The answer came Wednesday, when Rita Valenciano officially filed as a candidate for that same 4th district seat.
Rita who, you ask?
Valenciano is a political activist in the Hispanic community. She also happens to be Botellos mom.
In recent weeks, Botello has used his blog to blast Gottstein with particular ire, something thats uncommon on a blog thats mostly just a digest of the news, livened up by racist and sexist jokes. But with his mother entering the race as Gottsteins rival, its clear Botello has gone after Gottstein to covertly help his moms campaign.
Asked Wednesday about her son blogging about her opponent, Valenciano said they hadn't discussed it ahead of time. "I don't agree with half the stuff he writes on his blog," Valenciano told the Pitch. "My son blogs about a lot of stuff, and he's too big for me to spank and send to his room if I disagree with it."
Valenciano is the chair of the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, and she was recently on the team selecting a replacement for Mike Sanders as Jackson County Prosecutor. When Botello jokes that he blogs from his mothers basement? Thats her.
The attack began on December 13, after the Citizens Association endorsed Gottstein and Jan Marcason, whos running for the 4th in-district seat. Botello wrote that Gottstein and Marcason are more experienced at holding cocktails then keeping up with current events in KC. He had no commentary on any of the other Council races.
The next day, he posted a picture of a dark-haired woman screaming in front of a brick wall, under the headline, Big-Mouthed Beth Gottstein Isnt Very Impressive.
On December 21, Botello satirized Gottstein with a movie still of Parker Posey in Superman Returns. Posey, who looks a bit like Gottstein, was clutching a bottle of Grey Goose and a martini glass filled with olives. Beth Gottstein is the worst kind of cocktail candidate that could ever get her clutches on a council seat in Kansas City, he wrote. In one appearance after the next Gottstein disappoints when there is not a drink in her hand.
In another post, Botello gleefully reported this big news: Gottstein drove a red car with Iowa plates. He claimed the tidbit had come from somebody who left a comment on his site. I wonder if my favorite cocktail candidate, Beth Gottstein will finally bother to drive around a car with KC plates by the time the primary comes around, Botello wrote. The fact that Gottstien is VERY RECENTLY from out of state really isn't that big of a deal given that so many political opportunists pick KC as their starting point .
Botellos attacks have had an effect on Gottsteins presence on the Web. If you search Beth Gottstein on Google, the first return is a TKC post: Beth Gottstien (sic) and her Iowa plates.
On December 29th, Botello posted a movie still of actress Fairuza Balk from The Craft, where she played a witch, and reported that Gottstein was inquiring about Botello at Hispanic newspapers. Funny thing is, this aspiring politico has worked in the Hispanic community and should know how much we all love gossip so word got back to me within a day of these vaguely threatening phone calls, he wrote. she is simply doing a great job of making herself look like a joke for taking a two bit blogger way more seriously than she should.
Gottstein says she is concerned for her good name. Being called a cocktail candidate is distressing because she says she hardly drinks. Botello ties her to the Womens Political Caucus, which she left six years ago, though she did host their annual Torch Dinner as a favor to a friend last September. She stepped down from her role as president-elect of the Democratic club, Citizens for County Progress, in order to run for Council this year.
Pat Gray, president of Northstar Marketing, which Gottstein hired to run her campaign, says of Botellos blog: Its very much in distaste. If his mother is planning to run, anything he says is obviously self-serving.
Its too soon to say if blogs will play an important role in the upcoming city elections, as they did last year in the vote over stadium renovations. But one thing is clear: the possibilities for muckblogging are endless.