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Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015

Safety Net: Missing photo ops relocated

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Incessant rain canceled most Santa Fe Trail Days activities Saturday, Sept. 13, but local Republicans were undaunted and held a ribbon cutting ceremoney to officially open their campaign headquaters on the south side of the Marshall square.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)
Local Democrat Larry Maxwell, left, with Missouri Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon at a February campaign rally held at the Martin Community Center in Marshall. Nixon was the featured candidate, but the event included speeches by a number of other candidates for statewide office, too.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)
I started this column a couple of years ago with the idea that it would be an opportunity get stories told that, for one reason or another, had

slipped through the cracks. They might be past their "newsworthy" date, but they still need to be told.

I have not managed to write a Safety Net column for a good long while and so I have a largish pile of neglected-but-interesting stories. People who come into my office skirt warily around the pile, fearing its avalanchial possibilities.

Before anyone gets hurt, I figured I'd better start reducing the size of the tower (did I say "pile"? I think "tower" is more descriptive). And

because it would be especially dangerous to pull something from the bottom, destabilizing the mountain (did I say "tower"?) I'm going to start with a couple of items that are recent and so reside nearer the top.

Local Republicans have been giving me a hard time in recent weeks -- deservedly -- because I attended the ribbon cutting Saturday, Sept. 13, for their campaign headquarters but never got the photo in the paper.

Apparently my neglect, regrettable as it was, did little damage to the party's traffic.

I was there again Wednesday morning to cover a visit by a third-grade class as part of a unit on elections and party representative Ed Richards told the kids only one or two McCain-Palin signs were left, indicating that people supporting the Republican ticket were finding their way to party headquarters.

I still should have gotten the photo in the paper shortly after the event.

Republicans might have suspected partisan influences for the lapse -- it is election season, after all, and partisanship is in evidence everywhere. But I have to plead not guilty to that charge.

Back in February it was the Democrats who were, er, impatient with me.

I attended a big campaign rally that featured state Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon but included comments from a number of candidates for statewide office, including Ike Skelton, Joe Aull, Sam Page, Jeff Harris, Margaret Donnelly, Chris Koster, Mark Powell and Andria Simckes.

I took lots and lots and lots of photos (as usual) but didn't manage to get a single one in the paper.

I have to note our performance covering political events this year wasn't entirely neglectful.

The ribbon cutting for the Democratic Party's campaign headquarters opening we got in the paper immediately after, as we did with the Republican Party campaign rally supporting Kenny Hulshof for governor.

If we're keeping score, we missed one ribbon cutting and got one, missed one campaign rally and got one. That's one missed event for the Democrats, one missed event for the Republicans.

As I told one local Republican Party official earlier this week, at least our failures are impartial.

I'm acutely aware that's a weak argument. I could rely on an old saying to bail me out here: Better late than never.

But I know that its much better to be on-time than late, so I'm willing to apologize to both parties for my election year flubs and pledge to do better in future.

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