You are on page 1of 1

Columbia Missourian FRIDAY & SATURDAY, April 9-10, 2010 — Page 5A

Write.
Reflect.
Respond.

TODAY’S QUESTION
Do you think the endorsements made by the
Columbia Chamber of Commerce affected Tuesday’s
election results?

F
or the first time in its more than 100 years of existence, the
Columbia Chamber of Commerce endorsed candidates and
ballot issues in an election.
Along with supporting Proposition 1, the school bond issue
and the home rule city charter amendments, the chamber endorsed Bob
McDavid for mayor, Gary Kespohl for the Third Ward seat and Daryl
Dudley for the Fourth Ward seat. All endorsed candidates and issues won.
The endorsement process began Jan. 15, when the chamber’s board of
directors voted to “establish an Endorsement Task Force to review and
make recommendations to the board of directors for possible endorse-
ments in the upcoming April election,” according to the meeting minutes.
Chamber President Don Laird said that the six-member task force
was “fairly representative” of the chamber’s nearly 1,170 members.
Some information about the chamber’s endorsement process was not
clear. Only five names of the members were released, and minutes from
a February meeting of the chamber’s board of directors were unclear in
showing how the vote to approve the task force’s recommendations went.
Laird said the chamber doesn’t fundraise for candidates, despite
endorsements. Former board member Tom Atkins and current board
member Larry Moore, however, mailed letters that were signed by 11 peo-
ple connected to the chamber, citing the chamber’s endorsements as a rea-
son to contribute to the candidates’ campaigns and support Proposition 1.
The municipal election saw candidates for the Columbia City Council
and Columbia Board of Education raise more than $178,000 in cam-
paign contributions, according to campaign finance reports filed with
election authorities March 29.
­— Kourtney Geers

Silent witnesses
should be ashamed What’s ahead for city
A
Japanese-Buddhist prov-
erb: “See no evil. Say no
evil. Hear no evil.”
The witness credo:
“Report no evil.”
There is an urban legend about
attack is that she is an American of
African descent. Three witnesses
worked with the police providing
the description of the person who
beat the young woman. He was
arrested.
that voted for change?
N
a woman in New York City who In Adam’s case, the witness acted ow that we know how the winning theme that linked Bob
was mugged — a robbery with the immorally, without valor, by not voting minority answered McDavid and Barack Obama, he
threat of physical injury — and stepping in to help a fellow human the questions raised in the said, was “change” — tapping into a
raped in an alleyway between two from further injury, or running to local campaign, an even George broad sense of voter dissatisfaction
apartment buildings. There were,
according to the version I know,
the corner tavern to call for help.
The attack, at least the subsequent
bigger question remains. What, if
anything, does it all mean?
Kennedy with those in power and a willing-
ness to try somebody new.
at least 30 people who witnessed attacks, could have been prevented. First, the easiest and most obvi- Locally, look at the winners.
the crime and did nothing. No one Most bullies will back down when ous conclusion: Our school system Council members-to-be McDavid,
called the police. confronted. It would not have taken has regained its hold on the affec- Dudley and Kespohl had in com-
No one went to more than a few strong and loud tions of the citizenry. Not only did
The winning theme was mon, besides the Chamber of Com-
her aid. words to disrupt the attack. the bond issue pass with surprising “change,” a willingness to merce endorsement, a total lack
However, this I wondered how often incidents ease but Jan Mees and Jim Whitt of previous involvement in city
is not a myth. like Adam’s go unreported by wit- were the only incumbents on the try somebody new. government. The winning issue —
Ignoring a crime nesses. I called the Federal Bureau ballot to win election. Hard-charg- which drew more total votes than
in progress by of Investigation, the U.S. Depart- tiveness of negative campaigning
ing and big-spending Jonathan Ses- the mayor’s race — was the down-
a passerby or ment of Justice and the Missouri was answered oppositely in his
sions becomes the first 20-some- town surveillance cameras. That
witness is not Department of Public Safety. The race and in the Third Ward. Jerry
thing on the School Board. issue was on the ballot because
David limited to the Big
Apple. In August
FBI told me it does not keep those
statistics. The justice and public
Equally clear is the answer to
reached what I thought was the
reasonable conclusion that he was
City Council refused to support it.
Even council members not running
Rosman of 2007, a woman safety departments have not got-
questions about the importance of
money and the clout of the business
really running against not only Bob
McDavid but the so-called “devel-
took a beating Tuesday.
was mugged and ten back to me. In fact, after two community. It wouldn’t be alto- The winning council campaigns
raped in the hallway of an apart- hours of calling around the United opment community.” In forums and
gether fair to say that Bob McDavid also had in common a couple of
ment complex in St. Paul, Minn. The States and surfing the Internet, it fliers, he linked the two in unflat-
bought the mayor’s race, but his spurious issues. They blamed the
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune seems that there may be no statis- tering terms. He lost by a margin
big-bucks donors certainly got their incumbents for lost jobs, when in
reported that as many as “10 people tics of how many witnesses 1) do not so big that a gap remains even
money’s worth in terms of votes. fact Columbia has fared better in
in the building saw a man attack a report a crime while it is occurring, when you add together his and Sid
Daryl Dudley’s victory as the “com- the national recession than most
woman ­— but did nothing.” 2) refuse to cooperate with police or, Sullivan’s votes.
mon man” candidate in the Fourth cities. And they saw a crime wave
Even closer to home, two inci- 3) just walk by as if nothing is hap- The Third Ward was the only
Ward may be even stronger testimo- the actual statistics deny.
dents clearly show that the “See no pening. race marked by real animus. Gary
ny to the value of campaign cash. Still, whatever the cause, the
evil — Say no evil — Hear no evil I spoke with Officer Jessie Haden Kespohl and Karl Skala just don’t
Even before the final results effect seems certain to be change.
— Report no evil” extends to the of the Columbia Police Depart- like each other. The outsider, and
were in, Jerry Wade sounded a Will it bring more cops? More
middle of Middle America. Adam ment. She told me that a large per- his supporters, went after the
little bitter and a lot mournful as he development? Fewer regulations?
Taylor was attacked in 2009 in a centage of witnesses who call the incumbent with what seemed to me
lamented to KFRU’s David Lile the The campaigns would suggest so.
garage in downtown Columbia. His CrimeStoppers tip line do not care over-the-top accusations and under-
new importance of money in the As I left the radio station Tues-
story was the power behind our new about the reward. They just do not the-table innuendo. He won just
mayor’s race. Maybe, they agreed, day night, I encountered City
ordinance concerning downtown want to get directly involved. about as narrowly as he lost in their
that’s just the price of politics now Manager Bill Watkins. Knowing he
security cameras. However, there I think one’s conscience should first round three years ago.
that our little town has grown past couldn’t say much, I asked anyway
was an eye-witness to the beating heed the shame of not doing some- So what does it all mean? Oddly,
100,000. Maybe it is, and if it is, what he made of the results. His
who did nothing. thing. even a little disconcertingly, Fred
the new reality will likely affect small smile was, I thought, enig-
Watch the video on the Keep There is a level of fear and or Parry had an answer Tuesday
not only the conduct of local cam- matic. “It should be interesting,” he
Columbia Safe Web site and you intimidation in “foiling” an attack, night that makes sense to me. As
paigns but even the identities of said.
clearly see a witness to the crime and I am not telling you to dive in we took a break from bloviating
local candidates. on the radio, Fred suggested a George Kennedy is a former managing
simply look and then walk away. head first. However, you can at least editor at the Missourian and professor
He is not a 90-pound weakling but make the call to 911. Speaking of Jerry Wade and bit- parallel between this election and emeritus at the Missouri School of
a muscular man, about six-feet If you’re the guy in the video, you terness, the question of the effec- the national contest of 2008. The Journalism.
tall, who watched the attack and owe Adam an apology for not inter-
did nothing about it. In fact, there vening. You are now the new poster DOONESBURY by GaRry Trudeau
may be other witnesses, parking or child for the “How Not To Do the
retrieving their cars, who have not Right Thing” campaign.
come forward. Aikido Master Morihei Ueshiba
The only witness that reported wrote “The Art of Peace.” General
anything was the cameras. Even Sun Tzu wrote “The Art of War.”
then, “luck” was on Adam’s side. Both say the same thing. Bravery
Five feet further into the garage in battle is valor. Valor to save
and even the cameras would have another is divine.
not seen the beating. David Rosman is an award winning editor,
A student called me a couple writer, professional speaker and college
of weeks ago to tell me that her instructor in Communications, Ethics,
daughter was severely beaten at Business and Politics. You can read
more of David’s commentaries at the New
the Petro-Mart in southeast Colum- York Journal of Books and InkandVoice.
bia. The assumed reason for the com.

General Manager Executive Editor Managing Editor Opinion Editor Guidelines for letters to the editor
Daniel S. Potter Tom Warhover Jeanne Abbott Jake Sherlock
The Missourian encourages readers to share their opinions accuracy. The Missourian does not accept anonymous sub-
potterds@ warhovert@ abbottjm@ sherlockj@
through letters to the editor. Letters should be around 400 missions.
missouri.edu missouri.edu missouri.edu missouri.edu
words in length; longer pieces will be considered for guest Questions? Contact opinion editor Jake Sherlock at Sher-
“I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected columns. All letters and guest columns will be verified for lockJ@missouri.edu or call 882-9951
with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for
the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is
a betrayal of this trust. I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, Contact your U.S. senators, congressman
accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.” U.S. Senate U.S. Senate U.S. House
Christopher S. Bond Claire McCaskill Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer
Walter Williams, founding dean,
missouri school of journalism 274 Russell Senate Office Building Hart Senate Office Building SH-717 1118 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C., 20510 Washington, D.C., 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515
WRITE: Letter to Editor, P.O. Box 917, Columbia, MO 65205
E-MAIL: letters@ColumbiaMissourian.com (202) 224-5721 (202) 224-6154 (202) 225-2956
FAX: 573-882-5702 CALL: 573-882-5744 OR CALL: 573-882-9951 www.bond.senate.gov/contact/con- www.mccaskill.senate.gov/contact/ forms.house.gov/luetkemeyer/contact-
tactme.cfm form.shtml