No time for deep analysis tonight, but there’s a small political earthquake in St. Louis County.
With over 90% of the precincts counted in the Missouri primary, incumbent Congresswoman Ann Wagner has only 500 more votes than her November challenger, Democrat Arthur Lieber.
I get that this is a primary and that the St. Louis County Executive race drew a lot of attention. But Wagner won her seat in 2012 by 20 points. And polls show that Democrat voter enthusiasm is down 23 percent from 2012.
Assuming the Dooley-Stenger race overcame half that Dem enthusiasm deficit, Wagner should have received about 15,000 more votes than Lieber.
The law also required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set standards for all food and beverages sold during the school day, which includes vending machines, snack carts and daytime fundraisers.
That law could cost the Eureka High School PTO half its annual profits according an email to parents sent last week:
These guidelines directly affect most of the items that we sell in our School Store and we are no longer able to offer them to our student customers. In the past, our school store has made profits totaling almost $20,000 each year. This has allowed us to support many programs at the school without having to fundraise. We anticipate that these new guidelines will reduce our profit from the store by more than $10,000.
Those “profits” pay for numerous programs and events for students. So the PTO is asking for parents to make up the difference.
We know that you are asked to fundraise [sic] for the many activities your child participates in so we will not be asking EHS students to fundraise [sic] individually to benefit the PTO. But we are asking your assistance to help us make up the deficit we are now facing.Please consider purchasing Spirit Wear this fall or ordering a Balloon Bouquet this school year.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Americans are too fat. We’re also too lazy, too slow, and too afraid of walking a block. Missouri is particularly obese—so much so that people around the country laugh about it.
On a business trip to California, recently, a waitress paid me the backhanded compliment of, “you’re to thin to be from St. Louis.” Word gets around.
And schools don’t need to be shoveling Suzy Qs and Mountain Dew at kids all day.
It’s the school’s job, though, and not the federal government’s, to cut down the carbs available on campus. Twenty years ago, administrators found he money addictive when Pepsi distributors flooded their schools with vending machines. Plus, federal funding allows school cafeterias to serve enormous portions of pizza and burgers at low cost to the students. And elimination of recess, because kids might get hurt, took away the kids’ chance to burn calories and to just be kids.
The answer to obese kids isn’t a federal nanny state. The answer is to get the federal government out of education and for parents to shut down the video games for a couple of hours a day.
It was 2010. St. Louis was the epicenter of the Tea Party movement.
Tea Party Patriots picked St. Louis to host the Gateway to November rally under the Arch. Unlike our rag-tag events, this one would be professional all the way: live music with Sounding Fathers, speakers you heard of before the movement began in February 2009, and real security.
The guest speakers began rolling into town on Friday the tenth. As one of the hosts, I offered to meet them at the Hyatt downtown. It was a long night.
I hadn’t met most of the crew, but I did know Mike Flynn of BigGovernment.com and Scott Boston. And my buddy Ben Evans was there.
It took of thirty seconds to become friends with Andrew Ian Dodge and his wonderful wife Kim. For the rest of the evening, we plotted insane things to make Sunday’s event memorable and crazy. We wanted a feature that would make people say, “huh?”
Andrew Ian Dodge
I can’t remember whose idea it was or when it hatched, but the concept was simply brilliant. When my turn to speak rolled around, Andrew, dressed in his customary black, would walk onto stage just ahead of me. And he’d have a goat on a leash.
Yeah, I said goat. On a leash.
I would do my shtick without looking at the goat or at Andrew. I’d play it straight, as if Dodge and the goat were part of my personal security force–or some avant-garde symbolism that the most penetrating minds could not solve.
“Let them make up their own story,” I remember Kim or Dodge saying.
We realized most of the live crowd would miss it entirely. But the TV cameras would catch it. CNN would find it irresistible The left would play up big, ascribing their own meaning to the animal and its dark presence onstage with a co-founder of the St. Louis Tea Party.
“He’s crazy,” they’ll say. “It’s some sign to the right-wing conspirators to launch a killing spree,” announces a confident and satisfied Michael Holmes on CNN.
That was the goal: virality. Get people talking. And we figured the libertarian crowd would get a kick out of it.
The next night, Saturday, a friend of ours actually rounded up a goat! He brought it downtown to our guest reception. Everything was ready to go. Until . . .
Until someone a bit more media savvy spooked me.
“It’s supposed to be hot tomorrow, Bill. The animal rights people will tear you apart if anything happens to the goat.”
Then more voices of reason chimed in.
“What if the crowd scares it and it has a heart attack?”
“What if it breaks loose and hurts someone. There’s gonna be a lot of kids and old people there.”
“What if . . .”
I didn’t have much time to deal with this. I realized I’d need someone to bring the goat to the stage just before my appearance, then take it to a safe, cool place immediately after. But everyone I know would be at the event. And they’d want to stay there.
So I punted. I wussed out.
“Ed,” I said to the guy who secured the goat, “never mind. I’m sorry, but they’re right. This could ruin the whole event.”
I did have Andrew Ian Dodge walk onto the stage with me and stand there silently, wearing dark sunglasses. It was an honor to have him there. It was an honor to meet a man who was willing to do something crazy for a cause only minutes after meeting me.
I still regret my decision to strike the goat from the scene. Andrew and Kim and everyone else who thought it would work were right, I’m convinced. My cowardice was wrong.
I guess I thought I’d get another chance to do something crazy with Dodge Ball–something so crazy it kicked the whole liberty movement into a new gear.
But time was not on our side.
Andrew Ian Dodge passed away on Friday. With his death, liberty lost a creative and defiant soldier, the kind who would solve problems in war by simply running straight into the enemy, expecting their shock to still their weapons until he’d planted the charge and returned safely to press the detonator.
I regret, and I’m sorry, that I denied him his head-on, defiant dream of tending a goat at a tea party.
Angela and I and the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition pray for his rapid entry to paradise and for peace and comfort to his wife Kim and their families.
Thanks to MOPP for this fantastic summary for Center for Self-Governance training opportunities in the show me state. Includes links to enroll in class.
TO: MOPP SUPPORTERS
MOPP COUNTY COORDINATORS
(please help spread this message by forwarding to your Missouri contacts/networks/thanks!)
Citizen involvement is “snowballing” across the State of Missouri as the Center for Self Governance adds more classes to its schedule. The ultimate goal is to have a CSG team in every county in the state in order to influence your elected officials and policy. If you feel frustrated because you feel powerless to “effect change”…the CSG training will prepare you to start…or become part of…a CSG “seal team” in your area.
Below you will find an updated calendar of locations and times for upcoming Center for Self Governance classes throughout the State in August.
MOPP proudly endorses the CSG training as it complements the MOPP goals of encouraging citizen involvement at the most local levels of government and community where we, as citizens, can be most easily engaged and ultimately most effective. In fact, MOPP has many members who are already participating in this program that equips citizens to learn how to influence the legislative process by becoming effective citizen lobbyists.
If you have already taken a class and life got too busy, you may audit a previously-attended class for $10. If you would like to host a speaking engagement for CSG to present their program (1 hour presentation), you may do so by contacting Mishelle at 615-669-8274 or via email at email@example.com.
· Register online by clicking on the links below. (Note: You must complete prior level before attending the next level)…
*IMPORTANT NOTE Some of the reserved class dates do not have the final details posted as yet, so be sure to visit the website often for new and/or updated information. You can also contact Mishelle at 615-669-8274 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org..
The weird thing is: isn’t that Sharp Elbows questioning the Chief? When did he become a detective in Michigan?
The chief pleaded nolo contendere to identity theft charges. He presented himself as a tea party leader signing up for embarrassing, sexual email lists. From the La Crosse Tea Party:
A shocking update to the Town of Campbell Situation this week. Detective Spencer from Monroe County Sheriff’s department called and said that Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen confessed to harassment/internet stalking/identity theft regarding my complaint filed to La Crosse P.D. in January when someone signed me up for 15 or so internet accounts ranging from a gay profile on Match.com to Healthcare.com.
The La Crosse city council will meet next week to decide whether to terminate the chief.
You’d think being a political animal of sorts, election season would be my favorite time of year.
It’s not. I hate elections.
I hate the crappy, predictable radio ads (above all else). I know, they do it because it works. Well, not really, but I’m not going to give a free marketing statistics lesson here. (No one has any idea if the campaign formula works, because no body ever tries anything different.)
When Will Consultants Study Science?
There are scientifically indicated ways to increase voter turnout and scientifically indicated ways to influence undecided voters, but they’re seldom used, mostly because they’re hard work. Instead, consultants do the same things over and over for safety. It’s pretty simple: if a consultant tries something different and the candidate loses, people will blame the consultant for trying the novel “unproven” new approach. So consultants trot out crappy conversational radio commercials and rooster calls. I’m sure the consultants know it’s not scientific and probably doesn’t work, but it’s safe, and Republicans LOVE safe. So do Democrats.
Someone actually did try some scientifically indicated election methods. The Democrats in Colorado about a decade ago, and they turned a Red state Blue. But they also displaced a lot of traditional Democrat consultants in the process, as if that’s a bad thing. It’s chronicled in the book The Blueprint, which everyone who actually does like elections must read. (You might also try Victory Lab while you’re reading about scientific election tactics.)
The Moment No One’s Been Waiting For
I tell you all this to let you know that I HATE writing these posts. I don’t expect anyone to blindly follow my example, especially considering my example could get you arrested in Scotland. (Fodder for another post.) I’m not mentioning uncontested races except for State Auditor, because Tom Schweich is decent enough of a guy to actually ask me for my support and vote. (It’s very refreshing that he doesn’t assume.) So here’s my list:
UPDATE: People are wondering just what I mean by “meh” on Amendment 1, so here’s the deal. This amendment is so meaningless that voting for it shows a disrespect for the law and for the Missouri Constitution, so I’m going to vote no.
On the other hand, if someone can convince me that Amendment 1 legalized hemp farming, I’ll vote for it.
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Now, some bonus material.
How To Make Someone Vote (Even If They Don’t Want To)
Don’t forget, if you want someone to vote, here’s the conversation you need to have:
“Do you see yourself voting next Tuesday?”
The will likely say “yes,” even if they don’t even know there’s an election. And use the phrase “seeing yourself” because it forces them to visualize the act of voting, like saying “don’t think about a pink elephant.”
“Do you know where your polling place is?”
They’ll say “yes,” because they don’t want to look stupid.
“What time do you think you’ll vote?”
This forces them to plan and commit to a time of day. And it reinforces their visualization of voting. And finally:
“What will you be doing immediately before you go to vote?”
This causes their minds to plan and organize their day around voting.
Research shows this 4-question method actually increases voter turnout. Almost nothing else works. I know it’s a bit convoluted, but it works. Here’s more
Even when we control for alternative sources of similar behavior, such as having the same income, education, ideology, or level of political interest, the typical subject is about 15 percent more likely to vote if one of his discussion partners votes. But does this influence spread beyond that to the rest of the network? As it turns out, we see a correlation between people who are directly connected and also between people who are indirectly connected via a common friend. In other words, if you vote, then it increases the likelihood that your friends’ friends vote as well.