Last April, I received more votes than any contested council candidate in the city. From that moment a group of people opposed to me for their own personal reasons along with a few insiders have been trying to overturn last year’s election by recalling me.
Last November at the polls hundreds of voters were lied to in an effort to get enough signatures to place this recall on the April ballot. Here are the facts.
No, having a business fail or putting it through bankruptcy does not disqualify you from holding office. If that were true, our current President Donald Trump wouldn’t be elected. Neither would five other US Presidents including Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Having a business fail hurts. Putting it through bankruptcy is painful. My business had an A rating with the BBB and many happy clients. Not a single creditor contested my debt in court.
No, having credit judgements in your past does not prohibit a candidate from running for office. In my case I failed to pay an $800 credit card and a $1,000 cash loan in my 20s. Is it something I am proud of? No. But what does that have to do with 2017? Absolutely nothing. Ironically several of the people that lied to voters at the polls have had tax liens, prior credit judgements and even criminal charges in their past.
No, it is not unethical or illegal for a candidate or their business to loan their campaign money. Voters at the polls in November were told this. That doesn’t make it true. Missouri law allows any candidate or their business to loan their campaign money. This is common place and I reported everything on two forms titled “CD1” and “CD1B”titled “Loans Received” with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Ask yourself this: if it were unethical or illegal why would the Ethics Commission have these forms?
I definitely have zero instances of misconduct in office. The recall group lied to voters about this. In fact, the only complaints filed against me are by members of the recall group. Specifically, their Treasurer and their largest donor. Neither of which live in my district. All 3 complaints they filed against me were rejected by the Missouri Ethics Commission and Attorney General’s office.
I definitely did not bully a volunteer into resigning. Again, another lie by the recall group. The truth is that volunteer directed staff to steer business to her city councilwoman. I published the email showing this and others online for the public to see. After pressure the Mayor asked me to remove it. I agreed to as long as she resigned. She did. I do not regret that decision at all.
I am definitely not ashamed of the fact that I demanded a councilwoman caught with no bid contracts to resign as liaison to the same department giving her the illegal deals. To me this seems like common sense. Why did we have two elected officials with no bid contracts with our city? Why was the pricing of another Lee’s Summit business sent to an elected official with a competing business? Why did department directors steer business to that elected official? These are still answers I’m waiting on.
In closing, the rise in social media has provided a forum for critics in politics to launch accusations, lies, gross exaggerations or fake news. We are seeing this play out at all levels. It’s why people cannot stand politics these days. The truth is everyone has a past and nobody is perfect. My father taught me at a young age that there will always be critics. In politics you and life a leader cannot please everyone. Those critics will use anything they can to attack you. Unfortunately, this is playing out in our community today. My family and I have faced relentless personal attacks on an hourly basis at times online by this group of people.
I pledged to the voters last year that I would ask tough questions and deliver real results. I have proudly stayed true to that pledge. I have not violated any laws. I have not done anything unethical. What I have done is stand up the insider establishment, special interests and a few of their favorite politicians.
I don’t apologize for that. Are you looking for a politician that rubber stamps insiders and special interests? If so, that is not me. Do you want an elected official that is real and is not afraid to stand up for what is right? If so, I am your guy.
City Councilman Chris Moreno represents Lee’s Summit District 4. He and his wife Cortney were raised in Lee’s Summit and have two children.