Press Talk: Play my new game show!

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



OK, we’re beginning a new game show!

You can play, too.

If this were TV, I’d have some bells and whistles going off, and maybe a spinning roulette wheel turned on its side with flashing lights.

Please put that image in your head as I announce in a deep voice, “Let’s play … There Are Way Too Many …”!

The rules are pretty simple. Have you grown tired of certain people or sports or political positions? If so, they could make the list. You need only to tell the host why — and you could be a winner!

Of course, everyone has their own list. And, truth is, I suspect I myself — the host of this brand new game show — might make a few lists.

Well, let’s get started. Who has a nomination?

Hey, how about my ultra-conservative buddy Don Benton? He’s running for re-election for the state Senate. So why is he being considered for the list?

Well, it’s not because he declined to meet with The Columbian’s editorial board. During political season, we invite candidates from many races to have some tough questions thrown at them.

Almost all candidates agree to come because they know we fairly throw tough questions at both liberal and conservative candidates. It’s a bit like a debate — but much better — because they’re not just getting milquetoast questions, and when they don’t answer, we push back.

Guess Benton isn’t crazy about that format.

So if it wasn’t his skirting us, how’d he make the list?

Well, apparently Benton thought his opponent — state Rep. Tim Probst — was being mean.

In this case, however, most of the stuff Probst is saying has been reported in the past.

Take Benton’s penchant to miss Senate votes. Lots of them. Benton has never really denied it. In fact, he has said he’d rather meet with his constituents — you know, like school classes that come up to Olympia to visit — than vote on some silly ol’ bill.

Of course, other state senators have school classes coming to visit, as well. But according to one group that counted, Benton misses more votes than 95 percent of the other senators.

Then there was that little incident several years back when Benton was chairman of the state Republican Party. The executive board moved to dump him because of a little money-spending Benton did that they didn’t appreciate.

Stories were done on both of these issues.

So what does Benton do in response?

Well, rather than just calling Probst a meanie, Benton went and got himself an attorney and threatened to sue.


Apparently Benton has forgotten how political races work. You sling, he slings, they all sling a little letame di mucca.

Getting an attorney and threatening to sue? Come on, man!

o o o

So who’s next on my list of “There Are Way Too Many …”?

You guessed it. Attorneys.

I should admit up front, I have a deep love for attorneys. Every single dang one of them.

But what should an attorney do when someone like Benton says, “I want to sue da bum?”

Well, they should tell him to watch “Sleepless in Seattle” and then take a nap.

I realize there ain’t no law compelling attorneys to not do stupid stuff. But there should be.Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, or Twitter:

Don't Do Stupid Stuff Mugs