Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Funkhouser 6 Times Smarter With The Money Than Our Council

Remember last week when Funkhouser tried to get the City Council to enter into a global settlement of the Bates case for $135,000? Remember how I criticized the Council for failing to join in the settlement, instead preferring to play nasty political games?

Sure enough, it's come back to bite them in the ass. Bates is now seeking $800,000 because our Council was too smart by half. Maybe that should be "too dumb by 6 times", but it doesn't appear that our foolish-with-the-taxpayer-money is able to do such sophisticated math.

How are those depositions going, Council people? Don't you wish you were working on city priorities rather than wasting time on a suit you should have settled?

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53 Comments:

Blogger Ward said...

Remember when the Mayor went on the attack in his press statement regarding the settlement?

I guess that $30K settlement just got a little more costly....

12/10/2008 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Dan has Stockholm syndrome. Lets remember it was Funk that got us into this mess.

Dan, so what do you think of Joe's interview? Like when Joe said he was uncomfortable breaking the law for Funk? Or that Funk only wanted a 3 day work week? Or when Gloria said fighting the volunteer ordinance was the most important issue? .....

Come on, give us some spin! We all need a good laugh.

12/10/2008 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Mac said...

"Former Funkhouser aide notes ethical lapses" http://www.kansascity.com/105/story/930540.html

"Witness says Squitiro called white people mammy" http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/930581.html

So we have Funks inner circle saying he was unethical. Now we have MULTIPLE people saying Gloria called women "mammy".

Is this a case of "misremembering"? Is Joe now a force of the "nasty nine"?

I hate to say it, but by now the only interesting aspect of this whole mess is watching Dan try to make a silk purse out of these sow ears.

12/10/2008 7:30 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ward - That is just the spin that the foolish Council is putting on their failure. It doesn't even make any sense. The press release will not be part of the trial, and if you believe that Bates was willing to take $700,000 less because she wasn't mad at the Council until Funk spoke, you're just being silly. She wants more because they turned her down flat to play political games, and she got enough to pay her bills so now she might as well roll the dice.

Anonymous - go ahead and remember how we got into this mess - someone making unproven allegations (as is certainly her right). Now let's talk about why we are STILL IN this mess! Ed Ford and his game-playing, dumb with the money cohorts are the reason we're STILL IN this mess.

I haven't read Joe's depo. I don't view him as a legal scholar, though, and I don't believe that Funk wanted to work 3 day weeks.

12/10/2008 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't feed Dan's ego people. He thrives on attention. ANY kind of attention. Stop commenting and he'll go away.

12/10/2008 7:47 PM  
Anonymous the wife said...

Really?

Can you call the person who CAUSED the problem "smart" because they offered to have someone else pay the consequences?

If Funk was "smart" with money he wouldn't have set fire to every bridge that existed between him and the Council. He would stop being so subborn and would learn to compromise. He's not "smart" enough to develop the political capital required to be "smart" with money!

He's also not "smart" enough to keep his fat trap shut while the city is still a defendant in the lawsuit. Any lawyer knows that it is a giant F-you to a co-defendant to settle and then go on record the way he did last Friday. Any private company would have fired him for that press release.

He's so interested in playing the victim that he's willing to cost the taxpayers extra money to do it. That's NOT "smart" with the money.

12/10/2008 7:47 PM  
Blogger Ward said...

"That is just the spin that the foolish Council is putting on their failure."

Really? Well, you seem to know a lot about spin....

"She wants more because they turned her down flat to play political games"

She wants more because the Mayor saw fit to take a shot at her while announcing he had settled the lawsuit. Had he just kept his mouth shut, we wouldn't be at this point.

"I don't believe that Funk wanted to work 3 day weeks."

Oh, really???

"In August, Funkhouser told a group of area mayors that he preferred not to meet with them on Fridays. “I try to make some money in the real world on Fridays,” Funkhouser said at the time."

12/10/2008 7:55 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

And I've seen him working on Saturdays. And Fridays, for that matter.

12/10/2008 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Dan's Smudge Stick said...

Shouldn't Mayor Funkhouser live in Kansas City, Missouri, if he wants to be mayor.

He is living in the Ozarks again.

How much vacation time does this loser get?

Dan, when are you going to learn that defending this corrupt idiot and his loser wife only gets you in trouble. You would be better off making up excuses for the Governor of Illinois.

12/10/2008 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

I agree that the council should have approved the settlement last week. But their bigger mistake was apparently underestimating the destructiveness of the Mayor.

She wants more because they turned her down flat to play political games, and she got enough to pay her bills so now she might as well roll the dice.

Oh, Dan. You can't possibly believe that the council's refusal to settle was a greater fuel than Funkhouser calling the plaintiff out in the press as an exploiting back-stabbing liar. Come on.

The refusal to settle was based on the council trying to extract a concession from Funkhouser that was substantively identical to one of the demands the plaintiff made last summer - get Gloria the heck out the office. As much as Bates may want her money, I find it difficult to believe that she was entirely unsympathetic to the counsel's play (no matter how foolish you and I think it was).

12/10/2008 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

"council's" not "counsel's." Damn homonyms!

12/10/2008 8:06 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sophia - I'm sure she was upset about Funk's comments, but that has nothing to do with her settlement demand. Really. She is viewing the value of her case based on what she and her lawyer view as the value of her case. And Bratcher is too good a lawyer not to have some control over that.

Why is the case worth more now? Because the last thing the council wants is to have to go to trial now that they screwed the pooch and failed to settle when the Mayor told them they should have.

12/10/2008 8:17 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Dan,

The co-mayors publicly called for a jury trial. They called for their day in court.

Isn't a jury trial a fair way to resolve this dispute?

The jury trial is the foundation of our judicial system. Absent the real-politik arguments for settlement, why noy have a jury trial?

12/10/2008 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

The value of the case hasn't changed in the past week unless you're counting on the jury being exposed to all the litigation related shenanigans and lying about it in voir dire. The council didn't want to take this to trial four months ago, I don't think that has changed.

I don't like the way this is being handled. But I refuse to give Funkhouser credit for avoiding the mess of his own creation.

12/10/2008 8:33 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

That's a good question, Mainstream, and it deserves a straight answer.

The Funks wanted a jury trial when they could receive a defense verdict. When the company settled Gloria out, the most attacked defendant no longer had an opportunity for a defense verdict. No vindication was possible for Gloria - even a defense verdict would have been spun as being a defeat because the "evil one" wasn't present. (You know I'm correct.)

So, at that point, with the emotional upside gone, the case was no longer about vindication but about doing what was best for the city (now that having a proven-not-guilty Mayor's wife was unavailable - the best result). Mark wisely realized that a reasonable settlement made a lot more sense than taking a chance with a jury (they're not always right) and not focusing on the city's business.

Most cases settle. This one should have, if Ed Ford and his cohorts hadn't blown the opportunity.

12/10/2008 8:36 PM  
Anonymous DKC said...

You are correct, Dan, the council blew it. I still think this whole mess was orchestrated by those who lost in the general. Can't have candidates thumbing their noses at the political establishment, there's too much money at stake.

12/10/2008 8:39 PM  
Blogger Ward said...

"I'm sure she was upset about Funk's comments, but that has nothing to do with her settlement demand."

I guess Denial ain't just a river in Egypt....

12/10/2008 8:43 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Well, it goes back to seeking justice vs. cost minimization.

If your goal is cost minimization, settle. Answer the question truthfully, everyone: settling has nothing to do with justice, it is about cost minimization for both sides, and justice, or truth is not extant, correct?

Anybody disagree?

The answer is "correct".

And consequently I do not agree with your statement:

"(now that having a proven-not-guilty Mayor's wife..."

She was not proven innocent, or expunged, or anything regarding the charges against her.

Her accusers released her from the burden of future accusations regarding this specific instance, and nothing more.

12/10/2008 8:46 PM  
Anonymous firefly said...

If I decide to set a bon-fire in my living room and after things get out of control call the fire department - and then when they arrive, throw accelerant on the fire while the fire-fighters try to put it out - am I smart?

No - I'm a moron for doing such a stupid thing.

Yes, calling the fire department is the right thing to do (just like the global settlement was the right thing to do for the city) but the smart thing to do would to avoid the whole situations all together - and the accelerant makes a bad idea even worse.

I have yet to see the Mayor do anything smart.

12/10/2008 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Dan-like poster said...

Governor Rod Blagojevich is a good man and supreme public servant who is being attacked by the powers-that-be, who resent his governmental efficiencies.

Sure sometimes he uses strong language but who doesn't? Sure, his wife is a strong woman who holds strong opinions -- who among you will cast the first stone?

That is why I am starting The KC Rod Blagojevich for President in 2016 Club. And if we are lucky we can have the Democratic Convention in the Sprint Center (with a hefty commission and service fee paid to Gloria Squitiro for "organizational services").

And why not just say it, we can expec to have our very own Mark Funkhouser for Vice President.

We could even set up public entertainment events, with organizational services fees paid to Gloria Squitiro, where the public could cast rotten fruit and sticks at Cindy Circo, because she is just not a team player.

Let's all just give both public servants who I admire so much a round of applause, Ladies and Gentleman -- the Blagojevich/Funkhouser Ticket.

12/10/2008 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Scab Picker said...

Firefly .... aren't you a bar owned by Jason and Diana Kander being rehabed by SCAB labor?

Tell Jason Kander there is no reason for him to come to the Annual Labor Lunch on Friday at the Sheetmetal Workers Hall.

We do not serve SCABS or bosses who use them.

12/10/2008 9:19 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream - Your criticism of my comment is 100% accurate, and I can't believe I actually typed what you quoted. (I mean I really went back to read my comment, thinking you must have misquoted me.)

I apologize for my sloppy language. There never was a chance of having a "proven-not-guilty Mayor's wife". At best, a defense verdict would have shown that the plaintiff failed to prove the elements of her case. Gloria never really had a shot at the exoneration she hoped would come from a jury trial. A reasonable settlement was the best option from the beginning.

I wish Ed Ford and the rest of the council was half as smart as you.

Firefly - Funkhouser didn't file the Bates suit - she started the fire.

12/10/2008 9:26 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Oh, Dan. You can't possibly believe that the council's refusal to settle was a greater fuel than Funkhouser calling the plaintiff out in the press as an exploiting back-stabbing liar. Come on.
-----------------------

Sophia, I am not sure that there isn't anything Dan wouldn't believe or any spin, no matter how unrealistic and delusional, that he wouldn't buy in to to defend the indefensible duo... Mark and Gloria Squitiro.

12/10/2008 9:29 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Wow! Dan deleted one of my posts! What's the matter, bug guy? Can't take a dose of the truth?

12/10/2008 9:33 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Firefly - Funkhouser didn't file the Bates suit - she started the fire.
------------

Pardon me... the fire was started by Gloria Squitiro's actions... and then enabled by the Funk.

Try refuting this... by their own admission, they have brought shame and unprofessionalism to the Mayor's Office. Numerous witnesses testified about the atmosphere of dirty, foul mouthed talking and sexual inneuendos filling the sir of the office.

This is not only JUST PLAIN STUPID, JUST PLAIN VULGAR but JUST PLAIN WRONG. And it has humiliated all of us except for them and you.

12/10/2008 9:38 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ina, the post I deleted was personal, nasty, and unacceptable. I have only deleted a few comments in the life of this blog, but you've rung the bell a couple times already.

Really, you are welcome to comment on this blog if you are anything even remotely close to civil and on point, but I'm not going to let you trash this place. I'm happy to allow you to post stuff I disagree with, but not rude and offensive nonsense.

12/10/2008 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Learn a lesson Dan said...

Dan your perspective is "personal, nasty, and unacceptable" and that is why I ride herd on you.

Put InaFunk's comment back.

12/10/2008 10:02 PM  
Blogger craig said...

WOW, I don't agree with Dan about much. And I really could care less about "As the Funk Turns" soap opera of KC City Hall. But I will give Dan credit, he allows contrary opinions to flow freely on his blog.
Inafunk must have really said something nasty for Dan to have deleted it.
And there must be a full moon out. Dan actually admitted that mainstream was correct on a comment.

12/10/2008 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Kingsfield said...

Learner: That was the funniest comment I've ever read here. You are a funny, funny person.

12/10/2008 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Molested by Kingsfield after Class said...

Dan is so pathetic that he has to use the name Kingsfield, the law professor, to write posts in support of himself.

12/10/2008 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't read Joe's depo. I don't view him as a legal scholar, though, and I don't believe that Funk wanted to work 3 day weeks.

Come on Dan, you know you want to go all Funk on Joe. Come on, pull a Funk and really start trash him.

12/10/2008 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you calling Beth foolish?

12/10/2008 10:18 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

lol Craig. As soon as I type this and press enter I'm walking out the front door and looking up.

12/10/2008 10:25 PM  
Anonymous firefly said...

Dan -

We should blame Bates for the suit? Yes, she filed it, but laws can't be enforced without reporting.

I guess in your mind all alleged victims should bear the blame for the wrongs perpetrated against them.

How do we enforce anti-discrimination laws if we regularly view allegations with suspicion?

This is like a heartbreaking story I encountered a few years ago where a little girl's mother punished her b/c the little girl told the mom she was being molested by a family member. The mom insisted it couldn't be b/c that family member would never do a thing like that...so the abuse continued - subsequent events went unreported.

If it's one thing I can't stand, it's blaming victims for coming forward. I'm shocked to see you act so much like an old establishment white guy.

12/10/2008 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agre with Dan to this extent:

I am appalled by the actions of the mayor(s), and in no way defend them. I accept and agree that the Mayor is more stubborn than the proverbial Missouri mule, to his everlasting detriment. Nonetheless, there are two separate issues here:

1. What do we do about the current mess?
2. How do we prevent future messes?

The current mess can only be resolved when the Bates suit is over. Future messes require some change in the mayor's conduct (e.g., the volunteer ordinance). Resolving the Bates suit will not prevent future messes, and preventing future messes will not make the Bates lawsuit go away.

So, what is better?

1. Settle for 135K and strive to prevent future liabilities?

2. Settle for 800K and strive to prevent future liabilities?

(Aside: Ed Ford's statements to the effect that it makes no sense to resolve the suit while the volunteer ordinance is in limbo makes no sense. Ruth Bates does not care about the volunteer ordinance; it's existence is not a part of her settlement demand.)

Rejecting the settlement due to anger at the mayor is not fiscally smart -- it only costs the City, and as a taxpayer I am not happy. I can be angry at the mayor for putting us in this mess and simultaneously recognize an opportunity to minimize the threat to the City's purse. The council could not.

The Council blew it.

12/11/2008 12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:52 a.m.:

Overall a good post with many excellent points.

But perhaps the City Council wants as much of the surrounding facts to come out as possible, whether through more time (depositions, discovery, etc.) before settlement, or via trial?

12/11/2008 4:42 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Firefly,

You raise a good point. Who lit the fire depends on what really happened, and, no, I don't blame plaintiffs for bringing suits to defend their workplace rights. Thanks for calling me on that.

In this instance, we don't know who set the fire, to use your metaphor a little more gracefully.

12/11/2008 5:37 AM  
Blogger Midtown Miscreant said...

If the case was on the table to be settled for 135 grand, and then Bates jacked the price up 6 fold, after funks comments, any reasonable person would conclude that his stupid remarks helped give the plantiff footing to ask for more. It's a case of milking the cow for all it's worth. I get that part of it. Why funk would be so stupid, or vindictive, as to make inflammatory comments is what has me pissed. It's his job to make things better in this city, not screw us all up more. He is being childish and petulant at all of our expense.

12/11/2008 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Kingsfield said...

MM - What else changed between the $135 thousand offer and the $800,000 demand? Did Funkhouser exit the suit? Did Ed Ford show a desire to play games?

Isn't it possible that Bates might be playing a little political game of her own? Won't the voters be outraged if the council loses a case they could have settled for $665 thousand less than the latest demand?

Ed Ford and the other idiots on the council (not Johnson) unwittingly went all in when they failed to settle.

12/11/2008 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Hmmm said...

What if Bates presented a new offer to settle for $250K?

Should the Council accept that offer?

12/11/2008 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the council had approved the settlement last week (to bail out a man who is suing the city) and Funkhouser had issued an abusive press release like he did (Did you write that Dan?) Ruth Bates would have backed out of the agreement anyway.

The problem is Funkhouser.

12/11/2008 9:21 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

A poem for this blog and advice for this love affair:

I have loved flowers that fade,
Within whose magic tents
Rich hues have marriage made
With sweet unmemoried scents:
A honeymoon delight,
A joy of love at sight,
That ages in an hour
My song be like a flower!.

I have loved airs that die
Before their charm is writ
Along a liquid sky
Trembling to welcome it.
Notes, that with pulse of fire
Proclaim the spirit's desire,
Then die, and are nowhere
My song be like an air!.

Die, song, die like a breath,
And wither as a bloom;
Fear not a flowery death,
Dread not an airy tomb!
Fly with delight, fly hence!
'Twas thine love's tender sense
To feast; now on thy bier
Beauty shall shed a tear.

12/11/2008 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the agreement had been accepted before the Mayor's comments, Bates could not have backed out. Accepting the offer would have been a binding contract, and courts routinely enforce such settlements.

This is not to excuse the Mayor -- what he said was not smart under any circumstance. However, there is no reason for the council to sink to his level. Somebody has to look out for the city's interests.

P.S. Along with Russ Johnson, don't blame Deb Hermann -- she was not at the meeting. Undoubtedly, she would have voted to settle because she is the one that has to find the money to pay for these suits, and she would certainly prefer to pay less rather than risk paying more.

12/11/2008 11:32 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Anon at 11:32.

Hermann didn't bother to go to that important meeting - so to cast her vote for her, especially in hindsight, makes you sound like a moron.

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

Ah, but

1. Normally, settlements are discussed during closed session.

2. The Mayor's springing of the issue in open session is unusual, unheard of, and a surprise.

3. Do you know why Deb was absent? I shall tell you: her husband is recovering from a heart attack. Criticize her for tending to this family issue, you heartless . . .

12/11/2008 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Councilwoman Jan Marcason said she was dismayed to learn from an interview that Miller did with KMBZ-AM's Bill Grady that Funkhouser refused to appoint anyone recommended by Marcason in part because of his animosity toward her

Dan, does that sound like "leadership and grace" to you?

12/11/2008 9:00 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Dan, no response to anon 9 PM??? You wouldn't be claiming he/she isn't being CIVIL, would you? Come on Dan, take a stab at this softball post. The answer is as simple and straightforward as an answer can be.

What Say Ye Dan? Or will you be ducking out on this one?

12/12/2008 12:07 PM  
Blogger Phil Cardarella said...

At the risk of injecting some sense into this matter:

1. Exactly what are the ECONOMIC damages of the plaintiff, given that she was offered a MERIT job at the same rate of pay to replace the POLITICAL PATRONAGE job she found unacceptable?

2. Even granting that the Plaintiff is a particularly sensitive soul -- who, in the course of a political campaign in which she was very active failed to note the lack of political correctness that she later found so offensive -- what makes her bruised sensitivity (either unusually great or new-found) worth such a large bundle of cash?

3. Why does a newspaper that regularly rails against the harm of "frivilous" lawsuits (often by folks with real damages)treat this one as so worthy?

Please don't tell me it is because the Mayor's wife refers to black -- and white -- women as "Mammy" or "Ma'amee". Seriously, does one really need to search old Gone With The Wind scripts for alleged racial slurs? Check out contemporary rap.

12/12/2008 2:48 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Still ducking Dan?

12/12/2008 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the mayor said Miller was disgruntled because he didn’t get the chief of staff job this fall and it was a mistake to ever have hired him.

Dan, you know Joe. Any that knew Joe, knows he was totally devoted to Funk. So what do you think of Funk's trashing of him? Do you think it shows "leadership and grace?" Will join in the trashing?

Now here is the question for the peanut gallery. If Dan does say something critical of Funk (and no, I would say you have not been critical of Funk), will Funk go on record trashing Dan?

12/12/2008 7:44 PM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

Prediction ---> Dan's going to duck this one as well. Maybe he was off watching the Funk govern the City over the weekend? Or just on a weekend break...

Come on Dan, answer the comment. After all, you and the Funk are so close... you must have known Joe Miller and his total commitment to the Orange Revolution and it's now loathed leader.

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

Quack Quack... how's that for a civil and midwestern jibe?

12/12/2008 10:06 PM  
Blogger Ward said...

"Miller said Squitiro controlled the mayor’s schedule and worked hard to keep his schedule open on Mondays and Fridays for consulting work."

Now we know why the Funk needed Gloria by his side all the time, so he could run off to his second job...

12/13/2008 8:16 AM  

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