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Candidate has Never Voted? (Update #2)

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/3/30 18:50:00 (2205 reads)

Lewisville Mayoral Candidate Winston L. Edmondson, Jr. acknowledged today on his website that he had never voted in a Lewisville municipal election:

I am ashamed to admit that I allowed the distractions of my career and family get in the way of my civic duty and I have not voted in local elections. Lewisville has a population of over 92,000, but fewer than 1,000 typically turn out to vote in our local elections. We all lead busy lives and it's very easy to assume that we're in good hands and that voting doesn't matter. I was wrong to assume that, and I regret it.



Edmondson, 31, would have been eligible to vote since December of 1995. The only records we were able to find through public information showed a registration as of 5/22/2004 to an address on Gillespie Dr. in Carrollton, TX. After filing for City Council, Edmondson updated his voter registration on about February 25th, 2009. After the 30 day waiting period, his registration became active on 3/25/2009. The only two votes shown on his record are in the 2004 and 2006 general elections, with no primary voting history.

Update: we had earlier wondered whether Edmondson was a resident for the required one year prior to taking office. Edmondson provided this image of a city water bill:




When we inquired with the City Secretary about Mr. Edmondson's filing, she had this response:

"I am only allowed to go by the four corners of the document per Election Law. They do have to sign the application form that states all the information is true and correct. I do not check Driver's License information. If someone wanted to contest that a candidate did not live in Lewisville they could file a complaint with me and then we would do research on the situation.

I do check with all Departments to make sure that they are no indebted to the City for anything...that is a requirement of our Charter.

I will tell you it is not entirely uncommon for someone to forget to change their voter registration address when they move - we see it all the time during the bigger elections, in fact that is how most people get their addresses changed when they come in to vote and the Election Worker asks them."



We think it's a legitimate question to ask whether someone running to be the leader of our city should have taken the time in the past to go and vote. Especially given that the issue Mr. Edmondson advocates so strenuously for - an increased role for the city in immigration enforcement - has been an issue since at least the 2007 elections when we covered the city's plan to build a day labor shelter.

Edmondson faces Councilman Dean Ueckert and Brandon Bertrand in the election for Mayor on May 9th.

Continuing coverage of 2009 Lewisville City Elections


Keywords: CouncilElections2009, Lewisville, BestOf2...

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Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2009/3/31 18:17  Updated: 2009/3/31 18:17
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3797
 Why Did I Ask? Good Question.
Last night in one of my emails to Winston Edmondson, I committed a faux pas of sorts by suggesting somewhat innocently that he could put the residency question to rest by simply showing us his water bills or some other similar documentation.

After I sent that, I realized that it probably went across like a challenge, even though I really just was brainstorming out loud.

Winston rightly (and politely, I might add) told me where I could stick that suggestion. My bad, I deserved that. Edmondson said that he would gladly show me his water bills when every other candidate did so.

It caused me a good bit of self-reflection to ask myself why I would challenge him, and not the other candidates. Edmondson is an outspoken and creative guy with a lot of ideas, a couple of which I disagree with. Was I being unfair?

I could see how a guy like Winston who is a newcomer to local stuff might perceive this as a "whisper campaign" or an effort to preserve local government for the "good ol' boys".

But on further reflection, that really couldn't be further from the truth. Our leaders have continually shown that they're open to getting more citizens involved.

The city charter requires that a candidate for city office must have at least one year of residency in order to be qualified to serve, but I think the intent of that is to ensure presence in the community. Cities have to have some legal means of preventing outsiders from using local government to further their own political causes.

But back to the presence thing: When you look around at a city like Lewisville and see how smoothly and non-controversially run things are, it's easy to take for granted how much thought, debate, and just plain hard work it takes by our volunteer city leaders. This includes the Mayor, the Council, and all of the members of the city's boards and commissions, as well as the volunteers throughout the community.

The reason that we have such a capable and professional city staff keeping things on the rails is that our leaders work so hard to support them.

When you attend a council meeting, what you see most of the time is seemingly endless discussion over some of the most mundane things. They're all important, but for most people, they could be a cure for insomnia. A couple of times a year, maybe you get something slightly controversial and we get some good debate going. The "English Only" ordinance proposal was one such case.

I guess my point is that for the other city candidates, whether I agreed with them on the controversial things or not - they had presence. John Gorena is a good example. He and I have been blogging about city politics for about the same length of time. But I've known of him for longer than that. His business, JMG Enterprises, hosts the Sounds of Lewisville website. He's been here nearly forever, and he's a fixture at city council meetings the past couple of years. I disagree with Gorena strenuously on some issues, and he and I have had some heated email exchanges. But I will NOT challenge his presence in the community.

Dean Ueckert, TJ Gilmore, and Margie Rochelle have all got very long or very active history within the city - or both. There are likely dozens of issues that I could disagree with any of these folks on. But again at the end of the day, they have presence. Win or lose, I guarantee you these folks will still be around working for the city in some way or another or volunteering in the community.

Don't get me wrong now - Winston has some history here. I take him at his word that he's got 20 years or so in the community. A couple of years ago he constructed the "worlds largest suggestion box" and left it in Old Town.

But what I don't see yet is the evidence of engagement on these hyper-local issues. What we know is that he's a creative guy who has done a radio show. He likes to talk politics. But I just don't see any evidence yet of a real vision going forward, and the knowledge, experience, and respect to get that done.

To be fair, it's not just Winston either. Brandon Bertrand is not a strong candidate. I'll write more about that later.

OK, I think that's all I have to say about that for now.
Reply

Poster Thread
benwalker
Posted: 2009/3/31 23:57  Updated: 2009/3/31 23:57
Joined: 2009/3/31
From:
Posts: 8
 Re: Candidate has Never Voted? (Updated)
I was wondering if you could direct me to the story where you endorse Dean for Lewisville mayor...I'm assuming you have endorsed him, right?
Reply

Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2009/4/1 8:14  Updated: 2009/4/1 8:14
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3797
 Endorsements
At this point we are not doing endorsements. We still have candidate interviews we need to complete.
Reply

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2009/4/4 13:44  Updated: 2009/4/4 15:52
 Re: Endorsements & Claims thereof
Speaking of "Endorsements" I heard that Winston had made the statement that he was endorsed by the Lewisville Police Association. Several of their members were quite surprised to hear of that particular endorsement and I have not heard that they endorsed anyone as of yet either. So I would like to see that claim backed up in writing. Can Winston produce a copy of the official "Endorsement letter"?
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Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2009/4/4 15:56  Updated: 2009/4/4 15:56
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3797
 Re: Endorsements & Claims thereof
I recall Mr. Edmondson speaking about the LPA during the forum on Thursday night. But I would have to watch the video again. I've heard the same rumor though, so I'll ask.
Reply

Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2009/4/1 8:19  Updated: 2009/4/1 8:19
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3797
 Response from Edmondson
You can post all of these and quote me, or don't post anything.

"Steve, let's move on. It's clear that you and my opponent are more than happy to start and discuss rumors, but there are far too many pressing issues to allow this to go on. Please let me know if this satisfies your curiosity about my residence. I've included images of my family and me at Fish & Things pet store from about 20 years ago, an image of the official proclamation I received over a year ago, and an image of my water bill from over a year ago.

I'm disappointed in you, Steve. Before meeting you, I was told that you were a mean spirited, vindictive, conservative bashing, web-journalist. I don't agree with that description. In our conversations online and in person, I found you to be a rather pleasant guy. However, you do a disservice to your readers by trying to manipulae them with negative articles about conservatives like John Gorena and I, while saying nothing derogatory about the more liberal candidates, Mrs. Rochelle and Dean. Just because they share your views on "enjoying the diversity" that illegal aliens bring to our community doesn't make it right for you to support them subversively in this way.

You apparently agree with Dean, that his experience on the city council is his biggest asset. I'm of the opinion, and I'm not alone, that it may be one of his biggest liabilities. Dean still supports an illegal alien day labor site. Dean thinks English as the city's official language is wrong. Dean looks at our illegal immigration problem and essentially says, "Don't ask me. That's the Fed's job. It's not my problem." Dean is in favor of moving Delay to the old Milliken building. He's been on the wrong side of a number of issues, and the voters will decide if they're going to hold him accountable.
Reply

Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2009/4/1 8:28  Updated: 2009/4/1 8:28
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3797
 Re: Response from Edmondson
Winston, I'm sorry to disappoint you. The goal for this election was to be as objective as possible for a blog - where opinion is a big part of the deal.

One of the purposes of a blog is to get some of the whispers and chatter out in the open and examine them.

Although this is generally a more progressive venue, leaning to the left on most political issues, I feel that partisan politics has no place in city government.

I think you will find that I have both chastised and praised the same people, based on thier actions, and regardless of their affiliation.
Reply

Poster Thread
benwalker
Posted: 2009/4/1 23:40  Updated: 2009/4/1 23:40
Joined: 2009/3/31
From:
Posts: 8
 Re: Response from Edmondson
Wow. This guy definitely has my vote on May 9. More of our "leaders" should start having a little more passion about the issues.

You da man, Winston!
Reply

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2009/4/4 9:22  Updated: 2009/4/4 10:09
 Re: Response from Edmondson
HERE! HERE!
Well said Winston. You are the fresh air we need!
Good Luck!
Reply

Poster Thread
bookworm
Posted: 2009/4/5 14:09  Updated: 2009/4/5 14:09
Joined: 2009/4/4
From:
Posts: 2
 Re: Response from Edmondson
On the local level of government I am looking for competence not ideology or "passion for issues". I don't want someone who is using my city as a stepping stone into the bigger political venue. Someone who has admittedly never voted in local elections, has a nebulous residency tenure here in Lewisville is not the kind of mayor I want. What kind of credentials does he bring to the job as far as civic service to the community. Does he think that because we are a small city (100,000+) that anyone can run the city but ideology is more important than knowing the nuts and bolts of local government.

For my two cents I want someone who knows Lewisville and wants to do good for Lewsville.
Reply


Other articles
2014/4/18 16:35:09 - Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post
2014/4/17 23:11:19 - Video: Trustee Candidates at LTJ/Parents4LISD Student Voter Forum
2014/4/17 22:30:00 - Board Tours LISD Westside Aquatic Center
2014/4/13 19:00:00 - LTJ, Parents4LISD to Host Student Voter Forum April 15th
2014/4/13 10:50:00 - Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition
2014/4/11 23:10:00 - City-wide Spring Cleanup Set for Saturday, April 26th
2014/4/11 7:00:51 - Sheriff's Office Warns About Bogus Warrant Calls
2014/4/9 6:20:00 - Updated: FBI Announces Arrests in Child Sex Trafficking Cases
2014/4/7 23:28:28 - Lewisville Woman Wins Big on Price is Right 8,000th Episode
2014/4/7 20:00:00 - Lewisville Implements Year-Round Water Restrictions


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