Editorial by the Call
The Call’s Most Misguided Quotes, in which we chronicle the most misguided, misinformed and misleading statements of the year, are so popular that we continually have more and more elected officials vying for the honor. Here are our contenders from the first quarter. Just as in past years, 2018 is off to a roaring start.
The office of County Executive Steve Stenger, a Democrat running for re-election this year, was sued for alleged violations of the Sunshine Law by Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican running for higher office this year.
Stenger’s response, prepared by outside attorney Christopher Bauman of Blitz, Badgett & Deutsch, is a novel legal idea but also the perfect candidate for our Most Misguided Quote of the Quarter.
Bauman contended in his response that the county executive’s office does not officially exist as a legal entity in the county Charter, so it cannot be sued.
This brings up a number of questions. If the county executive’s office does not exist, how can Bauman represent it? What office does Stenger work in? Why is the county paying salaries to employees of an office that apparently doesn’t exist?
Lawyers will be lawyers, but this takes the cake.
Another esteemed candidate for our Most Misguided Quotes is the candidate questionnaire we received from former Crestwood Ward 3 Alderman Bill Boston, who was running against incumbent Alderman Grant Mabie.
When Boston previously defeated Mabie in 2013, he answered the Call’s questionnaire completely and was even endorsed by this newspaper. But when he ran for re-election in 2015, he didn’t turn in a questionnaire and lost.
So this time he took a different tactic — answer the Call’s questionnaire, but just respond “no comment” to virtually every question.
What does Boston think about City Administrator Kris Simpson? Closed-session recording of the Board of Aldermen? The board changing how it takes public comments at meetings? The city’s lawsuit against the Affton Fire Protection District?
“No comment at this time,” Boston said to all those questions. He gave one-word answers to most others.
That wasn’t enough for the Call or for voters, who gave Mabie one of the highest margins of victory for a Crestwood city official in decades.
Will Boston win for Most Misguided Quote of the Year? No comment.