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Voters need to become reporters in time for 2012 election

Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:45 am

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

As a reporter, I spend a lot of time reading several media sources every day to make an attempt to stay as current as possible on the latest news.
I use this same approach in attempting to keep up with the 2012 election race and quite frankly its exhausting.
There have been more GOP debates in the past few months than we’ve had Super Bowls over the years and trying to filter through the lies and rhetoric of both parties gets old pretty quickly.
If I’m struggling with it and I’m on the clock, I can only imagine what messages voters are being forced to filter through who have regular jobs and don’t have the time I have to analyze both sides of the aisle in the critical way I do.
This is why I’m encouraging Vandalia Leader readers to take on the mindset of reporters this year when researching the candidates for state and federal elections. With this internet era full of blogs using unfounded sources and people being misled by facts and figures from candidates and their supporters, this is an election where everyone will need to do their homework before coloring in the dot next Tuesday and in November of this year.
Unfortunately, even websites like www.factcheck.org won’t help all the time in analyzing statements from candidates because they either appear slanted or are incomplete. In my opinion, some of the best places to start research is the actual websites of candidates. Can they lie to you on here? Many likely are stretching the truth on their websites but at least their sites let you know what appears to matter most for the candidates, what their platforms are, and their vision for our country.
These websites are a good foundational start for the voter.
After researching their website, the voter must pursue references for some of the facts the candidates, including the President, are claiming. This is a process that takes time most voters don’t have unfortunately.
Next Tuesday, Missouri voters will have the opportunity to pick their favorite candidate in the Presidential Preference Primary Election.
On the GOP ballot, voters will notice that Newt Gingrich will not appear for a primary that has been punished by the national GOP, receiving no delegates. Though Gingrich didn’t sign up for what he calls a “beauty contest,” the primary has the potential to give candidates Rick Santorum (www.ricksantorum.com), and Ron Paul (www.ronpaul2012.com) a needed boost just weeks before Super Tuesday.
The remaining “top tier” candidate is Mitt Romney (www.mittromney.com), who is the favorite to win Missouri. Candidates on the ballot who have dropped out include Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Michele Bachmann.
Gary Johnson is on the Republican ballot but has since dropped out to later join the Libertarian ticket.
Michael Meehan is from St. Louis and makes his living as a landlord who has never held an elected office. His website has since been taken down.
Houston area businessman Keith Drummond is also on the ballot. He has a Facebook page located at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keith-Drummond-for-President/155163581245120.
Many readers might be surprised to find three other challengers in the democratic race with President Barack Obama (http://www.barackobama.com). The websites for these candidates includes Randall Terry (http://www.terryforpresident.com), Darcy G. Richardson (http://www.darcy2012.com), and John Wolfe (http://johnwolfeforamerica.com).
For the Libertarian party, James Orland Ogle III is running. Information on him is located at http://www.usparliament.org/google2012.php.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.