February 27, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

The Inexplicable Paranoia of the Overland Park Power Bloc

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Councilman Terry Goodman and allies apparently cannot see the damage they are doing to their own campaigns.

Terry Goodman, part of the entrenched power bloc in Overland Park, has held his Council seat unchallenged since 2001. Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach is running for his fourth four-year term as mayor, the previous two unopposed.

Goodman, in particular, is appalled that anyone would dare challenge either him or Gerlach, especially him. As documented in an earlier Sentinel article, Goodman has been hectoring his challenger, newcomer Gina Burke, relentlessly since he learned about her interest in filing for his seat.

“Just still curious why you are so committed to running unless you have been recruited – especially when there are so many other ways to serve, become involved & learn about the city,” Goodman wrote to Burke in late May when he heard about her intent to file.

Goodman has been hinting from the beginning that mayoral candidate Charlotte O’Hara recruited Burke to run. The evidence strongly suggests otherwise. What follows is an email Burke sent to O’Hara on May 31, 2017:

“Ms. O’Hara – I just put in my bid to run for Councilmember of Ward 4, and I was hoping that I could talk with you about the best way to go about this – any pointers would be appreciated. I am running against Terry Goodman, and he is trying to get me to change my mind. Thank you, Gina Burke”

In his paranoia Goodman has created what he most feared. Burke and O’Hara have begun to work together, and Goodman seems anxious about the threat to his humble power base. On October 18, he emailed O’Hara the following:

“My campaign is extremely well financed. I will out-walk both you and Gina and will cover every precinct in Ward 4. This effort is well underway. I appreciate the opportunity of tying you and Gina together.”

And here comes the kicker:

The folks need to know that you are endorsing a slate of ultra-conservative, uninformed, and inexperienced candidates.

Goodman concludes his email with a promise that, in context, sounds a whole lot like a threat: “So, go ahead and walk with Gina. I’ll be right in front of your or right behind you.”

Power corrupts. Tell your OP friends to make sure they vote.

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