Branson Elections Tomorrow -
There was a time in our nation where wholesale politicking was legal. In other words, votes could literally be purchased.
Of course, this method of campaigning is now illegal making way for retail politicking. On the Presidential Trail this method was mostly reserved for Iowa as financial bomb drops playe poorly compared to the old-fashion handshake and "how can I serve you" door-to-door solicitation.
Branson Politicos have now participated in three debates. The Republicans, Democrats and local radio station hosted events giving candidates a chance to share their warez. The partisan debates are of little consequence as they've been poorly attended without media coverage.
The final debates were of great impact as this was the first chance, due to the media's lack of coverage for candidates to go head to head. Cris Bohinc, who refused to debate earlier this month stepped up to the mic and gave incumbent Jack Purvis a good show. She kept her composure and displayed an ability to act under fire. Purvis stuck with the numbers and held his own against an organized machine and sitting politicians bidding for his opponent behind closed doors.
In Ward III the debate was less convoluted and the model we presented a year ago was clearer than ever. Marc Williams said, "the city is a business" and showed prowess with the numbers, illustrating a cities organization parallel to the corporate structure.
Local optometrist, Dr. Rick Davis provided a different vision. He pitched the city as a community and said we should be looking at something other than, "the next big deal". Campaign contributions show strong support among social conservatives who lean towards theocratic management and a master plan based on traditional values.
If money can buy elections, Ward II can anticipate a victory for Cris Bohinc and Marc Williams. With 19,000 cash on hand reported by Williams in 8 day reports Williams may have launched the most any candidate has ever solicited for a local election.
Bohinc and Davis found support from friends, Williams found support from business interests and Purvis didn't actively solicit funds for the race. Purvis figured early in the game with an entourage of attacks from former TIF Commissioner Gary Groman - the battle would most likely end in defeat but resolved to retail in Ward II. Groman issued a final blow before the elections reserving his Sunday sermon to correcting Purvis on the impact of the Branson Landing TIF - a day after we posted the chronicles of the recent political landscape.
Throughout the day, if time permits, we'll be publishing remaining videos of the race. They were created so a record could be left to get the story straight on where candidates stand. Bohinc protested the collection of video at public debates, which Taney County Democratic leadership confirmed we had every right to collect. Still, out of respect and her stated wishes - we won't be publishing the Bohinc files. We're proud she stood up to debate - a difficult task - but, when new alderman are elected, no such mercy can be granted. Scrutiny both positive and negative is the way we honor our nations fathers and the public whose interests you will swear allegiance to and promise to hold first.
This is a democracy, our leaders are not kings, they aren't dictators, they're public servants - temporary holders of the torch. We're less than 24 hours from the elections where the torch will be passed on.
Good luck to the candidates. In my book, you're all winners for standing up and believing that you can positively contribute to the community. You've been tested through fire - as has always been the case in America - and it's time for the people to choose what new leaders will sit on the board for the next two years to govern the city of Branson.