Thanks, Chuck. You were a big help. It took every one of us true believers, talking to people every day, putting up yard signs and urging people to vote, to get this huge victory. Truly amazing. And the coalition we put together — liberals, conservatives, independents — was one that I hope we can employ in the future, to help our city and county get better and better.
I vowed to be a gracious winner, but a quote in this morning’s KC Star from former Kansas City city manager Robert Kipp threw me over the edge, as least as far as Kipp is concerned.
Explaining the drubbing that he and other Question 1 proponents took yesterday, Kipp — a real, live member of the secretive Civic Council of Greater Kansas City — said:
“In part there was a resistance to taxes. In part there was a subterranean, organized opposition of people with other agendas.”
Whoa! What the ____ ?
Now, if this had not been Bob Kipp — Civic Council member, former Hallmark executive and former city manager — one of the two KC Star reporters who put the story together — Mike Hendricks and Dave Helling — would have immediately asked him:
“What do you mean by subterranean? What agendas are you talking about?”
But, no, one or another of those reporters was in the presence of The Great Bob Kipp, one of our esteemed, unquestioned civic leaders whose contributions to Kansas City are legendary. (Uh, huh.)
…What a lousy loser! Moreover from a guy who lives in LEAWOOD and stupidly contributed $50,000 toward the worst sales-tax proposal in Kansas City and Jackson County history.
I’m not as good a person as you, John…I’ll leave my graciousness behind just one more time regarding the quality of The Star’s reportorial (not editorial) coverage of the Question 1 campaign: Pa-Thetic.
Thanks, Kelvin…It was great working closely with Clinton. He’s brilliant and relentless. As I said at the party last night, on Sunday, at my house, Clinton said, “I don’t want to just beat them; I want to crush them.” That’s the attitude you’ve got to have in a political street fight.
congrats on beating the establishment..no standing on the sidelines..could you come down and help us figure out a way we can keep st.charles county out of st. Louis county/city since they don’t want to buck up for anything, i.e. zoo, museums, arch grounds rehab…
Congrats Jim, on a well run campaign. Your hard work and personal sacrifices are appreciated beyond words. Even though it will take 20 years to recover what you spent on campaigning (from your 1/2 cent tax savings) you hung in there and fought the good fight for all of us. I’m sure that some thanks should also go out to Patti for keeping you on task! Ha Ha!
Now, another thank you for something you maybe didn’t know about. I have always hated politics and refused to vote in the past because I don’t trust politicians. Over the past 2-3 years I have been paying more attention to (and doing a lot of bitching about) politics because it’s just too hard to ignore anymore. The seed was planted when KC slid the Street Car by us in what I would call a crooked campaign due to the limited qualified voters, but you Jim are the guy that sent me running to the library to get registered. So finally at age 41 I am now a registered voter!
So give yourself a big pat on the back for that one. You succeeded where so many others have failed in getting me to register.
P.S. Maybe next time I can be more helpful, but I definitely used my voice on this one and asked everyone I came in contact with to vote this down!
That is a wonderful testament to the power of activism, Jason. I’m a diehard optimist and even think a majority of politicians (or close to it) are honest and trying to do the right thing. I’m thrilled that my dedication to this campaign prompted you to find out all you could about the issue and to get back on the voting rolls.
I think Kansas City and Jackson County governments will take careful note of what happened yesterday: Residents are in no mood to rubber stamp just anything thrown at them. Residents are going to put under a microscope every proposal that comes forward for the next several years, at least.
The combination of a stupid proposal and a third sales-tax election in Kansas City over the last three years pushed voters over the edge. They (like you and I) went to the polls on a mission. Believe me, our elected officials will take heed…Some of our current county legislators might not be around after the next election, either. They outright caved to the special interests.
You did a fantastic job raising awareness about this misguided tax proposal. Your activism played a role in the resounding defeat of this plan. With that said, there were some aspects of the opposition campaign that did not sit well with me. There were several billboards, paid for by some Tea Party guy in St. Louis, that said “Stop the Pigs”. We had so many strong arguments against this tax, I thought that it was totally unnecessary to resort to name-calling. Also, there was a mailing that came to my house on Friday which stated something to the effect that all the Civic Council members lived in Johnson County. True, a healthy percentage of them do live there. But as you reported on your blog, not all of them do as the literature implied. I guess I am a little picky when it comes to wanting things 100 percent accurate, which means that I would never last a day working for a political campaign. With that said, however, I am happy that this tax proposal was defeated.
Thanks, Mike. I really appreciate the compliment. I am very gratified at the way everything went, and totally awe-struck by the resounding margin.
For the record, though, that mailer said, “Corporate CEOs who live in Mission Hills want to raise your taxes.” It doesn’t say “all Civic council members live in Johnson County.” The mailer, in my view, is entirely accurate; many of the major players on the other side live in either Mission Hills or Leawood. The Mission Hills contingent included Don Hall Sr., Don Hall Jr. and Irv Hockaday. When they got as deeply involved in a Jackson County issue as they did on Question 1, they’ve got to expect to be accused of boundary jumping.
I didn’t care for the pigs billboard, either, but is was a small piece of the overall action. The buyer of the boards, a guy named Fred Sauer, appears to be a freelancer. He’s got a right to spend his money any way he likes.
I think you’re still pretty rooted in the balance and fairness rules of journalism; political activism is an entirely different animal. I said many times on the campaign trail that we were in a street fight with wealthy people. Sometimes the blows aren’t all the way above the belt. I kept all my shots above the groin, though.
Somebody definitely needs to turn a watchful eye on the suburban school districts — Independence, Shawnee Mission…follow the money. It’s all good and well to pay attention to the KCMSD, but no one’s watching the larger suburban districts. And there is all manner of funny stuff going on.
I don’t know if you all saw it, but Citizens for Fairness sent out a mailer that included a photo of one of those iron Mission Hills boundary flags, juxtaposed with the words: Corporate CEOS who live in Mission Hills want to raise your taxes!”
We rammed the Kansas connection right down their throats, It doesn’t irk me any more.
Only The Examiner, the KC Hispanic News and a representative of an obscure blog (not mine) showed up for my one and only news conference — back in August when I urged the Civic Council to take a different approach — so I think that calling a news conference would be a waste of time.
…I guess my secret agenda will remain secret for the foreseeable future. But next time we have lunch, I’ll give you and G. Fred the inside scoop!
I also want to thank you, Fitz, for reaching out to me about this issue. I hadn’t been paying much attention at first, but it was something that I felt I needed to get involved with in order to stay true to the social-work code of ethics.
After I wrote my blog post and Examiner piece about the reasons I couldn’t support the tax, many people here in Independence told me I had swayed them. They were on the fence because it didn’t feel right to vote against “curing cancer.”
I probably would never have written about that if it weren’t for you, Fitz. Thanks!
I knew that Linda Vogel Smith of the League of Women Voters had a big impact on you when she talked about the regressive nature of the tax. then, you turned around and influenced dozens of others, partly with the great quote that is still up on my stopabadcure.org website:
“I live around so many people who literally could not afford to spend $5 more a month.”
It was powerful, first-hand testament as to how the tax would affect real, struggling people.
The postcards ramming the Kansas connection down the Civic Council’s throats was designed by a conservative Republican consultant from Kansaswho has been battling the corrupt political elements of eastern Johnson County for quite some time.
I thought it was an East Jack guy who designed that, John, but your source is probably better than mine (who I don’t even remember)…I’m talking about the one that featured, on the right side of the mailer, the black and silver, iron flag of Mission Hills. Is that the one you’re talking about…or maybe you just heard about it?