Saturday, December 06, 2008

Ed Ford and Cohorts - "Too Smart by Half"

One of my favorite phrases was taught to me by one of the most truly clever lawyers I ever worked with, Jack Craft. Someone who creatively saw a bright side but failed to anticipate the downside, or who thought they were being smart when they were in fact being dumb, qualified as "too smart by half". One time, in an administrative matter, I drafted a convincing argument that the bureaucrats were not, in fact, authorized to take the action they were proposing, but Jack pointed out that by attacking the authority of the state agency, I might win, but I would be exposing our client to years of regulatory retribution from the agency. I was "too smart by half".

This week's City Hall drama showed that our City Council is too smart by half. When Funkhouser brought to them a settlement opportunity they had been seeking for months - a chance to put the Bates suit behind them relatively cheaply and move on with the city's business, Ed Ford rallied his cohorts to reject the opportunity. In a vain attempt to avoid scrutiny of their unconstitutional Anti-Volunteer Ordinance, they refused the opportunity to put this distraction behind them.

Now they have their distraction and the lawsuit, too.

Meanwhile, Funk and Gloria are finished with the Bates lawsuit, and focusing on the economic crisis facing our city. Marcason and Circo spent their time getting deposed yesterday . . .*

It showed real grace and leadership by Funkhouser to bring his colleagues an opportunity to put the Bates lawsuit behind them and offer them a path to focus on the real issues facing Kansas City. To employ another classic phrase, he led the horse to water. Unfortunately for the Council and for Kansas City, our council chose to behave like the wrong end of the horse.

UPDATE: *(Jan Marcason visited the comments section and reports that her deposition was canceled, and that her "day was spent productively addressing city issues." That's great. After seeing how much she is able to accomplish for our city in a single day, it's doubly discouraging that she and the others chose to keep this lawsuit alive to distract them on future days.)

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Anonymous mainstream said...

"Grace and Leadership" shown by our mayor?

Were you refering to his press release - released just hours after the settlement attacking Ruth Bates?

Funk is moving on with the city's business, with his press release yesterday that will, reportedly, result in yet another lawsuit?

Is that the good judgement and grace you're referring to?

WHO is "too smart by half"?????

Hmm. ok.

12/06/2008 10:39 AM  
Blogger Midtown Miscreant said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/06/2008 11:21 AM  
Blogger Midtown Miscreant said...

while we disagree on the mayor, you say leader, I say incompetent, I do agree wholeheartedly, that the council really screwed the pooch. They should have approved the settlement, regardless of the Mayors declining to drop his own.
I personally don't think there is a single person among the council, including Funk, that has this city's best intrest at heart. It's all about one upping each other. It's really a shame, for us all.

12/06/2008 11:22 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream - you're not a very good reader some days. The grace and leadership I referred to was bringing the settlement offer to the council.

Who is reporting that the press release WILL result in another lawsuit? Tony? Inafunk? Anybody with any credibility?

Do you really have so little to worry about that you have to worry about unlikely "maybes"? If so, you should be grateful.

12/06/2008 11:22 AM  
Anonymous ray ray said...

Dan, your reasonining is very funny at times. 12 poeple v. 1 and of course, teh 12 have 'lost theri mind'.

12/06/2008 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Funky press release was ill-advised. It is actionable to call someone you just settled the merits of the case with a liar (I don't understand why the Plaintiff didn't inssit on a gag order after settlement, her mistake). My prediction is that his anger-shot will cost the cost city more money (not loads, but 10-15K). There was nothing in it for the City when Funk took personal shots at the plaintiff on City stationary. This was simply Funk putting his own interests over that of our city's.

12/06/2008 1:45 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I don't really have too much free time. But Dan, I make the time to comment on this (wonderful)blog.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to make some time to stand in a cold shower for a while, maybe tear up some ten-dollar bills while I'm at it.

12/06/2008 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its over. Funk lost and the city is having to fork out money because he lost.

Of course Dan will spin Funk/Gloria having to pay out cash as a win.

Dan, can you spin the GM bailout as a win? It would be nice to keep those KC plants going.

12/06/2008 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Jayhoax said...

Grace and leadership?


Did you read Funk's press release about the settlement?

And you call that "grace and leadership"?

I guess "grace" means different things to different people....

12/06/2008 4:36 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Jayhoax - You suffer from the same inability to read that afflicts Mainstream. Where did I say the press release was grace and leadership?

12/06/2008 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Jayhoax said...

Where did I say the press release was grace and leadership?

Dan, are you saying the press release did not have "grace and leadership?"

I don't think you have ever once commented that the Funks have acted inappropriately.

12/06/2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Jayhoax said...

"Where did I say the press release was grace and leadership?"

The press release was a part of the settlement process, as far as I am concerned.

And if you think that showed "grace and leadership", you're as delusional and the co-Mayors.

And, I'm not sure who just left that last comment, but it wasn't me.

12/06/2008 4:54 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Dan, I am affflicted only by a sense of outrage as you attempt to paint Gloria and Funkhouser as taking the high ground, whilst they assasiinate the character of their perceived enemies.

12/06/2008 4:55 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

So at least we can assume from your logic Dan that the Funk's vulgar and hateful outpouring at the press conference was NOT an example of grace (i any sense of the word) and leadership?

Concede the point Dan rather than hide behind not replying.

12/06/2008 5:30 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

I challenge you Dan of Gone Mild to show us any quote where I indicated a fresh lawsuit was coming because of the Funk's press conference antics (graceless, putrid, and without showing an iota of leadership)?

Come on Dan... just the facts Jack. Or is your new thing to just throw a little mud and hope the people won't respond?

TKC, where are you when we need you :) ????

12/06/2008 5:32 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Dan, I am reading some of the postings and you seem to be flipping out a little and making stuff up and casting a few aspersions... sort of ironic that you would act in a Funk-like manner. Don't you think?

12/06/2008 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Jan Marcason said...

Actually, my deposition was cancelled yesterday while the attorneys decided whether or not to accept the proposed settlement because of the press release sent out by the Mayor. Instead, I attended the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency event honoring those who treat addiction and Jean Roth Jacobs who is retiring, meeting with the Executive Director of the Heavy Constructors about the infrastructure incentive package that the Congress is considering, attending the Downtown Council annual meeting (I was on the selection committee for the Urban Hero awards), meeting with the attorney for the Citadel project that we will consider in Finance Committee next week, and preparing my remarks for the award ceremony for the US Constitution project. My day was spent productively addressing city issues.

12/06/2008 5:38 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

What is this Jan...??? Not suing the City? No endless depositions? Not Appearing on GMA? Not appearing on Fox and Friends? Not ranting at press conferences about your enemies? Spend any time uniting the Council against you?

Thanks g-d for elected officials like you. At least for now. I suppose you figured out during the next year or two, your time will be better spent guiding our City through thr recession and maybe depression that looms large and dark on the horizon.

Hope Dan doesn't start ragging on you too. He seems to be losing it a touch. Maybe he's becoming more and more like the Gruesome Twosome every single day.

12/06/2008 6:13 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

So at least we can assume from your logic Dan that the Funk's vulgar and hateful outpouring at the press conference was NOT an example of grace (i any sense of the word) and leadership?

Concede the point Dan rather than hide behind not replying.


12/06/2008 6:14 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Meanwhile, Funk and Gloria are finished with the Bates lawsuit

Not true Dante... as long as the City and Ms Bates are still going at it, the Funk and Gloria will still be called as witnesses (more lawyer time) and their actions will be judged and the City held liable or not. Turns out that neither of the two of them were ever scheduled to come out of pocket for a dollar (maybe the homeowners policy deductible, nothing more)... the minute the Squid got exposed to dollar liability, she folded. That's right and YOU KNOW IT: she didn't have to settle! She could have pursued the lawsuit and subjected herself to legal bills and any amount past the money offered by her insurance company. She settled! End of story..

12/06/2008 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jan Marcason!

Did the Chinese pay for any of your expenses today?

I am sorry to have to ask but you do have a record of having travel, meals and entertainment paid for by the Communist Dictators in mainland China. It is kind of like asking Sarah Palin, "Who paid for that dress?"

Jan people like you are thieves who lie, cheat and steal whatever you can unlike Mark and Gloria.

And another thing, before you introduce any more ordinances you might want to read the Constitution because you clearly have not done that yet. I am sure that a judge will be sending proof to you soon after they hear Mark's case.

12/06/2008 10:25 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

OMG, attack of the inafunkaboutthefunk!!!

I may have to go back and read those comments.

12/06/2008 10:54 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream - thanks for volunteering to go back and read Ina's comments. Let me know if there's anything deserving of response in there, okay?

Jayhoax and Mainstream - the press release was not a part of the settlement - the vast majority of cases are settled without trial or press release. Encouragaing the council to join in a global settlement was an example of grace and leadership. The press release was not - it was unnecessary and frankly unprofessional. I completely understand the urge to strike back when you feel you've been wronged, but it's generally a bad idea, and I would have discouraged Mark from issuing the press release.

BTW, Jayhoax, this is only the latest in a series of disagreements I've had with some of Mark's decisions. He's still a great mayor; intelligent people can and do disagree with respect from time to time.

Jan Marcason - Wow, that's a great day of public service you strung together. As always, you have my appreciation and admiration. But, was the deposition canceled or postponed? Because, as I understand the status, the City Council managed to keep the case alive when offered an opportunity to end it.

12/07/2008 6:56 AM  
Blogger Ward said...

"Encouragaing the council to join in a global settlement was an example of grace and leadership"

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

For someone who was hell bent on "getting their day in court", offering to settle right after the depositions come out smacks of desperation, not "grace and leadership".

"it was unnecessary and frankly unprofessional"

Thank you for acknowledging that.

"He's still a great mayor"

Again, we'll have to agree to disagree....

12/07/2008 8:27 AM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Mainstream... why don't you ask Dan if he thought that the Funk's performance at the press conference was vulgar, inappropriate and conduct unbecoming a leader of even a dog house? Seems Dan doesn't like to get called out... or brought a dose of reality. He chooses to hide... a man's man. I guess he wasn't ever referred to as Dan "The Man" in high school :)

12/07/2008 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan would even argue that Gloria took a poop with "leadership and grace."

12/07/2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

"He's still a great mayor".

For him to still be a great mayor, he would have had to have been one at somepoint prior to this point.

Did I miss Funk being a good mayor?

I watch city hall pretty closely so are you refering to a five minute period I must have missed?

Huh. I assume then that you also think Edward John Smith is still a great sea captain.

And Frits Bernard is a great baby sitter,

And Graham Young is still a great cook.

It all makes sense to me now.

12/07/2008 5:02 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...


Well, I think you maybe correct, on several points actually.

Dan is avoiding the more -- how shall we say -- "less graceful" behaviors of the Mayoral Twosome. The recent press release, the sausage fingers up the can while Gloria watched, etc. to name a few.

I personally think the current Funk administration can be characterized by three letters - TMI.

Too. Much. Information.

If they poop together or in some combination thereof, I just don't want know about it.

I know everybody poops but let's take the sewer issue to a policy level, puhlease.

I'm not sure what your thougts are on this, inafunk....

12/07/2008 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Beth comment in this thread?

12/07/2008 9:48 PM  
Anonymous The Oracle said...

The idiom is "Too clever by half" but Dan you are "too dumb in full" to know that.

Since the idiom can be traced to Cambridge and it describes someone who is "to be too confident of your own intelligence in a way which annoys other people," perhaps you should just rename your blog with the accurate title.

Of course, you Dan are too God Damn stupid to know any of this and you write your cute little commentaries full of bull shit anyway. That is the only way you can make your take of the Funkhouser Squitiro team fit with reality.

12/07/2008 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on people. Lighten up on Dan. While it is fun to make fun of him, there is no need for foul language.

12/08/2008 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post Jan.

12/08/2008 2:27 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Oracle -

"Too clever" is indeed a variant of the idiom, but not the only one. I learned the "too smart" version, and the phrase means "A seemingly clever action that is in fact foolish", as stated in the Urban Dictionary.

In the meantime, how's that lawsuit working into the Council's schedule?

12/08/2008 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a taxpayer, I want the mess ended with the least amount of financial cost. That said, I am capable of separating two distinct problems: the problem of the mayor's actions, and the financial exposure faced by the city as a result of those actions.

We had/have a chance to solve the latter problem, at least with respect to this particular debacle. From a purely business/fiscal standpoint, what makes more sense: settle and limit the city's exposure, or continue with the suit and risk a larger payout at the end? Settlement is the prudent course.

12/08/2008 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

I appreciate Marcason posting here, but the quality of responses adequately demonstrates why politicians would be foolish to engage in discussions in comment threads.

And I hope it's just one person that's constantly popping up with Beth comments. It's a little weird. If you want to know what Beth thinks, email and ask her.

12/08/2008 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would guess that there are many fans of Beth.

12/08/2008 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone remember about a year ago when Gloria said that Funk had been offered bribes? Was there ever a criminal investigation into that?

12/08/2008 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Wolf said Gloria conducted job interviews, but Gloria said she did not.

From Gloria's deposition:
Q: You interviewed people who were hired by the mayor's office; correct?
A. No, that's not correct

From Ed Wolf's deposition:
Q. And Gloria Squitiro interviewed Pat Gallagher alone?

A. I believe that's right.

Someone is lying. Dan it seems believes that Ed and everyone else is lying.

Dan, why do you think Ed would lie about that?

12/08/2008 11:10 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Of course Ed Wolf would not lie. Neither would Gloria. What other explanations for slightly differing recollections come to mind? Go ahead and hold your breath for a perjury charge, if you like.

12/09/2008 5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why is it strange that many readers of the best political blog in the city would be curious as to Beth's views?

12/09/2008 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What other explanations for slightly differing recollections come to mind? Go ahead and hold your breath for a perjury charge, if you like.

Those are not "slightly" differing, they are flat out opposite.

I don't think anyone that has clue about the legal system is holding out for a perjury charge. I know I am not.

12/09/2008 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's "Sophia" not "Sophie."

12/09/2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger Ward said...

"What other explanations for slightly differing recollections come to mind?"

Slightly differing recollections?

One saying yes and the other saying no is not "slightly differing recollections".

Slightly differing recollections would be one saying something was hunter green and the other saying it was kelly green.

12/09/2008 5:28 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

lol good point Ward.

When two people saying diametrically-opposed claims are characterized as providing "slightly different" versions, you know you're in....Illinois?

12/09/2008 7:11 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Strike that. Make that Birmingham, AL

12/09/2008 8:25 PM  
Blogger Upset in Platte County said...

Looks like Ed Ford may not have the best interest of KC in mind. I hear he is thinking about sponsoring annexation of more land north of the aiport into KC. This at a time KC can barely pay its bills. A farmer wants to develope his property and Platte County turned him down so they got an attorney Chris Byrd (Bird?) who was on the KCI economic development plan to submit everything to KC and wa la all it needs is a sponsor...Mr Ford. This KCI plan cost KC over $400,000 and pretty much says no subdivisions at the end of runways. So why would a council person sponsor such a thing????

2/23/2009 12:29 PM  

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