Friday, September 05, 2008

What's Behind the Weirdness?

Why did Jan Marcason go overboard and threaten Sharon Sanders Brooks if she didn't support the anti-volunteer ordinance NOW, as opposed to waiting a week? Why was it so important that the ordinance get passed before people had a chance to read it? It doesn't make sense if Marcason was really only trying to pass the ordinance . . .

Which leads us to the overwhelming question - what WAS going on in that backroom?

Will we ever find out?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's post from Tony explains why Sanders-Brooks is wavering.

9/05/2008 8:04 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

I don't know why you're so upset about this. The ordinance won't apply to Squitiro. She's not a volunteer, she's his personal assistant AND our First Lady.

9/05/2008 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know what was going on in the backroom.

It was an exam from Dr. Sausage Fingers!!!

9/05/2008 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony owns you.

9/05/2008 5:54 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

What would make you say that, anonymous? He doesn't even rent me.

9/05/2008 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renting is for suckers.

9/05/2008 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone read Mark Forsythe's post at ?

9/05/2008 9:50 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yes, and, it was definitely one of Mark's weaker analyses. He thinks that the Mayor is weak because a lot of bigshots didn't come down and testify about an ordinance with 9 cosponsors? Really?

Truth is, the Mayor is weak. The Mayor is weak because we are in what is known as a weak mayor system. We don't have a mayor's office with tons of power - beyond setting a few agendas and making some appointments, the mayor is equivalent to a councilperson with a bigger title and a couple extra duties.

If Mark really thinks that the power of a Mayor is measured by how many bigshot insiders owe the Mayor enough favors that they will go testify on an ordinance - well, let's just say that Funkhouser (and I) have a different measure.

9/06/2008 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would agree that our system makes the position of Mayor weak.
Funkee has made his position even weaker. He has few allies and what allies he has are not dependable, other that Deb.
Barnes ruled like a strong Mayor because she had seven votes when it mattered.
One could argue that it's unhealthy for a democracy to have such a solid voting block. On the other hand, there is no argument that the current situation is unhealthy and poisonous.

9/06/2008 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Porchpundit said...

Dan, my poor misguided neighbor, I found your description idiot savant-like of of KC's weak mayor system worth repeating:

"Truth is, the Mayor is weak. The Mayor is weak because we are in what is known as a weak mayor system. We don't have a mayor's office with tons of power - beyond setting a few agendas and making some appointments, the mayor is equivalent to a councilperson with a bigger title and a couple extra duties."

That description goes to the core of Funkhouser's problem: He does not get that KC has a weak mayor system!

He ran using a slogan that echoed the historic description of Chicago under the first Mayor Daley: The City That Works, which demonstrated that Funkhouser was going to get into trouble.

Funkhouser was going to overreach the limited powers of the office. We do not have a strong mayor/alderman system like Chicago, and trying to act like we doomed Funkhouser from the start.

I would rather see KC under a strong mayor system, because there is more accountability but we do not have it and I do not expect the system we have to produce the results that a strong mayor system can produce.

Contrary to legend and lore around KC politics, the city manager system was not adopted in response to Boss Rule - it strengthened Boss Rule. Look at the date of the Charter. Read "Tom's Town." Pendergast loved the weak mayor and strong manager system in the late 20s because a majority on council who can hire and fire a manager is easier to control and manipulate than a mayor who is elected by the whole electorate. It was only after the adoption of the weak mayor system that Boss Tom could consolidate his power and vanquish other factions.

That is the system we have and Funkhouser, with all his City Hall experience and "book learnin', was too stupid or too pig-headed to see that. He is not living in the real world and that is damaging the city's standing and probably making his life a living Hell.

Dan, If YOU understand the weak mayor system, and you see how Funkhouser has consistently overreached, the limits on his authority at the expense of his POWER, how can you continue to cheer lead for him?

If you really like the guy, wouldn't you be a better friend by explaining to him that he is fucking up, rather than act like the Dennis Hopper character in Apocalypse Now?

"The heads man, sometimes he goes too far."

9/06/2008 9:24 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Porchpundit -

He knows it. He gets it. That's why, at the end of it all, he's going to be able to respond to the critics with the most effective sports taunt ever - "Scoreboard".

There are two ways to work as a Mayor under a system like ours. One is to align yourself with the monied interests, and count on them to corral the rest of the council. Go ahead, believe that you can't lick them, so join them. It's the easiest path, and a pretty pleasant one, too. If you're in the game for the wrong reasons (or you believe that supporting the powers that be is the right reason), then this is definitely the way to go.

But Funk isn't that person.

Instead, he's subverting the system, and it may (or may not) be working. I wrote a while back about the record of success he is sneakily compiling. Funkhouser, as many will rush to point out, is a complete failure, because it was someone else who rallied the council to pass the first responsible budget. Funkhouser is a failure because someone else got the light rail initiative on tne November ballot. Funkhouser is a failure because he didn't get credit for the steel plate ordinance. Funkhouser is a failure because Cathy Jolly is doing good work on crime.

Man, what a failure he is!! If the council would get smart and follow his subtle leadership, they could be building an even better record for themselves, and help the city on important issues.

Instead, they go into the backroom and come up with ordinances trying to tell the Mayor how to do his job.

9/06/2008 9:42 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

No Dan. You are unequivocally wrong, and it goes to the heart of the problem.

You frame Funk's choices as between either (1) being part of a corrupt system or (2) fighting it.

That is absolutely wrong.

Building coalitions and influencing people to voting majorities is the way it works, it's honorable and it's how you get things done, here in KC and everywhere else in the world. Sometimes it is corrupt, if the person forming the coalition is corrupt. It’s imperfect, and we all know it but it the basis of our government.

Your attitude Dan, demonstrates exactly why Funk is failing.


9/06/2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Voted for Brooks, Damned Glad He Lost said...

Dan -

I see what you mean. If results are what matters, it looks like Funkhouser is building an impressive effective set of results.

If being popular with bloggers and insiders is what matters, he sucks.

I'll be interested in seeing what the scoreboard says in a few years.

"Mainstream", it seems like Funkhouser is building those coalitions you correctly identify as essential, but he's not doing it by making them all about him. I like it.

9/06/2008 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, Why are you turning on Beth and her colleagues?

9/06/2008 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Porchpundit said...

Dan you ignorant slut. The only scoreboard that shows Funk leading was constructed by Karl Rove in Florida.

Futhermore, how can Funkhouser build coalitions when he insists on claiming responsibility for the sunrise? Cathy Jolly shepherds a simple but useful initiative on cutting weeds, and Funkhouser pushes his way in front of her to call a news conference so that he can claim ownership of it. Funk has no class, no ethics, no honor and no sense.

Funk lives in an unreal world where he is a divinely appointed King, not mayor. Mark Funkhouser IS Col. Kurtz!

He is actually very much like Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. He has his stone age followers, or "Cave Men" who fear progressive change in this city. He has irrationally-devoted kooks like Joe and Kendrick and Dan to do the heavy lifting when it comes to exacting vengeance. The only thing that is missing from the story is Gloria, which is why Apocalypse Now is a great movie - NO GLORIA.

The Horror ... The Horror ... The Horror

9/06/2008 11:08 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I'm exacting vengeance now?

How, exactly?

And, no, I've not "turned on Beth and her colleagues". I am pointing out when they make foolish mistakes, as I've pointed out when Funkhouser has made mistakes.

Funny how I talk in specifics, and others talk about movies . . .

9/06/2008 12:42 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

No Dan, you spend your time trying to convince everybody that TKC is the dominant influence over the city council's preception of Funkhouser.

That's silly.

You are also trying to convince us that all of Funk's problems stem from the Forces of Evil conspiring against him, rather than focusing on Funk's (in)ability to build constructive coalitions on council.

That's silly, too.

It's about time Funk and his apologists take some responsibility for themselves, instead of blaming everybody else.

remembefr Dan, when you poingt at somebody there are theree fingers pointingv back at yourself.

The Funk administration is an absolute failure.

How many people are standing in line to defend Funk, and Gloria's role in city hall?


Dan and Bill Drummond, the Ass Itcher Guy from the Crossroads.

Oh, and the African-American gentlemen who refers to Gloria as "Miss Gloria" at City Hall hearings.

What a side show.

9/06/2008 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Jayhoax said...

"It's about time Funk and his apologists take some responsibility for themselves, instead of blaming everybody else"

Oh, but it's much easier to blame everyone else and play the victim than it is to step up and accept responsibility....

9/06/2008 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice finger-pointing there, Mainstream.

Why is everybody attacking Dan, instead of answering why Marcason went into full freak-out mode? Why did she threaten Sanders-Brooks?

Something strange is going on. Why did Marcason go nuts? Who's pulling her strings?

9/06/2008 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, a mayors's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Funk's apprentice.

9/06/2008 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you are claiming not only that Beth made a mistake, but a "foolish" one?

9/07/2008 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Drummond, Bill, Crossroads said...

I have a bit of an insight- which is on your recent thread relating to the same subject: "Marcasson meltdown".

Please read it, as it may show a bit of the machinery arrayed against the Funkhousers at this time.

I think that the old "it", (Barnes catch-all phrase for the way things used to work at a pro- unrestrained development City Hall), is thrashing around in a attack on the agent of change, Mayor Funkhouser. Any success in attacking him will help reestablish the old "it".

Thanks for your thoughts, Dan, and rational posters all.

9/09/2008 2:00 AM  
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