The Snoop 3.5.2015

Last week was tragic, and this time I am not talking about the weather.
First, on Thursday, just after 1 p.m. and before the news hit the wires, State Representative Lyle Rowland called to let me know State Auditor Tom Schweich had died, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot. I thought it was mighty nice of Representative Rowland to call both myself and Art Corum at KKOZ radio and let us know before the report was made public. Lyle became a good friend even before district lines were redrawn and he became our representative in Jefferson City. He is one of the few politicians whose name pops up on my phone when he calls.
Sad as that report was, less than 24 hours later, we were hearing reports on TV that nine people had died in a bizarre murder-suicide incident in Texas County. Folks in the Tyron community are still trying to figure out a motive for the killings that involved two different families. Although the assailant later killed himself, one can only imagine that folks in that area are on a high level of alert, and some are probably sleeping with one eye open and a gun in hand.
Then, if all that were not enough, the report was aired Saturday that three children had fallen through the ice on a farm pond near Nevada, and one, an 8-year-old boy, died.
All the ice, snow, cold weather and inconveniences we have dealt with during the past three weeks pale in comparison when one considers what these family members are going through.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.
Now, back to Tom Schweich. What a sad situation.
At first, close friends were suspicious – they were not convinced that a man who had just recently announced his candidacy for governor would take his own life. Most sad is the fact that politics is such a vicious animal that it can push someone to that limit.
Tuesday’s Springfield News-Leader carried a story that should be a challenge to anyone planning to run for office – at any level.
State Senator Mike Parson, of Bolivar, addressed the Missouri Senate Monday, challenging them to “clean up their campaign tactics.”
The News-Leader article said: “…Parson took to the Senate floor Monday to denounce a political environment in which opposition researchers and shadowy political committees are used to smear the reputation of rival candidates with ‘totally misleading statements, outright lies and propaganda.'”
In that same article, Associated Press writer David A. Lieb quoted Parson: ”It has become a way to destroy one’s character, to destroy one’s integrity and their honor, not to mention destroying their families. Today it seems as though everything is done to win an election by any means at any cost.”
For years I have thought it ironic that a candidate would spend millions of dollars to win an office that pays perhaps $100,000 a year. Maybe that’s why Henry Kissinger once said, “Ninety percent of the politicians give the other 10 percent a bad reputation.”