Category Archives: joe_miller

Joe Miller: Sizing Up Kansas City’s Mayoral General Election & The Candidates

Eight things I’m thinking about on the first day of the Kansas City mayoral general election:

1. The Star is the big winner. Tuesday’s election proved that the morning paper is the most powerful political institution in town.

Not too long ago, I thought the Star had lost its power.

A big chunk of the newsroom destroyed by downsizing. A shriveled news hole. Constantly scooped by a porn-crazed trogladite.

But it seems they’ve only grown in power: Fewer people reading; fewer people voting; and the readers and the voters are pretty much the same few.

In this election, the paper of record showed that its more powerful than the titans of industry in this city – both the Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Council, a secretive but well-intentioned cabal of CEOs from the city’s biggest corporations in the city – came out early for Deb Hermann.

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Joe Miller: Three Reasons to Give Thanks for KC Mayor Mark Funkhouser

The Star’s city politics kingmaker, Yael Abouhalkah, issued a mea culpa this week for having helped Mark Funkhouser get elected mayor four years ago.

I suppose I should do the same thing here.

I suppose I should also respond to the Funk’s latest online video, in which he described everyone against him as a corrupt zombie who wants Kansas City to remain a patronage trough. Here again, Yael had a good response when he pointed out that virtually all of Funk’s initial supporters for his campaign are now against him.

And we’re all just as a anti-hog-trough as we were back then.

But I’m not going to do any of that. Instead, I’m going to celebrate Funkhouser’s accomplishments in office. And I’m going to look back at some of the good times we had.

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Joe Miller: Vinyl Renaissance vs.The Democratization of Music

On Friday, I got a $75 check in the mail that I wasn’t expecting, so I cashed it and headed straight for Vinyl Renaissance to feed my latest addiction.

I was having a great time putting together a stack of wax to take home and trip out on. Midway through my shopping frenzy, though, I remembered something I saw a few days ago on the store’s online Internet website: a turntable-buyers discount program. I thought, Hey! I bought me a turntable at this store, a totally cool vintage Dual with a brand-new Ortofon cartridge.

So I went to the man at the cash register and I said, “What’s up with your turntable-buyer’s discount plan?”

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Joe Miller: Not so fast! Staffer Says No Renaissance for Streetside

I was thrilled when I read on this site that Vinyl Renaissance is taking over the old Streetside Records in Westport.

I bought a vintage Dual turntable recently and I’m slowly turning my digital music collection into something tangible. Vinyl Renaissance has one of the best selections in the area (plus they sell super-top-of-the-line audiophile equipment like Macintosh that’s cool to look at and fantasize about being rich.)

The only downside is that it’s in the worst possible location in the metro area.

Seriously, going to VR’s outpost in a circa-1950 strip mall on a frontage road just off of Shawnee Mission Parkway is like descending into the darkest ring of suburban hell.

No, it’s worse. It’s like a prototype of suburban hell.

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Joe Miller: Who Gives Money to Mayoral Candidates?

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Joe Miller: Funkhouser Funnels Campaign Cash to His Kids

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Joe Miller: Following the Money in KC’s Mayoral Race

I’ve combed through all the mayoral candidates’ campaign disclosures and I have this to say: Deb Hermann rules the roost.

True, she has less cash on hand than Sly James, whose bogus poll claims he’s in second place. But the range of people who have contributed to her indicate that, out of all the candidates, she has the strongest base of support.

First off, she has some of the heaviest hitters of the business establishment. The Chamber of Commerce gave her $3,000, as did the Downtown Council (which gave the same amount to Rowland). She got three grand from Hallmark. Another thousand from Terrance Dunn, CEO of J.E. Dunn. Tom McDonnell, of DST, forked over $3,000. And so did his wife.

These are big deal contributions. Especially coming this early in the primary season.

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Joe Miller: Bogus Leaked KC Mayoral Poll vs. Reality

Regarding the recent KC mayor’s race poll that was leaked to TKC…

I’m not ready to say it’s a complete contrivance. But I will say it’s complete bullshit.

In case you haven’t seen it, the poll names Mark Funkhouser as the frontrunner. That’s deceptive because, in the crowded field, he’s leading with a pitiful 26 percent. It also says:

Dissatisfied with the current leadership, voters are looking to replace Mark Funkhouser in the mayor’s office: Mark Funkhouser is personally (40% favorable/54% unfavorable) and professionally (28% positive/72% negative) unpopular and more than 6 of 10 voters say they would definitely (40%) or probably (22%) vote for another candidate to replace him as mayor.

Some of that is probably true. For instance, the 72 percent unfavorable on his job performance.

But the 26 percent?

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Joe Miller: Handicapping Upcoming KC Mayoral Slugfest

OK sports fans. We’ve got less than two months before the primary in the mayor’s race and things are about to get hot.

Here’s an angle you all might want to keep an eye on: The Mayor and City Council have to adopt a budget by late March. Between now and then there will be a lot of wrangling over it, both in public meetings and behind closed doors, and a few major events.

One aspect of the process that will make it interesting is that the budget will go through the Council’s Finance and Audit Committee, which is chaired by Deb Hermann, who is running for mayor against Mark Funkhouser, who also serves on the committee.

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Joe Miller: Thou Shalt Not Steal, Star Clings to Power at 18th & Grand

I was pleasantly surprised recently when I stopped by Midwest Voice’s, one of the Kansas CIty Star’s blogs, and read a post by Yael Abouhalkah about a story that ran in the Pitch

Yael commended the story’s author, David Martin, which was wonderfully magnanimous. The fact that someone at the Star even mentioned David and the Pitch at all was a momentous occasion in itself.

I thought maybe the Star had finally changed its ways, that its reporters and editors had finally decided to stop pretending that they’re the only journalists in town and that they never get scooped.

But then I checked back at Midwest Voices the next day and found a Barb Shelly post commenting on an article by Matt Campbell about some med school students who got in trouble for playing with a placenta.

The Pitch had that story three days earlier.

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Joe Miller: Why Freedom Inc. is backing Jim Rowland for Mayor




A lot of people were surprised that Freedom Inc. endorsed Jim Rowland for mayor.

That’s because Freedom is a black political organization and Rowland is white.

But I knew he was going to get the group’s support when I looked in Rowland’s October financial report and saw a $1,000 contribution from Gayle Holliday. The combination of Holliday and dollar signs is perhaps the best indicator of what Freedom will do.


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Miller: Mystery Shrouds Planned Industrial Expansion Authority Honcho

If there were an award for Slickest Slickster in Local Government it would have to go to Al Figuly.

He’s the executive director of the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority, an obscure city agency that gives out huge tax breaks.

When I was a reporter at the Pitch I was dying to an expose on the PIE.

I suspected that it was corrupt, or at least poorly managed.

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Joe Miller: Maria the Poodle and the Upcoming Kansas City Elections


Here’s a big juicy slab of arrogance for you all to sink your fangs into:

As everyone knows, I was the brains behind the "Maria the Poodle" YouTube video in Mayor Funk’s first campaign. So it seems only right that I should critique the sequel.

Let me start by giving props where props are due: Maria is one of the freaking cutest creatures on the face of earth. She should run for Fourth District At-Large. She’d kick Joe Serviss’s ass. She looks great in the video, too, and surprisingly upbeat, even though I know that it’s been a rough couple of years for her.

First, she lost her co-star from the first video: Ginny, who passed away in late ’07, dog rest her soul.

Then she lost me.

Everyone on the Mayor’s "core team" knows that Maria loved me the most. She went crazy whenever she saw me coming up the front steps.

Because my belly rubs fucking rocked! I owned that little bitch’s soul.

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