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.