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COLUMN: When voters send a message, it pays to recognize it

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 3:20 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 5, 2010

April's elections are history — culminating in exuberant expressions of joy from the winners and the expected moans of disappointment from the candidates who did not fare as well. Additionally, the normal, albeit sadly pointless, harvest of sour grapes was indeed bountiful.

Several of the candidates, along with their supporters, laid the blame on the level of money raised by the victors, and more than a few intimated that the offices were bought by special interests. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce was also on the receiving end of castigation for at least two reasons.

For the first time in history, the chamber endorsed candidates for mayor and Columbia City Council and supported an affirmative vote on Proposition 1 (downtown surveillance cameras). Opponents believed this an unfair encouragement by donation to those campaigns.

The second grievance against the chamber alleged secrecy or a lack of transparency in the endorsement process. The endorsements were the result of a January task force established to consider possible candidates to recommend in the April elections. The task force endorsed the eventual winners, but several complained that only six of the chamber's 1,100-plus members were involved in the chamber's ultimate endorsement decisions.

To those who say an unfair infusion of money influenced the result, one has but to look at recent elections, national and state-wide as well. In the 2008 presidential campaign, President Barack Obama outspent Senator John McCain by a considerable margin — in television ads alone in the sixty days before November 1, 2.5 to 1. In the following week, Obama spent $23.6 million to McCain's $4.8, an advantage of nearly 5 to 1.

Looking to the 2008 Missouri Governor's race, Gov. Jay Nixon out-raised and out-spent Congressman Hulshof, while in Missouri's 24th District race, Chris Kelly defeated the incumbent Ed Robb. The aggregate raised by both candidates exceeded $426,000. I don't recall anyone complaining that the presidential, governor's or representative's races were bought and paid for by special interests; elections cost real money.

As for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce endorsing candidates, why is that a problem? The chamber has a vested interest, as do all of us, in growth and employment in the city. That is best accomplished by a posture attractive to prospective business ventures. The alleged unfairness of the chamber's limited membership participation is also a non-starter. Neither the AARP, of which I once was a member, the National Rifle Association nor the Marine Corps League finds it necessary to poll me before endorsing a candidate or a position.

In reality, the issue was not money, transparency, inclusion nor a product of special interests. Rather, it is a continuation of the current trend toward conservatism by voters in recent nationwide elections. In Columbia, whether right or wrong, the makeup of City Council was viewed by many as anti-business, or at least nonreceptive to venues other than rigid environmental or "green" growth ones — an attitude hardly conducive to business and job expansion.

Also, a number of the council's conceptual notions were less than well received by an increasing portion of the electorate. Without repetitive elaboration, I will cite a list of those perceived to be inappropriate, unnecessary or embarrassing. The first was the ham-handed, council-knows-best invoking of the no-smoking policy, followed by the establishment of the Citizens Police Review Board. The straws that broke the proverbial camel's back were the ill-advised bicycle harassment law, allowing chickens in the city and questioning the order of seating at council meetings.

Consequently, the voters have advocated a change in the direction of their government. Anyone who has resided here for a minimum of ten years and did not recognize the momentum for this transformation simply was not paying much attention to the electorate's mood. The good news is that the election was conducted in the orderly and untainted fashion expected of this representative republic and, if the electorate is not satisfied, the ins will be voted out.

The moral: never, ever take an electorate for granted. Rudyard Kipling said it best: "An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool — you bet that Tommy sees!"

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at JKarlUSMC@aol.com.


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Comments

Gregg Bush April 20, 2010 | 8:19 a.m.

Secret cabals endorsing candidates is not an integral part of any democratic process. In fact, it is the antithesis of democratic, representative politics.
Remember, businesses must serve the citizens and the city - not the other way.
If what we get out of this election is strip malls and franchises that don't pay employees living wages, we are all the worse for it.
Time will tell.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin April 20, 2010 | 8:48 a.m.

Had the candidates actually campaigned on the issues you raise, Colonel Miller, I might be more inclined to buy some of your points.

But they didn't, and they squeaked by with the slenderest of possible margins.

I believe the bulk of Mr. Kespohl's ad dollars, for instance, were spent on Johnny Cash singing about all the places Karl Skala went on his super-extravagant (NOT) $5,500/year travel budget.

And what about all those Kespohl supporters who publicly accused Mr. Skala of everything from being a drunken child molester to beating his wife? Does this represent elections "conducted in the orderly and untainted fashion expected of this representative republic?"

Not in my republic, it doesn't.

In fact, rather than orderly and untainted, the defining image in this election was former City Councilman Larry Schuster leveling a charge of "secret drunkenness" at Karl Skala during a public chamber forum. Mr. Schuster's belly was hanging over his unbuckled belt, while Mr. Skala sat politely -- recent 70 pound weight loss in full view -- taking this specious garbage with nary an impolite word.

And surprisingly enough, I saw a lot more sour grapes among the winners.

You can't tell me that our representative republic appreciates high-profile supporters like Fred Parry publicly chiding the losing candidates after the election, or ganging up with anonymous buddies on the Trib after the election to take further low-blowing shots.

Rather than representing the sort of substantive change you posit, this election represented a new low in tacky, boorish, bully politics driven by money and negativity.

This group had its chance to raise the bar, given the money it raised. It failed miserably.

(Report Comment)
Ed Ricciotti April 20, 2010 | 2:51 p.m.

This was not a referendum on bicycles, smoking laws, and seating charts. It was a campaign based on fear and misinformation. What I find most despicable is that the Kespohl campaign had their anonymous allies flood the blogs with accusations of child molestation and child abuse. Karl's wife Mahree had gotten so upset she chose to reply to these miscreants. Anyone who would support a local candidate that put forth this kind of invective, I would question their values.

(Report Comment)
Ed Ricciotti April 20, 2010 | 2:52 p.m.

and spousal abuse

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 20, 2010 | 3:44 p.m.

("I don't recall anyone complaining that the presidential, governor's or representative's races were bought and paid for by special interests; elections cost real money.")

Just seems to me that "non-partisan" elections in Columbia become more of a direct reflection of the individual running for council/mayor and creates a different dynamic and feel then outright party endorsed and party fronted races such as offices for the presidency, governor or state/fed representatives.
Maybe that's why America does not make as large an issue on those campaigns as we would on a local, more transparent, closer-to-home voting process. Are all those running for council/mayor truly "independents?" Do we have the right to know their true leanings, political party-wise?

It has always been my understanding that the first "job" of any political party is to identify and get their candidates elected. Having a "non-partisan" council/mayor race seems to degrade the process. For instance, would the outcome of the Dudley/Read/Greaver-Rice turned out differently if Read was not presented in an ambiguous way to confuse some voters as to her "Liberalness or Republicanism?"

If anything, a "non-partisan" race makes it an "apples-to-oranges" comparison as to one's validity of analyzing reactions to party-run campaigns and the more "secretive/manipulative" behaviors and campaign techniques used for our April 6th council/mayor campaigns.

What kind of credibility would a political party have if they had endorsed Kespohl's character assassination tactics? Would he have had the support of the Chamber if he was brushed over by a legitimate political party's endorsement?

When it comes to elected officials for our council/mayor, I think it's important to clearly understand party affiliation.
For instance, is mayor McDavid a "Republican" or something else?
Knowing one's "allegiance," has some importance. Doesn't it?
Our local practice seems to obscure that.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 20, 2010 | 4:52 p.m.

J KARL MILLER says:
("I don't recall anyone complaining that the presidential, governor's or representative's races were bought and paid for by special interests; elections cost real money.")

Just seems to me that "non-partisan" elections in Columbia become more of a direct reflection of the individual running for council/mayor and creates a different dynamic and feel then outright party endorsed and party fronted races such as offices for the presidency, governor or state/fed representatives.
Maybe that's why America does not make as large an issue on those campaigns as we would on a local, more transparent, closer-to-home voting process. Are all those running for council/mayor truly "independents?" Do we have the right to know their true leanings, political party-wise?

It has always been my understanding that the first "job" of any political party is to identify and get their candidates elected. Having a "non-partisan" council/mayor race seems to degrade the process. For instance, would the outcome of the Dudley/Read/Greaver-Rice turned out differently if Read was not presented in an ambiguous way to confuse some voters as to her "Liberalness or Republicanism?"

If anything, a "non-partisan" race makes it an "apples-to-oranges" comparison as to one's validity of analyzing reactions to party-run campaigns and the more "secretive/manipulative" behaviors and campaign techniques used for our April 6th council/mayor campaigns.

What kind of credibility would a political party have if they had endorsed Kespohl's character assassination tactics? Would he have had the support of the Chamber if he was brushed over by a legitimate political party's endorsement?

When it comes to elected officials for our council/mayor, I think it's important to clearly understand party affiliation.
For instance, is mayor McDavid a "Republican" or something else?
Knowing one's "allegiance," has some importance. Doesn't it?
Our local practice seems to obscure that.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller April 20, 2010 | 9:06 p.m.

I see by the prolific commentary the bountiful harvest of sour grapes has become a bumper crop indeed.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush April 20, 2010 | 9:36 p.m.

When those who comment send a message, it pays to recognize it.

(Report Comment)
Ed Ricciotti April 20, 2010 | 10:12 p.m.

Mr. Miller,

The term sour grapes would imply a certain about of envy on my part. I assure you I do not envy those who believe that character assassination of not only a candidate but their family as well is a great campaign tool to be used in a local election. Mr Kespohl soured the vine this campaign season. I am not surprised it is bearing sour fruit.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin April 21, 2010 | 8:10 a.m.

...a bumper crop of sour grapes, indeed.

Gloating, bashing mark post-election results

COLUMBIA, 4/12/10 (Beat Byte) -- Gloating, bashing, and negative campaigning. Innuendo over truth and insignificance over substance. We're in the midst of an election, right? Wrong. The 2010 Columbia City Council elections wrapped nearly a week ago, but an early Spring bumper crop of sore winners can't seem to lay off while they're ahead.

All the gloating raises a question: Should a new Mayor's need to lead without continually firing up opposition take precedence over such a sustained harangue?

Prime targets

Referencing a Prime Magazine column that had him anticipating the ouster of Councilmen Jerry Wade and Karl Skala "like a child before Christmas," large-living publisher Fred Parry (above, center, Missourian photo) fired a Facebook missive at the two defeated candidates Wednesday night after the election.

"Merry Christmas, Mr. Wade! Merry Christmas, Mr. Skala!," Parry jibed. "Drive by our home on West Broadway and see our spectacular Star Magnolia Tree (in full bloom) accented with 8,000 twinkling lights. It's quite a sight!"

Parry included a photo of the tree, which he might lose if new 4th Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley -- who said he supports widening West Broadway, which passes in front of Parry's historic home -- gets his way.

READ THE REST:

http://www.columbiaheartbeat.com/2010/04...

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger April 21, 2010 | 8:27 a.m.

Before the Good Colonel breaks out the Champagne to celebrate the apparent landslide of conservatism in our fair city, he should be aware of the 1% margins both Kespohl and Dudley garnered in their races. Hardly a groundswell of conservative values. Because of the split vote in the 4th Ward, arguably between two candidates more progressive--and experienced-- than Dudley, 65% of the folk in that ward are now represented by a man who won none of their votes.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 21, 2010 | 3:39 p.m.

I'm sure if the shoe had been on the other foot, the liberals would be doing the same gloat and cheer routine. It never seems to bother them all the shenanigans that went on with the Obama bin Biden Death to America "health care" plan.

You talk about 1% margin wins. During the 2008 presidential election, only 56.8% of eligible voters bothered to go to the polls. Obama got less than 53% of that vote. Hardly an overwhelming referendum of approval based on the amount of money that he spent against Senator McCain. Additionally, it is obvious from the polls that a great many Americans are suffering buyer's remorse on their choices in 2008.

The results show that your voters are pretty split along party lines, and as is happening nationally, those voters in the middle have moved away from liberals having seen the results of their policies. Two years from now, those independents may have a changed view based on how conservatives govern. Until that time, as we have to do when liberals win, you'll just have to grin and bear it. Of course, unlike conservatives, if you decide not to grin and bear it, we can expect all sorts of violence from liberals who disagree.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger April 21, 2010 | 4:33 p.m.

As usual, Don has Karl's back. But really, " we can expect all sorts of violence from liberals who disagree"? You know, I don't see liberals packing heat at rallies, warning conservatives that they're in "the crosshairs" of liberals' rifles, screaming racial epithets...wait, a minute, the conservatives are pretty white, so what's to scream?

And what you say, by the way, in no way detracts from the fact that, in the 4th ward, at least, arguably 60% of the people are now represented by a man for whom they did not vote (and, incidentally, who had no former experience in city governance).

Your point about President Obama's win could easily be flipped and applied to the Bush/Gore race which, I aver was not decided by the people at all, but by five duffers on the Supreme Court. But that's water over the bridge, alas.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin April 21, 2010 | 4:44 p.m.

It's erroneous to characterize this non-partisan City Council race as conservative v. liberal, as "Don Milsop" is trying to do.

For instance, both Gary Kespohl and Bob McDavid advocated tax increases -- a traditionally liberal stance.

"When an audience member said declining sales tax revenues have the city in a hole, slowing development, Kespohl said the community gets its money from its residents and that raising property and sales taxes “is the only way to get revenues up.”
Source: Columbia Tribune

Kespohl later tried to equivocate on that unpopular position -- which he did with a number of issues, including the infamous Landmark Hospital email. But after the dust cleared, he would go on to reiterate that he favored raising taxes.

Skala, on the other hand, said he favored other options, including "better planning."

When asked about how to improve the city's financial picture, Bob McDavid said similarly "liberal" things:

"McDavid: City revenues can be enhanced three ways: 1. Increased sales tax revenue, 2. Increased user fees, and 3. Increased property tax revenue."
Source: Columbia Tribune

McDavid did not speak much about cutting government, the traditionally conservative approach.

These are among many reasons this election cannot be considered a conservative v. liberal mandate -- despite what the history revisionists would like us to believe.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 21, 2010 | 5:30 p.m.

Let's see. Liberals riot, loot and burn in Seattle during the WTO meetings in 1999. In New Orleans a couple of weeks ago two Republicans were visciously beat up for wearing Palin pins. At a town hall SEIU thugs beat up the black man for asking questions. SEIU thugs are caught at Tea Party rallies carrying signs of Obama with a Hitler moustache. Harry Reid supporters throwing eggs at and assaulting Andrew Breitbart. And not to mention how tea party rallies leave their rally areas immaculately clean. Look at the mall after Obama's inauguration and the tremendous amount of trash left by liberals. As to being white racist rallies, our tea party rally in Honolulu had orientals as a distinct majority, as were the speakers and candidates. Again, no violence, and the area was left with no trash. The only loud mouthed anti Obama person there was zeroed in on by the press. He was an obvious plant, and we moved in around him to show the media while they interviewed him that he was not part of us, and did not represent us. One amongst several thousand.

You insinuate conservative tea party people advocate violence. You're wrong. We advocate change at the ballot box. Liberals however, continue to actually commit violence time after time. You can't deny this. And you can't show conservative violent behavior. And before you try saying Timothy McVeigh was associated with conservatives, don't bother going there. He was a white supremecist, not a conservative. That would be like comparing extreme left winger Joseph Stack's (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/02/18/raw...) crashing him plane into the IRS building in Austin as an example of what Democrats believe.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 21, 2010 | 5:41 p.m.

Hank,what is it that you find scary about citizens having arms and exercising their use of them as allowed by and within the law? I've been to hundreds of gun shows with hundreds of thousands of people overall, and millions of weapons on display. The vast majority of the crowd are conservatives, regardless of race. I've never seen one act of violence or the promotion of violence at any of these shows. Can you say the same of liberals? Do you recall the violence by liberals at the GOP conventions in Houston and St. Paul? Do you recall any violence by conservatives at Dem conventions? No you don't. Before you talk about who is advocating violence, perhaps you would do better to actually talk about WHO IS committing violence.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 21, 2010 | 5:49 p.m.

Let's add a few more. Lou Dobbs and Eric Kantor have had people shooting at their homes or offices. It was liberal Alec Baldwin on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien who said Henry Hyde and his entire family should be dragged into the street and stoned to death. So please, put up something about violence by conservatives, or just admit the vast majority of the violence is coming from your side of the aisle. Not talk of violence, but actual acts of violence.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 21, 2010 | 7:22 p.m.

("Nixon figured out that he could succeed politically “by using the angers, anxieties, and resentments produced by the cultural chaos of the 1960s.”
Nixon resented the Kennedys and clawed his way back to power; construction workers resented John Lindsay and voted conservative; National Guardsmen resented student protesters and opened fire on them. “America was engulfed in a pitched battle between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. The only thing was: Americans disagreed radically over which side was which.” Franklins who had thrown off their dinner jackets, picked up a weapon, and joined the brawl.
The sixties, which began in liberal consensus over the Cold War and civil rights, became a struggle between two apocalyptic politics that each saw the other as hellbent on the country’s annihilation. The result was violence like nothing the country had seen since the Civil War, and bombings, assaults, and murders committed by segregationists, hardhats, and vigilantes on the right were at least as numerous as those by radical students and black militants on the left. Nixon claimed to speak on behalf of “the nonshouters, the nondemonstrators,” but the cigar smokers in that South Carolina hotel were intoxicated with hate.
Nixon was coldly mixing and pouring volatile passions.
Buchanan gave me a copy of a seven-page confidential memorandum—“A little raw for today,” he warned—that he had written for Nixon in 1971, under the heading “Dividing the Democrats.” Drawn up with an acute understanding of the fragilities and fault lines in “the Old Roosevelt Coalition,” it recommended that the White House “exacerbate the ideological division” between the Old and New Left by praising Democrats who supported any of Nixon’s policies; highlight “the elitism and quasi-anti-Americanism of the National Democratic Party”; nominate for the Supreme Court a Southern strict constructionist who would divide Democrats regionally; use abortion and parochial-school aid to deepen the split between Catholics and social liberals; elicit white working-class support with tax relief and denunciations of welfare. Finally, the memo recommended exploiting racial tensions among Democrats. “Bumper stickers calling for black Presidential and especially Vice-Presidential candidates should be spread out in the ghettoes of the country,” Buchanan wrote. “We should do what is within our power to have a black nominated for Number Two, at least at the Democratic National Convention.” Such gambits, he added, could “cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half.”
“Positive polarization” helped the Republicans win one election after another—and insured that American politics would be an ugly, unredeemed business for decades to come.")
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/...

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin April 21, 2010 | 8:34 p.m.

Okay, the conversation just turned incredibly weird, and now has nothing to do with the local elections. I'm over and out.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 21, 2010 | 9:31 p.m.

Nice cut and paste Mr. Shapiro. However, it did nothing to address the lack of violence by conservatives, and the abundance of violence by liberals. Hopefully the response will be more lucid than Jon Stewart's was to Bernie Goldberg. An impressive display of talent and command of the English language Stewart continues to evidence.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 21, 2010 | 10:47 p.m.

Wow, I dunno, but it seems a bit retarded to me to fall into the same old Hegelian so called' liberal vs conservative' trap mindset, most people I know now are rejecting this false 'choice, and are rather seeing it is instead a choice to either maintain power among the people to make their own decsions, or rather to defer to an 'Elite' who will make them 'for your own good'.

This is the heart of the NON-Partisan "tea party" (don't tread on me) * movement* which unfortunatley, Imo, has been hijacked by RINO's and other pretend so called 'conservatives'.

Sorry, it's much bigger than that, people from ALL walks of life and political spectrums are waking up to the attemps to keep The People divided and forever held hostage to the 'special interests' of BOTH parties. I fear some of our MSM gatekeepers who preach 90% 'truth' have sucked in their unwiiting viewers to the 10% poison smake oil they peddle as 'the antidote'. Buyer beware.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 22, 2010 | 7:01 a.m.

Carl K, I hardly think the tea party movement has been hijacked by the RINOs. If anything, the tea party movement is either holding the RINOs feet to the fire (not even the Maine duo jumped ship on GOP in the Senate vote on Obama's plan), or in many instances, they are supporting more conservative candidates in the GOP primaries to force the RINO's from office. The GOP party platform is very conservative. Now the tea party movement intends to see that they either live up to that platform or they will get somebody who will, at all levels of government.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 22, 2010 | 7:35 a.m.

Don, sorry I'm still a little bit fuzzy on this whole 'conservative vs. liberal' thing, what EXACTLY does a 'conservative' want and believe in, vs. what EXACTLY does a 'liberal' want and believe in? Can you give me a concrete list of principles and core values of each of these 'groups' so I can be sure when and if I defer to these labels that I have it right?

Both categories seem to me like convenient 'shape shifters' simply using their label to provide cover for whatever the latest agenda from the monied elitists is, that control BOTH parties and play them against each other to further their chokehold over the American people and destroy what little is left of American's liberty and sovereignty. It's like trying to get a hold of jello, one minute you think you have a firm grasp on it and the next minute it slips through your fingers.

I guess my question would be rather which candiates if any REALLY hold firm to the CONSTITUTION and BILL OF RIGHTS and make their decisions based on the ideals and principles this country was founded on. Either? Sorry, I just don't see it. IMo, I think the ultimate 'consrvative' position would be one that attempts to stay OUT of peoples lives, stays OUT of foreign interventions base on shadowy elusive media created 'villians', let's people get on with their day to day business without undue burden, and seeks to CONSERVE the liberty, privacy, and ability to pursue happiness that the Founders seemed to hold in high esteem.

While I agree, a large part of the "tea party' movement does by and large embrace these things, I still fail to see the "Hollywood" style 'spokespeople' who have moved in to speak for the movement fully or in some cases even partially embracing ALL of these principles. I guess that's why I have always considered myself a staunch INDEPENDENT and prefer addressing issues specifically rather than following any labelled 'ditto head' herd mentality as some in 'tea party movement' seem to have done.

Let's not forget EVERY political minded group seeking a voice will quickly be infiltrated to keep it steered within the confines of the barbed wire, none of the sheep must ever be allowed for long to wander outside the holding pen.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 22, 2010 | 3:13 p.m.

Carl, the tea party movement doesn't lend itself to Hollywood style people moving in to speak for them. And I don't see that. The closest thing I see is Sarah Palin. In my opinion, she damaged herself badly by supporting McCain again. Other than that, it's not a coordinated group and I can think of no single spokesperson for it.

I'm going to guess you are a Ron Paul supporter based on your other statements. I can't support him because of his ties to white racist groups, his enthusiastic use of earmarks, and his failure to recognize that in an age of rapid and mass transportation, and chemical and nuclear weapons, we can not adopt the founding fathers ideals of nonintervention. The oceans no longer separate us from our enemies. To think otherwise is sheer folly. And we certainly saw from Germany and Japan that ignoring a tyrant will only earn you grief later on. This was also evidenced by the mixed signals we sent Saddam Hussein in 1990.

Please tell me how else you can secure commerce and security on our shores without becoming a virtual police state?

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 22, 2010 | 4:00 p.m.

Don I agree with you about Palin as an example, yes she is the type of "Hollywood" (more show than substance IMO) spokesperson I am referring to along with some other high profile wannabes. Also, too (like you?) I don't consider McCain a 'true conservative' either, his last attempt to author a bill to try and take free choice in vitamin supplents away from the citizens is a disgrace and a sell out to those who realize their profits would decline if people stayed more healthy and didn't buy their bandaid snake oil 'medicines'.

Yes, I do find Ron Paul one of the best and brightest, IMO there are few who can hold up a candle to his honesty, integrity, and willingness to try and look after the concerns of We The People. I do think though to try and label him with smears like (ties to racist groups) is very midguided and wrong, not sure exactly what you are referring to, the man is certainly not a racist in any form that I can see. He has taken on the Israel first crowds' agenda though, which few dare to do, and in return he gets the usual lame 'anti-semitic' card thrown at him by those who can only try and attack the messenger by throwing mud, knowing they don't stand a chance of attacking 'the message.'

Lastly, my comments on staying out as much as possible of 'foreign interventions' doesn't mean to not be engaged and active in world decisions and policy, but rather staying out of multiple wars based on lies and phony reasons (IMO) and not having to have reckless and wasteful military spending that is sucking the life blood out of this country and putting us as occupiers in most all other countries in the world. I think it's fair to say too, that many other countries get along quite well with their commerce and security while not following the current path of EMPIRE or becoming a 'police state'. A tyrant is a tyrant whether here in the U.S. or in Iraq. In fact I would add to that, that the original 'tea party' movement came about, and is in fact named, for a certain act by The People to try and show a tyrant that he/they were going too far. Will history repeat?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop April 23, 2010 | 2:39 a.m.

Carl, the research done by Lone Star Times in Texas was detailed and sourced. Ron Paul did very little to refute the allegations. I personally know the people who run the blog. They are dedicated, ethical, and carefully research the stories they print, including giving space for rebuttal. It was not a smear. The guy running Paul's website was definitely associated with radical white groups.

The questions about Ron Paul come from reputable sources as outlined in this story: http://skunks.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/l...

In fact, after doing a thorough search, LST found several hundred white power websites supporting Ron Paul.

Couple that with Ron Paul's earmarks.

http://blogs.chron.com/txpotomac/2008/04...

These total over $407 million. Ron Paul will say he voted against the bill, but he knew it would pass and he did not withdraw the earmarks.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 23, 2010 | 7:05 a.m.

This discussion does seem to have gotten beyond the scope of Karl Miller's column, but there's no harm in that.

The Missourian went up about 100 points as far as I am concerned when they decided to add Karl as a columnist. The print news organ of our so-called "flagship campus"* is now listing a trifle less to the Left! We were concerned for some time that the "ship" would capsize.

We need to recognize progress when we see it.

*- Please spare us yet another lecture about how the newspaper isn't really owned by MU but is actually owned by a foundation. We don't care whether the newspaper is "owned" by aliens from the planet Xylo. Who RUNS the newspaper? QED

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 23, 2010 | 8:56 p.m.

Ellie you're right, I didn't mean to steer it away from the article, but rather to point out that the terms 'conservative' and 'liberal', which have been used to divide people for so long, have really started to blur, it seems to me, and more and more people I know are starting to think as "Independents".

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 23, 2010 | 9:41 p.m.

One last thing, and I just pass this on as food for thought for the 'open minded' (readers as well as journalists) is this article from infowars regarding Dr. Paul, that some may find intriquing. Perhaps he's way off base on his overall outlook, I make no claims either way, but check out his prediction in 07 for the economy and perhaps it's accuracy. The second part of his look into the future may be inaccurate (or maybe just premature), time may tell, I think it's well worth being aware of though, simpy asking reasonable questions while not jumping to absolute conclusions.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/jul...

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 24, 2010 | 6:28 a.m.

Well, Carlie, there's no problem. I wanted to bring the matter back to the columnist: Karl Miller.

If Miller tires of writing columns for the Missourian, or if the Missourian tires of publishing Miller's columns, Miller can find a home at the Rolla Daily News (AKA Rolla Daily Snooze). He will be popular.

[Changing the subject, some of us are waiting for May to see if there is another "gloom and doom" article in the Missourian, as there was last year, about graduates who can't find employment. That's NOT a System-wide problem, you know.]

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