, real or perceived. The mayor, for instance, has a cleaning business that includes the town (police uniforms) among its clients, as well as numerous hotels, restaurants, etc. He is up front about his associations but does not let that interfere with his consideration of matters before the council.

    The law narrowly defines a conflict of interest to direct financial gain, but I intend to do better and avoid the appearance of conflict, which often is worse. Again, it comes down to being honest and forthright. We have a town attorney to advise us and help navigate any thorny situations. Looking ahead, I’ve already decided not to take on more writing/p.r. work from one of my primary freelance clients because I can see it ultimately converging with my council duties.

    As far as blogging about town happenings, yes, if I feel it is appropriate. A veteran journalist and longtime columnist recently urged me to keep writing, saying I have a unique opportunity to give people a window into the workings of government and have a direct line for input and discussion. That’s the way I’ve always run this blog, welcoming different viewpoints. And I believe in open government.

    Everything I write here – whether news, sports, music or politics — is from my perspective. People know that. If they feel I’m abusing the blog in some way, they can cry foul or call bullshit or stop reading and start their own. That’s the beauty of the Internet as meritocracy. The president of the United States has a blog, as does Sen. John Barrasso and Rep. Cynthia Lummis.

    I’m a writer. I started this blog to express myself, not to get rich. There will be some changes, necessarily, and I’ll have more to write about that later. Selling advertising has never been the primary focus. People tell me stuff in confidence all the time, and I don’t write about it, elected or not.

    My chief responsibility in the next four years is to serve all of my constituents in this community, some of whom are readers and many of whom are not.

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