Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The man behind the mask: fact check, please

Couple of quick thoughts this morning---

In Corey deVera's Sunday piece on our favorite auctioneer, these portions of the Billy Long myth need to be fact-checked.

1. Long went to the University of Missouri-Columbia to study business, but he found college boring and left after three semesters. (dropped out, flunked out, or just didn't go back after Christmas break?)

2. Long wondered if he might have more success auctioning homes, so he went to auction school. (didn't he tell a different story at a function in Neosho earlier this year?)

3. In his off-the-cuff remarks to voters, it wasn't unusual for Long to get so involved in a story he'd be telling that he'd suddenly stop and announce, "Well, now I've lost my train of thought." This from from a guy who:

a. The company was conducting about 200 auctions a year and turning down about 400 requests, he said. In real estate, Long's success grew as he bought a franchise, then merged with another company. He is one-third owner of Murney Associates. (not too shabby for a guy who continually loses "his train of thought." Does anyone else think this is just another rhetorical device Long uses to gain sympathy with his audience?)

b. Long said one key to his success was good mentors, like former Springfield schools superintendent Willard Graff and developers O.T. Gillenwaters and C. Arch Bay. (can anybody talk to these to these guys and verify this or are they all dead?)

4. He first considered running in 1996, but dismissed the idea because he didn't want to raise his daughters --then 10 and 7 --in Washington. (Not every congressman moves to Washington like Roy did.)

5. In the primary, Billy Long won a sound victory against seven Republican opponents, garnering more than 36 percent of the vote. (Was Jack Goodman in this race?

6. "I deal from a positive prospective," he said. "That's one thing about this political world I don't like: all the negative." (Long went negative in the primary.)

7. Asked about talk that he gambles, Long wrote in an e-mail..."It should be obvious that this is not a big part of my life and that it's nothing more to me than a way to relax." Which conveniently eliminated any opportunity for the reporter to ask follow-up questions. Long's gambling is well-documented by casinos and poker player associations.

The Billy Long saga is full of holes.

I keep hearing more and more stories, some of which seem pretty far-fetched, but...


Timeshare Jake said...

More than six out of ten voters did not vote for Billy. Had Nodler and a few others who knew they had no chance of winning dropped out, Billy Long may not be heading to Washington today.

You miss the ultimate example of Long going negative.

The Long campaign made claims in this commercial that went unchecked by the media and claims Long and his goons could not back up.

Anonymous said...

Had they dropped out the original 'limp dish rag' Goodman could have won.

That would have been every bit as bad as sending someone like you to Congress.