There’s a recall effort in full swing for the City of Bismarck to recall their Mayor, Mike Seminary. And based off of his record and public comments, I’d say that his best chance to survive the recall is to just be quiet. When he opens his mouth, he just makes things worse.
"Better Leadership for a Better Bismarck" lists their grievances with Seminary on their website. And the list points to a pattern of unapologetic cronyism – through corporate welfare – supported by the mayor that has left a greater burden on the taxpayers of Bismarck.
While the rich have received their millions in tax breaks, the city is left with infrastructure needs and a city commission that wants to raise sales tax on the people of Bismarck to remedy that issue. This can only be described as unacceptable.
In addition to these troubling policy issues, some residents are upset – and for good reason – with comments Seminary made to a group of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protesters last September. As the cities of Bismarck and Mandan were being tormented by lawless and inconsiderate protesters, Seminary stood among them and said:
"…on behalf of the City of Bismarck, I want to thank you for being here today. I personally stand in solidarity with you. You have chosen this day to be here to stand up for what is right."
In a KX News interview yesterday, Seminary defended his position:
"All I did was support the First Amendment rights of the folks that were in town protesting, which is exactly the same thing the recall protesters are doing. They’re protesting. It’s their First Amendment right."
Did you just catch that? Mayor Seminary just compared those involved in the recall efforts to the DAPL protesters. Ridiculous. And if the mayor cannot see the difference, then he is beyond redeemable as a public servant, which actually lends credibility to the recall movement.
In the same interview, and in what appears to be an act of desperation and deflection, Seminary criticized the "Better Leadership for a Better Bismarck" spokesperson, Paul Maloney for being a resident of Mandan. This is really a non-issue. It is not uncommon at all for movements or organizations to have a spokesperson that is considered an "outsider". Yet, you’d be hard-pressed to consider Maloney an "outsider" just because he lives in Mandan. He also has the experience and skill set as the former Executive Director of the North Dakota Right to Life. If the recall movement finds him a valuable resource in accomplishing their purpose, then so be it.
According to the KX News report, a recall election will cost Bismarck taxpayers $40,000. Based off of Seminary’s history, I’d say it may be well worth it in the long run. Meanwhile, I suppose the mayor will continue to try and patch the holes on his sinking ship.