"Wing of the Democratic Party made up of workingmen and reformers, opposed to monopolies and financial policies that seemed to them antidemocratic and conducive to special privilege. The Locofocos received their name when party regulars turned off the gas lights to oust the radicals from a Tammany Hall nominating meeting. The radicals responded by lighting candles with new matches known as locofocos and nominated their own slate." (From: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9048706 )

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I am husband and father in a family of four, wife Verna, son Thomas, and daughter Jennifer. We've lived in Springfield's 137th District for over ten years at 800 W Calhoun St, and love the Grant Beach area. I was born to a military family, my mother and father met at Ft Leonard Wood. I was born in Ft Hood Texas, and travelled throughout my childhood, with most of my time spent in any one place in the Rolla Mo area. When I completed my own four year hitch with the US Navy, I settled here in Missouri, living in Mt Vernon. I moved into Springfield in 1994 to attend (then) SMSU and stayed, finding our permanent home in the Grant Beach Park area.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Axe Grinding and Rabble Rousers

King James' Bane
Originally uploaded by locofocomoto.
An oft heard refrain in city governments and in government in general, is how little average people are engaged in civics. Zoning meetings can be quite dull, often the only speakers to an individual motion is the person who initiated it. Public forums are lauded a success when a handful of people show up. News photographers often must strategically place their shots to make it look like someone even cares.

What I find disturbing is the recent trend in Springfield’s Various Boards and Committees (VBC’s) to belittle citizen involvement as people with “an axe to grind,” or a group characterized as “rabble rousers.” It seems whenever opposition springs up to a certain position or policy these tags come out. No doubt, that’s probably what King Charles I of England thought of Cromwell and Parliament back in the day.


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