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How to Win Consistently

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If your favorite player hits a home run or scores a goal, but your favorite team loses, what have you accomplished?

If an athlete you despise makes a horrible error but the hated team he plays for wins the championship, how do you feel?

In several races across Missouri, some people seem willing to lose the war if it means they can win their private battles. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?

In the race for governor and the race for US Senate, I hear people working against their own interests for extremely selfish reasons. But the only way to show you’re a consistent person is to elect Trump, Blunt, and Greitens on Tuesday.

US Senate

Suppose Donald Trump wins but Roy Blunt loses. And a few other Republican Senate candidates lose. It’s possible that President Trump could face a Senate controlled by Democrats. In that case, you won’t get a single piece of legislation you want. You’ll get only what Mitch McConnell compromises with Chuck Schumer. Have fun with that.

Plus, Jason Kander is a far left progressive. He’s opposed to the 2nd Amendment because he will get to keep his assault rifles and side arms. That’s how elitism works, and Kander’s all for different rules for different castes. And Kander loves the lobbyists as much as the lobbyists love Kander. It’s a regular affair with those two.

If Hillary wins, don’t you want every possible Republican Senator to form a firewall?

If you want Trump and Trump’s policies, you have to give Trump a Senate that will enact those policies. Kander won’t do that. Roy Blunt will. So vote for Blunt on Tuesday.

Missouri Governor

Suppose Chris Koster wins. You won’t ever see Right to Work in Missouri. All the good bills that Nixon vetoed, Koster will veto. All the favoritism Nixon showed, Koster will show. Missouri’s embarrassing fall to the bottom of the economic barrel will continue. That fall might even accelerate. Who knows.

In Chris Koster’s Missouri, failing schools and falling bridges will remain the norm. Fortune 1000 companies will continue to flee our state. And rioters will be allowed to control your streets. If Chris Koster was afraid to do something about Ferguson as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, imagine how cowardly he’d act as governor.

Or you can show consistency by voting for Eric Greitens. Greitens started off as a Democrat, but he realized his philosophy was out of sync with that party’s beliefs. So he embraced the GOP and some of the most conservative GOP leaders embrace Greitens.

As governor, Eric Greitens will sign Right to Work. He will lead his party to make Missouri great again by getting us out of the bottom quintile of economic despair. Greitens will confront riots with all the determination and courage you’d expect from a Navy SEAL war veteran. And he’ll elevate our political discourse like no one else.

Consistency

Most people want to be seen as consistent. We want people to think we’ll do the right thing even if it hurts. Maybe it hurts you to vote for Blunt or Greitens, but deep down you probably know voting for Blunt and Greitens is the right thing.

Trump will win Missouri by 15 percentage points if you vote. If Missouri voters do the right thing, Blunt and Greitens will win by 15 points, too. If they don’t, it’s because many Missouri conservatives would rather lose the war for America than lose a skirmish for their pride. And that would be so sad.

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The Strangest Governor Race Ever

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You might be wondering why the Missouri Farm Bureau endorsed Democrat Chris Koster instead of Republican Eric Greitens. The Farm Bureau endorses Republicans about 99% of the time.

If you’re thinking it had to do with policy or personality, you’re thinking wrong. (And, no, it wasn’t because of Koster’s hair, Mark Reardon.) This was all about the establishment vs. the people. It’s about power and control. Greitens threatens the establishment.

Since “the establishment” is vague, I’ll give it a name. In fact, I’ll give it two names. In Missouri, the establishment is Ann Wagner and Roy Blunt. (But mostly Wagner.) And Rex Sinquefield is their financier.

To understand this, let’s look at how Wagner played the Republican gubernatorial race. Remember, Ann is running for Claire McCaskill’s senate seat in 2018.

Think about this:

  • If you’re Ann Wagner and you want a senate seat, wouldn’t you push your friend Catherine Hanaway to run for governor? Win or lose, Catherine’s 2016 run for governor would take her out of the race for U.S. Senate in 2018, would it not? That takes away Wagner’s most formidable rival for money and votes.
  • When Tom Schweich died, why wouldn’t Ann encourage John Brunner to run for governor? John hinted to me that Ann encouraged him to run when we met for coffee in April 2015. (I didn’t secretly tape that conversation, but maybe he did. Ask him.) His wife told people, too, at a Lincoln-Reagan dinner in 2015. People recall that she seemed upset about it at the time. I’m sure Ann had heard that Brunner was thinking about running for Claire’s seat. Plus, John could finance his own campaign for governor. The establishment wanted Brunner to spend his own money to kneecap Eric Greitens. That didn’t work, but, as you know, the establishment sabotaged Brunner in the final weeks of the primary. John has now lost two statewide races in a row, blowing upwards of $30 million of his own money in the process. No wonder Mrs. Brunner was upset.
  • Wagner and Blunt can’t control Greitens making him a threat to the establishment. When Greitens won (by 10 points no less), Ann and Roy went to work for Koster. Publicly, they’ll say they support their party’s nominee for governor. Don’t trust what they say. Believe what you see their friends do. In the shadows, Wagner and Blunt will undercut Greitens and support the Democrat. They’ll tell traditionally Republican organizations and businesses like the Farm Bureau to endorse Koster. That’s just the way the establishment works. As Brunner’s consultant, David Barklage, told me at lunch in 2014, “We can work with Koster.” They’re working with Koster.

Not convinced? Establishment bonds trump party loyalty. Koster used to be a Republican, so it’s not hard for Republicans like Wagner and Blunt to work with him. I have reports that some Missouri business executives are encouraging their employees who supported Greitens in the primary to support Koster because he’ll be good for their businesses. It’s a subtle threat, and it could be illegal. But it’s happening. I’m hearing stories every day. If you work for a company whose senior executives donate to Wagner and Blunt expect some gentle nudges to support Koster.

Look, Eric Greitens is a major threat to the establishment. He has no allegiance to the ownership class. He has no allegiance to the Republican hierarchy. Greitens’ allegiance is to a purpose, and his purpose aligns very well with ordinary people. Firefighters, cops, and teachers love him, so do veterans and their families. And I see huge numbers of young people working for Eric when I go his office in Crestwood. So many young people. The establishment despises these ordinary people.

The Missouri Farm Bureau endorses whoever their highest paid politicians tell them to endorse. You can surmise that the MFB endorsed a Democrat because Ann Wagner and Roy Blunt told them too. They’ll get a pat on the head and some federal money. Expect more organizations with ties to Wagner and Blunt to endorse Koster. It’s just the establishment trying to save its power and control. And it says more about Wagner and Blunt’s power and control than about Greitens’ amazing qualifications.

So don’t sweat it, Greitens fans. Just add the Missouri Farm Bureau to your list of corrupt organizations. And remember: Rex Sinquefield’s donation is pretty much the kiss of death in Missouri elections. (Rex’s $11 million went 0 for 4 Tuesday. I was 5 for 5 and cost me almost nothing.) He’s a smart guy and a DuBourg grad, but Rex Sinquefield couldn’t pick a winner in the hall of fame. We have the numbers.

2016 is the people’s year. Seize it.

 

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Greitens’s Win Was Just a Moment in Time. But a Big Moment

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Navy SEAL Eric Greitens won the first political race of his life. Few first timers win a major party’s nomination for governor of a state. You’ll probably hear just how rare Greitens’s feat was. But not tonight. I want to tell some stories.

Eric Greitens gave up a morning of this campaign to talk to one of my kids. That kid is a man now. He’s in the Navy at a helo combat squadron in San Diego. Sure, his mom and dad and step mom and brother influenced him. But none of us could push him over the top. Eric Greitens did.

My stepson went through a horrible car accident last year. Eric heard about it. Eric again left his campaign to make sure my stepson was comfortable. And my stepson couldn’t do much for Eric. But Eric didn’t care about that. He didn’t expect a return.

A lot of my friendships were strained or broken during this campaign. Good friendships. Every time I took a stand for Eric, he had my back.

Tonight’s remarkable win against a field of candidates with a combined . . . I don’t know, 3,000 years in politics, was amazing. It’s the kind of win you read about, as Panger would say. It was a sweet moment in time, but only a moment,

Most politicians would complain about my writing that. “Just a moment in time, Bill? Come on!” But not Eric. I know this was just a moment in time—a fire to pass through—because Eric Greitens taught me so. I learned that philosophy from him.

We don’t bounce back from wins or loses, we move through them. We emerge different. And our measure is what we do with our different selves.

Eric Greitens and so many remarkable staffers and volunteers walked through a fire and came out the other side. They’re all changed. Forged. Harder. More resilient. And they’re moving on.

This is a moment in time, but you should take a moment to savor it.

When I knocked doors for Eric, I heard one recurring theme. “I won’t vote for anyone who’s held public office before.”

Some will say Greitens won because people are fed up with the status quo. That’s possible. But I’ve been in this political game a little while. I’ve heard “throw the bums out” many times, but the bums never get thrown out.

Until now.

I have an idea about why now. People are willing to cast aside the old establishment because they finally see a leader who can fix the things the establishment broke.

Put another way, the devil you know beats the devil you don’t until an angel comes along.

For the people without a voice, Eric Greitens is our angel.

It’s a moment in time, but it’s one hell of a moment.

Thank you, Eric, for leading so many  of us through that fire. And for walking straight at the next inferno. There’s no one I’d rather follow.

It’s time to move through Koster.

Hooyah!

 Photos by Dortie B

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Why I’m Voting for Eric Greitens

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This was supposed to be a longer post, so I’ll tell you why I’m voting for Eric Greitens in a minute. First, why I have to cut it short.

I got home from door knocking for Eric at about 6:30 and walked straight to my laptop to write. Just as I sat down, my wife called me to dinner. She’d already eaten, but she heated up my dinner, called to me, then walked into our living room and shrieked.

I figured a snake or a lizard had slithered into the living room and was eating the cat. (Or the cat was eating the reptile. Whatever.) But it was worse.

A water spot on the ceiling. Directly below the business end of the bathtub.

Great. I got out my tools and cut a hole in the ceiling. (You probably know that feeling. Like a surgeon breaching a patient’s skin.) I’ll spare you the details. But it seems the plumber’s putty around the drain had pretty much broken up and washed down the pipes.

So the two hours I spent playing plumber had to come off the time allowed for writing this post. And, yet, I don’t think you’ll mind. Here’s why.

I’m voting for Eric Greitens because he would rather see me fix my leaky pipe than knock doors for him or write this blog post. Eric follows the stoic philosophical tradition of living the good life. Not a life of opulence and luxury, but the life of doing what needs to be done given the circumstances fate tosses our way. Rich or poor, writer or plumber, no condition is good or bad. It’s what we do with the days and talents God gave us.

I am a lousy plumber, but my family needed me to play one tonight. And Eric would appreciate it if he knew.

I want a governor who’s dedicated to a society that lets everyone live the good life they choose, with the chance for the dignity of meaningful work in a job that gives them satisfaction by serving themselves and their families and their community. And a government that leaves people alone while protecting them from harm and aggression.

I believe in those things, too. So I’m voting for Eric Greitens for governor. Please join me.

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2016 Republican Primary Key Races

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Some people have a loud opinion on each and every Republican Primary race.

I have a lot of opinions, but I like to focus on a few key races. Here are my major concerns for the 2016 Republican Primary on August 2.

 

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My First Choice for President Just Endorsed Eric Greitens for Governor

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From Dr. Ben Carson:

President Obama and his allies are trying to hijack the Republican primary in Missouri by attacking my good friend Eric Greitens.

Like me, Eric is a conservative outsider, and that means the political establishment is terrified of him. Obama and his allies are now spending a million dollars falsely attacking Eric Greitens and trying to fool the people of Missouri. Don’t fall for it.

This Tuesday, I hope you will send President Obama and every corrupt political insider and politician a message by voting for Eric Greitens. He’s pro-life, pro-gun, and conservative to the core.

Take it from me: there’s a reason Eric is the only candidate in this race Barack Obama is afraid of. Don’t let Barack Obama and the Democrats steal another election in Missouri.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting my friend, Eric Greitens.

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Carson recognizes leaders when he sees them. I feel so good about his endorsement because it validates my complete faith in Eric Greitens for Governor.

The Democrats just tipped their hand and confirmed what I’ve been saying all along: Eric alone can beat Koster in November.

If you want four more years of a Democrat governor who vetoes every bill that worth the paper it’s printed on, for for one of Eric’s opponents. They’ll let you down gently.

If you want to finally get your money’s worth out of the Republican super majorities in the legislature, the only rational vote is Eric Grietens.

 

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Democrats Just Predicted Greitens Beats Koster

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Do you want to help Democrats win? You can, and the Democratic Governors Association just told you how.

If you’re a Republican and you follow the advice of the Democratic Governors Association, you won’t vote for Eric Greitens. The DGA wants Democrat Chris Koster to win, so Democrats are telling Missouri’s Republicans not to nominate Greitens. Democrats believe Greitens beats Koster in November.

Smart people know that you watch what people do, not what they say. In fact, everyone does this. Scientific research shows that about 70 percent of communication is nonverbal behavior. The Nonverbal Groupª puts it this way:

Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc). Subtracting the 7% for actual vocal content leaves one with the 93% statistic.

. . .

Based on my own research, I would state that the amount of communication that is nonverbal varies between 60 and 90% on a daily basis. This number depends on both the situation and the individual.

So smart people will ignore the content of the Democrat’s message and look at the behavior.

What did the Democrats do in attacking Greitens? They signaled that they don’t want Greitens to be the Republican nominee. The Democrats are telling Republican voters (like you) to vote for a candidate Democrat Koster can beat. And the Democrats believe Koster can beat any Republican . . . except Greitens. The DGA believe Greitens beats Koster.

If you normally vote for the Republican that Democrats tell you to vote for, you’ll vote for someone else. But if you make up your own mind, you’ll vote for Eric Greitens on Tuesday. If you like to do the opposite of what the Democrats say you should do, you’ll probably want to put a Greitens yard sign in your yard and vote for Greitens.

Or, you can be one of those mindless Republican robots who do whatever the Democrats tell you to do. Either way, if you vote for anyone except Eric Greitens, you’ll make the Democrats very, very happy.

ª The Nonverbal Group is a group of academics and professionals who are dedicated to conducting research on nonverbal communication.

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Why Did Paul Holzer Expose John Brunner? Part III

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This is part III of a four-part series. Here’s part I and part II.

Why Now?

Why did Holzer choose last week to out himself? Why show himself now, putting his old boss, John Brunner, in such a bad light? And right before the August 2 primary?

Holzer has damaged Brunner’s reputation and credibility. And Brunner spent a ton of his own money in the process, including paying $100,000 to the guy who made the video, then squealed about it. It almost looks like Paul Holzer meant to take out Brunner, does it not?

Who Pushed Holzer to Show Himself?

You, like me, probably don’t believe Holzer did this on his own. Who told Holzer to show himself two weeks before the election?

Let’s look at all the major missteps in the Brunner campaign so far:

  • Brunner’s former campaign staffers, Eric McLean and Paul Holzer, set up a PAC that launched a fake EricGrietens.com website to smear Greitens, denying they received any compensation for the site.
  • Brunner consistently denied any connect to the fake smear site, even after the press reported the site’s links to the Brunner campaign.
  • Brunner secretly recorded a phone call with Eric Greitens, a dirty trick that Jane Duecker and Mark Reardon of KMOX both called “sleazy.”
  • Brunner then leaked that audio recording.  (You’ll want to read I Know It Was You, Fredo.) Even sleazier.
  • Brunner pushed an anti-Greitens video released anonymously, again claiming to have no idea who made the video. We now know that Paul Holzer, Brunner’s former chief of staff, made the video.
  • Now it looks like the Brunner camp took Paul Holzer on a media tour in Missouri, more or less admitting Brunner had been lying about connections to the video all along.

To the casual observer, it seems Holzer’s media tour was intended to take out Brunner, not Greitens.

So why?

Here’s my hypothesis.

Peter Kinder and Catherine Hanaway are both political insiders and known quantities. The Republican establishment in Missouri will always prefer the devil they know to the devil they don’t know.

It’s reasonable to assume that the establishment, in the form of Missouri’s political consultants, used Brunner’s money and campaign to hold Greitens down. They’ve done a good job getting a lot of conservatives freaked about Greitens’ conversion to conservatism. In fact, the many lies and innuendoes about Greitens have driven a lot of conservatives to flat-out hate the guy. I never thought I’d see my friends from the Tea Party mocking and denigrating someone’s military service, but that’s exactly the depth a lot of them have sunk to.

When you look the polls, you find that all four candidates hover around 20 to 25 percent with Greitens holding a slight lead. Because of the animosity, Brunner’s supporters feel toward Greitens, the party’s consultants assume that disaffected Brunner supporters will defect to Hanaway or Kinder, but not to Greitens.

In other words, I think the Missouri political class used Brunner as a stooge, and now they’re done with him. To ensure the GOP nominee is acceptable to the political class, they set Brunner up for a late fall. That political will probably work for Chris Koster in the general election just to keep their power. Koster’s an elitist, too.

All this could happen without Hanaway’s or Kinder’s knowledge. Certainly, the operatives had to keep Brunner in the dark. I bet John Brunner was as surprised as anyone when Paul Holzer showed up for a series of interviews two weeks ago. Brunner is smart enough to know that exposing Holzer this late would destroy Brunner’s credibility, not Greitens’s because Brunner denied any connection to the video for months.

Will Brunner Sing?

John Brunner was pretty bitter and angry after that 2012 defeat. He told friends he’d never again fund his own campaign, and he’d never again work with a consultant. Those were, of course, empty promises. But if Brunner felt used after 2012, how do you think he’ll feel this time? 

Will Brunner finally sing?

If I were a reporter, I’d stay very close to John Brunner on August 2.

For the record, I endorsed Eric Greitens because I believe breaking up the state’s political establishment is the most important thing for Missouri. I also think Greitens is the Republican candidate who can beat Chris Koster.