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July 06, 2006


Pathetic. This whole Freedom thing stinks. Eating at Bryants is training for what? A Bill Cosby movie? How did the FBI let this go?

David Novak

Blog readers: Since we're talking about the County Exec's race, here is the 2006 Missouri Senate voting performance record. The rankings show the percent of roll call votes made (as recorded in the Senate Journal). You can decide for yourself the significance of Senator Wheeler's last place voting record.

1. Victor Callahan D-11 ----- 100% (Jackson County)
2. Scott Rupp R-2 ----------- 100%
3. Charlie Shields R-34 ----- 100%
4. Bill Stouffer R-21 ------- 100%
5. Gary Nodler R-32 --------- 99.8%
6. Yvonne Wilson D-9 -------- 99.8% (Jackson County)
7. Bill Alter R-22 ---------- 99.6%
8. John Griesheimer R-26 ---- 99.6%
9. Joan Bray D-24 ----------- 99.2%
10. John Cauthon R-18 -------- 99.2%
11. Michael Gibbons R-15 ----- 99.0%
12. Chuck Gross R-23 --------- 99.0%
13. Carl Vogel R-6 ----------- 98.8%
14. Matt Bartle R-8 ---------- 98.6% (Jackson County)
15. Norma Champion R-30 ------ 98.6%
16. Kevin Engler R-3 --------- 98.6%
17. Dan Clemens R-20 --------- 98.0%
18. Frank Barnitz D-16 ------- 97.6%
19. Jack Goodman R-29 -------- 97.6%
20. Delbert Scott R-28 ------- 97.4%
21. Rita Heard Days D-14 ----- 97.2%
22. Harry Kennedy D-1 -------- 96.6%
23. John Loudon R-7 ---------- 96.4
24. Chuck Graham D-19 -------- 95.8%
25. Rob Mayer R-25 ----------- 95.0%
26. Jason Crowell R-27 ------- 94.6%
27. Chuck Purgason R-33 ------ 93.2%
28. Chris Koster R-31 -------- 92.6%
29. Luann Ridgeway R-17 ------ 92.6%
30. Maida Coleman D-5 -------- 89.2%
31. Pat Doughery D-4 --------- 88.6%
32. Timothy Green D-13 ------- 88.2%
33. David Klindt R-12 -------- 79.3%
34. Charles Wheeler D-10 ----- 73.5% (Jackson County)


So what qualifies the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to provide diversity training? How could the Feds pass on that one? This is the most blatant corruptness I've ever seen. Just when you thought the Pendergast era was over......

Adam Stewart

This is corruption/influence peddling at the highest levels! Why haven't I read about this in the Star???

Thank you, DeAnn, for shedding further light on whole sordid Freedom, Inc./Shields/Wheeler bribery scandal.

This should be an article...

Karl Wilson

Wheeler's voting record sure sucks when compared to the rest of the senate. Its obvious the other senators didn't spend too much time at some flea market.

Jack of All Trades

I just found this on the Source website developed by Jeff Roe. This guy (SPSLE) is the same one who defends Wheeler on many of these pages and is alleged to be one of Phil Carderella fictictous names. He was responding to a post about an auto accident that Wheeler was involved in that went unreported to KCPD but instead was handled by the Highway Patrol even though the accident occurred at 80th and Wornall. Questions were raised about whether Wheeler was using his influence to skirt the law.

Here is the response from Carderella. Note his views of Wheeler as a Senator, Doctor and lawyer.

Jack and, particularly, Jeff, does this represent the editorial stance of this site: if we think the Democrats would lie about or misrepresent a situation, then we will, too. If that's your intent, then here is a HUGE story for you: I saw Jeff Harris go into a public restroom and there was a man in there already!

And, Jack, I doubt that I can be considered a Wheeler supporter, although the fact that the guy has both a law degree and a medical degree impresses me (but, I wouldn't go to him for either legal or medical assistance). He was a non-entity on the Senate floor and a marginal actor behind the scenes, but I'll bet he's the next Jackson County Executive.

Posted by: SPSLE | June 20, 2006 at 04:42 PM

Adam Stewart

BTW, has anyone else checked out Kit Wagar's post about the voter guide? (Found right below DeAnn's post) I challenge anyone to 1) read Sanders' answers vs. Wheeler's answers AND to then 2) look at the blog above showing Wheeler's poor Senate voting record AND then 3) consider how Wheeler obtained his Freedom endorsement (Shields/Thompson influence peddling)- the ONLY endorsement he has from a Democratic organization - then tell me with a straight face they still think Wheeler is the better man for the job. When you ignore the spin/hype and focus on what the candidates have to say on the real issues facing Jackson County, it is obvious Sanders is the smart choice in this election.

I'll say it again: I want a SANDERS/WHEELER TELEVISED DEBATE about the issues!


County Watcher

Anyone else curious about how many other contracts SCLC got from Jackson County during Shields' reign? I think the diversity contract was a one-timer, but there is always an annual contract for Fuzzy to run the MLK Celebration. It's one of those "outside agencies" we hear so much about.

Did a search on the county web and found this:

It adds up... and it's going up. I wonder why his contract went from $30,000 in 2003, to $50,000 in 2004, to $60,000 in 2005 to $60,000 again in 2006? The world may never know.

And I'm told Fuzzy's always at the courthouse to pick up his check right after the budget passes.

It's a good thing for Shields that she cut a deal with such a stand-up guy like Mark Bryant. NO WAY he gives it up to the Feds when they come knocking. NO WAY he does that (sarcasm)...........If I were in the Shields/Cardarella household, I would be getting nervous.

Jackson County is rotten to its core, and this BLOG and the "Freedom/Wheeler deal/no deal" proves that in ways that are pretty shocking. I see the irony in the public asking a prosecutor to come in and fix-up this mess of conflicts and back-door deals, but is there any doubt in anyone's mind that he will just turn that place upside down? Help us Obi Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope!


Gene Ostermeier

Are the wheels coming off the Wheeler express? Shady deals with Freedom. Feeble voting record. Not a very good start. It will be interesting to see how the Shields/Cardarella bunch manage Wheeler's campaign the rest of the way. I'll make a few predictions. Katheryn will keep Wheeler out of sight as much as possible. She'll keep him on a short leash. She won't let him go one on one in a regular debate since he looks weak in this format, but will arrange for some highly structured affair where all Charlie has to do is repeat some stuff from the 60s or 70s. Like what he did at the Northeast Candidates Forum. In the end it won't be enough and Wheeler loses anyway. Katheryn blames it on a biased media and smear tactics.

IM Rubber

And there it is! They’re playing the RACISM CARD again! Anybody surprised? Shields/Cardarella and their county cronies always have that one at the ready. And always just after you start to see them sweat. But who can blame them really? What choice do they have when there’s nothing left to do but CRY RACISM? It’s not like they or their candidate have actually answered the question, nor can they afford to.

Like… Exactly what deal did Wheeler/Shields/Cardarella make? Simple enough question. What did Wheeler say to that?

From Steve Kraske’s story…

“So did his Democratic rival, Charlie Wheeler, cut one?
‘No,’ said Freedom leader Fuzzy Thompson.
The question also was put to Wheeler, who grabbed the Freedom nod.
‘I think it's fair to say I've worked well with Freedom over 40 years, and I enjoy working with them.’
Not exactly answering the question.”

Nope. “Not exactly answering the question” indeed!

But you know it gets really hard to answer anything when others have already made sloppy attempts to answer... and they don’t make sense.

Compare Fuzzy’s outright denial… “Thompson says no deals were made or offered.”… to Mark Bryant’s outright admission...

“Sanders said a condition of getting the endorsement was a promise to allow Freedom leaders to essentially pick his successor as prosecutor.
‘That was a road I was unwilling to go down,’ Sanders said.
Freedom wanted to influence the selection to avoid a situation in which organized labor and eastern Jackson County leaders controlled the entire county government, Bryant said.
Sanders "was unwilling to make that kind of commitment,’ Bryant said.”

But hold on, there’s more!
Then the spinsters pulled another old tried and true misdirection tactic out of their bag of tricks: Blame it on the Boogeyman! (Victor Callahan)

“‘Victor never has been a friend of the African-American community,’ Freedom president Mark Bryant told me.”

Wow! I think I got whiplash. Hope you were buckled up for that one. All’s I can say is you’ve got to be ready for this crowd. They will SAY ANYTHING!

its funny how victor callahan played the same bribe card and now mike is doing the same thing. but victor has nothing to do with this race . victor is mike sanders main adviser and with that comes these wild bribe allegations . victor is a bomb thrower and thats why mike lost major support .NO ONE WANTS A BOMB THROWER FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE

IM Rubber


Um, we've HAD a bomb thrower for County Executive for 12 years. Clearly, what we NEED is a prosecutor. Thanks for making my point.

victor callahan is no boogeyman he is alive and well running the puppet strings on sanders . why do you think sanders got early labor endorsements . of course that was not a bribe that was the boogeyman. mike its too late to stop now victor is your political boss with labor and money so enjoy it

IM Rubber

Did I warn you that they will say anything? Yep. You gotta admire the way they never let a straw man, or circular logic, or lack of a point, stand in the way of hurling a smear.

Hey if you gotta watch a Freakshow, you may as well stay for the Contortionist!


Geez, Jack off All Trades (or should I say, "Jeff Roe"), quoting me stating that Charlie Wheeler was a non-entity in the Senate while predicting his victory in the County Executive race AND repeating the claim that I am Carderella was...well,...actually, confusing. Are you trying to attract attention to the Jackson County Executive Democratic Primary Race to prevent cross-over Democrats from voting against your client, Matt Bartle, in the 8th District Senate Race? Is this part of the stealth campaign where you refuse to discuss any of the issues with the media or the public, and only discuss them with...???

Anyway, Jeff (or Jack), I'm not Carderella, Charlie Wheeler was a non-entity in the Senate, but a nice guy, and, yes, I think he'll win the County Executive election. As I've suggested before, if you "Sanders-people" classify that as an endorsement, you're pathetic.

Charlie Wheeler, the best candidate that money can buy!

Marvin Williams III

Puppet strings: Katheryn Shields is to Charles Wheeler what Dick Cheney is to George Bush. Wheeler should retire.

To answer an unidentified blogger's question: "why do you think sanders got early labor endorsements" Easy: Wheeler got up and gave an anti-labor speech AT A LABOR MEETING. This begs the question, did Wheeler forget he was speaking in front of labor members when he gave his anti-labor speech?

I saw Yael Abulhakuh (sp?) on Ruckus tonight. I was taken aback that he tried to casually describe all of this bribery as "politics as usual." Is he serious? Is he that out of touch with basic precepts of civics and good government that attempts to bribe an elected offical are OK with him? I can't imagine he speaks for the Star on that one, but who knows. That guy needs to wake up, fast. If he and the Star REFUSES to cover corruption becuase he thinks its "no big deal," then all of our governmental institutions are at risk for corruption. Typically, the public has to hope and rely upon the press to uncover and expose corruption in poltiics. By his comments, I guess Yael doesn't see corruption as an issue he ought to spend any energy looking into. Folks, its becoming clear, we need another paper in this town. This editorial staff has quit asking tough questions, and has now foresaken its role as the 4th estate. The thinking members of this community need another media source, otherwise we can count on more of the same from Yael, et. al.


Mr. Thompson and Mr. Bryant need to represent their people. This deal making at the expense of our community is disgusting. Any money you all have at Freedom came from us, stop stuffing your own pockets! Don't cry foul if you are the thieves - nobody's fault but your own - so own it.


For the un-named blogger who likes to type in all caps:


Silly question. Before charges can be filed, there has to be an investigation. And as in the earlier investigations against Kathryn Shields for bribery, these types of high level bribery cases are handled by the FBI, not the county prosecutor's office. Also, the Jackson County Prosecutor (Sanders) would be a material witness in the case, and due to conflict of interest he could not file charges even if it was within his jurisdiction to do so.


How can anyone take Sanders seriously after he hired that rascal Ken Evans? I liked Sanders, I thought he was straightforward, and then he allows Ken Evans to speak on his behalf, he rolls with Callahan and the Berbiglia crowd, and that's an off-smelling crowd to be rolling with. Evans will say anything without regard to truth and falsity, which I suppose is a good quality for professional mouthpiece, but it comes with a cost -- credibility, and eventually, moral direction, for Sanders.

Callahan, by the way, is kept aloft by sheer force of self interest, social dysfunction, and poverty. Not effectiveness. Not true advocacy. A perfect voting record signals an imperfect grasp of effective leadership. The job of a senator in the minority party in Missouri can be performed by a monkey. Callahan shows up 100 percent of the time to be out-voted, to be irrelevant, and in his spare time, write kinda-sorta-funny revisions of bills that, by the way, he opposes although they would benefit the K.C. region. He does this because he has nothing else to do.

On the other hand, missing occasional votes that are hopeless in order to advocate on behalf of his constituents in other venues would certainly be a better use of Democratic senator's time. Callahan has a perfect voting record because he is the only senator who has no outside obligations of a normal individaul, a family, a job, a profession, and very few useful social connections outside of the get-out-of-jail-free club of Jackson County. Callahan's open misanthropy hampers his ability and desire to communicate with his constiuents, and the press. He only understands and expects hatred, and therefore he spends as much as his time as possible in Jefferson City where the people in charge hate him. That's where he's comfortable.

Wheeler is an old guy, but he has real human experience, something that Callahan totally lacks, and a lifetime of allegiances he can call upon on behalf of his constituents.

Why Sanders leans on Callahan for anything can only be atrributed to a compromise. Why he employs Evans can only be attributed to compromise. It's no wonder then that Freedom Inc. hestitated to endorse him.

That sad part is that Sanders would likely be a better executive than Wheeler. As long as the tar pit doesn't drag him down.

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