Tell Taxpayers Where Their Money Went
The Republican Party has eliminated Kansas City as a potential host city for the 2016 convention, and with it went any reason for keeping the details of the bid a secret. In April we wrote:
The mayor of Kansas City, Mo., disclosed that the city is ponying up another $65,000 to woo the 2016 Republican convention. Jackson Co., Mo., Wyandotte Co./Kansas City, Kan., and Johnson Co., Kan., also are chipping in an additional $65,000 each. This $260,000 total is in addition to the $100,000 that Kansas City, Mo., already spent. We participated in a KSHB TV story about the spending and asserted that taxpayers ought to be told what is being promised in their name.
At the time, the mayor and the convention committee refused to tell taxpayers how much money the city was spending, where it was going, or how much more was promised. According to the Kansas City Star:
The Star filed a Sunshine Law request with the city and the Kansas City Convention Visitors Association asking for information from the proposal on the potential public cost of the convention.
Both declined, citing state law — and a concern about revealing details of the bid to competing communities.
“We will not be addressing specific questions related to the Finance section of our response,” said an email from Julie Sally, a spokeswoman for the Kansas City convention task force.
City spokesman Chris Hernandez also declined to provide the requested information, as did Mike Burke, the attorney for the KCCVA.
Now that there is no risk of compromising the bid, the city and the KCCVA should reveal what commitments they made, where the money went, and to whom. Their economic impact projections for the convention were pretty wild, too. We would like to see who generated those, and how.