retired federal agent called our office out of the blue this week and started talking about all the goings-on at Parkville City Hall and some of the allegations outlined in last week’s edition. He started using words like racketeering. And RICO.
Most of us have an idea what racketeering is. I had to seek a more detailed explanation of RICO. The only Rico I know is Uncle Rico from the Napolean Dynamite movie. According to Google, the U.S. government introduced the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in October of 1970 to contain racketeering.
Racketeering is a charge that people often associate with organized crime, but it can be applied to any ongoing coordinated illegal scheme to carry out a common purpose. It can be prosecuted at the state level or at the federal level. Some examples of federal crimes of racketeering include bribery, obstructing justice or obstructing a criminal investigation, for instance.
The more you know.
Mark Alford is gone from the Fox 4 Morning Show. Initially it wasn’t clear why, but on Wednesday morning it seemed to become a little clearer when Alford announced he is entering the world of politics. He will be running for the 4th Congressional District seat. That spot is currently held by Vicky Hartzler, but Hartzler will be running for US Senate in the next election cycle. Alford describes himself as a conservative Christian.
I’ll say this: Now that he’s running for Congress, it would benefit Alford to get thicker skin. He seems like a very likable guy. But in following his social media pages during his time at Fox 4, he also seemed overly sensitive to criticism, often blocking people or spouting off to folks who made even mild comments that he found less than glowing about him or his work.
I get it, nobody likes to be criticized, but come on. When you’re in a very public position in media doing very public work, it’s going to happen. A little pushback to the criticism is fine and fair, but one time Alford was blocking people who had commented that it looked like he had recently colored his hair. Not exactly testicular fortitude on display.
For his sake, I hope Alford realizes public criticism is going to happen just as often–likely more often–now that he is in politics.
We did a Landmark Live segment with Alford a couple years ago from the Platte County Fairgrounds. Early morning. Very early. We had a fun conversation with Alford and his co-host Kathy Quinn for a 10-15 minute Landmark Live piece.
A quick story. That morning, Alford and the rest of the Fox 4 Morning Show crew had showed up at the fairgrounds to do their gig. Alford steps onto the fairgrounds saying he could use a cup of coffee. Kind of a diva move, really. I wasn’t near him when he made the remark, because I was busy setting up the equipment for our Landmark Live segments, of which we did about 10 Emmy Award-worthy pieces that morning. Landmark office manager Cindy Rinehart, for some reason, was over by the Fox 4 people instead of helping me with Landmark chores. Kind of a diva move, really. Was she auditioning for a job with Fox 4? I don’t know but thanks for asking. But what was I gonna say? I’ve enjoyed working for Cindy all these years at this business I own, so there’s not much I could say, really, if I wanted to protect my ass here at this business I own.
Anyway, Cindy hears Alford say he wants coffee. Why she felt obligated to act on his comment I have no idea. I’ve noticed she doesn’t exactly jump into action when I make off-the-cuff comments like that. Anyway, Cindy gets on her cell phone and calls Landmark Live co-host Brad Carl (speaking of divas), who is driving toward the fairgrounds. Cindy rather firmly asks Brad to stop somewhere and grab a cup of coffee for Alford.
Wow. I gotta say that’s kind of a ballsy move on Cindy’s part. She doesn’t understand bro code, I guess. Asking a man to go get coffee for another man when both are superstars for opposing media outlets getting ready to do their thang. Yikes. It was a request that had the potential to go south in a hurry. In bro code, this isn’t cool.
But Brad did it. He didn’t seem all that happy about it, seemed to be feeling a little effeminate, really. But he did it. And I proceeded to give him crap about it all morning on air, because that’s what buddies do. And I’m not sure Brad appreciated it. Man, he was a good sport that day. Kind of.
Brad did end up taking a demo derby car for a spin later that morning in an effort to totally redeem his manhood.
As previously and humbly mentioned, the guys at The Landmark know their football. Folks, for already the second time this young NFL season I have won the week in Landmark Pickem, which you can play on our website at plattecountylandmark via an app that has been developed by our Tech Man Schneider.
Hold the applause, please, because I’m starting to feel guilty about it. I mean, this contest is supposed to be a way for our readers to have some fun and win prizes from Nick and Jake’s in Parkville as well as the Ten & Two Coffee Bar in Parkville.
There have been seven weeks of the contest and Landmarkers have won it four times. That’s more than half the time. Yours truly twice and Guy Speckman twice. I guess we should stop showing off now. “Or rearrange our priorities,” Speckman says, hinting that we may be watching too much football, as if that’s a bad thing.
Of course to be serious for a moment, when a Landmarker wins we do not accept the prize but instead pass it along to the second place finisher. This contest is for you.
Some advice: Remember to pick these games with your head and not your heart. What gave so many of you the idea that the Chiefs could actually win that game vs. Tennessee? For some reason, Tech Man Schneider seems to get surprised and almost offended when I pick against the Chiefs, which I’ve successfully done multiple times this season. Hey, the idea is to pick the winners, not to be guided by your fandom.
(Feel free to criticize Ivan Foley’s hair color and his many other faults via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)