Candidate Forum: 2014 GOP Cass County Primary

The Cass County Candidate Forum met last night at the Harrisonville Community Center. The democrats weren’t present. Their party strictly controls their primary—there isn’t one. They don’t allow contested races.

The only ones at the forum were ‘Pubs for three contested races between the county GOP conservatives and members of the Oligarchy who created the mess that plunged the county deeply in debt. The current office holders are working and making progress against that debt by returning the county to its principle areas of responsibilities.

The races covered was the Presiding Commissioner, Associate Circuit Judge, County Auditor and Circuit Clerk. Amy Bell, Kim York’s opponent for Cass County Circuit Clerk, withdrew a week or so ago as part of an agreement with the judicial system ending her service as Circuit Clerk. Kim York is now unopposed and will take office at the beginning of the new term. Regardless, she appeared alone and answered question as did the rest of the candidates.

The forum began at 6:30pm with introductions by each candidate. I noted a couple of…interesting items. All the candidates had two minutes for their responses and answers to questions with a one minute closing statement.

Dave Morris, who ran for state senator against Scot Largent and Ed Emery in the last general election, learned a few things since then. I took him to task then when he appeared at a GOP ‘meet the candidates’ meeting wearing shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops when Messrs Emery and Largent wore suits. I said at that time, Dave Morris wasn’t ready for prime time, i.e., his lack of experience in public office and the professionalism needed for state office. I’m sorry to say, he still isn’t ready for prime time.

In a subsequent question, Dave Morris was first to be asked, “What is the most positive act by the County Commission in the last ten years?” After a minute or so of stammering, he admitted he couldn’t think of anything. Jeff Cox, when asked the same question, immediately answered with killing the TriGen and Broadband projects that were pushing the county into bankruptcy.

The comparisons between Judges Meryl Lange and Stacey Lett were distinctive as well. Ms Lange has been practicing law for well over twenty years. Ms Lett for eleven years if I heard her correctly. Stacey Lett said that she has managed her own law office, and had experience with the local US Attorney’s office and other similar offices. It was unclear if Meryl Lange had ever done so, although she said she was once a lawclerk for a Supreme Court Judge. I didn’t recognize which judge that was so it must have been a state supreme court justice.

The important difference between the two was that Stacey Lett, younger and with only ten years practicing law, had twice the experience as a judge. Ms Lett has been the Raymore Municipal Judge for the last three or four years and has personally handled over 9,000 cases. Ms Lange was appointed to fill a vacancy as an Associate Circuit Judge a little over a year ago.

I did notice that Ms Lett answered the questions given her while Ms Lange did not, using the excuse of maintaining her impartiality prohibited her response to some general answers. I suppose that is one method of not making a statement on her views of being a judge. One statement that struck me, when Ms Lange actually answered a question, was her claim to have “handled 100 cases in less than an hour.” That means each case had only 36 seconds of her attention. It does make one wonder how she could do so and give each decision the necessary scrutiny any judicial case deserves.

The questions to Ron Johnson and Ryan Wescoat was fiery as expected. To call this race for Cass County Auditor a grudge match would be a great understatement. Ron Johnson was elected in 2010 ending decades of auditorial neglect by a string of democrat office holders who did not perform a single audit since the 1970s. During that time, the county auditor, “was an accounts payable office,” said Ron Johnson. Ryan Wescoat was an employee in Johnson’s auditor office when that office uncovered the fiasco of the TriGen and Broadband projects. I’ve written about his discovery in a post some years ago.

Mr. Wescoat wasn’t an employee for long. He was fired for insubordination and, without authorization, releasing documents and approving payments to UAM, the company being sued by the county for non-performance on the TriGen and Broadband projects. Since Wescoat’s political backers are the same former commissioners under investigation, Brian Baker and Bill Cook, one may suspect Wescoat’s motives running against his former boss.

Mr. Wescoat, during the initial introduction, went into great detail about his education and teaching experience. It brought to mind the saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” I made mention of that phrase in a Facebook posting last night. My wife, a professor in a local bible college, was not amused by the allegory.

When questions about the future of the county, both Dave Morris and Ryan Wescoat spoke at length about the need for economic development and taking advantage of the conversion of US 71 highway to Interstate Highway 49. At one point I had to wonder if Ryan Wescoat was running for Auditor or for the office of Director for Economic Development. I forget who responded, Jeff Cox or Ron Johnson, that unrestrained spending by the prior commission to push two economic development projects, nearly bankrupted the county.

Returning to the County Auditor’s race, one question clearly displayed the difference between Ron Johnson and Ryan Wescoat. The question, “What would you do if you found an office holder who was not complying with procedures demanded by law?”

Johnson used his discovery of apparent nepotism by the Cass County Clerk, Janet Burlingame as an example. He reported the discovery to the County Clerk and asked her to change her practice to be compliant with the state’s nepotism law. When, after six months, she had done nothing, he reported the case to the county prosecutor. The case was referred to the circuit court where a judge dismissed the charge because it had occurred during a previous term of the county clerk.

Ryan Wescoat’s answer was similar except for one step. After working with the office holder and not getting compliance, he would go to the County Commission, then the prosecutor. The problem with Wescoat’s process is that elected county officeholders are NOT subservient to the County Commission. The commissioners and officeholders are elected peers. One office is not subordinate to the other. The only point of contact is their budget. The Commission, working with the officeholders, creates a budget for the county and the offices. The Commission, after review with the officeholders, approves the budget. I suppose the power of the budget could be a device to use to insure compliance by an officeholder, but it would be a messy and long drawn-out affair, with, I suspect, lawyers involved in the end. Apparently, Mr. Wescoat’s view of the office of Auditor is more inline with the auditors before Mr. Johnson, an accounts payable office who rubber-stamps the decisions of the Commission without question. The concept of the Auditor being the ‘Check and Balance’ of the Commission and the elected officeholders appears to be foreign to Mr. Wescoat’s thinking.

Overall, the distinction between the two political groups, the GOP conservatives and the Oligarchy seeking return of the old, corrupt methods of governance, was readily apparent last night. I make no apology for wishing the conservatives a win next week. Else…we can greet a return to unrestrained spending, debt, and the return of the county to the path of bankruptcy.

News from the Front for Jan 27 2014

There appeared a column in Red State over the weekend that reports on the continuing internal civil war between the ‘Pub establishment in Washington and the party’s core constituents. In this latest report, Red State discloses the plan for the establishment to roll-over on immigration.

This is What the GOP Establishment Thinks of You

Daniel Horowitz (Diary)  | 

It is very easy to avert our eyes from the painful reality that is confronting us within the Republican Party.  We would all love to cheer on a GOP victory in the midterm elections, win back the Senate, and live happily ever after.  But as Republicans gear up for the week of amnesty, they have made it clear that the entire purpose of a Republican majority is to push the most important priority of the Democrat Party.

This is why we need to change the party in the primaries.

GOP leadership is now fully aware of our growing effort to elect Republicans who believe in the party platform, and according to the Wall Street Journal, they will time their amnesty bills accordingly:

“House leaders hope to bring legislation to the floor as early as April, the people close to the process said, after the deadline has passed in many states for challengers to file paperwork needed to run for Congress. Republican leaders hope that would diminish chances that a lawmaker’s support for immigration bills winds up sparking a primary-election fight.”

So this is what the party leaders think of the people who rebuilt the party since 2010 after it was destroyed during the Bush years.

There is only one obvious response to this malevolent attitude on the part of party leadership.  If they want to pass amnesty after the primaries under the pretense that we will already be on the plantation, we must commit to withholding support from any amnesty supporter even in a general election.

For years, I’ve always felt that no matter how low the GOP has sunk it was still worth voting for any Republican in a general election.  Whenever my dad would suggest that we stay home in the general, I would always have something to point to – some horrible policy that would evolve from Democrat control of government unless Republicans remained in power. But that time has passed.

What will happen if the Democrats are in charge?  We already have Obamacare, and Republicans have committed to preserving it.  We already have record debt, and Republicans have committed to raising the debt ceiling.  And now Republicans are pushing the most destructive Democrat policy of all – perennial open borders, a permanent Democrat majority, and the ballooning of the welfare state.

This pending amnesty push, which will also double our record low-skilled legal immigration, will change our economy and society forever.  There is no way we could overcome the electoral juggernaut engendered by open borders.  At some point we need to draw a line in the sand and fight back against this cynical ploy.  If the undocumented Democrats in our party wish to pass amnesty after the primaries, we should not grant them amnesty in the general election.

What’s the worst that can happen?  A Democrat majority?

That’s exactly where we are headed if we don’t fight this maniacal push for immigration deform.

Game on.

***

Red State provided the list below of conservative candidates who are running, in the upcoming primaries, against establishment ‘Pub politicians. Let’s help all of these conservatives beat their establishment opponents.

We all strongly believe in the rationale for a viable second party.  We can’t function with an oligarchy.  That is why we must all spend the next 4-7 months fully engaged in the primaries.  This is our party and it’s time to take it back.  Here are some candidates we can support and send a big message in the primaries:

  • Kentucky Senate: Matt Bevin challenging GOP establishment king, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (donate here)
  • Kansas Senate: Milton Wolf challenging Senator Pat Roberts (donate here)
  • Mississippi Senate: Chris McDaniel challenging Senator Thad Cochran ( donate here)
  • Louisiana Senate: Rob Maness challenging Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu and establishment Republican Bill Cassidy (donate here)
  • Idaho House District 2: Bryan Smith challenging RINO Mike Simpson (donate here)
  • Georgia Senate: Paul Broun running against a number of establishment candidates (donate here)

From Red State.

***

If you read my posts last week and read the news, you’ll remember the RNC held a strategy meeting at a ‘secret’ location. The meeting, supposedly, was to plan a strategy to win this year’s congressional elections. Instead, they chose to discuss plans for the 2016 election and came up with a plan to lose win that one.

Reince’s Solutions Miss the Mark

By C. Edmund Wright, January 27, 2014

In typical establishment fashion, Reince Priebus and the wizards at the RNC have looked at the last presidential nomination cycle and learned the wrong lessons.  They have concluded that not allowing Mitt Romney a smooth coronation was the problem, and they are out to make sure their anointed one never has to face that again.  As such, the prescriptions for change recently announced by Priebus will only make things worse.  This is what happens when a national party is isolated from — and igorant of — its nation.

Yes, the debates did become a series of shameless food fights as the process unfolded — and something should be done about that.  But what exactly?  One might think that the establishment consultants would look in the mirror and figure out that it was they, and their candidates, who made it so.  As long as the debates were focused on the problems of Obama and liberal judges, liberals in Congress, liberal academics, liberal unions, and liberals in the media, the debates were awesome.  We needed more of those debates.  Of course, only Herman Cain, and at two different times Newt Gingrich, had this figured out.

It was precisely this strategy that propelled each to the lead in the national polls — Cain in November and early December 2011, and then Newt once in December of 2011 and again during the South Carolina primary week in 2012.  Both men hammered only the opposition, while the others threw food at each other.  Who can forget the absurd over-the-top attacks from Michele Bachmann on Rick Perry’s vaccination program, not to mention the argument Perry and Romney had about  who was mowing whose yard?

Had any of these candidates, or their overpaid, under-observant consultants, taken a big-picture look at what was going on, it would have been obvious that the voters were craving only two things: a plan for beating Obama, and then a plan to undo his damage once that was accomplished.  Cain and Newt, neither with any money, both rocketed to the top of the heap by doing just this and by complimenting the other Republicans.  Newt was especially effective, often taking down self-righteous journalists like Juan Williams and John King in the process of exposing the intellectual bankruptcy of liberalism.

The other campaigns?  Not so much.

The Mitt Romney money machine, which spent 99% of its ad budget in Florida savaging Newt — while ignoring the word “Obama” and even the name “Mitt” — was primarily responsible.  But then again, so were Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, and Jon Huntsman once Newt had gained a 14-point lead in Iowa.  Unfortunately, Newt responded to this surreal 6-against-1 attack poorly, too, resorting to the foolish “Bain Capital” attack ads in Iowa and New Hampshire — and then joining Romney in the gutter in Florida.

So what happened in between New Hampshire and Florida?  South Carolina happened.

And in the Palmetto State, the path to victory was demonstrated.  The week of the campaign, including the Monday/Thursday debate schedule, was a week-long attack by conservatism against liberalism.  Newt stole the show, simply because he is better at this than any of the others, but Newt is not the point.  The message is the point, and they all were on message in South Carolina.  The result was a 13-point win for Newt, but more than that, it was a win for the GOP.  Turnout and interest skyrocketed, with the former exceeding 2008 by 35%.  They all won.  Conservatism won.  Liberalism lost.

The message of South Carolina was the winning message, and had Romney — or any candidate — carried that message into November, Barack Obama would likely be retired in Hawaii by now.  Perhaps this is why Republicans gain the White House only when they nominate the S.C. winner.  The message in S.C. was also similar to the organic message of the 2010 midterms, and not far from the 1994 midterm message as well.  (For the record, those were the two best elections for Republicans in modern history.)

In Florida two days later, at the Monday debate, that message was totally jettisoned.

In fact, Florida, and the entire campaign thereafter, showed the GOP establishment at work in typical form: using shock and awe against conservatives while tiptoeing around the real opposition.

The column continues at the website. You can read it all…here.

Instead of attacking the democrats, their policies and agenda, the GOP is planning to repeat the failures of the past. It wasn’t their attacks on fellow GOP candidates that lost the election. No, it was the date of the convention. Romney didn’t have enough time to campaign against Obama.

Reince Pridbus conveniently forgot Romney had nearly 18 months to campaign against Obama. Instead, following the orders from the RNC, he chose to campaign against fellow ‘Pubs.

Once again, the GOP is planning to fail.

Random Shots for Wednesday

I’m surprised how many readers liked my post for Monday, August 12, 2013, titled, Planes. Many were pilots…or inactive pilots like me. There are no ‘former’ pilots, only those who are current and those who aren’t.

I was rushed for time Monday morning. I could have written it better. I wish I had, especially that sequence of landing a small plane. It’s difficult to describe for those who’ve never done it…the feel and feedback from the rudder pedals, slipping to compensate for a crosswind, the flare…those last few floating feet before touchdown that seems to last forever.

I thank all you pilots, active and inactive, who liked the post.

***

I  am a Mark Levin fan. I usually listen to the first hour or so of his dailyl broadcast on KCMO-710, 5PM. He has been hitting the ‘Pub establishment hard this last week…harder than usual.

Part of it is PR for his new book, The Liberty Amendments. His book outlines a plan to restore the Constitution to that originally envisioned by the Founders.

But the book isn’t what has Levin in the news. No, it’s his prognosis for the ‘Pub party and that prognosis is poor…very poor.

Mark Levin: ‘Entrenched’ Republican ‘losers’ may cost GOP the House in 2014

Jeff Poor, Media Reporter, 12:17 AM 08/14/2013

Conservative talker Mark Levin blasted Republican House leaders on his Tuesday radio show, warning that by attacking more conservative members of the GOP, Speaker John Boehner and prominent Reps. Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are throwing away the 2014 midterm elections.

Levin, author of “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic,” said the GOP establishment’s disparagement of conservative colleagues, could be a disaster in a midterm “turn out the base” election.

“This is my great fear,” Levin said. “My great fear is that guys like Boehner, and quite frankly Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor and his goofball [Kevin] McCarthy — they don’t get it at all. Midterm elections in particular are base elections, they are turnout elections. And they’re doing everything they can to turn us off, to turn us off. Where are they standing ground and keeping ground and fighting? Instead it’s, ‘No, no we’re not going to shut down the government.’ Even if that’s your ultimate view, why do you reveal that to the leftists and the media? It’s like playing poker and the idiot shows his cards — and that’s what he does. ‘Hey, look at this.’”

“And also, amnesty?” he continued. “Pathway to citizenship? This is their number one issue. No. And then we have Obamacare. The president of the United States, rubbing the Republican’s nose in it,acting like he’s king, and as I’ve been saying and now others, an imperial president. ‘No. we’ll follow this part of the law. No, I’m suspending this part of the law. No, I’m deferring this part of the law.’ What the hell is that? And what are the Republicans doing about it? Now the typical Republican response would be ‘well what do you want us to do about it?’”

The conservative talker encouraged Republicans in the House and Senate to use any means necessary to draw attention to President Barack Obama’s attempts to thwart the law and/or the Constitution, including obstruction tactics.

“Here’s what I want you to do,” Levin said. “You fools should have been, time and time again, every time he has violated the Constitution, you should have made an issue about it,” Levin said. “You should have punished him in some way — denied him some appointee, obstructed some piece of legislation. Draw attention to this lawlessness so the American people after a year, or two, or three of you consistently explaining it and hammering away at it would in fact be aware of what you’re trying to do and say! But instead, what do we get? What do we get? We get John McCain attacking Ted Cruz. What do we get? Chris Christie attacking Rand Paul. What do we get? Karl Rove attacking Mike Lee. The same dug-in entrenched losers who may well cost us the House of Representatives in the next election.”

Levin speculated as to what would happen if the Democrats regained control of the House and who the so-called Republican establishment may blame for it.

“And do you know what Obama will do again if he controls the whole damn thing?” Levin added.  “And he’s banking on it. That’s why he’s putting all these things off. He’s sucking people in to vote for him and then he’s going to drop the hammer. Then what do we do? ‘We don’t control any — one half of one third or anything else.’ And what are the Republicans going to do then? Blame the conservatives? Blame the tea party? What are they going to do then? ‘We can’t control anything. We don’t even have one half of one third — of course you don’t. Look what you’ve squandered, the opportunity. This president is pathetic. His policies are a disaster. We have sustained high unemployment, sustained housing problems. The economy is still on its back. He won’t secure the damn border. He’s hollowing out the military. He’s hollowing out NASA. What the hell? He’s handing you the issues to run on. And what do you do? You attack conservatives. Brilliant.”

If you’ve ever listened to Levin on the radio, or via his pod and internet ‘casts, you’ve heard this theme before. The Republican Party is dying, poisoned from within. It is a Truth and many in the party, in and out of Washington, refuse to listen.

***

A Colorado District Judge ruined that state’s liberal scheme to derail the recall elections of three democrat legislators. In his decision, the mail-in ballot scheme and no-show voting was rendered ineffective. How? The Judge ruled in accordance to the Colorado state constitution.

Judge rules to uphold the Colorado Constitution

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 – Red Pill, Blue Pill by Al Maurer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., August 13, 2013—Monday evening Denver District Judge Robert McGahey ruled in favor of the Libertarian Party’s lawsuit to allow candidates up until 15 days prior to the September 10 recall election to qualify for the ballot. This ruling upholds the state constitution, which mandates it.

Under the recently-enacted House Bill 1303, state election law was changed to allow all mail-in ballot recall elections. To meet the deadlines imposed by such an election, candidates were given only until July 29 to collect 1000 signatures—10 days from when Gov. Hickenlooper belatedly set the election date.

Potential candidates now have until August 26 to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot, making it impossible for county clerks to then print and mail ballots to voters. The election, therefore, will now be an in-person one.

In choosing between the state constitution and the recent statute calling for mail ballots and early voting schedules, Judge McGahey said it would be an “absurd result” to ignore the constitution’s direct wording on recall candidates.

In addition, Judge McGahey ripped the legislature for “Writing an election law so clearly non-compliant with the state Constitution….With all due respect to the legislature, it did not consider or ignored the clear language of Article XXI – I find that both sad and, frankly, shocking.”

The major parties did not agree.

The dems protest because their vote fraud scheme was foiled. The ‘Pubs don’t like it either because it ruins their plan to be the only opposition to the dems. That ‘Pub view may have some merit if the votes to oppose the dems are diluted among several candidates.

There is a companion article here. I suppose it’d be too much to hope for that the ‘Pubs and Libertarians jointly submit a candidate against the dems. Yes, I suppose it would, and, that’s too bad, because now the opposing votes against the dems will be diluted among two or more candidates.

***

I’d like to make a followup to a post I made some months ago. That post was about the Cass County Lincoln Day dinner and guest speaker Tom Schweich, Missouri’s Auditor. In the last two paragraphs of that post, I wrote:

I applaud Schweich’s attempt for unity. He has a steep road to walk. I like Schweich. I voted for him in his last election and will probably vote for him in the next one. However, his attempts to heal the party will fail as long as the state’s party hierarchy maintains their paternalistic attitude and their continued efforts to control the central committee.

Unless there is significant change, they will fail. Ed Martin unseated David Cole as Chairman of the MO Central Committee. Martin ran for Attorney General as a Tea Partier. I’ve met him and I was impressed with him. He now has a formidable task, the reunification of the Missouri Republican party. I await him to begin that reconciliation—before it is too late.

Since April, when I wrote the post above, I’ve met a number of times with Ed Martin‘s Political Director Steve Michael. At one meeting, he was joined by Bob Evans, the Heritage Action Regional Coordinator for Missouri who was formerly a member of the St. Louis Tea Party.

In a different meeting, he met with some grassroots folks to expand and reinforce Ed Martin’s links with the conservative base—a base that is losing its ties with the Republican Party. Another brief meeting was when Steve Michael spoke at a Cass County ‘Pub gathering last week.

In April, I asked if Ed Martin was willing to reach out—and listen to, the conservatives, Libertarian Republicans and those whose loyalty isn’t necessarily with the Republican Party. I can now say, “Yes, he is.”

There’s hope yet for the survival of the ‘Pub party in Missouri…but only if Ed Martin and the ‘Pub state central committee really listens and heeds those who are feeling disenfranchised with the ‘Pubs.

Jaret Jensen liked this post

Local Election Analysis

It’s been a few weeks since the election. It’s time to look at some races and see if we can determine which campaign tactics won and which didn’t. Let’s look at the races for the county Commissioners, Sheriff and Public Administrator offices.

One commonality is that “Word-of-mouth” works. I’ve been asking some folks who they voted for and why. As expected, most said they voted for ‘Pubs across the board. With a 55/45 overall split of the voters in the county for the ‘Pubs, it isn’t unexpected for ‘Pubs to win. I wanted to see if I could find other factors that helped.

Melody Folsom beat her opponent 61% to 38%. A few write-in votes lowered Michelle Cornforth’s percentage. What helped Melody Folsom to beat her opponent so handily? From the responses I received it was her treatment of her clients—she acted like a parent when necessary and her clients responded well to that approach.

Melody Folsom said, in a public forum, that she viewed her position as a service ministry to those in public care. They weren’t numbers in a file folder to her. She knew each one personally and they knew her. In reality, in was those clients—and their families who re-elected Melody Folsom. The client’s families spread the word. When the opposition attempted to use smear tactics, it back-fired.

Michelle Cornforth lost due to two issues—her filing for bankruptcy a few months ago and her performance in the public forums.  On first issue, if she couldn’t manage her own finances, how could she be expected to manage the assets of her clients better than her own? It was an important question. The forums were important, too. Those attending the forums made opinions and spread those opinions. Cornforth came across as a cold bureaucrat who had more interest in collecting a paycheck than serving her clients.

That bureaucratic impression affected the Sheriff’s race as well. Dwight Diehl has been Sheriff 16 years. He’s a known quantity and has acquired respect throughout the county. He has created a personal relationship to many of the county’s residents. A family friend told me how Sheriff Diehl personally kept the family informed when a family tragedy struck. That personal attention was appreciated…and spread by word-of-mouth.

Doug Catron, on the other hand, was perceived as a transient. He was using the Sheriff’s position as a stepping stone to something else. He spoke a “making alliances” as if that action was the solution to all ills. The public, on the other hand, viewed it as politicking. Dwight Diehl was seen as the county’s chief law enforcement official whose primary interest was the safety of the county—not his next job.

The Commission positions were different. To some extent, all the candidates were known and most had public resumes. Jim Hoke was the exception. Jeff Cox, running for Presiding Commissioner, was a Raymore city councilman. His opponent was Terry Wilson, long-time mayor of Pleasant Hill. North Commissioner candidate Jimmy Odom was mayor of Belton and his opponent, Phil Ducan, was a past mayor of Belton. Luke Scavuzzo, the current South Commissioner, was a former Missouri state representative and local businessman. His opponent, Jim Hoke, was a local lawyer.

That lack of public exposure was a hindrance that Jim Hoke did not overcome.  There were few in southern Cass County who did not know Luke Scavuzzo. There were few in southern Cass County who knew Jim Hoke.

The three winning candidates, Jeff Cox, Jimmy Odom, and Luke Scavuzzo, all had one think in common—ideas and accomplishments. Luke Scavuzzo repeatedly mentioned selling surplus county property to reduce the county’s large debt. Scavuzzo was not involved in the creation of that debt but was seen as attempting to resolve it.

Jimmy Odom spoke of using tax incentives to bring more businesses to Belton. It took little to notice the new Price Chopper, Target, and all the business growth along MO-58. Jimmy Odom seized that growth to project his acumen in drawing business—and jobs, to the county.

Jeff Cox formulated a plan to bring transparency to county government, improve public confidence in the county Commission, and a plan to reduce the county’s debt and resolve the failed broadband initiative. Terry Wilson’s response was, “What Jeff said.” Wilson was appointed Presiding Commissioner last Spring and since that time had yet to do anything to improve the county’s fiscal condition. During the runup to the election, all Wilson did was to repeat Jeff Cox’s talking points. Luke Scavuzzo was appointed like Terry Wilson. He, at least, reminded the public of his acts to resolve the county’s debts. Terry Wilson did not and that cost him the race.

In short, the winning county commissioners had a track record of meeting their public goals. They had a plan, skimpy in some cases, and presented those plans to the public. They were seen as being prepared to act. Their opponents failed to present a plan and had no track record.

The editor of the Harrisonville Democrat-Missourian, John Beaudoin, said, “I am not saying electing a Democrat over a sitting Republican [in Cass County] is impossible. It’s not, and we’ve seen it happen.” Yes, it did happen. Democrat Luke Scavuzzo won the South Commissioner race.

‘Pubs take heed. It could and can happen again if your candidates are unprepared and have no plans to resolve the issues of the day.

Cass County Candidate Forum #3 and other items

The third Cass County Candidate Forum was held last night. This time it was only the six Commission candidates and the two for Sheriff. There were some minor difficulties. First the sound system failed. That happened at the first forum held at the same location. Second the moderator used a timer app on his phone. The “Bell” was too faint for some to hear. Other than that it all went smoothly.

At first I tried to note my impression of each individual. I came up with some labels: The Conservative, The Pro, Slick, Legal Eagle, Snake-oil Man, Bureaucrat, The Politician. I couldn’t come up with a name for the 8th that could be printed.

There wasn’t anything new that I could determine.  Jeff Cox set the tone. His goals were fiscal responsibility, setting spending priorities, building the emergency fund, and forcing transparency in the Commission’s activities by creating a video archive/streaming video of all Commission meetings with using the internet to publish the working packets and documents for everyone to review. In essence, to duplicate public access methods used by Raymore and Belton.

Cox’s opponent and the other candidates essentially repeated those points. Terry Wilson spoke after Jeff Cox and said, “I agree with Jeff.” He didn’t add anything to Jeff’s comments. My thought was if all he was doing was copying Jeff Cox’s ideas, why bother with Terry Wilson—go with the originator of those ideas.

Terry Wilson has been in office as the appointed Presiding Commissioner since May of this year. The transparency initiatives brought up by Jeff Cox aren’t complicated nor all that expensive. If Terry Wilson is in favor of them, why hasn’t he already implemented some of them? The same applies to South Commissioner Luke Scavuzzo who was appointed in January after the resignation of Commissioner Bill Cook.

Talk is cheap. Actions show intentions. Neither Wilson nor Scavuzzo have acted and that shows they’re just giving lip-service to transparency.

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The UN has decided they are going to intrude in our Federal election. I’m surprised Obama hasn’t already invited them. He’s their bud.

The Texas Attorney-General, on the other hand, has a contrary view.

Attorney General Abbott Tells International Election Observers to Abide by Texas Election Laws

Texas AG says Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has no jurisdiction over Texas elections

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today advised the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe — a United Nations partner — that groups and individuals from outside the United States do not have jurisdiction to interfere with Texas elections. The Attorney General’s letter comes after the international group — comprised of 56 members including EU nations and other countries—announced they would be sending election observers to sites throughout the United States, including Texas, on Election Day.

The UN and the EU are in Obama’s hip-pocket. The only election violations will come from the dems. Having the UN and EU rubber-stamp dem election fraud does no one any good.

***

My, my! The White House was notified within hours of the Benghazi attack according to internal State Department e-mails. Yet, Obama and the White House continued to blame some obscure 10-minute video as the cause for over two weeks.

White House told of militant claim two hours after Libya attack: emails

WASHINGTON | Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:11pm EDT

(Reuters) – Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

You can find the complete story at the website.

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Cass County Candidate Forum, September 25, 2012 – Part II

Today will be a continuation of yesterday’s review of the Cass County Candidate Forum. If you remember from my earlier post, with a few exceptions, I was not impressed with the candidates from either party. I reviewed the Commission candidates yesterday. Today I’ll review two others, the candidates for Public Administrator and Sheriff.

The candidates for Public Administrator are Melody Folsom (R) and Michelle Cornforth (D). Melody Folsom is the incumbent. Michelle Cornforth, from her bio presented during the forum is a recent arrival to the county. Her previous experience is as a social worker in Nevada, MO. From her resume, she appears to have sufficient experience for the office of Public Administrator. Melody Folsom has a public track record, Michelle Cornforth does not.

When they answered questions during the forum it was apparent the two had radically different approaches to the job. Melody Folsom viewed her position as a personal ministry to those she served. Michelle Cornforth made similar responses to every question—make sure the paperwork was done, t’s crossed, i’s dotted.

Folsom’s answers reflected her concern for her charges. She was, in essence, in a parental position and she viewed her job as that, to insure each individual received the care and services necessary to meet their needs.

I did not perceive any such approach from Cornforth. While it is important that the necessary paperwork be completed on time and properly, the position of Public Administrator is not bureaucrat hammering square pegs into round holes. I did not see any empathy to the public charges by Cornforth. Her presentation to the public at the forum was cold and aloof. My notes about her was, “Bureaucrat wannabe.”  I have no doubt Michelle Cornforth could insure all the paperwork was completed. It’s the CYA of the bureaucrat. But she would not view her charges as people as does Folsom. For Cornforth, they would be a file-folder with a name.

The other race I’m reviewing is that of Cass County Sheriff. Dwight Diehl (R) is the incumbent with 16 years experience as Sheriff and more years before that in law enforcement. He has memberships in numerous law enforcement organizations including associations at the state and federal level and has experience in the field as a police officer before being Sheriff. He has been innovative with citizen’s academies and has a long-standing personal relationship with the public.

The other candidate for Sheriff is Doug Catron (D). Catron, like Diehl, has years of experience in law enforcement. The most recent as an investigator for the Cass County District Attorney. He, like Diehl before him, attended the Sheriff’s Academy and served as a police officer during his career.

Apart from the similarities noted above, the two candidates have different approaches. Diehl, from his remarks, views the job of Sheriff as a Peace Officer. Catron, from his answers, views the job as political. When Diehl was asked questions concerning crime, he responded as a law enforcement officer. Catron responded as a politician.

For example, one of the first questions was, “What would you do when criminals from the metro area (Jackson County and Kansas City) come to Cass County and commit crimes?”

Catron responded as he did with most of the questions by declaring he would establish alliances with other law enforcement organizations and utilize intelligence from them. Diehl, on the other hand had a short, pithy answer. “I’d put them in jail.”

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between the two candidates. When asked what his priority as Sheriff would be, Catron said fighting drugs, prescription drugs and meth labs—all political hot buttons. Diehl responded that the number of local/state meth labs has been steadily dropping. There has been no drug-related murders in the county this year and few in previous years. He said the current emphasis was the inflow of Mexican drugs.

I was surprised that Catron was not aware of the changing environment of illegal drugs. His ignorance implied he was out-of-touch with current law enforcement trends and issues.

Of the two, I prefer Diehl for Sheriff. He is the chief law enforcement officer in the county and he views the job of Sheriff as such. Catron, on the other hand, is just another politician on the way to another political office. I like having a real law enforcement officer as Sheriff rather than a politician.

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Why does it feel like June 1914?

This train of thought was triggered by blogger friend, Tam.  She wrote a short post noting the similarities of the current world events with those in the months prior to World War I.

Like pre-World War I Serbia, the RIFs around the world are rioting. Supposedly the cause of the rioting is a 10 minute YouTube video that had around a thousand views before 9/11/2012.  The Obama White House jumped on this excuse with both feet to cover the fact that the real reason of the riots were a planned series of attacks by a renewed Al-Qaeda—a renewed Al-Qaeda that thrived in the vacuum created by Obama’s policy of Mideast appeasement.

The riots were aided by Obama’s state department orders that removed the Marines from Libya and disarmed the Marine guards in Egypt. Obama and Hilliary Clinton ignored warnings that could have protected the Americans in Libya but did not.

The First World War started due to a cascade of events that triggered the mutual assistance treaties of the initial participants: the  Triple Entente among the British, French and Russians and the Triple Alliance of Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Italy on the other. Like our Gulf Wars One and Two, the First World War was preceded by the Balkan War of 1908, The Boer War of 1880 and1899 and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

The ignition of that war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife. The assassination was preceded by months of protests and riots using the pretense of the earlier Balkan War of 1908. By coincidence, Britain’s Prince Harry may have been an unintended target recently during a Taliban attack on a NATO base where the Prince was assigned.

Here is where the similarities between now and WW I begin to emerge. Today’s Mideast riots were planned by Al-Qaeda.  They are nothing more than a continuation of the wars and war-like acts going back to the creation of Israel, the several Israeli-Arab wars, the two World Trade Towers attacks and Gulf Wars I and II. When you include the tension between China, Japan and the Philippine Islands over the oil rich islands and coral reefs of the South China Sea, the coincidences can be amazing.

The members of the Triple Alliance perceived a weakness among the members of the Triple Entente. They thought the Triple Entente signers would not honor the alliance. Likewise today, the US has mutual assistance treaties with Japan, Israel, the Philippine Islands and NATO. Our enemies see weakness in the US by the bunglings of Obama and Clinton. They see weakness in the economic disarray of the European Union, and, like the Triple Alliance of the last century, believe the current treaties will not be honored. The misperceptions of the Islamofascists, the Islamic Brotherhood and China could lead us to another global conflict that would rival the participants of World War I.

The election coming in November has an importance that extends far beyond our national borders. A Romney win and a repudiation of the Obama policy of Islamic appeasement could forestall another global conflict—one that could include tactical nukes if Iran completes her nuclear program or acquires a few nuclear weapons from Pakistan. The danger of a regional nuclear war is very real.

China has nuclear weapons as well. Japan has the knowledge and material to build nuclear weapons quickly if they perceived a real need.  Survival threats can easily overcome Japan’s nuclear phobia if the US does not stand as a shield against China.

We know the Islamofascists are not sane. We believe the Chinese leadership are sane…as long as they believe they can maintain their power. If China believes their need for resources, the oil fields of the South China Sea are such that the lack could endanger their position, they, too, may be willing to threaten to use nuclear weapons in a seizure of the contested islands and oil fields.

It is a perilous time. The Twentieth Century has been named, “The War Century” by some historians. The Twenty-first Century has the potential to be one as well.