LETTER: Reader submits political cartoon about City Council election

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader(s). It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

Dear Editor-

Please publish this cartoon I drew:


I feel that the current City Council needs some shaking up.

Dan Kennedy
City of Des Moines Resident

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]


23 Responses to “LETTER: Reader submits political cartoon about City Council election”
  1. Wanker says:

    That is fantastic! Very accurate portrayal, but I think there needs to be some mention of the new Chinese overlords that Sheckler has courted.

    • cindi says:

      I don’t get it. What”s the big deal about a hotel on Hwy 99? Have I missed something?

      • Wanker says:

        We as taxpayers paid for Bob Scheckler’s trip to China to drum up new owners for the city of Des Moines since as a country, our business relationships with China are working out so well.

        Now Chinese investors are building a 4 star hotel in the middle of trailer parks and crime ridden streets. The thing is, the hotel only makes progress when politically convinient for Bob Scheckler. I haven’t driven by in a couple weeks, but last I saw there was construction equipment on the land possibly moving a little dirt but no more than that. If you search the Waterland blog, you’ll find coverage of the ground breaking about 2 years audio right when he was running for office, touring this hotel as his major accomplishment.

        While I am sure he is serious about this project, most citizens now think of it as a bad joke.

        • cindi says:

          I’m still a bit confused. I only arrived in Des Moines a few years ago from a large southern city where new hotels and other large structures were often being built. If this hotel is being built in a crime ridden neighborhood it only makes sense to me that this would be a good thing. Gangs don’t like this type of environment. Is it the Chinese you’re having a problem with? If so, why?

          • Wanker says:

            A hotel in itself isn’t bad. A 4 star hotel next to a trailer park on Pac Hwy will be hard to fill. I take issue with Scheckler using this hotel as his legacy, but In 2 or 3 years that it has been discussed the only time it progresses is when he needs it to.

            I think Don Wasson sums up my view is the Chinese investors very well. While Obviously not all Chinese are bad, they conduct business very differently than we do.

            Also part of the hotel project is a casino. Casinos are a hot bed for sketchy elements. Stop by the silver dollar casino just down the road in SeaTac. You will see what I mean

  2. Dan Kennedy says:

    Thanks for publshing my drawing. In doing my research for the election, I found some interesting things online. First, the City Council race is ‘non-partisan’, yet Mr. Nutting sought and received the endorsement of the King County Democrats. I wonder if Mr. Nutting could explain why that happened and what he feels bringing partisan politics into our City Council will do for the citizens of DM? Also, Mr Nutting recieved a $500 political kickback from a Washington, DC union. Why is this happening? What does that union want for the $500? Who’s interest do you serve, Mr. Nutting? He wears the mantle of local business leader/PTSA dad, but when you peel the onion, he is just another partisan politician toeing the party line of the Democrat party. Read his Democrat endorsement online. None of the PC platitudes will bring job 1 to our town. Worshipping at the alter of the political Left will not prevent yet another business from boarding up their windows and heading for greener pastures. We need a change, and a change can only occur with fresh leadership and people who aren’t owned lock, stock and barrel by outside political machines. Kaplan and the City Council need to re-prioritize their agenda or get out of the way. It’s time for some real leadership. My friends and family are voting Payne in November.

    • Pat Nardo says:

      Mr. Kennedy, you have done wonders with a few pen and ink scratches on paper! You have told the whole story and soon you will be a target of “The Machine” and you will find many, many friends behind you. What can we say beyond, thank you?

  3. Harry Steinmetz says:

    Non partisan means that candidates do not run under the banner of a part and do not have to run in partisan primary. Its really that simple.

    It certainly doesn’t mean that a candidate leaves his party behind. Jeremy Nutting is a Democratic, so what? An endorsement from a political party or a donation doesn’t make anyone owned by a “political machine”. I’ve met Mr. Nutting and he shares my values and he has a vision of our city that makes sense to me. If anyone is interested, they should check out his website: http://www.jeremynutting.com/home.php for a full discussion of the issues.

    This kind of scare tactics rhetoric adds nothing to the political debate. And, frankly, as I read it, the only reason Mr. Kennedy is voting for Mr. Payne is because Mr. Payne is not Mr. Nutting. And that’s not much of a reason. If you are interested in Mr. Payne’s information his website is http://www.jamespayne.info/.

  4. Dan Kennedy says:

    “Sharing my values” and having “a vision of our city” are just the kind of lame platitudes I was referring to. We don’t need soaring rhetoric, although even in that sense, Mr. Nutting is lacking. I was at a recent town hall at the North Hill Community Club where Mr Nutting struggled to read from a prepared speech….prepared! He came off looking amateurish and ill-prepared. Next, when a citizen asked him what he would do about security, he hemmed and hawed and blushingly mumbled something about supporting the police chief. Ummmm, ok. Not what I would call leadership. As far as Mr Payne goes, he is an actual leader. As in a leader of men, into COMBAT. He is an Afghanistan-theater combat veteran to whom the US Army entrusted the lives of countless men under his command. Mr. Steinmetz, I am voting for Mr Payne because he is Mr. Payne. Mr. Nuting should be so lucky. I would still love to hear why Mr. Nutting is courting out-of-state union money and how that serves me as a resident of DM, I’m also waiting to hear about how Mr. Nutting’s stance on a woman’s absolute right to choose an abortion serves me as a local citizen when my property value has dropped through the basement, but you’d probably just chalk my questions up to ‘scare tactics’.

    • Dave Kaplan says:

      I know I’ve put on a little weight and I’m balding, but really? It’s all in good fun either way.

      Mr. Kennedy, apparently you’re more in line with slick presentations than facts. Mr. Payne was recruited by disgraced former mayor Don Wasson in a letter to block watch captains, the week of filing. Did Mr. Payne step forward for the appointment to the vacant seat back in April/May? NO. Did Mr. Payne step forward to say what he thinks we should see in a candidate to appoint to that position? NO. Prior to his being recruited by Mr. Wasson, had he ever come to City Council to express his concern about crime in Des Moines? NO. Where was his leadership then? Or was his leadership just conveniently available when Mr. Wasson began stirring up the issue of crime statistics? What I’ve just stated are facts, not conjecture.

      Now let’s talk about some more significant facts. FACT: Des Moines has the second lowest crime rate in South King County, only behind Normandy Park. FACT: I asked Des Moines Police Chief Delgado to present on crime statistics at a recent City Council meeting. The explanation for most of the “jump” in violent crime is due to a change in how crimes are reported, not in an actual increase in crime. Previously, if there was a single incident (but multiple crimes committed), only the highest level of crime was reported. Crime statistics now include ALL criminal violations in each incident. Years prior to 2012 have not been revised yet to provide a fair comparison. Even with that change in statistics (and not all cities have made the switch yet), Des Moines STILL has the second lowest crime rate around! This attempt to whip up hysteria over a non-existent “crime wave” is just that … hysteria. In over 18 public appearances in the past year and a half only one or two people have brought up the issue of crime, and it was because they were a repeat victim. Our community has come together to establish more block watch programs (and I applaud both Mr. Payne and Mr. Nutting for hosting them.) True crime fighting happens when neighbors get to know each other, and watch out for one another … not by putting 100 more police on the streets.

      Lastly, the fact that you bring up issues such as abortion and how Mr. Nutting speaks shows how hollow your arguments are, and are a distraction from the most significant issue in Des Moines … economic development.

      Scare tactics will not win out this year. This year voters will support candidates who understand the importance of helping to build a sustainable business-base in Des Moines, and what that means for our future. Mr. Nutting understands this. Mr. Payne does not.

      • Dan Kennedy says:

        Ah, Mr. Nardo’s words were prescient. Here comes the machine. I’ve incurred the wrath of Mr. Kaplan for speaking out against the almighty council, who, if we are to believe Mr. Kaplan, cannot benefit from outside thought or input. It is perfect, as is. Mr. Kaplan is in the unenviable position of defending a rather dismal status quo. We all know crime is up, we can all see a run-down marina, and have watched as businesses pull up stakes due to a hostile business climate in this city. DM is woefully understaffed by its well-meaning police department, and here comes Kaplan to say everything is fine, let’s maintain the status quo! Mr. Kaplan, you and the council have had your chance to show us what you can do, and we as the beneficiaries of those policies, have seen exactly that. I don’t envy you trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but bless you for trying.

        As far as Mr. Wasson being a ‘disgraced’ former mayor, sir, here is where you forget yourself. You are a public servant, and in that capacity, you should refrain at all costs from defaming a former colleague, irrespective of your differing ideologies. Frankly sir, it is beneath the dignity of the office you hold. In my job, if someone leaves, we call him a former colleague, we don’t call him names after he leaves. Also, as is typical in politics, ad hominem attacks are often the last refuge of the dammed.

        You ask where Mr. Payne was in April/May and why he didn’t step forward and throw his hat into the ring until recruited by Wasson. I don’t know where Mr. Payne was then, you could ask him. Perhaps he and his wife were painting the walls in the nursery they are setting up for their twins, or maybe he was busy risking his life for you as a Captain in the US Army. Either way, your “gotcha” moment has failed you. You’ll have a tough time painting Payne as someone not concerned with or involved in the welfare of his community.

        When a citizen raises his voice over genuine concerns about your economic policies, security and crime issues, don’t dismiss them as scare tactics. You should allay his fears and side with the citizen, not your political co-conspirator. They should have taught you this in Mayor’s school. Why are you so interested in Nutting being reelected anyway? Why are you endorsing one candidate over another? I would think that you would be neutral and offer to work with the city council, regardless of their individual makeup.

        Mayor Kaplan, you and the rest of this council are either willfully ignorant to our crime problems here or are obfuscating the truth in an attempt to cover your political backsides by putting us all in danger by underfunding the police.

        Mr. Kaplan next talks about some fancy crime reporting ‘changes’ in the methodologies and blames them for what we all see, an increase in crime. We long-term residents don’t need a politician to tell us what is right in front of us. But, while we’re at it, it looks as though Mr. Payne is using straight-FBI statistics, originally reported by the DMPD (apples-to-apples), not a mixture of stats like Kaplan claims. This can be verified by going online to the FBI website, which anyone can do, like I did.

        But, in a great example of a lack of government transparency, you cannot verify the crime numbers Mayor Kaplan throws out for mass consumption. Something is fishy mayor, your “Facts” seem iffy…

        If Mayor Kaplan seriously thinks having an 18% increase in violent crime in the past decade is OK, even IF we are the second lowest in South King, he is so effete and out-of-touch, then there is no wonder we have the crushing problems we do in DM. And comparing our crime statistics to other cities in an attempt to excuse poor budgetary decisions made by the council does NOT keep us safe! His childish argument is akin to: “well…less people were robbed here than in Burien so we’re good!” Not really the point, Mr. Mayor.

        You allude to my reference of Mr. Nutting’s stance on abortion, and try and use that as your coup de grace moment. It should be obvious to even the most casual of readers that I was making a rhetorical point. A point that Mr. Nutting is distracted by political feelgoodery when there is now very little chance that I can retire when I originally planned to. Why? My house is worth 40% of what I paid for it. Home buyers look at the same crime stats that Mr. Payne quotes, and guess what Mr. Kaplan? They’re believing those stats, not yours.

        Mr. Kaplan, since you’ve chosen to intercede in this discussion, I assume you are available for questions. Did you, or did you not approve those underfunded police budgets? Do you, or do you not, care about the safety and security of your citizens? If this situation does not warrant “hysteria,” what does?

        You say ‘true crime fighting happens when neighbors get to know each other…” what’s the next step in that sequence, Mr. Kaplan? They get together and exchanges chili recipes? No, they call the police. But when no one is there to answer the call, it becomes a problem.

        If Block-watch programs are the Mayor’s answer to the city’s crime wave, does he intend to deputize his citizens so they have the actual authority to conduct law enforcement, in lieu of hiring the proper amount of trained police officers? Law enforcement on the cheap? Because that is where the rubber meets the road on mitigating crime. I thought Des Moines only needed about 10-11 police officers to bring us back to what we had before the crime wave, Mayor Kaplan. Where did you get this “100 police officers” figure? Another straw man argument. We are talking about realistic solutions, but your cynical trick, as if anyone thinks hiring 100 more cops is possible, once again reveals your inability to defend your policies.

        I tend to agree with Mr. Payne: If you are worried about your safety in Des Moines, you will be also be worried about creating or sustaining economic development here, despite the best efforts of the city council to obfuscate the issues to the contrary. You will go elsewhere to shop or build or play.

        Also, I notice Kaplan conveniently skipped right past the hotel issue brought up by a previous commenter. Can you defend your actions on that issue sir, or are you here just to prop up your less-than-stellar political ally?

        And shouldn’t the sitting Mayor of Des Moines be out beating the bushes of economic
        development instead of conducting a political cover fire mission on a blog?

        In your post, Mr. Kaplan, you attacked a good and decent candidate, dismissed the concerns of a voter, and propped up a lackluster, journeyman councilmember, presumably since he will do your bidding and rubber stamp your agenda, without much thoughtful opposition. I questioned you judgment before sir, but now I question your ethics.

        Looks like somebody else is on the road to being a “disgraced former mayor.” We are stacking them up like cord-wood around here…

        • WhoisDanKennedy? says:

          Mr. Kennedy- you speak so strongly and passionately about Des Moines. Then why hide behind a fake screen name? From what I can find out from my weak internet searching skills there are no Dan Kennedys registered to vote in Des Moines and King County doesn’t show a D, Dan, or Daniel Kennedy owning property here…

          • Wanker says:

            I just searched for a Whoisdankennedy, a W.D.Kennedy, and Who.D.Kennedy, an came up with the same results! How odd!

      • Wanker says:

        The fact that Des Moines has the second lowest crime rate in S. King county means nothing when the rest of S. King county is Kent, Rent’n and Federal Way. I guess we should find comfort in being the best part of the ghetto.

  5. Pat Nardo says:

    Mr. Kennedy; You are on a roll…don’t let up! We are standing by waiting for the attack now! Our vote is also for James Payne and remember…”No Payne, no gain”

  6. Don Wasson says:

    Mr. Wanker seems to be interested in the Chinese Hotel Connection!
    What has Mr. Sheckler Done, other than enable some super rich Communist Chinese Nationals, who laid out half a million to a million dollars or more each, to jump to the head of the immigration line so they can come to the United States and ultimately become citizens. Did he ever wonder how those investors became millionaires in a Communist country? These people are coming from a culture that defines the word “corruption”. It makes a person wonder who was paid off for facilitating this ”economic development”? I wonder if those investors knew about our crime wave before they put their money up? Does it matter, if they already know how to flourish in a corrupt and criminal environment?

  7. Pat Nardo says:

    “Disgraced former Mayor” is not a title and is only a harsh statement of pure meanness. There is no need to attack Mr. Wasson as he is not the candidate in this race. We can only hope that this use of direct insult to Mr. Wasson does not emanate further from anyone on our council. James Payne, on the other hand is not to be treated as “branded” by those who would associate him with the derogatory remarks directed at Mr. Wasson. This is not fair and does not shine a favorable light on our council members from bottom up. Mr. Kennedy has spoken freely and with grace which should well be mimicked by all candidates and incumbents. Mayor Kaplan, remember, inherited this mess, and is trying to re-right our capsized ship of Des Moines. We need to work together and support what we have until the next election, at which time a thorn will be removed.

    • Dave Kaplan says:

      Sorry Pat, but the title “disgraced former mayor” for Mr. Wasson is apt. He illegally acted as the funnel for $50,000 in unreported campaign contributions in 2001 … all in an effort to win control of the Council (which he did for a little over a year.) He was fined and forced to resign from the City Council in disgrace. That’s just a very sad fact that can’t be run from.

      Why Mr. Payne would choose to associate with Mr. Wasson only he knows.

      • Pat Nardo says:

        How did our city, then forfeit $50,000 toward a faulty conflict of interest allegation (Gary Peterson)issue. Does anyone realize that $50,000 is pocket change when it comes to Don Wasson. He was “disgraced” in the eyes of a council member who targeted him. What he did in office was likely stupid but not with intent as nearly as I can remember. Don Wasson is and remains an honorable man who never went to China on my tax dollar. Don Wasson is also a constituent who votes and should not be insulted by any public official with dignity. So we disagree here and Dan Kennedy still has a rightful hammer. The “machine” is well oiled…sand anyone?

        • Dave Kaplan says:

          Pat, Don Wasson admitted that he intended to hide the true source of the campaign contributions that were not reported. He ADMITTED he tried to hide those contributions!

          Second, as for Mr. Kennedy, I’ve noted his silence ever since he posted a phony baloney address in Des Moines. There’s no Dan Kennedy living and voting in Des Moines as far as I can tell, and certainly not the person posting here.

          Lastly, yes Mr. Wasson is a voter, and I’m proud to say my vote cancels his out.

          • Dan Kennedy says:

            Mr Kaplan, we meet again…You have discovered my dark secret! Dan Kennedy is a pseudonym! Call it WaterLandGate and then dismiss all the things I brought up. This will be easier for you since your policies and your drastic de-funding of essential services is impossible to defend. I know it, you know and the voters know it. So what’s your only play? Google Dan Kennedy? Seriously?

            Funny, you can spend your tax-payer funded time at work trying to dig up dirt on someone who would dare speak out against you and your lapdog council cronies. It doesn’t strike you as odd that voters might be turned off by your heavy-handed political thuggery, and this worries me. Were you going to pay me a visit at my home if you found my address?

            Why don’t you answer some of the things I brought up? What positive thing can you point to that Jeremy Nutting has accomplished in his otherwise undistinguished career as a councilman? Why don’t you attack the message instead of the messenger? Oh yeah, I forgot; you don’t because you can’t.

            Wasson should sue you for libel, the voters should demand your resignation, and the city council should open an investigation into your wasting tax-payer dollars while at work. No wonder we are in such dire financial straits: Our public servants are only serving their own interests and the interests of their like-minded cronies on the City Council.

          • Dave Kaplan says:

            Oh “Mr. Kennedy”, you are a lazy person. It doesn’t take much to figure out that my full-time job is private, not public, so I’m not sure where you think “public funds” come into play in the use of my time.

            That having been said, you’re obviously too lazy to know how our budgets are put together, or the hours upon hours of discussions that go into balancing our activities. You obviously think that there’s a magic tree from which money can be plucked, or that you’re able and willing to cut entire departments … eliminate services our citizens and businesses need and demand.

            Because of a decline or flatening in revenues over the past six years (property taxes, utility taxes, Real Estate Excise Taxes, sales taxes, etc, etc, etc) we now have a structural gap of approximately $2 million. That is with the level of services we currently provide. Tell me, where would YOU cut to fund MORE police positions? What services would you do away with? Since adding more police just adds to the costs, what would YOU do to close the $2 million + gap? I’m still waiting for your constructive suggestions, but know I won’t hear any from you.

            This entire kabuki theatre production of yours has really gotten old. If you have something constructive to add to how our City budgets, by all means come down to a Council meeting and speak your peace. I know you won’t. If too lazy to do your homework, you’re too lazy to care about how your City operates (presuming you even live here.)

            As for Mr. Wasson, yes … let him sue me for libel. There’s nothing I’ve said about him that isn’t true, and can’t be proven. In libel cases, truth is the best defense. Too bad he was such a bad egg. It’s ironic, particularly since Mr. Wasson and I shared the same position on many issues when we both served on the Council long ago.

            And as for my support of Mr. Nutting, I chose to support Jeremy for the appointment because of his small business experience, because he is active in his children’s activities, and because he’s a creative thinker, not wedded to philosophical points of view that don’t serve the public interest. He has a good mind and a good heart, and I know that he will serve the residents of Des Moines well.

  8. Pat Nardo says:

    An attack on James Payne should never be made by one who would never qualify to carry his mess kit, clean his rifle, field strip his side arm, or even polish his brass! No one can know what this US Army Captain knows or has experienced. We enjoy our freedom because of men lie James Payne and do not forget it!

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