Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 148
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for July 18, 2002

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Weíre just a couple of weeks away from an election when weíll select nominees for Presiding Commissioner, U.S. Senate and State Auditor. There are other offices on the ballot, but none are contested locally. However, the ballot contains two tax measures and a St. Louis government issue.

The greatest threat to liberty isnít greedy executives, grasping politicians or foreign terrorists; itís an indifferent electorate. Thatís people who donít bother to become informed of candidates and issues, whether or not they vote. That allows special interest minorities and government client groups to increase taxes or control how money is spent. Think Iím kidding? Only about 9% of registered voters voted for the R-VI government school tax increase; trouble is, only 8% bothered to vote against it. The Ambulance Board consists of people whose vote totals ranged from 2.5% to 7% of registered voters. Gives you a lot of confidence!

Weíre seeing representatives of state government going around and giving us ďfactsĒ on the road tax increase. They donít mention that the temporary tax that we didnít get to vote on a while back has been extended without our vote. They donít mention that nothing was really done to improve oversight of their spending. And out here, they donít like to mention what the urban areas will get an awful lot of the money. The advertising blitz weíre getting on radio and TV doesnít mention that itís funded by the people who will make money from road construction. And nobody mentions the inherent unfairness of using a sales tax to pay for road work that should be supported by user fees.

Another tax on the ballot is on cell phones to make the 9-1-1 emergency system compatible. Thatís essentially a user fee, since only those who use cell phones will pay. And if youíve ever had to use a cell phone in an emergency, youíll know why itís needed.

My advice? Read the candidate interviews in all the papers and, given the opportunity, ask the candidates where they stand on your pet issues. Read the text of the various ballot issues. Decide who will best represent your views and how the issues should be decided. Then, go to the polls on August 6th.

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