Branson's Historic City Counsel Meeting

Three major issues brought Branson residents out of the woodwork halting the remaining City Counsel agenda items several hours before the meetings usual timeframe. Representatives were present from most every segment of Branson’s economy providing feedback to Branson’s leadership on how counsel members should navigate Branson’s future.
Two hot button issues were the trademark protection issue and the resurrection of a proposed 300 foot skyscraper. City business was conducted in front of the largest crowd since early discussions about the Branson Landing.
The meeting itself deserves lengthy discussion and due to the hours won’t appear in your paper this morning.
Here are the results:
1. Branson will continue the branding protection strategy as proposed by outside legal counsel.
2. Huffman’s skyscraper plans were successfully resurrected and are awaiting a second reading at Branson’s next city counsel meeting
The Mayor making a tiebreaking vote twice (a rare occurrence) and the appearance of so many concerned citizens showing a voice and unanimous support for democracy and civic involvement is what made this meeting so important. The context and specifics of which will be discussed over the next couple of weeks …until Branson City Government meets again.

Branson Wal-Mart TIF A Dissenting Opinion From School Board

The clip above was taken at Branson City Hall during the recent Wal-Mart Bond readjustment.

Using Branson's Name in Vain

The City of Branson will address the approach to the name issue tomorrow at the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting.
Heated rhetoric marked the tone of the last city council's public commentary. The exchange led to the forced dismissal of Branson Sport's Club owner Pam Dapprich several minutes before allocated time (10 minutes per citizen) reached its end.
It's anticipated Branson City Attorney Paul Link will address what the City of Branson will and will not tolerate during the public comment section of the meetings.
In addition, the Branson Edge obtained documents regarding the name issue which included a half dozen letters to businesses using the Branson name outside the Branson City limits.
The letters currently being sent by law firm Lathrop and Gage differed greatly from the initial letter sent to the Branson Sports Club and mark a change in strategy from the cities previous approach. Branson's current stance on the Cities name is based on two issues brought up by Alderman after the initial letter was sent. The current stance and approach of the City is a defensive move to stop business from using the Branson name for either the skin or gambling trade. The letters sent to local businesses ask the owners to call a phone number where they're given permission to use the Branson name. The city doesn't have any intention of stopping any of the entities from using the Branson name. The idea being that as business's report and gain permission to use the Branson name a legal precedent is set to block an unsavory business from using Branson as part of its brand.

Black Friday in Branson

Photo by Darin Codon 2006 (Click to Enlarge)
Perhaps the most predictable part of Christmas is the long lines proceeding triptophine induced Thanksgiving slumber. Encouraging the welcomed flow of Christmas cash to Branson the local police department made some extra moves to ensure the experience was a pleasant one. Traffic flow was managed through extra man hours from Branson's finest. Timed traffic lights were turned off as Branson PD guided traffic from 76 to the Branson Landing.
Though the numbers aren't in some stores have reported Black Friday the most "Golden" day since Branson Landing's opening.

Loretta McCullough - Branson Hero of Thanksgiving Present

Thank you for wishing a Happy Thanksgiving (you're the only one I've heard this from). I just wanted to note my thanks to you for remembering! So...Thank you. Posted by Picasa

Branson's Secret Wal-Mart Meeting

The press release came out Friday 24 business hours before the 1:00 meeting Monday at Branson City Hall. City Council immediately went into closed session reappearing two and a half hours later passing a motion to readjust the Wal-Mart financing terms from a short-term to a long-term bond.
The above sketch was rendered by John Logan and the final copy will appear in the next issue of the Branson Daily Independent.

The meeting was at 1:00 in the afternoon and due to a number of irregularities such as ...short notice and the timing of the meeting raised suspicions among many Branson residents. Posted by Picasa

It's Almost Thanksgiving in Branson - Am I the only one that's Noticed?

Pre Branson Landing Pre Christmas Development
*Guess We're Skipping Thanksgiving this year
It's beggining to look a lot like Christmas ....and has been since early this month. An all out battle has begun for Branson area business's to capture the crowds Christmas Present.

The Christmas Lights are always a must see but here's a few interesting angles on the ....

The Burger and a Coke Christmas brought to you by Steak and Shake

The New Branson Landing Christmas

And of Course..Silver Dollar City's - "Its Jesus Christmas

Lucky 7's

The naysayer’s are silenced as social liberals take a whipping from Roy Blunt. Wishful thinking and false hopes for the arrival of a "dark horse" candidate within Republican ranks were prophesied from Dem pundits. A "dark horse" candidate failed to appear and Blunt approached as a Republican White Knight delivering a message to the nation on the importance being worthy of constituent trust.
Blunt's appointment as Republican Whip rejects the notion of Democrat insiders suggesting the Republican party will refrain from catering to the religious base that helped the Republican majority take form before the most recent election.
A defiant Blunt's first comments as leader of the Rebublican minority was a jab to freshly elected democrats - "They ran as Republican's..."
Blunt beat John Shadegg's bid for Minority Whip 137-57 which looked an awful lot like sentiments expressed by vote in Missouri District 62. The news - overlooked by every District 7 publication was that Democratic candidate Sae Tuia stole 31% of the Stone County vote from Republican Candidate Dennis Wood. The story here is that Tuis, a Mormon Samoan, was called by the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints to help with operations in Samoa shortly after the primaries – he wasn’t even living on US soil.

29 CofO Students Suspended Possibly at Cost to Back to Back NAIA Championship

College of the Ozarks -29 Students Disciplined
The Springfield News-Leader Editorial Department broke the story earlier this week about members of the CofO Basketball team being suspended. took a chance to speak with CofO President yesterday about the incident. Davis noted his opinion of the editorial – “Well Balanced”. I was forewarned that I wouldn’t get a comment but proceeded with due diligence. “We’re not na├»ve”, explained the president as he shared some of his dark past before making changes in his life.
Twice expelled from college, President Davis can serve as inspiration to student’s who’ve been disciplined and even rejected by their alma mater. In one instance, Davis was asked if he knew anything about running a college…”I know I could do a better job than you!”, his last words as a student at that particular educational institution. (Great Article in the new Branson area publication “Both Sides of the Bridge”)
Jerry Davis is a living testament to those students punished by CofO that their careers, place in academia and lives are far from ruined.
“All student’s are required to live by the same standards”, explained Davis.
Shortly after our conversation College of the Ozarks made an official press release…
“The college of the Ozarks has taken disciplinary action against several students for violations of college policy, standards and expectations. Sanctions have been imposed on 29 students ranging from probation to suspension. Of the students disciplined 17 were athletes and 12 were non-athletes.
Students enrolling in College of the Ozarks sign a compliance statement indicating acceptance of college expectations, booth on and off campus. Students at Character Camp sign the Student Honor Pledge and all athletes sign the NAIA Champions of Character Student-Athlete Pledge. In addition, the student handbook makes clear “the College will consider misconduct off campus as a reflection of a student’s character and his fitness to be a member of the Student Body.” It also makes clear that students placed on disciplinary probation “will not be allowed to represent the College in any activity during the period.”
Although the college regrets having to impose disciplinary measures on any student, it believes all students must be accountable to the same standard. Current disciplinary actions have been handled consistent with longstanding policy and expectations. The college believes students must honor their commitments and be held accountable for their decisions and to learn from them”

Branson Corridor Model For Civic Cooperation

Most of the traffic into Branson comes from travelers heading Southbound into the city but traffic Northbound from Arkansas can be just as congested - at least until the interchange was created. The expansion in Hollister is part of a larger project expanding lanes to the Arkansas - Missouri Border. Though, Thanksgiving is the holiday mostly ignored ,Hollister City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss was generous with the cities thanks as he addressed the public yesterday from College of the Ozarks. Rick expressed his gratitude towards the city of Branson, Construction Workers, County Commissioners, Senator Kit Bond and others during the dedication of the highway and interchange. Ron Herchend said. "This is an example of what we can do when we work together", as he discussed the process of gathering funds from various levels of government after the presentation.
Dedication of the new interchange included a parade of cars from several era's of Hollister's Development from CofO to the Flyover

Animal Advocates of the Ozarks

Branson Area animals have some new friends. Last Sunday a group called the Animal Advocates of the Ozarks held their first meeting. The small group of dedicated and determined individuals discussed the groups future and transition from lofty objectives to quantifiable action items. Having filed as a non-profit corporation the Animal Advocates are moving quickly in hopes that donations made by the end of the year can be deducted from 2006 taxes. Financial discussions conducted by the board included recommendations by members regarding what businesses in the area have shown good will and a desire to contribute to the community in a positive way.
The Animal Advocates are more than a philosophy oriented organization. Many of the members currently dedicate personal time, energy and resources to helping the condition of animals in Taney County. A group called the "Pound Pals", which represent the core of the Animal Advocates, provide a form of auxiliary support - getting down and dirty -cleaning cages and helping taking care of animals at the Taney County Pound.
The ultimate goal of the organization involves building a new animal shelter in the Branson Area - Mission Statement as follows:

To aid in the alleviation of distress and suffering of animals and promote their humane treatment through protection, placement and public education. To achieve this mission, it is intended that this organization will operate a shelter for animals in need of care, provide adoption programs for lost/abandoned animals, provide a lost and found pet service, promote spaying/neutering of all animals and conduct educational programs for children and adults.
We are committed to responsible pet ownership and solving the catastrophic problems of pet overpopulation. We will promote the welfare of animals by any legal means.

The group is meeting again on Tuesday, January 2nd 6:30PM. The group can be reached at 417-334-1523.

Branson Remembers Veteran's Day Events Show Record Attendance

Branson is one of the most patriotic cities in America. The consistency of our patriotic fervor is apparent in the fact US Flags flying throughout town outnumber residents.

On the 11th Day of the 11th month on the 11th hour Branson's Veteran's Day parade began in downtown Branson near city hall through Main Street and through the Branson Landing. Warm weather helped bring record attendance. Some stories are better told through pictures....

Roy Blunt Deliver's Mesage of "Good Southern Missouri Common Sense" to Washington

Roy Blunt returned to Washington today for a lame duck session as Majority Whip. In a speech sponsored by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation Roy outlines the direction of conservatism.

Here's the rundown....

Blunt began with a metaphor about a golf course built 100 years ago in India. After the golf course became overrun with monkeys who picked up the balls and randomlythrough them a new rule was developed.

""You have to play the ball where the monkey throws it...Not a bad rule for life".
""Success has a thousand father's failure an orphan"
What Happened on Tuesday...according to some...
1. A repudiation of Conservatism
2. The Foley Factor
3. Referendum on the War in Iraq
4. Rebuke to One Party Rule
5. Punishment by the faithful for conservatives not staying absolutely true to their principals.

"In reality there was no single explanation for the loss of our majorities ....but as conservatives we should take this opportunity to reflect on how we govern, honestly assess our shortcomings and propose the best way to move forward."

"In politics just as there are not permanent victories there are no permanent defeats."

"78,000 votes would have changed the outcome... our ideas didn't get beat we did"

We need to put values above politics....holding onto or gaining political power should never come before our obligation to be worthy of people's trust"

I use to say I'm from the part of Missouri that was so conservative that we believe the Federal Government should defend the Country and deliver the mail...truth is we're not quite as committed to that mail delivery thing as we use to be..."

The general theme of Blunt's message was principle centered leadership and being true to beliefs. It's worth a hear....

Blunt's Speech

Bob Moser of The Nation Magazine visits Branson Researching Southern Politics

  I had a chance to sit down with Bob yesterday at Music City Center Starbucks in Branson.
All of us - any of us following the campaign results had little sleep the night before. Starbucks has the highest ratio of coffee grounds to water which is an important fact for anyone in desperate need of caffeine. The Starbucks in Branson (a second one will be built shortly near the landing) has the most consistent free wi-fi connection in Branson.
Though Bob works in New York his expertise, editorial focus and heritage is far from the "Yankee" persuasion. He's currently working on a book about Southern Politics and got me up to speed on some of the interesting twists in Mid-Term Southern State elections.
It's interesting, Missouri's Senate race took the national spotlight as one of the most cutthroat campaigns in the nation and few will remember that at one point the Talent vs. McCaskill battle was up until the final days a pinnacle of campaign messaging moderation. To illustrate this point to Bob I referred to a KY3 post by David Cantonese, "And then it Got Nasty". Up until October Missouri was setting a great example for the Nation on political ethics...the shift in strategy from both candidates was Missouri's October Surprise history will forget.
Bob noted an uncomfortable air among those interviewed while conducting poll exit research. I think this was a hard election on all of us and hope Bob leaves back to the city with some good examples of Branson's Southern Hospitality to report on.
I did puck up a great piece of intel from Bob - Democrats party harder. The Republican party gathering was sprinkled with gloom - even thought there were some major victories. The Democrats on the other hand were a bit more lively partying with a packed house on the other side of town.
Bob - best wishes on your continued success and book release! Posted by Picasa

Missouri's Message to Elected Officials "We're Not Gonna Take It"

As the President entered the stage last week in Springfield the Republican theme song, "We're Not Gonna Take It” blared over the speakers.

Perhaps, yesterday, voters played the song back. There are a number of things to note about as Missouri citizens responded with record turnout for a midterm election. In general, I think it's important to state that the citizens of Missouri voted conservatively.

Stem Cell Research - Passed by a "conservative" margin
Taxes - Tobacco Tax rejected by a large margin - Veteran Tax Exempt Status approved

Still, our values are less defined by a party logo than they are by our conscience and values. Local government organizations stood against minimum wage increases which the voters approved by large margins (expect Tony Messenger of the Springfield News-Leader to address this in tomorrow’s editorial). Andrew Cline MSU Journalism professor begged the question a few weeks ago, "Isn't an honest days pay - the ability for the working man to support his family through hard work a Republican value?" Voters overwhelmingly approved a minimum wage increase.

Libertarian voting was high peaking at 4.1% of voters in the Taney County 7th District

In agreement throughout the state - the greatest landslide victory was the fight against corruption. Cheat the citizen's - dishonor public office and we will take away your pension. Corruption – “We're not gonna take it anymore"

Springfield Bloggers Real Time Election Blogging

Taney and Stone County Election Results

U.S. Senator Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Talent, Jim REP 7,291 58.7%
McCaskill, Claire DEM 4,525 36.4%
Gilmour, Frank LIB 426 3.4%
Lewis, Lydia PRG 174 1.4%
Total Votes 12,416
Taney County Chooses Talent
McCaskill Announced Victor
State Auditor Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Thomas, Sandra REP 6,861 56.6%
Montee, Susan DEM 4,775 39.4%
Baum, Charles W. LIB 352 2.9%
Bunker, Terry PRG 129 1.1%
Total Votes 12,117
Taney County Chooses Sandra Thomas
Susan Montee Victor
U.S. Representative - District 7 Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Blunt, Roy REP 8,535 69.2%
Truman, Jack DEM 3,444 27.9%
Craig, Kevin LIB 363 2.9%
Total Votes 12,342
Taney County Chooses Roy Blunt
Blunt Victor

State Representative - District 62 Precincts Reporting 11 of 11
Wood, Dennis F. REP 5,612 68.8%
Tuia, Sae DEM 2,548 31.2%
Total Votes 8,160

State Representative - District 68 Precincts Reporting 1 of 1
Sater, David REP 48 53.3%
Wells, Adam DEM 42 46.7%
Total Votes 90

State Representative - District 141 Precincts Reporting 9 of 9
Wasson, Jay REP 2,233 71.0%
Blevins, Mark S. DEM 912 29.0%
Total Votes 3,145

State Representative - District 143 Precincts Reporting 2 of 2
Wallace, Maynard REP 517 62.6% % Yes Votes Graph
Hilliard, Cathy DEM 309 37.4% % Yes Votes Graph
Total Votes 826

Circuit Judge - Circuit 39 Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Wiley, Robert S. REP 10,213 100.0% % Yes Votes Graph
Total Votes 10,213

Nonpartisan Judges - Missouri Supreme Court Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Price, William Ray Yes 8,109 76.7%
No 2,463 23.3%
Total Votes 10,572
Russell, Mary Rhodes Yes 8,026 76.2%
No 2,500 23.8%
Total Votes 10,526
Limbaugh, Jr., Stephen N. Yes 8,040 76.3%
No 2,503 23.7%
Total Votes 10,543

Nonpartisan Judges - Court of Appeals - Southern District Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Garrison, Phillip R. Yes 8,220 78.6%
No 2,237 21.4%
Total Votes 10,457
Bates, Jeffrey W. Yes 8,018 76.9%
No 2,411 23.1%
Total Votes 10,429

Constitutional Amendment No. 2 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Stem Cell Initiative Yes 5,881 47.2%
No 6,584 52.8%
Total Votes 12,465
Taney County Votes NO Missouri Votes Yes
Constitutional Amendment No. 3 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Tobacco Tax Yes 5,867 47.2%
No 6,554 52.8%
Total Votes 12,421
Taney Votes No - Missouri Votes No
Constitutional Amendment No. 6 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Tax Exemption for Veterans Organizations Yes 7,797 64.9%
No 4,224 35.1%
Total Votes 12,021

Constitutional Amendment No. 7 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Elected Officials Compensation Pensions Yes 11,001 90.6%
No 1,141 9.4%
Total Votes 12,142

Proposition B - 2006 Precincts Reporting 22 of 22
Raising Minimum Wage Yes 9,499 76.7%
No 2,885 23.3%
Total Votes 12,384

Office Candidate Party Votes
U.S. Senator Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Talent, Jim REP 9,019 60.6%
McCaskill, Claire DEM 5,174 34.8%
Gilmour, Frank LIB 502 3.4%
Lewis, Lydia PRG 193 1.3%
Total Votes 14,888

State Auditor Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Thomas, Sandra REP 8,532 58.9%
Montee, Susan DEM 5,398 37.3%
Baum, Charles W. LIB 397 2.7%
Bunker, Terry PRG 164 1.1%
Total Votes 14,491

U.S. Representative - District 7 Precincts Reporting 15 of 15
Blunt, Roy REP 7,614 71.6%
Truman, Jack DEM 2,708 25.4%
Craig, Kevin LIB 319 3.0%
Total Votes 10,641

U.S. Representative - District 8 Precincts Reporting 12 of 12
Emerson, Jo Ann REP 2,816 68.9%
Hambacker, Veronica J. DEM 1,124 27.5%
McCullough, Branden C. LIB 145 3.5%
Total Votes 4,085

State Representative - District 62 Precincts Reporting 7 of 7
Wood, Dennis F. REP 4,085 73.7%
Tuia, Sae DEM 1,459 26.3%
Total Votes 5,544

State Representative - District 142 Precincts Reporting 6 of 6
Weter, Raymond (Ray) REP 1,443 100.0%
Total Votes 1,443

State Representative - District 143 Precincts Reporting 17 of 17
Wallace, Maynard REP 4,825 66.4%
Hilliard, Cathy DEM 2,437 33.6%
Total Votes 7,262

Circuit Judge - Circuit 38 Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Orr, Mark REP 12,051 100.0% % Yes Votes Graph
Total Votes 12,051

Nonpartisan Judges - Missouri Supreme Court Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Price, William Ray Yes 9,621 76.6% % Yes Votes Graph
No 2,932 23.4% % No Votes Graph
Total Votes 12,553
Russell, Mary Rhodes Yes 9,305 74.5% % Yes Votes Graph
No 3,184 25.5% % No Votes Graph
Total Votes 12,489
Limbaugh, Jr., Stephen N. Yes 9,587 76.6% % Yes Votes Graph
No 2,928 23.4% % No Votes Graph
Total Votes 12,515

Nonpartisan Judges - Court of Appeals - Southern District Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Garrison, Phillip R. Yes 9,656 78.2%
No 2,695 21.8
Total Votes 12,351
Bates, Jeffrey W. Yes 9,201 74.7%
No 3,118 25.3%
Total Votes 12,319

Constitutional Amendment No. 2 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Stem Cell Initiative Yes 6,469 43.3%
No 8,454 56.7%
Total Votes 14,923

Constitutional Amendment No. 3 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Tobacco Tax Yes 7,252 48.9%
No 7,570 51.1%
Total Votes 14,822

Constitutional Amendment No. 6 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Tax Exemption for Veterans Organizations Yes 9,651 67.5%
No 4,638 32.5%
Total Votes 14,289

Constitutional Amendment No. 7 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Elected Officials Compensation Pensions Yes 12,834 89.0%
No 1,584 11.0%
Total Votes 14,418

Proposition B - 2006 Precincts Reporting 24 of 24
Raising Minimum Wage Yes 11,482 77.8%
No 3,275 22.2%
Total Votes 14,757

Stem Cell

We're down to the wire and McCaskill takes the lead inching in front of Talent by a small margin.

Talent, Jim REP 842,251 47.7%
McCaskill, Claire DEM 867,683 49.1%
Gilmour, Frank LIB 41,716 2.4%
Lewis, Lydia PRG 15,726 .9%

Jasper County ran out of ballots earlier today and haven't reported yet but the remaining precincts are urban and projected to go McCaskill's way - (by a small margin).

State Auditor Precincts Reporting 3178 of 3734
Thomas, Sandra REP 743,132 43.4%
Montee, Susan DEM 903,557 52.7%
Baum, Charles W. LIB 48,260 2.8%
Bunker, Terry PRG 18,030 1.1%

Our State Representation:
U.S. Representative - District 7 Precincts Reporting 227 of 290
Blunt, Roy REP 129,944 65.8%
Truman, Jack DEM 61,104 31.0%
Craig, Kevin LIB 6,345 3.2%

On the Ammendments
Constitutional Amendment No. 2 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 3078 of 3734
Stem Cell Initiative Yes 856,865 50.1%
No 853,218 49.9%
Total Votes 1,710,083
Constitutional Amendment No. 3 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 3078 of 3734
Tobacco Tax Yes 809,036 47.3%
No 900,959 52.7%
Total Votes 1,709,995
Constitutional Amendment No. 6 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 3078 of 3734
Tax Exemption for Veterans Organizations Yes 1,026,582 62.9%
No 606,231 37.1%
Total Votes 1,632,813
Constitutional Amendment No. 7 - 2006 Precincts Reporting 3078 of 3734
Elected Officials Compensation Pensions Yes 1,391,072 84.3%
No 259,892 15.7%
Total Votes 1,650,964
Proposition B - 2006 Precincts Reporting 3078 of 3734
Raising Minimum Wage Yes 1,274,233 75.2%
No 419,261 24.8%
Total Votes 1,693,494

To sum it up...
No Tobacco Tax
Stem Cell - (Looks like it will pass)
Minimum wage - Landslide Win
Elected Officials will now fail to get pensions if they are found guilty of a crime in office....

Late Night Election Reporting

Camp Talent showed little confidence in a win at this point and though Talent remains in the lead with only 900 of 3746 reporting. I just got back from Republican Party headquarters at the Oasis Convention center in Springfield. The Republican mood is bittersweet - major area wins for the Republicans in Springfield ... Aunt Norma Champion is victor over Doug Harpool who ran an impressive campaign with some innovations that will change the face of Missouri Elections forever.

Prosecuting Attorney for Greene County had some words to say about the press...Psssst you're not doing your job and democracy as we know it is threatened. He elaborated in a video interview I'll be posting later. Point is - Newspapers are lazy and are willing to print verbatim whatever the prosecution attorneys are willing to send out. "Doesn't that work to your advantage?" It doesn't work to the people's advantantage a point he drives home as the biggest problem with our legal system today.....

I'm with Professor Cline and Springfield News-leader's Tony Messenger ....we're the last men standing as far as live election blogging goes.

White Supremist Runs Ads in Branson Area Papers

This ad looks like it might have been posted 50 years ago – maybe 150 years ago – but this ad ran in Southern Missouri this week. Neither the Branson Independent nor the Branson Daily News will not be running this ad; however several Stone County papers will. Glenn is running ads in Stone County positioning himself as “the only true white man running.” The Taney County Times stance on advertising is inline with Freedom of Speech advocates and it was confirmed that radical views – opinions and ads would be ran if they met the proper criteria. It’s essential to democracy no matter how vile …We waited until the polls closed to bring this to your attention..

Mark Twain On Voting

The photo above appeared in the first edition of "Life on the Mississippi".

No party holds the privilege of dictating to me how I shall vote. If loyalty to party is a form of patriotism, I am no patriot. If there is any valuable difference between a monarchist and an American, it lies in the theory that the American can decide for himself what is patriotic and what isn't. I claim that difference. I am the only person in the sixty millions that is privileged to dictate my patriotism.

Vote: the only commodity that is peddleable without a license.

But in this country we have one great privilege which they don't have in other countries. When a thing gets to be absolutely unbearable the people can rise up and throw it off. That's the finest asset we've got--the ballot box.

District 7 Map - The Branson Area Congressional Seat

The is neighborhood Roy Blunt and as Majority us some good coverage!

Southern Missouri Will Determine Who Will go to the Senate

(Click to View Animation)
McCaskill admits that ignoring Southern Missouri is a mistake she won't repeat. From the signs to the election time pronunciation of the state "ms-ur-ah" she's made a lot of right moves. Still, all the major Southern Missouri Newspapers - Including the Joplin Globe and the Springfield News-leader endorsed a Talent Blunt combo to represent the state in Washington DC. The nation's eyes are on us as we go to the polls today. A majority of us will vote Republican with a few exceptional races (it takes a democrat of a very special breed to win here). The underlying question is - How Republican is Southern Missouri and is it Republican enough to swing the vote Red. As you watch the animation above you'll notice the changing colors...Light Blue is slightly Democrat...Light Red Slightly Republican.... White is neutral and we move between these three. We’re moderate folk, as the President said Friday "Common sense down to Earth People". Really, this race is up to us. The Southern Missouri vote and how effective the parties are in getting out the faithful will determine the fate of Federal representation. Our local elections are for the most part over...the Democrats didn't even bother to put a candidate to run against County Contenders. Even our newspapers have but thank you notes from politicians on Election Day.

Branson Area Schools On Lockdown

After a a telephone caller said there would be a shooting at Branson High School at 9 a.m. to the Taney County Sheriff’s Department. The Branson School District locked down buildings until 10:30.
Other schools throughout Taney County remained on lockdown longer. Bradleyville, was on lockdown until 11:00 AM. All doors from the outside were locked...classroom doors were locked and for a period of time lights were out in the classrooms. The school is still locked from the outside.

President Bush Visits Branson Area

George Bush , Jim Talent, Roy Blunt
Perhaps the only thing Pollsters Democrats and Republican’s can agree on is the Missouri race for the Senate seat is a dead heat.
It’s the final kick of the last leg of the race and the Republican Campaign strategists are implementing the “72 hour plan”. - Preparation for the Republican’s 72 hour committee get a boost as shoe-in Congressional Candidate Roy Blunt and the President of the United States host an invitation only gathering with the party faithful in Springfield.
As the Cardinal’s Mascot is being cleared by Secret Service agents the Gatlin Brothers warm up the crowd with music proceeding invocation delivered by the local James River Assembly’s pastor. Electricity feels the air as a roaring crowd welcomes Jim Talent, Roy Blunt and President Bush to the stage. “No one wants one vote to cancel out another vote,” states Roy Blunt’s warning to Republican’s of the consequences of failing to mobilize the local base to polling stations.
After a few short words of praise and the presentation of a Springfield Cardinals Jersey President Bush is cheered to the podium …
“This isn’t the first time I’ve come to Southern Missouri and it won’t be the last, I like the people in this part of the world, good common sense down to earth people live in Southwest Missouri. …that’s the kind of Senator you need good and down to earth and Talented”
Here’s a quick Summary of the Party approach at the Springfield venue:
1. Energy: Roy Blunt calls Talent Mr. Ethanol a nickname given for his efforts regarding alternative fuel and passage of the energy bill. Bush: “If you want to be less dependent on foreign oil you need to elect Talent to the Senate”
2. Security: Bush “If a member of al-Qaeda calls the US we want to know why” -
3. Taxes: President specifies child tax credits of 1,000 per child at jeopardy – takes a swing at Nancy Polosi characterizing her as a “secret admirer” of tax cuts based on her voting record.
4. Judges: Bush, “My goal is to elect judges that will strictly adhere to the law and not to legislate from the bench”.
5. Employment: Bush boasts 4.4% Unemployment rate.
6. War: “I wish I could tell you were not at war but we are…. they don’t believe in freedom of religion (big applause) … that’s why we need to stay on the offensive…you cannot plan if you’re on the run…the only way we lose is if we leave before the job is done”
“In Washington DC the pundits have already decided who’s going to win; they haven’t realized the people in Missouri haven’t voted yet” Several Branson and Taney County Locals were on hand for the event.

Taney County Couthouse Robert Case Murder Trial Ends in Mistrial

After a change of venue and a second trial resulting in a hung jury Robert Case went home with his family. The above photo is of Robert his daughter and grandson. Loud outbursts from the jury could be heard in the Taney County Courtroom where Christian County Prosecuter Ron Cleek attempted to negotiate with Case's legal counsel. The longer the jury sat in the courtroom the sweeter the offers became from Cleek but Case wasn't having it - he claims the shotgun killing was committed in self defense and according to his sister, Case wants to clear his good name.
The picture above was taken while Case awaited verdict. Posted by Picasa

Taney County Auditors Office - Branson Area Scariest

The Taney County Auditor's office finished tax bills on Halloween winning the Branson Edge's Prestigous Scarriest in Taney County Award. This Halloween chill promises to deliver scares for weeks to come. As a public service announcement the Auditing trio wants you to know it's W--itch (with a W).
Gary L. Morgan, the Taney County Information Systems Administrator wins second with a haunted maze conversion of the IS building - if you took a wrong turn you might have found the offender data geomapped on a printed map - which is why the honorable mention is neccesary.
The Taney County administrators dressed in hippy attire complete with a pho-marijuana cigarrete with tobacco filling as prop. Commissioner Herschend asked the baliff if he was going to be arrested at which time the baliff who inspected the "joint" stated, "It's obvious you don't know how to roll one of those things so no I'm not going to arrest you". Ron Herschend was unapologetic at his apparent inability to properly handle the art of rolling chronic.
**Editor's Note
Rolling spliffs has little public value to government officials hoping to be re-elected - unless by spliff you mean crack and by roll you mean "paid female companionship" in which case you have great chances of being re-elected mayor of Washington DC. Posted by Picasa