Of Mud Bogs and Politics

by lewwaters

MudslingingMud bogging can be a lot of fun, both as a participant and as a spectator, watching as trucks struggle to make it through deep pits of mud and slinging mud in all directions. The competition is fierce, but it is all in fun and at the end of the day, you see a lot smiles on mud caked faces.

But the state of mudslinging in our political campaigns has reached a level that now prevents us from seeing more highly qualified people run for public office.

And by that I do not mean that relevant matters pertaining to a candidate should not be brought out, but specious claims, false linking, attacking supporters or family members and other such underhanded tactics, to “win at any cost” has degraded our politics to a state that not only do we have a problem enlisting qualified candidates, many people no longer even wish to vote.

Media, nationally and locally carries much of the blame, in my opinion, as they have lost all sense of objectivity and have promoted a bias favoring their own points of view, covering for candidates or parties they favor and even creating false allegations to smear office holders and candidates they do not favor or who run against those they do favor.

Blatant lies told to get elected are forgiven and even excused, provided the person switches to supporting what media favors, as in the case of incumbent mayor Tim Leavitt locally, flipping on opposing tolls and Barack Obama nationally over his disastrous Obamacare.

We saw local media supporting false allegations against a PAC set up to oppose Leavitt while ignoring blatant lies told about Leavitt’s opponent, Bill Turlay by a PAC supporting Leavitt.

We have seen endless assaults against 5-term Republican State Senator Don Benton for over 20 years by local media along with an unprecedented excess of 40 articles, editorials and columns against the very legal appointment of him to head the county department of environmental services.

Reading editor Lou Brancaccio’s weekly screed you would think County Commissioner David Madore has led a political machine of pure evil, backroom deals and domineering the county in a one-man rule for years, even though he is the most junior commissioner, in office less than a year.

In regards to the Vancouver mayor’s race between Tim Leavitt and Bill Turlay, Brancaccio wrote, in an effort to make the Vancouver mayor’s race about Commissioner Madore,

“If Turlay wins, it will signal that we like what Madore has been doing over at the county administration building, and you can pretty much guarantee the Madore way will grow bolder.”
“If Leavitt wins, it will signal that we’re growing tired of where Madore is leading this county.”

Yet, they are not in a hurry to give credit for the transparency in County Government instituted at the behest of Commissioner Madore, only where they can denigrate or sling mud at him.

Supporters of candidates are not immune from the vitriol thrown around as baseless allegations are leveled against former candidates who put their support behind another they feel would better represent.

Such is the case with Battle Ground’s former city council candidate Cherish L. DesRochers after she endorsed Lyle Lamb and received what she sees as a threatening message from the wife of incumbent council member, Mike Ciraulo.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Ciraulo wasn’t immune either as he was subjected to allegations of improper fundraising over a poker party held on his behalf, that also amounted to little.

And his camp leveled allegations against others on the Battle Ground city council over alleged wrongdoing of other members of the city council in changing how Battle Ground selects their Mayor.

That allegation also amounted to nothing.

We have seen Democrat 49th Legislative District Representative Jim Moeller joyously post on his facebook page of baseless allegations of Republicans strongly oppose women in office, citing a highly questionable poll.

Moeller, GOP Doesn't Want Women

Yet we also saw Moeller gleefully comment to a Republican woman he defeated in the last election, “I beat you like an old rug” in the online comments section of the local paper of record.

Voter participation in this year’s election was hoped to be around 40%, but so far turnout has been just under 19%, expected to increase, but doubtful to come anywhere near a dismal number of 40%.

Along with the vitriolic nature of campaigns today, we also see where voters are left disenfranchised, seeing their votes ignored or cast away by politicians.

In spite of voters defeating every measure to fund light rail operations and maintenance for the CRC light rail project, we saw 5 elected officials, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, City Council members Bart Hansen and Larry Smith, Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow and County Commissioner Steve Stuart ignore those past results and approve entering into a binding contract with Portland’s TriMet for funding that very thing, bypassing voters and not even reading the 40-page contract first, much less allowing the public or other elected officials to look it over.

And, we cannot ignore Jim Moeller’s efforts, after voters five times voted in favor of requiring a 2/3 majority vote by the legislature to increase taxes, joining in with public unions to sue constituents and have the votes invalidated, claiming such a requirement would necessitate a constitutional amendment.

And of course, after having citizens votes invalidated, his refusal to support such an amendment when it was proposed by Republicans.

Before you jump in to label me a hypocrite by writing this blog, allow me to remind you that blogs came into being due to the media’s abandonment of all semblance to objectivity, predominantly favoring the liberal view and candidates and often going out of their way to exaggerate allegations against conservatives while minimizing or completely ignoring wrongdoing by liberals.

Blogs are citizen efforts to bring some degree of balance back into the scene and provide fairness. We aren’t perfect, but we try, much to the chagrin of those in the lamestream media.

But this is where our political scene is today. We do have a difficult time getting decent and qualified people to step up to run for office, knowing how they will be trashed because of their desire to see the status quo gone.

We have difficulty getting people to even mark a ballot, disillusioned that their vote even matters.

They fail to recognize that only their votes can change it by choosing better qualified people to be in government.

So here we sit, people out desperately trying to encourage others to get involved and cast their votes while media undoubtedly are rolling their hands, expecting to see the poor turnout favor their desires while the few good and decent people we get to step up to the plate and run are whipping mud from their bodies.


We can wash off the mud from a mud bog, but the mud from political campaigns stays with us far too long.

2 Comments to “Of Mud Bogs and Politics”

  1. It seems to be working pretty good for them. It must be nice for them to have the only local media outlet working so hard on their behalf.

  2. the sooner we run the columbian out of business, the better for clarke county

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