The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2008.02.13 Mellencamp and McCain

Written by David Green.

Musician to senator: no conservative listeners wanted


By RICH FOLEY

It’s early in the year and there is a lot of time left in the presidential race, but I’ve got a contender for the strangest news of the campaign. Did you see the headlines last week concerning John McCain’s use of John Mellencamp’s music during political gatherings?

It seems that Mellencamp and his management are upset about Senator McCain’s campaign using his music since they feel Mellencamp’s beliefs are far different than McCain’s. I didn’t realize that you couldn’t play music by an artist that differs with your political views, but that is apparently the gospel according to Mellencamp. At least, I think that’s what Mellencamp means, even though his publicist’s statement on the matter is a bit confusing.

A recent Associated Press story said that Mellencamp learned that his music was being used at McCain events, prompting a   letter to the Arizona senator’s campaign from Bob Merlis, Mellencamp’s publicist, asking, “Are you sure you want to use his music to promote Senator McCain’s efforts?...Logic says that the facts might prove to be an embarrassment, were they to be circulated widely.”

I’m not quite sure what Merlis is trying to say here. Are the embarrassing facts about Mellencamp’s music or McCain’s campaign? And is he offering to be the one to circulate them widely?

It turns out that Mellencamp was a supporter of former candidate John Edwards and told Merlis that he was “uncomfortable” and “couldn’t imagine McCain would want to be associated with him” when he heard some of his music was being used by the McCain campaign.

Merlis later told the AP, “You know, here’s a guy running around saying, ‘I’m a true conservative.’...Well, if you’re such a true conservative, why are you playing songs that have a very populist pro-labor message written by a guy who would find no argument if you characterized him as left of center?”

What is McCain supposed to do? Check out the political leanings of every recording artist possible and listen to and play music only by those who agree with him? Should any politician have to go through that hassle?

And even if Mellencamp can’t imagine that McCain would want to be associated with him, is it possible that McCain just might be more open-minded than Mellencamp? Is that the embarrassing fact that Merlis didn’t want circulated?

Besides, was it really common knowledge that Mellencamp was such a “left of center” artist with a “very populist pro-labor message?” It wasn’t a big shock to me, but that might come as a surprise to the folks at Chevrolet who paid him big bucks to use his music in commercials. Would a true populist write a song for the commercial use of a giant corporation, then include it on a album and make us common people pay him a second time?

I could be wrong, but I suspect that McCain might not be a fan of Mellencamp’s music in the first place. Someone in his campaign probably chose the music as I’d guess the senator has more important things to do with his time. At least I hope so.

I’d hate to have to go through the Mellencamp test with my own CD collection. There’s quite a few that I’d probably have to get rid of if I could only keep the ones by artists whose politics match mine. I wonder if Merlis would like to buy back a few million or more albums, cassettes and CDs from people who didn’t realize only liberals were allowed to listen?

It’s too bad for McCain that he can’t play the saxophone like Bill Clinton or guitar like Mike Huckabee. Then he could provide his own entertainment at campaign events. I’m not sure how good a guitar player Huckabee really is, but there probably haven’t been any complaints as long as his pal Chuck Norris is around to punch out any music critics.

Maybe McCain will have to settle for a simple name change. Mellencamp has a history of changing his name every few years, so how about McCain changing his? Let me think about this a minute...I think I’ve got it. Senator John “Cougar” McMellencain. Yeah, the thought of that just might make John Mellencamp hurt so good.

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