Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jackson County 2nd At-Large District - Day 53 of the Jackson County Ethics Crisis

I'm an optimistic person, and I believe that the Jackson County legislature will reverse itself on its misguided attempt to exempt itself from the Jackson County Ethics Code. I hope we won't need to attempt an initiative campaign, or recruit candidates to run against the incumbents.

All that said, now is the time for people to start thinking about running in 2010, and I want to encourage that thought by posting profiles of various districts. Today, I'll talk about the district that ought to be most "in play" of all the districts - Henry Rizzo's 2nd at-large district. I'm choosing that one because, even though I live in his district, Henry Rizzo failed to respond to my polite email seeking information about his vote on the ethics ordinance. Non-responsive politicians are a pet peeve of mine.

Here's a map of the district - it covers a huge swath of Kansas City's most politically active and wealthiest section. It includes almost all of the County inside the 435 loop south of the river, including the Ward Parkway corridor. There are lots of people in that geographic zone with serious political insight, good connections, and experience running in elections. Certainly someone out there who ran for Mayor, who has termed out of another office, who ran for State Rep, or who has always wanted to get involved with elected public service, would be willing to step up and put his or her name into contention to run against Henry Rizzo, especially in light of his insistence that the Jackson County legislators should not be overseen by the Jackson County Ethics Commission.

Rizzo is vulnerable for a whole bunch of reasons beyond his rejection of ethics. He was behind the recent fireworks legislation, which is already attracting some scrutiny regarding who is really profiting. He's also pleaded guilty to a charge of providing a false statement to a financial institution, a federal offense. I could list more, but the clear message is that Henry Rizzo would face a difficult time running against a fresh face with a concern for ethics.

Take a second and look at this map. Think about some of the politically-involved people you know in that area. Next time you see them, ask them whether they might be interested in running for office . . .

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Blogger KC Sponge said...

That's funny, Dan - you're an avid supporter of a very unresponsive politician. ;)

1/29/2009 9:46 AM  
Anonymous My Mantra said...

No Ethics code = No COMBAT Renewal

1/29/2009 4:10 PM  

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