The politics of strange bedfellows gets even stranger
COLUMBIA, 2/10/13 (Beat Byte) -- Laura Nauser's narrow victory in the 5th Ward Columbia City Council race has sparked a wicked war of words between two wings of local liberalism.   It's a strange turn of political events that has tongues wagging all over town. 
Grassroots Progressives who favored Tootie Burns -- including 6th Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe -- are accusing the race's third candidate, Mark Jones, of "arrogantly spoiling" any chance Progressives had of capturing a Council majority.  They've also leveled strident attacks against Jones' prominent Democrat supporters, most notably State Representative Stephen Webber

Nauser won the race by 2% or 55 votes.   Jones picked up 16%, most of them from Burns, her supporters say.

A favorite of traditional Democrats publicly endorsed by Webber, Boone County Treasurer Nicole Galloway (D), and former State Rep. Judy Baker (D), Jones is a National Education Association lobbyist whose comment that the Providence Road Improvement Plan (PIP) was a "$7 million solution to a $1 million problem" helped make PIP a major campaign issue.
Calling Nauser's victory a "sad day for Columbia," Councilwoman Hoppe blasted Jones and his supporters -- who also included some prominent Republicans -- on husband Mike Sleadd's Facebook page.
"Tootie Burns would have won hands down in the 5th Ward election if Mark Jones hadn’t been a spoiler," Hoppe wrote. "The weight of future bad city council decisions will be on his egotistical and delusional shoulders -- and those who encouraged him.  Shame on them."
Jones "made a mess" of the Council race, which was "his intention from the start," Sleadd added, "congratulating" the candidate for "screwing the people of Columbia.  Tell him good luck with ever getting elected to anything. Same thing goes to Stephen Webber."
Sleadd's swipe at Rep. Webber and other other prominent Democrats got wider play when liberty-advocacy group Keep Columbia Free (KCF) posted the Facebook thread on its blog.
"I have no faith in Stephen Webber," Sleadd wrote, asking if Webber and Jones' other politician-supporters "are stupid. Should they be in politics? Should they be making decisions for the public?" Sleadd asked.

Another darling of local Democrats, Judy Baker didn't escape unscathed, either. 

"Judy Baker was a major disappointment," Sleadd wrote. "She is on my 'no' vote list as well."
"I'm with Mike [Sleadd].  Those politicians who supported Jones should pay politically," progressive advocate Ed Ricciotti agreed.   "I think support from the local Dem politicos gave Jones a false sense of hope. Grassroots support wins you Council races, not endorsements.  Hopefully, those Dems will listen to people who have a clue."
"All I can say is, 'WOW!'" KCF writer Mark Flakne wrote on reading the long conversation.