November 17, 2017 – Back in the 1930’s in Jackson County, Tom Pendergast’s Democratic faction was known as the “goats.” In Kansas City, he would give a pint of whiskey for a vote. Got so no one would vote until they knew they were going to get their pint of whiskey for doing so.
I have devoted a lifetime trying to get people registered to vote. Politics is my hobby and I have never missed a vote since I was 21. I also have worked in every election since I helped Ike Skelton in 1956 become Prosecuting Attorney in Lafayette County.
By not taking an interest in elections, you are missing out on something more exciting than most sporting events. Instead of lasting 10 rounds or 4 quarters, election campaigns last from six months to four years. A good contest to start watching would be the United State Senatorial campaign between Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill and Republican Josh Hawley, currently Missouri Attorney General. To tell you how important your vote is, there will probably be over $100,000,000 spent on that race, which will be over $50 per vote.
Where I live in Eastern Jackson County, we recently had a special election for State Senator. There one million one hundred thousand dollars spent on the race, the most I have ever seen for State Senate. The winner spent one million dollars, got 12,851 votes or $77 per vote. The loser spent a hundred thousand, got 10,869 votes or $10 per vote. I figure if the winner hadn’t spent any money he would have received close to 10,000 votes, so he paid $500 per vote for the 2,000 he won by.
The Pendergast voters had it made. They didn’t have to read all the brochures I received in the mail, or listen to all the radio and television ads. We go home after voting and feel good about doing our patriotic duty. Pendergast voters, after voting, looked forward to drinking that pint of whiskey.