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#F150Campaign Tour Day 3

  
We started off the day in Greene County where they have two competitive Senate races. Gussie loves Bass Pro Shops so we stayed at Anglers and went across the street when they opened. 
  • The “Granddaddy of all outdoor stores” in Springfield, Mo.

    $124 later it was time for breakfast so we stopped into one of my favorite breakfast spots in all of Missourah, Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe downtown. 

  • We ate the bar and visited with Chad, who said he moved here for college and never left. I asked him about the state Senate race there in the city of Springfield. Chad said that he was voting for Angela Romine, because she was the one Republican who voted to defund the police. While that is true she did vote to defund the police, I’m not sure this ol’ boy will be pulling a Republican ballot next week. The feller was a little weird — as Gussie was quick to point out that he didn’t have any meat on his plate. 
  • After another trip back to Bass Pro to get something for our fishing trip next week, we stopped in the Whole Hog Cafe, they have the best potato salad in Missourah. 
  • While we were in line we talked to the Thompson family. They lived over by Battlefield Mall. They were pretty active Lincoln Hough supporters. Mrs. Thompson told me that they were pretty active in the community and they were fans of the projects Hough had been able to bring home, they mentioned his tax cut. 
  • We visited with Lincoln Hough while he was knocking doors in midtown. His take on the race was that there was a coordinated effort which was really about defeating incumbent senators in order to elect different leadership. 
  • He got a pretty good response on the doors and I watched him put out all the signs he had. Being Lincoln he still found something to complain about — the weather or something — it was too hot to pay attention. 
  • I’ve come to appreciate the downtown of Springfield, really just since the Vandivort was built, but still. I visited with a few of the activists who were protesting something. I showed them a few of the mail pieces that I had been given by a friend of mine who keeps such things for me. In a sign of how odd politics are these days they ended up really liking Romine’s defunding of the police, and also liking Hough’s tax cuts. 
  • The square has changed a lot since Wild Bill Hickok shot that guy at 200 feet for accusing him of being a cheat at cards. 
Gussie does not like hippies…like not at all. So I figured before he started sharing his anti-hippie political views of opposition to gaudy tattoos, the DH, and ugly piercings — thereby inciting a riot from this camp of likely homeless hippies, it was time to get out of there and head to the safety of the Springfield suburbs and SD20.
  • We followed Rep. Curtis Trent around while he did doors. I did the Victor Callahan visual test and quickly saw that Trent has actually been doing doors. You see, one night before veto session I was at

    Rep. Curtis Trent knocking doors in the Springfield suburbs on July 28.

    Paddy Malone’s having dinner with Victor and he saw a state Rep. candidate in a competitive general election, and upon seeing him predicted (accurately as it turns out) that he would lose. He said that he had gained five pounds and was as pasty as when he left the capitol in May. Well, Curtis is down weight, and has the legit farmer’s — or in this case politician’s tan. 

  • He was knocking doors just south of Springfield it seemed, in a neighborhood relatively close to his opponent’s house. 
  • His response went pretty well, not as many yard sign takers as in the city, but that seemed to track.
  • I asked him how the race was going, he said he has been working doors and organizing Greene County for over a year (I actually kinda believe this) and that work is coming together now. 
  • He seems to have something close to money parity. The “reformers” have screwed things up so badly with these PACs now being the main source of funding that it’s hard to say for sure, but it’s close. He said it’s been tough, but in the end he thinks his reputation as a legislator is enough to garner the support he needs.
  • His buddy Rep. Phil Christofanelli was down knocking with him. I snagged a quote through the 105% humidity air. “Even when you have a formidable campaign on the airwaves, there is no replacement for direct voter engagement at the door. Curtis is leaving no vote on the table with an aggressive door to door effort that will make the difference in his race.”
  • It’s one thing to have “friends” who come down and knock doors on a 78 degree day in October for a general. It’s a real friend who comes down and knocks doors on a 101 degrees day in July with 1000% humidity. 

    Rep. Phil Christofanelli knocking doors for Curtis Trent in Springfield on July 28.
  • I get the sense that this was a race that Gelner could have bought, and let’s be real, Gelner a good guy and a really strong candidate. However, I think Trent hustled money together and hustled doors when the cost of buying it was prohibitive. 
From there we went and appeared on Elijah Haahr’s show on KWTO. It makes me smile everytime I go into that studio and see my buddy with that big smile and having the karma of the truly happy guy that he deserves to be. Further, now that he wears t shirts to work he can’t unbutton that extra button and look like a night club promoter. 

 

  • We discussed the primaries. He believes like I do that Fitzpatrick is going to run up a big margin in Southwest Missouri that is going to be hard to overcome. 
  • We also agreed on Schmitt’s momentum, but that Hartzler had a fair shot as well. 
  • He hosts a conservative radio talk show, that means he can’t laugh or agree on the air at my jokes about lil Eric Greitens because Greitens’ base is people that listen to conservative talk shows. 
  • Then we kicked around who the Governor might appoint to State Treasurer and Attorney General. 
  • I suggested Senator Crawford or Senator Rehder. He suggested Kalena Bruce. 
  • This is why I like talking to Elijah, that’s a great suggestion. He pointed out that she was endorsed by the Governor, she is a CPA, was the standout at the congressional debate, and is a woman. I think he may be right, and she would be outstanding. 
  • Then we talked about who might become AG if Schmitt closes things out Tuesday. You can rest assured that every attorney in the state with an ounce of political ambition will vote for Schmitt in hopes of that 1% chance that they get the call. 
  • We talked about Gregory if he were to lose, Senator Luetkemeyer, or Judge Goodman, or Andrew Bailey, or Chris Limbaugh. We agreed Rep. Plocher would be the hands down golden choice best pick if he wasn’t in line to be Speaker next year. 
  • I then suggested if only there was a guy with a law degree out there with:
A conservative record in government 
A record in legislative leadership 
A track record of winning races.
A sizeable warchest 
A voting base in Southwest Missouri 
A group of friends and connections around the state 
A solid relationship with the ag community
And, maybe he was the most pro-life Speaker in state history who passed the law that outlawed abortion after Roe vs. Wade was overturned. 
Of course Elijah didn’t bite, he has a practiced poker face. 
  • We both agreed that former U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison was likely a front runner. It’s like he was sent from Central Casting to be an Attorney General. 
  • I dropped the ball on his question of the day. I try to pride myself on those kind of off the cuff questions, but for my favorite childhood birthday I went 1982, because that was the only year of my childhood we won the World Series — well, we won in ‘85 but there was that terrorist attack, but still it’s fair to say my answer was a dud. 
From there we went to Laclede County where me and Gussie had steaks with the Knights. 
  • It took Gussie two seconds to figure out that Amy should be the politician of the family. 
  • Jeff had been to a Schmitt event that week where he said the energy was good, he agreed with most folks that Schmitt had the momentum. 
  • His take on the state Senate race was interesting. He pointed out that Senator Brown had been delivering money for Laclede County before he was even officially their Snator, so imagine what he would do for them after he actually was. 
  • After they left I visited with a guy named Larry at the bar. His take was that he didn’t know Suzie or Justin, but that he was familiar with the Pollock name from living in Lebanon his whole life and would vote for her. Then he asked me when the election was. When I told him August 2nd, he squinted his eyes and said, “Oh me and my dad take a fishing trip to Michigan the first week of August every year, so maybe I’ve never voted for her.” Amazing what real people actually care about.