Random notes from Lincoln Days

Politics is simple. Think of it as you do sports. You have a few participants actually in the game, many supporters on the sidelines and a whole lot of people in the stands cheering and booing. Some watch at home. Another group is indifferent, sometimes even hostile about the games being played.

lincolndays-crowd500

I’m reminded of the similarities as I reflect upon Lincoln Days in St. Charles this past weekend [Photo by Jon Prouty]. A down and deflated Republican Party after the stunning defeats in 2008 has rejuvenated in 2010, because of big wins in Virginia and New Jersey and a huge upset in Massachusetts. A lot of work went into injecting enthusiasm and beefing up the crowds at Missouri’s annual Lincoln Days gathering after a down Lincoln Days a year ago in Kansas City. That work paid off, I’m sure. But Scott Brown’s Republican breakthrough in the United States Senate race in Massachusetts gave Missouri Republicans a shot of optimism they haven’t had in a while.

Missouri Republicans highlighted Congressman Roy Blunt’s Senate campaign throughout the weekend in St. Charles. Nine Republicans have filed to replace Senator Bond, who is retiring. Blunt is, by far, the biggest name among the nine. He has the back of the Missouri Republican establishment as evident with the high profile he received during the Lincoln Days weekend.

There is, though, another name that has drawn some attention. State Senator Chuck Purgason, a Republican from Caulfield, has entered the race. Purgason, who served in the Missouri House before being elected to the Senate, is popular among fellow Republicans in the Capitol and has built a reputation as an uncompromising conservative, which is his calling card in the race against Blunt for the Republican nomination in August.

Blunt, in an interview with the Missourinet, dismissed Purgason’s criticism of his conservative credentials.

AUDIO: Congressman Blunt on Purgason candidacy 1 min MP3

blunt-busWhile Blunt drove to Lincoln Days in his campaign bus and received royal treatment throughout the event, Purgason doggedly walked the halls and talked with Republicans, carrying his campaign into what he told us was mixed reactions among the faithful gathered at Lincoln Days.

We asked Purgason if he thought he was the fly in the ointment.

AUDIO: Sen. Purgason commnet :30 MP3

Purgason said he would keep campaigning even if the Missouri Republican Party has already made its choice.

He might be a new name on the ballot, but Ed Martin certainly isn’t new to politics. Martin has been a player in St. Louis Republican circles for years prior to becoming Chief of Staff for Governor Blunt. This is the first time he has placed his name on the ballot. He has taken on a tough task: unseating Democratic incumbent Congressman Russ Carnahan, who won a congested Democratic primary in 2004 to replace Richard Gerphardt when he retired. [Martin greeting supporters in photo below]

In one of those moments of serendipity that happens on occasion, Martin was filing for Congress at the Secretary of State’s office on the same day that lawyer Scott Eckersley was testifying before a House committee at the Capitol on improvements to the Sunshine Law. Eckersley worked for Martin in Governor Blunt’s office and was fired after raising questions about whether the Blunt Administration complied with the Sunshine Law in its handling for e-mail correspondence. Martin fired Eckersley, claiming poor work performance. Eckersley claimed it was in retaliation for the questions he raised.

eckersley400

During an interview with Eckersley (left in photo above) after his testimony before the House committee, we asked Eckersley about his opinion of Martin filing for office.

AUDIO: Scott Eckersley 1 min MP3

At Lincoln Days, we asked Martin if he would like to respond to Eckersley’s statement. He declined.

Print Friendly

4 thoughts on “Random notes from Lincoln Days

  1. The Missouri Republican Assembly held its quarterly meeting and endorsement session during the Lincoln Day this past weekend in St Charles MO. During the endorsement session, both Roy Blunt and Allen Icet were endorsed as candidates for the offices they are running for. Many other candidate had been invited to speak, but the above two received this organizations endorsements. To the best of my knowledge, no other Missouri political body has made any endorsements of Republican candidates to date!

    Bruce F Buwalda
    Nation Federation of Republican Assemblies-Regional VP

  2. There is no way Martin can win the voters with his history of political scandal. Why would the GOP even think of putting this guy up against Carnahan? As a true conservative, I will be supporting John Wayne Tucker in the 3rd District primary. He almost won his primary in 2008 and will win in 2010.

    Its time to ditch GOP candidates like Martin and take the republican party back with Independent Conservatives like Tucker. That is what the Tea Party is about!

  3. There is no way Martin can win the voters with his history of political scandal. Why would the GOP even think of putting this guy up against Carnahan? As a true conservative, I will be supporting John Wayne Tucker in the 3rd District primary. He almost won his primary in 2008 and will win in 2010.

    Its time to ditch GOP candidates like Martin and take the republican party back with Independent Conservatives like Tucker. That is what the Tea Party is about!

  4. I completely agree with Todd. Carnahan has the goods on Martin. He’ll wipe the floor with him. Martin backed out of a debate this month with John. John is a life-long conservative Republican who the RNC and MRP have up to now ignored. He is not a politician but he understands Missouri politics. It isn’t going to be easy to beat the Union vote. The key for John is to get Independents–the Tea Partiers–to get behind him and hold rallies for him. John has the endorsement of Celebrity conservative Pat Boone. Why would Pat buck his beloved GOP to back a true conservative?

Comments are closed.