Tuesday, October 31, 2017

An Open Letter to Marlys Shulda, Failed Candidate for the Kansas House

Dear Ms. Shulda,

I read your letter to the editor of the Shawnee Dispatch that appeared on line.

Let's see you excoriated Dave Myres for calling Justin Adrian out on his (Adrian's) political party affiliation.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.  One liberal democrat trying to shore up another liberal democrat.

Let's see now, in most cases one's political affiliations are usually good indications of how that person will act if they are elected to office.  True, the city council race is non-partisan, but that doesn't mean that once elected the individual's partisanship would not show through. 

Now, let's look at Mr. Adrian's background.  The thing that really causes me the most concern  is that he himself has stated that he was very proud to go to the Democratic National Convention as a Hillary Clinton delegate.  That was on his crowd funding page to get money to go to the convention. That's horrible.  I may not live in Ward 3, but when the council conducts business they conduct it for the entire city not just their ward.  Or do you need a refresher course in civics 101?  As a Vietnam vet there is no way that I would want a person who supported the Witch of Benghazi (pardon the misspelling) to sit on the city council.  We won't even talk at this time about the Uranium One deal or her many other anti-American actions.  And you want folks to support Adrian? Well, that is your right.  But don't expect his support of Clinton to go unreported.  Especially when his opponent (Dave Myres) is a decorated former army captain.

Oh, one other thing.  You seem to think that Dave Myres only sends out mailers.  Surprise, surprise.  He has walked the ward, extensively. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission Replies Concerning Kenig Contributions

Reference is made to my previous post about Council member Brandon Kenig receiving $1000 in campaign contributions from lawyers associated with the firm and the firm itself representing the developers of the Westbrooke Green project.

I inquired of the State Governmental Ethics Commission as to the legality of this situation.

Here is their reply:

Dear Mr. Erlichman,

In reply to your letter inquiry, dated October 16, the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, regarding local governmental ethics laws, has no enforcement authority but may issue ethics opinions to local government officials and employees upon request to ensure that their conduct complies with the local ethics laws (K.S.A. 75-4303a).

Local government ethics laws (K.S.A. 75-4301a, et seq.) deal largely with requirements of local officials or employees to file statements of substantial interest. Pursuant to K.S.A. 75-4304, a local officer or employee may not participate in the making of a contract with the person or business in which the official or employee has a substantial interest. By omission, campaign contributions are not attributable to whether a “substantial interest” exits, as that term is defined (K.S.A 75-4301a). Technically, campaign contributions to a candidate are not a source of income, rather, campaign contributions are to the campaign, and reportable by the Kansas campaign finance act.

 For the above reasons, allegations in your letter do not suggest a violation of the local governmental ethics laws. However, the commission cannot provide a ruling (ethics opinion), which may be issued only to the local official or employee as noted.


Mark Skoglund
Executive Director
Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission

So, it would appear that the contributions are technically OK.  IMHO, I still think they look real bad and will always wonder if those contributions consciously or subconsciously influences how Lame Duck Kenig conducts himself in the votes on the project.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tony Noble's Recent Letter is Aggravating

I'm not going to beat around the bush.  Going to get right to what is bothering me, since I have, up to this point supported Tony Noble.

Tony Noble, candidate for the Ward 4 council seat out a letter recently.  I have read it and am not happy as there appear to be several misleading statements.  For brevity's sake I will not go item by item at this point in time.

But, there is one item that I will address now.  In his letter he says:  "Even the mayor decided her column in the city's taxpayer-funded newsletter was the place to make political statements."

Wow, is this political neophyte off base.  Who is he relying on for his input?  You can read the mayor's letter for yourself by following this link and then scrolling to page 2.  The mayor, like any good elected official prior to an election is:
1.  Suggesting folks do research on the candidates and not rely on just postcards
2.  She even suggests calling the candidates to discuss issues
3.  She points out how important it is to vote.

That is not political.  She made no comments as to the viability of any candidate. Basically, it was a generic "please do your civic duty and vote" column.  Something which I myself have advocated many times on this blog.

For Tony Noble to claim that that column was "making political statements" just shows that he does not understand that terminology.  Maybe his commentary would have been different if she had endorsed him.  Sour grapes?  Heck, she hasn't endorsed any candidates in this election.

Anyway, even though I have voiced a preference for Tony Noble in this election I must now change my position.  For various reasons I cannot support his opponent either.  Have never been in this position in a local race before.  I will probably end up writing in a candidate.  Heck, might even write myself in.........

Most importantly, I must apologize to those who have shown support for Noble based on my recommendations.  Even so, if you are one of those individuals, you may still find that he is your candidate of choice.  If so, that is the American way.  I just find his amateurish attempt to besmirch the mayor is reprehensible.  She has done more for this city than he can ever hope to do.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Kenig Gets Donations from Developer's Attorney/Law Firm

Brandon Kenig, the lame duck city council rep from Ward IV has been making various public comments that are favorable concerning the Westbrooke Green project at 75th and Quivira.

Well, we are not going to say whether we agree or disagree with his comments.  What we are going to say is that he has received various contributions to his campaign account from lawyers who work at the law firm that is representing the developer, to include a contribution from the firm itself.

First, let's look at this from the packet at the meeting of 10/9:

The project team for MP Westbrooke North, LLC consists of:
Principals: Joint venture of Mission Peak Capital and Extell Development Company
primary contact is Patrick J. Ventola of Mission Peak Capital
Legal counsel: John Petersen, Polsinelli
Engineer: Brad Sonner, Olsson Associates
Architect: Clint Evans and Tim Homburg, NSPJ Architects

Now, let's look at these contributions which Kenig listed on his financial filings:

4/25/17  Polsinelli PC                                                  $250
5/1/17    Curt Peterson  Attorney at Polsinelli PC       $250
5/1/17    John Peterson  Attorney at Polsinelli PC       $250
7/20/17  John Petersen  Attorney at Polsinelli PC       $250

Considering that Kenig reported $6,225 in contributions that $1,000 is a pretty substantial amount, like about 16%.

Even though he is a lame duck council representative he will still be on the council for any actions on this project at the 11/13 and possibly 12/8 meetings.

All I can say is that I have a hard time with these donations, especially the ones from the firm itself and the attorney who is counsel for the developer.

Lindsey Constance - All Puff No Substance - Bad for Shawnee

Just received a mailer from Lindsey Constance who is running for city council in Ward 4 in Shawnee.
A copy of it is posted below.  Click on it to see a larger view.

Ms. Constance is all puff and absolutely no substance.  Read the piece for yourself.  Typical kumbayah sound bites.  Nowhere does she mention her position(s) on any recent or current actions before the council.

She just comes up with the usual liberal democratic socialist talking points.  This individual would be bad for Shawnee.  Actually, she'd be terrible for Shawnee.  We do know that she has received funding from the JoCo Democratic party machine.  Is she another Hillary Clinton disciple like Justin Adrian?

Remember the name and face below.If you like keeping your money in your wallet do not vote for her.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Aztec Theater - Social Media Run Amok

Wow, talk about a firestorm. 

At the last council session the plans for the reopening/financing of the Aztec theater came up.

Prior to that discussion Mayor Distler read a statement.  Apparently there was a video on line concerning this matter.  The video had in excess of 11,000 views.  But, there were some statements that were not factually correct.

One of the statements in the video was that the money the ownership was requesting from the city was a loan.  Simply put............not true.  It was a "give" from the economic development fund.  There were some claw back provisions (good for only five years).  One of the provisions, which were not part of the original plan involved what would happen if the new ownership sold the property within the first five years and how the city could/would recover funds.  Some of the other clawbacks were in case the entity shut down for a period of 6 months, but the city's recoupment was at a prorated basis.  The fact is, the money was not a loan.

One of the other items in the video was that the money for the theater was coming from the Nieman Now! project. Simply put, wrong.

There were other items that the mayor addressed.

One would think that folks would be happy that items that were misstatements of facts were corrected.  Instead social media has blown up to include among other things that the mayor was corrupt.  Allegations that the mayor shifted funds between accounts were really outrageous.  In our city the mayor cannot shift funds among accounts. 

Corrupt for stating the truth.  What a unique concept.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Council Candidate Matt Zimmerman - Naughty, Naughty

Having a "Meet and Greet" for a candidate is something that happens many, many times during election season.  They are great events for folks to visit and talk with a candidate.  Nothing wrong there.

Advertising for these events is important so folks can know about them.  Except when a notice about the event is taped to an NBU (Neighborhood Box Unit - that's a mail box).  If one checks with the USPS I believe they will find that it is a violation of Federal law to do this.  Now, granted, nobody was harmed, mail delivery wasn't interrupted, it's just an "in your face" type of thing.

See the image below, and click on it for a larger version.