Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thoughts about Lynda Banwart, Gary Hart, and overplaying your hand

For some reason, after the Lynda Banwart/Anson Burlingame circus that took place at Friday night's Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting, the first thing I thought about was something a wise man said to me just over 31 years ago.

At that time, in addition to working at the Lamar Democrat newspaper, I was the Barton County coordinator for Gary Hart's presidential campaign and when I was not working on the newspaper, I was preparing for the Barton County caucus, which was held on an April evening in the upstairs meeting room at the Lamar Bank and Trust Company.

Those who sat on the Barton County Democratic Committee were almost solidly behind former Vice President Walter Mondale, but they heard rumblings that I was planning an insurgent campaign for Hart and did their best to put as many of the old line Democrats in the room as possible.

It was an interesting group that I had with me and it included nearly every Democratic officeholder in Barton County, and at that time, most of the officeholders were Democrats. Presiding Commissioner Doug Haile, County Clerk Bonda Rawlings, and Assessor Doug Sprouls were with me, as well as Ron Wrestler, the owner of the local pharmacy, and some young people who were barely out of high school.

When it came time to place our candidates into nomination, the county chairman Dr. Thomas Carroll, asked if we had someone to submit Hart's name. I did that and had a short speech prepared stressing that Hart was the candidate of "new ideas."

Since I had made a speech, the top Mondale supporter, Rose Marie Francis, felt she had to make one for her candidate. She was not quite as well prepared, but it did not make any difference. When the caucusing took place, Mondale collected five more votes than Hart. That was still a triumph because according to the rules which the Hart Missouri people had provided me, it was close enough that Mondale and Hart would split Barton County's two delegates to the district convention.

Only that was not the way Dr. Carroll saw it. Walter Mondale won the vote, so Walter Mondale was going to get both delegates. The argument took place in front of everyone and the doctor was adamant- Walter Mondale got both delegates.

I suggested that we call the State Democratic Committee in Jefferson City and get a ruling. At first, Carroll vehemently opposed that idea, but he finally agreed to do it. Over the next 20 minutes, he made repeated attempts to contact the state committee, but was never able to do so. Finally, he said, "I'll tell you what. Let's just vote again and the winner gets both delegates."

For the first time that evening, I raised my voice. "How is that fair? I asked. And I was about to say something else, when Doug Haile put his hand on my shoulder and said, "It's all right, Randy. Let's vote."

I was still ready to argue, but I didn't. There was something in the way Haile said those words that made it clear that I needed to back down.

A few moments later, the vote was held again- and Gary Hart won by three votes.

I turned to Doug Haile. "You knew that was going to happen."

"I wasn't sure," he said, "but I could see it in their eyes. They still like Walter Mondale better than Gary Hart, but nobody likes a bully."

As Dr. Carroll announced the results, he added, "This means that Mondale and Hart each get one delegate."

I was about to point out that Dr. Carroll said the winner would receive both delegates, but again Haile stopped me. "Don't push it, Randy; you've won. They overplayed their hand."

That was what happened last night at the Memorial Education Building.  Lynda Banwart and the supporters from the Joplin Progtress Committee/CART, the same people whose wisdom brought Wallace-Bajjali to Joplin, overplayed their hand.

Banwart, without saying it, echoed the words that Mike Landis spoke last year at an R-8 Board meeting. Elections don't matter. She showed the same disdain for the voters' choices that Landis did. It is true that Jeff Koch, Debbie Fort, and Jennifer Martucci are one shy of having a majority to bring about the changes that the voters clearly wanted- changes that they mistakenly thought Banwart would help bring about.

What Banwart, Mike Landis, Randy Steele, and the folks on the Joplin Progress Committee seem to forget is that the voters did not elect two candidates, Koch and Martucci, to the board; they elected three.

The people who cast their ballots were fully aware that Lane Roberts was not going to be able to serve, but they wanted nothing to do with Anne Sharp and business as usual. Roberts' decision, unfortunately, has allowed Landis, Banwart, and the C. J. Huff contingent to continue playing games with the school district and circumventing what the people want, because in their opinion people who are not with them have to be an unruly mob ignorantly standing in the way of progress.

As someone who had students write research papers each year on the civil rights movement, I am reminded of the way Southern politicians continued to fight to preserve segregation and the Jim Crow mentality, using every tactic at their disposal to delay the arrival of change.

One of the arguments seem to be nearly the same- these people do not know what is good for them and they need to stay in their place.

That kind of thinking is why not one board member is left from two years ago. Change is happening.. You can push it down the line for a few months, but the stall tactics and pious declarations that Koch, Fort, and Martucci are "too emotional" are not going to keep the change from taking place.

I prefer having board members who are "emotional" about providing a better education for the children and providing a much better deal than taxpayers have been receiving during the C. J. Huff era.

The last person I want to see controlling the fate of the board is an ice queen who said she was a leader and "a mediator" who can bring people together.

Instead of coming up with a solution, Banwart would rather pass the buck to the Jasper County Commission, with the thought that the commission will appoint three people who will restore the status quo and save the unruly mob, the voters, from themselves.

Some mediator.

Lynda Banwart overplayed her hand.

The voters won't forget.


Anonymous said...

Them bones, them bones, them dry bones
Them bones, them bones, them dry bones
Them bones, them bones, them dry bones,
Now hear the word of The Lord

You know the bones get together and they 'gin
to talk
The bones get together and they 'gin to walk
The bones get together and they 'gin to shout
Now hear the word of The Lord

The bond bones connected to the CART bones
The bid bones connected to the affair bones
The bright futures bone connected to the bond bones
You know the bones get together and they 'gin
to talk...

Anonymous said...

The number for talking bones:
Disaster Fraud: 866-720-5721
FBI Hotline for Fraud or Public Corruption: 800-225-5324

The first one to talk is the one who gets to walk...

Anonymous said...

She over played her hand and I hope that her connection to the county commission is thoroughly investigated. I'm tired of my tax money being wasted on the high and mighties egos.
If she didn't like how Steele was "harassed", I have a feeling she's not going to enjoy the next few months herself.

Anonymous said...

So Turner what you’re saying is you voted for a proven womanizing philander, who had to quit his presidential bid because it was exposed he had an affair with his then wife while trying to run for president.
This makes you an expert in judging the character of the Joplin School Board Members How???
"The Gary Hart Story: How It Happened.". The Miami Herald. May 10, 1987.
Johnston, David; King, Wayne; Nordheimer, Jon (1987-05-09). "Courting Danger: The Fall Of Gary Hart". The New York Times

Anonymous said...

Check this out… Unbelievable!!!

(Joplin, MO) - The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed that after reviewing evidence around the events of the May 2011 tornado, Dr Huff and Lynda Banwart were single handedly responsible for it forming and the ensuing damage it caused to the Joplin Missouri School District and the rest of Joplin. The NWS office in Springfield along with the FBI stated “all the damages and ensuing lavish spending was a complex scheme by Huff and Banwart to spend tax payer money.” What they are still trying to figure out is how they created the tornado, but are sure they did.
As a nameless, faceless blogger, who is an expert in meteorology, school finance and school administration I am calling for an immediate lynching of Dr Huff and Lynda Banwart on social media and a further FBI investigation into how they made the tornado that caused the current situation we are in.

Anonymous said...

Comment Moderator...
Nice Randy, real nice!!!!

Punch and Judy said...

Sounds to me like Turner always finds a way to get fired for cause.

Turner tells a lot of stories and some of them might even be true, although always slanted to where an outright lie might be better.

Anyways, what I took from above story is that while Turner has always been a partisan hack without much, if anything, in the way of discretion, there used to be a time when older, wiser heads prevailed and made Turner behave.

Now that they are all dead now, Turner run amok and was finished quick enough and now is looking in from the outside, wanting to horn on in but refused admittance. That and being mean to other abandoned tools likewise on the periphery, like Anson Burlingame, whose time also is up. It is as if the Punch and Judy mannikins have been set aside and these puppets are weathering and fading in the rain whilst glowering at each other while their former puppet-masters fight directly indoors in closed session.

These are the summer months. Maybe a deal can be worked out or maybe not but nobody should consult the notions of their abandoned tools now that their puppet strings have been cut. Or of their abandoned dogs who weren't even valued enough to take to the shelter for proper disposal.

Randy said...

To Anonymous 10:09, considering that Gary Hart's problems surfaced when he was preparing to run for the 1988 nomination, more than three years after the events I was writing about, he was not a proven womanizer at that time.

Anonymous said...

MANY people supported Gary Hart until, like many politicians, his sense of entitlement got in the way and he lost what was probably a sure bet for the nomination. Should we start counting all the good Christian conservatives who have been caught (literally) with their pants down?

Randy, your analogy was not lost on those of us who have a functioning brain.

Anonymous said...

Nit: You think that they overplayed their hand, and I think they overplayed their hand, but that final vote is still 10 months away, so we won't know for sure until then.

Someone compared this to a game of chess; using that analogy, our betters were in check, and managed to find a gambit which avoided checkmate, but we that think put them in an endgame where it's even more certain they'll eventually lose.

And who knows? Fort and Martucci weren't quite ready to give up last Friday, it's possible, although unlikely, that the exposure of Banwart's ties to one Jasper county commissioner plus her behavior in the last few board meetings will result in enough heat to change her mind. Or the commission might discover they need to work with the Newton county commission and the immediate outcome isn't as wired as she thought. Or with all this ugliness in plain sight, a majority of the commission might decide delaying the inevitable for a mere 10 months isn't worth the political cost. Or one of their picks might not be as reliable as they thought he or she would be; Banwort certainly wasn't for us.

The "game" goes on; scare quotes if for no other reason than that the school district sure looks likes it's bleeding with yet another vendor and its subcontractors getting stiffed, and another school year of poor discipline and ridiculous micro-managing of the teachers means another year of irreparable damage.

Anonymous said...

Technique: recharacterize what your target has said or done. Then attack the "straw man" to expose the absurdity of the position you would have others believe your target has taken.
Neither Turner nor any poster has insinuated anything of the like...except of course you.

By the way 10:27, just exactly when did you stop beating your wife?

Anonymous said...

So true, That is why Dr. Fort talks about, and has, "accountability partners." She is wise enough to realize that it is human nature to let the authority of a position make one lose sight of the corresponding responsibility that was entrusted to that person. She is acutely aware that the "power," at least long term, lies in the hands of the people that put her there.,.a lesson the old BOE members either forgot or never knew. One can't help but wonder if they even get it now,

Anonymous said...

Could someone explain to me what Marsi Archer was talking about? She said she withdrew her application because she was disgusted with the partisanship. Whose partisanship is she talking about. It seemed to me 3 elected members of the BOE decided to compromise and voted for HER and her supporter, Banwart, voted against her. So now she's upset with those who voted FOR her? I guess that explains why she's a so called academician. Also it was fine for Landis to yell back at someone in the audience during a board meeting but it's disrespectful for Koch, who by the way apologized, to respond to comments from the audience? I don't remember Landis ever apologizing for his outlandish behavior. Yes, this situation is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

EC: The Establishment Class. The EC includes JPAC, BF. CART, JPC, JACC, and all of the various letter groupings this little clique of self appointed over lords devise to pad their little resumes.

The EC continually strives to discredit the validity and effectiveness of this blog and similar sources by a concerted effort to sway opinion through ridiculous strands of tormented logic and outright temper tantrums. They decry the credibility of anonymous posters under anonymity or pseudonyms. They leap to each others defense with tried and true emotional appeals to sense of family, community, faith, and country. They respond to evidence with a derisive snort and the hammering of a handful of talking points: The host was fired and he is bitter. Anonymous posters are not to be believed and their feelings and views lack substance. The NEC (Non EC) are naysayers who have no good ideas and are too timid to produce any 'progress' for our community.

And yet, supporters and detractors alike continue to not only read but weigh in on this defacto public forum. Using a megaphone to argue the uselessness of that megaphone has thus far proved an ineffective technique.

So please EC, keep stomping your feet and crying that your victims are bullying you. Your 'lessers' will continue to turn to this, and similar, town hall for an exchange of information and ideas which your local media has denied us.

Anonymous said...

So 7:17 your saying not to believe you either, because you have also posted as anonymous . That's some funny s_ _ t, bahahaha!!!

Anonymous said...

We all knew you would be able to bring this story back to a story about yourself. Congrats.

Randy said...

My first inclination was to tell a story about you, but I don't believe in boring my readers.

Anonymous said...

Oh my Randy the feathers are ruffled. Do you think that they have any remorse for their bully actions? Your analogy was right on point, it appears they can't take being seen for what they really are.

Anonymous said...

If you were trying to make a point....that was the proverbial swing and miss.

Anonymous said...

Learn to read.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding post. One of many that have explained the situation that Joplin R8 is in. In addition to the "bones" comments above, I would add the FEMA bone is connected to the grant bone, and the retirement accounts are connected to BF bone. You could build enough skeletons from this crowd of community "leaders" to fill a cemetery. Shameful, corrupt, and so far, successful. But the end is near for them. The walls are closing in, and if you look at the crowd at the meeting on Thursday, you can see the guilty faces. They showed up to cheer on Lynda Banwart and ensure she carried out the plan. Their desperation couldn't be more evident.

Anonymous said... might want to check your dates. When this story took place no one was aware yet, of Harts transgressions that you so bravely point out. But thanks for trying to sound important and smart.

Anonymous said...

Seems that trolls like you always prefer lies over anything....especially the truth. Randy backs up what he prints with facts. Facts that he readily displays for the public to see. If you don't like an occasional anecdotal story then maybe you should move on to another blog.

Anonymous said...

The best of all solutions would be to schedule a special election for the three vacant seats. That solves everyone's problem and takes the perception of favoritism out of the mix.

Anonymous said...

3:42 Your attempt to dismiss a crystal clear point reveals that it hit home with you.