Monday, February 22, 2010

About Last Night...

Usually when I start driving the bus I put Twitter and Facebook up in the background while I work on the bus.

Saturday night was no different. I was searching out variations of "Route 66" by Bobby Troupe when this tweet flashed across the screen:

auctnr1 Great event at Big Cedar - surprising number of Joplin area folks here. All my work in Joplin is starting to bear Fruit - FINALLY!
7:44 PM Feb 20th from mobile web
I read it and just figured Auctnr1 (Billy Long, one of the field of candidates for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives currently held by Roy Blunt, uses Auctnr1 as his twitter name) was having a fund raiser down at Big Cedar. I knew that the Herschends of Herschend Family Entertainment had given Billy some money so it seemed logical that there would be a fund raiser down at Johnny Morris' place on Highway 86.

I continued working on the bus. About 15 minutes later, another Tweet from Auctnr1, this one is telling about a meet and greet downstream from here, down I-44 way at the Panera Bread in Joplin. I guess Sam Hamra ok'ed it. Still, no big deal, just some candidate tweeting on a slow Saturday night.

Then, this tweet from Jack Goodman, also a candidate for the 7th House seat,comes across as a retweet from lucascase:
jackg4congress Enjoying Christian County Republican chili supper. Crowd is more that double last year's attendance. Very encouraging for our future!
5:37 PM Feb 20th from Tweetie
Retweeted by lucascase
This catches my interest. Christian County Republicans are having a chili supper, Jack Goodman is there but Billy Long is down at the Big Cedar at a fund raiser (or so I thought). Were any of the other 7th District candidates at the chili supper? Did Auctnr1 'dis' the Christian County Republicans by not showing up at their doings? Which was on Auctnr1's calendar first, the fund raiser at Big Cedar or the Christian County Republican's chili supper. I thought Auctnr1 figured he'd get more money from the doing's at Big Cedar than he would from the chili supper down in Christian county. But there's voters at that there chili supper who are in his district and a candidate has to show up at these functions if he is to be taken seriously.

Then, 15 minutes later, or about the time it takes to drink a beer or consume a glass of wine, comes another tweet from Auctnr1:
auctnr1 A St. John's Hospital administrator said they could reduce their costs by 60 percent if they could do ONE THING - Collect Their Bills!
8:19 PM Feb 20th from mobile web
My first thought on this tweet was that some administrator from St. John's hospital didn't know Auctnr1 was going to be tweeting the conversation and was saying stuff that probably wasn't run through Mike Peters office.

Oh, it gets better. Sometime between 8:19 and 9:00, Auctnr1, or someone using his twitter account, sends a tweet of just one word: "Jackg4congress".

Well, this suddenly got interesting. Is Auctnr1 endorsing Jack Goodman? Is this a silly prank being played on Jack Goodman by Auctnr1? Was Auctnr1 'just kidding around' with some folks down at the Big Cedar? Did someone steal Auctnr1's blackberry and tweet this without his knowledge?

At 9:00, David Catanese retweeted the Jackg4congress tweet, which I retweeted as did two others:
davecatanese That an endorsement? RT @auctnr1: Jackg4congress
9:00 PM Feb 20th from UberTwitter
Retweeted by you and 2 others
Notice how the tweets are still coming about every 15 minutes, just long enough (no pun intended) to get a drink or see if there is a twitter reaction to your tweet.

A few minutes later, another tweet comes from Aucntnr1. I retweet this one also:
auctnr1 Goodman, Moore, Nodler, Moon & Wisdom were all @ VFW Chili Feed - Thank a Vet & see 'The Messengers' if you can - Support The Troops
about 24 hours ago from mobile web
Retweeted by you
Why is Billy Long tweeting who attended the Christian County Republican Chili Cookout or is it a VFW Chili Feed? I don't know.

But, being a veteran, I am more interested in the second part of his tweet. What does he mean when he says "Thank a Vet"? Did Auctnr1 mean to refer to the movie "The Messenger" instead of "The Messengers"? Support our troops? I suppose that if you are thinking about a VFW chili dinner, you could associate that with Veteran's, and rightfully so.

And, if you are in a sentimental mood, you could get teary eyed thinking about veterans or you could get teary eyed when you suddenly realize or someone points out to you that you missed an opportunity by not being at the Christian County Republican Chili Dinner. So you scramble to deflect the scrutiny from your actions and try to salvage something and hope to get back on message: "Support The Troops". And, remembering a movie you saw at The Moxie that had something to do with soldiers and Irag, well let's throw that in the tweet too. Hey, it was a good movie, and by golly we ought to support our troops!

About 10:30, lucascase tweets about the Christian County Republican doings, and I retweet this tweet also:
lucascase Great chili supper tonight in Christian county. All 7th District candidates were there except Billy Long (@auctnr1) and Michael Wardell.
about 24 hours ago from web
Retweeted by you
Now, I am interested. Why were all the 7th District candidates there except for Billy Long and Michael Wardell? Michael Wardell, it turns out, had to work and couldn't make the chili feed. Did someone in Long's stable (I am pretty sure Jeff Roe is working for Long) make a mistake on the calendar and schedule a fund raiser on the same night as the Christian County Republican Chili feed? Gee, I thought the 7th district was more coordinated than to along something like that to happen. (Remember, I'm still thinking Auctnr1 is having a fundraiser at Big Cedar.)

I go back through the tweets to look again at Auctnr1's tweets of the evening and try to make some sense out of the evening.

Remember that tweet that came through at the beginning of the evening? Sure you do, this one: Great event at Big Cedar - surprising number of Joplin area folks here. All my work in Joplin is starting to bear Fruit - FINALLY!

Well, well, well, look what was posted on Kansas City Craigslist:
Big Cedar 2010 Celebration of Tastes February 19th-20th, 2010 Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized. ~ Andre Simon, "Commonsense of Wine"
The Celebration Of Tastes is an event no wine lover should miss!

The weekend begins with our casual Friday Night Welcome Reception with featured wines from Clos du Bois and Winemaker Erik Olsen. Cooking stations offer a generous selection of hors d'oeuvres carefully chosen to highlight the nuances of each wine. The winemaker himself is present to share his expertise and answer questions, and our culinary team gives more tips on pairing food with wine. (tickets are $95.00 per person) Plus, you'll enjoy a fabulous silent auction. Bid on special vintages, stemware, wine tools, and apparel from the host winery and our own specialty boutique. All proceeds from the auction go to charity*. It's an intimate and exciting event that sets the tone for the weekend.

Saturday brings a full day of activities including culinary demonstrations, wine seminars ($25 per person), and tastings ($45 per person) concluding with our main evening event: The Wine Lovers Reception and Dinner($155.00 per person). This elegant evening starts with hors d'oeuvres and conversation. The multi-course menu that follows is created by our Executive Chef, Andy Hampshire, and his team to pair perfectly with the finest wines of the weekend. Enjoy the magic created when food and wine bring out the best in one another!
The room rent for the villa was $499.00. Dinner was $145.00! Per Person! That's almost $300 for you and the wife! Dang, I've bought trucks at a well advertised auction that ran good that didn't cost $499.00 (10% buyer's premium not included). And you thought he was a populist!

Before I get lost in " the magic created when food and wine bring out the best in one another", let get back to reviewing Auctnr1's tweets of the evening.

In all my searching, I couldn't find the tweet "Jackg4congress". I know it was up there because Catanese saw it and replied to it and I retweeted it. What happened to it? I am sure I wasn't the only person who noticed its absence.

Remember how Peter Kinder put up all those tweets during that "hostage" crisis in Jefferson City late last year "I was first the Tweet it" and deleted them when it turned out to be a false alarm? Did Auctnr1 realize he'd pulled a Kinder and better get rid of that tweet. But you can't delete another person's tweet.

Could it be that Auctnr1 was attempting reply to a Jack Goodman tweet, after all, Goodman's twitter handle is "jackg4congress." But where was the "@" that shows up on a twitter reply? Screen captures of Auctnr1's tweet show no "@".

Could it be that Auctnr1 was attempting to send a private message to Jack Goodman via his twitter account? Some have suggested that Auctnr1 got in the race at the urging of the Blunts. The plan was that Auctnr1 would head off a strong Greene County contender, siphon off money from Nodler and, in doing so, allow the Blunt's candidate (jackg4congress) to sweep the field. But Long went rogue and, despite polls showing high name recognition, he lags behind the other main contenders for the seat.

Could it be that Auctnr1 was planning to play some "dirty tricks" on jack4congress? Remember that Jeff Roe works for Auctnr1. Roe's reputation is well known in Missouri political circles as a purveyor of interesting campaign strategies.

Could it be that Auctnr1 let his fingers do the walking and the tweet went off prematurely?

Who knows, but the fact remains choosing to go to a wine tasting weekend instead of attending a Christian County Republican event with the other candidates from the 7th District fits in with the street buzz going around that, while Auctnr1 is quick with the jib and joke, his platform consists of soundbites and one-liners that don't get much beyond how much he hates Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama. He has his talking points down pat, but if he forgets them or if you ask substantitive questions that require more than a soundbite for an answer, as one would expect at a candidate's forum or a serious interview, he flounders.

Last August, did David Catanese foreshadow Saturday night at the wine tasting when he wrote:
But throughout his humorous and off-the-cuff repertoire, Long has a tendency to make some statements that could come back to haunt him. He mocked the plight of the uninsured ("Get out the crying towel") and claimed that 26 million people under 35 probably don't want health insurance anyway. Claiming that President Obama's healthcare plan might have taken his mother's life back in March of 2008 is also quite a strong charge. It's all done in the loving-aw-shucks Long way, but in a competitive race where a sliver of moderate Republicans could matter, those statements may rub some the wrong way.
To the author of Long is it already has.

*This year’s “Celebration of Tastes” features a Silent Auction Charity Benefit. All proceeds from the auction go to charity which raises the question: does a silent auction need an auctioneer? It is not clear if ticket sales for the other events went to charity.


Timeshare Jake said...

Billy Long is the wrong auctioneer for a silent auction. He's too ready to speak, and Saturday night gets weirder. The general consensus from the readers I have talked to at Long is wrong was Billy Long was doing some liquored up tweeting after too many glasses of wine. I figure it's just a matter of time before it's confirmed.

Timeshare Jake said...

I linked to your post at

Anonymous said...

Billy should hand his vehicle keys and Blackberry to the bartender in exchange for his first cocktail to protect us on the highways and tweetways.

Scott Huminski said...

Police State video,

Sky Girl said... slurring your texts -- "when you are so drunk your texts are unreadable." Is there also slurring your tweets?

Anonymous said...

Now Hitler is mad at Billy Long for Congress.