It’s hard to point to anything involving the British Royal family as anything other than a living example of the dangers of inbreeding. But the Mark and Gloria story may have stumbled on to something.
In the 1930s, while the Brits ought to have been worried to death about Hitler and Germany, they were obsessed with something ridiculous. Imagine that.
As King Edward VIII ascended the throne, the Brits got into a snit about his girl friend. She was a twice divorced American named Wallis Simpson. Without snickering once, the British worried about whether or not this woman was the proper kind of mate for the King. Maybe they worried this Yankee would steal the crown jewels. A privledge reserved solely for the royals themselves.
Anyway, they put the heat on, King Edward made international news by giving up the British throne “for the woman I love.” As a result, he was “banished” to become the Duke of Windsor-whatever that means–and permitted to live out his live rattling his royals jewels–as John Lennon would say–in some sort five star exile.
The Funk and Gloria show may be tacking in the same direction. After an article in last week’s Wall Street Journal, that did not slam the First Couple of KC as much as many feared, other national news organizations are moving on the story.
Wednesday the ABC News program “Good Morning America”, will feature their struggle to work together as a hopelessly in love couple against the cruel insiders at City Hall. The Associated Press is supposedly also on the trail of this story, too. There will probably be others.
In The GMA interview there is very little talk about the Mammygate lawsuit. Partly because the GMA did not ask about it in depth. It was also because Squitiro and Funkhouser refused to talk about it, except in general terms. “We’re just in the ugly part of change”, says Squitiro, “Kansas Citians are tough. We’ll pull through.”
Squitiro adds that before Funkhouser was elected mayor, he was a regular 9-to-5 guy. He was home in the evenings. and had his weekends to himself, and for the family. Now she says the mayor’s job consumes him. “That’s all he can think about. if I wasn’t with him, doing this, we would lose everything in our family.”
Funkhouser says he did not appoint his wife to any post. She is not being paid, so he says the Missouri nepotism laws do not apply. He calls her his “personal assistant. She takes care of me”. The mayor says it’s been like that since the start of the race for City Hall in late 2006.
“We worked hand in glove , intensely for months while campaigning for the job. What was I supposed to do after Ii got elected? Just dump her? Say ‘see ya, honey?’
Squitiro: “He’s more than capable of doing this job. I’m more than capable of sitting in my tiny little corner being out of the limelight here-which I very much like to be, out of the limelight. This is not affecting anybody but us, really. ”
Others don’t see it that way. The one pointed out by the Wall Street Journal, and now GMA is city council rival Ed Ford.
Ford says he was questioned by the lawyers in the Mammygate suit Monday. He thinks the main reason he was brought in was to boost the retaliation case against the mayor, the city, and indirectly Squitiro, if her case is really closed, as her insurance company claims it is. Ford thinks the arrangement was odd. But when former staffer African American Ruth Bates sued, accusing Squitiro of calling her ‘Mammy’ and the Funkhouser office retaliated against her for filing suit. Ford says that’s when an odd arrangement became a city liability.
Ford says when he crossed views with the mayor, Funkhouser retaliated against him by pulling his chairmanship away from him. Another City Council member, Cindy Circo, says the same thing happened to her this Fall.
Former mayoral staffer Ruth Bates says when she filed the Mammygate suit, she says she was retaliated against as well.
But what emerged from the raw tape of the GMA interview was the potential for a story line that a couple who are not just married, but true soul mates. They imply they are being blocked from improving their city by working together at the top of City Hall. The difference from the British scandal of the 1930’s is that Funkhouser does not think he’s threatened. At least not by a recall effort. And there is some evidence to back it up.
” That requires 17,000 signatures in about 60 days.”, says Funkhouser. “And Clay Chastain, who was like the champion petition getter here, could get 9-thousand in his best shot. It ain’t happin’ here. So why should I worry about it?
So maybe there is a defense emerging here; that a couple in love is under siege. And that if this is what it takes to get the job done, then ‘Kansas City, leave us alone’, they might say, ‘we’ve got it handled’
Love may be blind, but is it liable?