Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 67
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for November 2, 2000

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

Dear Editor

The election is almost upon us! Normally Iíd have lots to say about the candidates & their positions, but this year Iím just flabbergasted by the ads taking votes out of context or using misleading numbers and half truths, not to mention downright lies. I donít mind negative ads if theyíre truthful, but thereís no easy way to sort out the truth from the fiction. Whenever I can Iíll vote against the candidate with the bigger lies - either that, or for a third party candidate whose nose hasnít started to grow.

The following was originally submitted, then withdrawn due to the fast paced flow of misleading ads

The election is almost upon us! Itís time for some last minute reflections on the some of our local candidates. First, a comment on how the legislature works - while true that some of our legislators voted for St. Louis pork barrel projects, thatís how one gets St. Louis legislators to vote for our pork barrel projects.

The State Senate seat district that includes Johnson County features 24-year veteran State Senator Harold Caskey and challenger 120th District State Representative Jim Howerton. Both have records that pretty well reflect the interests and make-up of their districts. Sen. Caskey was endorsed by the NRA, but I believe that is a reward for past support rather than showing any superiority in his positions. While I have respected Sen. Caskeyís work in the past, I question the misleading negative attack ads heís mailed out recently. It is always misleading to attack by singling out one of many issues contained in a very complex bill, in this case relating to the tobacco settlement money.

Four-term State Representative Deleta Williams is being challenged by local businessman John E. Angel, offering a clear contrast in philosophies. I havenít seen anything really misleading (yet) in eitherís ads. Rep. Williams is a liberal and her positions and voting records show that. While her response to Angelís ad on partial birth abortion says sheíd support a ban that included an exception for the health of the woman, the problem is who gets to define Ďhealth.í Another clear distinction is shown by Angelís endorsement by the NRA.

In the Eastern Commissioner race incumbent Jim Hull faces challenger Scott Sader. I am concerned about two of Saderís statements in a recent newspaper interview, when he said the county might need to hire a code enforcement officer and suggested looking at some other form of financing to speed up road paving. Hull, as an incumbent commissioner, shares responsibility for the decisions, good & bad, that resulted in bids for the courthouse annex project almost 40% over the money planned.

There are some interesting county-wide races, as well. In the Treasurerís race, Fred Wolff is a retired banker who should thoroughly understand all aspects of financial records & management, while Nancy Davis works for the current Treasurer. In contrast, neither Assessor candidate, Bob Bird nor Mark Reynolds, has worked directly in property assessment. Nurse Susan Morgan offers an alternative to C.L. Holdren, a funeral home operator.

There are plenty of issues and candidates to vote for or against. If you feel inadequately informed in a given race or doubt the qualifications of either major party candidate, thereís still time to do some research Ė or you can always skip over that one or vote third party (if a candidate is available).

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