Flier criticizes PAC members
Appeal Staff Writer
A bright pink flier was circulated during Wednesday’s candidates forum, and some people were none too happy to see it.
On one side of the flier was a hard copy of a conservative’s biting opinions about people involved in the Carson City Bipartisan Political Action Committee and a slew of other politicians and officials in Carson City. Its author, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, also is the secretary for the Carson City Republican Central Committee.
Members of the PAC, which formed in November with the goal of bringing civility back to politics, were described as, among other things, “mostly a bunch of self-important busybodies who think their pet ideas and power coincide with the public interest.”
“This sort of thing validates our efforts,” said Shelly Aldean, a Carson City supervisor and president of the political action committee. She was mentioned in the flier. “This casts a spell on the entire process. It doesn’t accomplish anything.”
While she understands the frustration people sometimes feel with government and elected officials, “you can be civil and not call people names to make the point. They’re doing their own mission a disservice.”
The other side of the flier contained comments about the PAC, a number of school board trustees and supervisors written by resident Elma Pullis, who passed the fliers around and obtained Monroe-Hamilton’s permission to use her comments.
“It’s a distasteful trend that does nothing to benefit the community whatsoever,” said Bob Crowell, the incumbent for district 4 of the Carson City School Board.
“People can talk about issues, but slanderous personal attacks do nothing to further create an educated populace or a civil debate.”
Pullis claims school trustees have been rude to her and her daughter when they’ve approached them during school board meetings.
A good portion of her missive was devoted to Joe Enge, a former history teacher at Carson High School and candidate for district 3 of the school board. She believes he wasn’t treated fairly by the board, district and many school employees.
Enge left his job in March, after accusing the school district of not meeting state standards in history education. Events leading up to his departure were contentious.
Enge said he knew nothing about the flier until he saw it briefly during the forum while he and other candidates were answering questions. He said the school board has a “history of dismissing valid citizens’ concerns.”
And, he said, he is doubtful that the PAC is unbiased.
“I do question its neutrality. A number of them have their own political agendas. It’s a good idea to have such an organization, but it needs to be neutral,” Enge said.
While Pullis said she might have gone “a little too far” with her prose, she also said she wanted to make sure her opinions were given notice.
“I wanted to open a can of worms,” said Pullis, 74. “And I did.”
The head of the local Republican committee, Ron Knecht, said Monroe-Hamilton’s writing is her own opinion and separate from her work with the committee.
Both Pullis and Monroe-Hamilton are both “nice people,” Knecht said. The flier and the PAC were among topics discussed at a party meeting this week. Opinions about both issues varied, he said.
“A lot of people feel a lot of government agencies, especially the school district, isn’t responsive,” Knecht said. “In politics, you get used to people telling each other how wonderful each other are. Sometimes you forget you’re accountable to the public.”
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.