Political Media

In 2007, my husband Mark Funkhouser was elected mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

He took office with a 68% approval rating, which some said was the highest approval rating anyone had ever seen in Kansas City.

I was disappointed.

Citizens elected him because he was the candidate wearing the “white hat,” and I couldn’t see why that number wasn’t higher.

The number only dropped from there.

The guys with the “black hats” – those who had been feeding off the city’s coffers for years on end, to the point that Kansas City was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and was the 3rd most crime ridden city in America – did everything in their power to find a way to discredit my husband’s administration and regain control.

The Black Hats found their mark in me.

In December 2007, a reporter for the KC Hispanic News, Yvonne Bruner, came to my home to interview me for a story in her newspaper. Going into the election earlier that year, my husband and I had made a pact that we wouldn’t do anything just for him to be re-elected, and to that end, that we would be completely open and honest in all our dealings.

We were.

At one time during the interview, Ms. Bruner, an ardent feminist, stepped out of her reporter role and asked me if I knew that the Kansas City Star had written “68 hit pieces” about me in the six months since my husband’s election. I didn’t. Understanding full well that change is ugly, I had long-since stopped reading newspapers and blogs, or watching television news. I figured, “why bring myself down by reading about controversies created by the Black Hats imaginations?”

Years after that kitchen table interview I hired Ms. Bruner to chronicle those media pieces. What follows is a list of some of those “hits” – a number that only grew from Yvonne’s original count of 68 – and other media written about me, as it relates to my husband’s administration. If nothing else, it is a documentation of what power and money, and a not-so-small smattering of sexism looks like in action.