Thursday, August 19

Who's Leaving KOLR 10?

* It looks like either Joy Robertson or David Oliver will soon no longer be at the anchor desk of the Springfield CBS affiliate. A job posting has been listed on KOLR 10's website for a 5,6, and 10 p.m. co-anchor. The job was posted Monday.

* Additionally, it looks like Charlie Hannema is on the way out as sports anchor for KSFX and KOLR 10. The weekend sports anchor position was posted today on the website as well.

Burn Ban Issued

The communities of Monett, Pierce City, and Friestatt have issued a burning ban, effective immediately. The dry weather and hot temperatures have created a dangerous combination across the region. The ban will only be lifted when a significant amount of rain has fallen to lower the wildfire threat. There is a 60% of showers and storms Friday night according to the National Weather Service.

Tuesday, August 17

Endorsements Galore!

* US Senate Candidate Roy Blunt has received the endorsement of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, according to the Springfield News-Leader. Everybody raise your hand if you are surprised. I'm blown away by the news... not.

* Former Republican candidate for the 7th Congressional District seat today endorsed Democratic nominee Scott Eckersley over Republican Billy Long. While the symbolic gesture is significant, even if all of Wardell's primary supporters voted for Eckersley that would only add an additional 844 votes to his total.

Springfield Apartment Complex Fire Caused By Electrical Problem

KSPR News is reporting that the fire at a Springfield apartment complex was the result of an electrical issue. The larger issue at hand wasn't the fire, however, but the lack of smoke detectors and sprinkler systems in the building. Check out the KSPR report below.

Sunday, August 15

Crack Is No Laughing Matter

The AP is reporting that a 47 year old North Carolina man was sentenced to jail after laughing while awaiting a judge to preside over his court case. When he refused to answer why he was giggling, the judge had him arrested. Upon sending him to the cell, they found cocaine on him.

The moral of this story is two-fold: 1) Don't do crack and 2) Don't tick off the judge while in possession of crack.

Saturday, August 14

Here Comes 2012...

In politics, it is never too early to be thinking about the next election. That is especially the case concerning Presidential campaigns. It won't be long before candidates officially start to jump in the race. As a result, CNN and Opinion Research conducted a poll to see who Republicans believed should be their nominee. It is early but most names will be familiar to you.

  • Mitt Romney 21%
  • Sarah Palin 18%
  • Newt Geingrich 15%
  • Mike Huckabee 14%
  • Ron Paul 10%
  • Haley Barbour 3%
  • Tim Pawlenty 3%
  • Mike Pence 3%
  • Rick Santorum 2%

These poll numbers show a variety of faces that are likely to emerge in the coming weeks as potential Republican nominees. It will be fascinating to watch and see who will eventually prevail.

Thursday, August 12

Former Lawrence County Sheriff Dead

Former Lawrence County Sheriff Doug Seneker has passed away at the age of 75. Visitation will be held tomorrow, Friday, August 13 at 6 pm at the Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home in Mt Vernon. The funeral will be held on Saturday.

KSPR has a full bio on him. Please click here to read it.

Scratch That...

Well, I pinned too high of hopes on Scott Eckersley apparently. All mentions of the trip Friday evening to Monett have been scrubbed from the campaign blog and it appears he will not visit. Oh well... better luck in two years...

Monett To Get Visit From Congressional Candidate

The Democratic candidate for the 7th Congressional District will be doing something most of his fellow predecessors failed to do-- campaign. On Friday evening, Scott Eckersley will be attending the outdoor downtown festival in Monett known as Broadway Nights. The event is held on the second Friday of every month and is designed to attract people to a downtown that has been undergoing extensive renovation. According to a release from the campaign's blog, Eckersley will be in Monett from 5:30 until 7 p.m. He will hold a gathering at Mocha Jo's at 5:30 for anyone who would like to meet him and ask questions.

For more on Broadway Nights, check out the Monett Times article here.

For more on Scott Eckersley's candidacy for Congress, click here.

Wednesday, August 11

New Coalition For Blunt Emerges

Yesterday's Columbia Daily-Tribune has a snippet that I found interesting. Former state representative Catherine Hanaway and morning radio host Renee Hulshof announced a new coalition in the fight for Missouri's open Senate seat. "Women for Blunt" has been created to help the current 7th Congressional District Congressman earn a seat in the US Senate in January.

Do you know what the irony in of all this is? Both women were integral parts of statewide campaigns that did not receive a majority of Missouri's support. Hanaway failed in her attempt to become the Secretary of State in 2004 and Mrs. Hulshof's husband Kenny lost the race for governor in 2008. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

Tuesday, August 10

Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens Killed In Plane Crash

Senator Ted Stevens was often mired in controversy during his tenure in US Senate representing Alaska. Today, however, many people have put those aside to mourn his passing in a plane crash. Four others were killed. Three others were injured, including former NASA Sean O'Keefe, the former head of NASA. You can find the latest details on that crash by clicking here.

That being said, trying to find footage of Sen. Stevens in a positive manner was hard to come by. I was able to find this clip of news from KTVA profiling the Senator.

Same Song, Different Verse

Once again the area has been placed under an Excessive Heat Warning until 9 p.m. Thursday evening. The combination of temperatures between 95-100º and high humidity will lead to heat index levels above 105º. The cumulative effects of heat can sneak up on you so make sure you are following the basic heat safety tips. For a complete list of those tips, click here.

Monday, August 9

Stephanie Abrams Gets Stuck Doing The Weather... Literally...

When Al Roker goes on vacation the entire Today Show usually goes to pieces. This morning was no exception. Find out what happens when Stephanie Abrams tries to fill in for him.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, August 8

Long, Eckersley Debates Will Happen... Will Anyone Be Able To Watch?

Late last week the 7th Congressional District Democratic nominee, Scott Eckersley, challenged the Republican nominee, Billy Long, to a series of debates before the November election. It appears Long has accepted the challenge. The problem is that very few people may actually get a chance to witness them in action.

According to an article from the Joplin Globe, the debates will be held at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the steps of each county courthouse in the 7th district.

I appreciate the willingness of both candidates to head to every county in the district to campaign and debate, but I have many problems with this format. The greatest is the timing of the events. These debates leave out a large section of the population -- those who work. While a "high noon showdown" on the courthouse steps sounds cutesy, only voters who don't work and have a way to their respective county seat of government will be able to watch what takes place.
If the candidates really wanted to express their views to the people then why not debate in the evenings when a larger cross section of the public could watch?

I expected better from the man who is "fed up" with politics as usual and from the guy who fought the government for the people. Guess I expected too much. I mean, allowing the most people possible to hear your policy positions is a crazy thought that went out the window a couple of decades ago.

I guess I should look on the bright side. At least we know the debates will happen. Now we will wait to find out if anyone will be able to watch.

Saturday, August 7

Saturday Fun

I came across this video on You Tube and I had to share. This kid is going to be a star! Hope you are having a great Saturday!!!

Friday, August 6

St. James Holds Vigil For Teen Killed In Bus Accident

The community of St. James came together yesterday evening for a prayer vigil after news surfaced that one of the fatalities from the major accident on I-44 near Gray Summit was 15 year-old high school student Jessica Brinker. A video report from KY3 News can be seen below. Also killed was Daniel Schatz. He was 19 years old and not a student of the district. He was the driver of the truck that was involved in the wreck.

Thursday, August 5

BREAKING NEWS: Bus Crash on I-44

Two school buses have been involved in accident on I-44 near Gray Summit, MO in Franklin county. MSNBC's Contessa Brewer is reporting this morning that these buses are from the John F. Hodge High School in St. James and were contained band students heading for Six Flags . Fifty four children were apparently on board that bus as it happened.

Update (12:00 p.m.): CNN is reporting two fatalities. It is not known from which vehicle the fatalities are from.

Update (12:14 p.m.): KYTV is reporting that the buses contained 8th grade band students. The accident involved a semi, two school buses, and a car.

Update (3:30 p.m.): KSDK TV is confirming that the driver of the car along with a female band student aboard one of the buses are the two fatalities.

Turner: Give Us More Coverage

Randy Turner, speaking on KWTO to Sarah Steelman, said he believed that coverage should have been greater during the 7th Congressional District race. The hosts, along with Turner, lamented the loss of political reporters (Chad Livengood from the Springfield News-Leader and David Catanese from KY3) who have left in the last year.

Turner operates the blog The Turner Report which is, in my opinion, the source for political information in Southwest Missouri.

Sarah Steelman's radio program airs on KWTO Thursdays from 10 -11 a.m.

Wednesday, August 4

Better Hope You Are In The 30%

The oppressive heat and humidity that has been hanging around for the last week is about to loosen its grip on the area -- at least temporarily. In the meantime the weather forecast indicates a 30% chance of showers and storms through tomorrow night. (I sure hope my yard is located within the confines of that 30% coverage.) Even if you don't see rain, highs will only be around 90º tomorrow and Friday.

The heat returns late in the weekend. Highs Sunday and Monday will climb back close to 100º. Just remember this heat in January when highs are in the teens and we have inches of snow on the ground or an ice storm in progress. High heat won't sound like a bad deal at all then.

Here Comes The Real Test

The day after a contentious primary fight is always the most awkward. That is magnified in the 7th Congressional District today because only one person can win an election. In this case, that means seven others lost. Billy Long won the primary with 36.5% of the 7th District's Republican vote, leaving 63.5% of that district's Republicans casting their ballots for one of the other choices.

This afternoon at 1:45 p.m., Southwest Missouri Republicans will be holding at rally at 1433 S. Glenstone in Springfield, the site of the new Greene County GOP Headquarters. This rally will undoubtedly feature Billy Long. But just how enthusiastic will the 63.5% of voters who didn't vote for Long be?

I agree that many of will line up behind him. There is always a certain percentage of people who will fall in line with a candidate, regardless of their views, because of the party affiliation. In this race, however, there seems to be more unhappiness with the nominee than I have seen in years. Normally those people who are really unhappy would just stay home on election day, but last night the Democrats nominated a less than liberal candidate and the Libertarians have an outspoken advocate on their side. Additionally, it appears that if enough signatures are verified, Dean Moore will be running as an Independent.

This race remains Longs to lose. He has name recognition and a message that is obviously registering with many in the area. Southwest Missouri is also one of the biggest Republican strongholds in the United States. What remains to be seen, however, is what happens with the undercurrent of unhappiness with last night's results. The confetti and rush of adrenaline from last night's victory will soon be gone. Then comes the real test -- winning in the general election.

Tuesday, August 3

The People Have Spoken

At the end of the primary day, here are the notable results:

* With Kansas City and St. Louis proper still out, Prop. C looks to pass in Missouri and in a major way.

* Billy Long will be the 7th Congressional Republican nominee. He will face the Democratic challenger Scott Eckersley in November.

* Republican Vicky Hartzler will take on Democrat Ike Skelton in the 4th Congressional race.

* The voters liked Schweich in a big way. He will challenge incumbent Democrat Susan Montee in November. That should make for an interesting race.

* Roy and Robin both won. No surprises there.

* Bill Reiboldt and Bill White pulled out wins in their respective State House seats. Lincoln Hough looks to win his, but with two precincts left out and the vote so close, that isn't a lock yet.

* The Neosho property tax issue failed. Look for major ramifications in that city in the coming days and weeks.

At The Risk Of Having A Dewey Defeats Truman Moment...

It looks like, with 220 out of 290 precincts reporting, that Billy Long will be the Republican nominee for the 7th Congressional District. It also appears that Scott Eckersley will be the Democratic nominee in that race as well.

No Surprise, Robin Wins

The AP is calling the Democratic primary for MO's US Senate Race for Robin Carnahan. I anticipate Roy Blunt will win the Republican nomination handily as well based on extrapolated early returns.

Update (8:20 p.m.): The AP has called the Republican primary for MO's US Senate Race for Roy Blunt.

Globe Reports Erwin Is "Person of Interest" In Killings

Ron Erwin, former owner of Eccentrix in Joplin and current owner of other businesses, is being deemed a "person of interest" in the deaths of 13 people, including a fetus, in the Albuquerque, NM area. This is according to the Joplin Globe. Erwin was also the owner of the Joplin landmark, the Book Barn, for approximately thirty years. You can follow the latest developments by clicking here.

Update (2:00 P.M.): Randy Turner of the Turner Report blog has uncovered some additional information:

"An online travel inventory posted by Erwin shows that he was in New Mexico on June 15, 2007. The inventory only dates back to 2006, however."

Happening Now: Authorities In Joplin In Connection With Possible Serial Killer

The investigation involving a possible serial killer in the Albuquerque, NM area has apparently made its way to Joplin. At this time, the Joplin Globe and Albuquerque TV stations are confirming that search warrants have been issued in downtown Joplin. There are differing reports regarding where these warrants have been executed for with some media outlets reporting searches taking place at a home and a photography studio. The FBI is involved in this search as well.

Thirteen bodies were discovered in 2009 in the West Mesa area of Albuquerque. All bodies were linked to disappearances between 2003 and 2007.

UPDATE (1:25 p.m.): Joplin Globe is confirming that there were three locations where investigators were searching -- Fox Farm Whole Foods on 32nd Street, Erwin Photo Studio on S. Main, and a home at 411 Main St. The Globe is also confirming that these addresses are connected to Ron Erwin. He is a Joplin business owner, best known for his store Eccentrix.

As Voters Go To The Polls, Jeff Wisdom Speaks To Us

As you know, Show-Me Opinions has reached out to each of the candidates for their answers to just a few questions. Up until this morning Gary Nodler was the only candidate to have responded to our request for questions to be answered. On this election day, however, Jeff Wisdom graciously took time out of his schedule and thoroughly answered some of our questions.

SMO: Why did you jump into this race?

Wisdom: I entered the congressional race because, like other constituents in the Seventh District, I was frustrated with the direction of the country after the meltdown on Wall Street began to affect Main Street. Our leaders were taking the country down a dangerous path of debt and spending. I had just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq and felt the call to serve again, this time in elected office. I wanted to make a difference. I knew I had the economic background and fortitude to make the tough decisions needed in our nation's capital. I had new conservative approaches to the economy, immigration, health care, etc.

SMO: In a crowded field of Republican candidates, what exactly sets you apart from the rest of the candidates?

Wisdom: I am the only candidate in the race that has served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I did detainee operations in Iraq, so I am very familiar with our mission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I am the only Republican that has studied the economy extensively. I am the only candidate with new ideas: economic plan, immigration plan, etc. I am the only candidate to make a pledge to the district.

SMO: What qualifications or experiences make you most qualified for this position?

Wisdom: As a well-rounded individual, I have spent over half my life in public service, first the classroom, then the battlefield, now hopefully elected office. I have degrees in economics, political science, business, and education. I have served the country in uniform and taken an oath to defend our principles, values, and Constitution. I have proven I can be frugal with resources. Our campaign has spent approximately $20,000 and we have even produced and run radio and television ads. I have sought to prove that an effective campaign can be run on a small budget. In other words, I have proven I can be a good steward of the people's resources in Congress. Some campaigns have spent much more, but achieved smaller results. I seek to live by example.

SMO: What are the three most important issues you want to tackle in DC if elected to this office?
Wisdom: The most pressing issue is the creation of jobs. We must get the country working again to achieve true economic recovery. We must also deal with the massive problem of illegal immigration. If we do not secure our borders, it will affect our economy, our educational system, and our health care resources. A third very important issue is curtailing government spending. If we do not cut the size of the federal budget and stop monetizing our debt, we are laying the foundation for hyperinflation which could end up collapsing our currency.

SMO: Why should an undecided voter cast their ballot for you today?

Wisdom: During the last week of the campaign, other candidates opted to go negative. My campaign has remained positive from day one, and I have focused on solutions to our nation's problems and substantive issues. I have worked hard throughout the district to meet people and listen to their concerns. I will be a congressman they can trust and on which they can depend.

Some Things To Watch

While the polls do not close until 7 pm this evening, there will be some things to keep an eye on during the day today.

1) What is voter turnout like in Springfield, Joplin, and in the Monett/Mt Vernon/Aurora areas? This may give us some idea of the base level of support the top 3 candidates in 7th Congressional district may have. For Long to win, he must carry Springfield by a large margin. For Goodman to win, he must carry his home district by a significant margin. For Nodler to win, he must carry the Newton/Jasper county vote by an astronomical margin.

2) What is the feeling on the ground in some of the other larger communities in the 7th District? Bolivar and Branson have been somewhat overlooked in this race in my opinion. Who carries their vote might decide who wins if this contest is a true nailbiter.

3) Will Democrats vote in their own primary or will they cast a Republican ballot? There is a primary for the 7th Congressional District seat on the Democratic side, which may help limit the number of Democrats who vote in the Republican primary.

4) What is voter turnout like in Kansas City and St. Louis? The Secretary of State's office predicted lower voter turnout totals in the urban areas of Missouri than the rural ones. Projections were for only 10% of registered Kansas City voters to go to the polls. If this does come to fruition, Proposition C will likely have an easier time passing.

Let us know what you are seeing in your area as you vote today!

Today Is The Day

Today is primary day in the state of Missouri. It marks the end of many campaigns in a year that has seen an unusually large number of interparty battles. Maybe none have been as fierce as the race for the vacant seat in the 7th US Congressional District. The former seatholder, Roy Blunt, will be attempting today to secure the Republican nomination for the open US Senate seat. Meanwhile, eight men will be on the ballot to replace Blunt as the Republican nominee in November. The Fuse Joplin has an excellent write-up on how the leading candidates spent election eve. You can find that article by clicking here.

The winner of the Republican primary will face either Tim Davis or Scott Eckersley from the Democratic party and Kevin Craig of the Libertarian party.

I know that some are very passionate about their favorites, as can be seen by comments on this blog and others. The important thing, however, is that we exercise our right to vote. Make sure to take time today to get out and make your opinion heard. The polls will open at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

Monday, August 2

My Primary Predictions

Before each major election I usually try and take a stab at who will win. I find primaries much more difficult to predict because it is hard to gauge the true sense of where the electorate lies within each political party. I did not make predictions in all races. I chose a few. Here goes...

US Senate: I think both Robin Carnahan and Roy Blunt will win easily. I think Chuck Purgason will pull double digit percentages, however, when all the votes are counted.

State Auditor: This is a hard one to figure out. I think when it comes down to it, as much as I hate his cheesy nickname, IceT will win.

Proposition C: Passes. Look for this to be a big topic on the cable news channels Wednesday.

129th District: Bill White wins. For a state house race, this one has been rather nasty.

130th District: This is a toughie. I think Lynn Otey wins.

140th District: Lincoln Hough will win.

4th Congressional District Republican Primary: I believe Vicky Hartzler will prevail. She will take on Democratic nominee, Ike Skelton.

7th Congressional District Democratic Primary: Scott Eckersley should win this race.

7th Congressional District Republican Primary: This is the toughest race of all for me to call. I can see this going four different ways. In the end, I have to go with my gut. I predict that Goodman will win. But it will be close... possibly nailbitingly so. This has been a nasty last week in the campaign.

Heat Impacts Ozarks Empire Fair

Due to the high heat and the excessive length of this heat wave, the Ozark Empire Fair has delayed the opening of the midway. Today and tomorrow the midway will not open until 4 p.m. This delayed opening may continue through the week depending on the forecasted conditions. While the midway will not open until 4, all daytime activities in the EPlex will continue as they were scheduled.

It's Getting Hot in Here...

The NWS has issued a Heat Advisory from this morning through Wednesday, with indications that the current heat wave could last well into next week. Highs during the next few afternoons will be between 98-102º, with heat indices between 105-110º. Make sure to drink plenty of water, wear light colored loose fitting clothing, take frequent breaks, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun if working outside.

Click here to watch the latest web briefing from the National Weather Service concerning this heat wave.

Sunday, August 1

Billy Long Goes Negative... Very Negative

Around 7:15 p.m. this evening, I received my first robocall of the election cycle. And man did it make up for the lack of calls I hadn't received previously. The robocall features a woman asking what all of these businesses had in common. She then proceeds to name off a laundry list of casino companies, followed by a line of how State Senator Jack Goodman has had his campaign financed through these casinos. She then rips into Goodman and his claim that he is working for the people before saying that we need a real leader that isn't financed by big business, who is none other than... surprise... Billy Long.

Long has crossed a threshold of negativity that no other individual candidate had crossed until this point. In the closing days of this campaign, Long has gone negative... very negative. They can point fingers all they want to at the American for Job Securities Ad, but Long has aggressively paid for and attached his name to the negative attack ads that have aired in recent days. None of the other candidates have done that.

This does two things. One, it shows that Long must be seeing something in his internal polling that indicates that Goodman is either ahead or tied with him and is doing what he can to peel away even a couple of votes. Two, it shows what Long will do when the gloves are off.

In my opinion, Long made a grave mistake. Had he have played the victim of the attack ad and not gone negative while casting a shadow at Nodler and Goodman it would shown his as being above the fray. Now, he is deeper in the mud than any of the rest of the candidates. If Long does not win on Tuesday evening, I think that one can point to the negative campaigning in the last few days as the reason why.

Saturday, July 31

Skelton's Ad Shows His Armed Services Strength

4th District Congressman Ike Skelton may not face any major threats on Tuesday's primary ballot, but he likely faces a tough contest in November's general election. The incumbent, who has served Western Missouri since 1977, may face his toughest challenge in years. The "throw the bums out" mentality that seems to be permeating much of the country would make it difficult for any well established representative to survive. Couple that with the fact that Skelton is a Democrat in a (at best) politically moderate section of Missouri and he knows that he must campaign smart to win in the fall.

Thus, his latest ad, "Mom of a Marine, plays to one of his greatest strengths -- his chairmenship of the Armed Services committee. In the midst of many negative ads running on our television sets right now, this ad is a breath of fresh air. Add to that the fact that his district encompasses both Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood and I am sure it is playing well in the 4th district, too.

The KSN Family Is Just A Little Bigger...

This news is a little delayed, but a big congratulations is in order to KSN's Brad Douglas and his wife Wendi. They are the proud parents of a new baby girl. Ava Marie was born Thursday morning and weighed in at 6 pounds and 15.5 ounces. This is the first child for the Douglas family.

KSGF Host Predicts Goodman Win

I happened to tune into KSGF this morning while taking a drive. Turns out that I tuned in at the right moment. The Best of KSGF Mornings was on and host Nick Reed was prognosticating on the 7th District Congressional Race with sidekick Courtney Williams. Both he and Williams picked Goodman to win the Republican primary. The program included fairly current developments in the campaign so I assume the original broadcast took place this week.

They both also believed Proposition C would pass. Reed went so far as to predict a 60/40 victory for the ballot issue.

I am perusing their website and looking for a link to the podcast with this discussion. When and if I find it, I will place the link here.

Friday, July 30

Are You Ready To Rummmmmbbbbbbllllllleeeeeee!

In what is surely going to be a pretty unpredictable race on Tuesday evening, politicians and former ones are lining up behind their choices for the Republican candidate for state auditor. In corner one, we have current Mo Rep Allen "Ice T" Icet backed by former Republican representative and governor candidate Kenny Hulshof and a slew of GOP state representatives. In the other corner, we have St. Louis lawyer Tom "I Like" Sweich backed by former Sen. John Danforth, Lt. Gov Peter Kinder, and former US Attorney General John Ashcroft. The heavy hitters are out for the respective candidates.

The big question is: who will the people endorse on Tuesday?

Ellen Follows Simon, Here Comes... ?

Ellen DeGeneres has followed in the footsteps of Simon Cowell and will not return to American Idol next season. People magazine is reporting that it did not take long to find her replacement, however. They are citing an inside source who claims Jennifer Lopez (or J-Lo) has signed on with the show. If true, I find that to be a modestly refreshing choice. Lopez is a singer and dancer who has been in the spotlight so she will be able to provide some critical feedback. Fox has not officially commented yet.

I do hope that the panel is not complete at three. J-Lo, Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson would be adequate but lacks a certain spark. No one can replace Simon Cowell but they need to do something to keep interest in the show high. Maybe a fourth panelist is forthcoming. We can only hope.

Thursday, July 29

Sen. Gary Nodler Answers The Call

I have been in the process of contacting the candidates for the 7th Congressional District to get just a few of their thoughts as Tuesday, August 3rd draws near. The questions asked to each of the candidates has not been groundbreaking, but they give you a chance to see how each of them stack up aginst each other when not standing side by side at a debate or forum.

The first candidate gracious enough to answer was Sen. Gary Nodler. Below are a few of his responses.

SMO: Why did you jump into this race?

Sen. Nodler: I did not jump in. When I indicated to several people that I would not be a candidate I was approached by many citizens asking me to run. While this effort was being made, the size and cost of President Obama's agenda continued to grow and became a greater threat to my family and future generations. I chose to run to try to reverse this disastrous course because I believed I could impact the process faster than any of the other candidates.

SMO: In a crowded field of Republican candidates, what exactly sets you apart from the rest of the candidates?

Sen. Nodler: Experience; private sector experience as the owner and operator of a cable television company and as a corporate consultant and bank director and as a chamber of commerce executive.
I also have more public sector experience, 20 years as a congressional staff member, 4 years as regional administrator of the SBA in the mid-west. I have White house experience as well with 2 years in a cabinet level position with the economic policy council. I have also been in the state senate for 8 years, 5 years in leadership serving as both assistant-majority floor leader and chairman of the appropriations committee. I also served 3 years as chairman of the senate education committee. I am job ready from day one.

SMO: What are the three most important issues you want to tackle in DC if elected to this office?
Sen. Nodler: Reducing debt, helping small business with access to credit to create jobs and securing our border.

SMO: Why should an undecided voter cast their ballot for you on Tuesday?

Sen. Nodler: Because America risks losing her freedom in a battle that is taking place right now. We don't have time for on the job training and no other candidate is prepared to start working on day one.

Steelman + Long = Political Victory?

Billy Long is bringing out the big guns today as the race for the 7th Congressional District Republican nomination winds closer toward the finish line. Sarah Steelman will have Long on her talk radio program this morning from 10-11 a.m. on KWTO. They will then host events in Springfield, Ozark, and Nixa. The Springfield stop will take place at Ziggie's Cafe.

Could Steelman help Long seal the deal or will voters be disappointed in Steelman's choice? I do think that she will have a positive impact on his campaign. Just how much is the real question here though. It is quite risky for Sarah to come out so strongly for a candidate that isn't guaranteed a victory. Sources seem to indicate that she is ready to enter back into the political arena again, possibly with another run for governor. But one has to wonder, how many failed high profiles attempts at running for office (or helping another do so) can you have before you start losing credibility? She is sticking her neck out right now for Billy Long and for her political sake, she better make sure he wins. Otherwise, she will begin to look irrelevant. Meanwhile, look for lots of local media coverage on their campaigning together tonight in the Springfield market.

Wednesday, July 28

Seneca Football Coaches on Probation

The Seneca School District has released a statement informing the public that no suspensions are forthcoming for the coaches of the Seneca High School football team stemming from the June hazing incident while at a school sponsored sports camp. Instead, all coaches have been put on a one year probation. The board determined that the coaches had no prior knowledge of the hazing and took appropriate action after learning about the incident. Eleven Seneca High School football players have been charged with battery and/or assault against younger teammates. One student has been charged as an adult.

In addition to the decision handed down by the school board concerning the coaches, the administration is working on a new supervision policy for all coaches and teachers in the district with extracurricular duties. That policy has not yet been finalized.

Not Going To Vote Next Week? You Aren't Alone.

According to the Associated Press, Missouri state election officials project that voter turnout on Tuesday will be low. How low? Try around 24% of registered voters will go to the polls to determine their parties nominees.

My educated guess (with no facts to back me up) would indicate that turnout will be higher than that in areas of Missouri that are voting in the 4th and 7th Congressional Districts. In the 4th Congressional District, many feel the race for the Republican nomination will be close between Vicky Hartzler and Bill Stouffer. In the 7th Congressional District, Billy Long, Jack Goodman, and Gary Nodler are seen as frontrunners.

Whoa Nelly!

The city of Branson has remained firm in its decision not to let rap star Nelly perform in the parking lot of the Grand Palace in late August. At last night's aldermen meeting, an appeal was turned down. This appeal included support by area businesses for the concert and included steps by the group hosting the concert to ensure the safety of the crowd attending the show. The only way that the show will be allowed to go on in that location is for the concert to be held indoors. The event organizers say that is impossible due to deteoriation and vandalism.

So, what is the motivation behind not allowing the concert to happen? Is it truly a concern for crowd control and issues with noise levels for the businesses and condos nearby or is it something more? Could it be possible that the city is opposed to having a high profile rap artist in the community because they feel it might damage their image? Does the city believe that the costs outweigh the enormous benefits that would be gained by the people who would flock to the city for the concert?

I am not close enough to the situation to know what the intentions of the Branson Aldermen are, but I do know that this issue is far from resolved. Before this is over, Music City U.S.A. is going to have to answer the tough questions. I hope they are ready for it.

Tuesday, July 27

Do I Not Matter?

So, I had a rare experience this afternoon. A candidate for a countywide office came through my neighborhood and knocked doors. I will be completely honest. I had no clue who the man was when he knocked on my door, but I was impressed with his answers to my questions and his overall concern for my thoughts and opinions. As he walked on down the street to the next house, for the first time I felt truly confident about the candidate I was now going to be casting my ballot for on August 3rd. That must also have been the case with many of my neighbors because suddenly yard signs for this man began sprouting up all throughout the subdivision.

I have to admit, up until this afternoon I was pretty depressed about the upcoming primary. Whereas most people get upset when they get a robocall during a Cardinals game (yes, Randy Turner, I am talking about you) or are asked to participate in an opinion poll, I thrive in the atmosphere of democracy in action. Yep, I am a political junkie. And yet I had received nothing this election cycle. No pamphlets, no telephone calls, no emails.

I am what political scientists would call a "swing voter" or what I like to call an equal opportunity thinker. I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans for local, state, and national races and truly listen to the candidates before making up my mind. Plus, I vote in every single election. With all that in my favor you would think both political parties would have been filling up my mailbox faster than you could say landslide. But nope, not a thing.

I began to wonder if my vote mattered to anyone. Do I have to go to a campaign event, city carnival, or a political party sponsored watermelon feed to engage the people that are supposed to be working for me?

You see, we complain that the people in Jefferson City and Washington DC don't represent us and our views. That is because all too often they don't spend time knocking on our doors and listening to our concerns. Instead they put their stock into special interest groups and image consultants. If more politicians took the initiative that this man did, maybe more people would become active in the political process. I guarantee you that once you meet with someone and you feel that they are genuinely concerned about issues that matter to you, suddenly you have a stake in making sure that person gets elected. And isn't that what government and politics is all about?

I don't know how I am going to vote next Tuesday for State Auditor or 7th Congressional District Representative. I am still waiting to hear something from someone that resonates with me.

What that individual did this afternoon is something that isn't done enough anymore--door to door pavement pounding politics. But he also did something more important. He took time to reach out to the people he may be representing and listened to what they had to say. I am a realist. I don't expect that man to remember my name and engage me in a lengthy philosophical discussion the next time I see him in the supermarket. But I do know that he realizes he can't get elected based on his qualifications alone. He knows the true meaning of being an elected official in this great nation. The people matter.

Monday, July 26

Laclede County Double Homicide

UPDATE (6:45 AM) -- Multiple media outlets are reporting this information. Names have still not been released. KOLR is reporting that one person has been brought in for questioning regarding the murders as well.

The Crime Scene Blog is reporting tonight on the latest details regarding an apparent double homicide near Bennett Springs. More information will be available on this blog as details are available.

What You Missed Today...

If you haven't been paying attention, there were a few interesting developments in the MO 7th Congressional District Race.

* The group Americans for Job Security started running an attack ad on Billy Long and his position on earmarks. Former KY3 political reporter and current Politico reporter David Catanese has the scoop here. And you can see the ad below:

* Meanwhile, The Turner Report exposes some fundraising hypocrisy in the Goodman and Nodler camps. Seems that while the group above wants to attack Long, Goodman and Nodler had no problem taking in campaign money from lobbyists.

And now you are up to speed on the new developments today in the 7th Congressional District race.

They Are Sick Of Her!

File this under the "well, duh!" category, but CNN and are reporting that the inmates inside the correctional facility where actress Lindsay Lohan is being housed are fed up with her special treatment. Is anyone surprised about this. Listen to what one inmate had to say:

" 'Like, if they even want to bring her new clothes or bring her anything, they put the whole facility on lockdown. It happens all the time.' "

So, why am I wasting blog space covering this story?

I believe that there needs to be a serious conversation about just what being a celebrity means in our society. I understand that being famous gets you special treatment. I get that a Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, or even a local media celebrity will have greater access to things. I do feel, however, that this special treatment should end at the jailhouse door. Am I the only one who feels this way? Surely not! What say you?

Even More Undecided!!!

Yesterday we looked at profiles of the candidates for the 7th Congressional District. Today is a whole new ball of wax.

If you don't know which Republican to vote for in the state auditor race you aren't alone. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch found that nearly half of all Missouri Republicans still don't know who they will choose for auditor. This number is huge considering that the election is only eight days away! I would imagine that most of the state doesn't really know either candidate that well. This is one race I was not terribly familiar with either as other races have been overshadowing this one.

In addition to providing the results of the recent polling data, the Post-Dispatch does a nice job giving some background and relevant information about each of the two Republican nominees. Check out the article here.

Sunday, July 25


If you still don't know who you are going to vote for in the 7th District Congressional Primary on Tuesday, August 3rd, then you aren't alone. Many Southwest Missouri residents are still trying to make up their minds on who they believe will be the best nominee.

The world wide web hasn't been a friend to providing "just the facts" regarding the candidates either. The blogosphere has been lighting up with comments by supporters and detractors of the men running for the job.

With all of the rumors and innuendos floating around, it is hard to know just what is fact and what is fiction. KSPR's Joe Daues set down and talked to most of the candidates about their views on many issues. You can check out what each of the candidates said by clicking here.

Blunt Versus Carnahan

If the latest poll is any indication of what may happen in November then Robin Carnahan is likely in big trouble. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch/KMOV-TV poll found 7th District Republican Congressman Roy Blunt leading Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, 48% to 42%. The only saving grace is that 10% of the electorate is still undecided. Conventional wisdom would say that the majority of the undecideds would fall to the challenger, but because both are seeking to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Kit Bond it is impossible to predict where those votes go. It could come down to a series of debates planned for this fall.

Other key notes of interest include the fact that Obama's job approval rating in Missouri has fallen to only 34%.

Complete details on the poll can be found here.

Saturday, July 24

CBS Tries To Attract Viewers Younger Than 70

We shall see how this works. I smell disaster in the making.

CBS has announced that teen sensation Justin Bieber is heading for the season premiere of CSI. You can check out all the details here. I just hope there is no revolving door to get in his way.

Alan Jackson Coming To Springfield

Move over Nelly... Country music superstar Alan Jackson is coming to Springfield. Known for such hits as "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning", "Good Time", and "Who's Cheatin' Who", Jackson will be performing at the JQH arena on Thursday, September 23rd. Tickets go on sale a week from today.

Those tickets can be purchased at !

Who Will Take The 7th Congressional District

The phrase too close to call is often overused in politics. Many times it is said to keep people tuning in for more. Yet, the race for the Republican nomination does indeed appear to meet the criteria for "too close to call." Here are my observations as to where the candidates stand a little over one week until the election:
#1 - Jack Goodman: Many dismiss him as a career politician despite having only been in office for a short time. That being said, he seems to be closing in on Billy Long for the nomination. I went ahead and put him as #1 for the following reasons: A) His home base is overwhelmingly supporting him... take a trip down the streets of cities and towns in Barry and Lawrence counties. His constituent support is overwhelming and speaks volumes about his character and record; B) He is making significant inroads into Nodler country. Overflow crowds at his events in Jasper, Newton, and McDonald counties can only mean one thing: the anti-Nodler vote may be swinging toward Goodman; C) He has the momentum: Don't underestimate the power of the mo'. Grassroots campaigns are often undercovered. The fact that he outraised his opponents is a good sign for his candidacy.

#2- Billy Long: A betting man would still put their money on Long at this point, however. The endorsements of Sarah Steelman, Mel Hancock, and Mike Huckabee will carry significant weight in this area. There are a few things to be worried about, however. Most who watched or attended the forums in Springfield and Joplin this week agree that Long came across weak and out of sorts. His response to the Afghanistan question at the Joplin event was the most unnerving. Quietly some Long supporters are beginning to wonder if he can pull this nomination out.

#3 - Gary Nodler: Nodler has made some friends this week among undecided voters. I have heard more than a few undecideds mention that Nodler seems like the safe choice. Yet, it doesn't appear he will be able to carry enough support in the Springfield, Bolivar, and Branson areas to seal the deal. There are also indications that the anti-Nodler vote is beginning to coalesce around Goodman.
#4 - Jeff Wisdom: I think Wisdom is the dark horse here. I don't think he has a chance of winning, but he does have the ability (along with Moore) to lose the election for Long. The more votes he siphons off from the Springfield area, the greater the chance a Nodler or Goodman has of winning this race. You might say that Wisdom could be the kingmaker. I believe the amount of support Wisdom receives will be surprising to most.

#5 - Darrell Moore: I had the highest hopes for this campaign, but Moore seems tired. There is no fire or charisma that I have seen in previous encounters. Moore generally has the sharpest answers to political issues and that will win him support amongst a certain demographic. Once again, the only thing Moore does, however, is takes votes away from people who would most likely vote for Long.

#6 (tie) - Mike Moon and Michael Wardell: These guys are running on their principles, but they aren't going to win. Again... being from the Springfield area, I think their small numbers of votes hurt Billy Long.

# 8 - Steve Hunter: Really? Do I even need to comment? Wow.

So, there you have it. My view on the Republican candidates from Missouri's 7th Congressional District. Surely there is something there for you to comment on, get mad about, etc. Feel free to comment away. We will know for sure Tuesday, August 3rd.

Guess Who's Back?

Okay, okay... I couldn't stay away any longer. This blog is about to get back up and running. And I really mean it this time!!!

I have missed the opportunities this blog has afforded me to provide a communication tool for people in the Show-Me State who want to discuss the issues that matter. From a recession to an oil spill botched by all levels of response to an intriguing race for the 7th Congressional District seat, we have lots to talk about.

Look for posts later today... I am back in the saddle again.

Friday, January 8

Monett McDonald's On Fire


(It appears that the fire started in the kitchen. The building is likely a total loss. )

Fast food restaurant McDonald's caught on fire around 2 p.m. this afternoon and nearby businesses have been evacuated as a result of the fire. It looks as if much of the building may be a complete loss. Here are some pictures I snapped of the fire.

Sunday, January 3

Some Links For You

Below are some links when dealing with the winter weather. These are by far not all the links available. I have only picked out a few to share.

Road conditions in Missouri : MODOT

Springfield Traffic: Ozarks Traffic

School Closings

KOLR (Springfield metro)
KOAM (Joplin metro)
KSHB (Kansas City metro)
KMIZ (Columbia / Jeff City)

Saturday, January 2

Get Ready For Some Snow

The link below is from the National Weather Service in Springfield. A disturbance will track across the area tonight bringing snow back to the western and southern sections of Missouri. It looks like many areas will see at least an inch in the Springfield metro, with the potential for maybe four inches or so around Lamar, Nevada, and Stockton.
An even bigger system may impact the region Wednesday and Thursday!

Friday, January 1

Here's To 2010!

Good morning! I am probably the 8,087,545th person you have heard say this but I am going to say it anyway -- HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope that 2010 is a great year for you. I have a feeling it is going to be a year of positive change in my life. I hope to share some of those moments on the blog. And, of course, still share my opinion... if you don't mind. Well, I am going to assume you don't mind because you are on the blog now.

Once again... Happy New Year... and here's to 2010!