Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 158
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for September 26, 2002

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

Seven weeks before the election and we are already inundated with negative ads from the Democrat & Republican senatorial candidates and their supporters. Most of the ads involve one candidate accusing the other of not doing enough to transfer funds from one group of citizens to benefit another group. Secondarily, they accuse each other of being in the pocket of one or another special interest. We have no idea what their principles, if any, might be, because principles don’t make good sound bites.

Now, the so-called campaign finance reform law, if by some chance found constitutional, will do nothing to increase our awareness of who the candidates really are. It will limit the ability of membership groups to communicate with their members. While it may limit the amount of money going into campaigns, it will make the contentless and misleading negative ads relatively more valuable. What it will do is make the media even more powerful as TV and newspapers tell us what they think we need to know about the candidates.

If you don’t like the content of the major campaigns, you have an alternative. If you think the candidates have become manufactured Tweedledee and Tweedledum, you have an alternative. What is that alternative? Vote for a “third party” and let both the Democrats and Republicans know what you think of their machinations. Missouri will have two “third party” senatorial candidates on the November ballot, the Libertarian Party and the Green Party. Here’s some advice on selecting one:

If you think Democrats don’t go far enough in taxing high income earners and giving the money to the poor, vote Green. If you think Republicans are tax-and-spend happy big-government advocates, vote Libertarian.

If you think Democrats aren’t really interested in the environment, vote Green. If you think Republicans aren’t really interested in protecting gun ownership, vote Libertarian. If you think the terminally ill should be allowed to use medical marijuana, either party will do.

If you want to do your own research, check candidate websites. The Green Party candidate, “digger” Romano, can be found at Green Party website. The Libertarian senate candidate, Tamara Millay, decribes her values at And don’t believe it if a Democrat or Republican says your choice is stealing their votes; you’re the only one who owns your vote!

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