Press Talk: Dancing around the politics

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



Some final election observations as the big day approaches:

It’s the M and M boys!

Folks have been dancing around the edges when it comes to why we’re suddenly so interested in opening up our county to the freeholder election.

Remember, the freeholder process is sort of a no-holds-barred Texas cage fight over how this county should be run. Anything from added commissioners to an initiative process could result. Heck, as long as it isn’t against the law, it’s possible.

So, for example, the freeholders could force all the county commissioners to wear clown masks. I’m not kidding! This should, I mean could, happen.

Yes, the voters would have to ultimately approve anything the freeholders decide. But I’m thinking most of us would be OK with the clown mask thing.

But back to the question I posed. Why freeholders now?

Well, you can thank one guy: County Commissioner David Madore. Madore is half of the M&M boys who currently run the county. The other half is Commissioner Tom Mielke. Not sure why, but I think of Boss Hogg and his sidekick Rosco P. Coltrane when I think of the M&M boys.

Madore has done so much goofy stuff — with Mielke going along — residents now are demanding a change in the way we govern.

The irony of all of this is — yes — the freeholders might just turn the county upside down. But only because Madore already has turned the county upside down.

Big numbers

Trust me, you have never seen so many people running for office as you now see in this freeholder race. How many? Well, if you had them hold on to each others’ ankles and threw the lot of them into the Columbia River, they’d stretch from one side to the other. Doing this of course would eliminate the need for a new bridge and then the freeholders could simply go home because Madore would start acting like a normal human being.

Seriously, good luck trying to figure out who to vote for. Check on our website, at, for a bunch of info on them.

Personally, I earlier noted four names that I happen to believe in: Jim Mains, Temple Lentz, Garry Lucas and Ann Rivers.

I don’t like the idea of stacking the freeholder group with all nut cases on the right or left. There should be diversity of nut cases.

If these four make it, though, you won’t get nuts. You’ll get bright, reasonable people who do not think alike.


Hey, let’s talk Vancouver City Council. And let’s not dance around the point here. Councilor Jeanne Stewart should win her race against newcomer Alishia Topper. Stewart is the incumbent with strong name recognition. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Topper is a bright, enthusiastic, knowledgeable challenger running an aggressive campaign. It feels like Stewart is being out-hustled.

I like both of them. Still, the city might just be in need of a fresh perspective. And Topper would deliver that.

Speaking of dancing

This Stewart/Topper race, of course, should be decided by vision and an ability to act on that vision.

But — BUT — if this race were to be decided, say, by a dance-off, Topper would be a 20-1 favorite. Topper can groove on the dance floor. (See what you can learn in this column?) Now, that’s not to say Topper is the best dancer in the community. If she came up against an opponent that moves like Jagger, she’d be in deep trouble. But give Topper the dance vote.

OK, folks, the fun times are almost over. Do the right thing. Vote. And dance to the mailbox when you drop off your ballot. It could keep the fun times going!

Don't Do Stupid Stuff Mugs