Uncommon Ground

Voting Out Ideological Firebrands

If you want change, Jack Fallon is your guy. He won’t appear on the ballot, however; voters must fill in the oval to the left of the empty ballot line and write 'Jack Fallon' in the blank space.

By Mike Jopek

I told myself I wouldn’t do it this cycle, it’s too dangerous. They’d gone too far, ripped away women’s rights while ignoring the worker housing shortage plaguing local communities. I’d had enough. The nonsense has to stop. Our leaders need more community-minded reasoning and less personal ideology to govern.

Then along comes Jack Fallon, the Republican running as a write-in candidate for Flathead County Commissioner. Decades ago, I coached from sidelines as he refereed youth soccer throughout the valley. No one cared about political ideology as long as the referee could keep pace with the youngsters and arbitrate the match fairly. I was impressed at how kindly Fallon treated the kids. 

Over the years, I heard Fallon promote public infrastructure like better sewer and greater education. Fallon served on many local public boards and says that if elected he’d advocate for “pipes, plows and public safety.”

On his website www.fallonforflathead.com, Fallon says “Adequate infrastructure to accommodate growth and maintain a clean water supply is critical to preserving Montana’s Last Best Place.” 

The retired financial planner continues: “We need to get back to the basics and stop the reckless spending of taxpayer dollars and return our focus to plowing roads and fixing potholes.” 

Fallon remains persistent on public safety, writing, “By prioritizing pet projects over public safety, the Commission has defunded law enforcement. Tax dollars should be invested in more Sheriff’s deputies, not buildings.” 

If you want change, Fallon is your guy. He won’t appear on the ballot. Voters who like what he offers the valley must fill in the oval to the left of the empty ballot line and write “Jack Fallon” in the blank space.

A Fallon win is a long shot, he’ll need a lot of votes to govern, a hat trick in soccer or hockey terms. A write-in candidacy is difficult. I admire his tenacity and commitment to a better valley. You can’t fault Fallon for working hard for things he believes in.

I’m voting Jack Fallon. I hope you do as well. Not because he’s a Republican. Over the years, I’ve voted for members of the party before. Rather because he’s a kind, decent, and thoughtful human being committed to making the lives of locals in the valley better.

The constant war-mentality politics is tiresome and unproductive. No one wins in war where the object is to kill the opponent. I like my fellow humans too much to ignore the plight facing working families throughout the valley. 

In 2007, the incoming Speaker of the House declared that this was war and then lambasted the people of Montana to four months of constant demagoguery, ending a legislative session in disarray, a first without a state budget. The Majority Floor Leader compared events to a Titan war film he’d recently viewed on the big screen.

We, the 49 minority members, cleaned up the aftershock in a Special Session by working with moderate-minded individuals. None of it was easy or pleasant but produced a damn good state budget. 

If the ideological firebrands gain more state control after the vote, ballots arrive in the mail this month, it’ll be citizens fighting to protect Constitution rights like privacy and clean and healthful environment. Only the ballot box stands in the way with such tight margins.

Elect good people and you’ll personally fight less. Decent people know how to govern fairly. You and the family can then enjoy more time outdoors, recreating, and appreciating life. 

My moderate political governance nudge comes from serving in two of Montana’s three 50/50 split legislative chambers where Democrats and Republicans shared equal numbers of members. Local Montanans can agree on the need to reduce housing inflation, keep neighborhoods safe, and protect individual privacy rights and freedoms from government overreach.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.