Press Talk: What's the buzz? It's Madore!

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian editor



Five months ago — before County Commissioner David Madore took his newly won seat — I wrote a column suggesting the smooth sailing was over:

Fasten your seat belts.

Welcome to the Board of Clark County Commissioners.

It's going to be one roller coaster of a ride. And it will be bumpy. Very bumpy.

This will mostly happen because of the commission's new addition: Madore.

Bumpy, I should add, is not necessarily a bad thing. It's simply a thing. But it's pretty much guaranteed to happen.

Madore, you see, doesn't feel like he was elected to maintain the status quo. Shake, rattle and roll will be his rallying cry.

OK, OK, it didn't take an environmental scientist to predict such things. But someone had to say it.

Hey, I like Madore!

I hadn't thought much about that column until I received a text from Madore.

The text came in shortly after the county shocker went down, gerrymandering state Sen. Don Benton into the open county environmental services director position.

Let's be honest here. No matter how much one might love Benton, he's as qualified to do that job as Mr. Magoo is qualified to be a sharpshooter for the Navy SEALs.

Come on now!

So Madore — along with his partner-in-mischief, Commissioner Tom Mielke — just decided to put Benton in the job. What the …

But back to Madore. I've said before and I continue to say I like the guy. He's done some crazy stuff — see above — but if anybody believes that politicians are always looking out for our best interests, please raise you hand.

Thought so.

There's something to say for someone who is willing to shake, rattle and roll. And goodness knows county government could use a little rattling.

Unfortunately, the rattling is beginning to feel more like a 9.2 quake.

It was feeling — from here at least — that the roof was caving in after the latest shenanigans.

Dear David: Sure I like ya but really, settle down a little and take a breath. Think, man, think!

Put Benton through a normal hiring process. Let his qualifications speak. And for goodness sake, don't hitch your political wagon to Benton. I mean I love the guy but … really?

I did wonder what Madore was feeling after the storm erupted over Benton's quick-fire hire. So I asked him. And Madore reminded me of my bumpy ride column.

"You forecasted a wild ride," he messaged me. "Hang on to your hat."

• • •

Madore added another comment that made me smile. He wrote:

"Lou, when I am asked what I do for a living, I should tell them that I sell newspapers."

The point, of course, is that Madore makes news and — yes — news sells. Truth is, in today's social media world, it's more accurate to say news increases Web traffic. And that it did.

So in honor of our good fortune to have Madore around, I wore my Nutcracker Christmas tie to work. When folks asked me why I was wearing that tie in May, I told them this:

"Madore is the gift that keeps on giving." :-)

What's next?

Of course no one knows what's next. One thing for certain, the magical mystery tour will continue. And that means you really should fasten your seat belts, especially if you're working for the county.

We also now know that the county administrator announced his upcoming resignation hours after the Benton hire was announced. And — scout's honor — the sudden announcement had absolutely, positively nothing to do with all this Benton stuff. So now the speculation is the M&M boys may be grooming Benton for the administrator's job. But if he was being groomed for that position, the earlier-than-expected departure of the administrator might have thrown a kink into the wagon wheel. Benton now will have less time to prove his performance before the administrator opening happens.

I did ask Madore if he thought Benton was qualified for that administrator position. But he wouldn't go there. And that's saying something, since he has always been great about answering my questions.

Hey, my track record of politicians taking my advice is miserable. So I don't expect Madore to up my percentage. But ya never know right? Maybe if I threw in a little lyric from one of my favorite songs:

"Listen Jesus I don't like what I see, all I ask is that you listen to me."

Is anyone listening?

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