Tracy: Burke to Kraske, Read My Lips, No New Negatives

KC mayoral wannabe Mike Burke said he recalled negative TV ads against Sly James – he did not.

TV spots are the deadliest missiles in a political arsenal for tomorrow’s race for a new Mayor. Burke backer Jim Nutter reportedly was behind the negative ads, placed ON BURKE’S BEHALF. The ads showed up last Friday, claiming that James “has no backbone." 

Then in today’s final debate with Steve Kraske on KCUR-FM 89.3, Burke claimed he “requested the negative ads be pulled immediately–on Friday afternoon.”

Still those missiles continue to fly toward undecided voters.

A case of the ads having been pre-programmed? Nope, says Channel 41.

According to Mike Wang, KSHB’s national and political sales manager, “As of 2:30pm Monday, no requests have come in yet" to pull the ads. So the ads placed by Citizens for Responsible Government (a PAC led by local political kingmaker Nutter), “will air through 1 pm Tuesday (Election Day). “

“We did not receive any calls, even though we give out our cell phones and could have done something even over the weekend," Wang says.  "We, meaning myself and John McKenna, our GSM, heard nothing, no requests, from Media Placement, Nutter’s placement agency.  We also got no calls from Mike Burke’s campaign.  But technically, Burke would not have been allowed to pull the ads or change the copy–we would have required him to get the PAC to agree to that.”

The bottom line: Burke misled the public today on KCUR. 

If Burke can’t control his own backers, how’s he going to lead KCMO out of the mess it’s in?

Nutter knows how the game is played.  When Wednesday’s KCTV5 poll showed Burke behind by one point, Nutter stepped up to the plate. The campaign’s been boring – no negative ads – no real issues.  Polsinelli on the Plaza? Kansas City as the Arts Capital of the US? 


Nutter caught James’ campaign off guard by going negative at the last minute. And in doing so, he gave Burke plausible deniability for the ads.

Sleazy or smart? 
Business as usual by insiders?  Let’s see what the voters have to say.



Tracy Thomas writes political commentary and satire from her bunker in Shawnee.  She’s worked on more than 40 political campaigns.  In 1979 she was the first woman to manage a KCMO mayoral campaign, for Joel Pelofsky.  During last month’s primary she gave $100 to Burke.  She wrote a fundraising letter for him, but his staff didn’t mail it out until election morning. Go figure.

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