Mayor Raeanne Presley and Lobbyist Chip Mason

Political Season is in full force and those seeking a job sucking off citizen money have to come out of the closet and debate.

It's likely that 417 Magazine will feature the best political coverage of any print media in the area.

Still, it's often private money that funds campaigns and the relationship of corporate interests has a profound affect on local politics and some argue - too much influence on politics in general.

Lobbyist Chip Mason backs local campaigns to place Branson City Council members, local judges and appointments to quasi-government entities. His wife Dawn Erickson currently has paid positions with a county economic development and the Downtown Branson Merchants association.
Oh yeah, did I mention - she also works as a reporter for the local radio station.

Unfortunately, the debate format hosted by Steve Willoughby works something like this: Willoughby interviews the candidates and gets the dirt - then the candidates are given the questions Wiloughby will ask. Some take the questions back to a lobbyist such as Mason who will draft answers. After one - highly prepped debate - a couple soundbites will repeatedly run by the station. To be continued