Sheriff Calls Political Practices Complaints ‘Trivial’
Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott has called many of the complaints filed against his reelection campaign by opponent Travis Wafstet ‘de minimis’, or ‘too trivial or minor to merit consideration, especially in law’.
McDermott acknowledged that his campaign received the complaint filed with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices earlier this week.
“We’re not worried about this complaint,” said McDermott. “We’ve already learned that some of the things being complained about have been determined to be ‘de minimis’, or not requiring any action on my part to resolve.”
The complaint alleges in part that McDermott is reusing his campaign signs from the 2014 election and not reporting that as an ‘in-kind’ contribution from his campaign, and that he boosted Facebook posts without proper attribution.
“I’m just disappointed that this is the route that at least one of my opponents has chosen to try to make himself relevant, instead of bringing forth a platform and talking about what he wants to do for this community if he were to be elected sheriff,” said McDermott. “My campaign is not out making personal attacks, we’re not filing complaints or introducing conspiracy theories, we’re just focusing on the issues of public safety, and the great work being done by the men and women of the Sheriff’s office.”
Wafstet said the sheriff must be held accountable to follow the rules of political practice like any other candidate.
Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan would not comment on the complaint until he officially releases his decision.
At last count, the Missoula County Elections Office said that of the 1,161 qualified signatures needed to put Wafstet on the general election ballot, he only had 692, however Wafstet, running as an independent, said he will have more than enough signatures by the May 29 deadline.