Monday, February 28, 2011

Guess I should weigh in on the election tomorrow

Getting all caught up in meaningless Leawood Park issues certainly has been should have seen the hate email......but there is an actual election tomorrow. A primary election for OP City Council's 6th which is southland. South of 135th from State line to like Pflumm-ish.

I'll break down the highly contested 3 way race for Overland Park's Sixth District City Council.

This is a simple story and a simple choice so pay attention because I'm sure you all haven't been so far. Top 2 go onto the general in April.

3 candidates. One experienced person who has long served the community in a variety of ways, one newbie, and one person who seems hell bent on winning some kind of election someday but also lacks any real experience.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big believer that experience is NOT the most important thing in local politics. Attitude and intellect are more important. These people serve you and I and get very little in return. So I look for attitude. What is their motivation for running? Then I put that together with intellect to see if they have the capacity to do the work in a thoughtful way. Mix in a look at ethics as a way to determine how they will behave and can usually easily figure out who to vote for. So, let's jump in.

Attitude: Has served the city in many, many ways. Long time commitment to Overland Park. Chairman of the Planning Commission, Search committee for City Manager, Chairman of the Chamber, Past President of his HOA. This guy cares and gets involved. This is heart of a servant.

Intellect: Well, an attorney but don't hold that against him. I don't think he practices now but it does speak to his ability to think critically. Based on his past experience he has a history of being a leader.

Ethics: I can't find one bad thing about him...No stolen signs and he isn't a developer.

Intangibles: He was the only one of the three that had a working web link from the Democracy Project. It means something to me that people he has worked/volunteered with will endorse him. Especially Ed Eilert and George Kandt.

Rebecca Ansley.

Attitude: I love people that want to get involved. She has run for office before but I like to see people for a little in the trenches before they run for office. I think her heart is in the right place.

Intellect: I think she is certainly smart enough for the job. It is just a little hard to tell because it is hard to find much on her. She seems appropriately pragmatic on local issues like taxes and development. Her experience in Real Estate can certainly be a plus in understanding citizen issues on protecting property values.

Ethics: Looks like a Grandma and probably behaves like one too. No worries.

Intangibles: Well, she is the only chica in the race but her organization seems lacking so I kinda doubt her real drive for this election. I couldn't find a website or a campaign facebook account. Does she know about the internet?

Attitude: John seems driven by this new breed of people who woke up and decided to get involved based on anger over taxes and government intrusion in our lives. Call them the Tea Party or is the new activism. But seeing how probably he had never been inside City Hall prior to a year or so ago......who knows maybe just to file for office. Anyway, anger can only carry you so far because most of time in this type of role is spent on much more mundane issues and I just think he will keep finding races to run until he finds one he can win. What job do you want? 3rd District, City Council, Dog Catcher....please tell us....or do you just want to be elected to something....anything?? Or are looking to find a way to launch a political career with higher aspirations? He is even using the same picture he used for the 3rd District beating he took.

Intellect: I don't know. I guess I don't have any reason to think he is an idiot. He went to the prestigious South Dakota State.

Ethics: Seems like a fine person. I couldn't find any nude pictures of him on the internet. Seems like a good family man who is prolific in that regard.

Intangibles: John is the only candidate playing right at the no annexation crowd. You have the area he would represent right there in the south past 135th street and running to state line. He is against any new taxes. The question is does these positions so popular nationally trickle to uber local races? He is leveraging the conservative movement for this local election. I'm a hard core conservative. He boasts a strong list of local elected far right conservatives as endorsing his campaign like Lance Kinzer and Kris Kobach and the less right wing Jerry Moran however local elections are non partisan. Endorsements are great but how have you served your community?

The logical choice is Rick Collins. Hands down. He has earned it and would continue to serve the city thoughtfully and with passion. He has spent his adult life serving OP and has stayed focused on OP. He holds thoughtful and experienced positions that just aren't "no tax" or "no development" or "no annexation" OP is a growing and important city in Johnson County and it needs to be continued to be run well. OP impacts all of us in Johnson County regardless if you actually live in it or not. Is he a conservative? If so, spill it man. Don't make us guess.

Who will be his general election suitor? Probably John Rysavy. He is a better organization than Ansley and has at least some name recognition as well as all of the No Tax/Tea Party vote. From there it should be an interesting month of March to see if Rysavy can activate the conservative base for a non partisan position.
This primary election may have as few as 500 voters meaning everyone counts. I could be wrong in there maybe an interested electorate but history says it will be less than 500. Rysavy might be able to swing the election if only his kids were all old enough to vote.

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