Press Talk: The M&M boys … again

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



I had another column planned.

It was about giving birth in high heels, being a little obnoxious, and tweeting being considered the next best thing to a Chicago Dog. But I guess that will have to wait for another day. Why?

Well, the M&M boys went and reared their funny heads, and here I am stuck with having to try to explain the mess they keep getting themselves into.


Now, I know there are a few folks out there who think I’m wearing out the M&M boys topic. But please remember, it’s not a good thing to let bad boys off the hook simply because their strange actions are becoming the norm.

So I shall do my due diligence and voice my humble opinion on the latest M&M boys’ boondoggle.

Those of you who’ve been stuck in bridge traffic for the last six months and unable to get to a newspaper might ask, “Who are these M&M boys?” They’re County Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke. They’ve taken the county by storm, in a Category 5 hurricane sort of way.

Let me put it another way: With all due respect, they’re making Cheech and Chong look normal.

Honestly, as Republicans, I thought they’d be trying to save the taxpayers’ money. As Republicans, I thought they wouldn’t be making silly, unqualified hires of their friends. And I thought they’d believe in “We the people,” meaning that any time they had an opportunity to get an opinion from voters, they would. Well, I thought wrong.

And it’s this last one — the “Hey, let’s ask the voters” — that I found quite bemusing.

You see, Madore and Mielke are big believers in asking voters what they should do. For example, before the Columbia River Crossing died in the state Senate, they pleaded for a public vote on the dang thing.

Now fast forward. Our county commissioners have the opportunity to put some advisory votes on an upcoming ballot. One of those advisory votes — proposed by Democratic Commissioner Steve Stuart — would be on expanding the number of commissioners from three to five.

I’ll be honest: Stuart is the odd man out in this ongoing circus, so adding two commissioners couldn’t hurt him. When you’re outvoted — be it 2-1 or 4-1 — you’re outvoted.

But there’s always the chance some reasonable folks would get elected. And that likely would give Stuart more juice and the M&M boys less.

Well guess what? The M&M boys figured this out as well. So they would have none of it.

Besides, Mielke said, he didn’t want to get in the way of a soon-to-be freeholders committee that is being elected to work on the possibility of actually changing the number of county commissioners.


I mean, all this time, Madore and Mielke have been asking to hear from voters. All this time, they have been trying to pull the power away from politicians and toward the people. But when they have an opportunity to ask voters if they’d like a couple more commissioners, they want to defer to these freeholders?

My, my, my. I wonder, why the sudden change of heart? Could it be because the M&M boys might lose some power? What cow manure. At best.

OK, OK, I promise I won’t do another M&M boys column. At least not next week.

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

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