Monday, December 03, 2007

Trouble with the Treasurer

If you're coming here for inside skinny on Funkhouser's appointment of Gloria to serve as Campaign Treasurer, I'm sorely lacking. But the facts on the table are sufficient to spark some thoughts.

This is another classic Funkhouser dust-up. I am completely capable of arguing that this is no big deal. It's not, really. The campaign treasurer position is highly public, and, as Mark mentioned in the Star's article, people will have the opportunity to examine every detail of every transaction. Also, it's a stop-gap, temporary thing, during a time when the campaign isn't going to be raising or spending much money at all. No big deal. No blood, no foul. Sure, it looks a little bad, but don't be ridiculous - nothing bad is going to happen.

And, really, the people screaming loudest are performing their typical roles. Some hysterical commenter has started shouting about racketeering, and claiming that Funk has contempt for the people of Kansas City. It's tempting to argue in favor of the decision solely to poke the easy holes in the logic and language of commenters like those, and to distance myself from their sloppy, strident silliness.

My ego enjoys the sport of swatting fools (it's so darned easy!), and my stubbornness inclines me to launch the best valid defense available - which is, as argued above, that it's no big deal.

So, it's all laid out in front of us, and we all know our appointed roles. I'll be cool and logical and perhaps a bit defensive, and a few commenters (you know who you are) will be all over the place, making unsubstantiated claims and crazy leaps in logic. If that's what you came here for, I've laid it out already above, so have at it.

But I'm having some difficulty playing my part this time with any sincerity. Maybe it's a cold coming on. Maybe it's the sense of deja vu. Maybe, even though I am fully capable of explaining it away, the appearance of this particular problem is just a little too jarring for my explanation to bring me complete satisfaction. Really, if a good man like Evert Asjes resigns because of problems with payments involving Gloria, replacing him with Gloria might not be the best solution.

Surely there ought to be somebody, anybody, else. If Jeff Simon (the deputy treasurer, and one of the most ethical and clear thinking people in the city) was too busy with his work and family, they ought to have been able to find someone else. It concerns me deeply that there's nobody else around to step in.

But I've seen the damage done by the harping and attacking by the constant critics. It seems like the Funkhousers are relying only on each other. In her gossip column interview, Gloria said "What my husband lacks, I make up for," and asked "where do I begin and Funk ends?" I notice an absence there - an absence of other people. The "kitchen cabinet" hasn't met for a while, and has no meetings scheduled. If rumors are true, good, old friends are alienated. While it's understandable to circle the wagons when under attack by constant, thoughtless, unfair, vicious critics, but it seems like we're headed toward having only one wagon, and only two people on it.

I appreciate the motivation behind Gloria's involvement. I don't think it's bad that she plays a role in the Mayor's office. The Mayor's office is not a one-person shop. Unfortunately, it's not a two-person job, either. It's a team job, just like the campaign was. It's time to start bringing in some new people, or reconnecting with old people.

Appointing Gloria to be campaign treasurer looks bad, though I can argue that it's not. But allowing your circle to shrink so small that you have to turn to Gloria is bad, and has me deeply concerned.



Blogger Heidi said...

My favorite sentence in this post: "Really, if a good man like Evert Asjes resigns because of problems with payments involving Gloria, replacing him with Gloria might not be the best solution."

I don't have anything against Gloria. But I am concerned about the scope of the role she is playing in the office. When problems do arise, how do you deal with firing or addressing issues with a "volunteer" who is the spouse? It creates a potentially highly uncomfortable situation for many. (Probably part of the rationale behind nepotism policies, eh?)

I don't envy anyone working in that office, and I say that as someone who campaigned for him. I wish he'd accept that he chose to run for a job as a politician and start paying attention to how to do it well so we could get on with more important things. I'm pretty disappointed with how clueless he's chosen to be so far.

12/03/2007 8:27 PM  
Anonymous arewethereyet said...

It was hard for me to pull away from supporting a man I admired for many years. He was a damn good city auditor. But he morphed into someone I do not understand anymore. I miss the old Mark. I want the old Mark back.

12/03/2007 9:08 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Keep an open mind, arewethereyet. He's smart, he's driven, and he's deadly serious about making this city work better. He'll get this stuff fixed.

12/03/2007 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan this is not working. She is hurting Mark not helping him. You have the ability to tell both of them. We can no longer pretend like nothing is wrong or that it is everyone else is crazy. I know this is tough on you.

12/03/2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Judge Judy III said...

Good post Dan.

Appointing Gloria to be campaign treasurer looks bad

Exactly, even if they aren't "racketeering" or doing anything wrong, it still looks bad and goes against the spirit of what Mark campaigned on. That is the point a lot of folks have been trying to make for a while.

So what is your advice for Mark?

12/03/2007 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Gloria doesn't want to be treasurer I have some appointees who would like to serve as treasurer and they are:

*Carol Coe
*Bob Griffin
*Jim Vaughn
*Tony from TKC

12/03/2007 11:35 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

There is a fundamental fact of life that is probably truer in politics than anywhere else.

"Sometimes, perceptions are more important than reality."

Even if you are doing everything completely right and above board, a persistent perception that you are corrupt can cripple you.

Mark and Gloria seem to be completely oblivious to this. They keep stumbling and handing their critics easy fodder.

When it comes to the ancient political skill of managing perceptions, they may be the two most inept people on the planet.

In the end, it almost doesn't matter how good a job you do. If the perception is "You suck", then, you suck.

12/04/2007 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I agree that there is a perception that the mayor is "corrupt." Rather, I think the perception AND the reality are that he is a good and capable person who is simply tone deaf politically. Unfortunately, if he doesn't quickly gain some political skills or begin surrounding himself with people who can effectively advise him in this regard, his term is going to be marred by stumble after stumble. That's bad for all of us, no matter who we voted for.

12/04/2007 9:53 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

If you people give in on this you will simply be handing a victory to the mexicans who are stirring this pot.

Defend Funkhouser! He stood up to THE RACE and the NAACOLOREDP on our behalf. He deserves our loyalty now. Don't you people know how to fight when someone who has looked out for our interests is in trouble?

12/04/2007 10:09 AM  
Anonymous arewethereyet said...

I keep an open mind. I did not do so when I cringed at the screw-ups by Mark and made attempts with the reporters whom I know to soften the story. But the facts kept coming. I will not ignore the truth. I made attempts to get Mark to see the current reality. He was like the guy Toby in West Wing -- "they will like us when we win" No they won't. Our memories are long and our outside activities short. This is the town that came up with Happy Meals, haunted houses. We are so bored that in the eighties laser shows played on and on. SS-dem speaks for a lot of Kansas Citians. Those that are malleable to the latest GOP wedge issue. I will tone down. Mainly because I have Funk Fatigue. And there is still some hope that Mark will wake up. No, he is not brilliant, but he is smart. Will he be smart enough to do right?

12/04/2007 11:34 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

I agree 100% with everything anon 9:53 wrote. Given the stated goal of improving city services, I certainly want Funk to succeed.

Moving forward, I hope he gains the advisors and skills he needs. Looking back, I wonder how surprised we should be that this is where we are at. The man ran as an anti-politician. The KC Star fellated him as an anti-politician. And now that he's been elected -- look, Ma! No political skills! I can see how from his perspective he may be thinking - this is what people elected me to do, why should I change?

I want Funk to do better, because I love my city. I also want voters to consider the idea that highly effective politicians have an appreciation for politics - they don't hate it.

12/04/2007 12:04 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Sophia, I largely agree with your views, especially your last sentence.

Funk set the tone of his administration when he said, in his inaugural speech,

"they decided not to make me city manager, and look where I am now!".

It's very unfortunate.

12/04/2007 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wah, wah, wah, what a bunch of losers. Dan, you worry that Funk is isolated - and you might be right, I don't know. But wringing your hands and joining in with Henny-Pennys like Mainstream is ridiculous.

Perhaps I'm being a little harsher than you deserve - your 9:11 comment sounds like you're still on board.

Arewethereyet - SSide speaks for nobody except a neo-nazi racist sleeper group in Holt's Summit. I have no idea what you mean, though, by talking about laser light shows in the 1980s. Arewestonedyet?

Sophia and Anonymous 9:53 - it's a relief to see intelligent people commenting here. I agree that Mark needs to do better at politics, and I believe he's smart enough and dedicated enough to do it. He's had that vicious weasel Glorioso sniping at him and planting negative stories. Even if you think he's paranoid, he certainly does have people out to get him.

Mainstream - what's so unfortunate? Seems to me he's doing a great substantive job, but he's losing a few style points. We have a TIF policy, we're handling the GSA well, and we're focusing on city services. We may even get a contract to bring Cauthen in line with the City's priorities. I like it!

I don't blame you, Dan, for being frustrated by this decision, and being concerned about his ability to draw input from varied sources. But I'd still rather have him than Barnes, Gloria/Miller instead of Glorioso, and Semler rather than Kristl. Keep the faith!

12/04/2007 2:37 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Anon at 2:37,

You said it all. Keep the faith!

And you still think Glorioso is out to get you. Amazing.

I've got news for you 2:37, given the behavior in office of the Shoe-less Wonder and Funk, there are a lot more people than Glorioso out to get him.

But keep on ignoring the criticism - ignore everything because Funk and the Shoe-less Wonder and Joe Miller know best, they don't need anybody else, right?

(here's a little secret, it looks like Mark doesn't HAVE anybody else - he's alienated most reasonable, credible people. Hmmm, Jeff Simon hasn't uttered a word in defense of Funk, and Evert has abandoned ship, and Ed Wolf is just about out the door.)

Guess what, most people don't agree that Mark and the Shoe-less One and Joe Miller know best.

Keep up the good work and the faith anon at 2:37!!!!

Keep telling Funk he's doing just great!!!

Keep telling him not to change anything!!!

And we can all watch this administration sink deeper and eeper into isolation in ineffectiveness.

12/04/2007 2:59 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Sorry, at the end I meant to say

"deeper and deeper into isolation and ineffectiveness".

1,000 apologies. I'm really trying to work on my typing and proofreading.

12/04/2007 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mainstream - You deserve your reputation as the worst commentator in KC.

1. Glorioso was recently outed by Nick Haines for continuing his attacks. Keep up with the news, bonehead.

2. "keep on ignoring the criticism - ignore everything because Funk and the Shoe-less Wonder and Joe Miller know best, they don't need anybody else, right?" No. Read what I wrote. "I agree that Mark needs to do better at politics . . ." "I don't blame you, Dan, for being frustrated by this decision, and being concerned about his ability to draw input from varied sources." Does that sound like ignoring criticism? The only ignoring going on here is your ignoring what was written.

What is it with you, Mainstream? You always do this. Someone posts something that disagrees with you, in whole or in part, and you go crazy, making stuff up and imagining arguments that aren't there. Seriously. Are you drinking? Do you not care about rational discussion? Do you think that bomb-throwing is better and more important than actually addressing real concerns?

12/04/2007 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

It's good to see that I am not the only Funk supporter who is already tired of watching my vote go down the toilet.

Look, Mark may be a nice guy. But truth is that although I supported him and walked for him, honestly since election day he has turned into a real prick. The fact is that Gloria is on a power trip and combine that with her inner racist coming out and it's definite that she has ruined, not is ruining, HAS RUINED Mark's now one term in office. It sucks to say this, but we can only expect more embarrassments on their behalf.

Heidi hit the nail on the head on her 8:27pm post. I understand your support Dan, as I gave mine. But "keep an open mind" is out the window. I love my city and will not keep saying "maybe it will change" when I know that it won't as long as Gloria remains in that office and he keeps his completely arrogent and less than impressive staff.

12/04/2007 4:49 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Ben, very well said.

I couldn't be more disappointed, as well. Apparently we're seeing how Funk and the Shoel-less One really operate.

A mentor of mine once said,

"power sometimes corrupts, but it always reveals."

12/04/2007 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, jeez. Mainstream had a "mentor"? Was that the same person who taught you to continue frivolous attacks, even after admitting they are frivolous?

If your "mentor" was worth a shit (which I kind of doubt), he must be horrible disappointed in his protege.

12/04/2007 5:08 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

My mentor also said that it's easier to lie than to find the truth. Why should I care what you think of me, when I don't attach my name to my postings? Attack and then hide. My mentor was Viet Cong.

12/04/2007 5:14 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

To be clear, I'm still very much on board with Funkhouser, though I think the appointment of Gloria as campaign treasurer is a mistake.

If any of us were held to a "no mistakes" standard, we would fail.

12/04/2007 6:27 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Obviously that wasn't me comenting above at 5:14.

12/04/2007 7:32 PM  
Anonymous arewethereyet said...

Yes, we would fail that "no mistakes" test. But most of us would learn and try to do better..*sigh*. What did come out was the divisiveness in KC as expressed by SS-dem. These are the people that Mark embraced when his staff said 95% of the contacts to his office about Semler were positive. They were positively filled with vitriol.
PS: no longer stoned, I learned and moved on!

12/04/2007 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Mainstream said...

Obveously that wasn't me commenting above at 7:32. I wood have had some tipos if it was mee.

12/04/2007 7:54 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

When are you mean-sprited overly defensive entremist Funk supporters going to quit bullying nice, genuine people who may disagree with you?

Shame on you.

That's a very good point, arewethereyet.

Given everything that I've observed, Funk has nothing to learn from Kansas City, it's really the other way around.

Cases in point: how his town hall meetings are run - 15+ minute lecture followed by people talking, with no organized way of capturing and acting on the community concerns voiced. And The lectures aren't targeted at the community he's in.

Another point is light rail. He, against every other vote (12 of 'em) on City Council, is against light rail in Kansas City. Voter's approved a specific Kansas City light rail plan, which needed to be amended. Funk is not saying "I'll follow the direction of your approved ballot initiative and implement a Kansas City light rail plan, but the end result should be we have to come up with a regional plan". Which would make sense.

Funk is saying NO to the intent of the voters. It's not qualified, it is a very clear statement by him "that I know better than all of you". We don't need a Kansas City rail plan (which was what was approved) we need something totally different, a regional plan.

Unfortunately Funk has demonstrated he wasn't elected to take advice.

Sorry that's off point, I do have a bit say about the treasurer issue.


And anon, at 5:08, keep up the character assaults. You can't possibly offend me.

This is a blog. Do you get that?

12/04/2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

There you go again, Mainstream, making things up . . .

The problem is, I can't be sure that everyone views everything you write with the same awareness that you are an absolute, audacious, irredeemable liar. If I could be sure of that, I would simply ignore you, but you make factual assertions such that if somebody did not know better, they might actually believe your flat-out lies.

You say: "He, against every other vote (12 of 'em) on City Council, is against light rail in Kansas City." Fact is, Mark is 100% on board for light rail in Kansas City. In fact, today Mark sent out a newsletter including the following: "The Council and I remain committed to building light rail in Kansas City, and we pledged to put a better plan to the voters by the end of 2008."

Mainstream, you are a liar, and that is a shameful thing.

I'll join in the anonymous commenter of 3:34: "hat is it with you, Mainstream? You always do this. Someone posts something that disagrees with you, in whole or in part, and you go crazy, making stuff up and imagining arguments that aren't there. Seriously. Are you drinking? Do you not care about rational discussion? Do you think that bomb-throwing is better and more important than actually addressing real concerns?"

Seriously, please think about this. What motivates you to lie? Do you think that you will wear me down such that I won't respond to your fabrications, and people might actually fall for your lies? Is that what you really want, to deceive the public?

I just don't get it . . .

12/04/2007 8:13 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

You know along with the hateful attacks on Mainstream (and the fact that someone learned that they can pose as other people on blogs), one can learn an important lesson by reading this exchange.

Funk's problems are not being driven by former Alvin Brooks supporters who "won't give up."

That was a favorite early accusation by Funk's Kool Aid Corp, which has been proved inaccurate as time goes on.

The distress expressed on this thread of comments reflects the feelings of people who supported Funk in the election.

Just something to think about. Or more accurately, something for Funk to think about.

PS Good to see The Paintman is cross-dressing; however, he will have to depend on liberals to defend his right to do it. That just might kill him.

12/04/2007 8:28 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Deceiving the public, lying?

Take a deep breath Dan.

Funk is working to put a REGIONAL LIGHT RAIL PLAN on the ballot in November.

A REGIONAL LIGHT RAIL PLAN is not a Kansas City, MO-only light rail plan. It's not a starter line going from the Plaza to the Northland.

There's a $4B and 15 year difference between the two. Oh, and the objectives are different. Oh, and Kansas City-only plan is what was voted and approved (not even close to a regional plan) last year.

It's not a regional light rail system going from the zoo to the airport. It’s not a regional system they’re currently designing with the Citizen’s task force, it’s a starter line.

And did I say there’s a $B, 15 year difference minimum between the two plans?

The proposal that was voted and approved was a proposal to bring light rail to Kansas City, not the region.


That vote didn't happen last year.

Funk held a press conference with 5 mayors promoting a regional plan, which is totally different than what voters approved. In his news letters he’s promoting a regional system.

A regional system requires voter approval from all the jurisdictions involved, which all experts agree is a pipe dream by November.

A Kansas City –only light rail starter line plan is available right now (with more work needed) and can be and will be approved by voters in Kansas City this year.

Do you understand the enormity of he difference??

You obviously don't understand the light rail issue, and the differences between a regional plan and a starter route.

But that appears to be typical of you Dan - call all of Funk's critics liars.

That's becoming your Mode of Operation.

I’m not going to say anything more, because you’re obviously stressed out about the Funk, Gloria or some other issue.

But you had better do one thing, pal, explain to me why I’m lying in any part or all of this.

Oh, and ask anybody else that's knowledgeable about this issue, Ask them how significant the difference is between a starter light rail plan and a regional light rail plan.

This has been debated publicly for years.

12/04/2007 8:42 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Porchpundit -

I don't hate Mainstream, but I don't understand why he behaves the way he does. He lies, as proven here. He engages in frivolous attacks, as proven a couple threads ago. He's been reckless in his personal attacks on me, as he has acknowledged. I seriously don't understand where he's coming from.

I agree that not all of, or even most of, the attacks are driven by Glorioso, though, clearly, he has been doing his best to foster them. That's a fact. Personally, I hope he focuses his attention on defeating "fly-boy" Graves, but he seems to have a twisted obsession with Funkhouser. You did see the report by Nick Haines, didn't you?

Remember, this thread was started by my post criticizing Funkhouser's decision in this matter.

12/04/2007 8:43 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Dan, I want you to explain exactly how I lied on the light rail issue.

Apparently there's a lot you don't undertand.

12/04/2007 8:50 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream -

I caught you lying. You claimed he's against light rail in Kansas City, and I produced a quotation from him TODAY demonstrating support for light rail in KC.

You can slice and dice and make stuff up again, but YOU GOT CAUGHT LYING.

Now you claim that I'm calling all Funk's critics liars. Guess what - that's a lie. A LIE! I'm calling you a liar, because I caught you lying. It's really pretty simple. You continue to lie, so I call you a liar.

And I don't understand why you want to do that.

Now, you want to act like you know more than I do about light rail in KC. You don't. Or, if you do, you certainly haven't shown it.

Do you understand that the plan approved by the voters included a line from the zoo to the airport? Do you understand that a regional plan includes light rail in Kansas City? Do you understand that there are real differences between street cars and light rail?

I'll answer for you. Of course you do. I know you do.

So why try to confuse the issue? Why make up the LIE that Mark is against light rail in Kansas City?

I don't even disagree with you that the challenge of a regional plan is bigger than the challenge of a starter line. You say it's a pipe dream, but I disagree (without calling you a liar on it - I can respect differences of opinion). I think if we can get something through the KS legislature, that changes a lot. I saw Joe Reardon this week, and he expressed his enthusiastic approval of a regional plan.

Maybe it won't work. But why not give it a try? Why not start out with a regional plan, rather than a "starter" line that might not start a damned thing? Neither plan, I should point out, has been approved by the voters . . .

I respect your disagreement with me on the decision to invest a few months in seeking a regional plan. But I don't respect your lying. Not one bit.

You claimed that Mark is against light rail in Kansas City. You lied. If that's a hateful attack on you, well, I respect your right to believe it's a hateful attack.

To me, it seems like I'm standing up for the truth.

12/04/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Mainstream said...

Okay, so I claimed that Mark is against light rail in Kansas City, but you showed he's not. If you want to call that a lie, fine. I think it's just a case where my truth did not agree with the facts.

12/04/2007 9:04 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Holy cow, Mainstream, you even lied when you wrote "I’m not going to say anything more", and then came back with two more posts!

Have you no shame?

12/04/2007 9:07 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Good point Dan *rolls his eyes*

If you asked me for an affordable car I could pay cash for and drive off the lot today for $5,000, and then I came back with a $20,000 car that needed to be ordered from the factory that I know nothing about, that may take two years, would you say I was honoring your wishes?

That's the situation we have here.

Dan, what I originally and still do contend is that Funk is overriding the will of the people, as expressed in the ballot initiative last year, by only promoting a regional plan.

Dan, you're twisting the truth. And YOU'RE lying. Actually it's worse.

It's a pathetic attempt to spin a very bad situation. Get some sleep Dan.

You're inane argument is that Kansas City light rail would be a component of any regional plan.

That's an insane rationalization of Funk honoring the will of the people.

That's where the things in common stop. This is like comparing apples to oranges.

(That's like saying in my first paragraph in this comment "hey, I'm giving you a car!")

Here’s the short answer: because of the differences between the two – including but not limited to funding requirements, functionality, timeframe and total cost-- are so dramatically different no one can conclude they are even remotely equivalent alternatives.

Before you waste your time reading my comments here - just talk to people who are knowledgeable about the issue, talk with people that voted for light rail last year!

People didn't vote on or for a regional plan.

FACT: the voters approved an unworkable KANSAS CITY ONLY light rail plan.

FACT: This unworkable plan is being modified by the Citizen's Task Force into a starter route, to be voted on this year and be implemented with 3 years (est).

FACT: The vast majority of councilpeople (pretty much all accept Funk) have said publicly that they are supporting this starter route because it honors the voter-approved ballot initiative.

FACT: This light rail starter route will cost in the neighborhood of $400-$500M or thereabouts, and can be self-funded or jointly funded with federal and other sources.

FACT: This route will go from the Plaza north across the river to about I29 or so, and have a leg east on one of three routes.

FACT: This is the interpretation of the will of the poeple as they voted last year by the vast majority of the city council and the ATA Citizen's Task Force.

FACT: Funk does not want this plan. he wants something else. A regional plan. A regional plan is different because:

- many more jurisdictions are involved that need to approve it by ballot initiaive
- vastly greater funding, in the billions of additional dollars
-vastly different timeline for implementation
- a new regional planning process and cooperation that doesn't exist

FACT: Because f these differences and more the funding requirements, functionality, timeframe and total cost are so dramatically different that no one can conclude they are even remotely equivalent alternatives.

Again, you need only ask someone at the ATA, or someone on the Citizen's Task Force about the differences between the two approaches.

Any facts I have wrong, Dan??

Oh, and read the first paragraph again.

12/04/2007 9:37 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

I have always thought -- yes, this is my opinion, no claim of inside info -- that Mark was FOR a light rail plan that had no political chance of passing -- regional, which leads me to believe that Mark is AGAINST light rail but wants to find a way to say he is for it.

I hope this does not make me a liar, because I am clearly stating that I am stating my opinion.

12/04/2007 9:47 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


Let's review: FACT: You say: "He, against every other vote (12 of 'em) on City Council, is against light rail in Kansas City." Fact is, Mark is 100% on board for light rail in Kansas City. In fact, today Mark sent out a newsletter including the following: "The Council and I remain committed to building light rail in Kansas City, and we pledged to put a better plan to the voters by the end of 2008."

FACT: You: "I’m not going to say anything more" - followed by three posts.

FACT: You're a liar.

Go away.

12/04/2007 9:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


No, you're not lying. I welcome your disagreement, as long as you're not making outright statements of non-fact.

Here's where I think you're wrong. Mark is going to take a shot at getting regional funding. I think we can all agree that a regional plan would be better, if we can get it to work.

So, Mark wants to give it a shot. If, by November, it doesn't fly, then we need to have another, workable, real plan to approve. Simple enough.

There's no secret plan here - indeed, this whole thread exists because Mark's not a smooth, subtle politician.

12/04/2007 9:58 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Note: 9:04 pm comment wasn't by me.

The problem with you Dan, is that you are under so much fire for your Funk & Gloria advocacy that you've lost the persspctive that two people can look at the same facts and arrive at different conclusions.

That's a shame.

You see Dan, you don't know what you're talking about, it's clear from your comments.

And you refuse to recognize my points, or dipute any of my facts, instead relying on childish games of rhetoric and game-saying.

So I'll restate it once again, in a different way:

Supporting a regional plan will destroy the short term prospects for a starter line in Kansas City only.

People voted for a doable Kansas City-only light rail plan.

A regional line has no prospects for success in the several-year short term (accoprding to experts), and definitely not by this November.

The voters approved a Kansas City only light rail plan. A regional plan is far different than a kansas city starter route, as I have demonstrated here with FACTS.

Unlike you, Dan.

I hate to break this to you, but I'm going to win this argument.

Right this very minute as I type I'm seeing in my peripheral vision on my desk a binder entitled "Citizen's Task Force Recommendations (November 6, 2007)".

I'm reasonably well-informed on this issue.

This issue has been debated and argued for years - because the differences between regional and starter routes are so significant....

But don't listen to me, talk to the experts. But until you do, I think I've demontrated I'm certainly not lying.

I think you've demontrated, well, something else, I guess....

I'm not going away, and you're going to have to block this commenter if you don't want to hear a well-reasoned viewpoint.

Go ahead. I dare you.

12/04/2007 10:03 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

And note: If Funk wanted to assure light rail in Kansas City, and a light rail starter route as a component of a regional system, that would be fine.

But that's not what he's doing.

12/04/2007 10:06 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Did the voters vote for a doable plan? No, they didn't.

Don't worry, son, I don't block commenters, as you well know, from back when you richly deserved it.

But, having shown them to be liars at least three times in one thread, I do myself the favor of ignoring them.

12/04/2007 10:07 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...


Take a look at Prime Buzz right now. Oddly enough, the lead post right now is is about former Funkhouser for Mayor Campaign Treasurer Asjes standing up to some developers who are trying to raid the public purse, in my opinion.

Asjes is quoted as saying:

“You don’t need tax abatements to do apartments on the Plaza,” Asjes said. “There’s a new sheriff in town and this is the stuff he’s talking about.”

It is sad that Evert was the first insider forced out and then replaced by Gloria. Gloria has added confusion to Funk's Administration. In that confusion the new Sheriff cannot shoot straight.

Evert is still providing the example of what people voted for when they voted for Funk -- except for some bigot votes, but I will let that one go for right now. ;-)

In my opinion, we need more Evert and much less Gloria.

12/04/2007 10:09 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...


Funk said: "The Council and I remain committed to building light rail in Kansas City, and we pledged to put a better plan to the voters by the end of 2008."

Here's the FACT: Funk was referring to a regional plan, and EVERYBODY ELSE was referring to a starter route.

You conveniently omitted that.


I guess that's not lying.

12/04/2007 10:10 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Porchpundit -

Remember that Evert is there because of Funk. That said, I agree that he is a fine person who I'm glad is there. And I'll even agree that I hope Mark continues to listen to him.

12/04/2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream: ignored.

12/04/2007 10:17 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Actually Dan I will quibble and say FUNK is there because of Evert but I understand and agree with your point -- but why does it take this long for a statement by an appointee to a minor but important body to get to the gist of Funk's candidacy. The Mayor should have been out there saying this at neighborhood meetings -- AFTER 5:30 PM so people who work for a living can attend.

While the rest of the Inner Circle seems tied up trying to defend a woman who has no role in the Mayor's office and has shown no common sense, Evert has kept his eye on the ball -- and had to resign in response Gloria's actions (without commenting on intent), as reported in The Star.

Gloria needs to go.

I will give Funk another chance if they drop the Pro-Counsel act.

After all, Caligula's Pro-Counsel was his horse and it did not work out well for Rome.

12/04/2007 10:25 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

lol, Dan, let's talk credibility. You're the one defending The Shoeless Contessa. Even when you you attempt to say you disagree with the treasurer's move, the best you can say is a half-hearted

"Appointing Gloria to be campaign treasurer looks bad, though I can argue that it's not."

Are you under her spell now, too? That is some insane influence you're under to go to the lengths you do to protect what is perhaps the largest case of nepotism we've had in a long while here in KC.

12/04/2007 10:25 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Porchpundit -

Evert's not out of Mark's earshot, I am sure. If you review what I wrote in the original post here, I think you'll see we have a lot more agreement than disagreement.

12/04/2007 10:31 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Dan I know that, but you will not say it and until confidants say it nothing will happen.

Here's to Caligula's Horse.

Thanks for the Blog.

12/04/2007 10:33 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

If there is one phrase I am beyond sick of hearing more than "regular folks" (which should have died after the campaign), it is any "shoeless" reference from rabidly anti-Gloria foot fetishist commenters on blogs.

12/04/2007 11:39 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Point well-taken.

12/04/2007 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Dan I am glad to see you call this as well as the one wagon mentality a mistake. However, as we were both foot soldiers for Mark, I must say that your comment on the "no mistake standard" bothers me.

Nobody is holding Mark to a "no mistake standard". You may jump to that conclusion for some people, but the fact is that he has already screwed up time after time again. I busted my butt for the guy and he has continously let me down with the obvious lack of common sense on the part of his office aka Gloria. Not to mention he, Gloria, and his staff have turned into complete arrogent jerks since taking office.

Look the problem is obvious. Gloria has no business running the show and his staff is at best cluelessly less than impressive.

If he is using his brain he will immediately and drastically change Gloria's role in that office and will immediately seek qualified and experienced individuals to fill the positions on his staff. Likewise, he will abandon the arrogent, elitest, isolationist mentality and actually start acting like he cares about all communities and this city. However, it's obvious that in the end Mark is dependent on Gloria for decision making and gives her majority say.

12/05/2007 1:18 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ben -

I agree with your criticism of my use of a "no mistake standard". Even Mark (and Gloria) would agree that mistakes (plural) have been made.

12/05/2007 6:49 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

Urinestream you are a bum. If I ruled the world there would be licenses for computers and you would be the first have yours revoked. You are either on acid or crazy.

Dan you have to get tough with these bums. Funkhouser is doing everything he can to protect OUR interests. I would not have believed it until he stood up for Frances Semler. He is a tough guy and he deserves a more spirited defense than what you are putting forward.

12/05/2007 8:59 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

I have always thought -- yes, this is my opinion, no claim of inside info -- that Mark was FOR a light rail plan that had no political chance of passing -- regional, which leads me to believe that Mark is AGAINST light rail but wants to find a way to say he is for it.


I can't imagine what evidence you have that Funk is capable of that basic level of political maneuvering. I believe he sincerely wants a regional plan because he believes it is the best thing for the metro community, environmentally and economically. He genuinely doesn't get that Johnson County voters will never approve a plan that makes it easy for poorer residents of Jackson County to get to JoCo. It was obvious, to me at least, during the campaign that Funk is blind to the regional dynamic of competition and hostility between the metro counties. It's like the joke about the economists trapped on an island with a can of food, trying to figure out how to get it open, and one of the guys says "assume we have a can opener."


I think you and Dan are talking past each other. I got what you meant when you said Funk is opposed to light rail in KC, but what you actually wrote needed a few more words in it to be perfectly clear, and that's what Dan was hammering on. I don't think you lied, but I can see how Dan read it the way he did and why he'd be concerned that others would read it the same way.

However, it's obvious that in the end Mark is dependent on Gloria for decision making and gives her majority say.


I think this is what concerns me most. It is blindingly obvious that Gloria needs to be less involved at the Mayor's office in order for Funk to maximize his potential. I've never met the Mayor or his wife, but by virtue of Gloria's public statements I feel I know more about their marriage than I'd like. And from what I know, is it even possible for her to back off? Is it possible for him to ask? Can anyone convince her that she's hurting him, and in turn, the "regular folks" who just want a competently run government? I've long assumed that, being an intelligent man who wants to succeed, Funk would come around and do the things that need to be done. But now I'm not so sure. If the choice is between being a successful mayor and keeping his wife happy, I think he keeps the wife happy.

12/05/2007 12:09 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Sophia, your question to me is fair enough and I would just say that Funk is not a political neophyte.

He fought bureaucratic politics in City Hall quite effectively for 18 years. He managed to run as an outsider after being the ultimate insider. Besides, I am sure the Mr. Nutter, who is familiar with base political maneuvering, has the direct number to Mark's fancy phone AND Funk's attention.

That said, I was offering speculation and identified it as such as I am sure you know.

Now, turn the question around. What evidence to you have to demonstrate that Funk is not capable of that basic level of political maneuvering?

I like your comments Sophia.

12/05/2007 1:24 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I agree Sophia, and you perceived my point the way I intended.

My comment needed more clarification, and was unfortunately taken out of context by Dan.

I appreciate your thoughts.

12/05/2007 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Sophia I couldn't have summed it up better. You hit every point I was trying to make. Your questions were right on and your criticism is 100% shared by me. Great job. I would be interested to see Dan's view of your comment.

12/06/2007 1:22 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ben - Sophia has become one of the best and most insightful commenters here. Specifically in response to her most recent comments, here are my thoughts:

Funk's not as politically incompetent as Sophia suggests, but I agree with her that PorchPundit is wrong in his analysis. Light rail is coming. Mark knows it, I know it, everyone knows it. And any public servant who wants to stand in its way is going to get run over. Mark views it as a key to economic development. He also really believes he has a shot at getting a regional plan accomplished. Not a guarantee, but a shot. And he wants to take it, and I support him in that. If you want to naysay, that's your right, but I hope you're surprised. Frankly, if I were forced to bet my house on the outcome, I'd bet against it, too, but the goal is great enough that I'm happy to have him spend a legislative session trying to make it happen.

Mainstream and I may be talking past each other. My experience with Mainstream goes beyond this thread. I know that he has been intentionally dishonest and that he cannot be trusted. I won't go into it further, but I assure you that I have good reason to have no respect for him.

As a result, I do not give him the benefit of the doubt. When he writes that Mark opposes light rail in Kansas City, that is simply false, and I felt it important to stop the lie before it spread. His later explanations make it clear that he was talking about something else, but that is not what he said. If he, like PorchPundit, had written that he's concluding that Funk is against light rail and is supporting a regional plan because it will never happen and the bogus support of a regional plan will kill a more workable KC plan, well, I would disagree with him, but he would not have told a flat-out lie. Saying that Mark opposes light rail in KC is a flat-out lie, from a person who has a history of flat-out lying. Honestly, if Ben or Sophia or Heidi or PorchPundit had said it, I would have corrected it strongly, but I would not have concluded that it was an intentional lie.

This morning, I was treated on another thread to two more misstatements of what I have written in the past. They were loosely based on what I had, in fact, said in the past, but they were made more extreme and, as a result, false. Then he attacked me for his made-up words. It's frustrating to spend time having to correct someone of such obviously ill will.

Regarding Sophia's comments on Ben, they're pretty similar to what I was trying to say in my original post, though I'm not going as far with them. Gloria is and should be an important voice for the Mayor. That's almost a given for any married politician. I don't even have a problem with her volunteering in the Mayor's office, though I believe her time and talents would be better spent if she chose a particular focus of her own and set out to make a real difference on a particular topic. I do agree that she has, at a minimum, become a flash point for criticism, and, if I were Funk, I would want to set up a different structure where she would not be the focus of so much attention and negativity. I personally hope that something changes in the Mayor's office so that she can do good work outside of the line of fire.

12/06/2007 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Dan, Thanks for your comments. They are always interesting to say the least. However, I think that Sophia was dead on when she basically explained that the best thing for Mark would be to change Gloria's role, if you will, in that office. Role, is perhaps a bad word because I don't want it to come across as sexist, because what Sophia and I are saying has nothing to do with that.

I agree with you that Gloria should have a role with the office as should every mayor's wife, and it should be a specific topic like improving literacy, education, delinquency, decreasing homelessness or perhaps fighting spousal or child abuse.

These are powerful topics, well needed in Kansas City, that make change and are perfect for the role of husband/wife of the mayor or other locally elected officials.

Having said that, one of the many points that Sophia and I were trying to make is that eventhough Mark, Gloria, and everyone around them knows that changing her role to one of this setting would be better for the office on so many levels, it will probably never happen. Why?

As Sophia mentioned because Gloria will not give up that type of control over her husband, Mark will not ask her to do so, and unfortunately nobody working for him has big enough balls or brains, depending on your point of view, to tell him to do so.

As a former Funk supporter I have to say that this sneak peek into the marriage of Mark and Gloria now that power is in the picture is not only disheartening, and embarrassing, but it is also sad, pathetic and annoying. Why should we the people suffer because the mayor's wife doesn't know how to balance her need to control everything in the personal and professional life of her husband?

To be honest, what happens from here on out will be good or bad, probably more bad than good. But either way, I cannot see myself voting for Mark again.

12/06/2007 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Just A Voter, Not A Smart Blogger said...

3 years before the prior election, I didn't see myself voting for Mark, but I wound up doing it. I'll be voting for him again if he improves my satisfaction with city services and reduces corporate welfare. I hope Gloria is off doing something else by then, but I don't really care much, as long as he does a good job on the substantive stuff.

You guys and gals on the blogs like to talk about shoes and Wicca and La Raza and junk like that, but most of us just want a government that works for us. I'm seeing a few signs that things are going that way, but I'll report back in 3 and a half years.

Till then, you all spend your time worrying about shoes and parks board members, okay?

12/06/2007 12:02 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Dan, will you reconsider whether you need to correct me strongly. I am a Catholic school survivor, and the thought of it brings back (repressed) memories of the good Sisters and my formative years.

If you do correct me strongly, may I call you "Sister Mary Dan" as I beg for forgiveness? May I put my hand over the (lit) bunsen burner in order to earn some indulgence trading cards like the old days? Will you send me out in the snow to (try to) sell those overstock candy bars that someone unloaded on the CYA to my (violently) Protestant neighbors? Will you chide me for bleeding on my unsold inventory of CYA candy bars and ridicule me in front of the class?

It all just reminds me of the Holidays and makes me kind of weepy.

12/06/2007 1:29 PM  

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