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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Robyn Hamlin's Dirty Work

  Politics is sometimes a complex business. Candidates can and will do whatever they need to in order to get a vote. They can also do and say whatever they need to say, even if it means taking a little "poetic license" with the truth.
 Take Missouri's First Congressional District Republican Primary race. The race is a repeat of 2010 between sometime Republican, sometime Libertarian Robyn Hamlin and Martin Baker.
  Recently, The League of Women Voters offered to sponsor a debate between Hamlin and Baker. Hamlin was given 10 days to respond to the offer. After the 10 day window had expired, Hamlin was approached again for a response to the debate challenge. Her response was that she did not want to debate Baker because she wanted to "save him any possible embarrassment" that some personal legal issues concerning child support and a court case with a former landlord would become debate topics.
 Baker has never been anything but open and honest about both of these issues. Baker's ex-wife reports nothing but prompt and full payment of child support, says that he is a loving and supportive father, and she fully supports his Congressional run. The court case to legally end a lease agreement is one that Baker has never shied away from discussing.
 So, is this a question of integrity and character? You bet it is. Most Americans are no doubt of the opinion that hopefully, we learned a valuable lesson about Politicians and character, or the lack of it, through the antics of Bill Clinton. Perhaps, for Robyn Hamlin, it is a question of confidence in her own ability to go head to head with her opponent to debate the issues that are important to the people of Missouri's First Congressional District. That is something Hamlin will have to deal with on her own time. Does she really think that any conflict that Martin Baker may or may not have with his ex-wife is more important than the fact this resident of the First Congressional District, every day, drives past a ghost town that used to be Northwest Plaza? One of the largest malls in the state, with close to 100 stores at it's peak. Included in that daily trip is a drive past a large empty field that used to be the Hazelwood Ford Plant. A place that employed thousands of people, now just acres of weeds. A bit of concern over these statistics, and a sincere desire to keep it from happening again, is more likely what First Congressional District voters are concerned about. Also, take a minute and ask those voters what their chief complaints are about Washington D.C, and Politicians, and chances are a lot of those people are going to say, a lack of honesty and integrity. That they have all lost the ability to simply do what is right. Is one more politician who is willing to stoop as low as they can go for a vote, the ends justifying the means, what the people of Missouri's First Congressional District really want?
 Someone once said that the definition of character is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
 Unfortunately for Ms. Hamlin, somebody is watching.            

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