Posts Tagged ‘Clay County Commission’

If you haven’t heard, a judge finally (the time this took is absolutely absurd and shows how screwed up our judiciary is) backhanded the County “leadership” that had refused to produce documents in a citizen led audit.

So, in typical fashion, they’ve decided that they need more time to produce the documents. I guess the weeks and months that have passed didn’t present enough time to do this tax.

Clay County asks court for extension to cooperate with state audit

You see, people that have respect for those they represent and work for would have approached this situation with the documents ready just in case. But, that’s what people with character would have done, not who two of our Commissioners, and not the individuals that are in County Administration.

Next Tuesday can’t come soon enough… Of course, that presumes the next Commission will be better. I certainly hope so, but I’ve been watching this circus for long enough to know that we’ll just have to see about that.

I was hoping we wouldn’t get to this point in the campaign, but here we are. I naively thought after all the crap we’ve been through with Ridgeway and Owen that we could at least have a freaking campaign that had two candidates just run for office, offer us ideas, plans, and just let the chips fall where they may.

Silly me, this is Clay County where politics is a circus… Oh, Hell, this is America. No matter what you do, no matter how much you hope, you get American politics. Every. Damn. Cycle.

Last week a mailer dropped from the Thompson campaign in Republican mailboxes around the county.

And as usually is the case with the Thompson campaign mailers that we’ve seen so far in this race, it was short on substance. This time it was long on ridiculous, untruthful accusations about her opponent.

Did you know? Doug Ervin is a lying liar who lies!

Oh, dang, darn, dang, darn! That lying liar! How freaking dare he!

See it says it right there!

Did you know? If you type something in like 144 font on one side of a political mailer it obviously makes it true.

Now flip it over and you can behold the lying liar in all his lying glory.

LIAR!

Good grief… It’s like they hired a thirteen-year-old to put this together.

(Please tell me they hired a thirteen-year-old because I really don’t want to believe Megan had any role to play in this. I sat across the desk in her office, enjoyed a coffee, and had intelligent discussions with her multiple times not too many years ago. She surely didn’t think this was a good idea?)

I had some nice things to say about Thompson on the write-up I did on the primary ballot the other day, and I legitimately meant them, but I’m starting to question things if this is the type of crap they’re going to pull.

Not retracting them, just starting to question them.

It’s clear this is nothing more than a personal attack attempting to harm Ervin’s character. Which, frankly, is an absolute pile of shit considering how decent of a person Ervin is. You won’t find one person in this county that knows Ervin well who would have anything negative to say about him.

For anyone that cares about facts, here we go:

First, before I even address the specifics of the “lobbyist” claim, you notice something about the citation?

That’s Sourcewatch.org. It’s a bit of ironic hilarity in the sense that this says “Republican Voter Alert”. You do realize that Sourcewatch is a left leaning website that spends a significant amount of time trying to “expose” right leaning organizations?

(American politics is stupid, we can’t just have different ideas, we have to have groups that “expose” the other group. Maybe most Americans have thirteen-year-olds run their political organizations?)

But, hey, gee golly, Republican Alert! Alert! Alert! Alert!

Sigh…

I reached out to the Ervin campaign for a little rebuttal, with regards to the actual claims here’s a bit of a response:

  1. These weren’t “vacations” they’re referencing, they were conferences.
  2. Ervin was a member of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). Again, completely ironic I’m sure, but Sourcewatch is often concerned with exposing ALEC. It’s literally on Sourcewatch’s front page. ALEC is a right leaning organization that pushes market oriented, limited government solutions. You know the things “conservatives” used to be for, you know, the thing the Thompson campaign continues claim in their mailers that they are. Either we’re not what we say we are, or we’re so scared of losing this election we’re throwing darts at walls hoping they land on the right message.
  3. Ervin served on two different task forces for ALEC which required him to attend these conferences.
  4. He paid for the flights, hotels, ground transportation, and any non-conference expenses and these weren’t tax payer funded. I know that’s not claimed, but people often allow their mind to wander. Just pointing that out.
  5. As a member of a task force, ALEC provided scholarships, typically $500 – $1000 (sometimes higher, but typically $500), to help defray the costs of attending. They were mandatory, or you lose your seat.
  6. Ervin never even attended a conference in San Diego, CA.
  7. Everything was properly reported on his personal financial disclosures.
  8. The last conference he attended was over 10 years ago.

With regards to the registered lobbyist attack, I get it, we’ve turned all lobbyists into basically one step above Satan, but it’s part of the political process. As long as you tax and regulate big companies like a lot of you think we should do (after all they’re just evil rich people, that pay employees, who pay taxes), you’re going to have lobbying. Tragically, lobbyists are just one more thing we have reduce to one word or one phrase that’s connotatively loaded. It’s kind of like how a Megan Thompson campaign mailer has attempted to reduce the campaign down to one word or one phrase.

About the whole lobbyist thing…

  1. He followed the law to protect himself and his employer. That evil lying liar who lies, how DARE he follow the law! Gasp!
  2. He never lobbied for anyone but Cerner, you know, his employer. You know, the company that is one of the largest employers in the state and the Kansas City metro who just happens to specialize in an industry that is easily the most highly regulated “private” sector in the entire economy. How DARE he! He was asked to do a job by Neal Patterson, you know that guy, the one that ran Cerner. Sorry, it wasn’t as glamorous as collecting liquor license and amusement park fees for the last 6 years, but hey, some people got jobs to do.
  3. If you were to look at his expenditure reports, most years show minimal amounts, some even showed $0.
  4. It states at the top that Ervin “IS” a lobbyist. Someone needs a lesson on the most used verb in the English language. He’s not registered since 12/31/2019. That’s not a present tense state of being no matter how you twist it.

He issued a statement recently about all this lobbyist nonsense on his Facebook page if you care to read it:

He took money from BAD folks… Oh, good grief. Now we’ve gone from thirteen-year-old to five-year-old.

Mommy, that man took money from that bad woman.

Sorry son, we probably should banish him from human civilization…

This is maybe the most disingenuous attack in the entire piece.

Did Doug Ervin take money from Luann Ridgeway. Yup. It was 18 YEARS AGO when most people (I was never one of them!) in the Republican party in this goofy county thought Ridgeway was something special. This is just stupid.

And if we really want to get into campaign contributions and criticizing them, well…

Maybe we should, Megan.

You see, everyone can play the guilt by association game, and it’s actually one of the reasons I wasn’t even going to say something about the whole campaign donations things because I thought, again naively, that we could just have a campaign here for the betterment of Clay County, but…

Yeah, Clay County Politics.

Oh, the picture above, what’s that? You see that’s a donation from Matt Thompson, Megan’s brother in law to none other than Ms. Ridgeway. And who is T. K. Thompson you might ask…

Well, that’s Megan’s father-in-law…

And…

Now, that my friends is a donation.

Is it wrong…

Nope. I despise campaign finance “reform”, I actually think the “ethics” reform plan the Ervin campaign has put forward is stupid. Hell, I even hate the reporting that’s required in campaigns.

Money=Speech.

But… Since we know what we know, one could make an observation that it’s insanely peculiar when you consider Megan’s husband is the Assistant County Prosecutor. One could, could, get out in the weeds and accuse the Thompson campaign of solely being about name ID to eventually run Megan’s husband for County Prosecutor.

I honestly don’t know for sure.

I’ll repeat what I’ve said previously. I’ve always thought Megan Thompson to be a good, and decent person. I get this is politics, and people do things they may not otherwise normally do. After all, the Thompson’s have a Hell of a lot of money riding on this race…

Could you imagine the fear if you spent $75,000 dollars of your own money on a race that you could lose? Stay away from the stock market Megan.

Don’t even get my started on the rationality of spending $75,000 of your own money on a race that only pays roughly the same in salary annually.

Could you imagine what one could have done with $75,000 as opposed to “invest” it in a race for Clay County Commissioner? A position that easily 50%+ of the “normies” don’t even know exists.

But, hey, she’s a conservative Republican!

In all reality, in 2020 that means you have no fiscal discipline or fiscal responsibility, so one could have a take that this absolutely seems in line with typical “conservative” thought.

County Commissioners have nothing to do with the budget… Really…

What is so insanely frustrating about all of this to me is that I honestly and truthfully liked Megan before this primary race, but in all honesty, my interest and excitement is waning in the context of what’s happening in this primary. This mailer is ridiculous, and after all we’ve been through the last 8 years we deserve far better than this.

To me, the decision is quite clear on Tuesday. I’m voting Ervin for Commissioner, and right now, I need to think about how much voice I care to contribute to the Thompson campaign if it continues to the general.

Zero hour approaches… Which means Clay County primary voters will be given the ability to further screw up the county.

Even though I’m a card carrying and dues paying Libertarian, I usually pull a Republican primary ballot because, in theory, they’re the closest ideologically to where I stand on some things. Plus, Libertarians usually only have one candidate per race if we’re lucky, so it’s mostly pointless to pull a Libertarian primary ballot.

Watching the Republicans the last four years has become exceptionally painful. What was once a party of principles (at least I thought) has been consumed by factions, partisanship, and Trump worship. On many days, it’s not much different than the Democrat party of the Obozo years. The Democrat party of 2020 is filled with Marxist psychopaths that scare me half to death. Until more Americans wake up, we’re dealt the hand we’re dealt, and we’ve got to play the cards as they are.

There are two races at the local level that I’m most concerned about. Those races are Clay County Eastern Commissioner (in which I live inside of) and Clay County Assessor. I have no comments on the Western Commissioner race as I quit spending time and energy worrying about races I have no say in.

For the last eight years, we’ve been tortured by the endless chaos, disrespect of the citizens, and fiscal waste brought on by Commissioners LuAnn Ridgeway and Gene Owen. And in 2020, we all get to begin anew because both of these parasites figured out that it’s probably better to end their political careers than attempt to face the voters.

Thanks you two, you won’t be missed. Enjoy your gubmint pension. We all know you worked so hard for it the last 8 years.

I got to somewhat know Megan Thompson through the time when I ran TheNorthlandNews.com. I always found her friendly, polite, and she seemed to have the best interests of the County at heart. Frankly, it pains me a little to write what I’m about to write because I always found her so likable. But, my agenda since I started this blog close to 10 years ago is not to make people like me, it’s always been about what’s best for my community when it comes to politics. Truth has no agenda.

I’ve spent much of my adult life in business and business leadership. What is required after the election is going to be an impressive exercise in personnel management and leadership. I suspect that quite a few people are going to lose their jobs. There’s a high probability tax revenues will be down. Tough decisions are going to have to be made. This is not going to be a task for the timid.

To me, this is a simple decision when you put Doug Ervin and Megan Thompson’s career and life experiences beside one another on paper. There’s just no way a person could justify voting for Megan Thompson in this election when you examine the needs of the task at hand.

I’ve seen some real dumb stuff come off the tips of people’s fingers on the ole’ Facebook groups about Ervin the last couple of weeks.

“Jeff City Politician”, or “career politician” or “outsider”. I’ve also seen the exceptionally brilliant comment that he’s just another Ridgeway.

That’s just idiotic.

The saddest part of American politics, especially local politics, is we like to reduce people to the simplest thing we don’t like when we think we don’t like them. It would do people well to dig a little deeper.

Did Ervin serve in the Missouri State Legislature?

Yep, sure did, and unlike a lot of the people that go down to that absolute Hell hole, he didn’t lose sight of who he was. And I might point out, he didn’t stay down there. A House seat, didn’t turn into a Senate seat, and then turn into a statewide run. Ervin came back home and went back into the private sector. That’s an act of true service.

The county is an absolute mess, and there’s a growing risk it may become a financial mess as we move forward into the 2020s as the affects of Covid are yet to be fully realized.

His education and private sector experience is absolutely best suited for the job. Ervin holds dual degrees in mathematics and business administration. He’s a Senior Director for Cerner. For 22 years he’s managed projects, people, and budgets.

Might I remind everyone that Cerner has revenue in the billions of dollars. The Clerks office deals with revenue in the thousands. Oh, and they file stuff.

Cerner is a company that deals with the health care sector. It is arguably in one of, if not the most, highly regulated sectors of the entire economy. Ervin has led teams inside of this environment successfully.

While Megan Thompson is a good person (seriously, I can’t stress this point enough, none of this is meant as a personal attack), while she’s absolutely taken some slings and arrows from the idiots on the commission, there’s nothing in her professional experience that even remotely says she’s more qualified for the position than Ervin. I don’t know what Ervin’s annual income is, but I assure you, this position pales in comparison to what he makes now. He’s not doing this because he needs to do it. He’s doing it because he wants to serve the people.

You should vote for people that have the qualifications for the job, and are best able to articulate a plan. That’s what real leaders do. Unfortunately, this campaign has largely happened on Facebook, but in the category of who has created a plan, and who has a vision, Ervin has handily proven himself to be ready for the job.

For anyone that’s curious and wants to educate themselves, visit the Ervin for Clay County Commission Facebook Page and read the multiple Notes that the campaign has released. The only thing we’ve seen out of the Thompson campaign is decently polished ads or mailers with one liner platitudes like, “Clean up Clay County Government”, or “I’m a conservative”, or “Megan Backs the Badge.” Good grief… There’s no plan for what she wants to do. Saying you want to “Clean up Clay County” is nice, but we’d kind of expect that if you’re running in this race.

The question is what are you going to DO?

Ervin has clearly answered that, Thompson hasn’t even begun to answer it.

The next race that concerns me is the County Assessor race. Truth be told, this race concerns me more than any others because there’s a real risk that the County could suffer some serious consequences if they make the wrong decision here.

There are three candidates in it: Tracy Baldwin, Chris Lonsdale, and Bill Keefer.

There’s one clear choice in this race, and that’s Tracy Baldwin. Baldwin has worked in the office since 2009 and served as the deputy assessor for the last 3 years.

In other words, he’s the guy with the most experience here.

In 2020, with what is potentially coming economically in this country, yeah, you’re going to want someone that has some clue of what to do. If we go through some sort of foreclosure crisis by year’s end, which is not improbable when you understand that all the forbearances that were granted because of Covid are probably going to have to be dealt with come October, there’s a real risk we see property values significantly affected.

Experience is going to matter.

Chris Lonsdale is reminiscent of the whole William James Norris affair that transpired years ago. Lonsdale is a young guy who has clearly been put up to running for the office because someone else had an axe to grind. He’s in his early 20s, lives at home with his parents, and up until the last week or so, didn’t even own any personal property. Supposedly, he now owns a car that was signed over to him by his parents.

Adulting is apparently really hard.

In addition to being the person who is effectively in charge of all assessment in the County, the assessor is also in charge of a sizable staff. Unless there’s some other evidence, I’m fairly certain that Lonsdale’s first real job of responsibility came just after he recently graduated from college.

Maybe the guy is like the Doogie Howser of property assessment and office management…

(Oh, wait, sorry, Chris, Doogie Howser, MD was a medical drama that ran in the early 90s on ABC. It featured a prodigy teenager who was a doctor. I was worried you wouldn’t get the reference since you weren’t even born yet.)

I doubt he’s the Doogie Howser of property assessment and office management, and this could be a real mess if he was elected.

Finally, Bill Keefer is the third candidate. Unfortunately, there’s no way to find out any in depth information about him. There’s no website and there’s barely a Facebook page. The candidate interview that the Courier did is available HERE. (As an aside, the Courier should have written the candidate interview in crayon as it’s so pathetic. Frankly, all the candidate interviews have been pathetic. Do people seriously subscribe to that newspaper?)

The biggest concern we all should have is that if Baldwin doesn’t win the primary, the Democrat candidate that is opposing him is Bruce Cantwell. Yeah, that guy, the one that ran for Recorder of Deeds who couldn’t pay his bills and taxes. He’s like Covid, he just won’t go away and keeps running for stuff.

(If this is literally all the Democrats in Clay County have to run for an important County wide race, well, you guys are desperately in trouble. There’s not one decent Democrat in all of Clay County more qualified than the guy who can’t pay his damn taxes? You do realize you have a candidate who didn’t pay his taxes and he’s freaking running for the office that assesses property so people can pay their taxes? And where in the Hell is the supposed Democratic saints of Clay County like Lauren Arthur, Mark Ellebracht, and Jon Carpenter? Is it too much to ask of you guys to come out and say something about this?)

There are a few top ballot primaries Republicans will cast votes on.

I can’t stand Governor Parson.

I had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting him several years ago when I attended the State of the State speech when Greitens was still Governor. I spent several minutes with him in his office in a private conversation. I found Parson to be of low intellect and incredibly uninspiring. All the guy wanted to do was tell me how great he was, and he had little interest in what I had to say.

Republican voters have a decent primary challenger with Dr. Jim Neely. Neely is actually a state representative from this area. I also met him in Jeff City at that same speech. He’d easily be better than Parson.

I also respect Neely for his willingness to speak out against the forced Covid lockdowns and the mask mandates (sorry peeps, wear a mask if you want, but my Libertarian hairs on my neck start rising when the government tells me to wear a particular article of clothing or forcibly closes businesses in the name of safety).

I’ll be voting for Neely in the primary, and if Parson wins, I’ll be voting for the Libertarian candidate (Rik Combs) in this race come November.

There is a primary for Lt. Governor. The current Lt. Governor is on the ballot and will likely win. It’s a mostly useless position although we strangely saw a Lt. Governor promoted to Governor because of the whole Greiten’s affair. The odds of that happening again are quite low. I’m not spending any energy on this one. I’ll likely fill the bubble for Kehoe and move on about my life.

Finally, there is one constitutional amendment on the ballot. The forces of darkness, also known as “progressive” Democrats, have successfully managed to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot. You’re voting for your own financial demise as a state if you vote yes on this thing. Missouri is already teetering on the edge of making this state far less desirable for capital. This will be one more thing that just creates more budget problems. We already have a ridiculously high state income tax, and budgetary shortfalls this thing eventually creates will have to be remedied somehow.

Want to know more? Listen to this Podcast from the Show-Me institute that lines out the risks involved in doing this.