Press Talk: Of Madore, Wulle & the press

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



Received this email from a reader a few days ago:

“Have you noticed how much space in your newspaper Madore is receiving?”

David Madore, of course, is our newly elected conservative county commissioner and, as Jerry Lee Lewis so eloquently put it in a 1957 hit song, there’s a “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”

And Madore is doing the shaking.

I answered L.C. — the emailer — in a direct way.

“He’s a newsmaker.”

Being a newsmaker is the short answer to why he gets a lot of press. But I suspect the real question is: Is he getting too much press?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about Madore’s impending commissioner’s role and opined that we all should fasten our seat belts, because it was going to get bumpy. And it has.

But please don’t get confused by equating bumpy with bad. That ain’t always the case. What used to be pro forma for our elected officials — going through the motions when they spend taxpayers’ money — is now being questioned. By Madore.

I’m not exactly sure how anyone could be opposed to this, because sleepwalking through expenditures — even the small, obvious ones — can’t be a good thing. Sometimes a wake-up call is needed.

Now, in the end, all those expenditures might be justified. But asking the tough questions once in a while can’t hurt.

But all of this is rocking — and will continue to rock — the boat. And when the boat is rocked, that’s newsworthy.

Madore was newsworthy before he was elected, because of his influence on other past elections and his causes — like the bridge and light rail and tolls. Getting elected now has added a position of some authority to all of this. And that makes him even more newsworthy.

Those who dislike him are not happy. But it is what it is.

As noted, buckle up.

A heads-up is good

Should you get into trouble for simply giving the media a heads-up? That’s the suggestion of a King County judge.

The judge is in a little hot water with the state judicial conduct commission. And his view is, it’s not his actions that are his problem, but rather a vendetta of sorts that the head of the judicial commission has against him.

To help prove his point, he said the same thing happened to our own Judge John Wulle.

As you likely recall, Wulle was somewhat shockingly defeated in his re-election bid. A judge’s not getting re-elected almost never happens.

Prior to the election, the commission told Wulle some of his courtroom behavior was going to be looked into. And that “looking into” decision was posted on its website.

We got a heads-up to look at the website from the commission chair. And the Kent judge claims that heads-up is proof that the chair was out to get Wulle.


I’d argue it’s a good thing to get a heads-up from public officials on something that might be of interest to the public.

Public officials should be commended, not condemned, for doing such things.

I say, let the information flow freely!

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, or

Don't Do Stupid Stuff Mugs