November 2nd Moscow Election Voting Guide

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read):
Jim Gray for Mayor.
Steven Harmon, Jason Stooks, and Gina Taruscio for City Council.

VOTE NOVEMBER 2nd!

Dear friends,

One of the reasons this voting guide is delayed is that this is a particularly packed election season, with 8 candidates vying for 3 City Council seats, and 4 candidates vying for mayor! But even more complicated are the issues at stake after the insanity of 2020, and how that affects candidates. There are questions of electability, strategy, trust, and more.

This is a Moscow-only race, not county. So if you’re in the county, by all means spread the word for those in town, but you can’t actually vote unfortunately, even if we are affected so much by Moscow policies. Below I will mention who I endorse, along with a few notes about some of the candidates. Names are in order of appearance on the ballot.

MAYOR

Running for Mayor: Art Bettge, Jim Gray, Olivia Moses, and Barb Rathbun.

I have chosen to endorse Jim Gray for mayor, though I have growing appreciation for Barb Rathbun. Art Bettge is a current councilman, and if you followed local politics in 2020, you know what that means.

CITY COUNCIL

Running for City Council: Melissa L. Cline, Shaun Darveshi, Steven Harmon, Hailey Lewis, Julia Parker, Jason Stooks, Gina Taruscio, and Kyrk Taylor.

This is a “horse race” vote-for-three race, where the three with the most votes win.

This is a tough one for a number of reasons. There are four candidates that I believe merit your consideration: Steven Harmon, Jason Stooks, Gina Taruscio, and Kyrk Taylor. If there were four seats, these would be my picks. Needing to drop one from my recommendation is tough.

I believe the decision will come down to your ability to trust Gina Taruscio with another chance. Let me explain. Prior to 2020, I considered her the best of the sitting council members. She is pro-business, eager and willing to meet with the community, and did great work with PEP. In 2020, she let us down in a major way, voting time and time again for crazy mask mandates and shutdowns.

In the last few months, she has been vocal in her desire to do a 180 degree turn on that, and has stated so publicly. She then had an interview on Radio Free Moscow, where she was asked difficult questions, and truly answered horrifically, agreeing with the host that “people who don’t wear masks are saying they have the right to kill you.” She was called on this, and responded here, saying the questions were baited, and that she was completely caught off-guard, and proceeded to “completely fumble an agreement.” She then committed to “NOT vote in favor of any kind of mask mandate in the future, near or far.”

I understand the skepticism of many. I lean in the direction of giving her another chance, for the following reasons:

While I believe she is weak in moral courage to stand alone and be a dissenting voice, I believe she is sincere in her desire to learn from 2020, and not repeat those mistakes. I hope I am not wrong! I also believe she is the most electable of the four. And last, she brings experience.

There is a sense in which the three other non-incumbents I mention above all have untested resolve. They can certainly learn from the mistakes of the current 6 council members. But at least Gina knows what she is talking about when she says she won’t vote for a mask mandate. She knows the pressure, the rhetoric, and the political mechanism, for she buckled under its weight. Her desire to “not repeat” those mistakes is informed desire. I can’t guarantee she won’t buckle again, but I think I’ve seen enough good will, action, and public statements that warrant giving her another chance.

So, which three? I recommend: Steve Harmon, Jason Stooks, and Gina Taruscio. If you can’t vote for Gina, I understand, and I would say vote for Kyrk Taylor in her stead. I’ll add in Kyrk’s favor that I appreciated my conversation with him after the NSA forum, in which he stated he is pro-vaccine, but absolutely against vaccine mandates. It was a good, principled answer, and I think he would be a good choice and a good councilman. As I said, this one’s complicated.

Complicated or not, PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO VOTE, November 2nd, in Moscow.

VOTING INFORMATION

Vote 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Latah County Fairgrounds (Precincts 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18), Hamilton Indoor Rec Center (Precincts 2, 3, 4, 17), or UI Student Rec Center (Precincts 8, 16). Not sure which Prescinct you’re in? Check this map (PDF).

In-person Early Voting will be available at the Latah County Courthouse starting October 18, 2021 and ending on October 29, 2021 between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. in the Latah County Auditor’s Office.

Absentee Voting deadline has already passed.

Anything else on the Ballot?

Yes: Moscow School District elections. And I’m afraid I have no advice there, except to OPT OUT of public education. Check out Kepler Education (I am the founder), Logos School, White Horse Hall (I am a board member), The Jubilee School, or Logos Online – all local or local-based true education.

NOTE: This voting guide is prepared and paid for by Daniel Foucachon, and reflects his personal views. It does not represent any party or organization.

Moscow City Council Election November 5th

Moscow has a City Council election coming up this November 5th.

NOTE: You can vote early at the Latah County Courthouse Oct. 21 through Nov. 1. Skip the line and vote early! Or Vote Nov. 5th at County Fairgrounds 8am to 8pm.

Please vote, and consider voting for these three pro-family, pro-business conservative candidates for City Council!

Brandon Mitchell, James Urquidez, and Kelsey Berends

  • Who can vote? Anyone living within the Moscow city limits.
  • Can I vote for three? YES! Three open seats, so you can vote for up to three.
  • Where do I vote early? Oct 21 – Nov 1 (early voting) at County Courthouse during normal hours.
  • Where do I vote on November 5th? Latah County Fairgrounds or Hamilton Lowe Center (Assume Fairgrounds if you have not received a mailer about new polling location). Polls are open from 8am to 8pm.

About the Candidates

BRANDON MITCHELL moved to Moscow in 2013, and his family was well accepted into the community. Since then, he has been grateful to call Moscow his home. Brandon is a small business owner and looks forward to helping other local businesses prosper, hearing opinions from Moscow’s citizens, and working together with them to grow as a city.

JAMES URQUIDEZ, a local small business owner, will bring wisdom from a life well lived to the city council. He serves in the county jail as a chaplain and has worked to help restore felons and drug addicts. James believes this type of interaction will help bring balance in representing our community at the city level. James wants to maintain a family-friendly, business-friendly environment and to maintain excellent infrastructure while seeking to keep our taxes low.

KELSEY BERENDS serves as the human resource and talent acquisition manager at a local economics firm, where she has worked to hire more than 120 people, promoting Moscow as a great community for them and their families. As a member of the city council, Kelsey will focus on fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and gainful employment for family prosperity to help Moscow thrive.

Moscow Election 2017

We have an election coming up in Moscow! This November 7th, we will be deciding who will be meeting every Monday at the City Council meetings and deciding about policies, permits, laws, levies, taxes, and infrastructure that affect us daily in Moscow. This is an important election!

I moved to Moscow in 2005, which is long enough to have observed the direct effect anti-business, “progressive” politicians can have on a small city. I wasn’t the only one noticing. In 2013 the Greater Moscow Alliance released an economic report showing the harm of the anti-growth politicians running our city. Thankfully, we got a new mayor that election year (our current mayor Bill Lambert) and the GMA just released a new study and is happy to announce that “Moscow’s economy [is] “thriving,” pro-business climate pay[ing] dividends“. Your vote made a difference!

I fully concur with the GMA endorsement of all incumbents. Please get out and vote! Let’s keep Moscow thriving and economically healthy. I offer this simple voting guide in case it’s helpful.

Where to vote? Latah County Fairgrounds, from 8 am to 8 pm, on November 7th.

Read the full 2017 Report from the GMA or the Executive Summary on their website.

Voting guide image not showing up? Here is a text version: 

I endorse:

For Mayor:
Bill Lambert

For City Council, four-year term:
Walter Steed
Gina Taruscio
Art Bettge

For City Council, two-year Term:

John Weber

Moscow City Council

O Socii, today is a great and honourable day. It is a day in which we can put to use our right as citizens of the Unitest States of America to elect our leaders. In days past leaders were often chosen through strength of arms. Men proved their courage on the battle field, fighting for their king, that they might live peaceful lives under their king. We have no bloody battle field on which to pour our blood and prove our valor, but we do have the Moscow Fair Grounds, and today, until 8 p.m. May it not be said of the students of New Saint Andrews college that they did not bother to go out and vote. Furthermore, this is going to be a close vote – 50 could turn the tide of the election. You may feel like it’s not your place to vote in Moscow, but it does affect you. It affects NSA, it affects the families you’re boarding with, and it affects our churches. If you’ve lived here for more than 30 days, you can vote! Please vote!

Please vote for Krauss and Carscallen for the 4 year seat (do not vote for a 3rd person) and Steed for the two year seat.

To the Polls!

Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit. O Socii, Proponite!