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“Hamming” it up at the State Fair – Craighead Observations on Koster | Missouri Political News Service

“Hamming” it up at the State Fair – Craighead Observations on Koster

August 17th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

From the GOP Voice:

By Jared Craighead
MOGOP Executive Director

The annual Governor’s Ham breakfast at the Missouri State Fair is a unique gathering for Missouri politicos. Republicans and Democrats alike from across the state gather to support one of our leading industries – agriculture. This year’s gathering was particularly intriguing as candidates and elected officials gathered to see and be seen. I thought some might be interested in my observations from yesterday’s affair.

Chris Koster – I ran into Chris for the first time since he decided he was a Democrat (i.e. did the political calculus and decided he couldn’t win as a Republican). Chris approached me with his handler Liz Smith (Claire McCaskill’s 2006 spokesperson) at his side and we chatted briefly. I’d been told before I saw Chris that one supporter who had dedicated hours of volunteer time on his behalf “let him have it.” This super-volunteer had walked in parades, handed out literature and gone door-to-door on Chris’ behalf. She expressed her significant disappointment in Chris who didn’t seem to have time to hear that kind of feedback. She expressed to me personally that she felt he had lied to her and misrepresented himself. She had given all that she could to him – her blood sweat and tears – she isn’t a wealthy woman. That feedback is very similar to the feedback we’ve received from Missourians all across the state. I’ve heard that Chris has told reporters “no one” has asked for contributions he’s received back. That is completely false as demonstrated by a recent MRP press release although somewhat understandable. If you don’t take Republican “friends” and supporters’ calls Chris, they can’t tell you they want their money back. Similarly intriguing were stories I heard about Chris speaking with former fellow Republican Senators at the breakfast and Liz interrupting with “you need to be talking to Democrats Chris.”

But I digress.

During our brief visit I asked Chris how things were going and his answer was interesting. He said things were “turbulent.” Turbulent is probably an understatement for the situation Chris has faced after he turned his back on friends, volunteers, contributors and others who he had convinced should support him because he was a Republican. Turbulent probably doesn’t quite describe the extreme frustration he’s feeling that the Democrats haven’t exactly embraced him with open arms (see Jeff Harris’ comments). Turbulent probably isn’t an accurate description of the things a man encounters when he’s lost the mooring that friends in life provide that keep each and every one of us waking up the next day knowing that no matter how rough the water is or how bumpy the ride gets, we know we’ll make it through because of the support of our friends. I’m tired of feeling betrayed and torn by what I thought was a strong friendship with Chris. I guess at times in life we all have people we know who do the wrong things for selfish reasons.



Tags: Decision '08

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Roland Wetzel // Aug 20, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    The following e-mail was sent to Chris 8/9/07:
    Chris: You asked us for a contribution to your last campaign for Senate as a Republican. We would never have sent one to you if you were a Democrat. We sent you $100 in good faith. It seems that you could at least exercise good faith by returning that $100.
    Remit to: Roland & Dee Wetzel, 1918 Gallaher Ave., St. Charles, MO 63301-4720
    Thank you, Roland
    Yes, that was before the Fair opened.

  • 2 Paul Ground // Aug 20, 2007 at 1:32 pm


    There was a time that you and I served together on the Republican State Committee. No, I didn’t give you money, nor did I volunteer for any of your campaigns. But I must tell you a story.

    In 1988, after serving several terms in Congress as a pro-life Democrat from largely-Catholic South St. Louis, Richard Gephardt ran for President. When he did, he “discovered” that he was pro-choice. I don’t know the Congressman personally, but it seemed to me then to be incredibly naive to suppose that after perhaps 20 years in politics, he had reconsidered and revised one of his most fundamental political positions for reasons that were other than opportunistic.

    I’ve read numerous articles about your change of parties. I don’t recall any major objections from you while we served on the State Committee together to any Republican policy or position. Yet, rather like Gephardt, you have suddenly “discovered” that you were wrong all these years of your political career.

    It fascinates me to ruminate on what could inspire such a dramatic conversion. Were you on the road to Damascus,like Saul? Did you see a cross in the sky with an inscription, like Constantine?

    You see, Chris, the thing is this. Unless there is some similarly miraculous and persuasive explanation, I am prone to conclude, as others will, that you are a low-life, self-interested, nacissistic person who has no principle as significant to him as his own advancement. But the jury is out, and I’ll await your answer. Surely you should be given the opporunity to rebut such negative conclusions. If, however, as is reported, you won’t respond to Republicans, then I will be forced to conclude I was right.

    Personal ambition in default of principle is hardly the highest recommendation to any statewide office, particularly Attorney General.

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