Two distinct choices in mayor’s race

We don't endorse political candidates because voters don't need the media telling them how to vote.
What we do offer is perspective on candidates' words and deeds.
Next Tuesday, the Clovis mayor's race offers plenty of cause to pause before you cast your ballot for either incumbent Gayla Brumfield or challenger David Lansford.
As mayor since 2008, Brumfield has aggressively pursued "quality of life" issues in support of parks and golf courses to business initiatives that blend private funding with public tax dollars. If re-elected, she clearly favors more of that approach.
Lansford, Clovis' mayor for 12 years before stepping aside in 2008 for reasons he never made clear, declares he favors limited government. He says anything not a basic necessity is not government's responsibility — quite a turnabout from the breadth of some agendas he promoted from 1996 to 2008.
Neither candidate's mayoral actions, then, fully match our oft-expressed belief in limited government.
"Quality of life" sounds great but means something different for each person. That doesn't fit in government's majority-rules, one-size-fits-all mentality. The problem of government "help" is everyone pays for it, even those who won't benefit from it at all.
We saw that last year when every city taxpayer helped pay for the city to buy Colonial Park Country Club, including people who don't play golf. And some vocal residents wanted more tax dollars spent to restore the historic Hillcrest Park swimming pool to its glory days. Led by Brumfield, the City Commission instead opted to pay for a children's splash park. The problem is not everyone swims nor has children.
Hillcrest's new dog parks, sports fields and a walking/running trail may be big hits with some, but homebound residents and motorbike fans may feel like they've been robbed.
Lansford's stated views sound more in line with ours: less government, more liberty. But his campaign rhetoric this year does not resemble what he did as mayor.
For those who don't know him or have forgotten, then-Mayor Lansford led the charge to ban smoking in privately owned businesses. Also under his leadership, Clovis increased taxes, built and began operating the Clovis Civic Center, and popularized the concept of public tax dollars being used to help private businesses grow.
Those hardly are the actions of someone trumpeting limited government. Lansford says his ideas about government began to change after he left the mayor's office — or about the time Barack Obama was elected president.
We agree that Obama's politics hurt the economy and limit individual freedom. But we thought the same thing about the Republican President George W. Bush. In Washington, liberals and conservatives are seldom distinguishable.
Where Lansford's views exceed the extreme is his characterizing Obama as "the carnal manifestation of evil" — an essay he wrote last summer — and his paranoid belief there is a CIA conspiracy to "condition the public to accept, as normal, government oversight over everything we do." They are doing so using national media outlets like CNN, FOXNews and the national TV networks, he believes.
Lansford insists he's "not a whack job" for believing or saying those things.
OK, but how can those beliefs not haunt this region when he asks federal officials to release federal tax dollars to build the Ute Lake water pipeline or fix our roads?
So, Clovis voters have two distinct choices for mayor. One is sure to keep working on her vision of a better "quality of life" using our tax dollars. The other says he'll limit spending to "necessities," while trying to convince us all he's not a "whack job."
The choice is yours.

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