Thursday, November 02, 2017
TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! ACTIVIST PHILLIP KLEIN RETURNS TO KANSAS CITY POLITICS AS TOP DONOR IN GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN AGAINST NEW AIRPORT QUESTION #1!!!
Phillip Klein earned a name for himself among Kansas City political denizens about twenty years ago as a gadfly of local government overspending.
He's the CEO of U.S. Co. and a documentary moviemaker but his struggles against Bi-State II, The P&L District and a soccer stadium in Kansas have earned him most of his notoriety.
Currently he has provided most of the funding for Citizens For Responsible Government over the past year with middle-class contributions totaling around $55K and probably just a bit more after this airport election is complete. Compared to the $1.6-MILLION donated by just about every corporation in Kansas City to the "Better KCI (KC3T)" campaign . . . The funding is peanuts . . . But CFRG has subsisted on paltry $20 & $50 dollar donations for nearly half a decade.
17-years ago, The Pitch offered the best write-up of the activist and here's the money quote from one of his fans:
"He is the underdog who never quits. Sometimes his style might rub people the wrong way. In the end, all he cares about is the city. He spends hundreds of hours, perhaps thousands, to help communities and neighborhoods and businesspeople gain an equal voice with the power brokers who can afford lawyers. He doesn't receive a dime.... The 'haves' have more resources to get things done. Phil exhausts himself to try to even the score. Every community should have a Phil Klein."
To be fair, Mr. Klein also has much harsher critics who have attacked his caustic and often abrasive style throughout the course of his activism. Our TKC blog community believes it's important to offer a quick glimpse of his involvement in this election and recent anti-tax crusades in order to offer a broader perspective on how voting really works in Kansas City and the players who really power the local discourse but mostly go unmentioned in MSM reporting.
The opposition against the upcoming new airport Question #1 vote is comprised of a disorganized collection of grassroots activists, some bloggers and more than a few social media trolls who enjoy taunting all of the paid consultants servicing their tenuous and mostly embarrassing contracts. While old money and Kansas City and establishment Conservatives have been more comfortable pushing their own made-to-order public TV movies it's noteworthy that this issue has brought Mr. Klein back into the fold of local politics in a role that's now mostly behind the scenes.
Developing . . .