Sunday, July 09, 2017
TKC SUNDAY SPECIAL!!! ALTERNATIVE EULOGY FOR MR. PEANUT: POLITICAL LEGACY OF JAMES B. NUTTER EXEMPLIFIES KANSAS CITY CORRUPTION!!!
We come to bury Mr. Peanut, not to praise him.
Quick point of fact for the timid among our blog community: We're not talking about Mr. Nutter as a person; I'm sure he was a nice guy and had a lot of people who loved him -- But, like all good deeds, that's completely irrelevant and worthless in terms of the political discourse.
Moreover . . .
UNTIL HIS DYING DAY, MR. PEANUT OWNED SO MANY KANSAS CITY ELECTED OFFICIALS JUST LIKE THE PROPERTIES IN HIS REAL ESTATE PORTFOLIO!!!
To be fair, Mr. Peanut played by the book and his corruption of public officials was perfectly legal inasmuch as American Democracy has always been for sale to highest bidder.
However, singing the praises of this political power broker is pointless given that his EPIC BANK ACCOUNT ensured that so many Kansas City politicos were working for him and NOT the vast majority of their constituents.
Real talk . . . One of the boldest moves in modern day local political history was Mr. Nutter featuring the Jackson County Prosecutor seemingly sitting on his lap in a snub to all of local Democracy and a very real sign that every facet of this town worked for him.
Worse still, Mr. Nutter played the game of identity politics better than anybody during his last years and used his cash to prop up worthless Legislators like Crystal Williams and her "girl power" coven. Mr. Nutter was basically her "Daddy" and the main reason she was plucked from a Midtown bar stool to play local politics by way of calling anyone who disagrees with her a misogynist.
In his final power move, Mr. Peanut funded the political ambitions of Jackson County Exec Frank White. The result has been a clueless jock in charge of a jail crisis that gets worse almost every week. Human rights and law enforcement safety are seemingly ignored because some guy threw a ball around town back in the 80s and found the right benefactor.
Let's get even more real even though we agree with his legacy on this account . . .
Cash from Mr. Peanut killed streetcar expansion. He never cared for the idea of the toy train, didn't like the additional taxes near his properties and helped derail efforts over and over again with a great deal of success.
And while the real estate juggernaut is being praised as a saint today, he was not universally beloved. Remember that former Council Dude Russ Johnson threw a memorable insult Mr. Nutter's way regarding "subprime" mortgages amid frustration about continued rail transit opposition . . .
Fun fact, Russ Johnson has about as good of a chance as Mr. Nutter in his current state at getting elected to any other office and that's party because of loyalty to the Kansas City mortgage kingpin.
And so . . .
MEDIA AND LOCAL POLITICOS ARE LYING WHEN THEY TOUT THE PHILANTHROPY OF JAMES B. NUTTER GIVEN THAT HIS ELECTION ADVENTURES WERE ALWAYS A PART OF PROTECTING HIS INVESTMENTS!!!
Yes, I'm sure that he gave a lot to charity and many other good causes but the legacy of his political activity is nothing more than an enduring example that the loyalty of so many Kansas City elected officials can be purchased easily by way of timely contributions.
Nevertheless, people can't take their power and fortune to the grave. Even the greatest local legacies are forgotten quickly in the age of ephemeral digital content, reporting and life that's as disposable as cheap mobile phones manufactured in the Far East.
There are those who proudly celebrate the life and times of Mr. Peanut along with the golden era of Kansas City politics. There is no question that he was a powerful man who built an empire by way of gaming a corrupt system and so many elected officials who lacked cash and self esteem. But, in the final analysis: Times change, memories fade, properties switch hands and not all houses hold value but often cheapen very much like growing public disregard for the Democratic process.
You decide . . .