Press Talk: Madore era is finally ending

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor

Published:

 

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian's editor emeritus. His column of personal opinion appears the first Saturday of every month. Reach him at lounews1@gmail.com.

He’s out.

Barring a post-election miracle, Clark County Councilor David Madore has been unceremoniously booted to the curb.

Voters rejected the vexed politician’s re-election bid in Tuesday’s primary. The once-promising outsider, who vowed to rattle cages when he was first elected four years ago, landed with a thud.

It was a humiliating and embarrassing end for the man who at one point early in his political career looked like he had it all, including control of the local Republican party. The voters — who loudly and clearly shouted “No more Madore” on Tuesday — will struggle to figure out if they should feel compassion for Madore or rejoice. Probably a little bit of both.

Madore only garnered 22.55 percent of the vote. That’s almost 9 percentage points behind the second-place finisher, Republican John Blom. There are still an estimated 6,000 votes to be counted in this race, but it’s almost certainly too much for Madore to make up. Blom now will face Democrat Tanisha Harris in the general election in November. Even though Blom came in second behind Harris, he becomes the slight favorite in the general election because he will pull most of Madore’s votes. Regardless, this race was never about who would win. It was about if Madore would lose.

What’s next?

This latest blow to Madore likely finishes him politically, but don’t expect him to simply slip back down the rabbit hole, never to be heard from again. He is far too resilient and far too stubborn. Madore believes he’s on a mission. He believes he’s been designated by someone far greater than voters to move forward with what he feels is right.

Remember, Madore created his foothold here by being a disruptive private citizen. Before he became an elected official you could regularly find him at Vancouver City Council meetings complaining about the proposed new bridge across the Columbia River. So he is quite comfortable mucking up the machinery running the county.

One way he’ll do that is by reviving his video production operation that faded away years ago. Look for some castaway weekly Reflector journalists to join his team. He believes it’s important to counter The Columbian with an alternative media. He has been using his Facebook page for this, but the video operation will add dimension to what he hopes will be an emerging media empire. Good luck with that. So, we haven’t heard the last of Madore.

But what happened?

Look, there are numerous reasons why Madore’s quest to rule Clark County imploded. But there are two that stand out:

• Madore’s fight with the mainstream media. As The Columbian began to hold Madore accountable, he increasingly backed away from communicating with the public through us. His failure to understand our role — and how many readers we reach — did him in. No matter how much a politician feels he’s being treated poorly, getting your side of the story out through the mainstream media is critical.

• The Outsider? Madore originally tried to position himself as the nonpolitician outsider. But he had barely warmed up his county seat four years ago before he turned into a shrewd, unsavory politician. He hired buddies to county jobs that they weren’t qualified for, he told half-truths and lies, and he supported political videos masquerading as news. Voters weren’t fooled.

• • •

Now that his political career has likely ended, don’t look for Madore to confess his sins and ask forgiveness. That’s not in his nature. He still believes in himself. He will still work to have his voice heard in the hopes of continuing his disruptive tactics. But now he’s been relegated to join the ranks of other bloggers. You can hear him. But just barely.