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News / Clark County News

Press Talk: Sludge sandwich on me

The Columbian
Published: April 2, 2022, 6:00am

Dear Don Benton,


You’re probably not going to believe this, but (dramatic pause required here) I missed ya. So when I heard you finally came out of the rabbit hole to run for a seat on the Clark County Council, guess who was super pleased?

This guy!

OK, OK. You’ve been down there a long, long time, so for those who don’t remember you — and sort of as a public service — I think I have an obligation to let people know who you are. And let me be very clear, right at the top of this column, these are just things I’m about to mention. I mean, who is to say what’s a good thing and a bad thing today? No one can be trusted. Especially us media types, right?

I mean lots of us — including me — oftentimes need to review and refresh. So if you don’t mind, my brother, let’s review.

Remember that time when you were speaking to the county council, and I was in the audience listening? When you were finished, you walked by me, and I stood up to shake your hand. But you left me dangling and instead whispered those sweet words into my ear:

“You’re a scumbag, Lou.”

I’ve been called worse. And, hey, I forgave you.

Then there was that time when you were running out of job options and managed to hook up with Donald Trump’s campaign for his first run at the presidential office. You ran his Clark County campaign and then the Washington state campaign.

You couldn’t deliver Clark County or Washington for him. But as a reward for going 0-2, you got that governmental job running the Selective Service System up in D.C. Now there’s a job. I mean, when was the last time we instituted the draft? Like half a century ago? But I bet taxpayers love supporting a federal operation that has little use. But the taxpayers — and I — forgave you.

And of course you got bumped from that sweet governmental job when Joe Biden beat Trump — and so now you’re back in Clark County, where so many of us — again — missed you. Like Republican state Sen. Ann Rivers. Well, I shouldn’t speak for her, because that little kerfuffle you got into — when you also were a state senator — might still sting a little. Who knows?

Remember? At one point, you said you actually felt you might be physically assaulted by her. But she never went all Will Smith on you. Then Rivers said you called her a “trashy trampy-mouthed little girl.” Boy oh boy, that doesn’t sound like you. Is it possible you said “classy” instead of “trashy?” Maybe. At least I know I forgave you.

Again, it’s time to begin with a clean slate. Oh, one more thing if you don’t mind: Remember when you were the county’s director of environmental services? Sure, you won some money from the taxpayers when the county eliminated the department and you sued. But that really had nothing to do with how you managed to get the job in the first place. I suspect there was some M&M magic that got you that sweet job.

I mean your qualifications to direct that county environmental department where, ah, a little sketchy, you’d agree, right? I read someplace (like in an earlier column) that you couldn’t tell the difference between a salami sandwich and sludge, but that’s silly. Even though both would taste pretty good with enough mayo.

I suspect you sorta, kinda know your environmental stuff. Like I sorta, kinda know nuclear fusion. But I digress.

Except that one time when your environmental expertise led you to try and punish The Columbian, because you thought so many people were throwing the newspaper into ditches, the ink on those papers was causing pollution. Remember? Then some citizen called and said the only thing he found in the ditch were your old campaign signs.

That was pretty funny.

OK, enough. I mean, I really am happy you came out of the rabbit hole. I mean, with the holiday coming up, the Easter bunny needs a little more room. So let’s get off on the right foot this time. (Notice I said “right” foot and not “left” foot. Get it?)

Let’s get together. Ring me up, and I’ll buy lunch. Sludge sandwich on me.