Some people call him a king maker…
I look at him as a nice, older gentleman with a penchant for politics. Some people live for the Chiefs or KU basketball. Others collect stamps. My take on Jim Nutter is that politics is his game. And that’s the way he plays it, like a game. Naturally people who play games generally like to win.
But Nutter’s intentions are largely benign in my opinion. He values things like honesty and right versus wrong. Oh, he’s’s thrown his fair share of rabbit punches, but he’s several levels above the sleezy local political operatives we know all too well.
So I ask Nutter who he’s for?
"I’m for Mike Burke," he says. "But I know all that stuff – that he made his money out of the city, he made it all on TIFs – but between the two of ’em, I’m for him."
Nutter’s also something of a local political historian.
"This is the fourth black/white (mayor’s) election," he says. "And I’ve had three winners – Dick Berkley over Bruce Watkins, Emanuel Cleaver over Bob Lewellen and I had Funk – I hate to tell anybody, but I had Funk."
Even there, Nutter’s intentions were honorable.
"I only knew Funkhouser from his auditor work at City Hall," Nutter says. "I didn’t know anything about his wife."
Nutter thinks Sly James – who’s African-American – keeping his white wife out of sight may cost him.
"I think that would have got him votes if he’s put her out in the open," Nutter says.
Speaking of Sly, "A lot of people are going to vote who don’t know he’s a lawyer," Nutter says. "People think he’s (just) a small businessman."
On one thing Nutter and I agree; that this is the most boring, uninspired KC mayoral election in decades.