My favorite political line lately has been, "Five years as an investigative reporter in Kansas City has totally destroyed my faith in the Democratic Party." But now I realize you don't even have to work to become disillusioned. All you have to do is be a registered voter during primary season, and just sit back and watch the sleeze ooze through the mail slot. When you have campaigns this nasty -- all to within the same party -- you know the issues aren't what's at issue. This is a dog fight to see who gets the corruption spoils.
The worst of the slanderous mailers have been for the race to represent us in the Missouri House, between incumbant John Burnett and J.J. Rizzo. We got this one on behalf of Rizzo:
It says it was paid for by a group called Save Northeast. It's bankrolled almost entirely -- to the tune of $10,000 by a cat named Larry Shouse, who works for Shouse & Raithel Attorneys, which is listed as operating out of an apartment in Midtown. Some company called CAW Enterprizes kicked in another $1,500.
Can't help but wonder what would make a man plunk down ten grand for a really lame slam campaign against a lowly state rep, on behalf of a little-boy son of a felon. I ran Shouse's name through the Missouri court docket database and saw him listed as the defendent in a whole bunch of breach-of-contract cases, but I didn't dig any further. He should sue himself. Talk about a lame attack campaign. Strip clubs are hardly a nuisance in our neck of the woods. They're all safely set aside in industrial zones on the meth-infested peripheries of the Northeast. For ten large you'd think you'd get some real dirt.
Meantime, John Burnett's attack on little JJ seems on point. I don't know if it's true, but the problem Burnett ties his opponent to -- predatory lending -- is a HUGE problem in our community. I should've taken a picture of the most recent slander mailer sent on behalf of Burnett, because it's equally ridiculous. It's covered with pictures of blood-thirsty wolves, and a little tiny super-dark image of J.J. guffawing like a dork.
Also should've scanned JJ's big positive mailer for himself. It's almost a negative campaign attack in its own right, because every single picture of it is so absurdly staged. Not unusual for a campaign postcard, true, but because JJ looks all of fourteen all the usual smiling-with-old-folks-and-black-people shots seem especially fake.
As it stands, the only other thing I scanned was this classic slam on Charlie Wheeler:
The best thing about it is it prompted the Star to actually print the words "liver spots" (well, on it's blog, but still). No way I'm voting for this coot. Not since he got the nod from Freedom Inc. I've come to realize that an endorsement from the city's oldest black political group is actually proof that the candidate is a sucker who doesn't have the slightest clue how to relate to blacks. (I should probably vote for Sanders in this deal, but I'm leaning toward the crazy black guy.)
Then there's this refreshing mailer from ole Patrick Dobson:
It offers the story of Pat's walk to Helena, Montana. Not sure what that has to do with Jackson County politics. I think he's trying to say he's a human being. Not exactly the message I get from his fellow Democrats' materials.