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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Following donations is waste of time

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

In the world of politics, it takes very little to generate heat. Both parties are guilty of pouncing on the opposition because it makes their followers feel motivated and also because it might win the hearts and minds of those sitting on the fence. Yet the reality is that very few among us are swayed by these political games. We, unfortunately, understand the nature of politics and we tend to believe little that spouts from the mouth of the elected.

One political poll that made the rounds extensively during the 2004 elections showed that the American public was virtually divided in half along political lines. Very few fell into the independent or undecided category. Yet in politics, I still believe the candidate, not the party, is the critical factor. I believe there are very few remaining yellow dog Democrats or staunch Republicans who would vote the party line regardless of the candidate.

And so I find myself puzzled today that the Missouri Democratic Party is up in arms that some Democrats appointed to state positions by Gov. Matt Blunt have in the past donated money to Republican candidates. In the world of the state Democratic party, you're either "fer us or agin us," or so it would seem. State law dictates that many state appointees be evenly divided among the two major political parties. Sikeston's own Board of Municipal Utilities is just one example of that policy. So when it comes time for Gov. Blunt to make a Democratic appointment, he does just that. But the Democratic party wants none of it. They want only card-carrying Democrats who wouldn't support a Republican if their life depended on it. Problem is, there are few of those animals remaining.

Most politically active Missourians may indeed identify with one party or the other but they are not afraid to support a candidate of the opposite party when they feel that would be best for the state (or even for their own interests). By donating to a candidate of an opposite party, it carries no meaning other than the obvious - you feel that person is the best candidate regardless of party affiliation. To read something sinister into that is just bull-headed.

The Missouri Democratic Party has ample work ahead of them. Just look at the Missouri Legislature to see their obvious failures in the campaign arena. The party would be better served by promoting their own agenda instead of fretting over which Democrat gave money to which Republican. But then again, it's that kind of wasted fretting that got the Democratic Party in the sad shape they currently enjoy in the Show-Me State.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen