Opinion

Feb. 19: The best dish in town for voters

By Angie Vogt, political commentary

The national and local elections are just steaming hot. Let’s dish!

Not to be outdone by the drama and posturing of our national candidates, our own Federal Way citizens have been weighing in with some back-and-forth swipes regarding the strong mayor issue. We all have a chance to be heard in the primary election on Feb. 19. Here’s my take.

As you probably know, some interesting characters in our own little town decided it sure would be nice to turn the mayor’s position into a dog and pony show every four years with a campaign and election. This way, the mayoral candidates can schmooze with people, make promises they can’t keep and reward all their friends with favors, in return for campaign donations. Oh yeah, and they can start collecting a nice paycheck for $130,000 a year (gee, know any local politicians looking for advancement and a little self-promotion opportunities)?

So, my guess is that these politicians incited outrage among some citizens, goading them into taking up the case and taunting our community with the newfound conviction that their voice is not being heard unless they get to elect their mayor and unless we change the structure of our government. Unfortunately, the “front” group has needed to resort to vague allegations of corruption and incompetence to make their case for change, though they have yet to cite any concrete specific cases of corruption. And of course, corruption doesn’t happen when there’s a strong mayor, right? (wink).

In all seriousness, both forms of city government are valid and have their strengths and weaknesses. I just have yet to hear a good case for changing. Vote “no” to changing our form of government.

While you’re at it, vote “yes” on the school levy. I know, I harp and complain about the ridiculous way our state funds education, which forces school boards to resort to these levies and bonds. Federal Way School Board member Dave Larson is doing his best to squeeze the lemons in Olympia to change this, but change takes time (strong mayor fans, take note). The Federal Way School District works hard to be good stewards of our tax dollars and they deserve every penny they’re asking for. This is not for luxury items, but for basic operating expenses. Vote “yes” for the levy.

Now, on to the national prom queen contestants. This has been the most exciting primary season in my adult life. Voters across the country are choosing the “do not resuscitate” option on a Clinton White House for 2008. Hillary’s camp continues to deny that any of the sweeping victories are of concern. Let’s see, they said Iowa was just a fluke, South Carolina didn’t matter because it was mostly blacks voting (the media generally ignores liberal racism because liberals are just too “enlightened” to be racist), then they said that Super Tuesday victories didn’t matter because Barack Obama only got the small states and more recently they declared the Maine, Maryland and Virginia victories were expected, so no big whoop.

According to the talking heads, Bill and Hill (who resemble in a remarkable way, the drama duo Sharpay and twin brother Ryan from “High School Musical”), their big day now is March 4 when Ohio and Texas hold their primaries. The problem is, it’s too late. Obama fever has swept the nation as even Chris Matthews declared that he gets “a chill in his leg” when Obama speaks. OK, that’s just gross. “Objective media,” my eye.

On the Republican side, things may be more decisive, but the bickering, whining and arguing on talk radio is getting hard to take. The purists, such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham, have contested John McCain’s nomination every step of the way, calling him a “third Democrat” in the race. Limbaugh recently declared “I am tentatively supporting Obama,” while hard right columnist Ann Coulter declared her support for Hillary if McCain was the Republican nominee.

As a conservative myself, I didn’t see one Republican candidate that represented conservative principles in a convincing, inspiring manner. The only thing worse than not having good candidates is staying home and not voting. I find that option just reprehensible. Feb. 19. Vote!

Federal Way resident Angie Vogt can be reached at vogt.e@comcast.net.

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