It would be nice if Americans took the time to research candidates and find out their positions on issues, as well as what, if any, ticking time bombs lie in their past.
With the Internet, we all have the ability to do such research, though sometimes it is difficult to tell which sources are reliable.
Still, most people are too busy or too lazy to be able to conduct extensive research into candidates. That's what the media are supposed to do.
Where were the media when it came to Jack Truman? The idea of a Truman from Lamar running for elected office must have seemed quite attractive to voters since he defeated his opponents in the Democratic party by a sizable margin.
In the Seventh District, those who are willing to read newspaper coverage before they go to the polls (unfortunately, many rely on increasingly misleading television advertising) rely on the Joplin Globe and the Springfield News-Leader for their coverage.
For the most part, these newspapers rely on candidate questionnaires and campaign financing reports for their coverage, with the finance information confined to who has raised more money and not to the source of that money.
By not digging into the candidates' background, they failed to note that Truman, despite the name (and he originally was John Kerney, not Jack Truman) is a movie director, best known for his nine-minute short, "Phone Sex Grandma," which was written by his mother, Opal Dockery, who also played the title role. The only place that information could be found prior to the primary was in The Turner Report.
The media also failed to notice that during the spring months, Truman was advertising for camera operators and other personnel for a feature-length version of "Phone Sex Grandma."
Since the election, again unnoticed by the local media, Truman has been attempting to raise money through a grassroots appeal to national Democratic bloggers, claiming to be a great-nephew of Harry S Truman. (If this is true, I cannot recall it ever being mentioned before during this campaign or his 2004 campaign for the same post):
Please contact me to help me with my campaign. This is small, bare-bones and grassroots. We have no money. And having no political ties, I am not afraid to tell people what I think. Like my Great - Uncle Harry S. Truman said, "The buck stops here". And this is where this direction has to stop.
Please help me any way you can. Just by spreading the word around our country, we can work together and make a difference.
If Seventh District voters know this information and still opt to vote for Jack Truman, that is their prerogative, but the media should give them the opportunity to at least know about it.
You won't find anything about Truman's film career on his campaign website, nor is it mentioned in the introductory notice he is sending around as a news release to Democratic organizations in southwest Missouri:
My name is Jack Truman. I am the Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in Southwest
Missouri's 7th District. This November, I will be facing incumbent Republican Roy Blunt in the General Election.
I need all the help I can get.
I want to give SW Missouri voters a real choice for change come November. I have a really good feeling about this year. I know if we all work together across the country for a change in Congress, we can make history this fall.
This is conservative farm country. Few Democrats are around here. By winning this primary, I know with the way the times are, if a Democrat is going to win here, this is the time!
The government we currently have sickens me to the bottom of my heart. I think most Americans feel the way I do. We are fed up with Washington. And we need to shake things up, get back to tradition and give this country back to the people! I know if
voters here can get to know me, and know they have a choice for the people, change will happen.
This is a "David vs. Goliath" campaign. Consider these facts:
Roy Blunt, Majority Whip, is the third highest ranking member of Congress
Blunt was Chief of Staff for Tom Delay
Blunt's wife was Finance Director for Republican National Campaign Committee
Blunt's wife is a Lobbyist for Phillip Morris
Phillip Morris is Blunt's biggest campaign contributor
Blunt's wife and son work for a Lobbyist that is run by Blunt's former Chief of Staff
And Blunt's son is Governor of Missouri
I've got my work cut out for me! It's going to be fun being the underdog!
But I need your help. I cannot do this alone.
Being an unknown liberal Democrat, against a strong incumbent in this conservative area, I am not getting any help from my Democratic party. With being a minority, I am not afraid to tell people what I think.
Here are a few of my campaign priorities:
Health and Nutrition for a Better America
Major Changes for Better Education
Bringing Home Our Troops
Ending the War on Terror
National Health Care for Every American
Securing Social Security
Protecting a Women's Right to Choose
Protecting Our Environment
Ending Global Warming
Lowering Gas Prices
Raising the Minimum Wage
Protecting Our Borders
Securing Private Property for Americans
We need someone in Washington for the people. Not for big business. We need to get back to tradition.
Please help me in my fight to give voters a real choice.
You can mail your donation to:
Jack Truman for Congress
P.O. Box 364
Lamar, Missouri 64759
Feel free to contact me anytime. Please help spread the word around the country. Get everyone you can to help. If we work together, we can make a difference.