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News / Clark County News

Press Talk: Is the bumpy ride over … for now?

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor
Published: December 17, 2016, 6:10am

I’m gonna miss the guy.

No, really. I’m not kidding.

Irritating and insistent, righteous and rigid, unbowed and unnerving.

That is how I would describe Clark County Councilor David Madore.

Swept into office four years ago because voters saw a need for an agent of change, he was summarily swept out of office because he never figured out how to make change and play nice with others.

Sure, it’s difficult to upset the apple cart without stepping on toes, but Madore almost always broke the first rule of getting things done:


So why would a guy like me say I will miss a guy like that? One reason:

He’s good copy. 

News types like me live in two different worlds. One world is the community. Through this opinion column, I’ve often fought for what I believed was good for this community. And that meant I often clashed with guys like Madore. But from a newspaper standpoint, I also appreciated his beautiful weirdness. In other words, he was good copy.

There’s an old saying in the newspaper business:

“Dog bites man isn’t news … but man bites dog is news!”

And Madore had this bad habit (a good habit if you love good copy) of always biting Rover.

Saw it coming 

I’m often asked if I saw this coming after Madore was elected four years ago. Honestly, yes. In fact, before he took office, I wrote a column that included this:

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

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

“This ain’t ‘Wayne’s World.’ It’s ‘Madore’s World.’ ”

Silence helped do him in

When Madore was first elected, he used to talk to me. Not so much any more. Well, if I’m being honest, he doesn’t speak to me at all. I have regularly invited him for coffee, but he never gets back to me. And for the most part, he doesn’t speak to anyone at The Columbian.

It was yet another of his fatal flaws as a politician. Look, if you’re a politician, you don’t have to like the local newspaper. But you should be smart enough to understand you need us.

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Don’t do stupid stuff and shut us out. That only means you don’t get your side of the story out to the public.

What’s next?

No one is exactly sure what’s next for Madore, but if I were a betting man I’d bet (dramatic pause required here) he’ll be back.


Because history has shown, when you knock this guy down, he doesn’t go away. He dusts himself off and he gets right back at it.

He’s suffered plenty of political setbacks in his four years as an elected official. And every time I thought he would scurry back down his rabbit hole for good … there he was again. Just as though nothing had happened.

Madore followers will remember that he began his public career as a gadfly at Vancouver City Council meetings. So it will be fascinating to see if he’ll go back to that. Or — more likely — prepare to run for office again.

He’ll take a shot at running against either County Chair Marc Boldt or U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.

But whatever Madore does, I sincerely hope he enjoys the new year.

And, David, if you’re in the mood for some free advice, coffee is on me. Interested?

Columbian Editor