Tony: Who is to blame for KCMO’s Empty Voting Booths?

In KCMO the City Council ladies were dancing with delight upon the news that Mayor Funkhouser’s tenure was no more and so many other voters expressed the same sentiment.

But I’m more interested in casting blame for the way the elections came down. Politics can’t all be sunshine and hope. It’s no surprise that there are consequences and repercussions from last night’s primary in which almost nobody voted. 

The final tally revealed a disheartening 15% of registered voters came to the polls yesterday.

It was the first time in 80 years an incumbent Kansas City Mayor failed to win re-election. But the more important trend is that the overwhelming majority of people simply don’t want to participate in the process. Let’s attempt to figure out why:

First of all, the most important person to blame is the Mayor. Because his term was so horrible, so inept and fraught with divisive fighting that his presence literally chased people away from the ballot box. When he was first elected into office the turnout was a bit better because people had some hope that he would turn Kansas City around. This time people knew better. The only sad part of this story is that he has spoiled so much hope for other newbie politicos.

The stench of Gloria Squitiro‘s bare feet will linger for a long time in City Hall.

Maybe it’s too dramatic to compare the guy to Former President Richard Nixon but Funkhouser tainted the highest political office in Kansas City in historic fasihion.

Then there are the other candidates. Everyone but Sly James simply used Mayor Funkhouser for a punching bag and while that’s really fun to watch, it’s not very inspiring. So the current crop of candidates didn’t really do Democracy a favor with their tactics.

Let’s not forget Kansas City history in this equation. The winter primary is mostly associated with the wicked genius of none other than Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. Cold weather, shorter daylight hours and all around bad timing have historically kept Kansas City voters away from the polls. Pendergast just didn’t want people voting and politicos at the time kowtowed to his wishes. Sadly, so many decades after his influence no longer exists, this town must still deal with his legacy that not only include voting weirdnesses but also local control of the police. But that latter is a topic for another day.

Finally, so many people noted that African and Egypt are now fighting for Freedom and it’s lamentable the the love of Democracy just isn’t apparent in Kansas City.

My theory: As bad as things can get in KC. It’s still a lot better than some 3rd world hell hole. People in this town, including myself, tend to exaggerate about our hardships. But the fact is, things aren’t too bad in Kansas City. Even in the worst sections of town there are opportunities to make life better.  So while the rest of the world wants American privilege and our life style these opportunities locally barely raise an eye and are mostly taken for granted because the reasons I listed and so many others.

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8 Responses to Tony: Who is to blame for KCMO’s Empty Voting Booths?

  1. chuck says:

    Nice article.
    Well said.

  2. Matt says:

    I re-read his last paragraph several times to make sure. What’s up with this negative soul of a man?

  3. harley says:

    where do I begin..
    lazy…whining….uneducated….uncaring….stupidity…lack of time…..couch potatoes watching csi….apathy…
    no trust….all these contributed to the fact that so few people voted.
    The mayor has little to do with their everday lives. He doesn’t enact financial acts…he doesn’t
    affect their health care….the laws they pass are pretty non controversial so people really don’t
    believe that voting for a mayor can change their world.
    Don’t blame funk. He’s just another victim of the system that has us looking at 3rd world
    status in this nation.
    In wisconsin the electorate is fired up and a voters revolution is about to start to move thru the
    nation. We’ve seen the enemy…we know what we are up against…and we know
    that unless common middle class america rises up and takes back the nation that we will
    see a lost decade in this nation.
    It is very sad.

  4. chuck says:

    Matt, what can I tell ya…
    I was as shocked as you, in addition, it is a brilliant column that ties in a number of variables with an excellent premise, imo.

  5. chuck says:

    BTW, Harley’s comments are correct too, imo.

  6. TonyIsADirtbag says:

    Dirt Bag:
    “Who is to blame for KCMO’s Empty Voting Booths?”, you ask?

    Answer: The apathetic, non-voters of KCMO. Pure and simple.

    Why do you actually need a story about this?

  7. Superdave says:

    So Whats the answer to it all
    Ok the story is good Tony brings out good points so far all the comments bring out the same. So the question is well the question is the same old question all the time.

    When is forward motion going to start to fix it all? Thats the question I seem to never see.

    Same old questions.

    Same old finger pointing.

    Same old nothing never changes.

    Same old hope by those to lazy to help make a difference.

    Same old same old.

  8. kevin lager says:

    Part of the White Flight
    I didn’t vote because I’m getting the f out of here. The Liberal mooching Democrats can have this city. Just like every other Democrat controlled city, like Detroit, DC, New York, etc…. Enjoy I won’t be around.

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