Non-defeat “defeat”

Un-be-lievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

We’re working away at our computer a little after midnight on Wednesday, the day after the election, when a press release arrives in our email from United for Missouri’s Priorities, the opposition group to Proposition A, the earnings tax proposal. We took one look at the headline and could not believe what we were seeing.

PROPOSITION A DEFEATED IN KANSAS CITY AND ST. LOUIS

The subhead read, “After $11.2 Million Dollars–Rex Sinquefield Must Ask Himself ‘What did I win?'”

Mark Jones, the campaign coordinator for UFMP then quoted himself saying, “The goal of the campaign was to inform voters of the threat to critical services for St. Louis and Kansas City. We have achieved that goal.”

There is a (clean) word for this proclamation. “Spin.”

Rex Sinquefield, for those who have not yet heard of him, is a retired banker. He does not have more money than God despite what you might have heard. But we do understand that he is rich enough to play golf at the same country club God would play at if God played golf.

True, voters in St. Louis and in Kansas City said “no” to Proposition A. 65,515-106,299. Too bad for Jones that people in other parts of the state had to vote, too. And Jones has somehow overlooked the fact that voters in the rest of Missouri voted 1,227,667 to 496,732 IN FAVOR of Proposition A. That’s about 70% in favor.

That means the people of St. Louis and Kansas City will vote on whether to keep or get rid of the earnings tax in their cities. Tuesday’s vote did not prohibit a vote on the issue in those two cities. It requires one.

What did Mr. Sinquefield win? Perhaps Jones has overlooked the fact that so far Mr. Sinquefield has won everything so far. Because it passed, no city in Missouri can ever ask its voters to approve an earnings tax. Proposition A said voters in St. Louis and Kansas City would have to vote on whether to keep their earnings taxes. They’ll still have to do that.

So what exactly did Mr. Sinquefield lose? Nothing yet. And he still has a lot of money left to persuade people in our two biggest cities not to renew their earnings tax, should he decide to invest in that persuasion.

Maybe Tuesday’s totals were a test vote of some kind. There will be a real vote. And that’s what Rex Sinquefield wanted. That seems to pretty well answer Jones’ question. So far, Rex Sinquefield is undefeated. Jones says, “I would not be surprised in Sinquefield and his paid consultants simply decided to leave St. Louis and Kansas City alone.”

When was the last time YOU saw an undefeated team that did not want to keep playing after a big win?

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