Sunday, April 17, 2016


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Crowded State Rep
Race Starts to Heat Up 
Six candidates have filed for the 28th District seat currently held by State Representative Tom McDonald. Representative McDonald cannot run for re-election due to term limits.

The first round of reports required by the Missouri Ethics Commission show most of the candidates have already begun fundraising for what may be one of the more interesting races in the upcoming August 2nd Democratic Primary.

According to documents from the Missouri Ethics Commission Josh Greene leads the pack in fundraising. To the date of the report, Greene raised $3976.76. Two candidates, Jim Aziere and Diane Krizek, have yet to raise any funds for their respective campaigns.

Following is a breakdown of funds raised as of April 15, 2016.

JIM AZIERE                 $0.00
JOSH GREENE           $3976.76
JEROME BARNES     $1,900.00
PAT RIEHLE                $290.89
DIANE KRIZEK           $0.00

The Republican candidate for the 28th District, Bill VanBuskirk, is unopposed in the Primary Election. His report shows he has raised $100.00.

The Way We Choose Our Presidents
In what has become almost an expected ritual, we are now (re)experiencing the whining over the brutality of the Presidential campaigns.

Granted, listening to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders literally shouting at each other during a debate is not very uplifting. And there is no doubt that the Donald (Trump) has found new and exciting ways to insult his opponents.

But it is really nothing new.

What is new in this round of Presidential politics is the fielding of questions by the mainstream national media to encourage personal attacks by candidates.

At an early Republican debate on CNBC candidates so roundly denounced the line of questioning that the networks backed off. 

The following comments, excerpted from CNN and NBC pretty much tell the story . . . 

FROM NBC: Ted Cruz critiqued moderator questions that he said "illustrate why the American people don't trust the media."
This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions: Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson can you do math? John Kasich will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio why don't you resign? Jeb Bush why have your numbers fallen?

"How about talking about the substantive issues people care about," Cruz added to thunderous applause from the audience.

FROM CNN: The audience in Boulder was electrified by Cruz's attack. Social media mentions of Cruz blew up during his attack on the media -- it was the top moment on Facebook, the social network said -- while pollster Frank Luntz said his focus group "burst out in applause at Ted Cruz's media attack." 
"Ted Cruz's focus group dials [hit] 98 with his attack on media bias," Luntz wrote on Twitter. "That's the highest score we've ever measured. EVER."

FROM PBS: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took issue with one moderator’s interruption. “Do you want me to answer or do you want to answer?” he said. “Because, I’ve got to tell you the truth, even in New Jersey what you’re doing is called rude.”

Cruz was joined in his criticism by candidates Carson, Trump, Bush, Rubio, Kasich, Fiorino and Christie. The candidates' tactic worked. Questions (from the press) loaded with the venom of personal politics, noticeably became a thing of the past.

Now, as the Democratic Presidential race heats up with a surprising string of wins by Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, the same line of questioning is coming from the same talking heads of the national media.

As for the complaint the campaigns have become ugly, nasty, etc., etc., etc. Think back to previous campaigns in our country’s history.

Abraham Lincoln’s campaign as a Republican removed the Whig Party from significant existence when he ran for President in 1860. One hundred years later Americans were warned that electing John F. Kennedy to office would open the door to a Presidency dominated by the Catholic Church and Pope.

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, with its riots and challenges to the seating of delegates is arguably the most contentious convention held in modern times.

Remember the Swift Boat allegations made against Democratic Candidate John Kerry? How about the historic contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush?

The fact is that American politics is a tough business. The campaigns of the past show the 2016 campaign is in many ways mild by comparison to earlier campaigns.

What is making this particular race so interesting is that a true front runner has not come forward in the Republican contest. Trump may have the lead, but if you combine the delegate count of all the other candidates his lead disappears by a margin of 890 delegates (combined votes) over Trump’s 744 delegate count. Which is why it is unlikely Trump will gather enough delegates to win on the first ballot at the Republican convention.

In the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton is the front runner by the grace of the Super Delegates. Without their support, she and Bernie Sanders would be very close in delegate strength. It is ironic that the Democratic Party would adopt a delegate system so heavily skewed toward power brokers and those with political capital to so easily dominate the delegate process.

Remove the Super Delegate from the delegate count between Clinton and Sanders and you end up with a close race with a slight lead by Clinton. Hillary Clinton would have 1289 delegates. Bernie Sanders would have 1045 delegates.

American politics is like making sausage. There are a lot of ingredients. It is a messy business. But at the end of the day the result is a product that is acceptable to most.

Our vote is not bent to the will of a dictator or a single party state. Our differences are not decided at the barrel of a gun through civil war and revolution.

The way we Americans choose our leaders works, and reasonably well in a nation so diverse and rich in culture and individual beliefs.

The truth is, we should celebrate the unique way in which we choose our President.
Paul's Rant!
Mayor Protem Vote up in the Air
Greg’s column this week is thought provoking.
It reminded me that, as former Democratic Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill once famously said, “All politics is local”.

The Raytown Board of Aldermen will have a taste of the Americana Greg wrote about at their next City Council Meeting.

At the top of the agenda is the annual job of the Board to choose one of their own to serve as Mayor Protem. The position can be likened to that of the Vice President. It only becomes truly necessary if, for some reason, the Mayor cannot finish a term in office.

Most times the choice is unanimous, though undoubtedly, some of those unanimous votes are cast by members who have to hold their true thoughts in check.

Occasionally, the decision is not known until the votes are cast.
This may be one of those times.

Two candidates are in the running. One is Ward 2 Alderman Jason Greene. The other is Ward 3 Alderman Janet Emerson.

One would think that Greene would have the inside track in this contest. He is leader on the City Council. Jason keeps his cool during debate. On the other hand, he is not afraid to speak his mind.

The champion of the anti-Greene crowd is Janet Emerson. No doubt Janet wants the position as much as Greene. Her backing seems to come from those on the Board who carry a bit of grudge against Greene. Remember, Greene is not afraid to speak his mind.

Like the Republican and Democratic delegates, it is not a simple plurality that will win this contest. It requires six votes out of ten to make it happen. The Mayor can choose to vote in case of a tie. But his decision to break the tie is his. He can also “not cast a vote” if he so chooses.

I won’t go into the folly of trying to predict who will vote which way on the Board of Aldermen. Their decisions seem to be written in the wind at times. And this feels like one of those times.

So I guess I will be like everyone else and wait and see what decision the ten men and women on the Board of Aldermen decide.

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Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who is running or is behind Josh's campaign? Four-thousand is a lot of money in this community. That has to be tough to overcome if he can keep that fundraising pace. I think that clearly established him as the front runner right now though it is still early. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

To view candidate reports go to The Missouri Ethics Commission. Green appears to be getting money from several attorney offices. Also a Bower cronie, Richard Thode $250, Municipal Judge Traci Fann $250, Alderman Eric Teeman, Former Alderman Micheal Lightfoot, Alderman Steve Mock, Alderman Mark Moore. Riehle seems to only have his own money in his fund. Jerome Barnes has the support of Michael Downing $100, and Jeff Vance $500.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers have given him the most money. So we know who he will be hold in to. In my book not a good candidate

Anonymous said...

To he honest the who field looks bad.

Anonymous said...

I never comment on here because infighting between commenters on here is personally none of my business, but when I'm involved, I feel I must say something. I am one of those attorneys that donated to Mr. Greene, and I find the statement made at 7:54 AM by Anonymous to be unmerited. Mr. Greene approached me with his concerns on both SB 5 and SB 572. If anyone in the comments actually researched, they would know these pieces of legislation are hurting municipalities and municipal courts. This is a case of the legislature stepping into things that they don't understand (which happens too often). He approached me with concern, and I chose to write him a check because unlike several people, he realizes how important it is to fight for municipal autonomy on issues like this.

If he was wanting to be beholden for cash. He would have gauged my issues first instead of jumping right into his concerns. Trust me. It happens to me every election cycle by many candidates all over the metro.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to see the money chain for these candidates. Both Thode and Downing have a history of supporting losers:)

Anonymous said...

As the Board of Alderman reflect upon who should be the next Mayor Protem, I hope the consider that if something should happen to our Mayor that the individual severing as Mayor Protem become the Mayor.

They also represent the city if the Mayor is unable for medical, travel or other reason.

With that being the case it will be interesting not only who gets to be the Mayor Protem, but those who vote for that person.

If you have meet either of the tow names being mentioned around town we either have someone in the position that will help push the city forward if needed and be seen in a positive light.

Or one who will making everyone thing Raytown is just waiting on the return of the mother ship.

Anonymous said...

It is funny how this blog works. Some days, you can libel people anonymously. Other days, there is a strict fact-checking code enforced. Greene will be beholdened to lawyers? Rick Thode is a Bower Cronie? Thode and Downing supporting losers? Come on gentlemen. Personally, I don't care. But you have to decide what kind of blog this is and stick to it.

Anonymous said...

Let me make sure I understand this correctly. A candidate, in this case, Josh Greene, goes out into the community to raise money for his campaign. Apparently he is pretty good at it because the numbers do the talking. This makes some people very angry. I wonder if they are tied to other campaigns and want to degrade him because he is successful where they have failed? Of course they are emboldened and really tough guys because not one of them signs their name. Personally, i think they are jealous of Josh because he gets results. All they have to offer is noise and hate.

Anonymous said...

It was nice to see what the Democrats in Raytown have raised and clearly Josh Greene is leading the pack.

However, you forgot to include that one Republican who was kind enough to loan is campaign $100.00.

We now known the overall leader of the pack is Josh Greene.

Way to go to who appears to be our next State Rep Josh Greene

Anonymous said...

I think I know who Thode is. Wasn't he on the school board? But who one earth is downing and who is he supporting?

Anonymous said...

Rick Thode was on the School Board. Truly, I wish he would be on the ballot for Representative. I know he is a Republican, but all of these guys are too even if they're running as democrats. He was the only competent person on the School board from what I could tell.

Anonymous said...

Yea that school board is a mess, Thode was a sure voice there. Maybe he should run for City Office? Whose district is he in?

Anonymous said...

Josh Green has been telling people that Tom Cole is returning to the city. Why hasn't the mayor told the citizens about this. Maybe Josh doesn't know what he is talking about or the mayor just doesn't want us to know. Either way the city is a big mess.

Anonymous said...

Thode lives in Ward 5 (Mock, Teeman). I talk with him occassionally. He seems to be done with running for office. It is a shame, he was great on the school board and would be fantastic in the city. I will tell you though, he really likes Mr. Greene and speaks very highly of him (Also, looks like he has contributed his own money as well).

Anonymous said...

So who got the Mayor Protem and who voted for whom?

Anonymous said...

Joe Creamer and Jim Aziere... Proud supporters of the 2007 of the City budget draining Wal-Mart TIF agreement.. "Thank You May I Have Some More Please"...NOT....

Anonymous said...

Speaking who got what and / or updates on things does anyone know if the city has the information back from the bank and if they ever plan to explain expenses related to city hall's beloved Wal-Mart deal.

Anonymous said...

Being how much Aziere has been a supporter of Wal-Mart and likes to talk about closed door meetings it seems fitting he gets to be the spokesman on explaining were the money went.

Anonymous said...

Janet Emmerson and I am so glad she did.

Anonymous said...

The gang of seven says Joe Cramer

Greg Walters said...

Some interesting questions from bloggers. I know I can shed some light on some of them with answers.

Janet Emerson was elected Mayor Protem. I don't know if it was by secret ballot or in a closed meeting. But will find out by time we publish next week. Regarding the information the city is alleged to be paying a local bank to spend a projected $5,000 to make copies for the city . . . a little of the back story may be enlightening.

The Fire Department asked for some documents relating to the agreement between the city and the Fire District. The City of Raytown has the responsibility of maintaining those records. The City cannot produce the records. Therefore they are paying to have them copied by the bank that handled the financial details of the TIF agreement.

To be clear, the City has not made any public statements (that we are aware of) about missing documents. Which does not mean they are not missing.

The last time the city made a public statement was to the Raytown Times in which they said they had made (delinquent)filing of reports with the State of Missouri of TIF documents.

Even though the flavor of the press release was one of "problem solved, crisis managed", the fact is the effort by the Fire District for an audit of the City continues. They have topped 800 signatures to call for a state audit.

A little over 1500 signatures are required to call upon the State Auditor's office to review the city's financial records.

Anonymous said...

State audits can look at so many things.

It will be the best thing to happen to Raytown in over 30 years,

Marilyn said...

He called it the "Disgraceful Seven". In truth, it's really just Joe Creamer eating on some extremely sour grapes. He was under investigation for living outside the district he had been elected to. Because of that, he lost. His three buddies left from the old regime aren't liked, aren't listened to, and will probably lose their next election. They all sit around and cry in their beers. Boo-hoo. Oh, and I loved how he stands up and says what he wants, then accuses the city of coming after him. Talk about paranoid! No wonder he lost.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is Creamer thinks he did a great job, but has nothing to validate what he id that was so great.

I think we all know the Wal-Mart deal was anything, but great or there wouldn't have been the large out cry in the city that flipped the Board of Alderman.

However, I am sure the Rev. Jim Jones in his mind thought he did a great job too, but I sure wouldn't drink his Kool-Aid.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the payback on the loan to Aldi's is coming along?

I ask the general public as we all know from the mess with city hall that they cannot add 2 and 2, so they wouldn't have a clue.

Yes, folks that either don't know or have forgot the city of Raytown used taxpayers money to finance the building of Aldi's. This is why the tax at Aldi's and the three stores in the parking lot is higher.

The great minds at city call like Jim Aziere and his pen pal Joe Creamer didn't think anyone would notice let alone remember.

Sorry but not everyone has killed their brain cells with way too much beer and liquor.

Anonymous said...

I was reading about the fundraising the State Representative candidates are doing.

Might I say I am very impressed by Mr. Greene.

I am surprised by several folks comments about him being to close to several lawyers.

Maybe he is going to be Raytown's first true leader and is looking for the right lawyer to bring a class action against the city administrator for the decline in property values under his watch, which can be directly associated with select enforcement by Mr Benson.

Clearly if the rest of the board cannot justify firing our city administrator, Mr. Greene may have found another way not only to remove a couple of useless individuals from the city payroll, but also a way to clean up the city .

We all know once the city is clean and attractive both young families and sales tax generating business will move into Raytown, which will help fund things like parks, streets and other needed improvements.

Yes, Mr. Greene has my vote!

Dani said...

People with young children won't want to move to Raytown until the schools improve and the crime rate goes down.

I know the schools are bad because only Hickman Mills has lower scores than Raytown. There seems to be money for the YMCA building, but not school books.

I know the crime rate is high because there is always - and I do mean always - a police or sheriff's vehicle in front of Walmart. They can't all be shopping.

Anonymous said...

Those cars are officers working off-duty, being paid by WalMart to do the reports for arrests at the store.

Anonymous said...

Creamer. Joe Creamer. I remember him. He was an incumbent in the last city election and ran third in his race for re-election. I bet he is probably pretty bitter about the loss. Usually and incumbent will at least run second. I checked the election returns. It was close at the top but Creamer was not even in the hunt!

Black - 37%, Walters, 36%, Creamer 27%.

Good riddance Joe. Your name calling will is not going to get you elected to anything.

Anonymous said...

If Josh Greene has a plan to clean up our city he has my vote too.

Thank you for sharing that he is really caring about all of us.

Anonymous said...

The mayor and board keeps saying the TIF paperwork is now is in compliance. The other half of that is the required meetings. When is that going to happen? Is the new mayor as bad as the old mayor?

Anonymous said...

So, I have it on good information that Joe Creamer is working with Jim Aziere. He wants to get his seat back and help Aziere beat Josh Greene for State Rep.

If Aziere is most concerned about Mr. Green, and Joe Creamer is against him, I only see more reason to support Josh Greene.

I think I'm willing to say he has my vote as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joe. It is about time someone has the guts to tell the truth. The Green boys are on their way out. Don't need liars to represent me.

Anonymous said...

Josh came to my door recently. He is the only candidate who has done that. That youthful energy is what we need to get things done! If the others cared enough to be out meeting people, my door is open. But right now, Mr. Greene has my vote.

Anonymous said...

Oh poor joey cramer. Running his mouth all the time up at the bars, heard it all from him once up at 350hwy. Acts like an embarrassment there and acted like it up a city hall this week. Someone tell this burnout to leave town, like he did when he was city council.

Anonymous said...

Does walmart pay for all the police work to process these hundreds of arrests as well?

Anonymous said...

The other item in question around the TIF from what I read on this blog is was the money spent as it should have been and of those funds was the fire dept bill correctly.

Sure seems like the city is taking a lot of time to answer all the questions around the TIF.

I know when my 3 year old does that he is trying to hide something from me.

Anonymous said...

Why would someone complain about Alderman when they were an Alderman and refused to live in their Ward.

Actually I understand was living outside the city at one time.

Anonymous said...

The answer question about the work the police, prosecutor and judge pay for people caught in a criminal act at Walmart is simple. No, they do not pay anything extra for this service from the city. The prosecutor is not paid by Walmart. The Municipal Court and all of its support staff is not paid by Walmart. The judge is not paid by Walmart. Any policeman who may testify at a trial is not paid by Walmart. The police cars used by the off-duty policemen are not paid for by Walmart either.

Who pays? We do. It is how the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.

Anonymous said...

The arresting officer is being paid by WalMart. Find something else to complain about.

Anonymous said...

Read the comment again. The arresting officer is NOT being paid by Walmart to testify. When he goes to court as a witness to the complain, he is not on Walmart's payroll in any way. The policeman is there as a witness to the complaint. He is paid by the city to be at the trial. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Hey guess what? The cops would still arrest the thief and STILL have to go to court and STILL get paid by the city no matter what. That's how it works see??

Anonymous said...

Have you ever even been to court? Very few ever go to trial. It's called "let's make a deal". Know what you're talking about before touching the keyboard.