It’s certainly been an interesting ride on the Mayoral campaign trail with each candidate releasing “key” endorsements. For those unfamiliar with the process, campaign endorsements are a candidate’s way of telling the other, losing candidate’s followers that this cool cat is OK to vote for because he or she thinks like me, that candidate believes the same thing I do as far as colluding with Black Pastors, shredding the City Charter or promising choice city bureaucratic positions to sitting council people in return for their endorsement.
The trick, however, is doing your homework- which includes doing the drill-down necessary to make a smart choice for the city’s highest, or second highest office, depending on where you place the City Manager in the hierarchy of city government.
That said, let the Dog get right to it. Councilman and losing Mayoral Primary candidate Jermaine Reed earlier this week threw his political clout, if you can say being a petulant, spoiled man-boy has clout, behind candidate Jolie Justus. On the surface, this all looks good. Reed is seemingly bringing the city’s East side vote to Justus because “she’s one of us” and she’s “down with the struggle” so-to-speak. Not so fast, says this keen-eyed NewsDog.
Time to ask some hard questions, like what exactly came with that endorsement? What did Reed bring to the table as far as special interests, or so-called voting blocks? Why did Reed throw his support behind a White, middle-aged female from a heavily-gentrified midtown neighborhood, over his Council colleague from the 3rd District, Quinton Lucas, who helped him shepherd The Paseo name change debacle through the Council? Does this endorsement automatically bring the Black Pastor, Capital Grill buy-off dinner vote to Justus? Like the Dog said, time to ask the tough questions.
Also this week, as far as endorsements go, long-time Councilwoman, former Jackson County Executive Kathryn Shields threw her support behind competing Mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas. If you think this was a political head-scratcher, let the critically-thinking NewsDog set the record straight. Kathryn Shields is no stranger to how the political system works in Jackson County and Kansas City, Missouri. She and husband Phil Cardarella have been around the block more than a few times and know their way around in terms of how to get what strings pulled in their direction and make it look like no strings were pulled in the process.
Make no mistake, the Shields endorsement for Lucas came with a price and voters need to look no further than City Hall’s 29th floor and the City Manager’s office to see where the Shields political machine has its sights set.
This Dog is callin’ it right here and now. If candidate Quinton Lucas wins at the polls on June, you can bet the farm the current City Manager, Troy Schulte, is out the door in favor of Shields-Cardarella et al. Given Troy Schulte’s strong support of the Historic Northeast community, his unwavering support of Police Chief Rick Smith and the Kansas City MO Police Department, voters need to know the FOP endorsement of Lucas, questionable in its own right, takes a back seat to the Shields endorsement in terms of how things shake out for the thin blue line and the operational paradigm that will exist at PD HQ under a Lucas Mayorship.
The bottom line is this, voters need to do their homework and know that elections have consequences, almost as heavily as endorsements have consequences. Do your homework. Ask the tough questions and be an informed voter. To the candidates, the Dog is watching.