The Source's Annual Clown Awards were founded to recognize truly meritorious contributions to political idiocy.
Without further ado...
Winner: Jason Grill
When Jason Grill isn't rocking the party, he's seeking immortality in another way: by writing and revising an exceptionally flattering wikipedia article for himself. His monument will surely last until someone deletes it.
The following tidbits show how the darker corners of Wikipedia (which generally tries to be objective) can be dominated by narcissism:
The Summer of 2000 truly inspired Jason to think about giving back to Missouri and the Kansas City Northland Community in the form of public service...
Voters appreciated Jason's sincerity, ideas and outlook for the future, clear moral vision, and willingness to bring Republicans and Democrats together to get the job done...
Grill's attempt to turn his wikipedia entry into a shamelessly transparent piece of campaign literature shows why some candidates shouldn't venture onto the internet. Wikipedia summarized the situation nicely: "This article or section has multiple issues." So does Jason.
Winner: Jeff Smith
Watching the story unfold, we couldn't help but wonder if someone hadn't mashed together episodes of Prison Break and Gilligan's Island.
Around the time when Jeff Smith he realized expressing remorse might get him leniency, it came out in spades. And then after he was sentenced, it dried right up again. But hey, at least he's writing a book. Maybe they'll turn it into a movie. Click here for some casting suggestions.
Winner: Steve Brown
Okay, so maybe there weren't many contenders for this award.
Brown was attached to the Jeff Smith story from the beginning, but only later would it be confirmed that he wore a wiretap to help implicate his best friend.To his credit he had enough remorse to actually do something, and down the line he'd take some flak from Smith about it.
Steve Brown also deserves mention for a secondary prize, "Most Likely To Be Howard Beale." Beale was the nom de plume for an anonymous Fired Up blogger who posted during times Steve Brown probably should have been doing his job at the office. We pegged his identity back in 2007, and Howard Beale's sudden disappearance coincides with the sharp rise of Steve Brown's political problems.
Winner: Talibdin El-Amin
57th District Democrats, proving that they had learned their lesson and desiring to change their ways, replaced him with a tax dodger.
Winner: Joe Bindbeutel
Joe Bindbeutel, a Jay Nixon appointee, was at the heart of E.Coli-Gate. He was one of the first to learn about dangerous levels of E. coli in the Lake of the Ozarks, and he played a pivotal role in holding the information from the public. After weeks of prodding by the public and the press, he eventually came out and said it was all his fault, taking sole blame for the fiasco.
Click the image for a political cartoon courtesy of MOPNS.
At the time it was obvious that he was throwing himself under the bus and that he was being rewarded for doing so. Many others, including several key figures in the Nixon Administration, had been involved and were busily trying to avoid the public's attention. His confession was disingenuous, but Nixon had just given him a cushy new appointment with a six-figure salary. The reward was significant.
Then the Missouri Senate held up his appointment.
Nixon ended up protecting his aides Jeff Mazur and Jack Cardetti. But Bindbeutel? His misguided loyalty turned him into an outcast. His appointment was withdrawn and life went on for the Nixon Administration. We almost ended up feeling bad for him.
Winner: Tommy "Two-Tones" Sowers
You're a Congressional candidate with a great bio, but nobody in your district is supporting you because they like the incumbent. What do you do? If you've got the connections, head to New York, meet up with your banker friends and get big checks. Then, if you have the mental flexibility of an Olympic gymnast, you position yourself as a populist with deep district roots.
Sowers got an astounding 11.1% of his first quarter financial support from within his district, compared to 67.70% for Jo Ann Emerson in the same time period. Sowers willingly embraced the dubious honor of raising more money from New York than he did from Missouri, which is exactly what someone would do if they were campaigning from the wrong state. This theory has yet to be disproved.
Sowers has showed his commitment to hard policy solutions by telling 8th District voters he would have an opinion on cap-and-tax only after he was elected.
Tommy Sowers' deeply hypocritical campaign earned him the name Tommy Two-Tones.