Fifty years ago, Jack Sweeney won the primary in Jackson County and the CCP Democrats went on to sweep a unanimous victory in the ‘68 general election.
I think I can relate to the kids of candidates and elected officials—I was one of them in 1968 at the ripe age of nine.
A simple stance against a then-fairly young Jim Nutter at a cocktail reception attempted to bully Dad into firing his newly appointed staff attorney, then really young Joe Mulvihill, from the assessor’s office became a defining moment. “You’ll have to talk to my attorney about that,” was his quick response. Perhaps he didn’t fit well in an establishment by disagreeing with a Democratic boss, but good for him for doing the right thing on behalf of the taxpayers—in arguably the most thankless job in government. There are stories—plenty of them—but this was one of my favorites. Another ties to technical advancements at that time as Dad implemented aerial photography as a method to identify improvements on properties for purposes of taxation. I think we take for granted how far technology has come in 50 years and I can only imagine where we’ll be in 2068.
Among the most important lessons I learned from my Dad was to do the right thing and to be loyal—even when it wasn’t popular in the eyes of some, or even many. I’d love to see folks—especially public servants—do the same, rather than be exclusively loyal to their party. This has been a factor in life and I’m sure it will continue.
The People Have Voted
We’ve seen problems with tabulating votes in elections before but perhaps none more memorable than the Bush vs. Gore Florida election recount debacle in 2000. What makes this event interesting is the conflict of interest of George Bush’s brother Jeb serving as governor in Florida at that time.
Fast forward to August 2018 and a dysfunctional election process in Kansas. To be sure, the stakes are nowhere near as high as in a presidential election, but they are no less critically important for Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Jeff Kobach in the Republican primary. I can only imaging the quiet halls of the State Capitol in Topeka and how responsibilities have been set aside as the candidates scurry to posture for votes. The irony is that elections and voting efficiency falls under the responsibility of Kobach. What’s also ironic is that Colyer has engaged representatives to all 105 counties to be a part of the recount and auditing process. A further irony: I understand federal officials will now decide on which votes to count in the Koback v. Colyer voting matter. Given the loud and proud endorsement of President Trump on behalf of Kobach, this has become one of the smelliest recounts and attempts to resolve the election outcome in history. Certainly in the state of Kansas.
Call me a dreamer, but I’d love to see public servants do the right thing, rather than be exclusively loyal to their party.
I have been impressed by the sanity and stability Jeff Colyer has brought to office since Sam Brownback’s departure in January. Kobach has name recognition, but it doesn’t always correlate with peace and stability. The sure thing about this year’s governor’s race is there are two strong Republican candidates and it will be interesting to see how Democratic candidate Laura Kelly will fare in a high-stakes election. For now, she and her party can sit back and enjoy….
One other ironic, if trivial, factor is that two high school students ran as Republican candidates for governor in the primary and earned 3,800 votes combined. If ever a single percentage and a few thousand votes made a difference, they sure would have in this election.
The Readers Have Voted
In a round-about way, this election thing ties back to this month’s 30th anniversary of Ingram’s Best of Business Kansas City Aw-
ards. Thirty years is a long time for any program, much less one with the number of categories and moving parts of this one. I was reminded recently that we’ve now presented 1,386 Gold Awards and more than 4,000 total awards when including the silver and bronze, since the inception of this program in 1989.
Ingram’s is fortunate to have remarkably discerning readers and I’m convinced your opinions create the most stable barometer to determine the best in each category. I’d like to thank our many voters and to congratulate our winners. It’s hard to earn a place among the winners in Best of Business and our 2018 winners genuinely comprise the best this city has to offer.
Enjoy this issue and I hope the candidates for Governor have been determined by the time this issue arrives.