Press Talk: Little support for the M&M boys?

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor




OK, that’s the answer, but I should let you know the question for those not following the magical mayhem tour the M&M boys are on over at the county building.

County Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke have been playing naughty for some time now. But when they slipped their good buddy state Sen. Don Benton through the back door and into a sweet $100,000-a-year county job, well, things got a little bats-in-the-belfry.

Residents came unglued, relentlessly battering the M&M boys, and haven’t let up yet.

Oh, the M&M boys and Benton have a few supporters. Most are frenetic and friendly bloggers and Web commenters. I love all these guys! But defending the indefensible is something only a few are willing to tackle.

And most folks — particularly those in elected office — have been conspicuously silent.

So last week I offered a challenge. I asked any Clark County elected official who would be willing to defend the way the Republican M&M boys hired the Republican Benton and Benton’s qualifications as the county’s environmental services director, to let me know.

I then would print all those supporting statements right here in this column.

Well, OK, the Democrats weren’t expected to step up, but surely the elected Republican brothers and sisters would. Right?

Assessor Peter Van Nortwick, Auditor Greg Kimsey, Clerk Scott Weber, Sheriff Garry Lucas, all good Republicans.


State Reps. Paul Harris, Brandon Vick, Liz Pike, Richard DeBolt, Ed Orcutt, Norm Johnson, Charles Ross?

Nada again.

State Sens. Ann Rivers and Curtis King? Nope. Even Sen. Benton didn’t step up to defend Environmental Services Director Benton.

And I didn’t want to leave out U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. Not a peep.

Who knows, maybe all those above elected folks aren’t paying attention, but I rather doubt it. Just in case, the offer still stands for next week.

So why is that? Why are no elected officials defending the shenanigans going on? Maybe because it’s shenanigans?

Now you’d think this would be a clue to the M&M boys that they goofed up big time. Not so much. Mielke simply doesn’t get it. Madore gets it but thinks he simply knows better than everyone else.

Benton is sitting back, smiling, enjoying the show and collecting his big check.

You’ve been New Coked

Hey, but what about Madore’s gracious gesture to relent and not move public comments to the back of the commissioners’ meeting as he said he would?

Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve just been “New Coked.”

Remember in 1985 when Coca-Cola said it was eliminating its old drink and going to a sweeter New Coke? Coke lovers went crazy, stormed Atlanta and Coke relented. They brought back classic Coke.

Customers were elated. And even though someone eventually figured out all Coke did was create a firestorm, then just gave customers back what they already had, customers still felt Coke was a hero. Go figure. Madore has pulled the same trick. The magical mayhem tour continues. Enjoy!

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

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