Corrupt Missouri Town Locks Out New Black Lady Mayor. No, A Different Corrupt Missouri Town
Congratulations, people of Kinloch, Missouri! You found someone willing to undertake the thankless job of small town mayor and you gave her the most votes. But who knew the difficulty of a campaign would pale in comparison to tryingto physically enter Kinloch City Hall.
On April 7, Betty McCray won an election for the tiny 300 person town with a vote count of 38-18. Yet when she showed up to her first day of work this past Thursday, city hall's door was locked. And no one left a key under the welcome mat, in a flower pot, or in the fake rock. Undeterred she went back again, only to be thwarted by 20 police officers heroically standing tall as the 64-year-old mayor-elect advanced towards the front door.
The Mayor who?
The Mayor who got two-third of the votes, asshole.
In a smooth move, incumbent Darren Small and his merry band of sore losers had the city attorney inform McCray that she was suspended due to allegations of voter fraud, a fashionable way of claiming you didn't lose an election because you sucked at governing. The St. Louis County Board of Elections certified the results, but that didn't stop Small, who will leave a wall streaked with fingernail marks when he's finally removed from the building.
UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION! It is easy to assume, reading this story, that Mayor McCray was locked out of City Hall because of the racisms. But in fact, pretty much everyone in this story is black like McCray. So we are not looking at racism so much as petty corruption and your garden variety coup. Now, the OTHER Missouri lady mayor locked out of her own City Hall -- read on to the end -- that was probably racisms, we'd guess.
Believe it or not, the last time city hall received the lockdown treatment, Small was on the other side of the metal door. In early 2014, interim mayor Theda Wilson shut it down because she said she couldn't locate the town's monies, which seems at least a little bit reasonable if we explore this tiny town's history. So why are town politics for a mini town abutting a major airport so perpetually ass-backwards? (No, it's not #CHEMTRAILS, weirdos.)
Thirty years ago, Kinloch forged a deal with St. Louis that allowed the city to expand its airport into Kinloch town limits. Some St. Louis "morans" got it in their heads that a lot of people actually wanted to visit the city with the country's most overrated landmark. In the end, the runways were never built, but the damage to the town had been done. Hundreds of Kinloch's houses were razed, resulting in a mass migration from the Missouri town. (And the Arch still stands.) From a population of 4,000 in 1980, the town dwindled to 298 residents in 2010. So sorry, Kinloch. Maybe you can find some unsavory people to fight over the scraps.
And that’s exactly what they did!
In 2011, Mayor Keith Conway was sentenced to 21 months in prison for wire fraud, witness tampering and theft related to $62,000 in federal grant money that he pilfered in order to treat himself to a bunch of Caribbean cruises because being mayor of a 300 person town must be exhausting. Two months later, the city hired a city manager who was on parole for writing bad checks. In 2013, new mayor (Darren Small) and his city manager cousin arrived. They proceeded to sell the actual city hall building to a local salvage yard owner who *might* have been an area drug distributor but was *definitely* arrested for receiving stolen property and tax evasion. Later in 2013, Small was ousted by a judge for pleading guilty to a felony charge of failing to pay child support. Yet after the aldermanic board suspended the interim mayor that they appointed, Small was able to thwart the threatened city hall blockade and return to his unrightful place as Mayor of a town where 40% of citizens live below the poverty line.
(In a totally separate 2013 incident, the shitbird Fire Chief pleaded guilty to embezzling $140,000 from an essentially shuttered department that couldn't pay its bills and took donations from citizens for a firetruck that was never purchased.)
In the situation at hand, the basis for the voter fraud claims allege that some of McCray's supporters weren't Kinloch residents. McCray claims some of her supporters were behind on their rent and evicted in the days leading up to the election. It's all quite lovely.
But Guys - I guess the real question is: What in the name of Harry Truman's Clenched Asshole is going on in Missouri?
In Kinloch, McCray still hasn't been able to get her governing on, while the problems in neighboring Ferguson remain, let's just say, not reverse racist. Meanwhile, a town in southern Missouri elected a black woman as mayor, which resulted in many white police officers resigning and evaporating like contrived "safety concerns" in the breeze.
The judges at this year's Excellence In Missouri State Government awards have their work cut out for them, but I'm pretty sure they can be bought.