Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 53
Published in the Warrensburg Gazette July 27, 2000

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

Dear Editor

As the August 8th Primary Election nears, political signs are popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain and ads fill the newspapers. And, like mushroom hunters, we voters need to be able to distinguish the digestible from the indigestible, something that’s not always easy. While I don’t have any surefire way to identify which is which, I do have a few observations:

Some candidates for a certain judicial position have taken to putting their signs on the right-of-way of public highways, something I understand is a no-no. I even saw a sign on CMSU property. These candidates are really concerned about the letter of the law; they’re printing the required “paid for by” statement, but it’s so small I had to stop the car to verify it was really there.

A curious aspect of both signs and newspaper ads is that many fail to identify the candidate’s party affiliation. We Missouri voters can pick only one of the five different party ballots in the primary, and many pick the party ballot with the most interesting races. It could quite literally be self-defeating for a candidate to fail to tell voters where to find his/her name. Another curiosity is the candidate whose signs urge us to vote for him on August 8th. Should he win his primary, he’ll have to alter or reprint the signs.

One positive move in informing the public is the extensive use of internet websites by a few candidates. Websites give us a chance to see what, if anything, they claim to stand for and what they intend to do for or to us. The parties and many individual candidates have websites; some of the individual candidate sites can be reached through the party sites. Here are the official parties in Missouri and their websites (in approximate order of information provided):

For those candidates not on the web, we can but await their interviews in the local press and hope they provide enough substantive information so we can pick the right mushrooms.

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