Missoula Montana Politics

Lisa Triepke’s Divisive Campaign

Written by Nathan Kosted
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By now you’ve probably heard that Missoula Mayor John Engen is being challenged by Lisa Triepke.

Triepke’s campaign has been mired in controversies of late. Some involving social media and some involving her campaign surrogate Wes Spiker.

From the Missoula Current on October 4th: Missoula mayoral candidate removes Facebook post after questions about racist overtones

From the Missoula Independent on September 21st: Lisa Triepke campaign surrogate Wes Spiker goes off script

Wes Spiker: “Transients don’t do anything except kill each other and rape people and scare the hell out of people from having their kids go to school here.” via Missoula Independent

Lisa Triepke: “I just thought he raised some really good points.”

Lisa Triepke on the issues:

from her website – Homelessness/Panhandling

I would like to preface these issues by recognizing that many people facing homelessness in Missoula do not panhandle.

First and foremost, we need to make sure our downtown and neighborhoods are safe to work, play and live in. We can be respectful and empathetic while working to address concerns. The fact is though, we have business owners who are afraid to walk in and out of their businesses and often have to walk over urine, vomit or worse.

Now, here are some previously unseen posts from Mr. Spiker’s Facebook Page:

Does Lisa Triepke still think that her campaign surrogate Wes Spiker has “some really good points”?

More from Wes Spiker’s Facebook page:

Link to this Wes Spiker post:

And some more very upsetting posts from Wes Spiker’s Facebook Page:

And:

and:

About the author

Nathan Kosted

3 Comments

  • Why just go after Wes Spiker? Sure he is despicable, but the whole guilt by association thing just obviates the need for Missoula to have a discussion about the issues. The problems Triepke brings up in the issue section of her website: homelessness, panhandling, lack of affordable housing or livable wages, property taxes/spending, accountability, city services, etc. are very real. Triepke is far from the rabid right-winger that Spiker seems to be, and she has a good grasp on some the issues that need to be talked about in Missoula. John Engen has had 12 years to work on these issues, and most have gotten worse, so something is wrong in Zoo-town.

    Now I don’t believe that Triepke has the right answers, or would make a better mayor than Engen, and I don’t endorse her for sure. But most of us Missoulians would love an in-depth debate on the issues Triepke raises, and more — like gentrification, jail crowding and needed diversion programs, U.M. relations, addiction and mental health services, parking and downtown congestion (the push for high density downtown housing and “vibrancy” is already pushing businesses out of the district) etc. — in the hopes that Missoula’s next mayor (even if it is Engen) realizes that we have major problems that aren’t being properly identified or addressed and that good solutions need to be proposed and implemented. John Engen’s priorities and goals need to be adjusted, and he needs to be held accountable for his part in Missoula’s problems today. A health debate on the issues pre-election is the only way that ever is going to happen.

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