Why is it that many losing candidates running for public office always want to blame the press, but winning candidates never think the press had anything to do with their success?
Polls show that Republicans are perceived as being the party of arrogant, rich, white, males who are anti-women, anti-Latino, like war and want to close our borders. So it seems logical that Republican voters would rally around the person best suited to counter that image. Their leading candidate, Donald Trump. Ah, really?
Upset that Mayor Jim Ferrell had been criticized in the media for losing his temper at a candidate while in the audience at a candidate’s debate, one of the mayor’s regular supporters wrote a letter to the editor defending the mayor’s behavior as “channeling his inner Chris Christie.” Since Christie is from New Jersey — the land of bullying Tony Soprano, bridgegate and is known for his bad temper and thin skin — that may not have been the most helpful comparison, or was it all too accurate?
It’s not New Jersey, but over in Port Orchard they take their politics seriously. During a meeting with his supporter’s opponent to look at his campaign records, Mayor Tim Matthes thought the discussion had gone badly and in trying to retrieve his records got into a scuffle. He suffered an injured finger and a paper cut. The police were called but no arrests were made. To add to the mayor’s indignity, he lost the election.
In debating fair wages and the economy, Jeb Bush put his name in the hat for playing Scrooge when he identified an easy answer for workers who want to make more money. His idea was “people need to work longer hours.” And we thought it was hard to find a compromise; I’m sure the workers will love that idea.
If you think Federal Way has problems with debating the Performing Arts and Event Center, homelessness and crime, that’s nothing! In Langley, on Whidbey Island, City Hall is all atwitter about what to do in regards to the booming bunny population explosion. The bunnies are making holes in the fairgrounds, dodging student drivers at the high school and the school district had to spend $60,000 fencing the sports fields to keep the little critters out. Now the vigilantes want action on the troublemaking rascals, while others want good old fashion “Whidbey Island compassion.” A community battle over bunnies! We have it easy.
Mr. Federal Way gave a hint to the columnist’s secret identity by saying there was an “r” in Mr. Federal Way’s real name. Many readers immediately pegged Publisher Rudi Alcott, political writer Bob Roegner, and Editor Carrie Rodriguez as the likely authors. Sorry, Mr. Federal Way gotcha again. All but one of the staff have an “r” in their name.
Many people continue to believe that global warming is a fantasy. But 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded, a new study says. By 2090 portions of the Persian Gulf may be too hot for people to live in. Antarctica is shrinking, and a recent story showed how Miami is making adjustments on housing because it may be partly underwater in the future. Miami looked at a picture of Manhattan during a storm a couple of years ago to see what a major city would look like partially underwater. Yup, global warming is pure fantasy, cooked up by those nasty environmental naysayers just to give job creators a hard time.
Initially viewed as the front runner for House Speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy took himself out of the race and gave Hillary Clinton a big boost in her presidential aspirations at the same time, when McCarthy suggested the real purpose of Congressional hearings on the deadly attacks on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya was to drive down Clinton’s poll numbers. Putting admission to previous denials, while giving credibility to Clinton was probably not the goal Republicans were looking for! McCarthy was then forced to drop out of the race for the speakership, and Clinton looked stronger than ever.
On Oct. 5 Donald Trump said he would drop out of the presidential race if his poll numbers fell. They did, but both late night comedians and Democrats are begging him to stay in the race.
The public voted to ban retail marijuana shops in Federal Way and the mayor and council said they would respect public opinion and voted to implement the ban. Listening to the voters, what a great new policy. Because last time voters said they wanted to legalize marijuana, the city passed three moratoriums against those same retail shops. New policy? Or do elected officials only listen when it agrees with what they want? And whatever happened to that much-talked-about vote on the Performing Arts and Events Center that the public wanted? Remember the Mirror poll?
And in an interesting approach to political commentary, a Polish priest wanted to do an exorcism on a newspaper he didn’t like. Don’t mention this idea to Mayor Ferrell, we don’t want him to get any ideas.
And as we close another year we say goodbye and thank you to departing city Councilman Bob Celski, school board member Danny Peterson, Lakehaven commissioner Chuck Gibson and South King Fire and Rescue commissioner Mark Freitas. We also thank Carol Gregory for her service in the Legislature and see it as Olympia’s loss and our school board’s gain.
Lastly, proving that some politicians have no sense of humor, we say goodbye to the column “If I Were Czar.” We hope it’s well intended author Matthew Jarvis will remain active and critical of government when he sees a need. Citizens shouldn’t have to endure attacks from their own city government just for having an opinion. Disagreement and civil discourse, yes, but attacks and name calling, no! Our New Year’s resolution for city government: “Treat your voters with respect, even when you disagree with them.” Thank you Matthew.
Thanks for reading.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn: firstname.lastname@example.org