Yael T. Abouhalkah

How to punish Jeff Roe

Political consultant Jeff Roe (second from right) has refused to talk publicly to the media in Kansas City since Auditor Tom Schweich’s suicide.
Political consultant Jeff Roe (second from right) has refused to talk publicly to the media in Kansas City since Auditor Tom Schweich’s suicide. The Kansas City Star

The media love to write that political consultant Jeff Roe keeps getting hired because he wins despite his penchant for using slime-ball tactics.

Here’s a new story in The Star that gives Roe and his Axiom Strategies firm some publicity along those lines.

But notice this: Roe is so “proud” of his company that he refused to talk to The Star about what he does for a living. That continues Roe’s attempt to hide in the shadows after Auditor Tom Schweich’s suicide was linked, by some, partly as a response to a despicable ad Roe apparently was behind.

Notice something else: Roe’s clients also largely run from the press when he and his despicable ads are the topic of conversation. Most refused to talk to The Star.

It appears they are not proud of how they are running for office.

Obviously Roe feels no embarrassment about his behavior, and is happy that his clients keep shoveling money to him.

So how can Roe — and these clients — be punished?

Voters can send them a message, and it’s pretty simple: Say “no” at the ballot box.

If Roe’s clients start losing more, his reputation will suffer.

Kansas City civic leaders have another way to punish Roe: He shouldn’t be given a dime to work on local campaigns in the future.

The Star story also does include the fact that Roe could lose business in the future because of the way he operates.

Let’s hope so.

Remember one other key fact.

Many, many candidates in this region and across the nation win by running ethical campaigns every single year. Those are the kinds of candidates who deserve voters’ support.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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