Leading up to the mid-term election, The Missouri Times Publisher, Scott Faughn fires up his F-150 and hits the road visiting with candidates, voters, consultants, and bar patrons around the state bringing you the best ground coverage leading up to Election Day.
Up next we took a stroll through the St. Louis area.
The St. Louis day started the night before visiting with my ol’ pal Ray Hartmann on his radio show on the BIG 550 KTRS. He is quite the critic of Eric Schmitt’s, and I think maybe fell a little hard for Lucas Kunce. Ray is a hell of a guy, but Schmitt is great candidate, and just to put it Butler County gravel road plain as long as your having to swipe your card twice to fill up your truck no democrat was beating Eric Schmitt this year.
Either way Ray is gonna owe me a beer in two years when he has to admit that Eric is showing him that he is doing a good job bringing back home our federal tax dollars to the Show Me State.
The morning came quick, and I was up and out even before Coffee Zone was open.
the signs for the Senator Roy Blunt Bridge over the Missouri. There probably hasn’t ever been a bridge, or any public building for that matter, more deservingly named that that one. Driving over it makes you think about the legendary and hopefully humbling legacy Eric is inheriting from not just Senator Blunt, but Senator Bond as well.
When I got to the big city I got to sit in studio and visit with Kell Brazil and my buddy Rep. Richard West on Real Talk radio.
They are both pretty fired up against Amendment 3. I have to admit the German in me with this very flexible elbow nearly perfectly suited for 12 ounce curls makes me pretty ambivalent about the whole thing, but Im gonna vote for it.
I figure it ain’t none of my business what folks smoke, and I honestly don’t see any reason the legislature would make it legal any time soon.
Richard and Kell were pretty set on that the amendment was too long, and pot shouldn’t be in the constitution. Well I tend to agree, but the state’s constitutional amendment process is way way too easy.
These things get on the ballot without one signature gathered in southeast or north Missouri, but yet folks in Worth and Wayne Counties still have to live under the laws in a process they are intentionally shut out of. But let’s be honest there ain’t one person in that capitol except Governor Parson or Dean Plocher that cares about folks in Worth or Wayne Counties.
Hell the super majority of republicans could barely pass an ag bill, but you just watch those same weak pliable rural republicans Wednesday will vote to put people in leadership that didn’t vote for the ag bill. Then they’ll blather on Facebook about the rural values they didn’t give a damn about having the balls to stand up for two hours earlier. It’s a vicious cycle when you’re as easy as a prom date like we’ve become in rural Missouri.
I tend to think that the current system lets folks who wanna smoke pot, roll their dubies but kinda keep if out of sight of my mama. I think it’s done well enough to let it expand a little. However, if the folks who didn’t get their licenses in the first round get their way and it goes down it won’t change the number of fatties this daddy lights up in any way.
You know maybe the folks fired up about this pot deal should put some of that effort into changing the amendment process.
Until then I don’t hate the players, I hate the game.
From there I got to sit down with Senator Paul Wieland for our Show Me Missouah interview series with legislators retiring this year.
He has a had a great political career from serving in the house minority in the 90’s to serving in the house after the watershed 2010 election. He also served in the senate with some of the giants like Senators Richard, Kehoe, and Wasson as well as serving in the last four years of infighting. His career has also spanned seeing JeffCo go from a battleground to a solid red county. I think you’ll like it.
The interview will be on the your podcast apps Wednesday.
From there we went to St. Charles County. Republican candidate Wendy Hausman invited us to tag along to her Pachyderm Club meeting in Lake St. Louis.
Rep. Travis Fitzwater discussed why he ran for the senate, then he took questions about a range of issues. Actually that ain’t accurate he took a slew of questions, but they were all about schools in some form or another.
After that I got to visit with Trudy Busch Valentine outside the early polling place at the Mermac campus of St. Louis Community College.
Mrs. Busch is one of the nicest people to run for statewide office that I have ever met. She remarked on how kind the people of Missouri have been to her before discussing her concern for women who are seeking treatments for ectopic pregnancies.
She concluded with “However this turns out I wouldn’t have missed doing this for the world.”
I stuck my head into he door of the building where people were voting. There must have been a hundred people in line.
From the traffic to the masks, to the lockdowns, to the lines for everything like voting you just feel so sorry for folks who have to live in those cities. It’s a hard ol’ life for em.
After that I caught up with one of my favorite people in all of Missouri politics Rep. Jim Murphy. He was helping knock doors for Kenneth Abram who is running for the district just north of his.
While there we had ANOTHER Doc Patterson sighting who had also come to knock doors for Mr. Abram.
I stuck around the Social Club Grill there in South County after they left and visited with a few folks for a spell. You wouldn’t be surprised to see how much normal folks distain talking about politics. Don’t get me wrong there are some just dying to tell you all of their thoughts, but if I wanted to hear ramblings of the loud and angry I have Facebook for that.
By the same token you might be surprised how happy those same quite normal folks are to give you a couple candid thoughts after you buy them a beer.
Here in this very northern part of South County they are still democrats. At least they are trying pretty hard to still be democrats. The pretty consistent sentiment I got was that for the last several years they were voting for the folks they hated the most. They had came close to deciding that was the democrats, then the republicans pulled their right to work vote a few years ago. Then came the anti-police rhetoric, then came CRT, then came Cori Bush. There is only so much they are prepared to choke down to remain democrats, and that was all before inflation.
One retired Teamster who was a Busch heavy drinker, bout like Mahoney, summed it up to me while I was drinking a Busch Light, bout like a life long republican with a weak handshake in South County would have been, “I had finally decided the democrats had pissed me off enough that I was gonna be a republican, then the repubclians tried to screw me with Right to Work. Well I guess we stuck it up their ass hard enough on that vote that I guess I’m about over it. I’ve just finally had to accept that democrats really don’t like old white guys like me. So Im gonna vote for the folks that do like me… for now. Either way I’m sure the republicans will find a way to piss me off again before long.”
He also said some stuff about trans athletes I left out, but I assume you can pretty well guess what he said on that topic with out me spelling it out for you.
It really is a battle out there of who do you hate the most. With a democrat who is struggling in the White House that all makes for a good tailwind in places like South County.
I then caught up with the two Representatives and the one aspiring one, out knocking doors. As usual Jim put on a clinic on how well he knows his folks. He came to a door and pushed the button on the Ring Video Doorbell. When the little light came on he launched into his full pitch for Mr. Abram. He couldn’t have had any more Irish charm if it had been St. Paddy’s Day.
Jim told me he has people still come up to him in the grocery store and play the video he made on their doorstep. It’s a great idea. The guy is just a natural among his folks.
You have to figure that Rep. Walsh-Moore is the favorite here as the district goes all the way up to the city, but Mr. Abram is a very good recruit and in this environment it will be closer than it should, he could even win. Democrats in places like South County have to hope that republicans are pretty quick about finding a way to piss these folks off again or republicans are going to be knocking on the door of South City.
In a tale of two counties I left South County for Kirkwood where Rep. Tracy McCreery is in a tighter than expected senate race against local doctor George Hruza.
She told me she has knocked the entire district, and was going back to some neighborhoods to make sure they contacted everyone they could before election day.
Hruza has ran a good campaign, a very good campaign, and has put in a good chunk of money. His attacks have been solid and a lot of them. Tracy is simply a very good candidate in a good district for democrats. In all honesty the republicans shouldn’t be competitive here, but again you have to swipe your card twice to fill up your truck and folks ain’t interested in macroeconomic lectures on why it ain’t Biden’s fault.
You know actually I didn’t see many trucks in Kirkwood, but maybe you have to swipe your card twice to buy one of those Starbucks coffees. I honestly wouldn’t know.
I stopped into Joey B’s there in Kirkwood. More than a couple folks there were willing to chat, and didn’t even need me to buy one of whatever fruity looking thing they were drinking in order to get them to.
In Kirkwood those folks weren’t begrudgingly voting for anyone they were pretty happily gonna vote for democrats, like all of them. Even the guys were fired up about abortion. Im not even sure Rick Stream or Mike Gibbons could have won an election in this place.
They were very engaged about voting and knew the candidates. In fact of the seven people I was chatting with five had already voted.
There is some democratic enthusiasm Ive seen it, but I tend to reckon there are quite a few more folks in Missouri drinking Busch heavy in places like the Social Bar and Grill than there are drinking fruity Martinis at Joey B’s in Kirkwood.
I guess we will find out Tuesday evening.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.