Tony: Ranking Kansas City’s Most Underrated Special Interest Groups

It’s a long standing fact: Democracy doesn’t really exist in Kansas City.

Elections and so many civic issues are simply decided by a vast array of special interest groups. It would be pointless to rage over this process because so few voters are engaged enough to change it in the first place. What’s more productive is to look at the elements on the fringe and see the way these relatively small time groups grasp for their small piece of the political pie. Sure, anybody can rage over the influence of the The Greater KC Chamber of Commerce but that would overlook other small timers trying to play the same role to a lesser extent. For the most part, these groups don’t really matter but when elections are close (as many will be during this upcoming cycle) these groups wield even more influence.

So, not every so often, even the tiniest fish in this Kansas City political pond can pretend to maybe actually have a bit of power.

1. Kansas City’s Somali Community – This is the newest group in the local political scene and they could very well decide the election between Will Royster and John Joseph Rizzo in the Missouri District 40 race that I’ve been following. One of the biggest things this group has in favor is that there is a bit of unanimity in their decisions and while their numbers aren’t huge, so far their leadership has been able to realize that they have a bit of power when voting in a bloc.

2. Local Political Ladies – I don’t know why this group doesn’t get the respect they deserve but from my brief interaction with politically minded women, I realize that they’re basically running this town when it comes to local insider gossip. That’s why it’s a big deal when the KC Women’s Political Caucus decides to stop supporting any male candidates. While female unity is a myth, it would be unwise to ignore the influence local ladies hold.

3. The Revs – Anybody who wants a vote on Kansas City Eastside is going to have to talk to a Rev. at a major congregation at some point. On talk radio names like James Tindall and Rev. “Fuzzy” Thompson are reviled as they have continued to hold onto influence in Kansas City’s African-American community. Like it or not.

4. JoCo Consumers – Nobody cares that the buying power of Kansas City’s Northland is quickly supplanting the so-called “Golden Ghetto” as the more important financial demographic. In the foreseeable future the buying power of this group represents the brass ring for any local development from party districts to pro-sports teams. Sure, this isn’t an underrated group, but nobody likes to come out and admit that luring rich white people with money is still the rule of the day despite so much “hope for change” and other cliches about diversity.

5. Local Cyclists – Personally, I think this is the stupidest special interest in all of KC but there’s no denying that these folks hold sway. Keep up with their antics at and marvel at the self-absorbed antics of people wearing “banana hammocks” on public streets.

All of this provides a valuable lesson; that even a few wingnuts in Kansas City can enjoy some semblance of power in this town if use the right terminology and wait for desperate politicos.

Tony Botello

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6 Responses to Tony: Ranking Kansas City’s Most Underrated Special Interest Groups

  1. Anonymous says:

    “JoCo Consumers

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bullshit tony. Dean and Delucas did an extensive
    marketing and demographic study to dtermine
    if they should open up in the northland another
    The overwhelming evidence pointed out that
    there vwas no where near the economic power
    up north that was available in johnson county.
    They found that the few pockets of north
    area were limited and didn’t have the deep
    pocket spending that joco had. Their study
    showed that the chances for success in the
    northland were almost nill. There’s just not
    enough money up north to make another dean
    and deluca operation viable.
    The one at 119 aned roe is one of the most
    profitable/successful dean and deluca stores
    in the nation (excluding one in new york cit).
    The north part of our metro area is still
    lagging in income…spending and will never never
    equal the buying and spending power of joco.
    Just look at tax receipts from the areas…jocvo
    makes northland look like a small town…
    your facts are so inconsistent and false that
    I ‘ve got to believe you are making up lies
    Maybe try another lie…this one is just a joke.

  3. Anonymous says:

    OH… and this guy comments about applebees
    and olive gardn. Down south we have real
    restaruatnts …not like
    applebees and the garden.
    Those restuartnats cater to “middle income”
    low budget diners looking for a low priced
    $10 meal that fills you up.
    .not upscale diners like the places
    like garozzas/j gilbert/bonefish/ra/
    etc…places where you can’t even get a
    drink for less than an entire meal at
    the garden.
    The north will be the haven for middle
    america…joco will always be the golden
    palace that every high end retailer and
    business will want a poiece of…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kia Zi
    Well, if these are the only voices speaking out on the behalf of KC in a political arena, no wonder this town is so screwed up, crime riddled and can’t ever seem to get their shit together no matter how hard every one else is trying. What the hell happen to “we the people, for the people”? It seems like now, it’s all about “my group wants this and screw everybody else.” Most people can’t relate to small minded morons who care only for their own needs. What about the needs of the entire city as a whole?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hilariously, you’re wrong
    OK, let me get this straight.

    Platte County population: 85,000
    Clay County population: 215,000
    Johnson County population: 534,000

    Seriously? You want be to believe areas with 60% of the population of Johnson County are “quickly supplanting” Joco as an important financial demographic?

    And the Somali community? Really? Less than 5,000 people by their own estimation? One-tenth of one percent of the population of Kansas City? Politicians would do a better courting the Holocause Survivor vote.

    Tony your rants make less and less sense because mostly they are not supported by any fucking facts whatsoever.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The title was “most underrated” You guys follow so Tony so actively that don’t see him trapping you.

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