“Yes, the Rizzo-Royster race turned on vote fraud,” admitted the Kansas City Star’s Barbara Shelly in a crow-eating column nearly three years after it would do any good. For years the Star has routinely mocked anyone who dared suggest vote fraud was a problem.
Among those mocked was Will Royster, a retired Navy fighter pilot who seemingly lost in a northeast Kansas City Democratic primary for state representative in 2010 by the final count of one single vote. The seeming victor, endorsed by the Star, was neophyte J.J. Rizzo, the son of Democratic machine honcho, Henry Rizzo.
What follows is a letter from a young Democrat named Nick Moreno who observed the process up close. The letter details the various tools Democrats use to steal elections and kill would-be Democratic reformers in the womb. It is edited only for length and clarity.
Before I start I want to give my Democrat credentials per se because others who have defended Royster have had theirs in question.
I am a proud Democrat and Latino with a wonderful wife and dog. I was raised in a religious, blue-collar, Midwestern Democratic union home. My dad UAW, my mom CWA.
In 2008, I worked for President Obama and the DNC in 2008 as 1 of 10 of their DNC-AAO International Regional Field Directors/Consultants. My area was Latin America & Mexico. I was also President of Democrats Abroad Mexico City & Executive Board Member of Democrats Abroad Mexico & Democrats Abroad Latin America.
I moved back to the United States during the 2010 primary. My brother Chris Moreno was Royster’s Campaign Director & Consultant. I wanted to be part of a campaign so after meeting Will and hearing his message, his resume and his character/values, and having a chat with his awesome mother, I gladly volunteered for him.
I have never been so proud of a campaign candidate in Mr. Royster, a director/consultant in Chris Moreno, and an aide in Adam Schieber. While life experiences have made me much more liberal than both my brother, my family, Mr. Royster and Mr. Schieber, it was clear after meeting Will and seeing their passion for that district in action, he was the right guy at the right time for Northeast; and it was clear everyone knew it.
That said, the campaign changed my outlook on a lot of things politically. It was the most disgusting display of politics and leadership on the part of Democrats & elected officials I have ever seen in any country. In 2010, The Missouri & Jackson County Democratic Party elected & leadership (not the voters) shamed the national party and continue to do so up to this very day.
I was 1 of 2 of Will’s witnesses at the Kansas City Election Board the night the Royster Rizzo results came in. As you may be aware, election results are made available to the witnesses in the room about 5-10 minutes before made available to the public via internet using a computer in the witness room so the witnesses can see it published.
Before the witnesses in the room even had a chance to see the results, Henry Rizzo sent a text to J.J. Rizzo’s representative, which he read out loud to the lady he was with, stating “Johnny Joe wins by 10. JJ is in.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was even more struck when the results were given to the witnesses and the first reading of results had John Rizzo victorious by 10 votes over Will Royster.
I was in the room during many of the Sunshine Requests made by my brother and Mr. Schieber as well as Mr. Royster, including when they requested the list of voters, which by law is supposed to be released but was deliberately held until the evidence deadline for the appeals trial passed.
The way those guys were treated was unbelievable. In many instances Kansas City Election Board (KCEB) workers leaked to the Rizzo campaign that they were at the office and [a friendly] blog had posts up attacking Royster, Schieber and my brother Chris Moreno before we even left the building. Important to note the KCEB Chair at that time, Shelley McThomas, is ex-wife of Mark Bryant, former Freedom Inc. head who is very close to Henry Rizzo & Rev. Tindall.
More importantly, I was in the room during the recount. I found the first unsigned ballots. Adam found more as did 2 of Will’s lawyers. When you find errors in the ballots the count is supposed to stop. The KCEB refused to stop the counting definitely allowing more illegal ballots to be counted or passed through without detection.
This was important because we already knew that at a couple of precincts (the same where the group voting and electioneering was reported) there were stacks of unsigned ballots left at the end of the table for Rizzo voters to grab and stuff into ballot box. So I immediately yelled, “Stop. Found some of the unsigned ballots.” By procedure, they are supposed to stop the count. They did not. They refused to. In fact they instructed employees to keep counting and reminded them that they are behind time.
When I questioned the ballots, panic set in at the KCEB. The KCEB lawyer began to make really unprofessional comments questioning my education level. Mr. Rizzo’s lawyer began to do the same. At one point his lawyer began to call me names and called me out to the parking lot to fight. I couldn’t believe it.
I should also note that the recount was literally given in a moment’s notice. After delaying and delaying and refusing the KCEB eventually called Will and gave him literally a window of minutes to have his witnesses there for the recount.
I was in the room when multiple judges called the Royster house and asked to speak with Mr. Royster and told him about the voter fraud they had seen. Multiple judges on both parties were really upset, in some cases crying. I was in the room when another came to the house to tell her story and how she was treated by the KCEB and her precinct supervisor. She was crying in anger and sadness. It was very real.
I was in the room when one individual showed Royster a video and pictures they took of team voting by Somali voters at one of the precincts. That person refused to hand over the video and photos in fear of attacks and losing her job but the video and photos were very real.
I was there when a group of young brave Somali college students created Somalis for Royster and called Royster when their parents, especially women, were threatened by [their leader].
I was there when [one influential witness] told my brother and Will that a guy was allowed to be inside the Museum precinct location holding up a Rizzo sign, again very illegal.
I was in the room when my brother received threatening phone calls from Mike Talboy, then [Missouri House] Minority Leader, as well as a number of other people. I was in the room when some of my brother’s consulting clients called my brother and told him that they were threatened by Talboy & Rizzo and told to drop my brother’s services or lose their Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee funding, clear quid pro quo.
What makes all of it so interesting is that Mike Talboy asked my brother to consult with Will Royster as Will and Carol helped in a big way hold fundraisers for [Democratic] Governor Jay Nixon. And on the flip of a dime, with a little pressure from Henry Rizzo, Taxpayers United and IBEW Local 42’s leadership in Kansas City, Talboy flipped and did what he does best, throw people under the bus.
I was in the room when Barb Shelly from the Kansas City Star was on the phone and refused to hear Will Royster’s story or support Will Royster. If memory serves me right. they didn’t even interview him for their endorsement.
I was the person who found that one precinct has Henry and John Rizzo receiving a substantially more amount of votes (even though halfway down the ballot) than every other candidate on the ballot, a clear lead to ballot stuffing.
I was there when a major media outlet did a report of votes being cast from abandoned building and outside the district, but then the report was taken off of the website and not available to the Royster campaign.
Bottom line: Royster was screwed. I saw it with my own eyes. You don’t get bluer than me. And I have no problem saying that it is such a shame that the “leaders” of Missouri Democratic Party and Jackson County Democratic Party don’t have enough valor to stand up to clear election fraud. Not just voter fraud… election fraud.
Will Royster was the right person for that district and the voters spoke. And I can say that with my own eyes I saw the KCEB, John Joseph Rizzo’s campaign and Jackson County via Judge Stephen Nixon take that voice away from them.
They could’ve had a veteran and neighborhood activist who has experience in economic development and negotiations and who could reach across the aisle for the betterment of the neighborhood. Now they are stuck with a corrupt Payday Loan lobbyist, who just used the people of Northeast as a springboard and hasn’t even attended more than a couple of community meetings since being elected.
Nicholas S. Moreno