Friday, March 21, 2014


Like it or not, Transit Activist Clay Chastain has been one of the most dedicated Kansas City Transit activists in modern history.

However, lately he has met with an effort to silence his analysis of this town's toy train moves.

Now . . .


As I See It

To: Merriam Pepper, President of the Kansas City Star Editorial Board

From: Clay Chastain, author, drafter, and leader of the light rail initiative

Would you please respond to the following inquiry:

As the leader of the light rail initiative that 4,000 registered voters signed in support of almost 3 years ago, I desire to know if the Kansas City Star is going to publish the "As I See It" guest column I authored and submitted to the Star on March 17, 2014 in respect to that initiative (recently ruled constitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court) the Kansas City government still refuses to place before voters?

An aside: I am concerned that the editorial board of the Star, whoseemingly is backing the city's streetcar plan and its apparent attempt to use the streetcar as a hook for attracting the Republican National Convention, does not want to see a competing transit idea upset this grand scheme.

Nevertheless, the people have a right to hear from those on both sides of this controversial issue that is of great importance to the community and the city's future.

If you have decided not to publish it, would you please state your reasons.

Thank you,

Kansas City community activist, Clay Chastain


Miriam Pepper

Clay: We won't be able to use this piece. I suggest trimming to letter length of 200 words and resubmit online at

Clay: Regarding your aside, you misstated the facts. You had a published As I See It column in 2009. In 2011, you had another opinion piece in the Business section. Your points have been made repeatedly, in letters and news stories. We have high demand for the As I See It slot, give preference to local writers, and I don't find enough new information in your latest submission to warrant publication.


Miriam Pepper | Vice President, Editorial Page


Merriam: First off, thank you for responding this time, and I stand corrected it was 5 years ago instead of 8 that you last published an As I See It column from me. I guess nothing you pointed out... has happened in the last 5 years to warrant publishing my article. As for dubious claim that i repeatedly make my points in your paper's copious news stories about this travesty of justice... I sometimes get one quote in Lynn Horsley's news stories whenever there is a court decision, of which there have been many thanks to the city dragging the petition into court after court.

As for your stated opinion to, "give preference to local writers," that is a phony excuse. Show me a local writer that got 75,000 Kansas City voters to approve a light rail transit system he designed. Show me a local writer that gathered 4,000 signatures, in 2011, of registered voters to support an initiative he designed. Show me a local writer that has spent the last 2.5 years and $30,000.00 battling the city in court to try and protect Kansas City voters' right to vote on their valid initiative.

The truth is, my article doesn't "warrant publication" by the Star because it rocks the establishment, challenges your board's position on the city's stupidly designed and improperly approved streetcar plan, and draws conspicuous attention to the failure of your editorial board to come to the defense of an initiative that Mayor James has bullied into oblivion. Nothing more and nothing less.



Anonymous said...

Doesn't the fact that Tony is the only person on the face of the earth who pays any attention at all to Chastain and his bullshit tell him anything?

So goes it with crackpots with a peculiar sense of entitlement and self-importance who think the world is waiting with bated breath for their latest incomprehensible screed.

Oh, and one itty bitty inconvenient fact that Tony ignores and Chastain won't directly respond to -- He ain't local. Hasn't been for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

Can't he start his own blog?

Anonymous said...

The "As I See It" column is frequently written by nonlocals. Clay remains the only person to have had a light rail initiative passed in a city-wide vote. Had the two-mile starter streetcar been put to a real vote, does anyone think it would have passed? And if you really think it would have passed, why wasn't it put to a city-wide vote?

Even the upcoming vote seems to be another dishonest vote, tying the Prospect MAX, which would benefit people who actually ride transit, to extending the streetcar, which is a total and complete waste of money Kansas City does not have.

Anonymous said...

KC Star is a rag. Should be considered abuse to make the bird shit on it.

Anonymous said...

Isn't "Blond Watermelon" awake yet? He always has something pithy to say when Clay's name comes up.

Anonymous said...

The Truth is bad for The Star
The Truth is bad for Big Business

Anonymous said...

The Truth is bad for The Streetcar

You forgot that one 8:21

P Bear said...

A perfect pairing...Miriam Pepper and Cum Guy. Now that Cum Guy will spray their hair with a wild shot.

Anonymous said...

Fight on Clay!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't think Miriam wrote anything anymore. That's probably as much work as she's done in months and then, as usual it's to stifle any opinion that doesn't kiss the establishment's ass. What a douchebag.

Anonymous said...

the streetcar and light rail are NOT the issue here. the issue is how can elected officials usurp the peoples right to petition for redress? if they are allowed to do it on light rail, whats to keep them from doing it on any other initiative?

Anonymous said...

What allows the elected bozos to do pretty much anything they want is the fact that residents of KCMO really don't pay much attention to how their tax money is spent, how promise after promise from city hall is ignored, or how there's no interest or involvement in the most basic of services to residents year after year.
And the same kinds of people and in some cases, the same people, get elected and re-elected time after time.
Look at the current crop of council candidates. Has a single one said anything about why they're running or what they hope to accomplish in city government? Nothing but the same old "what are you going to run for next" amateur politicos endorsed by the same tired old crowd.
Sly James won with only 21% of the vote of registered voters in KCMO.
And even after he and his gang have spent all these millions and obligated residents for hundreds of millions more for decades, he'll win again.

Anonymous said...

Agree! Let's throw the bums out next year.

Matt Sutbleface said...

We must fear for those who know not how to use twitter #hashtags!

Inafunkabputyael said...

No need to comment on the actions of the putrid Pepper and the degraded and mostly irrelevant KC Star (the home of the old Lion of the Press, Yael T Abouhalkah). Clay is living in his own fantasy world thinking that people still read the Star. Better he should go back to his glory days outside of Union Station canvassing for light rail votes and dates with any woman he took a fancy to at the time.

The conclusion is that all of these people Miriam Pepper, Clay Chastain and Yael T. Aboulhalkah aren't worth the spit on a postage stamp :(

Anonymous said...

File this and everything dealing with this guy and his schemes in the Irrelevant File.

Anonymous said...

The streetcar scheme makes Clay look like a bright and professional transit planner with really good ideas.

Anonymous said...

Clay your home in Virginia is calling . . . Go home.

Anonymous said...

Clay and Byron.. The Virginias must have some silly in the water.

Westport Trucky said...

Mrs. Pooper is full of poop.

Anonymous said...

7:18, nowhere in Pepper's reponse does she say that "As I See It" isn't written sometimes by non-locals.

Perhaps she was too kind when she was trying to tell Chastain that they restrict publication only to those pieces that aren't completely batshit crazy and written by attention whores.

Anonymous said...

"We have high demand for the As I See It slot, give preference to local writers..."