Once again, the Star is the big winner on Election Day in KCMO.
During the primary, the paper of record conquered the Titans of Industry, the Chamber of Commerce and the secretive cabal of CEOs known as the Civic Council, when it backed Mike Burke and Sly James over Deb Hermann.
For the general, for the coup de grace, they vanquished the King Maker, the Old Mr. Moneybags who had never backed a loser in a mayor’s race: Mr. James B. Nutter.
So now we know, once and for all, who runs this city.
A word to Mayor-Elect Sly James from a man who has been 29th floor and failed: Get ready, the Star is going to turn on you the second you disobey them.
Anyway, it ain’t all bad on this Wednesday after. For one, I’m nowhere near as hung over as I was four years ago, not as high, true, but over all, much much happier.
Jermaine Reed won and Ken Bacchus lost!
I first met Jermaine when he was a student at Northeast High. In 2001, I named him "Best Student Activist" in the Pitch‘s annual Best Of issue. My blurb began, "Ladies and gentleman, allow us to introduce the next governor of Missouri: Jermaine Reed."
Could happen. He’s at least off to a good start.
A word of caution for my friend Jermaine: Please be aware that this city is still very, very racist. The whites who run this city expect their black leaders to be easily bought off. Then they turn around and expose the bought-off blacks as corrupt.
I’m not saying you have to be perfect, Jermaine, but I kind of am. And even if you are perfect, the racist system will still fuck you somewhere down the line. So, good luck! And have fun!
And speaking of exposing bought-off blacks as corrupt, Ken Bacchus lost!
Is there anything good to say about that guy? He of the $600,000 government-funded remodel for a $40,000 house. He of the quasi-public agency that helped administer the city’s housing program until it was taken over by the feds. He who snatches redevelopment projects out from under hardworking neighborhood groups so that he can make a quick buck.
Ah, democracy in America. How bittersweet it is.
You wake up after Election Day to the good news of new blood in the city’s black leadership (and, in this respect, Sly james is very good news, because he’s not at all part of the Eastside crony crowd). But you also wake up knowing that the ink-stained wretches at 18th and Grand are not only still in charge but they’re more powerful than ever.